I took an intro to philosophy course back in high school. It was roughly the equivalent of a first-year philosophy survey course (only better, because the class size was smaller and everyone in the class actually wanted to be there), taught by a really cool guy named Mr. Peglar. It is to him, and his class, that I can attribute credit for not only a lot of the content on this blog, but the way in which much of it is presented – he’s the one who taught me the strength of the ‘argument-counterargument-refutation’ approach to persuasive writing.
One of the central dichotomies we focussed on at the beginning of the class was realism vs. antirealism – the question of whether or not reality exists independently of an observer. We agonized over this for a week before he introduced us to an absolutely magical solution – pragmatism. Whether or not reality exists objectively, since the question is unanswerable (the scientific method – the best way to determine truth – is dependent on the assumption of reality existing), we are best served by assuming things exist. It is the only way to get by in the world.
There are a lot of assumptions about what motivates feminism. If you’re a woman, you may be accused of hating men and wishing to castrate them, or of being bitter and not having the strength to assert yourself, so you have to tear men down. If you’re a man, these assumptions are harder to make stick – there’s no reason to suspect that I hate men, being a man myself and having mostly male friends, and anyone who thinks I’m not strong enough to assert myself is invited to come say that to my face. Other insulting suggestions, that I am whipped or I’m just sucking up to chicks to get laid, are similarly poorly applied to me particularly – I’ve been single for many years and it’s theoretically much easier to score with randoms that don’t respect themselves than it is with feminists (which is a sad fact), who are, in my experience, the only kind of women that think a guy who calls himself a ‘feminist’ is sexy. [Read more…]