Destinations

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A human body occupies a location in time and space. It occupies a location in human history and geography. It is reasonable to believe that no human body has ever spent much time upside down. Rather, we tend to stand on our feet, subject to the effects of gravity.

We tend to feel in a certain mood. This mood might or might not be relative to human history and geography. In the recent history of philosophy, the notion of mood activates a reference to Heidegger’s book Being and Time. It is fair to believe that most people would claim that they do not have the time or are generally not in the mood to read Being and Time  to find out what Heidegger wrote about mood and time (Stimmung und Zeit in German).

What does it mean to not have the time to do something? It means that we need or want to do something else. This something else is considered more important or more necessary. Is something necessary important? Well, if you spend most of your time doing things that you consider necessary matters-of-fact but ultimately not important, you are probably often in a bad or sad mood. In the book Modes of Thought, Alfred North Whitehead wrote a chapter on the importance of the notion of importance and how it contrasts with the notion of matter of fact. For him, matter of fact is an abstraction.

Now something that is an abstraction for philosophers might be a painful reality for a human body that is enmeshed in a specific society. A common abstraction is money, which we tend to treat as the matter-of-fact par excellence. We could probably here list a few other abstractions that have become extremely important for us, to the point that we consider them concrete.

Now let’s consider our initial human body located in time and space. Is time and space an abstraction in the same sense that money is? Kant believed we have a non-empirical (a priori) intuition of time and space. Is this philosophical idea important or necessary? Some people would say that philosophy may start with the right questions but ends in infinite erudition. So let’s remain with the questions for a while.

Are you where you ought to be?

How can you be certain that you are were you ought to be, in a space-time that is exactly the optimal one for you, compared to all possible states?

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are now crossing the border between Sweden and Norway” claims a voice as I wrote the previous sentence. The train then whistles and I laugh: how useful can the whistling of the train be as a border is crossed? The voice of the train manager (or is it the driver?) sounds bouncy. He seems to be in a decent mood, as the old carriages continue their unhurried journey between Stockholm and Oslo.

Author: Dr Luis de Miranda

Crealectician, PhD, author, philosophical counselor

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