Reinterpreting Development: Critique for a Sustainable Sublative Position

Thoithoi O’Cottage

[Incomplete, first draft prose for one of my best friends to read in public.]

The wars of kings were over; the wars of peoples had begun.
– R.R. Palmer (1793)

With every sphere of our social, economic, political and intellectual life being heavily laden with contradictory theories (as evolutionism vs creationism, essentialism vs constructivism, positivism vs metaphysics, modernism vs traditionalism, rationalism vs empiricism and so on), the present moment in the evolutionary course of human civilization experiences a phase of intellectual hesitation brought on by all our positions’ metaphorical wobbling against the seemingly very strong polemic pressure of the other. [This presents an overall picture of our failure to find a sustainable position pitching ourselves precipitately into perpetual restlessness.] While the necessary evil of this inter-theoretical friction (as the nature of the dualistic world, maya) makes the evolutionary process of our civilization possible, too much friction arrests progress at best, and triggers civilizational retrogression or annihilation at worst.

At such times of crisis, however, the innate human nature to struggle for emulation and progress which does not allow their flow being arrested too long starts to look around for ways to develop or progress, the direction, mode and content of which, like they were in the past, may be again a subject of another epistemological debate marking the commencement of another phase in the endlessly ongoing discourse of life. Diverse epistemological positions interpreting progress/development simultaneously in their own terms resulting in an interpretive anarchy are what causes this endless debate. This hyperactive play of epistemological vectors can to some extent be tamed or narrowed down to some basic issues by leveling a series of Socratic questions at every interpretive player in order to search for the underlying hypotheses, assumptions, or axioms, which are subconsciously shaping their opinion, and to make them the subject of scrutiny, to determine their consistency with other beliefs. The purpose is not to take a leap to the final answer, the intangible ultimate truth acquiring which precludes the process of civilization putting an end to time, but to acquire a greater wisdom of the subject.


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