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Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Quick Word on the Cosmic Imperative

posted by on June 28 at 14:59 PM

Does the Christian De Duve concept of the cosmic imperative mark science’s return to philosophy? Has it ever left? (Altogether another important question.) Is there at all a difference between finding existential shelter in the scientific cosmic imperative and finding it in the philosophical will, or will to power, or power, or conatus , or geist? All of these ideas say one thing: The universe is productive, creative, fecund. That fact is evident to the eye. (The problem has always been: is that fact evidence enough for the mind.)

What is more interesting than the cosmic imperative, which is still an exciting idea, is not the creation of life but the creation of thought, self-reflection, the two-in-one. Why? Because if there are life forms on this planet that are thinking about the universe, looking at the it, recording its activities, this means the universe thinks. It thinks about itself. The universe has a way of seeing the universe, seeing what itself is doing. Some planets produce storms, others vapours, this planet produces a thinking substance. Our purpose in life might be nothing more than to be the thought of the universe.

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What, is, the, obsession, with, the, comma, in, Continental, philosophy?

Posted by Eric | June 28, 2007 3:12 PM


Posted by Mr. Poe is Satan | June 28, 2007 3:17 PM

Tragically few of us bother to think at all.

Posted by Morgan | June 28, 2007 3:19 PM

sounds like a pickup line at a philosophy convention to me...

Posted by brad | June 28, 2007 3:26 PM

at least he didn't mention Lacan for once. :)

Posted by ddv | June 28, 2007 3:28 PM

Sometimes, I think Charles' posts are just random words, devoid of purpose, that simply serve to obfuscate an overtly pretentious mind. In short, they're art, meant not to convey meaning, but inspire the reader to feel befuddlement, and a sense of emptyness.

Posted by supergp | June 28, 2007 3:33 PM

"Our purpose in life might be nothing more than to be the thought of the universe."

you're wrong on this one, chaz.

see: Buddhism.

Posted by maxsolomon | June 28, 2007 4:01 PM

shouldn't mix that Hillbilly Heroin, pot and red wine

Posted by -B- | June 28, 2007 4:12 PM


Charles, you crack me up. You TOTALLY punked de Duve, a la Alan Sokal! Nice! F'ing brilliant!

errrr, or else you are just a pretentious babbling pseudo-intellectual... with a terrible case of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

I vote for the latter.

Posted by Anon | June 28, 2007 4:21 PM

It's thinking like this that got Pluto kicked off the planet list.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 28, 2007 4:33 PM

You people should be nicer to Charles. You'll miss him when he's gone.

Posted by Patrick | June 28, 2007 4:42 PM

To Anon @9:

Yay! I learned something new! I like learning! And the more I know, the more I know what I don't know.

I just fucking blew my mind.

Posted by S.M.R.T. | June 28, 2007 5:54 PM
Posted by john from cincinattit | June 29, 2007 8:54 AM

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