Axiological Accident

8 January 2010

Friday


Defiance is what makes us individuals. Defiance of the norm, of the smothering, all-embracing universals of community, of quotidian life, makes us stand out as human beings worthy of that title. To become an individual, to become a human being, to live as an individual human being, is the goal that each should have before him at all times. To become what one is is to become an individual.

In my axiology, in so far as I have one, value is only to be found in the individual and the particular. Beauty is in Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and not in some amorphous idea of beauty; truth is in particular truths and not in the Platonic form of the true; virtue is in individual acts of virtue, in virtuous traits of character. And all of these, as well, are accidents (in the Aristotelian sense) — highly personal manifestations of the desire to make something of life, and to use the world to its best end. There is a deviancy in all greatness, and a homogeneity in all mediocrity that styles itself as the good.

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2 Responses to “Axiological Accident”

  1. I like this, especially the last sentence.
    Now, it is interesting to connect this with your study of civilization. Does not civilization promote conformism?
    Also I like the harmony between the banner of your blog and the picture.

  2. geopolicraticus said

    Dear Marina,

    Thanks for your comment. Does civilization promote conformity? I think that particular societies that are the bearers of civilization and the values of civilization strong promote conformity (and I have even argued that the law has an intrinsic bias for the past, which makes it essentially conservative in its social function), but I do not think that civilization itself promotes conformity.

    Precisely because I hold that, “There is a deviancy in all greatness, and a homogeneity in all mediocrity which styles itself as the good.” And because I hold that civilization consists, at least in part, of the best of the greatness achieved through deviancy, I hold that civilization itself, apart from its bearers, is the product of non-conformity and its essentially hostile to mediocrity. Now, whether there is any such thing as “civilization itself, apart from its bearers” is another question entirely, and one on which we may well disagree. Perhaps that should be the topic of another post.

    Best wishes,

    Nick

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