About Me

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If you like the work I’m doing here, please consider supporting it through Patreon!
(You’ll also see there a brief discussion of my personal life and financial situation … )

I plan to use this blog to discuss more or less anything that falls into the broad category of “things I consider interesting or important.” The first project I chose to set for myself was to write an exploration of philosophy of mind from my own perspective, refuting over–extensions of “science” into attempts at explaining human consciousness by arguing for the irreducible, ineliminable, and non–epiphenomenal nature of  the qualitative aspects of subjective experience, intentionalistic aspects of conscious thought, and personal identity across time, defining these as the essence of “consciousness” and defending the position that all attempts to reduce them to efficient physical causation necessarily systematically fail—leaving the conclusion inescapable that causally efficacious consciousness (defined by these central components) is a unique and fundamental phenomena in the world—a kind of “dualism” by definition, which has become a dirty word in current times for less legitimate reasons than most people have too–readily assumed. From here, I proceed to argue that we should evaluate potential evidence regarding the possibility of the existence of certain kinds of “psychic” phenomena as well as the survival of subjective consciousness beyond physical death in light of the impossibility of calling consciousness “identical to” anything but consciousness itself (such as, say, a brain conceived of in purely mechanistic physical terms) or of justifying the assumption that this consciousness is produced by the physical brain (rather than, say, transmitted or filtered by it, etc)—taking a “broad canvas” approach acknowledging place for both skepticism and speculation in the vein of writers like William James, James C. Carpenter, and C. D. Broad. I conclude that defensible philosophical premises like those above combined with reasonable empirical evidence (such as that compiled by researcher Ian Stevenson) render belief in reincarnation, for example, rationally justifiable (if not rationally mandatory) even for someone starting out with no religious faith–commitments whatsoever—and even, ironically, part of one potentially viable “naturalistic” approach for undermining the inference from the existence of irreducible human consciousness towards theism.

Scientific atheism generally begins by minimizing the role of the categories of consciousness in our ultimate explanation of the world by replacing conscious and purposive top–down creation with the bottom–up accounts of mechanical causation—from the three–part introduction to the series: “Scientific cosmology is important because it removes the requirement for any intention within a (divine) mind to create behind an explanation for the existence of  “creation.” Evolutionary biology is important because it removes the requirement for any intention within a (divine) mind to design behind an explanation for the build of all life forms on Earth. Where once we had mind and intention and purpose and desire as the bedrock of our ultimate explanations for these things (e.g., that God wanted to do it, for such-and-such reasons), now we have replaced them with blind, mindless causality that is best described by deterministic mathematical laws. … The question philosophy of mind brings us to is whether this process can continue once it reaches up to the consciousness we all experience—once it moves from eliminating the existence of intentionality in a hypothetical divine mind in favor of a story that replaces this with blind causality on to carrying this project through to the task of similarly dethroning the “purposes,” “desires,” and conscious intentionality we all experience first–hand and to reducing even these fully to blind forces of brute causality as well. … [And yet there is] absolutely nothing inherently contrary to the project of science, conceived of in the clearest and most unassuming terms, in accepting the possibility that some phenomena which are irreducibly “mental” could indeed simply turn out to be part of the rock bottom list of “things which reality is composed of.” The atheist (or naturalist or physicalist) is not relying on anything which has been strictly proven when he assumes that this cannot be so. What he has against this possibility is, in the most literal sense of the word, a prejudice—a prediction….”

I also plan to discuss in the near future, after relative completion of the consciousness series, a variety of claims from feminist and anti–racist sociological perspectives in a dispassionate and analytical way, as well as the ways that many of them spill over, unquestioned, throughout the media in discussion of relevant issues. I hope that I can find a niche putting a more calmly reasoned voice to some of the objections that people have against ideological formulations of these views that effectively avoids creating any discrediting impressions of “angry, emotional white guy.”

Beyond sociopolitical and philosophical analysis, I’ll also be sharing my original music. The name I developed for my (solo) music project: “Audiographically Crafted Renditions of Neologically Yclept Magnificence, the Acronym of which is ACRONYM.” I’ve never had any formal music lessons as such, and frankly my technical skills aren’t even that great, but I have an undeniable intuitive knack for composition: listen to For Carissa, which I wrote for my now–fiancée around four years ago. If I ever had the chance and could get the right scholarships, I would love to have the chance to study music seriously. I’d also prefer something along the lines of letting people do what Radiohead did for MF Doom and manipulate my random creations for their own purposes rather than try to make any solo name for myself.

Past that, I’m incredibly interested in things that fall under the general category of “biohacking” and “nootropics:” how to use everything from light to basic dietary principles like intermittent fasting to ordinary compounds like turmeric to more novel compounds to improve mental health, mood and cognitive functioning (and general health and fitness).

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The symbol melds together the initials of my name. The unfinished infinity loop composing part of the “A” represents an eternal Becoming that never rests: infinity, which exists as a concept, never quite “closes in” to realize within reality all that the concept represents—the full expression of its potential is always striven for, yet never completed and in fact forever an infinite length away from completion. “Aedon” comes from the Greek “aoidē” meaning “song” as well as the Irish “Aedh,” meaning “fire.”  The meaning of “Shevirah” and “Cassiel” are more esoteric.

If you like the work I’m doing here, please consider supporting it through Patreon!
Seriously, I could really use some help!

(Also: like the Facebook fan page!) 

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