On the idea of hate

Everything that exists, inasmuch as it is what it is, is distinct from whatever it is not. Inasmuch as each being is distinct from other things, it has certain qualities that define it, whose opposite are not consistent with it remaining what it is.

Among beings, some, those that are living, are capable of actively protecting and opposing the previously mentioned qualities. This is the original meaning behind the Greek root of our word ‘autonomy’: a living being is one is capable of securing its nomos – i.e.  its essence, the inner law of its being – in, through, and by itself (auto), i.e. by its own behavior.

As such, each living thing must behave in ways which maintain those qualities and resist its contraries as a condition for its existence as what it is. Consequently, every autonomous creature has certain conditions that it must nourish, and others that it must repel in order for it to continue to be – it must advance certain conditions and repel others as a condition for its existence. The emotional form these basic imperatives in human beings are happiness and anger, which manifest themselves intentionally as love and hate.

Through our capacities for abstraction, we can arrive at a basic idea of hatred, in a way similar to how we abstract the idea of the number two from intuiting pairs of like things. But just as two-ness itself has conditions for existence which are abstracted from in the analysis of the concept, so also hatred has conditions of existence which are not included in the conditions required for thinking it. One such condition is the aforementioned intentionality: though one can think hatred without thinking of the hatred of any particular thing, hatred by definition involves the directing of wrath or anger towards something.

But because things that are hated, too, have conditions and qualities without which they cannot be what they are, any act of hating some given thing is simultaneously an act supporting those qualities which oppose the hated thing, and hence gives support to those beings whose existence flourishes under conditions contrary to those under which the hated thing would flourish. Consequently, inasmuch as hatred is an intentional act which must distinguish the hated thing from things which it isn’t, it is impossible to hate everything.

Since there is no such thing as an indiscriminate force of hatred, neither can there be opposition to such a force. In other words, one cannot coherently oppose hate as such.

Authors picks, May 2019

Below, I provide a summary of my favorite posts from the month in the order they were published.

On passionate disagreement and self-identity argues that incorrigible disagreement fundamentally doesn’t arise from disagreement over present facts, but rather over disagreements about how present and past facts relate to a presently indeterminate future. Inasmuch as any individual’s sense of self is attached to a particular idea of and attitude towards the future in question, incorrigible disagreement always, albeit indirectly, involves an attack on identity, i.e. one’s understanding of oneself in light of an assumed trajectory.

A dilemma for a constitutionally protected, publicly funded right to abortion argues that based on the rationale presumed in current U. S. jurisprudence on the subject, abortion may be constitutionally protected or publicly funded. But it cannot be both.

On semantic ambiguity in St. Anselm of Canterbury’s argument for God’s existence examines St. Anselm’s famous ontological argument for the existence of God with an eye towards asking how many different interpretations of its key phrase ‘God is that than which nothing greater can be thought’, there are. I show that there are at least ten different interpretations of this phrase alone, and Anselm’s argument relies on at least two.

On logical fallacies employed in the philosophical use of the term ‘tautology’ shows that the term ‘tautology’ has two closely related uses. On one of these, a tautology is something that is true by definition. On the other, it is also grasped immediately. Philosophical tendency to regard tautologies as meaningless relies on the ambiguity between these two meanings.

Object-oriented objects aren’t objects is, at the time of this writing, now the most viewed post ever posted on this site. I argue that objects in object-oriented programming are closer to an obscure late 17th century theory of substance – Gottfried Leibniz’s theory of monads –  than they are to objects as commonly understood.

On the consequences of capital concentration and its addendum show how a wide variety of contemporary political problems are directly caused or otherwise conditioned by the concentration of capital according to class and location.

What non-cooperative games can tell us about suffering for a cause discusses a simple, real-world example of a non-cooperative game – a traffic jam – and draws from it the broader claim that even the possibility of obtaining the best, most harmonious outcome for any group considered as a whole requires some of its members to suffer gratuitously, so long as the ideal conditions sought after fail to obtain.