Against Ideology: Ideology vs Philosophy

The first in a two-part discussion critical of ideology as inadequate to the tasks of philosophy. Ideology is a false substitute for philosophy.

The second part of this discussion is here: Against Ideology, Part 2: My Personal Metanoia (S2E7)

I Reasons for addressing ideology in general

I’ve realized that many are still interpreting my anti-ideology arguments in an ideological sense.

The problem has been possibly somewhat of my own making. My own explanation of ideology has perhaps been itself too rushed, too reduced, and too simplistic. To that end, I’d like to use this opportunity to give a fuller explanation. Maybe I’ve pushed too much of my own experience into these terms without thinking about how others will hear them.

Given some of the topics to come in this season, it might be best to address this now.

II Some possible misconceptions

It might be best to first address what I am not doing or saying when I talk about ideology.

I’d like to make it clear that I’m not trying to avoid offending anyone by “refusing” to take an ideological position.

What I am saying, instead, is that I long ago recognized ideology for what it is, a limited way of seeing the world, one that really flattens Being and thus tends to address reality in an inauthentic, and often times, immature way.

And even though I am claiming that all ideologies tend to reflect certain of these limited characteristics, in as much as they are often a reflection themselves of the flattened sense of the world in which they arose, I would never claim, either, that all ideologies are morally equivalent.

III Ideology is not the same thing as Philosophy

When I criticize ideology, I am actually pointing toward it as a prime example of calculative thinking.

Ideology functions in a way for many people that is not only not what I would call (contemplative) thinking, but is often, rather, an indication of when thinking has stopped.

One of the grave intellectual mistakes of our time for many to confuse the terms philosophy and ideology as being one and the same, as being somehow interchangeable.

When I use the term philosophy, I am speaking of the love of wisdom, and the search for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. Ideology in general is not concerned with these eternal things, for it falls in the realm of opinion.

In the final segments I criticize the current ideological climate within academia.

If you find this episode interesting, you may also enjoy:

Keep Calm and Do Not Immanentize the Eschaton (Season 2, Episode 2)

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