Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Mon Sep 5 21:19:17 2011
Nomoclast part Deux

Selling the Nomoclast (a philosophical idea I'm playing with):

Nomoclast: Destruction of shared philosophical narratives; thinning of common, controlled mental landscape.

Governments, religions, and even individuals often demand people accept metaphysical facts about themselves. I assert: you, as a thinker, can construct your own world-of-terms that helps you make sense of the world, and you don't need to conform to the narratives that states, groups, and individuals provide. You owe them nothing, not even comfort, although malice would reflect badly on you.

Think and talk in ways that make sense to you. You may more-or-less have to accept scientific fact, but you don't have to accept any metaphysical claims, and you can unpack terms that ordinarily depend on some metaphysics and repack them with your own. You can attempt to build consensus around your world-of-terms in whole or in part, and if you get enough people together, you may move some or all of society to your beat. Be a definer of terms, a maker of norms, a creator, all where it makes sense to you.

Prerequisite: Master the relevant domain to a term well enough that you know how others who work from a different world-of-terms speak, and to know the cost of your struggle.

Of course, others have already done this successfully on matters important to them. I do this for things both trivial and significant, e.g. I recognise the city of Leningrad as such, and I also have my own framework of sex/gender that differs both from the gender-theory-derived "General American Left-Liberal Framework" and the broad American conservative consensus. I am not ashamed of the creative power to use language to define nor my world-of-terms. It is a philosophical practice to define and live in our own world-of-terms, and a perogative of all people; those that demand conformity (for whatever reason) on their preferred terms/frameworks are a foe of this tenet.

If you have a different idea of what constitutes governmental legitimacy, if you live in France and choose to recognise some member of its royal family as your king, if you're in Turkey and call Istanbul your capital, be bold in your beliefs and try to be a de facto tide that replaces the de jure. Likewise (but more consequence-aware) with civil disobedience. You may effectively kill a law if you are part of a tide that routinely ignores it and forces others to adapt (but again consider the consequences of both your individual struggle and the jurisprudential aspects of the law!)

(Little caveat: If you're doing certain kinds of jobs, you should probably put on your "de jure" cap while doing them until you have sufficient consensus to replace the status quo. If you work on an encyclopedia, for example....)