Jun 8th, 2006, 06:25 PM
(IN RESPONSE TO CONCERNS OVER COMPATABILITY OF HUME AND HERMETICISM WITH STIRNER...)
Humean metaphysics is actually the denial of metaphysics. That is to say, all that is exists is that which is perceived.
In other words, the world is not made up of matter or ideas, physical or mental substance, but solely the perceptions we have.
I took Hume's basic concept and extended it farther; reality, or at least all that I can recognize as reality, is made up of the perceptions that I have. Only those thoughts which I have are thoughts that exist. The future and past do not exist, nor can I ever be certain that the past occured - I am only aware of my memory.
Hume also said that during introspection he looked for a Self, a coherent individual, but could only find a bundle of perceptions which he labels the Self. This is known as the bundle theory of the Self.
Hume also introduced the problem of induction to philosophy, showing that induction (and subsequently all of logic, in my view) suffers from a circular fallacy.
Now is a point where I should interject my own manner of thinking. Though Hume's argument inherently leads to the inference that any action could have any effect, I have found that I cannot override belief with mere rationality. I cannot know that other people think or that reality has a degree of constancy, but I believe it nonetheless. Belief takes on a characteristic of being independent of will.
Stirner meshes well with Humean perspectives because both are responsible for the destruction of intellectual hegemony. Stirner was correct to argue against the Self as a coherent universiality - Hume just puts it in another context.
Hermeticism, with an idealist worldview, considers all of reality as essentially mental. However, that is largely inconsequential: breaking down the mental substance to the phenomenal still leaves Hermetic rational predominantly intact. In fact, realizing that is the case is almost a Hermetic act itself, since the argument seems predominantly semantic.
Further, Hermeticism recognizes the transitory nature of the Self, and seeks to reform and reshape it into a new form: a form which, if you will, better suits the true ego (Stirner's ego). Surely, if Stirner were thoroughly consistent, he'd have to have understood that desires are not inherently constant, no matter how prone to stagnation they show themselves to be.
If nothing else, I would argue that Stirner advocated self-mastery.