I’m interested in world philosophy and have tried to make sense of what I have read thus far on my own, mainly as regards secure foundation, or central axis, upon which to gradually build some kind of understanding.
So I would like to state what I view as my natural, “firm beliefs” on some subjects and some impressions I have formed from what I have unsystematically read thus far.
What I ask is some guidance on what I should systematically study in order to further explore my “firm beliefs” in the writings of like-minded thinkers or possibly alter them for good reason. For I believe that everyone belongs to some great school of philosophy, but I am at a loss as to which one is mine! So some of the following points are also the reasons why I throw myself out of the ways of philosophy every time I re-try to get in:
Our human minds have an in-born way to perceive time, space, natural numbers and basic shapes like straight & curved lines. These perceptions are the same for all humans, and not based on experience; we did nothing to build them. Euclidean geometry and Newtonian mechanics are examples of human agreement on objective grounds. I find them possessing a natural, and for geometry a-priori, beauty.
Our minds also have a wealth of like-dislike tendencies that differ from each other’s.
Which of these are in-born and which not, is a basic question.
Empiricism is awfully outward-centered.
Rationalism is awfully inward-centered.
The mere fact that we can perceive ourselves as existing is mind-boggling, to say the least.
By an in-born preference, I believe that the universe has a creator, an intelligence that has guided and still guides the movements & groupings of matter and all other parts of it. I can understand that others may disagree. At times, I think that it would be nice to believe that “the world was made by random variations in the moves of particles” and leave it there, but then comes the issue that a situation where moving particles present themselves, moreover being capable of varying their movements, requires an explanation. This I prefer to wrap-up and name “creator’s power and intelligence” without bothering for further explanation, exactly as I take natural numbers for granted without feeling an urge to construct them from something simpler as Frege did.
I do not feel an urge to explicitly pray to the creator and ask him for help, but his mysterious existence is always around. Otherwise the world would not be an orderly place. Despite all evil, the universe is a single being constantly at work, aiming at harmonizing itself into further, new, untried clusters of beauty. Whether these views are based on some inborn weaknesses of my type of mind, is an interesting question.
Between the intelligent creator and creation itself, there is a mysterious gap. Many thinkers have tried to bridge it by elaborating on various facets and presumed qualities of it, invoking “undifferentiated one-ness”, “unmoved mover”, “hierarchies of sub-creators”, or some fanciful quantum-like zero-infiniteness of absolute non-existence! But what has been offered is, at best, high-quality literary fiction, admittedly capable of moving one to tears, as in Plato’s case; and at times passionately defended as if it were the outcome of sharp & heightened perception; but it is only an in-born aesthetic preoccupation of an individual, its “objectivity” easily demolished by anyone who happens not to be fascinated by it.
But further still, whether a high-quality imaginary construction has the power to affect objective reality, is an old, interesting, and occult-like question.
How can we discern whether what I have named “aesthetic preoccupation” happens to be an individual’s genuine, objective immersion in the object of enquiry, a peak experience wherefrom he later communicates only some faint remains? This procedure could be very delicate and with innumerable nuances.
We are still at the beginnings of philosophy. If our enquiry is non-numerical, no rigorous conclusion can be reached, only a variety of mental experiences. Still, it is a worthy effort.
Given the above beliefs, which writers do endorse them or fight against them or address them in some other coherent way? Maybe I should embark on a serious study of the history of world philosophy, but in the face of such a complex task, I would be grateful for any time-saving, focused suggestions from like-minded and more experienced workers on the ways of philosophy.