Philosophy can be seen, should one be interested in the effects of simplification, as moving in two directions. One is towards discovering secret affinities, connections, and unities where one at first found only chaos and irreconcilable diversity. The other is towards discovering difference where none was thought to be, of making gradations and producing concepts through separating terms. As in: These three things are actually moments, examples, of something more fundamental, or this thing you thought to be fundamental and indivisible admits of fine differences.
This, our third issue, leans towards the latter project. Our contributors have each approached their subject with an eye to make some distinction known. And though we have time for the Platonic charm of the former (it, after all, delivered us the idea of the “human being” beyond all cultural difference) we are pleased to present these experiments in the differentiating force. In an age when we are hungry for answers, hungry for solutions, it is probably advisable, simply insofar as it is counter intuitive, to take a step back and complexify a little more. Complexify a little more such that we can further grasp the shit we’re in, in all its granularity, in all of its fiber…
We have no answers here (perhaps that, as a quote, should go up on the office wall), but at least we can’t be charged with accepting and disseminating shoddy questions. So, yes, think with us what is the difference between a stranger and a friend, a sentence and its expression, biology and ethics, and, even, philosophy and a pragmatic “philosophy of life”.
Let us be the first (the millionth?) to say: there are no answers here in philosophy. There is no pragmatic “philosophy of life”. Only further questions. Philosophy is a sublime uselessness where even a dollar value cannot be attached to it: this magazine, and all it discusses, is freely studiable on this “Wide World of Web”. It is valuable precisely in how it is persistently “useless”, and how it generates never ending and irritating problems for all that is useful, that is a bargain, that is common sensical, and that says: “just carry on”.
So, no, we cannot hope to make things simpler (even philosophy’s simplifications are troublesome), but we can make things more complex. And, just like with a fractal, we feel, and hopefully you too, that its gets more beautiful, delightful even, with every complexifying iteration.