Meaning of life: Beware the knowledge-effect

This article is an application of the double look to the meaning of life. Read the dedicated article to introduce yourself to the roles of the downward and upward looks, duplication to resolve many contradictions by putting contradiction at the heart of the essence of things.

Is pessimism perverse?

Does life have any meaning? An exploration of academic philosophy on the subject shows that it is impossible to rigorously denounce pessimists, that is, to demonstrate that existence has more value than non-existence. How can philosophy lead to such a dead end when every mentally healthy person spontaneously experiences pleasure in existing? Make screen to the impression by the reflection… Would there be a “dark side” of philosophy that would lead to the concealment of bodily experience to better denigrate the value of existence?

This perversion is that of the exclusive downward look. It is necessary to imagine the profile of the philosopher possessed by this look: solitary, heavily neurotic, having no other escape for his need to exist except by pretending to destroy even the existence of such a desire, since others are convinced that it is obvious. Profile of the great pessimists, Schopenhaueur, Tolstoy, Bahnsen, Malebranche… Others are resilient and hold a close speech without any sign of believing for a single second: Rousseau, Camus, Cioran…

This is not a contradiction because the double look is by nature contradictory. It inherently hosts this incompatibility. Artificiality is just to give exclusivity to the representation of things as radical pessimists do. Note that by obscuring the essential data of experience, they place themselves outside the field of philosophy and join the eliminativists in a reductive vision of the world.

Consciousness is a fundamental value

The mind is not separated from the body. Every human being experiences this fundamental consciousness. Doesn’t the philosopher who wants to emancipate himself from it have an excessive haste, that of joining the pantheon of thinkers, definitively separated from their physical envelopes? There is a thin line between pessimists and theists. The first are undeclared theists, convinced that the Devil has won the divine battle.

The other category of philosophers who declare the absence of any meaning to life are materialists, especially eliminatory ones, who make the mind an illusion. It is the expression of the exclusive upward look. Coherence just as difficult to denounce: the processes of life are content to take place, without the slightest intention to detect. The value of life is as illusory as the mind. Epiphenomenon that we can appreciate but is not necessary.

No intention, no value, no meaning… because one facet of the mind refuses to recognize the existence of the other. Monism desperate because artificial. Fortunately for the eliminativist, despair is on the side that does not exist…

The disturbing BB-Knowledge

This problem of the meaning of life is worrying for philosophy. It shows that this discipline, sometimes, far from making us think, produces a devastating ‘knowledge effect‘. Being persuaded to have acquired a higher knowledge now prohibits access to the fatal defects that go into the constitution of such knowledge. The more academicized or deified it is, the more concrete it is in the mind of its owner.

No discipline is immune to the knowledge effect. In my specialty I call it “blinder-based medicine” or BB-Medicine. The play on words with baby-medicine, pointing to the infantilism of these practices, is intended of course. The general equivalent is BB-Knowledge, a neologism that you can oppose to intellectual snobbery…

… and keep your ante-philosophical impression that every day is worth living, because this impression is given to us. “I” is perched on it. While the reflection on this subject, it, is being built. Without eliminating the impression!


Review of Paul Edward, “The Meaning and Value in Life”
The Knowledge-Effect, John Shand

2 thoughts on “Meaning of life: Beware the knowledge-effect”

  1. Have wondered about something like this before. Blinder-based-medicine. Very good. What you know can hurt you? I think so, if you waste too much time dwelling upon it, rather than doing things more useful…a pragmatist view.

    • Thanks for the support, Paul. The knowledge effect causes problems especially at the level of peer review. Not a peer? Not reviewed either. Or if you are, you must rigorously conform to current knowledge to derive a new one.

      A simple statistical calculation shows that out of several billion thinkers, it is possible to ignore many more original ideas than all those published in the last century by the same sorting on a significantly smaller population.

      Marcus Arvan, Liam Kofi Bright, and Remco Heesen show in a recent article that the review by « crowd-sourced peers », or let’s say people well informed on the subject, produces better judgments than the small number of peers solicited by journals.

      My comment is not innocent, of course. I have in my papers a really innovative theory on consciousness, which manages to bring together the two main candidates on the subject (Global Workspace and Integrated Information), but which is very difficult for me to make known. You will soon read it on this blog.


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