The Will to Truth

John O'Loughlin

The Will to Truth
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The Will to Truth

John O'Loughlin

John O'Loughlin’s main philosophical project of 1983 combines dialogues and essays with aphorisms and maxims in a kind of multigenre project in which essays form by far the greater proportion. However, nine dialogues is no mean undertaking, and they range from subjects as diverse - albeit interrelated - as the freeing of art from mundane attachments as it evolves from pagan to transcendental times; the distinction between Jews and Israelis; the development of awareness at the expense of emotion in art; the moral implications of sexual sublimation; the evolutionary struggle from gravity to curved space; the development of religion from the personal to the universal; the nature of petty-bourgeois art; the possibility of denominational progress in Western religion; and the apotheosis of the ‘universal man’. Such, then, is the scope of the dialogue section, while the ensuing essays, not altogether surprisingly, enlarge upon many of the subjects first broached in the dialogues, as well as introduce a number of fresh considerations, including the main distinction between Christianity and Transcendentalism; the psychology of swearers; the irrelevance of punishment to a transcendental society; architectural and sartorial relationships to gravity both upwards and downwards; understanding Jazz in relation to other types of modern music; the distinction between philosophy and pseudo-philosophy; and the nature of ultimate music. Originally intended as a sort of sequel to the above, concluding sections shift the text on and up from the phenomenal realm of dialogues and essays to what the author holds to be the noumenal realm of aphorisms and maxims, in which the will is at one with the truth it strives to convey through the most concise means and is, if not Truth itself, then at any rate certainly truthful! Subjects treated here include the relation between sexuality and dress; the nature of the self; the significance of Israel; the role and nature of worship in popular religion; poetry verses philosophy; the evolution of the arts; the metaphysics of modern music; the psyche; God; ideology; and gender.

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