When some philosophical thought, however trivial, is entangled with science and theology, my curiosity gets aroused. As Vincent went cosmic today in his 5 minute presentation on what we can know, what we do know, what we don’t know that we may know, and what we presume to know about the existence of God or some other creatures populating the heavens, the moment that I liked the best was the moment when he shifted the attention from our agency - in relation to the production of epistemic orders according to physical rules that we discover or invent quite according to how our heads help us to imagine - to the unknown. Imagine a logician say that it may not be bestowed upon us to know certain things! So who’s the agent here? God? What a beautiful moment, to leave room for the unaccountable, the uncertain, the unseen, the immaterial, and the untouchable. What Vincent is actually suggesting with this move is that conceptualizing alternative worlds begins with what we can imagine (is real). Factually, indeed, as with Feynman, the wisest attitude towards the equation in which fact and gobbledygook are considered is to say that one exists in relation to the other only “as far as we know.”
As I was writing this, a friend of mine, Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, a philosopher of culture who writes about golf and ghosts, sent me a link to an interview in which another friend of mine, a philosopher of religion and culture, Mark C. Taylor, following Blanchot and Jean Luc-Nancy, makes this statement regarding inter-relational knowledge: – let’s just call it that for lack of imagination right now – “what we have in common is that we have nothing in common.” Taylor’s point is that whatever knowledge is disseminated by academics in whatever form, and with whatever degree of certainty – though he advocates for the dissolution of old-fashioned fetishism with peer reviewed articles and the like that no one reads – should enhance people’s ability to pose questions and produce ideas precisely across disciplines, and also along the lines of what is not given unto ourselves to know. Taylor wrote many books in which he tackles the question of faith in relation to both certainty and uncertainty. Now I wonder if Vincent is thinking of the same. As with cosmic vibrations, I sense that someone is following someone else. Faithfully. Some stepping into others’ footprints (material or immaterial, as the case may be) is going on. I wonder what socks Vincent is wearing. Or what socket he is plugged into right now.