Wednesday, July 2, 2014

On Making the Best of Differences

As a reader and writer of fiction I can't help but take interest in the wealth of learning that one can gleam from reading inventions.  This is no less true for inventions that are supposed to be non-fiction.
Often I witness, or am involved in, personal conflicts that involve actual occurances (as they were remembered, at least), and there is a dispute about what actually happened.  In such disputes, I typically find little value in settling the 'facts' of the matter (the intentions involved, the words said).  Instead, I find that accepting all acccounts and taking them in turn in order to all learn from each is a much better course.
Why are we so concerned with finding fault, and holding people responsible at every turn?  Our instinct (or habituation) to retrubutive justice hurts us here. Why not take a primary interest in improving together, and - without needing to acknowledge fault - all find ways in which we can help each other?
This attitude may stem from my approach to interpreting philosophy.  My interest in reading the history of philosophy is to gleam how other people have tried to reconcile themselves with reality and their own finitude.  Even if the philosopher is presenting something that isn't critical or systematic, this is no reason to think that I cannot come to understand the sort of demands that were being faced through their solution, and that I cannot learn from this by reflecting on the demands I face from my own finitude.