There are a few basic philosophical datums that I use as my foundation to think and evaluate data with.
If you -- the reader -- understand those principles, you might be better equipped to understand and evaluate what I have to say on this site and in the books, CD's and course material that I offer.
To that end I offer the following summary of the more salient concepts I rely on.
Click the links below for a slightly more in-depth explanation of each concept.
• Gradient Scales - is a philosophical concept that proposes there is a way of gradating and evaluating data relative to other data and represents a very new form of logic.
• Workable Truth - is a philosophical concept that proposes that something is as true as it is workable.
• The Right Way - is a philosophical concept that proposes that for any given action or activity there is a "right way" to go about it - and then there are all the "other ways". What makes it "the right way" is that it works (see workable truth).
• Datums of Comparable Magnitude - is a philosophical concept that proposes the idea that to understand one thing, one must compare it to another comparable thing.
• Start With the Product - is a philosophical concept that proposes that to accomplish anything, one must start from the end product desired and work backwards.
• Truth and Simplicity - is a philosophical concept that proposes that truth is always simple and complexity is always falsity. Therefore if one is moving towards truth, things keep getting simpler -- and if one is moving towards falsity, things keep getting more complex.
While this site in no way attempts to teach or promote any particular philosophy, religion or 'world view' of history, these are very important subjects for any fiction writer because we deal with the interpretation of the human experience.
Even though we may be writing science fiction and telling a story about a non-human species on a completely alien planet we are not telling these stories to aliens but to human beings - hence we must relate to human beings through what is real to human beings.
As such, we must be very knowledgeable in all aspects of this thing called 'the human experience' as expressed in philosophy, religion and world history. In short we must be students of life and mankind's interaction with it.
All storytelling attempts, on one level or another, to interpret or comment on what it means to be human; to answer who we are, where we've been and where we're going, as individuals and as a species.
If one wishes to explore these concepts in greater detail there are four major sources that I would recommend.
The collected works of noted western philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. This large body of work deals with the nature of the mind, man, and the human soul and is available in most libraries around the world. Hubbard's work is arguably the most comprehensive, exploration and treatment of these subjects.
The "Great Books" also know as 'the great conversation'; a 52 volume compendium of the best known "western philosophers" that starts with Freud and reaches back about 3,000 years to Aristotle. This collection was published by Encyclopedia Britannica and I believe it is still being sold.
"The Story of Civilization" [Volumes 1 to 11] (Hardcover Set 1963-1975) by Will & Ariel Durant. This is a remarkable work (like all of Durant's books) and is arguably the most comprehensive history of civilization ever attempted. Although this collection appears to be currently 'out of print' used sets can sometimes be bought through Amazon.com or your local public library. (Yes, local libraries routinely sell hard back classics for as little as $1.00)
And last, but not least, we have Eastern Philosophy which stretches back some 10,000 years of recorded history encompassing India, Tibet, China and Japan. Most of this huge body of thought was unavailable and unknown to the western world until a very short time ago.
Reading this stuff (although challenging) you'll find is not only more fun than American Idol, and infinitely more enlightening but will give you more story ideas than you can write about in the next 100 lifetimes.
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