Life of the Mind

In the life of the mind, you start out learning methods and principles, being asked to point to where a text justifies your interpretation, which laws allow you to set up this experiment, what authority has given you permission to speak as you do... this is a training that eats its origins, preparing you to forget it for something more (and this is no irony) original. There comes a time when you realize that what is called intuition plays as much a part in scholarship or scientific research as does any academic qualification. Which is not to say that the preparation was wasted time. Intuition is formed during years of training and experience, and functions on its own as if it had always been so full. That is why the abridged syllogism is called the enthymeme. The basic unit of dialectical logic is founded, always, on a premise that exists pre-thought, en thymos, in the thumos. The thumos was a bodily "organ" to the ancient greeks. It corresponds to nothing specific in modern physiology, and means, alternately, heart, spirit, soul, gut. It marks what is in the gut, known beforehand, "always already." That which we can agree on as given. Modern thought tends toward debasement, and thus calls this kind of knowledge "cultural bias." This kind of statement is not an untruth, but it is misleading. (And truth is also a cultural bias.) Bias is judgment; judgment is fundamental human activity. Training in thinking is training in judgment. It is how we proceed.

Judgment does have the power to decide that enthymemes and their underlying assumptions are no longer valid. But the very fact of the fabricated status of truths, and similarly fabricated processes by which we arrive at them, this alone does not render these truths and processes "untrue."

It is most likely true that our truths are fabricated. It is probably not true, however, that the opposite of "true" is "false." 

—Anne Senhal