Hello, and welcome to my blog, Last Eden. My name is Eve Keneinan.
According to my Twitter bio, I am
- A Based Philosopher.
- An Unorthodox Orthodox Christian.
- A Rogue Platonist.
- A Post-Feminist.
Whose mottos are
- Iūstitia Sociālis dēlenda est.
- λόγον διδόναι.
- Αληθώς Ανέστη. ✒️
What does all that mean? I’m a professional philosopher—that is, I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy and I’ve taught Philosophy at a number of colleges and universities for around 25 years. I consider myself a philosopher in the classical sense also, that is, a spiritual follower of Socrates, a questioner who seeks the truth by means of λόγος (reason, in the least worst translation). While I specialize in metaphysics and ethics and the history of philosophy, I’ve studied and taught many subjects at one time or another, including (within philosophy) philosophy of science, aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and for that matter, I’ve studied and taught physics, calculus, literature, poetry, and a variety of other subjects. By calling myself “a based philosopher” I mean two things:
- First, as I said, I’m a philosopher in the classical tradition, which means I regard most contemporary philosophy, such as today’s Anglo-American analytic philosophy or continental postmodernism as temporary aberrations in the history of philosophy. Both are deeply hostile to truth in the classical tradition: the postmodernists want to deny it outright, and the analytics generally want to diminish it to a shadow of itself, and end up de facto denying it anyhow. I regard truth much as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle did, as something holy, and something that is an ultimate good that all human beings are directed towards by their nature. We are made to know truth.
- Second, I am actively hostile to most of the poisonous political ideologies that are rampant in the world today. Most of the ones with power today, and so the most dangerous ones, are on the left, so I tend to appear (and be) somewhat conservative—not because I haven’t thought things through, but because I have: for the most part, I reject nearly all the legacy of philosophical modernity as false and harmful to human beings. I stand with Nietzsche and Heidegger in diagnosing our age as one drowning in the spiritual/moral/philosophical disease of nihilism. And while I agree with both of them a simple return to the past is impossible, I do not reject the possibility of a rebirth of classical philosophy and Christian theism.
I am an “unorthodox Orthodox Christian.” By “unorthodox” here I just mean “unusual.” As far as my Christian beliefs go, I am an entirely orthodox Orthodox Christian. However, Orthodoxy is so little known in the West (which tends to take Protestantism or Catholicism as exhaustive of Christianity) that my beliefs are apt to seem strange to those who know only the Protestant or Catholic traditions. I am also an adult convert to Orthodoxy, having had a not-particularly-religious upbringing and with what little faith I had obliterated (or as it turned out, obscured) by Nietzsche at age 14. I was an ardent Nietzschean for several years, until Nietzsche’s demand for uncompromising intellectual honesty (Redlichkeit) led me into a systematic study of Nietzsche’s great enemy, Plato—who won the day, persuading me that we live in a cosmos, not a chaos, and that Being is intelligible. Thought and Being were made for one another, and their union is natural, like a marriage, although not without effort, like a marriage. Realizing that Platonism continued most directly through the Christian Church Fathers of the East (most Westerners simply don’t know that the “fall of Rome” in the 4th century A.D. was only the Western half of the Empire—the Eastern half of the Roman Empire didn’t fall for another thousand years, and preserved the classical philosophical legacy intact. Most Westerners think that Christendom lost the works of the ancients, which were later reintroduced to them by the Muslims—which is true for Western Europe, but not in general), I undertook the study of such Christian philosophers and theologians as St. John Damascene, St. Dionysios the Aeropagite, St. Maximus Confessor, as well as the neo-Platonic tradition, and eventually realized that Christianity, at least in the form of Orthodoxy, is the legitimate continuation of classical Greek philosophy. I can say, with St. Justin Martyr, “I am a philosopher because I am a Christian” and I can say the reverse “I am a Christian because I am a philosopher.” The philosophical path to Christianity not extremely common, but it is a very viable one; once one realizes the incoherence of philosophical modernity, it is perhaps virtually inevitable (unless one embraces the incoherence in the way of the postmodernist).
I mean several things by “a rogue Platonist.” I am basically a Platonist in most respects, but my thinking has been colored by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Aristotle, and the Christian Fathers as well as Christian Orthodoxy itself. I consider Aristotle to be another rogue Platonist; in its broadest signification, being a Platonist means you think that being is intelligible and can be known. This is the sense in which Emerson meant “Plato is philosophy, and philosophy Plato.” As my old teacher Stanley Rosen used to put it “Platonism is the doctrine that we can know things.”
My motto “Iūstitia Sociālis dēlenda est” means “social justice must be destroyed.” The world is presently under a dire threat to the liberties which befit free men and women by a cluster of authoritarian leftist movements which call themselves “social justice” movements. “Social justice” is a perversion of the very concept of justice, and is, in fact, the latest mutation of what could fairly be called Cultural Marxism—although its roots lie at least as far back as Rousseau—and it is the political manifestation of a nihilism that rebels against reality in the name of an imaginary utopian ideal for which no sacrifice of human lives is too great—even though should the revolutionary faction triumph, we will not get utopia, but unimaginable tyranny. These people and these movements, if not stopped, will take our freedoms and then our lives, and will make a large section of humanity miserable for some centuries. This should not happen. Therefore: “social justice” must be destroyed. We should have had de-Marxization at the end of the Cold War, as we had de-Nazification at the end of the Second World War, but for some reason we permitted this cancer of Marxist ideology to continue to grow and thrive, and we are now paying the price for it. All free men and women of the Western tradition should do their best to fight cultural Marxism in word and deed, and not allow themselves to be duped by utopian pied pipers or those who only stir up ressentiment, a true poison of the soul.
Modern, third-wave feminism and its latest incarnation as Intersectional Feminism is a part of this ideological cancer. I call myself a “post feminist” because in my view, all legitimate work that feminism had to do in the West, it has done, and in addition to some good, has done much evil to the human race, and currently continues to promote (as far as I can see) nothing but evil, particularly in the forms of advocating sexism, misandry, the demonization of men and healthy masculinity, the promotion of unjust female privilege, and the continuation of the evil project of eugenics under the rubric of “reproductive rights.” Furthermore, many or most feminists use utterly intellectually dishonest rhetoric as their means to seize and keep political power: from pseudo-concepts like “Patriarchy” to outright lies such as Western “rape culture” to the willful distortion of statistics such as the “wage gap” to modern-day witch hunts like those unleashed upon Sir Tim Hunt or Dr. Matt Taylor. It is a fairly safe ethical principle that if your side is conducting witch hunts, you are on the evil side.
I support both women’s rights and men’s rights—that is to say, human rights—and I think it is a pernicious rhetorical sleight-of-hand to attempt to equate “feminists” with “women” (especially given that 80%+ of women DO NOT identify as “feminists”) or to equate women’s rights with feminism—they are simply NOT SYNONYMS. In reality, contemporary feminism shows itself to be about “equality for women” in the same way Marxism is about “equality for the working class,” which is to say, in name only—just as “social justice” has nothing to do with justice other than misleadingly using the word in its name. It is not my fault if people believe that labeling a bottle of poison “healthy medicine” actually means that bottle contains healthy medicine. And it doesn’t matter how many times you tell us that the bottle is clearly labeled “healthy medicine”—you can’t change an evil ideology into a beneficial thing by relabeling it.
“λόγον διδόναι” is a Greek saying, which means “to give an account.” It is what philosophers strive to do. We do not tell stories, μῦθοι, but give rational accounts of things, λόγοι.
“Αληθώς Ανέστη” is the second part of a formula with which Orthodox Christians have greeted one another for thousands of years. The first part is “Χριστὸς ἀνέστη,” and the exchange means: “Christ is risen.” “Truly, he has risen.” “Χριστὸς ἀνέστη” is probably the shortest confession of the Christian faith.
For my fixed, pinned Tweet on Twitter I wrote out some things about my understanding of human beings, here:
As you can see, I reject the modern understanding of the nature of human beings in favor of a Heideggerian-Chrisitian one. A human being is neither a clever ape, nor a mind-body fusion, but a living unity we call a “person” which has an intrinsic, infinite worth, being created in the image of God, endowed with the remarkable power to comprehend being and know truth, and yet at the same time flawed and fallen.
My Twitter handle is @EveKeneinan.
Eve’s avatar is the work of Kinohara-Kossuta, used with her permission.
See more of Kinohara’s art at http://kinohara-kossuta.deviantart.com/gallery/