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Welcome to Exiting The Cave on Locals.

Exiting the Cave is my attempt to share my philosophical journey with you. My hope is that, eventually, this platform can be used to foster genuine, long-form, deep discussion of difficult philosophical topics. I want to make this a thriving home for news, discussion, and debate on the “big questions” - both the high-flying “meaning” ones, and the nitty-gritty “semantics” ones. I am a lover of both the analytical tradition with its focus on logic, language and its obsession with intellectual precision, and the ancient Greek tradition with its emphasis on mystical narratives, telic explanations, and transcendental ideals. In short, this means we will be exploring an extremely broad landscape, and mixing lots of methodologies, and metaphors. Along the way, I hope also that this will function as a good place to comment on the philosophical content I produce. Please feel free to engage! Links to all the things:



Rules Of Engagement

General Rules

You can post whatever you’d like here as long as it’s legal by United States law. With that in mind though, this is my community and just as I wouldn’t invite just anyone into my home, I don’t want just anyone in here either.

  • Keep conversation respectful, without personal attacks.
  • Don’t endlessly blow up other members’ feeds. If someone isn’t responding to you, let it be. Be better than the trolls.
  • We strongly encourage real names associated with the accounts. Let’s build a real community of real people here. I’ve made friends and business connections with many of you, but I’ve yet to meet a frog with Trump hair in real life!
  • Don’t post pornography, graphic images or anything like that. We’ll use the “I’ll know it when I see it” policy.
  • If you are here just to wreck the place or bring chaos, we’ll delete your account. We are trying to clean up the conversation. You’ll get a warning or two but that’s it.
  • Unless I explicitly state it, I do not necessarily endorse the opinions or attitudes of individual posters, who are guests here.
  • Bring your new ideas to the table. Don’t just respond to my posts, post some of your own thoughts and ideas, too!

Specific Rules

There is only one specific rule: Observe The Principle of Charity

The Principle of Charity is a methodological presumption made in seeking to understand a point of view whereby we seek to understand that view in its strongest, most credible form before subjecting the view to appraisal. Understanding often requires interpretation, and the development of a principle of charity is thought necessary to help establish dependable and accurate interpretation and translation. Charitable interpretation is pragmatically approached differently in different contexts since the context and purpose of its modes of application affect the manner in which the principle is employed. However, general guidelines for applying the principle of charity often include the following: While temporarily suspending our own beliefs, we actively seek a thoughtful understanding of presented ideas, exposition, theory, or argument prior to assessing their justifiable merits or weaknesses. We assume for the moment the proposed ideas are true even though our initial reaction might be, or is, to disagree; we provisionally seek to tolerate ambiguity for the larger aim of understanding the presented statements which might prove useful and helpful. Preliminary emphasis is placed on seeking to understand rather than on searching for inconsistencies or other confusions. We seek to understand the ideas in their most cogent form and actively attempt to extract an accurate interpretation in an effort to resolve contradictions. If more than one view is presented, we choose the most cogent emerging perspective — and, if possible, secure the key ideas interactively with the presenter. Since the meanings of translations or interpretations depend upon an interdependence with background beliefs and behavior, some indeterminacy or uncertainness is unavoidable. Once the ideas, exposition, or argument have been reliably identified and articulated with any irrelevancies dismissed, the resulting account can be properly critiqued. The principle of charity is a methodological principle whereby proper ideas or arguments are critiqued only after adequate understanding is achieved. The original presumption of temporarily setting aside our own beliefs and taking for granted that the proposed ideas might be true is provisional and to a certain extent idealized. Hence, assuming the subject matter merits investigation, when seeking understanding, we should listen and read as if we had no preconceptions toward the subject. We should seek to be open, attentive and receptive toward the ideas presented. This attitude, if maintained, can help free our conditioned and habituated minds and more likely to enable us to assimilate and impartially understand unfamiliar or antagonistic ideas. In essence, we commence with a simple desire to get any point not understood upon first acquaintance.

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