The Postmodern Razor & The Early Buddhist Texts


I made something of an epistemological razor, it is called “The Postmodern Razor”. I will explain things in brief, as I understood & in as far as i understood.

It is very similar to Hume’s Guillotine which asserts that: 'no ought can be derived from what is’

The meaning of Hume’s statement is in that something being a certain way doesn’t tell us that we ought to do something about it. For example: The ocean is salty and it doesn’t follow that we should do something about it.

Some people criticize this on account of this statement being falsifiable in certain context, viz. ‘a person sees a bus coming at him and moves out of the way’.

Such criticism has nothing to do with Hume’s Guillotine because the decisicion to move is based on incomplete information, prompted by a person’s subjective interpretation of what he ought to do, he can’t know whethere he objectively should move or not, he decides to do it because of his subjective interpretation of what is.

The Guillotine is also used with Hume’s Fork which separates between two kinds of statements

Analytical - definitive, eg a cube having six sides (true by definition)

Synthetic - humans have two thumbs (not true by definition).

One can derive that

Any variant subjective interpretation of what is - is a synthetic interpretation.

The single objective interpretation of what is - is an analytical interpretation.

It folllows that no objective interpretation of existence can be derived from studying subjective existence.

The popularized implication of Hume’s Law is in that no morality can be derived from studying what is not morality.

I basically sharpened this thing to be a postmodern “scripture shredder”, meant to shred all pseudo-analytical interpretations of existence.

The Postmodern Razor asserts: no objectivity from subjectivity; or no analysis from synthesis.

The meaning here is in that

No analytical truth about the synthesized can be synthesized by studying the synthesized. To know the analytical truth about the synthesized one has to know the unsynthesized.

In other words, no analytical interpretation of subjective existence can arise without a coming to know the not-being [of existence] as a whatnot that it is.

Then postmodern theory

Kantian Philosophy

Kant, in his “Critique of Reason”, asserts that Logos can not know reality, for it’s scope is limited to it’s own constructs. Kant states that one has to reject logic to make room for faith, because reasoning alone can not justify religion.

This was a radical critique of logic, in western philosophy, nobody had popularized this general of an assertion before Kant.

He reasoned that the mind can in principle only be oriented towards reconstruction of itself based on subjective conception & perception and so therefore knowledge is limited to the scope of feeling & perception. It follows therefore that knowledge itself is subjective in principle.

It follows that minds can not align on matters of cosmology because of running into contradictions and a lack of means to test hypotheses. Thus he concluded that reasoning about things like cosmology is useless because there can be no basis for agreement and we should stop asking these questions, for such unifying truth is inaccessible to mind

Post Kantian Philosophy

Hegel thought that contradictions are only a problem if you decide that they are a problem, and suggested that new means of knowing could be discovered so as to not succumb to the antithesis of pursuing a unifying truth.

He theorized about a kind of reasoning which somehow embraces contradiction & paradox.

Kierkegaard agreed in that it is not unreasonable to suggest that not all means of knowing have been discovered. And that the attainment of truth might require a leap of faith.

Schopenhauer asserted that logic is secondary to emotive apprehension and that it is through sensation that we grasp reality rather than by hammering it out with rigid logic.

Nietzche agreed, and wrote about ‘genealogy of morality’. He reasoned that the succumbing to reason entails an oppressive denial of one’s instinctual drives and that this was a pitiful state of existence fit only for the weak. He thought people in the future would tap into their deepest drives & will for power, and that the logos would be used to strategize the channeling of all one’s effort into that direction.

Heidegger laid the groundwork for the postmodernists of the 20th century. He identified with the Kantian tradition and pointed out that it is not reasonable to ask questions like ‘why existence exists?’ Because the answer would require coming to know what is not included in the scope of existence. Yet he pointed out that these questions are emotively profound & stirring to him, and so where logic dictates setting those questions aside, he has a hunger for it’s pursuit, and he entertains a pursuit of knowledge in a non-verbal & emotive way. He thought that contradictions & paradoxes mean that we are onto something important and feeling here ought to trump logic.

The Postmodern Razor falsifies any claim to analytical truth being synthesized without coming to know the not-coming-into-play of existence.

Now If we try to cut the Early Buddhist Texts we run into something very peculiar, the Buddha is making an unfalsifiable declaration which invites experiential verification by wise people.

It’s not a hypothesis because these are unverifiable and it’s not a theory because theories are falsifiable. It’s an invitation to come & see for yourself.

Buddha proclaims a new type of analytical knowing & seeing which is beyond conjecture, a definitive cessation of existence, an analytical truth to be directly experienced.

And he explains the detailed course for it’s attainment, it requires one to avoid holding pernicious views & thinking in terms which are conventions used when the dependently originated feelings exist.

He proclaims the analysis of Dependent Origination, a revolutionary way to think & develop the mind which fits the bill of what Hegel was looking for.

He proclaims this Dependent Origination of what is dukkha [suffering], empty & void, viz. feeling & perception, as a primary epistemology to wit, and the signs derived from it for communicable conventions used when the primary epistemology is in play.

And he makes an appeal to the deep emotive drives of the likes of Nietzche, Heidegger & Schopenhauer in proclaiming a principal cessation of feeling & perception to be the most extreme pleasure & happiness, a type of undiscovered knowing which was rightly asserted to require a leap of faith.

The philosophers got many things right. They were onto something great, but fell short of formulating the DO & piercing the veil of ignorance by the means of this very cessation principle.

This, bhikkhu, is a designation for the element of Nibbāna (lit. Extinguishment): the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way.” - Sn45.7

There he addressed the mendicants: “Reverends, extinguishment is bliss! Extinguishment is bliss!”

When he said this, Venerable Udāyī said to him, “But Reverend Sāriputta, what’s blissful about it, since nothing is felt?”

“The fact that nothing is felt is precisely what’s blissful about it. An9.34

"Now it’s possible, Ananda, that some wanderers of other persuasions might say, ‘Gotama the contemplative speaks of the cessation of perception & feeling and yet describes it as pleasure. What is this? How can this be?’ When they say that, they are to be told, ‘It’s not the case, friends, that the Blessed One describes only pleasant feeling as included under pleasure. Wherever pleasure is found, in whatever terms, the Blessed One describes it as pleasure.’” mn.059

This attainment is for the purpose of attaining ariyan knowledge, analytical knowledge, an objective removal of delusion in a definitive & analytical sense, analytically defined pleasure not experienced through the allness of the all, and this is possible because there is an unmade reality.

The born, become, produced, made, fabricated, impermanent, fabricated of aging & death, a nest of illnesses, perishing, come-into-being through nourishment and the guide [that is craving] — is unfit for delight. The escape from that is calm, permanent, a sphere beyond conjecture, unborn, unproduced, the sorrowless, stainless state, the cessation of stressful qualities, stilling-of-fabrications bliss. Iti43

Therefore The Postmodern Razor doesn’t cut through these text and nobody should think to cancel them.

These texts are unique in that they don’t get cut, no other scripture can pass this test.

At last, the Postmodern Razor now arms the contemporary seeker of truth with the sorely needed tool to quickly identify & falsify all views & interpretations which blithely reject well-established facts.

Friends, we need to asap develop this into a complete thesis fit for publising, for this we need

  • To present the problem we are addressing
  • To present the thesis
  • To address anticipated criticism

Let’s do it together, this is not the time to quarrel about trifling matters.

1 Like

The razor is nothing new, i want people to understand this.

I didn’t make the razor, i just showed how it’s blunted/limited by the EBTs.

It is the most powerful tool of analysis.

There to wit two things

  • The Razor
  • Analysis of Buddha’s invitation

These are two different things.

#1 is for offensive use
#2 is for defensive use

The offensive use has been in play since Hume’s razors were formulated.

The defensive use is new, we figured it out in our community whilst arbitrating my case.

The two uses are distinct and separate.

If someone says suspect things you can verify the validity of their analysis by asking to “cut to the chase” - such is it’s offensive use.

If the person is willing to cut to the chase as in accepting the epistemological analysis of Buddha’s invitation - such is it’s defensive use.

Greetings friends,

I’ve finished two versions of the thesis, english & russian.

Best regards,
Rouslan Stian Stormoen

I want to explain more about this situation.

Essentially, what i did was simply using the principles of kantian epistemology to show that it can not falsify Buddha’s propositions.

That’s all i did guys.

Anybody who knows this epistemology would’ve seen this because it is quite obvious.


Rouslan Stormoen,
Member of Buddhist Federation Of Norway (BFN)