Robert Anton Wilson once said that one goal for his work was to help his readers learn the difference between an assertion and an argument. As simple as this sounds, it is a formable task. He then said that he tried to help his readers learn the difference between a legal argument and a philosophical argument. He extended the exercise when he said he wanted his readers to learn the difference between a scientific proof, a philosophical truth, a legal proof, and a blind assertion. Again this is not easy
Did RAW accomplish this task strictly in his works?
I have always been fascinated with RAW philosophical intentions for his work. It seems he is saying that he hoped his books increased the critical thinking capacity in his readers. For the most part I think they do.
I found that Wilson stuck to this goal the most in his book The New Inquisition.
Within its pages he placed an "Uncritical Inference Test." These are tests that provide the reader with a scenario and then asks questions based on it. This is all done with the intention of helping readers see where they've jumped to conclusions. Generally, Uncritical Inference tests would ask readers to place statements about the given information in either 'true' or 'false' categories of assessment. Some will include a "maybe"
Wilson was at his philosophical core a General Semanticist. He applied the Non-Aristotelian method to the uncritical inference test
In doing so, he created four more categories of assessment to given information.
I rapped about all this in a previous Video called "How Not to Be a Victim to the New Inquisition"
It seems clear that Wilson believed opening people's minds beyond the either/or 'true/false' paradigm of logical interpretation would help make the world a better place.
But did RAW accomplish his goal? Is it clear in his work that these are his intentions? Or is RAW the root of QAnon?
Leave a Reply.