Here’s a much different way of looking at art and storytelling—perhaps a method that your editor or writing group may never have considered, or succinctly explained.

I’m going to share with you a formula created by Dr. Todd Jones that explains what makes good art and literature. Jones is a celebrated philosophy professor with a significant background in anthropology.

Jones’s BeDE Theory of Art Criticism:

Art or literature’s only function—the only thing it is good at doing—is creating beliefs, desires, and emotions (or BeDE for short). Art fails at doing anything and everything else.

The BeDE theory is designed to tell you which works of art are comparatively better than other works of art in its class, based on how well it performs its function of creating beliefs, desires, and emotions within its audience.

What makes something “art” is a social fact—such as the concept of money or Tuesday. Society agrees that “x” is art, and therefore it becomes art.


George Berkeley With Trump Hair and Orange Skin

George Berkeley slides onto the scene a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business; the “cool guy” that’s had enough of these schoolmen stinkin’ up the place with their Pigpen philosophy.

Yeah, he might be a little self-indulgent—I assume he has orange skin and sweet comb-over—but that’s okay because he speaks for us common folk. He waves a big banner of common sense and God, and as long as I can keep my guns, I’ll vote for him as my favorite modern philosopher.

“It’s gonna be huge,” I envision Georgie B trying to explain himself to a confused reporter. “What I make public here has, after a long and scrupulous inquiry, seemed to me evidently true and not unuseful to be known—particularly to those who are tainted with skepticism or want a demonstration of the existence and immateriality of God or the natural immortality of the soul” (438). Yeehaw—I like the sounds of that campaign promise! Let’s see if he can build that wall.

Red Pill or Blue Pill

I wonder if Leibniz, somewhere deep inside himself, had this overwhelming feeling of giddiness when he wrote “Primary Truths”?

While he couldn’t predict the future, something within the eternal truth of himself must have tingled with the thought of philosophy students—350 years later—reading his words. Some part of his subconscious swelling because the version of his perfected-self, the version that God decided would be best for the world, was one where he is to be echo throughout history and pop culture.

Ah, but Gottfried was modest; “every individual substance contains in its perfect notion the entire universe” (266). He’ll be the first to admit the profound nature of a leaf or blade of grass—and that his mind is no better than yours or mine.

Law and Justice

Ideological partisanship is deteriorating our society.

It’s very nature fosters inequality, stunts progression, and detracts from the common good. This poison has completely consumed the Executive and Legislative branches of government, and continues to leech into the Judicial—the people’s single safe-haven that promises unwavering and unbiased justice to all regardless of race, class, creed, or religion. By using big data, we can offer empirical certainty that equal and consistent justice is being served—and if it’s not, the ability to remove its offenders.

I: The Constitution and Why Partisanship Doesn’t Apply

There have been no news articles, no insight offered by academic or legal scholars, no pragmatic solutions that have overwhelmingly demonstrated the value of partisanship. Ever. Nothing of these arguments in support bias show how the effects of its good outweigh that of its bad—it’s all theory and opinion to convince us that partisanship is necessary. And it’s worked. We willingly accept—celebrate—the pillaging of our democratic system in the name of a political party and even go as far to evangelize it.

Descartes' Wax Argument

First, let’s consider a question: if a thinking mind didn’t contemplate a piece of wax, would the wax even exist?

According to Rene Descartes, existence is predicated upon thinking. In order to know if something truly exists, it must think. So can wax not exist because it doesn’t think? Or does the wax not know that exists because it doesn’t think? Or do we, thinking things, give the wax existence simply by virtue of us thinking about it? But then what thought about us?

Before we can attempt to answer any of these questions, we must first define existence. “Let us consider those things which are commonly believed to be the most distinctly grasped by all: namely bodies we touch and see” (45). We can touch, taste, smell, and see the wax—we use our empirical senses to define its existence. “But notice that, as I am speaking, I am bringing it close to the fire” (45). The wax heats up, it changes shape, it loses its scent, it turns to liquid. “Does the wax still remain? I must confess that it does; no one denies it; no one thinks otherwise” (45). But if so, what happened to all of the empirical data that was originally collected to verify its existence? Those same attributes—its shape, the way it feels, smells, sounds—all are no longer accurate, but yet the wax still remains.

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