the archives

dusted off in read-only


Infinity, destiny and The Prince Of Nothing's philosophy posted 26 Sep 2006, 22:09 by Schoolman, Commoner

I'm a philosopher (loose description :lol: ) and i wanna hear your thoughts on some things in Bakker's prince Of Nothing. If everything that comes before determines what comes after then the universe is controlled by cause and effect. And so all things are predestined. However if everything is predestined then how must individuals make effort to change and mould the world if all is as it should be. Kellhus uses the Logos to determine and predict but true Logos should be about acceptance and stoic resolve-no? And finally, the idea of infinity, is it present in The Prince Of Nothing? What do you think? Is it absent in view of the threat of the No God? Is this a world of absolutes with beginnings and endings and no open ended timeline. Not since Thomas Covenant has a work of fantasy struck me so philosophically. R. Scott Bakker-well done. Now sharpen your mind's friends and strike out as best you can with reflections and answers on this and your general philosophy of The prince of nothing. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 18:09 by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

In the series "Freewill" is an illusion, as is "good." While it is argued that the Dunyain is a superior lifeform because he can enslave according to his superior techniques of communication, he has no freewill as he must always find the shortest path and he has to go to his father. I felt cheated by the last book as it was half the length of the first two, and seemed like merely the attempt to honor the contract to the book company. We were not allowed to see if the Holy War had meaning, if the Inchoroy could be defeated by humanity in some final battle, and if the belief that if they had killed enough souls, that they could block out judgement was merely a belief or an actual viable possiblity, versus a rationalization for evil acts. Thus, we are not allowed to see if infinity actually exists. We come to the separation of Nietzsche from Shoepenhaur, and though Nietzsche was Shoepenhaur's student, Shoepenhaur feels like he should have come later as I simply find a solution to the problems Nietzsche raises in the Shoepenhaur. Kant also creates positive solutions. None of the characters in the book had freewill because they were characters in Bakker's book. He made them do what they did. In the end they were more of a character study viewed through a philosphical lens, especially the rationalizations in the second book. But what does it mean for actual humans living an everyday life? While Thomas Covenant was irreverant and caustic and a rapist, he was also willing to suffer complete loss to protect the land. The Dunyain is unwilling to accept anything less than total dominance. In the end, I view the series as viable art because I seriously was forced to ask questions of my own life experience from a Nietzschen point of view. But I did not enjoy them as much as many other works of a fantasy or speculative fiction genre precisley because they allowed me no escape, which is why I read the genre. In terms of control, I prefer the Asimov Foundation series because there exists Hope. In many ways, these books should be compared more to the Elric/Stormbringer sagas than Covenant, precisely because there is no hope. And while we are dealing with a Second Apocalypse, we do not see an endgame, merely the taking of Shimeh, which despite the deaths and suffering seemed unApocalyptic since no final battle with the Inchoroy ever insued. There is no hope in these books, which is a viable artistic conceit but not an enjoyable one to read. Instead there are too many rationalizations for a complete lack of free will which just pisses me off....There I've said it. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 19:09 by Harrol, Moderator

I believe that Scott gives us some hope through Akka. Akka fufilling a Seswatha like role gives me hope. Too I believe that many more people will become awakened due to Kellhus's work there. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 20:09 by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="DrunkenAfficianado":awpi7br6] snip[/quote:awpi7br6] Get a grip. This we were the first three books of what now is a seven book series. This is merely setting the stage for the Second Apocalypse. You don't get closure and resolution before the series is half way through. As for comparison with Convent, Convent was a rapist shmuck who wanted to be powerless because then he wouldn't be responsible. Kelhus embraces responsibility and does what is necessary to unite the Three Seas in a fashion that has a chance of surviving the Second Apocalypse. Instead of running away from responsibility when confronted by it, he embraces it. As for the question of free will, everyone is shaped by the society and enviroment around them. The Dunyain's obsession with free will makes them interesting, but it doesn't make the book depressing. As for depressing, they haven't lost yet. The battle is only about to begin. view post

posted 09 Oct 2006, 13:10 by Sokar, Auditor

I don't want to read the whole thread, as there are some spoilers in it!, and I still do not have the 3rd part of the PoN. But to come to your first question Schoolman: "If everything that comes before determines what comes after then the universe is controlled by cause and effect. And so all things are predestined." No, this is merely the Freudian belief that our past determines us. Hobsbawm, though a historian in contrast, says that it is us who create history, not history that creates us. Combining history and psychology is especially interesting, but it proves only that it is the present that creates the past, or at least more so than the past creating the present. For example, Hitler's (and I am sorry for bringing him up) actions in the WWII have now been explained by his traumatised childhood, his experience in WWI, his failure as an artist etc. For me these only seem current explanations for WWII, thus we want to believe that his decisions were so because of his trauma's. It is a search for explanation, if not justification of history, it is a creation of a certain belief in order to escape the reoccurence of it - we create history. Of course, creation of history is also done for other reasons..but anyway, the discussion is on PoN. view post

posted 17 Oct 2006, 05:10 by vercint, Peralogue

Clearly the present is a product of the past, in the sense that what comes before determines what comes after. You are the person you are because of what happened in your childhood; America is a superpower because of what happened last century. When you look at history as merely a set of variables it is nothing but a very complex web of interactions. On the other hand, you are right in that "we create history" in the sense that the present [i:2l2r2o39]defines[/i:2l2r2o39] the past. We are constantly assigning meaning to our experiences, so the way we see the variables of history is determined today. Then again, the way we see things is itself determined by the past, because every moment is a product of the one before. That, I suppose, is the genius of the Dunyain. For them each moment is independent of every other moment. view post

posted 17 Oct 2006, 17:10 by Harrol, Moderator

On the other hand, you are right in that "we create history" in the sense that the present defines the past. We are constantly assigning meaning to our experiences, so the way we see the variables of history is determined today. Excellent point. There are many instances that i see in our world where that is extremely true. The history of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of England is assigned a different level of importance than the Vandal sack of Rome. view post

Re: Infinity, destiny and The Prince Of Nothing's philosophy posted 17 Jul 2008, 06:07 by Cironian, Peralogue

Everything is predetermined by Fate. The future is already determined, because everything and everyone has already moulded it. But we cannot strictly say that Fate manipulates us. We manipulate Fate just as much. When one attempts to change the future for any reason, they are following the path of Fate (or destiny, or whatever you'd like to call it), and the fact that one will do this has already been decided by Fate. Fate changes with time as the universe sees fit, but as you change Fate, it has already destined you to change it. About the Logos, Khellus merely determines probability and circumstance, calculating variables and acting accordingly. He does not see into the future, to see what Fate has planned. Much like defying a prophecy, Fate intended for prophecy to be defied, and gave the defier an incorrect prophecy so said defier would follow the path meant to be followed. Khellus is still follwing a path. The only difference is (I believe) he knows where the path leads next. About infinity in PoN... I haven't read enough yet, but I can't recall talk of infintity in the books. My concept of infinity: Matter cannot be created or destroyed, merely changed. I believe the universe, and all within it, to be the same. Thus, I don't believe that the universe [i:2lrdbhnq]can[/i:2lrdbhnq] end, merely become something else or move somehow. But I digress. No, I don't think PoN talks about infinity much, or of time much, except to keep one in understanding of when events unfold. view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.