Beyond Spectre

It feels strange to do research on the Bond film "Spectre" when waking up to the news of the dreadful terrorist attack in Paris. In the Thunderbolt book, Ian Fleming placed the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) headquarters in Paris. The organisation is not aligned to any nation or political ideology and its main strategy is to instigate conflict between two powerful enemies, hoping that they will exhaust themselves and then be more vulnerable for an attack. Is that what we see now?
From Malta May 2014
When I looked up "spectre" in the Oxford Dictionaries, one of the examples provided made me curious:

"In curing speech of specters and ghosts, analytical philosophy claims to cleanse the mind of a dreamy fondness for every sort of idealism, vitalism, Platonism, and transcendentalism."

The quote took me to a review of the book "The Making of a Philosopher" by Colin McGinn, written by then PhD student Matthew F. Rose who is now the director of the Berkeley Institute. The title of his review is "The Disconsolate Philosopher" and I believe the following sections are especially important:

"On the face of it, perhaps few concepts are as curiously matched for one another as intellectual autobiography and analytical philosophy. Intellectual autobiography is best told as a story of small detonations going off in one’s head, shocks that send its author reeling for cover and learning to return fire. It is stubbornly premised on the belief that ideas matter, and because they can make us saints or psychopaths, because they are worth living and dying for, they matter more than anything else. Analytical philosophy, on the other hand, is best explained by its belief that because we are restricted to the field of language, ideas do not really matter because they do not really exist, at least as nine out of ten of us think they do. It is, then, a cynic might say, the sheer improbability of such an undertaking that makes McGinn’s work remarkable, as if only a form of intellectual alchemy could turn the stuff of logic and linguistics into an intellectual life well lived."

"With his typical knack for having things every which way, G. K. Chesterton understood the necessity of playful seriousness in truth-seeking. For him, the only sane philosophy somehow managed to wear the color of fairy tales, the aura of gallantry, and the smell of incense. The Great Tradition, he wrote in The Everlasting Man,
looks at the world through a hundred windows whereas the ancient stoic or the modern agnostic only looks through one. It sees life with thousands of eyes belonging to thousands of different sorts of people, where the other is only the individual standpoint of a stoic or agnostic. It has something for all moods of man, it finds work for all kinds of men . . . it is able to distinguish between real and unreal marvels and miraculous exceptions, it trains itself in tact about hard cases, all with a multiplicity and subtlety and imagination about the varieties of life which is beyond the bald or breezy platitudes of most ancient or modern moral philosophy. In a word, there is more in it; it finds more in existence to think about; it gets more out of life . . . . It gets every type of man to fight for it, it gets every kind of weapon to fight with, it widens its curiosity or sympathy; but it never forgets that it is fighting. It proclaims peace on earth and never forgets why there was war in heaven."
From Malta May 2014
"There are no mysteries, only confusions."

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