There once was a man who said “Damn!
“It is borne upon me that I am
“An engine that moves
“In predestinate grooves;
“I’m not even a bus, I’m a tram!”
-Maurice Evan Hare
So I’ve been asking around about philosophy, trying to get deeper into the transformation of Koen Ruis. Turns out I knew a lot less about philosophy than I thought I did. Here’s where I’m going now:
At the beginning of the Koen believes that since human behavior is caused by electrochemical processes shaped by evolution; we are just meat robots. Free will is meaningless and none of what we do matters. In other words, he’s a nihilist, but the antagonist and relationship character are existentialists.*
The Relationship character believes that meaning comes from the community (we agree on what words mean etc.). If everyone but her agrees on something, she must be wrong.
The Antagonist believes that his subjective experience of events (his qualia) give those events meaning. If he’s angry, that anger must be justified.
At the end, after much excitement and alien schenanigans, Koen believes that finding himself with these instincts, having learned these lessons, in this world, he wants to improve things. Why not try?
We can always strike out farther along the path toward meaning, explaining more and more of the causes for our behaviors, but we’ll never explain everything. We won’t “run out of ignorance.”
Thanks to Steve Bein, Jeremy A. TeGrotenhuis, Stephen Cox, and many others for their help with nailing down these philosophies and their consequences.
*none of the characters is a philosopher, and none of them has thought about any of this stuff very explicitly. The labeling of philosophical schools is just so that I can do better research and character development