About This Book
Much of my writing starts in the way of handwritten notes on scrap paper. A stray thought, a reflection while reading a book or after a verbal exchange with someone, is hastily committed to paper, knowing I will not remember it long. How many times have I lost what seemed like ‘the answer to everything’ because I took too long to put it in writing! The small slips pile up over the years, some apparently containing very important insights, others perhaps a mere word worth using one day. Once in a while, I will sort these notes into different folders, without regard to their temporal sequence but with reference to their main subject-matter – “general logic,” “causation,” “phenomenology,” or whatever. Occasionally, suddenly inspired or intent on discipline, I take up one or two of these folders, and start transcribing the notes into my computer. Of course, the original note is telegraphic in style, limited by the size of the piece of paper it was written on. The moment I transcribe a sentence, it grows. I naturally start developing the discussion, reviewing the initial thought more critically, expanding upon it. More notes are brought to bear. And thus an essay is born. When I have accumulated a set of essays, these in turn have to be harmonized before they make up a book. This task again stimulates an intellectual effort, further research, thinking a bit more about some topics, restructuring texts.