The Philosophy of Tenderness

£5.00

By Kai Mansberger

ISBN: 978-1-84991-497-0
Published: 2011
Pages: 127
Key Themes: screenplay, human condition, fiction

Description

The Philosophy of Tenderness is a screenplay which may be seen as a metaphysical investigation of the human condition, the nature of reality and the nature of thought. By questioning the nature of applied scientific thinking, two young radical philosophers, Pete and Satan, surmise that the commonly accepted “theory of everything” is essentially insufficient in its world view.

In their search for a broader universal theory, these young philosophers and their two friends, Danny and Mary, discover that a hierarchical system of knowledge which explains everything would not only have to incorporate physics but also language, aesthetics, art, music, ethics, philosophy, politics, morality, happiness, logic and mathematics. They proceed to construct a “theory of everything” based on levels of systematic human understanding called “hegemonics.” However, because chaos, unpredictability and uncertainty are still inescapable or unexplainable in any system, including the human mind itself, they arrive at the conclusion that in reality it’s not possible to know anything for certain.

The story is set against the backdrop of a desolate coastal town. The four friends also share an arcane knowledge of pirate technology and computer hacking. Inspired by the poetic nihilism and simplicity of films like Clerks, they maintain their friendship with ruthless adolescent humour and a social indifference that places them beyond any subculture definition. They move through a world of shadows, smoky havens and moments of scenic beauty.

These unlikely philosophers create a bridge of wisdom which leads to a dimension outside our common reality. Assuming there is no concrete explanation for human existence, their ideas incite a revolution against the nature of being.

About the Author

Kai Mansberger was born in 1980 in Kathmandu and spent his early childhood in Nepal and Hawaii. He received his formal secondary education in Oxford and studied English Literature and Film at the University of Wales, Bangor. As an aspiring young actor he appeared in several films, most notably alongside Peter O’Toole in Douglas Livingstone’s film dramatisation of P.G. Wodehouse’s Heavy Weather in 1995. He was a gifted musician, songwriter and composer. Additionally, he was a serious student of martial arts, Japanese language, philosophy, quantum physics, higher mathematics and computer programming. Intermittently, he travelled to The Netherlands and remote areas of Italy, France and Greece in search of alternative modern day utopias and immersed himself in the music and street subcultures of Oxford. All of these interests and life experiences are reflected in his writing.

Kai’s literary legacy includes Seeing the Invisible (a collection of short stories and poems), The Philosophy of Tenderness and Medusa (two screenplays), all published posthumously by Chipmunka Publishing in 2011. This body of work embraces narrative structures and philosophical explorations of postmodernist, cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk literary tradition.

In 2002 Kai was arrested and admitted to hospital under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. In the ensuing 23 months until his death at the age of 23, he was repeatedly arrested for “irrational,” “delusional,” “strange,” “bizarre” or “suspicious” behaviour, sectioned, misdiagnosed and mistreated: he always maintained that he was just an “eccentric philosopher.” He subsequently endured incarceration, detention, solitary confinement, mental torture, extreme mental suffering, psychological pain and debilitating side effects induced by the continually enforced medication of 16 different mind-altering psychiatric drugs. This episode in his life has been documented in The Rape of Psyche (Chipmunka Publishing: 2010).

Book Extract

The literary legacy of Kai Joshua Himal Mansberger came into my possession in the form of three laptop computers and the previously unknown collection of original writing they contained. As Kai’s father and the Administrator of his Estate, I have taken personal responsibility in the compiling and editing of his work to insure that it may reach the broader audience he no doubt intended.

The screenplay for The Philosophy of Tenderness presented here evolved through five revised drafts written between 2000 and 2003. It is representative of the period 2000-2004, when Kai, as a university student and young adult, began seriously applying his skills and imaginative creativity to the art of writing. His other original writing from this period includes Medusa (a screenplay) and Seeing the Invisible (a collection of short stories and poems), both published posthumously by Chipmunka Publishing in 2011.

Having studied English Literature (i.e. Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Renaissance, Augustan Satire, Romanticism, Early and Late Twentieth Century), Creative Writing, Screenwriting and Film (i.e. Modernist, Surrealist, German Expressionist, Film Noir, Minimalist, French and Japanese New Wave, Science Fiction Noir), Kai embraced writing clearly informed by a broad knowledge of literary and film tradition in addition to a love for the narrative structures and philosophical explorations of postmodernist, cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk literary/film cultural.

During the above-mentioned period, Kai was also a student of Japanese language (both honorific and colloquial forms), modern philosophy, quantum physics, higher mathematics, computer programming, classical and jazz guitar, martial arts and Tibetan Buddhist meditation. Intermittently, he travelled to The Netherlands and remote areas of Italy, France and Greece in search of alternative modern day utopias and immersed himself in the music and street subcultures of Oxford. All of these interests and life experiences are reflected in his work.

In 2002 Kai was arrested and admitted to hospital under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. In the ensuing 23 months until his death at the age of 23, he was repeatedly arrested for “irrational,” “delusional,” “strange,” “bizarre” or “suspicious” behaviour, sectioned, misdiagnosed and mistreated: he always maintained that he was just an “eccentric philosopher.” He subsequently endured incarceration, detention, solitary confinement, mental torture, extreme mental suffering, psychological pain and debilitating side effects induced by the continually enforced medication of 16 different mind-altering psychiatric drugs. This episode in Kai’s life has been documented in my book The Rape of Psyche (Chipmunka Publishing: 2010).

The philosophical enquiry which forms the narrative basis of The Philosophy of Tenderness (and no doubt confounded and confused his psychiatrists) most likely had its beginnings during the period 1994-1998 when Kai, as an impressionable and precociously intelligent young teenager, became friends with an American Rhodes Scholar and jazz musician who was conducting postdoctoral research in astrophysics at Oxford. It was through this friendship, consisting of many long sessions of philosophical discussion and musical experimentation, that Kai developed a keen interest in both theoretical physics and music composition which underpinned and continued to influence his own philosophical investigations and creative work.

The Philosophy of Tenderness, although a fictional account, upon careful consideration may be seen as a metaphysical investigation of the human condition, the nature of reality and the nature of thought. By questioning the nature of applied scientific thinking, two young philosophers surmise that the commonly accepted “theory of everything” (a unified theory of all basic forces known to physics in which the laws governing subatomic particle interactions form the basis for a hierarchy of all knowledge) is essentially and narrowly reductionist, and therefore insufficient, in its world view.

In their search for a broader universal theory, these young philosophers and their friends discover that a hierarchical system of knowledge which explains everything would not only have to incorporate physics but also language, aesthetics, art, music, ethics, philosophy, politics, morality, happiness, logic and mathematics. They proceed to construct a “theory of everything” based on diffusion theory (also know as diffusion of innovations theory) and levels of systematic human understanding called “hegemonics.” However, because chaos, unpredictability and uncertainty are still inescapable or unexplainable in any system, including the human mind itself, they arrive at the conclusion that in reality it’s not possible to know anything for certain.

Paradoxically, in their quixotic quest to realise the fundamental nature of their existence and their place in universe, the four friends come full circle, “back to square one,” to the original assumption of all philosophical enquiry first posited by Socrates: I only know that I know nothing.


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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 16 June, 2011.