Roger Peters Copyright © 2005
Inquiry into the Quaternary Evolution in Shakespearean Thought
INQUEST 2009, The Inquiry into the Quaternary Evolution in Shakespearian Thought, has been established to promote the philosophy of William Shakespeare as a Quaternary level of achievement and understanding.
Hand in hand with the role of INQUEST 2009 in promoting the philosophy of Shakespeare will be an investigation into the conditions that have led to the inability of scholars and commentators to appreciate the philosophy of Shakespeare in the 400 years since he wrote his Sonnets and plays. INQUEST 2009 will consider both the prevailing paradigm that has foiled such a possibility, and the desperate attempts to alter Shakespeare's works to make them conform to the inadequate paradigm.
INQUEST 2009 establishes a forum for information and investigation about issues arising from the prosecution of its interests and concerns. It will be open to contributions that genuinely enhance Quaternary expectations. It is not intended as a vehicle for Tertiary speculation or apologetics.
INQUEST 2009 recognises and appreciates that Shakespeare's philosophy, articulated precisely in his Sonnets and the basis of all his plays, is a unique achievement. INQUEST 2009 bases its investigation principally on the integrity of the original 1609 edition of Shake-speares Sonnets. As there was only one edition of the Sonnet text published in Shakespeare's lifetime, and as no controversy over its provenance was recorded at the time, short of substantive evidence to the contrary, the Sonnets are presumed to be authorial.
INQUEST 2009 will demonstrate that the Sonnets have been subject to both religious prejudice in their interpretation, and editorial interference by way of emendations to words and punctuation. Unjustifiable claims have been made in Shakespeare's name in the guise of religious beliefs (particularly Neo-Platonism and Christianity) and in the wholesale interference in the integrity of his published texts. The literary crimes addressed involve more than assumptions made in good faith where variant texts have confronted scholarship. They are deliberate actions based in religious conceit and literary pretension perpetrated in Shakespeare's name by editors and academics over the last 400 years.
INQUEST 2009 acknowledges and promotes the right of any person to do whatever they will with the works of Shakespeare if, when they adapt or alter them, they do so in their own name. Shakespeare used the works of others at will and did so persistently throughout his career to forge his own meaning under his own name. He did not, though, modify another's work and claim to be recovering its author's original or intended meaning.
INQUEST 2009 will compare the results of a consistent reading of the 1609 text with the readings proffered in the Sonnet literature. It will show that all interference in the text is motivated by religious or philosophical positions at odds with the inherent philosophy of the Sonnets. As a corollary it will show that the application of the appropriate philosophic understanding makes greater sense of the 1609 ordering and arrangement of the Sonnets than 400 years of failed attempts under an inappropriate paradigm.
Because no philosopher, scientist, or psychologist, has previously been able to determine the philosophy in Shakespeare's Sonnets, the essays in INQUEST will feature a thinker or compare two or more thinkers who are awry in their attempts to understand Shakespeare and his works. The essays will show that the inability of thinkers to comprehend the natural logic of Shakespeare's philosophy, and their inability to resolve their interpersonal conflicts, were consequences of a dogged adherence to remnants of the traditional biblical/xtian paradigm.
As the primary purpose of INQUEST is to show how Shakespeare's philosophy resolves the misunderstandings of thinkers who were ignorant of the natural logic of the Sonnets, the essays will outline their individual philosophic positions, and then show why they were unable to comprehend Shakespeare's philosophy. While each thinker made major contributions within their specialities, and a vast literature extends their ideas into many other areas, INQUEST considers only their attempts to understand the mythic level at which Shakespeare operates.
Over the next months and years, INQUEST will investigate pairings such as Freud and Jung, Einstein and Bohr, Nietzsche and Hegel, Hume and Kant, who were aware of, or even commented on, the works of Shakespeare, and others such as Descartes and Spinoza, Plato and Aristotle, whose philosophic positions can be related and then compared to Shakespeare's.
The evidence of 400 years of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Shakespeare's works suggests the current tertiary institutions of learning are constitutionally incapable of appreciating his comprehensive and consistent philosophy. Their role in the education system makes it difficult for them to teach at a level consistent with Shakespeare's philosophy. A Quaternary level of learning will provide information for a post-doctoral, post-professorial, or generally post-Tertiary, level. Tertiary level instruction and achievement will have a relation to the Quaternary that the Secondary level currently has toward the Tertiary. It is envisaged that instruction will involve a period of 3 or so years. Achievement will be recognised on the basis of a complete understanding of Shakespeare's philosophy and the work of thinkers of a proto-Quaternary sensibility.
The Quaternary Institute has given itself until the quattro-centenary celebrations of the publication of the Sonnets in 2009 to establish a basis from which to accomplish its aims. Even this schedule might be unrealistic because of the universal difficulty Shakespeare's works have provided for his readers. The scepticism toward the possibility that he had a systematic philosophy and the belief that his plays could not be based on an understanding more consistent and comprehensive than traditional models is deeply inured in our Tertiary based culture.
The Institute has published a four-volume work, William Shakespeare's Sonnet Philosophy by Roger Peters that will contribute significantly to the aims of INQUEST 2009.
The Institute for the Quaternary Evolution in Shakespearian Thought, is currently based in the countryside near Stratford-on-Patea, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Roger Peters Copyright © 2005
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