While this Manifesto focuses on some highly modern (post-modern? post-postmodern?) ideas, in some ways it's quite old-fashioned.
It reflects an approach to philosophy that was more common before 1950, before philosophy become so academic and formal.
My methodology here is much like that of Nietzsche, or Schopenhauer, or Plato -- I'm presenting my overall understanding of life and the world, with a view toward practical guidance as well as conceptual understanding. Greatly inspired by the prior ideas of others, but also with a strong personal slant.
Robert Pirsig and Paul Feyerabend are two fairly recent philosophers who inspired me with their direct, "old fashioned" approach to philosophy -- writing simply rather than technically, and giving their holistic understanding rather than focusing on painstaking disection of micro-issues. I think we need more philosophy of their sort, which is one of the reasons I wrote this book.
Cosmism versus Academic Philosophy
Most of the "philosophy" done by professional philosophers today involves complex, abstract and refined approaches to deeply understanding particular aspects of the world, in a highly precise and intellectual way.
Cosmism does have this aspect -- but it's not the aspect I'm going to emphasize here. I will touch on abstract topics as necessary (especially in the first third of the text, in which I strive to articulate the deep conceptual foundations of Cosmism), but by and large I'll move past them fairly quickly to get on to more concrete stuff.
I'm going to mostly focus on Cosmism as a practical philosophy for living ... both now, and (especially) in the radically different future that we are creating with advanced science and technology.
Cosmism versus Religion
I have a lot of issues with the institution of "religion," but I have to give it one thing: unlike academic philosophy, it excels at providing people with practical guidance on how to approach their lives and themselves.
But none of the religions around today are going to be of much use as advanced technology unfolds. Heaven above and hell below are going to seem increasingly irrelevant as uploading, human-level AI, brain-computer interfaces and molecular assemblers unfold.
Cosmism is the practical philosophy I try to use to approach my own life and self -- and intend to use to face the very different situations that I may confront in the future -- and my point in writing this Manifesto is to share this practical philosophy with others, in a simple and explicit way.
Cosmism may seem an eccentric bundle of ideas right now -- but the relevance of the Cosmist perspective will become evident to more and more individuals as the next years, decades and centuries unfold.