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Re: Existentialism - What's the Big Deal?

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  • awhit@sprynet.com
    Dear sas: I agree with Sartre, for the most part, as a philosopher, but this isn t to suggest that I was saved by him. I m not sure how it is that you re
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 3, 2000
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      Dear sas:

      I agree with Sartre, for the most part, as a philosopher, but this
      isn't to suggest that I was "saved" by him. I'm not sure how it is
      that you're viewing me as being preachy or religious on this most
      anti-religious of philosohpers, except that I'm defending Sartre and
      existentialism against some pretty broad and virulent attacks from
      Catweasle and also trying to clarify Sartre's actual position on
      several issues which have been, I believe, misrepresented in the past
      few weeks. And, if I seem to have come down rather hard on Catweasle
      in my last e-mail, it's because after he's made his attacks against
      Sartre and been challenged on a specific points that he raises (as I
      challenged him regarding Sartre's importance as a philosopher, as
      oppossed to just being a novelist) he ignores it and then reemerges
      some days later with some different point of contention. I guess, if
      he's going to make these attacks, I'd like for us to actually read
      the
      relevant source material that actually confirms or repudiates these
      attacks and then have an extended and intelligent discussion about
      it,
      and thereby get things beyond rhetoric.

      Greg

      --- In Sartre@egroups.com, Sandra Ann Shaw <sas@m...> wrote:
      > I has actually made me change to believe that Catweasle
      > is right and you are wrong. But to get off the dichotomy
      > trap of "right and wrong" then, on a spectrum of colours
      > I would put Catweasle on my blue side (since I like this
      > colour) and you more on my red side. I also read philosophy
      > not to change me but to see what someone that has spent
      > their life time writing and I read it in context of
      > the times, not as a religion. I feel that you have been
      > "saved" by Sartre somehow and that is why you seem
      > preachy at times. I read it just to see what he has
      > to say and I enjoy his plays and books. Similarly
      > I may read the Bible for the stories, myths and parables
      > not to be saved or converted or believe it as a "absolute"
      > doctrine. I do believe that anything you read, hear, experience,
      > changes one somehow, but this change is not sometimes realized
      > or should be. We are changing everyday through our experiences
      > and I don't think one book or one philosophy plays that
      > important of a role - if it does - then the tendency is
      > to go out and preach the good news to everyone - but this
      > usually doesn't work not unless the person is ready for
      > such a transformation to begin with.
      >
      > sas
      >
      >
      > > >Comment:
      > > >It is not only the existentialists who are aware of the constant
      battle for
      > > >dominance that goes on between members of peer groups, work
      groups, family
      > > >members, man and wife etc. Go into the pub tonight - strike up
      a
      > > >conversation with the first person you see and they will tell
      you
      all about
      > > >it - and while they are doing it they will be trying to dominate
      you and you
      > > >will be trying to stop them and assert your own will or you will
      keep quiet
      > > >because you are getting something out of the conversation.
      > >
      > > Right. When I talk about fixing my car I rarely use the word
      Physics
      > > but those who take on the distinctions of physics clearly have a
      > > better grip of the underlying principles involved in my car
      moving.
      > >
      > > Another good example is a book I picked up last night, by 'Dr.
      Phil'
      > > of Oprah fame about 'Life Strategies'. In this book Dr. Phil lays
      out
      > > 10 rules for living and every one of them in Existentially driven
      to
      > > me - no surprise - it's a book about changing how you exist!
      > >
      > > One of the rules is "You Create Your Own Experience". Pretty
      damn
      > > Existential to me! And I'm betting nowhere in that book does he
      use
      > > the word Existential....why? Because it's *his* experience he is
      > > relating. He's not writing an introduction to Existentialism.
      > >
      > > Ever read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistomology? To
      me
      > > it's like being back in the Landmark Forum (a fantastic
      introduction
      > > to practical existentialism in my opinion...)
      > >
      > > > No, apart from the jargon and the big words and the long
      sentences - I
      > > >can't for the life of me see how existentialists can claim that
      > > >existentialism is a philosophy at all - a specialist sociology
      yes, a
      > > >literary chat club yes, a religious discussion group OK - but a
      separate
      > > >philosophical oeuvre definitely not.
      > >
      > > Why not? It sure is for me. The philosophy is:
      > >
      > > - Reality is subjective (things don't have meaning onto
      themselves;
      > > the perception of a bird is the same as a bird)
      > > - As such, everything is distinguished
      > >
      > > It's certainly a philosophy....certainly a way of thinking...and
      I
      > > can tell you on June 2, 1992 I started applying it. Just because
      > > people do many of these things without studying philosophy
      doesn't
      > > mean it's not a philosophy any more than I had to go to
      basketball
      > > school to play hoops out back!
      > >
      > > That said let me ask you folks a question!!!!
      > >
      > > HOW HAS YOU LIFE CHANGE SINCE YOU JOINED THIS LIST?????????????
      > > --
      > >
      > > Signature......
      > > "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."
      > >
      > > "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that
      I
      > > get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"
      > >
      > > - Zeitman
      > >
      > >
      > > Sartre homepage: http://www.Sartre.org.uk/
      > >
      > > To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@e...
      > >
      > > <A
      HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search/?keyword=Jean-
      Paul+Sartre&tag=donaldrobertson">Click here to purchase books by
      Jean-Paul Sartre -in association with Amazon (US).</A>
      > >
      > >
    • Randy Zeitman
      Question: - How has your life...the *quality of your life* changed since you joined this list? - What ideas make you uncomfortable that need clarification? -
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 3, 2000
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        Question:

        - How has your life...the *quality of your life* changed since you
        joined this list?

        - What ideas make you uncomfortable that need clarification?

        - Where are the places in your life that you suffer because you feel
        others are to blame?

        Randy


        p.s., On a separate topic there is sometimes confusion as to who is
        the "you" when people refer to previous posts. Please make an effort
        to be clear about this so multiple "you's" don't reply to the same
        post.
        --

        Signature......
        "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."

        "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that I
        get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"

        - Zeitman
      • catweasle
        ... From: To: Sent: Friday, November 03, 2000 5:27 AM Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism - What s the Big Deal?
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 3, 2000
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <awhit@...>
          To: <Sartre@egroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, November 03, 2000 5:27 AM
          Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism - What's the Big Deal?


          Catweasle,

          I'm curious -- have you ever really read Sartre? Or are just trying to be
          provocative?

          Catweasle:
          Yes, I struggled through it. A joyless stumbling pilgrimage from one cross
          to the next.
          Provocative? No, not particularly - I simply speak own my mind rather than
          parrot the thoughts and words of others

          Greg:
          To say that a list of the main tenets of existentialism, especially
          Sartrean existentialism, is of a nature of "Doesn't EVERYONE think this
          way?" is showing I think a very real ignorance of the general philosophical
          scene. In fact, in the world of philosophy, very few people think that
          way.

          Catweasle:
          I wasn't writing about what people in 'the world of philosophy,' think
          about - but rather what the average woman and man speak and think about in
          their own vernacular in the streets and in the factories and in their
          homes.


          Greg:
          The two schools dominant in American and British universities today would
          reject Sartre very quickly:

          Catweasle:
          I have only a tangential interest whatsoever in what 'the two schools' in
          American and British universities today would accept or reject. I am my own
          man - I do my own thinking, and it is me who decides what to think - not
          others.


          Greg:
          post-structuralists don't believe that imagination (or human freedom)
          exists.


          Catweasle:
          Then IMO the post-structuralists are silly and completely out of touch
          with what the rest of humanity thinks.



          Greg:
          the Anglo-American analytical school would reject imagination (and really,
          in any meaningful sense, human freedom given their tendency to scientific
          determinism) and a third, but still important strand in academia, Marxism,
          rejects Sartre's (in my opinion successful) attempts at linking
          Existentialism with Marxism as being ridiculous simply because Sartre in the
          Marxist context still champions these tenets that you seem to regard as so
          blandly common.

          Catweasle:
          Then IMO the 'Anglo-American analytical school' like the
          post-structuralists, are silly and completely out of touch with what the
          rest of humanity thinks. As far as 'freedom' is concerned - it depends on
          what they mean by 'freedom' - abstract nouns are notorious minefields.
          Sartre may have thought that he had successfully 'linked' Existentialism
          with Marxism, but 'Marxism' thought differently. Sartre is like the out of
          step soldier watched in a military parade by his mother. "Look!" she says to
          a friend, "everybody's out of step but our Jean-Paul."


          Greg:
          Even in the world of pop philosophy and psychology that you seem to be
          referring to, people are just as likely to say, "Yes, I must take these
          drugs for my depression because depression is in my genes," and other such
          crutches as the more freedom implying statements that you refer to.

          Catweasle:
          I have never heard anyone say that they take drugs because of some genetical
          disposition to depression.
          Usually it's because of stress, family break up, unemployment, sexual
          frustration or mental problems.


          Greg:
          The fact is, most people in their everyday lives hover between determinism
          (when it suits them) and freedom (when it suits them).

          Catweasle:
          OK, they are rationalising things to suit themselves - a very laudable,
          selfish, autocentric existentialist attitude.


          Greg:
          I ask you if you've ever read Sartre because in my previous letter,
          addressed to you, when I cited a specific example of how Sartre was relevant
          to philosophy, as a philosopher writing in a philosophical mode, you didn't
          respond. I assume this is because you, in any meaningful sense, couldn't
          since you probably didn't know what I was talking about.

          Catweasle; I can only assume that the passage of yours that you refer to is
          the one that I have reproduced below?

          "in the case of imagination I naturally turned to Sartre's "Psychology of
          the Imagination" where he, in his rigorous way, addresses first the origins
          of the traditional, deterministic, view of imagination, starting with Hume
          and continuing through to Freud, arguing that western philosophy has
          regarded images (what we "see" when we close our eyes, or dream) as having a
          materiality and being, in the case of Freud, something that was deposited
          there by any number of factors (e.g. childhood trauma) and which then
          "wells" up into our consciousness like particles of matter which the
          psychoanalyst, like the good scientist that he is, studies and determines
          the cause of. Sartre, in arguing against this that all images are generated
          by us, in an active process, gave me, albeit in a very specialized and
          technical way, a useful argument allowing more possibility of radical
          freedom, even in the area of our subconscious, then would be allowed by
          Freud or the Surrealists. I would again argue, important though his
          literary works are, that such an argument couldn't be elucidated in a play
          or novel.

          Catweasle:
          If this is indeed the passage to which you refer the I apologise for seeming
          to ignore it. In fact I agree with every word of Sartre's and yours -
          accept for your conclusion that he [Sartre,] could not have successfully
          expounded his conclusions in the novel or theatrical form.

          best,

          Catweasle.
        • Sandra Ann Shaw
          Gary, I might have responded to your e-mail, but I was speaking more to Randy. I think I was put off by Randy s saying that existentialism was rational and
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 3, 2000
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            Gary,

            I might have responded to your e-mail, but I was speaking
            more to Randy. I think I was put off by Randy's saying
            that existentialism was rational and mystisism/? as irrational
            in a previous post which detailed a kind of laundry list
            type approach.
            This seemed preachy to me and I never did respond to
            Randy's post regarding this. If I did, he could have perhaps
            cleared up my impression like he did with the last e-mail.
            Myths are basically the first philosophys. I don't view
            myths and mysticisms as irrational - nor rational just
            a basis of civil institutions. For instance, "apparently
            ludicrous and fanciful accounts of creation and
            the foundation of social institutions that occur in early
            societies, were not intended to be taken literal.
            They represent, not child-like `primitive' responses
            to reality, but responses of quite a
            different order whose function was ultimately,
            and seriously, cognitive." [Vico - THe New Science].

            Catweasle gave a scenario about someone walking
            into a bar that starting to talk to an "essentialist". He
            then proceeded about how the discussion would proceed. This is
            exactly how I feel when I talk to some members on
            this group. And this is where I agree with Catweasle.
            I do have some problems with Catweasle "putting down"
            philsophers without more facts and/or quotes. I do think,
            however, that Catweasle is an asset to this group and
            knows more than he lets on. I also think he is from
            an older generation (sorry catweasle - but you did call
            me "sweetheart" in one of your posts) and has much
            to offer that some of us "middle-folk" or "younger folk"
            could benefit from should we open our hears and not
            be one-sided about it. I basically
            am staying on the Sartre list right now to print some
            of Gary Moore's stuff. I don't have time to read it
            all but I am saving it for later when I have time to
            read Heidegger which I plan to do in the future.

            My interest in Sartre at this point lies in not so
            much what he said but why people keep arguing over
            the same thing with him. For example, morals, free choice,
            freedom, free will, etc. I have been on this list
            over 6 months now and it seems like the same debates
            come up. I attribute this not to the speakers on
            this list but perhaps to Sartre himself and why he
            didn't clarify some of these points more or if he
            even intended to clarify them. Anytime I've wanted to
            respond on this list it is usually just the same
            thing I said a few months ago - but to a different
            person.

            Anyway, thanks for clarifying Sartre's actual position
            on several issues - which have been misrepresented.
            This misrepresentation of Sartre's actual position
            however seems to be an ongoing discussion. My personality
            inclines me to ask why misrepresentions are occuring
            more than if Sartre is right or wrong. Anytime, someone
            says stuff like only this is rational or only this is
            irrational, (or only wealthy people are intellectual,
            or only university people are intellectual, or all
            blue collar workers are dumb) - I get suspicious
            and considered statements such as things vacuous and
            ignorant. Again, they also appear preachy to me.

            Sandra



            > Dear sas:
            >
            > I agree with Sartre, for the most part, as a philosopher, but this
            > isn't to suggest that I was "saved" by him. I'm not sure how it is
            > that you're viewing me as being preachy or religious on this most
            > anti-religious of philosohpers, except that I'm defending Sartre and
            > existentialism against some pretty broad and virulent attacks from
            > Catweasle and also trying to clarify Sartre's actual position on
            > several issues which have been, I believe, misrepresented in the past
            > few weeks. And, if I seem to have come down rather hard on Catweasle
            > in my last e-mail, it's because after he's made his attacks against
            > Sartre and been challenged on a specific points that he raises (as I
            > challenged him regarding Sartre's importance as a philosopher, as
            > oppossed to just being a novelist) he ignores it and then reemerges
            > some days later with some different point of contention. I guess, if
            > he's going to make these attacks, I'd like for us to actually read
            > the
            > relevant source material that actually confirms or repudiates these
            > attacks and then have an extended and intelligent discussion about
            > it,
            > and thereby get things beyond rhetoric.
            >
            > Greg
            >
            > --- In Sartre@egroups.com, Sandra Ann Shaw <sas@m...> wrote:
            > > I has actually made me change to believe that Catweasle
            > > is right and you are wrong. But to get off the dichotomy
            > > trap of "right and wrong" then, on a spectrum of colours
            > > I would put Catweasle on my blue side (since I like this
            > > colour) and you more on my red side. I also read philosophy
            > > not to change me but to see what someone that has spent
            > > their life time writing and I read it in context of
            > > the times, not as a religion. I feel that you have been
            > > "saved" by Sartre somehow and that is why you seem
            > > preachy at times. I read it just to see what he has
            > > to say and I enjoy his plays and books. Similarly
            > > I may read the Bible for the stories, myths and parables
            > > not to be saved or converted or believe it as a "absolute"
            > > doctrine. I do believe that anything you read, hear, experience,
            > > changes one somehow, but this change is not sometimes realized
            > > or should be. We are changing everyday through our experiences
            > > and I don't think one book or one philosophy plays that
            > > important of a role - if it does - then the tendency is
            > > to go out and preach the good news to everyone - but this
            > > usually doesn't work not unless the person is ready for
            > > such a transformation to begin with.
            > >
            > > sas
            > >
            > >
            > > > >Comment:
            > > > >It is not only the existentialists who are aware of the constant
            > battle for
            > > > >dominance that goes on between members of peer groups, work
            > groups, family
            > > > >members, man and wife etc. Go into the pub tonight - strike up
            > a
            > > > >conversation with the first person you see and they will tell
            > you
            > all about
            > > > >it - and while they are doing it they will be trying to dominate
            > you and you
            > > > >will be trying to stop them and assert your own will or you will
            > keep quiet
            > > > >because you are getting something out of the conversation.
            > > >
            > > > Right. When I talk about fixing my car I rarely use the word
            > Physics
            > > > but those who take on the distinctions of physics clearly have a
            > > > better grip of the underlying principles involved in my car
            > moving.
            > > >
            > > > Another good example is a book I picked up last night, by 'Dr.
            > Phil'
            > > > of Oprah fame about 'Life Strategies'. In this book Dr. Phil lays
            > out
            > > > 10 rules for living and every one of them in Existentially driven
            > to
            > > > me - no surprise - it's a book about changing how you exist!
            > > >
            > > > One of the rules is "You Create Your Own Experience". Pretty
            > damn
            > > > Existential to me! And I'm betting nowhere in that book does he
            > use
            > > > the word Existential....why? Because it's *his* experience he is
            > > > relating. He's not writing an introduction to Existentialism.
            > > >
            > > > Ever read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistomology? To
            > me
            > > > it's like being back in the Landmark Forum (a fantastic
            > introduction
            > > > to practical existentialism in my opinion...)
            > > >
            > > > > No, apart from the jargon and the big words and the long
            > sentences - I
            > > > >can't for the life of me see how existentialists can claim that
            > > > >existentialism is a philosophy at all - a specialist sociology
            > yes, a
            > > > >literary chat club yes, a religious discussion group OK - but a
            > separate
            > > > >philosophical oeuvre definitely not.
            > > >
            > > > Why not? It sure is for me. The philosophy is:
            > > >
            > > > - Reality is subjective (things don't have meaning onto
            > themselves;
            > > > the perception of a bird is the same as a bird)
            > > > - As such, everything is distinguished
            > > >
            > > > It's certainly a philosophy....certainly a way of thinking...and
            > I
            > > > can tell you on June 2, 1992 I started applying it. Just because
            > > > people do many of these things without studying philosophy
            > doesn't
            > > > mean it's not a philosophy any more than I had to go to
            > basketball
            > > > school to play hoops out back!
            > > >
            > > > That said let me ask you folks a question!!!!
            > > >
            > > > HOW HAS YOU LIFE CHANGE SINCE YOU JOINED THIS LIST?????????????
            > > > --
            > > >
            > > > Signature......
            > > > "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."
            > > >
            > > > "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that
            > I
            > > > get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"
            > > >
            > > > - Zeitman
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Sartre homepage: http://www.Sartre.org.uk/
            > > >
            > > > To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@e...
            > > >
            > > > <A
            > HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search/?keyword=Jean-
            > Paul+Sartre&tag=donaldrobertson">Click here to purchase books by
            > Jean-Paul Sartre -in association with Amazon (US).</A>
            > > >
            > > >
            >
            >
            >
            > Sartre homepage: http://www.Sartre.org.uk/
            >
            > To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@...
            >
            > <A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search/?keyword=Jean-Paul+Sartre&tag=donaldrobertson">Click here to purchase books by Jean-Paul Sartre -in association with Amazon (US).</A>
            >
            >
          • Randy Zeitman
            ... I agree...and what you don t see on this list is discussion about putting Existentialism to work in one s daily life. ... Same for me and that s ok because
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 3, 2000
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              >My interest in Sartre at this point lies in not so
              >much what he said but why people keep arguing over
              >the same thing with him. For example, morals, free choice,
              >freedom, free will, etc. I have been on this list
              >over 6 months now and it seems like the same debates
              >come up. I attribute this not to the speakers on
              >this list but perhaps to Sartre himself and why he
              >didn't clarify some of these points more or if he
              >even intended to clarify them.

              I agree...and what you don't see on this list is discussion about
              putting Existentialism to work in one's daily life.

              >Anytime I've wanted to
              >respond on this list it is usually just the same
              >thing I said a few months ago - but to a different
              >person.

              Same for me and that's ok because while every decision only takes a
              moment the process of persuasion typically isn't as fast. People are
              attached to who they've chosen to be and it's real hard to sway that.
              (Which is most certainly my intent.)

              >Anytime, someone
              >says stuff like only this is rational or only this is
              >irrational, (or only wealthy people are intellectual,
              >or only university people are intellectual, or all
              >blue collar workers are dumb) - I get suspicious
              >and considered statements such as things vacuous and
              >ignorant.

              It's not ignorant till evidence is shown to the counter. The world
              was certainly flat for those who knew no better and a tree doesn't
              make a sound when it falls if it's not heard.

              SAS, I'll tell you honestly that I think there's *much* more to be
              learned in observing the hows and whys to your own reaction to my
              blunt statement then in exploring the definitions of mysticism.
              Knowing how you operate is ultimately going to reveal what keeps you
              from getting what you want!
              --

              Signature......
              "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."

              "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that I
              get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"

              - Zeitman
            • Sandra Ann Shaw
              ... Exactly, and one can always show at least one case to the counter, for example an intelligent blue-collar worker, or an irrational exisentialist. It is
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 3, 2000
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                Randy said:
                > It's not ignorant till evidence is shown to the counter.

                Exactly, and one can always show at least one case to
                the counter, for example an intelligent blue-collar
                worker, or an irrational exisentialist. It is
                like Catweasle says - it depends on one's referent
                to what rational and irrational is [my words here].
                And referents are always different when referring
                to such broad categories as rational, irrational.
                "Big government is bad" is an example. Some people's
                referent to big government means good roads, employment, etc.
                It is not a matter of right or wrong, but the fact that
                if someone wants to convey that "big government is bad"
                and prove this to everyone s/he will have a hard time
                doing so. The most they can do is convince someone
                whose referent to "big government" comes close to theirs.

                >
                > SAS, I'll tell you honestly that I think there's *much* more to be
                > learned in observing the hows and whys to your own reaction to my
                > blunt statement then in exploring the definitions of mysticism.
                > Knowing how you operate is ultimately going to reveal what keeps you
                > from getting what you want!

                I don't understand what you are saying here. Are you talking
                about my reference to language? Actually, I am not into
                mysticism myself but I don't think calling it irrational
                helps and then juxtaposing it with existentialism as
                an oppositional concept is over my head. Also, does your last
                sentence mean 1) that since I have in my head already how
                I want to proceed with philosophy, say in a more analytical
                nature, this going to prevent me from getting what I want?
                Or that this is operation of mine is revealing to me
                what I don't have? I am not sure what you meant? You could
                be right here if I am understanding correctly. But this
                is just where I am at right now.

                Sandra



                > Signature......
                > "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."
                >
                > "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that I
                > get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"
                >
                > - Zeitman
                >
                >
                > Sartre homepage: http://www.Sartre.org.uk/
                >
                > To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@...
                >
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              • Randy Zeitman
                ... Yes, you can always show a case to the counter and that case can be shown to be credible (or not) as well. ... But that s always the case for everything.
                Message 7 of 21 , Nov 3, 2000
                • 0 Attachment
                  >Randy said:
                  >> It's not ignorant till evidence is shown to the counter.
                  >
                  >Exactly, and one can always show at least one case to
                  >the counter, for example an intelligent blue-collar
                  >worker, or an irrational exisentialist.

                  Yes, you can always show a case to the counter and that case can be
                  shown to be credible (or not) as well.

                  >It is
                  >like Catweasle says - it depends on one's referent
                  >to what rational and irrational is [my words here].

                  But that's always the case for everything. Every distinction I know
                  is a relative one...even the distinction called "absolute"!

                  >And referents are always different when referring
                  >to such broad categories as rational, irrational.
                  >"Big government is bad" is an example. Some people's
                  >referent to big government means good roads, employment, etc.
                  >It is not a matter of right or wrong, but the fact that
                  >if someone wants to convey that "big government is bad"
                  >and prove this to everyone s/he will have a hard time
                  >doing so. The most they can do is convince someone
                  >whose referent to "big government" comes close to theirs.

                  Excellent example.

                  >
                  >>
                  > > SAS, I'll tell you honestly that I think there's *much* more to be
                  >> learned in observing the hows and whys to your own reaction to my
                  >> blunt statement then in exploring the definitions of mysticism.
                  >> Knowing how you operate is ultimately going to reveal what keeps you
                  >> from getting what you want!
                  >
                  >I don't understand what you are saying here. Are you talking
                  >about my reference to language?

                  No. I meant what I said...the observation of one's own behavior to a
                  situation of disagreement.

                  >Actually, I am not into
                  >mysticism myself but I don't think calling it irrational
                  >helps and then juxtaposing it with existentialism as
                  >an oppositional concept is over my head. Also, does your last
                  >sentence mean 1) that since I have in my head already how
                  >I want to proceed with philosophy, say in a more analytical
                  >nature, this going to prevent me from getting what I want?
                  >Or that this is operation of mine is revealing to me
                  >what I don't have? I am not sure what you meant? You could
                  >be right here if I am understanding correctly. But this
                  >is just where I am at right now.

                  Recognizing that that you are "where you are right now" can you see
                  this is a choice and can you see that if you let yourself 'not be so
                  attached' to how you're being you can give yourself options that you
                  may not have allowed yourself to have before?

                  --

                  Signature......
                  "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."

                  "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that I
                  get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"

                  - Zeitman
                • catweasle
                  ... From: BOURTON, SAM To: Cc: Sent: Friday, November 03, 2000 4:01 PM
                  Message 8 of 21 , Nov 4, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "BOURTON, SAM" <sam.bourton@...>
                    To: <Sartre@egroups.com>
                    Cc: <heidegger-dialognet@egroups.com>
                    Sent: Friday, November 03, 2000 4:01 PM
                    Subject: RE: [Sartre] Existentialism - What's the Big Deal?

                    Sam:

                    Catweasle, you simply cannot reduce existentialism to that stupid little
                    list of pop-psychology maxims.

                    Catweasle:
                    Greg [who's style I like,] said:

                    "I certainly believe that the above list is a nice summary of Sartre."

                    The point I was making is that most of what Sartre says is not so different
                    from what everybody's Mum and Dad thinks. {but says in an entirely different
                    way.] If you torture and tease out the tenebrous text of 'Being and
                    Nothingness' and leave it to render - to bubble down awhile in the
                    consolidating, classificatory cauldron of your consideration, all that you
                    end up with [apart from eye-strain,] in the bottom of the pan - are the
                    residual thoughts that your local taxi-driver has or the hardworking
                    waitress slaving in some diner to try and feed her kid.
                    I would be grateful if you could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING new
                    that Sartre said.


                    Sam:
                    What about Nietzsche - you can hardly say of his thought that well
                    "EVERYONE thinks this way". The whole point is to ATTACK the way EVERYONE
                    thinks.

                    Catweasle:
                    My remarks were addressed towards Sartre and to a lesser extent Heidegger.
                    However, there is much in Nietzsche which was not new - and was not new at
                    the time, and many intellectuals of his day thought the same way but were
                    too scared to publish it. The existence of the anti-establishment
                    philosophical and political turmoil that was coming to the boil in Germany
                    can be seen to burst out twenty years or so later in the rise of Nazism
                    with its huge membership which drew heavily on Nietzsche's ubermenchishe
                    fantasies.


                    Sam:
                    And as for your use of supervenience theory - utterly audacious. After
                    coming back from holiday to such an overflowing inbox, I could not believe
                    that after months of reading your attacks against various manifestations of
                    transcendentalism on different email lists, you fall back on a notoriously
                    incomplete and unsatisfactory analytical analogue of transcendentalism:

                    Catweasle:
                    What's wrong with audacity? :-) Is it a crime? Regarding supervenience -
                    I used it in a particular situation - to combat Anthony's [welcome] charge
                    of circularity in a particular sentence I used. I'm having fun with that
                    particular discussion, and I am anxious to keep the bandwagon rolling,
                    because it affords me a medium for additional anti- metaphysical criticism
                    and disapproval expressed in the narrative by pointing out its faults or
                    shortcomings.

                    Benjamin Crowe:
                    Most current mind-brain reduction theories (type-type identity, realized
                    property theories, etc.) are fraught with metaphysical difficulties which
                    people are still trying to work out.

                    Catweasle:
                    What are these 'metaphysical difficulties' which 'people' are still trying
                    to work out, and who are these mysterious 'people?' They wouldn't be those
                    people who knock on my door and try to sell me copies of 'Watchtower' and
                    'The Secret of Everlasting Life,' would they? :-)

                    Catweasle again:
                    Yeah, it's only the 'metaphysicians' who have difficulties with
                    'metaphysics' - for most people these things either don't exist or are a
                    pain in the ass.

                    Sam:
                    There's nothing particularly mysterious Cat about people like Simon
                    Blackburn, the MacDonald's, Jaegwon Kim and the other leading
                    supervenience/mind theorists. All of these so-called pioneers of
                    supervenience theory have since abandoned it. The last time I spoke to
                    Cynthia MacDonald she was researching a new type of emergence theory with
                    Stephen Yablo.

                    Catweasle:
                    You have good contacts Sam. As for me - like I have said before now - I
                    think for myself and to be absolutely truthful with you, I am probably less
                    influenced by other thinkers and writers than most people that you have ever
                    come across in your life. So all of these so-called pioneers of
                    supervenience theory who have since abandoned it don't faze me at all -
                    because I am just taking it up and giving it a whirl - when I am through
                    with it I may do like they have done and bin it. On the other hand I may
                    retain bits of it that suit me - it all depends - like Randy, I'm more laid
                    back than you think I am - I do my own thing - others can do theirs - that's
                    the way the ball bounces. I tend to think things out for myself first and
                    then turn to the 'greats' to see if there is any consilience - any meeting
                    of minds. I guess most people do it all the other way around huh?


                    Sam:
                    The 'metaphysical difficulties' with this approach are very well documented
                    but lie well beyond the scope of this list or this post (or the time I've
                    got to write this). But if you would like me to relay them to you though I
                    Would be happy to do so.

                    Catweasle:
                    I would be very grateful for any stuff that you think would be helpful Sam.
                    But please post it to the list so that the many others who have expressed an
                    interest in the discussion can read it too. Don't be intimidated by the
                    threats and rantings of the few who say that they are getting a headache -
                    they don't have to read it. I do respect you and the others on this list
                    [including the poor guy with the headache actually.] I have been raised to
                    attack and ask questions later. As 'sweetheart' Sandra very perceptively
                    pointed out, I am probably the oldest member of this list, [I am actually
                    65,] and because of living through WW2 and the dreadful things that
                    happened to my family - ideas - particularly Nazi ideas - are not just word
                    games for desk top discussion they are the harbingers of death and
                    destruction.

                    BTW: Sorry Sandra, but 'sweetheart and 'love' are terms of affection and
                    respect in Liverpool, particularly in folks of my age group. In Liverpool
                    male and female strangers ALWAYS address each other in this way. You may go
                    into a shop and say: "Can you sell me a Times newspaper please?" The answer
                    is ALWAYS: "Here we are sweetheart [or 'love' that will be 30pence." :-)
                    [and thanks for your kind words... : -) ]

                    Catweasle:
                    Pick up any Journal of Neuroscience you like, [my local district library get
                    one every month,] and you will discover that brain/consciousness
                    supervenience is accepted by the profession.

                    Sam:
                    Even if this were true Cat, (which I don't think it is - as far as I know
                    the working hypothesis accepted by Neuroscience is always one of type- or
                    token- identity (e.g.. the Churchland's) and never supervenience: how else
                    would you classify a discipline who's explicit aim in these issues to find
                    the "neural correlates" of consciousness?) ... anyway, even if this were
                    true, isn't it completely begging the question?

                    Catweasle:
                    As you know I am fascinated by the mind-brain question. From what I read in
                    this magazine and I am a regular reader - the hypothesis of unitary
                    singularity is accepted as read. Most of the research as you say is to find
                    the neural correlates of consciousness , i.e which areas of the brain
                    service certain cognition, behaviour etc. There is no conflict in the
                    methodology. As a vehement enemy of phoney psychiatry and it's even worse
                    parasitical hanger-on pyschology, I am primary interested in the surgical
                    and chemical treatments of mental problems rather that the Rowan & Martin
                    Laugh-in of psychiatry and pyschology.

                    Sam:
                    You've justified a particular mind/body theory by saying well it's the one
                    accepted by neuroscientists, when surely the whole issue is precisely
                    whether the approach taken by neuroscientists is the right one?

                    Catweasle:
                    Though a naturally cautious man with a healthy suspicion of ALL experts and
                    professionals - I have more respect for the activities and opinions of
                    trained neuroscientists whose whole medical ethos is founded on trial and
                    error - empirical observation and intervention than in the opinions of some
                    seedy 'psychologist' with a worthless diploma hanging on the wall.
                    Psychiatrists are useful as dispensers of valium and other mind-changing
                    drugs, but that's about it. They should be disposed of and replaced by
                    intelligent trained nurses.


                    Sam:
                    I should end Cat by adopting your usual caveat and insisting that this is
                    not in any way a personal attack on you - I'm a big fan of your posts and I
                    thoroughly enjoy your more literary contributions and have done for a long
                    time now. But recently I've found your posts to be deliberately antagonising
                    and unconstructive. And to pull something like Supervenience theory from up
                    your sleeves on a list like this, and in that context, and then to justify
                    it by appealing to the 'accepted theory of neuroscience'.... I can only
                    conclude that you are trying to provoke people and wind them up.

                    Catweasle:
                    I appreciate what you say Sam and I know you mean it. I am a bit of a
                    rogue sometimes and I admit it. :-)
                    Some people hate me intensely, but most [I know this from private mail,] see
                    me as a likeable [if some times frustrating] rogue.
                    Hopefully the former will change their minds about me eventually and see
                    that my attacks on metaphysics is a useful tool against which to hone their
                    own arguments and thoughts. I take your point though - maybe I should tone
                    it down a bit. :-)

                    To conclude on a more general point. And this has nothing at all to do with
                    you or our discussion here - I simply raise it because it's come into my
                    mind. I do believe that with the tremendous expansion of the Internet and
                    the education of the world-wide masses, we will see a huge increase in
                    'ordinary' folk seeking out philosophical discussion lists. It may well be
                    that the 'philosophical establishment' will need to get a bit more
                    'streetwise' a bit more 'in-your-face, and get used to indulging in the
                    hurley-burley a bit more.
                    The alternative is that the cognoscenti will be so appalled at the sort of
                    rhetoric and hard hitting criticism that guys like me come up with, that
                    they will retreat into little protective 'ghetto' discussion forums.
                  • awhit@sprynet.com
                    Catweasle: I would be grateful if you could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING new that Sartre said. Greg: I think if you broke down any philosopher to their
                    Message 9 of 21 , Nov 5, 2000
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                      Catweasle:

                      I would be grateful if you could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING
                      new that Sartre said.

                      Greg:

                      I think if you broke down any philosopher to their main points it
                      would be hard to find anything entirely "new" in what they said, and
                      really the ancient Greeks least of all (they were, in a sense,
                      philosophers of the "commonsense"). In the broad terms that you're
                      speaking of its hard to be entirely original, it's really the
                      philosophers approach and emphasis, and the language that they use to
                      express a point, that makes them important. What was original about
                      Sartre, in the philosophical sense, is the thoroughness with which he
                      approached the question of human freedom (using Husserl and Heideggar
                      as stepping stones), and in giving us the tools necessary to have a
                      complete philosophy of "free will." I've alluded to these in my
                      previous e-mails, even the one you recently acknowledged and said you
                      agreed with regarding imagination. And here, if I might reinterate a
                      point from our earlier arguement, is where the necessity of reading
                      his philosophical texts is important (and, if you refuse or don't
                      want to read these texts, then I guess I'll never be able to prove it
                      and in five years you'll still be writing "I would be grateful if you
                      could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING new that Sartre said" and
                      I'll still be responding like this).




                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: catweasle <Jud@...>
                      To: <Sartre@egroups.com>
                      Cc: <heidegger-dialognet@egroups.com>
                      Sent: Saturday, November 04, 2000 1:22 PM
                      Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism - What's the Big Deal?


                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "BOURTON, SAM" <sam.bourton@...>
                      > To: <Sartre@egroups.com>
                      > Cc: <heidegger-dialognet@egroups.com>
                      > Sent: Friday, November 03, 2000 4:01 PM
                      > Subject: RE: [Sartre] Existentialism - What's the Big Deal?
                      >
                      > Sam:
                      >
                      > Catweasle, you simply cannot reduce existentialism to that stupid
                      little
                      > list of pop-psychology maxims.
                      >
                      > Catweasle:
                      > Greg [who's style I like,] said:
                      >
                      > "I certainly believe that the above list is a nice summary of
                      Sartre."
                      >
                      > The point I was making is that most of what Sartre says is not so
                      different
                      > from what everybody's Mum and Dad thinks. {but says in an entirely
                      different
                      > way.] If you torture and tease out the tenebrous text of 'Being
                      and
                      > Nothingness' and leave it to render - to bubble down awhile in the
                      > consolidating, classificatory cauldron of your consideration, all
                      that you
                      > end up with [apart from eye-strain,] in the bottom of the pan -
                      are the
                      > residual thoughts that your local taxi-driver has or the hardworking
                      > waitress slaving in some diner to try and feed her kid.
                      > I would be grateful if you could give me just ONE example of
                      ANYTHING new
                      > that Sartre said.
                      >
                      >
                      > Sam:
                      > What about Nietzsche - you can hardly say of his thought that well
                      > "EVERYONE thinks this way". The whole point is to ATTACK the way
                      EVERYONE
                      > thinks.
                      >
                      > Catweasle:
                      > My remarks were addressed towards Sartre and to a lesser extent
                      Heidegger.
                      > However, there is much in Nietzsche which was not new - and was not
                      new at
                      > the time, and many intellectuals of his day thought the same way
                      but were
                      > too scared to publish it. The existence of the anti-establishment
                      > philosophical and political turmoil that was coming to the boil in
                      Germany
                      > can be seen to burst out twenty years or so later in the rise of
                      Nazism
                      > with its huge membership which drew heavily on Nietzsche's
                      ubermenchishe
                      > fantasies.
                      >
                      >
                      > Sam:
                      > And as for your use of supervenience theory - utterly audacious.
                      After
                      > coming back from holiday to such an overflowing inbox, I could not
                      believe
                      > that after months of reading your attacks against various
                      manifestations of
                      > transcendentalism on different email lists, you fall back on a
                      notoriously
                      > incomplete and unsatisfactory analytical analogue of
                      transcendentalism:
                      >
                      > Catweasle:
                      > What's wrong with audacity? :-) Is it a crime? Regarding
                      supervenience -
                      > I used it in a particular situation - to combat Anthony's [welcome]
                      charge
                      > of circularity in a particular sentence I used. I'm having fun
                      with that
                      > particular discussion, and I am anxious to keep the bandwagon
                      rolling,
                      > because it affords me a medium for additional anti- metaphysical
                      criticism
                      > and disapproval expressed in the narrative by pointing out its
                      faults or
                      > shortcomings.
                      >
                      > Benjamin Crowe:
                      > Most current mind-brain reduction theories (type-type identity,
                      realized
                      > property theories, etc.) are fraught with metaphysical difficulties
                      which
                      > people are still trying to work out.
                      >
                    • Randy Zeitman
                      ... How about the distinctions of being-for-itself and being-in-itself? (And I d like to know your definition of new .) Is presenting a old idea in a
                      Message 10 of 21 , Nov 5, 2000
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                        >Catweasle:
                        >
                        >I would be grateful if you could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING
                        >new that Sartre said.

                        How about the distinctions of being-for-itself and being-in-itself?
                        (And I'd like to know your definition of "new".)

                        Is presenting a old idea in a different context new? If not then
                        practically all inventions aren't new at all, they're just different
                        applications of the wedge, pulley, etc.
                        --

                        Signature......
                        "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."

                        "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that I
                        get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"

                        - Zeitman
                      • catweasle
                        ... From: Randy Zeitman To: Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2000 9:11 PM Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism - What s
                        Message 11 of 21 , Nov 6, 2000
                        • 0 Attachment
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Randy Zeitman" <randzman@...>
                          To: <Sartre@egroups.com>
                          Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2000 9:11 PM
                          Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism - What's the Big Deal?


                          > >Catweasle:
                          > >
                          > >I would be grateful if you could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING
                          > >new that Sartre said.
                          >
                          > How about the distinctions of being-for-itself and being-in-itself?
                          > (And I'd like to know your definition of "new".)

                          Catweasle:
                          New - Having no previous example or precedent or parallel. ["There's nothing
                          new under the sun son," as my old mum used to say.]

                          Sartre like Heidegger merely coined new phrases to re-caste old phrases.
                          Being for itself = the conscious ego, the thinking self, your own
                          identity, a unique cogitating individual, a human personality anything in
                          fact that is at least tacitly conscious of itself. Cognito ergo sum.

                          Everything else - lacking this self consciousness is a Being in itself -
                          something that exists - is solid and lacks freedom. Or as our much maligned
                          ordinary man'woman in the street would say - "a thing."

                          "Aw shucks - fer hell sake," said the policeman, removing his cap and
                          running his fingers through his hair - "If you mean a 'woman,' why the hell
                          don't you call her a 'woman' instead of wasting my time and everybody
                          else's by calling her this stoopid 'being for itself' dang thing?"

                          As I said he just coined wacky new words to describe old thoughts.

                          There is no need for this juvenile novo-speak. People are quite happy with
                          the names "human or "chimpanzee" or " thing."

                          Haven't you noticed that a characteristic of EVERY new philosopher or
                          sociologist or anthropologist that comes along, is to invent new jargon to
                          delude people into thinking that their 'concepts' are new? :-)

                          It's the oldest legerdemain in the game and beloved of the advertising
                          industry. :-)


                          Randy:
                          Is presenting a old idea in a different context new? If not then
                          practically all inventions aren't new at all, they're just different
                          applications of the wedge, pulley, etc.

                          Catweasle:
                          Re-treading old ideas in a fresh and engaging way makes money and makes
                          reputations. It doesn't mean that it is new.
                          As an [unsuccessful] patentee with three useless patents under my belt, I
                          am aware retrospectively that the component elements of my discoveries were
                          based on the discoveries of others who went before me.

                          As it happened one of my inventions opened other doors which led down
                          certain corridors of fulfilment - but that's another story.
                        • Randy Zeitman
                          ... Then the only way to know if something is new is if a new word is required to relate it. Otherwise it s just a different combination or application of
                          Message 12 of 21 , Nov 6, 2000
                          • 0 Attachment
                            >Catweasle:
                            >New - Having no previous example or precedent or parallel. ["There's nothing
                            >new under the sun son," as my old mum used to say.]

                            Then the only way to know if something is new is if a new word is
                            required to relate it. Otherwise it's just a different combination or
                            application of something that already exists.


                            >
                            >Sartre like Heidegger merely coined new phrases to re-caste old phrases.
                            >Being for itself = the conscious ego, the thinking self, your own
                            >identity, a unique cogitating individual, a human personality anything in
                            >fact that is at least tacitly conscious of itself. Cognito ergo sum.

                            Is what you described Being for itself? Seems not to me.

                            >
                            >Everything else - lacking this self consciousness is a Being in itself -
                            >something that exists - is solid and lacks freedom. Or as our much maligned
                            >ordinary man'woman in the street would say - "a thing."

                            That's not what Being in itself means. Being in itself means
                            existence despite recognition (I think...anyone else?).

                            >Randy:
                            >Is presenting a old idea in a different context new? If not then
                            >practically all inventions aren't new at all, they're just different
                            >applications of the wedge, pulley, etc.
                            >
                            >Catweasle:
                            >Re-treading old ideas in a fresh and engaging way makes money and makes
                            >reputations. It doesn't mean that it is new.

                            Then nothing is new according to you, is that correct?

                            Randy
                            --

                            Signature......
                            "In the best relationships sex is the booby prize."

                            "I'm gotten so out of shape sittin' at the computer all day that I
                            get out of breath when I have to reach for the percent key!"

                            - Zeitman
                          • catweasle
                            ... From: To: Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2000 8:13 PM Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism - What s the Big Deal? ...
                            Message 13 of 21 , Nov 6, 2000
                            • 0 Attachment
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: <awhit@...>
                              To: <Sartre@egroups.com>
                              Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2000 8:13 PM
                              Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism - What's the Big Deal?


                              > Catweasle:
                              >
                              > I would be grateful if you could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING
                              > new that Sartre said.
                              >
                              > Greg:
                              >
                              > I think if you broke down any philosopher to their main points it
                              > would be hard to find anything entirely "new" in what they said, and
                              > really the ancient Greeks least of all (they were, in a sense,
                              > philosophers of the "commonsense"). In the broad terms that you're
                              > speaking of its hard to be entirely original, it's really the
                              > philosophers approach and emphasis, and the language that they use to
                              > express a point, that makes them important. What was original about
                              > Sartre, in the philosophical sense, is the thoroughness with which he
                              > approached the question of human freedom (using Husserl and Heideggar
                              > as stepping stones), and in giving us the tools necessary to have a
                              > complete philosophy of "free will." I've alluded to these in my
                              > previous e-mails, even the one you recently acknowledged and said you
                              > agreed with regarding imagination. And here, if I might reinterate a
                              > point from our earlier argument, is where the necessity of reading
                              > his philosophical texts is important (and, if you refuse or don't
                              > want to read these texts, then I guess I'll never be able to prove it
                              > and in five years you'll still be writing "I would be grateful if you
                              > could give me just ONE example of ANYTHING new that Sartre said" and
                              > I'll still be responding like this).
                              >

                              Catweasle:
                              You are quite right Greg when you say that the necessity of reading his
                              philosophical texts is important.
                              I read them assiduously about thirty years ago, and have only revisited them
                              in a desultory kind of way.
                              One forgets and if I am going to be serious about him then i should get hold
                              of B & N again.
                              Heidegger I know much better - though I often pretend that I don't. :-)
                              In general - I mean turning things over in my mind - and if I was in a pub
                              and someone said something like: "What do you think of Sartre in relation
                              to Heidegger?"
                              I would say I like him as a human being a lot and his mind is more
                              accessible - and he had charm where Heidegger has none.

                              Yeah - and now I come to think of it - he DID make a contribution - he did
                              try something new - you were right Greg, he tried to reconcile
                              Existentialism with Marxism and although he didn't pull it off [as far as
                              the Marxists are concerned I mean,] at least he had a go and he wasn't a
                              lick-ass Nazi like Heidegger.


                              best,

                              Catweasle.
                            • Tommy Beavitt
                              ... I reckon ol Catweasel has got this one just about right here. There are two classes of being. For-itself is both being and consciousness of (itself)
                              Message 14 of 21 , Nov 6, 2000
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                                At 1:22 pm -0500 6/11/00, Randy Zeitman wrote:
                                > >Sartre like Heidegger merely coined new phrases to re-caste old phrases.
                                >>Being for itself = the conscious ego, the thinking self, your own
                                >>identity, a unique cogitating individual, a human personality anything in
                                >>fact that is at least tacitly conscious of itself. Cognito ergo sum.
                                >
                                >Is what you described Being for itself? Seems not to me.
                                >
                                >>
                                >>Everything else - lacking this self consciousness is a Being in itself -
                                >>something that exists - is solid and lacks freedom. Or as our much maligned
                                >>ordinary man'woman in the street would say - "a thing."
                                >
                                >That's not what Being in itself means. Being in itself means
                                >existence despite recognition (I think...anyone else?).

                                I reckon ol' Catweasel has got this one just about right here. There
                                are two classes of being. For-itself is both being and consciousness
                                of (itself) being. In-itself is just being.

                                Or that's how I read it :)

                                Tommy
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