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Re: [Sartre] fundamental questions

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  • Sandra Ann Shaw
    ... I was answering to to your first post when you said all philosophy . And I am not sure if you are justified or not, because I don t know enough about
    Message 1 of 37 , Dec 4, 2000
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      Tommy:
      > Am I justified in viewing philosophy (and especially the philosophy
      > of Heidegger and Sartre) as being essentially a descriptive exercise
      > aimed at answering my three "what" questions? (Thus letting it off
      > the hook of its undoubted logical anomalies.)


      I was answering to to your first post when you said "all philosophy".
      And I am not sure if you are justified or not, because I don't know
      enough about them[Sartre and Heidegger]. However, my initial response to What am I? can
      only be answered by you, What is Man? can be answered by many people
      as well as What is Universe? If I take out the biologists, scientist,
      cosmologists as you suggest then I still would try to make claim
      that there are other "philosophers" that would disagree with Sartre and
      Heidegger, say Hegal and Kant (considered philosophers). But I am
      just guessing. Also, regarding logic. I am not sure that anyone made
      any strict negative claims against S. and H. regarding "pure logic". I
      think the claim was that S. and H. left out information or didn't answer
      their own questions, or something to this fact. I do come from a logic
      background so I may be biased here, but I would prefer someone to
      state that they are only writing based on faith or fact to begin with.

      For example, Heidegger would of been better saying EXPLICITY that
      he started trying to find out "being" but didn't succeed, (Catweasle
      explains this better).
      This is just a matter of honesty, not logic.
      You could argue that maybe honesty isn't a good word here, because perhaps they thought
      they were being honest. But I don't think you would argue that you would
      want some degree of honesty in writing. That is what I look for anyway.
      Decartes, for example, admits what he doesn't know, but he writes this
      Princess all about mathematics in such an expert way (completely wrong and juvenille
      mathematics) that it makes me suspicious of him. I treat all people
      I meet this way critically, whether it be philosophers, writers, family
      members and/or egroup members. Whether they talk logically correct is just
      a language game. For instance, how could one use pure logic in ethics anyway?


      Sandra

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    • Sandra Ann Shaw
      Thanks Greg for this information. I don t know if it was you or not, but I told someone that I was going to finish Levi-Strauss s last chapter on Sartre from
      Message 37 of 37 , Dec 8, 2000
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        Thanks Greg for this information. I don't know if it was
        you or not, but I told someone that I was going to
        finish Levi-Strauss's last chapter on Sartre from his
        "The Savage Mind" book and do a small synopsis.
        I haven't got to it yet. So far, what I've read seems
        similar's to Poster's account though. I will save your post
        and do a comparison with my summary after I finish reading.
        Hopefully, on Monday I will be finished. I am interested in
        discussing this further and, again, thanks!

        Sandra

        > Sandra wrote, citing Levi-Strauss: "Something about Sartre's account
        > was good for
        > > the French but it caused the West harm.
        > >
        > > "Because it [Sartre's ideas] has given people the idea that society
        > is to
        > > be ruled by abstract thought, when instead it is formed of habits
        > > and customs"
        >
        > Greg: Something about Levi-Strauss's criticism of Sartre's
        > critique sounded familiar to me -- a misplaced criticism that Sartre
        > lapsed into idealism in his later work even while he was trying to
        > integrate his existenitialism with Marx's dialectic. According to
        > Mark Poster (Sartre's Marxism) Sartre argued that "human beings are
        > set in specific situations (objectivity), which they interpret in
        > given ways and act within and upon (subjectivity), which in turn
        > places them in new specific situations (objectivity)." Poster goes
        > on
        > to say (p.50-51) "The danger in Sartre's restoration of the
        > subject-object dialectic [when Marxism had only been dealing with the
        > object side of the dialectic] lay in a return to Hegelian idealism in
        > which the object lost its power and the dialectic was reduced to pure
        > subjectivity. Searching for an active subject, the theorist might
        > eliminate objectivity altogether [such as had befallen Lukacs] ...
        > Sartre's difficult task was to develop categories which would
        > minimise
        > the tendency in marxism to overlook one side of the dialectic. The
        > formula used by Sartre of human beings and things mediating each
        > other
        > would not satisfy everyone. Many critics accused him of returning
        > not
        > to Hegel's idealim but to Descartes' dualism. These commentators saw
        > in the Critique an ontology of mind and matter, the cartesian res
        > cogitans and res extensa...Against these detractors it must be
        > maintained that the dualism of human beings and things serves in the
        > Critique as a support for the subject-object dialectic ... the
        > emphais
        > in duality of human beings and things falls on their mediation, not
        > on
        > their opposition."
        >
        > Greg
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In Sartre@egroups.com, Sandra Ann Shaw <sas@m...> wrote:
        > > One person who doesn't like Sartre is Claude-Levi Strauss
        > > (anthropologist).
        > > I was reading a little of "Conversations with Claude-Levi Strauss"
        > > last night and apparently the problem he had with Sartre
        > > had to do with Sartre's [wrong] interpretation of the French
        > > Revolution. Something about Sartre's account was good for
        > > the French but it caused the West harm.
        > >
        > > "Because it has given people the idea that society is to
        > > be ruled by abstract thought, when instead it is formed of habits
        > > and customs; by crushing thse in the mortar of
        > > reason, one pulverizes ways of life founded on a long tradition,
        > > reducing individuals to the state of interchangeable and
        > > anonymous atoms. True freedom can be cased only on a concrete
        > foundation and is made up of a balance among small adherences, little
        > solidarities.
        > > Pitted against these are theoretical ideas proclaimed as rational.
        > When they
        > > have achieved their goals, there is nothing left for them but to
        > destroy each
        > > other. Today [1988 interview] we are observing the result." (p. 118)
        > >
        > > Claude Levi-Strauss claims that Sartre ``builds up an
        > > abstract outline of history so that for the humanity of
        > > today the French Revolution can play the role of a myth." (p. 118)
        > >
        > > Anyway, most of his complaints with Sartre are in "The Savage
        > > Mind" - the last chapter. I realize that the interview above
        > > has some 'holes' in it so I will read this chapter later on
        > > and try to sort the details out.
        > >
        > > The reason it comes to mind is because of your discussion.
        > > Whatever one believes philosophy is, don't you think it
        > > would be good to get the history and details right, especially
        > > if Levi-Strauss is right about Sartre?
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Sandra
        > >
        > > > >At 11:58 pm -0800 4/12/00, Christopher Bobo wrote:
        > > > >Isn't all philosophy interpretive rather than discriptive? If
        > you
        > > > >want a mere discription of what "man", the "universe" or
        > "yourself"
        > > > >are, you would do better to ask anthropology, astronomy or
        > > > >pscychology. Philosophy offers interpretations.
        > > >
        > > > Hi Christopher,
        > > >
        > > > Thanks for your point. Perhaps you are right in saying that
        > > > philosophy is essentially interpretative. However, for a
        > satisfactory
        > > > answer to the questions, what am I? what is man? and what is the
        > > > universe? I wouldn't be turning to the special sciences you
        > mention.
        > > > Why not? Because all three of them are doctrinal in their
        > positions
        > > > on my questions, they assert that nature is deterministic. And
        > are
        > > > therefore content with cause-and-effect explanations which don't
        > > > fully answer my questions.
        > > >
        > > > Tommy
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > 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>
        >
        >
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