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Re: [Sartre] Sartre:Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

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  • Lewis Vella
    On the subject of the philosophy of the mind, below is a good example of an intellectual getting stuck in a loop , as in his thought processes getting stuck
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 10, 2001
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      On the subject of the philosophy of the mind, below is
      a good example of an intellectual "getting stuck in a
      loop", as in his thought processes getting stuck ON
      the
      brain, rather than being OF the brain. I ask you, has
      this person lost his mind? Or has he simply left it
      behind somewhere, like maybe some local tavern, where,
      free to relax and suss out its own nausea, it may some
      day fade away, permanently, into oblivion?

      Regards,

      L.V.

      P.S. Just the same, its references to existential
      modality are well received and much appreciated. Oh,
      but to transform it all into poetry: is it not to say
      "what a difference a word makes"?




      --- gevans613@... wrote:
      > Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
      >
      >
      > Heidegger starts his enquiry with a question
      > borrowed from Leibnitz: 'Why is
      > there something rather than nothing? " This seems at
      > first glance to be a
      > perfectly legitimate question, but alas, like
      > Leibnitz he has imperfectly
      > framed it. It is a question which people have been
      > asking since the
      > beginning of time, and it is a question that is
      > still being asked by people
      > like you and I and thousands of others. There is
      > nothing wrong with the
      > questioning itself, although many would argue and
      > say that 'something
      > exists because it is impossible for nothing to
      > exist. Parmenides makes this
      > point, though in another way.
      >
      > But hold - I do not want to begin to tender my own
      > opinions as an answer to
      > the question - my interest at this juncture is to
      > make sure that the
      > QUESTION is posed in a CORRECT form, for if it isn't
      > - then the whole of
      > the subsequent question and answer process that
      > flows from it is completely
      > valueless and will lead into more tangled brambles
      > of aporiai.
      >
      > When we come to examine the question more closely,
      > we suddenly see that
      > it is a nonsensical query from the start, because of
      > the form of language in
      > which it has been cast, which questions existential
      > modality and not the
      > primal existential presence of the entity.
      > (something.)
      >
      > No, I am not translating 'existing' to 'being
      > alive' (as opposed to dead )
      > for a dead body still exists in a coffin, and in a
      > grave, or as particles of
      > carbon after life has ended - it has undergone an
      > major existential modalic
      > shift and has embarked upon a process which will
      > eventually return it to
      > its original constituent elements. Language of
      > course is forced to adjust
      > and supply a plethora of new extantal imbuancies to
      > the matter of the body
      > as it spirals downwards back to the detritus from
      > which it emerged, and
      > extantal imbuants like: cadaver, remains, skeleton,
      > ashes, particles take
      > over and are employed as we keep track of the
      > drastic modalic modifications
      > through which old Farmer Jones passes on his journey
      > from ashes to ashes and
      > dust to dust. What I am doing is pointing out that
      > we are addressing two
      > different questions.
      >
      > The questions for philosophy regarding this subject
      > are:
      >
      > (1) Why or how we and the rest of the entities in
      > the cosmos are actually
      > here in the world in the first place, rather than
      > not being here in the
      > first place?
      >
      > (2) To understand the WAY that we exist after we
      > 'arrive' as an existing
      > entity - the changing existential modalities or
      > states that we pass
      > through before we evanesce out of our existence as
      > entities from our present
      > existential modality of humanbeinghood.
      > Investigations concerning: "Why am
      > I existing in these particular unique and
      > ever-changing modalities?" are
      > the sort of questions that are studied by
      > physiology, molecular science,
      > biology, dentistry, psychology, genetics, sociology,
      > history, bacteriology,
      > anthropology, linguistics, geometry, cosmology,
      > meteorology etc.
      >
      > Heidegger/Leibnitz's question is imperfectly formed
      > and misleading in that
      > it should be: "Why is there something existing
      > rather than nothing existing?
      > "
      >
      > Leibnitz's question in its original form is
      > inappropriate, because the
      > 'is' word is made to look as if it is addressing the
      > simple existence of the
      > 'something' - as if the 'is' was conferring simple
      > existence [cosmic
      > presence] on the 'something.' The truth of the
      > matter of course is that
      > the 'is' NEVER confers or assigns simple existence
      > on 'something' or
      > 'anything', and to suggest so by the ill thought
      > out framing of the
      > sentence is extremely confusing and leads to
      > perplexity. The 'is' always
      > confers EXISTENTIAL MODALITY and NEVER the existence
      > of something. In the
      > correctly framed question: "Why is there something
      > existing rather than
      > nothing existing? " the 'is' resumes its normal role
      > of conferring or
      > attributing the existential modality of the
      > something as that of existing.
      > As a matter of interest, the role of the word
      > 'there' is a locative one, and
      > refers to the modalic positioning of the 'something'
      > in the cosmos, it is
      > just that the word order has remained ossified from
      > an older English
      > usage. A correct modern rendering of the question
      > should thus be: "Why is
      > something existing there rather than nothing
      > existing there? " To ask the
      > question "Why do I exist" or "Why am I existing" is
      > fine and dandy, for it
      > is no longer a question of 'being,' [which has to do
      > with the WAY that we
      > exist] which is a non-question - but of existence,
      > which is an entirely
      > different matter.
      >
      > When you produce an incomplete sentence such as:
      > "Why am I...?" then you
      > create an ambiguous utterance, for everybody is
      > waiting for the sentence to
      > be completed - waiting for the punch-line - the
      > predicate. You will find
      > that most people will reply to that statement not
      > with some thoughtful
      > philosophical answer, but with another question:
      > "Why are you WHAT?"
      >
      > The BE word in all of its guises [was, were, is, am,
      > being, will be,] ALWAYS
      > and without exception, in ALL of the languages of
      > the world, whether they be
      > languages of some remote Amazonian tribe, or the
      > tongue of the Greenland
      > Eskimos, whether they be modern languages or dead
      > languages, or artificial
      > languages or agglutinative languages, ALWAYS refer
      > to the existential
      > modality of the subject of the sentence and
      > NEVER-EVER relates directly to
      > the simple existence of the subject. For those who
      > would point out that in
      > the present tense of certain languages, an overt
      > copula is absent, or that
      > certain Indonesian tongues employ other syntactic
      > devices to mark essivity,
      > I would point out that these areas of the workings
      > of copuletic
      > enshellment, copula depletion and the covert zero
      > copula
      > in relation to existential modal mapping are already
      > part and parcel of the
      > AITist analysis.
      >
      > The truncated sentence: "Why am I?" is unacceptable,
      > because the 'am' has
      > been put in a position where it has no existential
      > modality to bequeath to
      > the subject, therefore giving the wrongful
      > impression that the verb 'am'
      > refers to the EXISTENCE of 'I' rather than to its
      > missing existential
      > modality, which in this case is 'existing.' Thus
      > correctly cast, the
      > sentence: "Why am I existing?" now becomes an
      > acceptable sentence for the
      > purposes of philosophical enquiry, and. the
      > avoidance of Heideggerian-style
      > aporia, allowing Plato and Aristotle to sleep
      > peacefully beneath the sweet
      > soil of Hellas, and the Eleatic Stranger to relax
      > and suss out the local
      > taverns.
      >
      > When one asks: "Must philosophical inquiry be
      > confined to grammatically
      > correct statements?" the answer is a resounding YES,
      > for the brain is a very
      > logical instrument which is programmed only to
      > respond to logical
      > information, and to reject that which it perceives
      > to
      === message truncated ===


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    • Christopher Bobo
      ... behind somewhere, like maybe some local tavern, where, free to relax and suss out its own nausea, it may some day fade away, permanently, into oblivion?
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 10, 2001
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        Lewis wrote:
        >>I ask you, has this person lost his mind? Or has he simply left it
        behind somewhere, like maybe some local tavern, where,
        free to relax and suss out its own nausea, it may some
        day fade away, permanently, into oblivion?<<
         
        Res ipsa loquitur.  If you are interested in reading about the issue of why there is something rather than nothing from people in full possession of their faculties, I refer you to two books--
        Nothingness by Henning Genz, a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Karlsruhe, and The Book of Nothing by John D. Barrow, who is research professor of mathematical sciences in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University. 

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Lewis Vella
        Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2001 11:08 AM
        To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: subcupub@...
        Subject: Re: [Sartre] Sartre:Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
         
        On the subject of the philosophy of the mind, below is
        a good example of an intellectual "getting stuck in a
        loop", as in his thought processes getting stuck ON
        the
        brain, rather than being OF the brain. I ask you, has
        this person lost his mind? Or has he simply left it
        behind somewhere, like maybe some local tavern, where,
        free to relax and suss out its own nausea, it may some
        day fade away, permanently, into oblivion?

        Regards,

        L.V.

        P.S. Just the same, its references to existential
        modality are well received and much appreciated. Oh,
        but to transform it all into poetry: is it not to say
        "what a difference a word makes"?
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