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Re: [Sartre] Re: choice

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  • Carol Knowles
    ... is always a function of consciousness. And our consciousness is always a conditioned fact. We cannot think other than how we are made to think. But let me
    Message 1 of 66 , Jun 1, 2004
      Cicero wrote:

      > As long as we can say "no!" we are always free. But our ability to say no
      is always a function of consciousness. And our consciousness is always a
      conditioned fact. We cannot think other than how we are made to think. But
      let me lead you to the wonder of the human mind. Capable of poetry, music,
      and of reflecting on how we all began! Is the mind in all its magnificence
      gratuitous? Is philosophy a lot of nonsense? What does everyone say?

      This is my attempt at a response to you, Cicero....via Hegel. Please note
      my understanding of what I am saying is limited but will give it a try
      anway:

      Maybe going back to Hegel will help. Hegel's dialectic, negation, breaks us
      out of illusory deluded consciousness which thinks the external it projects
      exists. But what it thinks exists is really just the phenomenon formed by
      consciousness in unity with the what it believes is external. This formed,
      determined consciousness is unreflective dead - conditioned -
      consciousness.Bad faith....

      But for Hegel freedom comes through the dialectic of nothing, being and
      becoming. If this ontological assumption is accepted , limited consciousness
      cannot comprehend the unseen real - the Absolute or Spirit - history. The
      misfit of limited conceptions with this larger totality throws us back from
      our limited fixed ideas, breaking them down, to the dialectic of nothing -
      being and becoming -and from there to speculation where new thought and
      possibilities for choice, are born. Philosophy and aesthetics are important
      mediator in the breaking down or negating of limited fixed consciousness -
      they negate determinate conceptions, and rupture the determinatenes of
      consciousness both formed within individuals and at a social level as
      ideology. Giving rise to freedom - and choice.

      Carol;






      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "cicero cortel" <cicerocortel@...>
      To: <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 5:03 PM
      Subject: Re: [Sartre] Re: choice


      > Hi Joe !
      >
      > Thanks for enriching our discussion with Heidegerrian thownness. Allow me
      to bring to the fore the same's view of man as a being-unto-death. Yes we
      had no choice in our entering-unto-the-world but according to Sartre, we can
      always 'say no' to existence itself. Our very act of existence is already a
      choice. This is what I like with Sartre a lot. He is indeed the philosopher
      of freedom par excellence !
      >
      > As long as we can say "no!" we are always free. But our ability to say no
      is always a function of consciousness. And our consciousness is always a
      conditioned fact. We cannot think other than how we are made to think. But
      let me lead you to the wonder of the human mind. Capable of poetry, music,
      and of reflecting on how we all began! Is the mind in all its magnificence
      gratuitous? Is philosophy a lot of nonsense? What does everyone say?
      >
      > Back to the issue on freedom and consciousness.Consciousness is determined
      yet it gives us the ability to choose. A determined choice then? I'm
      inviting all the hermeneutes in our group.
      >
      > cicero
      >
      > decker150 <decker150@...> wrote:
      > Yes, we are condemned to be free, which is essentially saying that we
      > "cannot not be free". Freedom is the quintessential description of
      > our condition. It seems to me that the condition of choosing is what
      > inables our freedom, to be free. If I was not able to make a decision
      > for or against a given concern, then how would I realize the fact of
      > my freedom. I am free because I am able to decide one way or the
      > other. However, there is another issue at work within our freedom and
      > that is the predetermination of the options. Who gets to pick the
      > options? If I am able to select only between living or dying, the
      > range of choices are not only limited, but I, from myself did not
      > originate the options, but come to face them under the condition of
      > having been 'thrown' into the world. The intial starting point of
      > being condemned was being 'thrown' without choice, into-the-world, in
      > the first place.
      >
      > Each of us had no choice to 'enter-the-world', we were not able to say
      > "no - no - no, don't send me there, don't bring me into being" Even
      > the utterance of such a request or expectation would not have been
      > possible because one must exist-first (be-there) prior to the 'wanting
      > or not wanting' to be.
      >
      > Atheism neccessarily concludes that the universe in it's design
      > capacity, is itself not a cognitive Being, that is to say, the
      > universe is not intelligent, because if it was, it would be God-like.
      > Atheistic existentialism more or less concludes that there was no
      > cosmic-reason why any of us was 'thrown' into being, no
      > cosmic-rational. As a cosmogeny, the world is well-order because, in
      > the universes ordering function, mindless ordering occurs. I don't
      > buy that idea myself, but believe (without proof) that the universe is
      > an intelligent Being, godlike in it's functions.
      >
      > Joe
      >
      > --- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, cicero cortel <cicerocortel@y...> wrote:
      > > Hi Amy,
      > >
      > > Allow me to be dialectical? Precisely because choice presuposes
      > deliberation that our freedom is never absolute. We cannot even think
      > in the relativistic paradigm of space-time continuum or in
      > quantum-mechanical probabilities of events. Can we think as ants do?
      > So we are by nature of our deliberative faculty determined. How much
      > freedom do we really enjoy? I think it all redounds to our ability to
      > say no. The ultimate choice of which is death? Freedom is more a
      > condemnation then?
      > >
      > > cicero
      > >
      > > Amy <loconito442@y...> wrote:
      > > Hi all,
      > >
      > > In light of some reading that I have been doing on Aristole's ethics,
      > > I believe that Sartre's theories on "choice" can probably be
      > > understood in terms of Aristotle's theories on "choice", because
      > > allot of the language that Sartre uses in his philosophy (ie. coward)
      > > reflects Aristotle's language, at least in translation.
      > >
      > >
      > > Aristotle says that in order to make a choice you must
      > > have "deliberated" about a particular choice. In other words, you
      > > can't "choose" what you have not deliberated about.
      > >
      > > What do others think about this. Is everything that we do a choice?
      > >
      > > All best,
      > >
      > > Amy
      > >
      > >
      > >
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    • Carol.Knowles.1@uni.massey.ac.nz
      Since we are comparing philosophies, does anyone understand Spinoza s parrallellism as a philosophy -which influenced early phenomenologists? Carol ... o ...
      Message 66 of 66 , Jun 12, 2004
        Since we are comparing philosophies, does anyone understand Spinoza's
        parrallellism as a philosophy -which influenced early phenomenologists?

        Carol

        >
        > decker150 <decker150@...> wrote:
        >
        > <<<George Said: "Kant [and lots of other Great Minds] postulated the
        > noumena. But folks like Schopenhaurer suggested that noumenal and
        > phenoumenal reality must forvermore remain unbridgable.
        > When Sartre spoke of the thing-in-itself not once did he ever actually
        > describe What It Is. How could he?
        >
        > Joe: No, I think rather he would have simply described 'that' it is,
        > that the thing-in-itself-simply-is; but by even doing that, Sartre
        > made affirmitive statements without proof. It does not matter how
        > limited his description was, it was nontheless...a description of
        > be-ing there. I have long noticed that some thinkers intellectually
        > seek to back their readers into an obligatory corner of
        > seeing their views, while using the very method they find fault with
        > in others, and would not permit; all without as much
        > self-due-diligence and demand. You cannot pursue Phenomneology and
        > Ontology without employing 'description' and interpetation. You can't
        > have it both ways.>>>>
        >
        > What does this mean substantively, however? Situate your words existentially by embedding them in a particular human relationship. One that revolves around a moral or political interaction. To say "that" there "is" an ontological/objective perspective that transends any mere existential vantage point does not mean much if there is not a noumeal point of view that can be expressed by a mind privy to it. And the reason I am forced to express my own point of view as though I were expressing it ontologically is that human language is all I have to convey my thoughts. It is analogous to postmodernists deconconstructing texts...and then someone pointing out they have merely recreated another text. You are forced to be logical in deconstructing logic----because what else is there? That Is why Wittgenstein suggested words only go so far in discussions like this. You reach the point where they must stop and be silent. But you need to use language to make that point, right? So, the pr!
        o
        > blem is
        > the inherent limitations of human language in trying to express literally what can only be expressed approximately.
        >
        > <<<There can be no noumenology since all studies are tainted by human
        > subjectivity; thus the introduction to Phenomenology, the study of
        > things as the 'appear' to us, thereby introducing our additional
        > concerns about consciousness, subjectivity, and human experience in
        > general. And as you pointed out, we can not gain the necessary
        > distance between ourself and the subject we are studying (ourself):
        > It is like a single tooth trying to bite itself.>>>
        >
        > Yes, but I also believe you can take this point of view too far. There are those who, ironically, encompass it literally. They say everything is just a matter of a subjective perspective--- including the things natural science conveys in evincing relationships between mindless matter out in the physical world. My point about language, however, is more or less Wittgenstein's. Some things are more inherently subjective than are others. I would never say, for example, that the science used to make this computer technology is just a matter of opinion.
        >
        > <<<I am the self, reflecting in myself, about myself; of being conscious
        > of my own consciousness; Phenomenology leads us into these kinds of
        > reflections. As to things in themself, I leave you with the following
        > quote
        >
        > "everything is what it is and not another thing." I hope that is
        > true. Assuming it is, Ontology seeks to describe the structure of
        > Be-ing, which is what it is and not something else.>>>
        >
        > "Everything is what is and not another thing" smacks too much of Ayn Rand's A = A to me. It is a contradiction in terms if one wishes to include human freedom, autonomy and moral responsibility in it. It is just another manifestation of Spinoza's pantheism: all is one and one is all in this best of all possible worlds. And that is because it is the only possible world, right? Then it just comes down to minds allegedly brilliant enough to grasp this objective reality. It is, in fact, human consciouness [matter mindful of itself] that is the most awesomely mysterious element in the cosmos. What does matter able to comprehend itself as matter able to comprehend itself mean? It is like no other matter around to say the least. In fact, some speculate it is not really matter at all. And we don't really have a freaking clue about it, do we? Nor did Sartre. Being and Nothingness is just one more philosophical stab in the dark when you go all the way out on the metaphysical limb and !
        d
        > iscuss
        > the most primordial questions of all. Like, for instance, "what is existence?". Try enveloping that logically.
        >
        > George
        >
        >
        >
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        --
        Carol Knowles
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