Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Existentialism is a Humanism: paras 1-3

Expand Messages
  • DJRNews@xxx.xxx
    In a message dated 10/8/99 1:54am GMT Daylight Time, lingvoj@lds.co.uk writes:
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 12, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      In a message dated 10/8/99 1:54am GMT Daylight Time, lingvoj@... writes:

      << I know very little about sartre's concept of pre-reflective
      consciousness (got the spelling from you - ta). Isn't it circular? i
      mean isn't he caught in a spiral of consciousness of consciousness
      of consciousness of consciousness of consciousness of ...

      or whatever?

      what does 'non-thetic' mean? >>


      Dear Neil,

      Sorry I don't have time to give a more extensive reply. As I understand
      it 'thetic' is used by Sartre (following Husserl) as the adjectival form of
      'thesis'. It is meant in a technical sense, however, to describe the kind of
      consciousness which posits an object, especially knowledge as a state of
      consciousness. Sartre contrasts this with non-thetic cosnciousness which
      grasps something not as an object of consciousness but by means of an
      immediate intuition without conceptual structure. He uses this to stop the
      regress you describe by arguing, against Alain, that to know is not 'to know
      that I know' but to be non-thetically self-conscious of knowing as a
      thetic-consciousness; or, if you like, simply to be conscious of knowing.
      Consciousness is always self-conscious of itself non-thetically, for Sartre,
      because it exists in the form of a transparancy, or 'translucidity'. Rather
      than making an object of itself, as happens in 'accessory reflection' or
      introspection, pre-reflective self-consciousness grasps itself in a
      frustrating ambiguous way. Thetic-consciousness grasps objects in the
      context of a referential network of utility, that is what makes them
      objective, they are encountered as relative to the fundamental project, or in
      relation to action if you prefer. However, self-consciousness cannot be
      organised relative to the fundamental project because it simply is the
      fundamental project, the principle of organisation. Only in the gaze of the
      other, i.e., in relation to the project of the other, or in relation to
      myself adopting the stance of the other can pre-reflective consciousness
      become the object of a thetic consciousness.

      (I think.)

      Cheers,

      Don.
    • Russell, J. Michael
      I think you are on the right track. Let me try putting it like this: When I reach for the glass of water, the glass is the object of consciousness. I am
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 12, 1999
      • 0 Attachment
        I think you are on the right track. Let me try putting it like this: When
        I reach for the glass of water, the glass is the object of consciousness. I
        am consciousness of that glass. But tacitly or implicitly I am conscious of
        myself in relation to the glass; I know how far to reach because I know
        where I am situated. Similarly, if I walk across the room and, in so doing,
        walk around the table, I evidently know where the table is and where I am in
        relation to the table, even though I am not making an object of myself when
        I look at the table. This latter sort of implicit knowledge of myself,
        where I am not the object of consciousness, Sartre calls non-positional or
        non-thetic consciousness, and it is a dimension of an instance of
        unreflective consciousness. Similarly, my ability to tell you that a moment
        ago I was reaching for the glass is presumably made possible because I
        remember what I was doing, yet it's not that some sort of "I" is the object
        of my memory. Again, here's a case of a non-positional or non-thetic or
        non-objectifying consciousness of myself. Typically I do things like
        reaching for a glass of water without making my act the object of
        reflection. Such an everyday act is an instance of unreflective
        consciousness. In such a case Sartre will use parentheses to indicate just
        what is and just what is not the object of consciousness: I am
        consciousness of the glass and consciousness (of) myself.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: DJRNews@... [mailto:DJRNews@...]
        Sent: Thursday, August 12, 1999 2:19 PM
        To: Sartre@onelist.com
        Subject: Re: [Sartre] Existentialism is a Humanism:
        paras 1-3

        From: DJRNews@...

        In a message dated 10/8/99 1:54am GMT Daylight Time,
        lingvoj@... writes:

        << I know very little about sartre's concept of
        pre-reflective
        consciousness (got the spelling from you - ta). Isn't it
        circular? i
        mean isn't he caught in a spiral of consciousness of
        consciousness
        of consciousness of consciousness of consciousness of ...

        or whatever?

        what does 'non-thetic' mean? >>


        Dear Neil,

        Sorry I don't have time to give a more extensive reply.
        As I understand
        it 'thetic' is used by Sartre (following Husserl) as the
        adjectival form of
        'thesis'. It is meant in a technical sense, however, to
        describe the kind of
        consciousness which posits an object, especially knowledge
        as a state of
        consciousness. Sartre contrasts this with non-thetic
        cosnciousness which
        grasps something not as an object of consciousness but by
        means of an
        immediate intuition without conceptual structure. He uses
        this to stop the
        regress you describe by arguing, against Alain, that to know
        is not 'to know
        that I know' but to be non-thetically self-conscious of
        knowing as a
        thetic-consciousness; or, if you like, simply to be
        conscious of knowing.
        Consciousness is always self-conscious of itself
        non-thetically, for Sartre,
        because it exists in the form of a transparancy, or
        'translucidity'. Rather
        than making an object of itself, as happens in 'accessory
        reflection' or
        introspection, pre-reflective self-consciousness grasps
        itself in a
        frustrating ambiguous way. Thetic-consciousness grasps
        objects in the
        context of a referential network of utility, that is what
        makes them
        objective, they are encountered as relative to the
        fundamental project, or in
        relation to action if you prefer. However,
        self-consciousness cannot be
        organised relative to the fundamental project because it
        simply is the
        fundamental project, the principle of organisation. Only in
        the gaze of the
        other, i.e., in relation to the project of the other, or in
        relation to
        myself adopting the stance of the other can pre-reflective
        consciousness
        become the object of a thetic consciousness.

        (I think.)

        Cheers,

        Don.

        --------------------------- ONElist Sponsor
        ----------------------------

        Congrats to our GROW TO GIVE winners, ZENtertainment &
        ROTInews!
        http://www.onelist.com
        Check out ONElist's latest program, FRIENDS & FAMILY. See
        homepage.


        ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Visit the Sartre website at:
        http://members.aol.com/DonJohnR/Philosophy/Sartre.html
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.