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Being-with-others

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  • decker150
    Being-with-others is an ontological imperative. In general, we must be with others, except in our struggle to be alone, finding a few fleeting solitary
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 18, 2004
      Being-with-others is an ontological imperative. In general, we must
      be with others, except in our struggle to be alone, finding a few
      fleeting solitary moments so easily broken by the encroachments of
      everyday living. We are interactive / social creatures, but must we
      be?

      So then, what does being-with mean? Does it mean not-being-alone?
      This question is an exploratory question. Existentialism is
      concerned with the meaning of Being; Sartre in particular explored
      that meaning, and stated the imperative, written in German as 'mitda-
      sein.'

      We are not merely alongside each other, looking elsewhere, looking
      away, but we come face-to-face with our family, our friends, even
      with strangers we meet. We are the 'beings', whos very Being is
      thrown in such a way, as to be face-to-face with all these others,
      staring into the other's eyes, seeing them in passing by the very
      same instance as one is being seen; a kind of forced, arbitrary
      fleeting intersubjectivity; silent social intersubjectivity, just by
      the 'look' taking place out in the street, in buildings, all between
      beings-in-passing. To be human is to be-seen, seen because we are-
      there-to-be-seen, because there-are billions of eyes in the world,
      eyes in so many mobile heads. There is the moving look of the
      other. Those who see us, are-there-seeing-us. Is this not a
      description of a factual situation? Would it be better if we
      thought of lessor things, of more practical things, such as the
      price of grocerys or the front page news? But even to describe the
      looking so, sounds foolish. But is it foolish to describe what
      actually is the case? Perhaps we might rather take it for granted,
      to leave impractical obvious things alone, unstated, as if stating
      them is a waste of words and unnecessary.

      But a philosopher is not merely a lover of wisdom, but finds their
      way along any unsuspecting trail of details of the familiar in
      search of an unthought domain, looking for a truely thought-worthy-
      thought toward any thought that has not yet been thought.
      Philosophy ought not merely be looking backwards, in recital of dead
      philosopers, but an anticipation, as even dead philosopohers
      themselve once had seeklingly looked forward, like Sartre himself
      who gave to us not merely something worth memorization, but an
      instigational challenge to further the very searching, to seek for
      new meaning, for meaning that is-not-yet being expressed. The point
      is not to find fault with the others ideas, as if there is some
      established truth, but to venture in the exporation toward new
      terrain in the sphere of the unspoken word.

      Joe
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