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39977Re: [existlist] Re: Nothingness

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  • Exist List Moderator
    Oct 23, 2006
      On Oct 23, 2006, at 0:00, James Johnson wrote:

      > Great question but I doubt you will get any defining
      > answers or especially any examples of how nothingness or being
      > relates in their real life from anyone at this Existentialist web
      > site.

      I think you are missing what existentialism and Continental
      Philosophy are if you seek answers and universals. Analytical
      philosophy deals with what can be measured, what is "scientific" and
      what can be "determined" in the Platonic tradition or in the
      tradition of some Austrian-rooted movements.

      I recommend books by Simon Critchley, Oxford University / Sydney, for
      comparisons between the philosophical phyla. I think James is
      searching for something that you cannot find if you try to link such
      disparate thinkers as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jaspers, Sartre, and
      Marcel, to mention a range.

      > It appears that most of the steadfast contributors here love to talk
      > about only words but can't or will not say what they mean with the
      > words they use. It
      > appears most of the contributors live by the motto the least you
      > disclose about what is deep inside of you the least someone can
      > attack your position.

      Since I have my biography on the main Web site, my vitae, and various
      ramblings on my own thoughts and impulses, I don't consider myself
      hiding a lot. I am driven by my own miserable, unchallenging
      education that allows someone to memorize without learning. I teach
      the "disadvantaged" and the "marginalized" because they mirror my own
      roots, which include subsidized housing and various "special
      education" programs because I wasn't from the right neighborhoods.

      Other people here are equally dedicated to learning through reading,
      listening, and observing humanity. Most of us had some "praxis"
      moment that reminded us that we have to stand up for ourselves, and
      sometimes others, in what is generally an absurd existence beyond
      human explanation.

      You can imagine the absurdity is in a Godless universe or you can
      imagine it comes from a disconnection between God and man. Either
      way, God isn't part of our daily lives. Kierkegaard suggested we
      aspire to live like Christ, taking a leap of faith that being God-
      like would give us a purpose. Sartre took the other extreme, that we
      are like Gods, with the power to define ourselves.

      I believe I define myself, but I also recognize that others are the
      measure of that definition. It's a paradox, "The Other" is how we
      come to understand what we are or are not. Others are how we learn
      what to be and what not to be. I base my teaching and life on the
      people I don't wish to mimic. What I don't like about myself are
      those moments when I resemble The Others of whom I disapprove.

      > that if all these people are truly lovers of philosophy ( I hear
      > often how much philosophy mean to them in their lives ) then they
      > are no different than lovers of domatic religion. Both live in
      > their purely subjective worlds...

      Continental schools, as Critchley notes often grouped in departments
      under the Courses in Existential and Phenomenology, are often
      dogmatic rejections of science, empiricism, and all things
      Analytical. There was a political split on many campuses in the late
      1960s and early 1970s that lead to some places creating two
      departments: one called "Philosophy" or "Classical Philosophy" and
      another under a different banner. Here in Minnesota, I'm in the
      Department of Rhetoric, which includes Classical Philosophy. The
      Department of Philosophy stresses European thinkers.

      Neither the twain shall meet, I suppose. Next year, Rhetoric merges
      with another department -- but not Philosophy or even Classics.
      Universities are political organisms.

      > since we all are here to find and make sense or meaning of our
      > existence. Though honestly people rarely do attack others because
      > it's safer like to air views ( complain ) about politics or books
      > in a dead so of way instead of what these politics or books mean in
      > their own daily lives, thats in a living way. It appears most of
      > the contributors are of the same political leanings or they would
      > not hang around here.

      My political experiences and interactions with "powers that be" have
      left me far more pragmatic than many others. I am not nearly as
      conspiratorial as others -- I just trust no large organization to do
      the what is "right" if that action endangers the organization.

      I certainly don't trust one political party over another, trust no
      organized (or disorganized) religion, and don't even trust
      educational institutions. The idealism of my colleagues and their
      blind faith in one political party is enough to remind me they don't
      want to question anything except the views of others.

      As someone commented this week, "You're not a very good Democrat, are
      you?" To which I respnded... "I'm not a good anything but a great
      nothing."

      - C. S. Wyatt
      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
      that I shall be.
      http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
      http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
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