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5072RE: [existlist] Re: The nihilation of the in-itself into the for-itself

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  • james tan
    Dec 4, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      eduard,

      i know what you mean. referring to what you said, i do remember the same
      frustration with some maths texts. some authors perhaps assume too much of
      your 'basics' and rarely give many examples. they assume a certain level of
      sophistication and proficiency, they more or less give you finished results,
      they presuppose a minimal familiarity (and their standards of 'minimal' may
      not be exactly what you have in mind). some of these books are not
      self-explanatory. well, you curse under your breath, but then you know they
      are very established and well qualified professional in their fields. try
      reading gauss' book on number theory; his faint and casual leap of intuition
      takes a lesser mortal a few hours or days to grasp. you know one of his many
      theorem is true, he thought it too obvious to bother to state the proof, but
      you struggle like cow to derive it - even your own lecturer himself give a
      cold sweat when asked for the derivation. but you don't question gauss or
      doubt his ability; after all, it took him only a few hours to solve a
      mathematical problem what centuries of mathematicians before him could not
      solve. but that you mentioned engineering, i don't find it surprising that
      you quoted edison and testla. they are more in the mould of engineering and
      experimental scientist. a theoretical orientation would be people like
      maxwell, einstein, dirac, pauli (all with very strong mathematical
      background; pauli wrote a very mathematical rendering of relativity theory
      when he was only 17, a work praised by einstein himself, but as usual for
      such authors, they presumed so much mathematical sophistication in readers).
      edison type of scientist is marked more by experimental skills and patience,
      whereas pauli type seems to me sheer inborn cleverness (you can't compensate
      it by patience or learning skills if you don't aleady have that innate
      ability; there is a trend in my country educational system teaching creative
      teaching - i find it pretty ironical that something creative can be taught
      as if there is a fixed formula - and those teachers themselves are not very
      creative it seems to me). but one thing is common: these 'high calibre'
      writers never make apology in the way they present their ideas; they may
      think along the line: "if you can't understand it, then maybe it is not for
      you". they do not bother to "take that little extra step for clarity",
      unquote. some examples will definitely help, but again, they assume it is
      not necessary as it is already clear enough. the reason we don't find it
      that clear may hint on our intellect's limitations.:)

      cheers,
      james.






      From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
      Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: The nihilation of the in-itself into the
      for-itself
      Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 16:39:55 -0500

      james,

      All this is very true. I fully understand that at times, to make things
      short, one uses a certain amount of "code". As for example this "en-soi"
      and "pour-soi" stuff of Sartre. These terms having meanings in themselves
      which cannot be known except through long reading. Yet it I one thing to
      compose a novel or philosophical text, and entirely another when providing
      short answers. Not everyone is fully aware of what these terms mean and it
      would help to give some kind of example. If en-soi applies to non-conscious
      objects, to use it in the sense of a transition for the non-conscious to the
      conscious, raises all sorts of questions. If one transitions from en-soi to
      pour soi, then it would seem to me that this calls for some clarification,
      rather to simply say that this can take place. If an example is given, then
      there is at least a basis for discussion, so that knows exactly what the
      point of view is.

      Or perhaps this is simply a much greater frustration with the way people
      tend to write. Like a technical book which has only the equations and no
      worked out examples with values that one can relate to. Have you ever
      applied an equation and repeatedly gotten the wrong answer, only to find out
      in the end that you have made a mistake in transposing the units. It pisses
      me off royally when I finally get the right answer and realise that it would
      have been much easier if the author had taken that little extra step for
      clarity. You can be the very best in your field of expertise, but it counts
      for nothing if you cant communicate successfully. Perhaps that is the real
      art of engineering. We don't invent or discover, but rather apply the
      science that has been made available by others. Edison did not invent the
      light bulb, but he was able to apply it to practical application. Tesla was
      an inventor, whereas took a Westinghouse to bring alternating current
      circuits to the public.

      eduard
      -----Original Message-----
      From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 8:21 AM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: The nihilation of the in-itself into the
      for-itself



      eduard,

      what i'm saying is not particularly relevant to your question, just
      randomly
      rudiminating... gee, i may be incorrect, but i sort of 'felt' your
      frustration. it's just that, when they write in technical language, i
      simply
      respond in kind. could understand your frustration for i experienced them
      myself when i tried to read husserl, heidegger and sartre's works; you go
      through your campus' humanity library trying to find if there is a
      dictionary that translate their 'tribal language' into simple english,
      and
      if not you spend about us$50 in a good bookshop (and i mean good and
      comprehensive in their collection..not all bookshops carry such a variety
      and technicality) just to find one. and it is only for one
      philosopher,,such
      as husserl, or sartre...expensive, but you spend it anyway because you
      don't
      want to break the momentum. and then you 'click' in, and the rest of the
      journey is much smoother. and then you realise that a lot of the same
      words
      are used in a different way, say 'ego' as used by psychology and husserl
      is
      different (actually within psychology and philsophy themselves they are
      used
      differently. say a psychoanalyst and a humanist psychologist would use
      them
      diffferently, and within phenomenological philosophy there is also
      different
      types of ego, etc, etc.. all confusing initially). if you have read kant,
      husserl, heidegger, hegel, you may want to agree that philosophy rarely
      read
      like fiction. sometimes you read word by word. then, a bit better, you
      read
      phrases by phrases. in phenomenology for example, you have words such as
      'intentionality', 'epoche', 'phenomenological reduction', 'eidetic
      reduction', 'being-in-the-world', etc, etc. then as you read on even with
      the dictionary, you realise you still don't understand because they refer
      quite a bit of other works and presuppose some philosophical
      sophistication
      (which you have none since you are not a philsophy major, not even
      minor),
      and if you are talking about phenomenologcal tradition you realise that
      knowing immanuel kant and the transcendental tradition is definitely a
      plus
      point. of course, having our presuppositions about the world do not
      exactly
      help, especially when your are dealing with phenomenology which husserl
      claimed to be a radical way of thought. heidegger said.."there is only
      one
      radical investigation and it is phenomenological". one never realises how
      unconscious our views can be, how 'insidious' are their influence, so
      much
      so that it stubbornly prevent one from making that jump in understanding.
      if
      one ever has a 'aha' experience, it is by challenging one most
      fundamental
      presuppositions, and one seldom challenge, or is able to challenge,
      unless
      a
      concerted willful effort is put into thinking. else one will just take
      for
      granted without even realising. seeing with one's perspective is the most
      natural thing in the world, and to see from a new perspective is not as
      easy
      as changing your t-shirt. now, is the difficulty due to language or
      perspective? i think both. because it claims to be radical, initial
      obscurity is bound to occur. but if one is really keen in a discipline, i
      guess one has to pick up the technical language. the fundamental
      difficulty
      is with going into new perspective. ..there is such a thing (with
      husserl)
      as seeing 'without bracket' and 'with brackets'...we always see 'without
      brackets'...some of us allow religions, cultures, parents, society's
      values
      to dictate our lives..and it colors our world to such extent we don't
      live
      anymore.. we are not into 'things in themselves', not into the true
      nature
      of existence, not into ourselves..well, i guess you have had enough of my
      rumbling..(i've had enough of mine...)

      james.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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