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59977Re: Consciousness is not supported by itself

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  • Mary
    Jun 27, 2013
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      Your assumption of what it says, or means, is just plain wrong, which is what you'd realize if you read Sartre's text itself instead of a 'Readers Digest' version. Yet even this could not be clearer if you insert [two little words] which are implied by the surrounding text. The author is assuming that by the conclusion of Being and Nothingness, the meaning of being in-itself is understood.

      SparkNotes: Being is complete fullness of existence, a meaningless mass of matter devoid of meaning, consciousness, and knowledge.

      Me: This is just reiterating what being in-itself means.

      SparkNotes: Consciousness enters the world through the for-itself and with it brings nothingness, negation, and difference to what was once a complete whole of being.

      Me: This reiterates what the for-itself (consciousness) means and does. Being in-itself does not do anything.

      SparkNotes: Consciousness is what allows the world to exist [for me]. Without it, there would be no objects, no trees, no rivers, and no rocks [for me]: only being.

      Me: There would only be being in-itself of such objects, including us. We would simply be being in-self instead of having consciousness which is both for-itself and in-itself.

      So Sartre never claims there is no objective reality of which we are conscious; he merely says that consciousness transcends itself when perceiving objects. He never says the world disappears when we aren't conscious of it; he says it exists only for the for-itself. The in-itself doesn't exist for-itself. It is only pure or absolute being. It is being without determination. We determine it, define it, give it shape and meaning.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      > Ok ... if I don’t see it, perhaps you do. What in the SparkNotes or even in the quote of Sartre you provided explains how consciousness is what allows the world to exist. Or you could try your own explanation without resorting to quotes.

      > So I would ask, how is it possible for the world to not exist without consciousness?? Obviously the “consciousness” is a personal human consciousness. What the statement is saying is that if I am not aware of the outside world [perhaps I am dead] the world [I presume universe] would not exist. Yesterday I was alive and the this universe of some 95 billion light years diameter existed. Today I am dead and the whole thing disappears.
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