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60109Re: [existlist] Re: vertigo & inkwells

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  • eduardathome
    Jul 26, 2013
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      hb3g,

      The problem of course, is that one is never out of everything. I suppose
      the objective in life is to find a role that you like to play.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Herman Triplegood
      Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:57 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: vertigo & inkwells

      That is what being in the Army felt like to me. Right now, it is what my
      marriage feels like. Soon enough, that is how my technical career will feel.
      In every case, when it feels like this to me, it isn't long before it ends.
      Now, what would it be like, I wonder, when the next "feels like..." ends,
      instead of promptly replacing it with just another "feels like..." I replace
      it, instead, with nothing at all. No war to prepare for. No job to show up
      for. Then what happens? The most important things, at the most important
      time in one's life, I would hope; if, that is, one is fortunate enough to be
      able to let "just nothing..." actually happen. That, I say, will be true
      retirement. No more roles to play.

      hb3g

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
      >
      > eduard,
      >
      > Sartre's term vertigo is related to anguish in that one wishes to jump or
      > fall from a height in order to end the fear. Having to face being a waiter
      > each day, if one does not wish to be a waiter, but preparing to act as a
      > waiter may be analogous. If you hate your role but act it well, it's like
      > jumping off a cliff every single day you have to do it.
      >
      > The inkwell (as identity) and the waiter (as an identity) are each an
      > in-itself. Bad faith results from the conflict of being both in-itself and
      > for-itself. The inkwell isn't trying to be in-itself; it just is. The
      > waiter in trying to be a waiter is a human for-itself trying to be a thing
      > in-itself. Even trying to be a human in-itself is dubious.
      >
      > Of course you're right, in non-philosophical mode we may have multiple
      > motives for appearing to perform our roles precisely, but that isn't
      > Sartre's concern. His "Being and Nothingness" is definitely in
      > philosophical mode, using philosophical terminology. And although I lack
      > training, this obstacle hasn't deterred me from enjoying whatever I'm able
      > to grasp.
      >
      > For my part, I'd probably hang out in that cafe in order to persuade
      > 'that' waiter to borrow a copy of Sartre's book, wrestle with it, and
      > decide for himself whether Sartre offered anything of value. He should at
      > least be curious as to why he became so famous, why so many readers have
      > argued about his bad faith for seventy years, if it's a legitimate concern
      > or not.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Does the waiter really suffer vertigo because he has to choose being a
      > > waiter each morning?? I seriously doubt it. McCulloch is trying to
      > > dramatize the thing. I would suggest that worrying about whether or not
      > > he
      > > is an inkwell [to use McCulloch's terms] is the last thing on the
      > > waiter's
      > > mind.
      > >
      > > I think McCulloch is right in saying that the word "being" or "etre" is
      > > a
      > > verb. The "being" in the phrase "being-in-itself" or "etre en soi" is
      > > not a
      > > noun. It isn't a thing. It is an act. I don't think it requires two
      > > verbs
      > > to make a distinction between en soi and pour soi.
      > >
      > > But let's say that the waiter does think he is the role he plays. This
      > > deserves a "so what". What is the adverse impact and does it mean
      > > anything
      > > in the life of the waiter?? The waiter thinks he is his role and goes
      > > to
      > > the cafe to serve Sartre a brioche. Sartre then comments that that this
      > > presents a "fundamental ambiguity or two-facedness" which plays the
      > > crucial
      > > role in the cases of bad faith. So what. It clearly upsets Sartre, but
      > > doesn't seem to worry the waiter. It can only affect the waiter if he
      > > subsequently makes a wrong choice because of mauvais foi. But I would
      > > suggest that the waiter is unlikely to make a wrong choice specifically
      > > because of this factor versus any other factor. If the waiter thinks he
      > > is
      > > a waiter [en soi], he is likely to continue in that role until he grows
      > > old
      > > and dies or is run over by some yellow jersey cyclist.
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Jim
      > > Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 6:03 PM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: Fixed nature
      > >
      > > Mary,
      > >
      > > Again you express some of Sartre's ideas very clearly and elegantly. I
      > > don't
      > > think I can match your formulations.
      > >
      > > Thanks for posting the bad faith section from Being and Nothingness. I
      > > have
      > > benefitted from reading it, but it just is very hard!
      > >
      > > Sartre talks of the "double property of the human being, who is at once
      > > a
      > > facticity and a transcendence". He goes on:
      > >
      > > "These two aspects of human reality are and ought to be capable of a
      > > valid
      > > coordination. But bad faith does not wish either to coordinate them nor
      > > to
      > > surmount them in a synthesis. Bad faith seeks to affirm their identity
      > > while
      > > preserving their differences. It must affirm facticity as being
      > > transcendence and transcendence as being facticity, in. such a way that
      > > at
      > > the instant when a person apprehends the one, he can find himself
      > > abruptly
      > > faced with the other."
      > >
      > > Gregory McCulloch in his commentary on this section makes the point that
      > > this is all so difficult because we just have one verb "to be", but we
      > > really need two verbs â€" to be1 and to be2 â€" to talk about being
      > > in-itself
      > > (facticity) and being for-itself (transcendence). He writes:
      > >
      > > "To be in the mode or manner In-itself and to be in the mode or manner
      > > For-itself are utterly different things. Let us write the first as `to
      > > be1'
      > > and the second as `to be2'. [McCulloch actually uses capitals for the
      > > first
      > > and bold for the second, but as I can't get bold into my Existlist text,
      > > I'll use numbers.] An inkwell is an inkwell in the manner In-itself: so
      > > an
      > > inkwell is1 an inkwell. A waiter is a waiter in the manner For-itself:
      > > so a
      > > waiter is2 a waiter. But it is not true that an inkwell is2 an inkwell
      > > (or
      > > anything else), and it is not true that a waiter is1 a waiter (or
      > > anything
      > > else). Ordinary language is confusing because it only has the one verb
      > > â€" `to
      > > be' â€" where in reality it needs two if Sartre's fundamental
      > > distinction in
      > > Being holds: `to be1' and `to be2'. As Sartre puts it, the concept of
      > > being
      > > is `two-faced' (B&N: 67). Not only this, but Sartre's principal idea is
      > > that
      > > this fundamental ambiguity or two-facedness is playing the crucial role
      > > in
      > > the cases of bad faith he discusses." (McCulloch, p. 57)
      > >
      > > So in the famous waiter example, the waiter thinks he is1 a waiter â€"
      > > he
      > > things that is his essence â€" whereas in reality he is2 a waiter â€" he
      > > continually chooses to be a waiter, he re-invents himself every morning
      > > as a
      > > waiter.
      > >
      > > Further Sartre suggests others pressurize the waiter to live up to the
      > > role â€" others want the waiter to be1 a waiter, as that is less
      > > threatening
      > > to them.
      > >
      > > As you say, Mary, this is all very insightful. We do have radical
      > > freedom to
      > > re-invent ourselves out of nothing each day of our lives, but living
      > > with
      > > this knowledge is unsettling to us, it gives us a sense of vertigo, and
      > > we
      > > often find the bad faith path of identifying our essence with our
      > > current
      > > role, or our past characteristics, the path of least resistance.
      > >
      > > My brain is beginning to hurt with the effort to understand and
      > > articulate
      > > these Sartrean ideas, so I'll stop here.
      > >
      > > Jim
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining
      > > nothing!
      > >
      > > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      >




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