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6601Re: Meaning, Freedom & the Instrumental Complex

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  • james tan
    Mar 31, 2002
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      like u, i major in psy, phil is not even minor, just a interesting bedtime
      read. as to ur claim about sartre's views, i do not see any reference to
      sartre's works. as such, i take that as ur interpretation of sartre's works,
      rather than what sartre said himself.

      ur account about the rose reminds me of the work of a french novelist called
      proust, his "remembrance of things past". he smelled something he used to
      smell when he was a child, and immediately a entire episode of childhood
      memories and experiences came to him, almost as if he was literally back in
      time. now, if i dont understand u wrongly, u are wondering, is there
      anything 'real' or 'external' about those experiences? similarly, it is not
      unusual for some mental patients to have hallucination (with or without the
      influence of drugs, but it is obvious (for any diagnosis to be made) that
      his experiences are psychotic (ie, experiencing something that is not real,
      not out there, such as seeing a devil smiling at u, or god talking to u, or
      a voice calling u to kill yourself -, or ur wife); so in what sense was
      sartre's saying (but did he say it? pls provide quotation) that all
      perception has a so-called 'external validity'?

      let me give a shot, but bearing no responsibility to its correctness. the
      confusion lies in understanding sartre's phenomenological viewpt from a
      empirical standpt. psychology as we study it in american or australian
      universities is obviously a empirical science where what is external is
      objectively measurable (and subject to statistical manipulation, resulting
      in empirically correct statements). but i do think ur confusion hinges on
      what u mean by 'external' from what sartre would mean by 'external', if i am
      not wrong. i think sartre somewhere in his "being and nothingness" said
      something like this: that consciousness of consciousness of something, which
      means that transcendence is the constitutive structure of consciousness; ie,
      that consciousness is born supported by a being which is not itself. from
      here, we may see that sartre's idea of 'transcendence' refers not to a
      objective external (in contrast to a consciousness, as if they are separate
      'beings'), but to the objects themselves. consciousness itself is the
      transcendence. consciousness itself is the objects. u see, consciousness is
      a nothingness, so that anything u experience is consciousness. if u see a
      naked woman, it is not as if a consciousness (subject) encounter a naked
      woman (object); rather, ur consciousness is so nothing, and has no being,
      except when given by the naked woman; ie, the naked woman is ur
      consciousness; ie, the subject is the object. now, a mental image, whether
      real or imagined, as far as sartre is concerned, is an object; nay, it is
      consciousness itself. for without that mental image, whether born of reality
      or imagination, consciousness will not be. ur account of a whole series of
      scenarios imagined is not something that will make sartre shudder, contrary
      to what u claimed; rather, it is indicative of ur failure to appreciate what
      is the phenomenological. the problems for sartre, at least as i understand
      him, is not the constitution of objects by consciousness (as it was for
      husserl), but the peculiar nature of consciousness, which is dependent for
      its existence on the objects of which it is conscious. for sartre,
      consciousness has no internal or external; anything that present itself to
      consciousness is constitutive of consciousness, be it 'real', 'external' or
      not. i may not know whether the naked lady i think i see is really a naked
      lady, an optical illusion, a hallucination, or part of a dream, but i know
      that i think that i see a naked lady. it is this sense of what is 'real',
      that which is given intuitively, that i think sartre meant. phenomena and
      things-in-themselves cannot be distinguished as far as consciousness is
      concerned. if, as u mentioned, the pictures suddenly seems strange, pictures
      from former times play like a show, then it is certainly worthy of a
      phenomenological study, in fact one of those things sartre at one time did a
      lot. as to its impact on psychology, one simply need to be careful and clear
      whether one is speaking from a natural (empirical) or phenomenological pt of
      view. does that help?

      james.


      From: JNANARISHI@...
      Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Sartre] Re: Meaning, Freedom & the Instrumental Complex
      Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 22:09:15 EST

      Joe-

      I believe I tried to start a conversation about existential psychology last
      week but by the soundings of the posts, I must have offended some list
      members. If I did so, I surely did not mean to and I hope you will take
      this
      posting with freshness. I thrive on criticism and therefore want you to
      through it away at me. Let it fly!

      My BA was in psychology and philosophy (double major.) When I considered
      graduate school, I knew I still wanted to keep the two joined. In my
      decision I considered where my opinions could be most helpful, and decided
      philosophy was the place to be. That lead me to existential philosophy. I
      have most of the major work and the predecessors of those works and I highly
      regard Kierkegaard and Neitzsche. Sartre falls in line with respect, but I
      do not agree with him on a couple of issues. One in particular is how he
      deals with the senses. If I read him correctly, he removes the senses from
      the category of things that really are, and states that they are only our
      interpretation of the concrete. The line that puzzles me most is when he
      state that they are from the external, for one does not create a sense for
      himself.
      Now from a psychological point of view, this is false. One can have a
      trigger for suppressed memories that involves roses. You go to someone's
      home and look through their patio door and see a rose bed. Suddenly even
      though all the windows are closed you are overwhelmed by the smell of roses.
      They fill your head and suddenly things around seem strange, pictures from a
      former time, playing out like a picture show. This entire scenario would
      make Sartre shudder. The history, the senses, the images, and above all the
      indication that there might be a situation in which the person does not have
      freedom to choose.

      Has anyone else contemplated the impact that the Sartorial system would
      impact psychology? Would there be any thing which we call psychology?

      Waiting anxiously for replies-
      JNANARISHI








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