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Re: Existentialism and Debate

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  • Uli
    Charles, i think i share you re view about the awful way the history can play with human minds and lives but you may achieve a consensus based on free choice,
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 22, 1999
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      Charles, i think i share you're view about the
      awful way the history can play with human minds
      and lives but you may achieve a consensus based on
      free choice, and regarding behaviour,
      within a very restricted group of people with
      similar affinities, no more than that, i believe.
      The rest of it is about rules, tradition and laws,
      that are, more or less, changeable, not about
      "absolute truth".
      i don't feel comfortable about you're four
      questions. I love my freedom and i hate to disturb
      other people or infringe upon their freedom but
      there is not an absolute term here. i try to be
      reasonable.( smile!) there is not an "everything
      or nothing" situation. so, everything depends on
      the particular behaviour in the particular
      context. it can't be an universal rule applied
      equally to any kind of behaviour.
      a) it might or it might not, depends on the
      particular behaviour
      b) it might be a way, not always there is one,
      again , depends on the particular behaviour
      c) it is possible, depends upon their views on the
      particular behaviour
      d) it can be a risk, again , depends on the
      particular behaviour.
      Delia












      Charles Vermont wrote:

      >
    • Uli
      charles, did you read Jaspers? i think he answers to the problem you said it bothers you for a long time. i have some beautiful extracts but, unfortunately not
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 22, 1999
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        charles, did you read Jaspers? i think he answers
        to the problem you said it bothers you
        for a long time. i have some beautiful extracts
        but, unfortunately not in english, from
        "EINFUHRUNG IN DIE PHILOSOPHIE" about the
        "unconditioned exigency"
        i'll try to get something in english if you can't
        get to read it. it's worth it; it has
        "therapeutical" qualities for for existential
        "angst". When i said "let's take the
        existentialists, one by one", i meant to get to
        Jaspers .
        regards, Delia









        Charles Vermont wrote:

        >
      • Charles Vermont
        Sam, Quine is not a name I have come across before - what s the story there? I quite agree with you about traditional existentialism. I tend to see it as
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 23, 1999
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          Sam,

          Quine is not a name I have come across before - what's the story there?

          I quite agree with you about traditional existentialism. I tend to see it as fairly negative in the sense that it knocks down the Cartesian and Kantian view of morality and then does not put anything in its place. However, it is to solve this particular problem that I have bent my thoughts over the past few years.

          It seems to me that the only morality which can exist without Bad Faith is the one we all freely choose to agree on. In other words, if you, me, and the rest of list agree of our own free will to restrict our freedom of choice by following a set of behavioural guidelines then this is not Bad Faith. As with 'absolute truth, we will then be able to interact with a knowledge of the ground rules, but unlike 'absolute truth' we will all have had a say as to what those ground rules should be. Time and again it seems to me that this principle has been illustrated through history. Either religious or temporal leaders have decided what is the 'absolute truth', and the populace have observed the rules until they want to change them. Revolution, either general of specific, occurs, and then everyone gets on with life following a new set of rules. i.e. the Reformation.

          As to how we can find a method to use in order to reach agreement, I like the following:

          For any behaviour, whether it is active or passive, I would ask the following questions:

          a.. Does this behaviour infringe on the freedom of choice of people who do not behave this way?
          b.. Is there any effective way we can prevent, moderate, or alter this behaviour in others?
          c.. In choosing to try and do something about this behaviour will we infringe the freedom of choice of other people who do not behave this way?
          d.. If we do nothing about this behaviour, is there a risk that we will undermine the stability of the society we live in, and consequently risk a situation where we all suffer a great reduction in our freedom of choice?

          I believe it is in sharing our answers to these questions that we will be able to form a consensus of sorts.

          I would be interested in everyone else's thoughts on this.

          Charles Vermont
          London, England




          c
        • Charles Vermont
          Delia, No, I have not read Jaspers, but would be interested in his thoughts on this matter. Anyone out there feel brave enough to post a precis? As to your
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 25, 1999
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            Delia,

            No, I have not read Jaspers, but would be interested in his thoughts on this matter. Anyone out there feel brave enough to post a precis?

            As to your response to my four questions, it seems to me we are agreeing here. I also believe that every situation is different and therefore it is impossible to have general rules which apply to all the possibilities. This is why the questions are designed to tease out the issues rather than deliver tablets of stone. For instance, try running the whole issue of controlled 'mind altering' substances past them.

            Hey, Hank, I think the revolution starts when we choose to make it happen - which was about 10 years ago in this country.

            Charles Vermont
            London, England
          • BOURTON, SAM
            Uli, (and Charles below) I ve never read any Jaspers but would be interested in hearing about how he responds to the existential angst. Perhaps he would be a
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 25, 1999
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              Uli, (and Charles below)

              I've never read any Jaspers but would be interested in hearing about how he
              responds to the existential angst. Perhaps he would be a good place to
              start in taking the existentialist's one by one (unless you had someone else
              in mind first).

              Sam


              ----------------------------------

              Charles

              You asked about Quine - it's off topic here so i won't go into too much
              detail but in view of your previous references to Popper I think it's
              something you'd be interested in. Quine was (he's actually still alive to
              be fair but he's so old that he's always referred to in the past tense - how
              awful is that?!) an American analytical philsopher who was a major player in
              the Linguistic Turn earlier this century alongside people like Wittgenstein
              & Davidson.

              Anyway in a nutshell (this really isn't the sort of philosophy that should
              be summed up 'in a nutshell' so be warned that this is a bit sketchy) he
              attacked realism by showing it's perfectly possible for two or more
              scientific theories to be "empirically equivilent" (meaning that in terms of
              evidence and proof, you couldn't tell them apart or prove one right and the
              others wrong) whilst also being "logically inconsistent" (as in they are all
              mutually exclusive - if one's true the other's must be false).

              For Quine, this shows us that the concept of objective truth is completely
              meaningless. His arguments are arguments against Realists of all sorts -
              from Descartes to Searle. Ultimately, there can be no demonstrable truths
              about the "units" of reality - whether those units be moral, mental,
              semantic or metaphysical. For any given theory on the reality of moral
              truths, mental events, the meaning of words or the objective nature of
              metaphysical constructs, if there can be one or more other theory that is
              logically incompatible but empirically indiscernible from the first (and
              Quine shows there's no a priori reason why this is not the case for any
              particular theory), then talk of the truth or falsity of theories is
              meaningless. It is an attack on certainty and objectivity, reaching the
              same conclusions as you were with Popper etc, but it's a very different and
              very powerful argument.

              Sam

              ps. What did you mean by "To hell with the guidelines when's the revolution
              start?".




              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Uli [SMTP:uli@...]
              > Sent: Monday, November 22, 1999 8:42 PM
              > To: existlist@onelist.com
              > Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and Debate
              >
              > From: Uli <uli@...>
              >
              > charles, did you read Jaspers? i think he answers
              > to the problem you said it bothers you
              > for a long time. i have some beautiful extracts
              > but, unfortunately not in english, from
              > "EINFUHRUNG IN DIE PHILOSOPHIE" about the
              > "unconditioned exigency"
              > i'll try to get something in english if you can't
              > get to read it. it's worth it; it has
              > "therapeutical" qualities for for existential
              > "angst". When i said "let's take the
              > existentialists, one by one", i meant to get to
              > Jaspers .
              > regards, Delia
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Charles Vermont wrote:
              >
              > >
              >
              > > From The Exist List...
              > http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/~tameri
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            • hank alphonse
              To hell with the guidelines when s the revolution start? I would be interested in everyone else s thoughts on this. Charles Vermont London, England c
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 25, 1999
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                To hell with the guidelines when's the revolution start?
                I would be interested in everyone else's thoughts on this.

                Charles Vermont
                London, England




                c
              • hank alphonse
                10 years ago? was that when they started putting cameras up all over ... From: Charles Vermont To: Existentialism List Sent: Thursday, November 25, 1999 9:47
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 26, 1999
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                  10 years ago? was that when they started putting cameras up all over
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Charles Vermont
                  To: Existentialism List
                  Sent: Thursday, November 25, 1999 9:47 AM
                  Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and Debate


                  Delia,

                  No, I have not read Jaspers, but would be interested in his thoughts on this matter. Anyone out there feel brave enough to post a precis?

                  As to your response to my four questions, it seems to me we are agreeing here. I also believe that every situation is different and therefore it is impossible to have general rules which apply to all the possibilities. This is why the questions are designed to tease out the issues rather than deliver tablets of stone. For instance, try running the whole issue of controlled 'mind altering' substances past them.

                  Hey, Hank, I think the revolution starts when we choose to make it happen - which was about 10 years ago in this country.

                  Charles Vermont
                  London, England
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