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some Sunday thoughts for George and Simone

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  • Trinidad Cruz
    George, Simone, George, you elaborate often quite beautifully on the contingent bondage of dasein , but I find nothing in this Pessoa particularly beyond that
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 4, 2005
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      George, Simone,

      George, you elaborate often quite beautifully on the contingent
      bondage of "dasein", but I find nothing in this Pessoa particularly
      beyond that good old basic Cartesian angst over meaning. Essentially
      it seems Husserlian in the vein that spawned Wittgenstein and early
      post-modernist narcissism. The good news is, I think modern philosophy
      has cleared this hill, mountain actually, of contingent meaning and
      the relative position of truth in ordinary discourse. I personally
      think that the historical cause that spawned the human angst over
      meaning was the beginning of the removal of religious meaning through
      logic. The resulting emptiness had to be pursued to its depth. In the
      activation or animation of ordinary discourse to "doing" rather than
      "meaning" I think Stanley Fish has elegantly addressed contingency and
      truth in discourse. In this he has also, rather purposely or not,
      adopted a very scientific method. Scientists are concerned with what
      things "do", not what they "mean". When any human being makes contact
      by reading or hearing the literary or verbal endeavor of any other
      human the "truth" is what the piece of discourse does to the humans
      involved with it. The intended "meaning" and the received "meaning"
      are neither true in any sense. It is not that the discourse is
      "meaningless", but rather that the "truth" of it has nothing to do
      with the "meaning" of it. "Meaning" is concerned with predictability;
      while truth has no contingent tie to predictability as far as human
      intellectual empirical involvement toward any prediction is concerned,
      though there are "out of time" ties to underlying cosmic settlements
      pre-existing the act of human observation.

      Simone, as much as I admire the literature of Emerson, and readily
      admit him as the father of good deal of continental thought through
      Nietzche and others, de Beauvoir is wrong in defining the important
      activity of existentialism as transcending existence, as wrong as the
      Cartesian philosophy and Newtonian physics that make the false
      assumption "I am present" that formed the basis of her opinion and
      Sartre's struggle to escape such dualism with absurdity. The issue of
      timelyness literally haunts Sartre's work like a ghost just out of
      reach. In his differentiation of "for itself" from "in itself" the
      poignant incapacity of human beings to be wholly present to themselves
      drives his basic dialectic. Every thought, every act, for the human
      being arises of a mechanism that can be controlled by thought and act,
      but only after the fact of the existence of the mechanism. You may
      speak or write, but by the time you do you will be speaking or writing
      into a "present" that did not yet exist when you were formulating your
      arguments. Because action on ideas begs a pre-formulated course, such
      action is twice removed from timelyness with the human reality out of
      which your determination to action was evolved. This is why the most
      basic form of human existential angst is a yearning for
      predictability, or, oh my goodness, meaning. It is this angst that
      Sartre seeks to escape with absurdism. That de Beauvoir would
      characterize it as promising transcendence is unfortunate, but
      understandable. If one considers that in thought and thought driven
      action, truth occurs in a present that did not exist when any
      intellectual meaning caused by any truth toward any new truth was
      formulated; the idea of transcendence becomes what it ridiculously is
      – syncretism: the eschewing of truth for the piece of mind of
      predictability. An existentialist would retort: One cannot transcend
      what one is not in possession of to begin with, and since there is
      nothing to possess but one's past existence that is already gone, and
      one's future existence that cannot be predictably formulated for,
      existentialism becomes what it is – the study of the paradigm of
      ending and accidental truth and all the consequences of the
      contingencies between the two.

      The nastiest criticism of "Freedom Evolves" has come from the
      religious and literary communities. Daniel Dennett has been called
      everything from a philosophical fancy dancer to a scientific fence
      sitter. The truth is some things about human beings are cosmically
      determined while others are wholly out of synch and unpredictable. We
      are never wholly present to ourselves. There is a necessary distance
      to contemplation. If we can observe ourselves in any empirical sense,
      what we are observing has already ended. Biologically we are
      strikingly similar, but not identical, to one another. This makes us,
      as a species, and is true for that matter of any cosmic species, at
      the non-thinking thing level, wholly syncretist. We should not be
      surprised that most of our intellectual endeavors toward meaning mimic
      that bilogical syncretism. We are comfortable with it in a
      biologically resonant sense and seductively drawn to its comfortable
      sway and melody in our intellectual quest for meaning and
      predictability. It seems absurd to attempt to escape it, but falling
      into its comfort is intellectual morphia, rotten teeth, weak bladder,
      ruined liver, and all nicely predicatable. If you are drenched in
      gasoline and I warn you not to smoke, but you light the damn thing
      anyway, your truth becomes your ashes and mine, common sense.
      Different meanings – same truth.

      Trinidad
    • trop_de_simones
      Trinidad, I immensely enjoy your contributions, as well as george s. You address time and trancendence and I have only these two things. I usually ignore
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 4, 2005
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        Trinidad,

        I immensely enjoy your contributions, as well as george's. You
        address time and trancendence and I have only these two things. I
        usually ignore Beauvoir's term trancendence* because I've always felt
        it a weak word with a stronger meaning. I don't completely grasp her
        use of the word. I believe that I transcend what has been sold as
        truth and recapture or integrate my body back into my mind. For me
        transcendence is the process of eliminating or overcoming out-of-
        timeliness (through excessive contemplation) and grounding myself in
        my body.

        We're somewhat in the same meadow. I posted something similar in
        another discussion group:

        <As for how we perceive time, that is matter of physics, yes? Doesn't
        it seem as if we experience everything as a past? Microseconds pass
        before we perceive* something. It all happens so fast; as if death
        occurs with more subtlety. It's all memory, but we relate to it as if
        it were simultaneous with our experience of it. Is this time lag
        significant? I don't know, but it may be the subliminal drive which
        manifests in nostalgia or hope for the future. How do the things we
        experience as now, which are past, affect an unknown future? Is time
        relevant except for the purpose of communication? We know the present
        slips by so quickly into the past; and we know death is the future.>

        Simone


        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Trinidad Cruz" <cruzprdb@w...>
        wrote:
        > George, Simone,
        >
        > George, you elaborate often quite beautifully on the contingent
        > bondage of "dasein", but I find nothing in this Pessoa particularly
        > beyond that good old basic Cartesian angst over meaning. Essentially
        > it seems Husserlian in the vein that spawned Wittgenstein and early
        > post-modernist narcissism. The good news is, I think modern
        philosophy
        > has cleared this hill, mountain actually, of contingent meaning and
        > the relative position of truth in ordinary discourse. I personally
        > think that the historical cause that spawned the human angst over
        > meaning was the beginning of the removal of religious meaning
        through
        > logic. The resulting emptiness had to be pursued to its depth. In
        the
        > activation or animation of ordinary discourse to "doing" rather than
        > "meaning" I think Stanley Fish has elegantly addressed contingency
        and
        > truth in discourse. In this he has also, rather purposely or not,
        > adopted a very scientific method. Scientists are concerned with what
        > things "do", not what they "mean". When any human being makes
        contact
        > by reading or hearing the literary or verbal endeavor of any other
        > human the "truth" is what the piece of discourse does to the humans
        > involved with it. The intended "meaning" and the received "meaning"
        > are neither true in any sense. It is not that the discourse is
        > "meaningless", but rather that the "truth" of it has nothing to do
        > with the "meaning" of it. "Meaning" is concerned with
        predictability;
        > while truth has no contingent tie to predictability as far as human
        > intellectual empirical involvement toward any prediction is
        concerned,
        > though there are "out of time" ties to underlying cosmic settlements
        > pre-existing the act of human observation.
        >
        > Simone, as much as I admire the literature of Emerson, and readily
        > admit him as the father of good deal of continental thought through
        > Nietzche and others, de Beauvoir is wrong in defining the important
        > activity of existentialism as transcending existence, as wrong as
        the
        > Cartesian philosophy and Newtonian physics that make the false
        > assumption "I am present" that formed the basis of her opinion and
        > Sartre's struggle to escape such dualism with absurdity. The issue
        of
        > timelyness literally haunts Sartre's work like a ghost just out of
        > reach. In his differentiation of "for itself" from "in itself" the
        > poignant incapacity of human beings to be wholly present to
        themselves
        > drives his basic dialectic. Every thought, every act, for the human
        > being arises of a mechanism that can be controlled by thought and
        act,
        > but only after the fact of the existence of the mechanism. You may
        > speak or write, but by the time you do you will be speaking or
        writing
        > into a "present" that did not yet exist when you were formulating
        your
        > arguments. Because action on ideas begs a pre-formulated course,
        such
        > action is twice removed from timelyness with the human reality out
        of
        > which your determination to action was evolved. This is why the most
        > basic form of human existential angst is a yearning for
        > predictability, or, oh my goodness, meaning. It is this angst that
        > Sartre seeks to escape with absurdism. That de Beauvoir would
        > characterize it as promising transcendence is unfortunate, but
        > understandable. If one considers that in thought and thought driven
        > action, truth occurs in a present that did not exist when any
        > intellectual meaning caused by any truth toward any new truth was
        > formulated; the idea of transcendence becomes what it ridiculously
        is
        > – syncretism: the eschewing of truth for the piece of mind of
        > predictability. An existentialist would retort: One cannot transcend
        > what one is not in possession of to begin with, and since there is
        > nothing to possess but one's past existence that is already gone,
        and
        > one's future existence that cannot be predictably formulated for,
        > existentialism becomes what it is – the study of the paradigm of
        > ending and accidental truth and all the consequences of the
        > contingencies between the two.
        >
        > The nastiest criticism of "Freedom Evolves" has come from the
        > religious and literary communities. Daniel Dennett has been called
        > everything from a philosophical fancy dancer to a scientific fence
        > sitter. The truth is some things about human beings are cosmically
        > determined while others are wholly out of synch and unpredictable.
        We
        > are never wholly present to ourselves. There is a necessary distance
        > to contemplation. If we can observe ourselves in any empirical
        sense,
        > what we are observing has already ended. Biologically we are
        > strikingly similar, but not identical, to one another. This makes
        us,
        > as a species, and is true for that matter of any cosmic species, at
        > the non-thinking thing level, wholly syncretist. We should not be
        > surprised that most of our intellectual endeavors toward meaning
        mimic
        > that bilogical syncretism. We are comfortable with it in a
        > biologically resonant sense and seductively drawn to its comfortable
        > sway and melody in our intellectual quest for meaning and
        > predictability. It seems absurd to attempt to escape it, but falling
        > into its comfort is intellectual morphia, rotten teeth, weak
        bladder,
        > ruined liver, and all nicely predicatable. If you are drenched in
        > gasoline and I warn you not to smoke, but you light the damn thing
        > anyway, your truth becomes your ashes and mine, common sense.
        > Different meanings – same truth.
        >
        > Trinidad
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