Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

cruz 101a

Expand Messages
  • Trinidad Cruz
    What an individual believes, even through rational assessment and conclusion, is never meaningful to such a believing individual. The strongest of all
    Message 1 of 70 , Mar 25, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      What an individual believes, even through rational assessment and
      conclusion, is never meaningful to such a believing individual. The
      strongest of all individual belief always ends in poignancy or whimsy.
      Meaning is only generated by facts. Facts do not require belief to be
      facts. An individual may believe something that effects facts for the
      species and the cosmos; but neither an individual, nor a species for
      that matter, with such a terminal condition of empirical inadequacy,
      of information discovery and archiving, could ever develop any
      rational or utilitarian meaning for such a belief even if the belief
      was enough to change the facts of life itself and end the cosmos and
      the species altogether, or on the other side of the coin cause
      eternity and immortality. We may experience the consequences of facts,
      but we can never completely rationally understand them enough to
      predictably reproduce them in the same overall paradigm with all its
      contingencies taken into consideration. This is a fundamental
      de-constructionist argument. The cosmos and life are inevitable. It
      does not matter what we believe, yet we refuse to let go of the idea
      that it does. Religion, metaphysics, civilization, science, and law,
      are all paradigmatically similar responses to our self-perceived
      rather obvious rational inadequacy. We propose a fallacy: two heads
      are better than one, a hundred minds are better than one; as if
      unified belief or constraint and rational disciplinary specialization
      can increase our capacity for rational appreciation of facts.
      Individual genius has disproved this proposition throughout our
      history, yet we cling to it, so much so that in this age we propose a
      new kind of head - the computer, and offer it up as an improvement in
      rational efficiency even going so far as to suggest "transhumanism",
      or people joined to machine for better fact appreciation. This fact
      remains: we cannot ever assimilate enough information to rationally
      appreciate facts. It is this that gnaws us into herd or hive belief
      activity, as the case may be. It is our drive to rationally appreciate
      facts that drives us away from rational thinking. It is my view that
      our capacity for rational thinking has evolved in us for one purpose:
      as a provision for the possibility of "conversation" between free
      individuals. All other purposes fall within the limitation of fact,
      our empirical inadequacy toward the cosmos, and the self-sickening
      fecundity of belief acquisitions. If the cosmos and life are
      inevitable, so is freedom. But then you might believe otherwise. But
      that phoenix is not an evolved something, just a by-product like
      smoke, or gasoline. It might seem funny, but the purpose of
      de-construction is not to scarify for re-construction, but just to
      find out if anything is still alive under the house.

      Trinidad
    • Herman B. Triplegood
      Well, I have to admit that I am more of a right-winger than a left one. But, don t get me wrong. About the believer thing, for me, the belief is more the cart,
      Message 70 of 70 , Apr 11, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Well, I have to admit that I am more of a right-winger than a left
        one. But, don't get me wrong. About the believer thing, for me, the
        belief is more the cart, than it is the horse. I am comfortable with
        my belief being my conclusion, and a hypothetical, even a
        speculative, conclusion, at that, not a presupposition. I am open to
        the possibility that, in my spirituality, my transcendentalism, I
        might ultimately be misguided, or even gulity of wishful thinking.

        I really did not know what to expect from Hegel when I started
        reading him some months back. He has inspired and challenged me in a
        lot of different areas, and he has caused me to step back and to
        reassess my own thoughts on matters like Sprit, divinity, and God.

        The thing about the stages of the Hegelian dialectic, as far as I
        understand it, is that each stage is essential, and cannot be
        dispensed with. Yes, philosophy is the pinnacle, as far as the
        consciousness of the Absolute is concerned, for Hegel. But the
        movement, beginning in art, and going through religion, to get to the
        philosophical, is a necessary dialectic, and each stage is an
        essential moment of the whole process. The thing is that we cannot
        skip any one of these stages on our way to the philosophical
        comprehension of the Absolute. If we try to leap to the highest
        synthesis, philosophy, without going through the preceeding stages of
        art, and religion, our comprehension will end up being one-sided, and
        therefore, distorted. At least, this is what Hegel says about it.

        I do not see how Hegel's system can be read as anything other than a
        philosophy of Spirit, with the theological assertions that such a
        reading would necessarily involve. I am baffled, therefore, by the so-
        called left wing interpretations of Hegel that, as far as I
        understand them, pretty much try to secularize him.

        However, I can understand how such a left wing interpretation can
        really be its own position, more or less independently of Hegel. One
        could always say, I guess, that Hegel was somewhat right, but that he
        went too far, and he leaped, and he shouldn't have. One could say
        that going beyond secularism, and humanism, flat out, don't make no
        sense. Now, that might not be a valid interpretation of what Hegel
        said. But, it might be true, whether it is Hegelian or not. I really
        don't thnk so. I take the opposite point of view. I say, stopping at
        secularism and humanism, without doing the leap, that is what don't
        make no sense. Why? Because we are natural born leapers (no, not
        leppers!). That's why.

        I think it is grotesque to hold up Hegel as a philosopher who would
        be a defense for what we know as fundamentalism. Hegel, it seems to
        me, is too rich to be so neatly pigeonholed. To my mind, Hegel is
        definitely a mystical thinker. He is not an orthodox Christian
        theologian. However, Hegel's system has, it seems to me, important
        theological implications that cannot be easily discounted.

        No doubt, I am going to have to revisit Hegel at some later date,
        better sooner, than later. I feel like I have, so far, probably
        missed more than I got. The "Science of Logic" was so massive, so
        complicated, so densely packed, that I am sure I missed whole
        chapters there. Nevertheless, I think I am getting enough from my
        first reading of Hegel's major works to make my further reading,
        ahead, more interesting, and also more fruitful. I look forward, over
        the next six to twelve months, to reading Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard,
        Nietzsche, and James. Later on, when I finally get there, whenever
        that will be, Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre. It will be interesting
        to look back at Hegel, shoulder to shoulder with some of these
        philosophers, and then, later on, when I can revisit Hegel, I think a
        lot more will be clear to me by then.

        One of the things I would be interested in talking about, and getting
        some more insight into, here, is Hegel's relation to existentialism.
        What aspects of Hegel's thought inspired, either positively or
        negatively, the development of existentialism?

        Well, here I am, a forty nine year old technician, a kind of pseudo-
        computer geek, really, who works the night shift for a phone company.
        In my spare time, I read philosophy and history. I ask myself, when I
        look at how crazy this world, my world, has gotten, is, how did we
        get into this mess? I know how I got into it. I happened to be born
        into it, in 1958.

        The answer about the whole mess, is kind of like detective work. It
        involves some history. It also involves some history of ideas too.

        My reading, my little detective thing, my curiosity about the mess
        and how it happened, has brought a few general topics into some focus
        for me: science, technology (and the militarism that technology makes
        possible), the Enlightenment, Romanticism, transcendentalism (mainly
        Kant, and Hegel, and that whole gang of idealists), and
        existentialism.

        The way I see it, these are just the broad strokes of the brush as
        far as the history of ideas goes, the main things that have
        contributed to a changed world and a pretty uncertain future, for me,
        and for a whole bunch of us.

        So, I guess, this is the real reason why I am here, on this list, and
        on some others, and this is the real reason why I have been reading
        all of those books, not just philosophy ones, but more general ones
        that paint those broad strokes of the brush for me. I am just trying
        to figure out this crazy, mixed up, topsy turvy, technologized, life
        in the fast lane, weird world, that I happened to be born into almost
        fifty years ago before the Alzheimer's gets me.

        I need to know: Should I leap? or should I just stay put?

        Hb3g

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        >
        > You're right about the richness of those texts. Bon appetite!
        >
        > I would remind you, though, of the severe split between so-called
        > right-wing and left-wing Hegelianism. I am very much in the latter
        > category, if I am an "Hegelian", at all. But there are many who
        take
        > Hegel as positive on the God question. They are usually believers
        > themselves, which I am certainly not.
        >
        > While it is true that Hegel, probably for reasons of propriety, is
        a
        > bit vague on his position on that in the later works, in his
        brasher
        > youthful days, he is absolutely clear on his contempt for the
        actual
        > belief in Jesus as a God. I can refer you to the text of Early
        > Theological Writings readily available at Amazon.com. Religion, for
        > Hegel, is a 'step' that he sees humanity must wade through before
        > attaining philosophy. Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity is still
        one
        > of the best "applied Hegel" texts on the subject, and a great book.
        >
        > But, being a member of a few Hegel associations, I can tell you
        that
        > there is a growing rabid element in those circles between born-
        again
        > creationist-types and those not, and it gets very divisive. As I
        said
        > earlier -- a contagion!
        >
        > Wil
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: hb3g@...
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 2:44 AM
        > Subject: [existlist] Reading List
        >
        > Here is one I am really looking forward to reading:
        > "Philosophy of
        > Being: A Reconstructive Essay in Metaphysics," by Oliva Blanchette
        of
        > Boston College. The book came out through Catholic University Press
        > in 2003. I had to wait a couple of months and have only been able
        to
        > browse the beginning pages so far.
        >
        > Blanchette maintains that metaphysics is in need of a complete
        > reconstruction, and then, he proceeds to attempt at least the
        > beginnings of such a reconstruction in this interesting looking
        book.
        > He spends quite a bit of time discussing, and critiquing Hegel's
        > attempted reconsgruction of metaphysics and Heidegger's
        > deconstruction of metaphysics.
        >
        > Blanchette is a theologian. So, if you take this one on, be
        prepared
        > for a sympathetic treatment of the supernatural. This is the topic
        > with which he finishes this book.
        >
        > Hegel has had my complete attention since the beginning of
        December.
        > I read the "Phenomenology" early last fall, then, beginning in
        > December, took on his "Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences,"
        > the "Science of Logic," the lectures on the philosophy of history,
        > and the "Philosophy of Right."
        >
        > I am finishing up the first of two volumes, about twelve hundred
        > pages, of Hegel's lectures on aesthetics, right now, and have,
        ahead
        > of me, over the next two or three months, the lectures on religion
        > and on the history of philosophy.
        >
        > The "Science of Logic" was a very difficult read, but, profoundly
        > insightful gthroughout those passages that were more easily
        > accessible to me. A brand new commentary, just released in March,
        > written by David Gray Carlson, a philosopher of jurisprudence,
        > mainly, looks to be about the best commentary on the "Science of
        > Logic," so far. I now have it, and, looking it over, it is very
        > thorough, much more thorough than any previous commentary with
        which
        > I am familiar. Hyppolite's "Logic and Existence," it seems, just
        > skims the surface, and McTaggart's well known commentary on
        > the "Science of Logic" is, to me, practically useless, and,
        entirely
        > too brief to do justice to Hegel's work.
        >
        > Another good general commentary, "Hegel and Aristotle," written by
        > Alfredo Ferrarin, and published in 2001, does a pretty good job of
        > showing Hegel's foundation in Aristotelian metaphysics. Hegel is
        > often interpreted as an extension of, and amplification of, ideas
        > that originated, mainly with Kant, but also Fichte. Ferrarin
        argues,
        > however, that it makes much more sense to interpret Hegel as an
        > Aristotelian.
        >
        > I think this is fundamentally correct. It certainly fits with the
        > content and style of Hegel's writing in his "Philosophy of Nature."
        > The sheer scope, and the detail, in Hegel's knowledge of the
        science
        > of his time, is truly impressive. He had studied Newton for
        decades.
        > His commentaries on Kepler's "Harmony of the World" and
        > Euclid's "Elements" are like nothing I have seen, yet, in twentieth
        > century commentaries on these classics.
        >
        > Hegel is often assessed in terms of what followed him --
        > existentialism, historicism, the various revolts against idealism.
        > But, I think it is important to place Hegel in terms of what
        preceded
        > him, and most deeply influenced him -- Aristotle, Plotinus,
        hermetic
        > philosophy, and the philosophy of nature.
        >
        > Hegel is a good old fashioned metaphysician, deeply sympathetic
        > toward theology, and the long speculative tradition in metaphysics
        > and theology, in which he was so thoroughly schooled. Yes, he knew
        > his Kant, and he knew his Fichte, and many other close
        > contemporaries, like Schelling, Schiller, Jacobi, and Holderlin.
        But,
        > Hegel knew his ancient philosophy, especially Aristotle, better
        than
        > he knew his own contemporaries, and, I daresay, better that those
        > contemporaries knew Aristotle.
        >
        > Hb3g
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > I appreciate the discussion, even if I don't have nearly enough
        > time to look at my own sources
        > > for much of this. I spent the last two months reading Levinas and
        > Habermas, so my brain is
        > > not up to untangling anything Heidegger, Sartre, or even Derrida
        > (especially Derrida) wrote
        > > and/or said.
        > >
        > > I can only think of one minor point: Nietzsche is the closest to
        my
        > own views, which should
        > > probably worry me. I know his philology was often weak, with more
        > appeal to the masses
        > > than academics, but the core of his thought appeals more to me
        each
        > year.
        > >
        > > Any time a book is mentioned (thank Wil) I try to add it to my
        > Amazon Wish List. I'm still
        > > getting books that probably won't be digested until next year at
        > this rate. I've been putting
        > > the titles in my database, at least.
        > >
        > > - CSW
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        ______________________________________________________________________
        __
        > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's
        free
        > from AOL at AOL.com.
        > =0
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.