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Re: under the influence

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  • Trinidad Cruz
    Sorry Wil, didn t mean to propose a discussion and then disappear. Company arrived for a Sunday chat and I was drawn away. I always look at Hegel in the sense
    Message 1 of 70 , Apr 1, 2007
      Sorry Wil, didn't mean to propose a discussion and then disappear.
      Company arrived for a Sunday chat and I was drawn away. I always look
      at Hegel in the sense of most strongarm philosophy: that is a
      proposition that ends up in contradiction because of construction.
      There is an optimism but it is a delusion so not particularly
      arguable. I do often wonder how many of these fellows were actually
      serious. Does he really consider that human history is the progress of
      the consciousness of freedom? In light of evolution, though Dennett
      may not go so far, I would say such a claim is utterly unlikely.
      Freedom was spit out by the cosmos in our species at some primordial
      point, but what history we have, ten or twelve thousand years worth
      clearly argues that our consciousness of freedom has hardly changed at
      all. I would sooner argue the better position that it has been
      deteriorating toward utter compromise, at least in philosophical
      priority. If we further comtemplate the idea of a future impending
      rational bliss, I would argue that such an obviation of irrationality
      must be irrational as well (just teasing you with this old one).
      Actually I simply do not think that it is the progress of our
      consciousness of freedom that has wrought our present situation; on
      the contrary it is our animal reaction to an ordinary natural
      circumstance that has subjectively annihilated its objective
      presentation. In the end, the list of mistakes made in the name of
      "rationality" will likely prove to be longer than human rationality
      can cope with. It is my view that there is nothing more common to our
      species than a free individual, and at the same time nothing less
      likely. We have surely tipped what balance there was now. There you
      have it.

      We don't have politics here anymore. Totalitarian populism. Just a
      transition from Kings to Kongs.

      I'm sure this material is more immediate to you than me. Your
      elaboration has proved to be reliably a good reference for this list.
      If no one else likes it, I do, so they can just bite me.

      By the way, "nimrod" is one of my favorite words, so sometime in the
      future, curiously, we'll have to deal with Lacan.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
      > TC,
      > Thanks. I hope that what follows makes some sense.
      > I am very torn over all of this, I assure you. Philosophically
      > speaking, and maybe just plain intellectually speaking, all bets are
      > off in America, mainly because of the out-of-control rise of free
      > market 'burgher'-ism and the confused crypto-narcissism that it holds
      > out as a false carrot (-- I reclaim the term 'burgher' from "bourgeois"
      > for the moment in order restore the crass nature of both). Some say
      > politics is dead; I say it has pretty much moved in.
      > This culture has no awareness of what Marx (yes Marx) realized in
      > "Kapital" and related texts: to wit, running anything, much less a
      > country, "like a business" reduces humanity to a 'means to an end' that
      > excludes it. Folks here work like dogs, only to wind up foreclosed and
      > tossed out -- in America they feel that all is deserved, condign and
      > ethically neutral. Wealth becomes truth; but economic justice becomes,
      > by the very same token, its anathema.
      > Once that becomes the idee fixe of the culture at large, as it is here,
      > all institutions necessarily reduce themselves to it, as if it were
      > more "real" to do so than to oppose it. Even Christianity in the South,
      > which at least had a deep suspicion of the dehumanizing effects of
      > Mammon's reach, has become the latter's cheerleader of late, with its
      > Wal-Mart-like commercial Jesus depots and corporate-style programming.
      > Very little can withstand that kind of totalization, as we are,
      > fundamentally, stupid and cowardly apes who feel exposed and vulnerable
      > at being 'Other'.
      > And as I look at my bookcase of philosophical texts, I, too, feel their
      > weight shift and in some cases vanish altogether. I see Husserl, say,
      > but who reads Husserl anymore, and who reads all of those guys that
      > read Husserl for us any longer? So as I read him, the comforting and
      > imagined-gaze of "our crowd" no longer being there has surprisingly
      > allowed me to read as if never before. I realize that I am do
      > philosophy, because philosophy is an act, and a real act is never
      > imitating the gray-back ape anyway. Everything is now a challenge and a
      > danger, and maybe there is the awful consequence that I am wasting my
      > time. Tick, tick, tick. I swallow hard. What's it all about then?
      > Counter-thought (which for me means thought) is now entirely disparaged
      > in the culture at large. Marcuse's "one-dimensionality" has reduced
      > further to an inconceivable singularity. In the end, deconstruction did
      > us no good, being the mere warp of the otherwise reactionary woof, and
      > being fairly inane much of the time, at that.
      > So, I tell you, my friend, reading Hegel and Nietzsche, as well as
      > Badiou and some others is the first step, for me at least, in
      > fulfilling my 'ethical duty' to wave my metaphorical middle finger in
      > the air.
      > Otherwise, run for your life.
      > Wil
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: cruzprdb@...
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 11:05 AM
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: under the influence
      > I dunno Wil. Bygones don't have to be let go to be bygones
      > anymore. It
      > is a subject you and I could review for the dabblers here, but you
      > have to wonder to what effect. No one is balanced anymore. This is the
      > "outcome" age in philosophy, not the "input". As I have said before:
      > education has become a "cargo" religion. Gone is gone in that
      > paradigm. Sorters not seeders. I say plant weeds with thorns if you
      > can. Harder to get rid of.
      > tc
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
      > >
      > > JD,
      > >
      > > Thanks.
      > >
      > > It has been a good long while since I read Derrida, and that after
      > the
      > > good long while required to read him, even though one of his
      > > translators is a good friend and mentor of mine. These years hence,
      > I
      > > must confess, I have been more closely 'allied' to the opposing camp
      > > (speaking of the May '68 schism). I am more interested in Lacan,
      > Badiou
      > > and Foucault, for example. However, that said, "Disseminations" is
      > > still a favorite of mine.
      > >
      > > My disenchantment with that style of "postmodernism" is probably
      > due,
      > > in part, to my increasing love for Hegel, who was always the bugbear
      > > for those guys. I find Derrida's writings on Hegel to be, well,
      > > dishonest and self-serving, frankly. (I can say the same about
      > > Heidegger, but with less compassion, but his story is VERY
      > different,
      > > anyway.) That was always my problem with Levinas, as well, actually.
      > > Hegel hating has been something of a career maker for a long time.
      > >
      > > But the Paris 1968 thing was not my fight, and I never had the
      > > animosity towards Hegel (or any of the Kraut philosophers) that
      > seems
      > > to have been an obsession for most of those guys.
      > >
      > > WS
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: jaime.denada@
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 4:39 PM
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: jester under the chair
      > >
      > > When we get to this tale, Derrida will be there. He deeply
      > > respected
      > > Levinas but realized alterity vs. ethics can't be resolved without
      > > skepticism towards language. In turn, many recognize and respect his
      > > efforts toward "hospitality" as amelioration.
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
      > > >
      > > > In the end, I am not afraid of the propensity for humans to err,
      > but
      > > I am suspicious of their honesty. So, it isn't so much a question of
      > > truth and error, but of truth versus lie, as Nietzsche has put it.
      > And
      > > therein lies a tale for another time.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > __________________________________________________________
      > > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's
      > free
      > > from AOL at AOL.com.
      > > =0
      > >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free
      > from AOL at AOL.com.
      > =0
    • 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
        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

        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?


        --- 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
        > 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
        > bit vague on his position on that in the later works, in his
        > youthful days, he is absolutely clear on his contempt for the
        > 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
        > 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
        > there is a growing rabid element in those circles between born-
        > creationist-types and those not, and it gets very divisive. As I
        > 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
        > 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
        > 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
        > 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
        > 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
        > 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,
        > 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
        > 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,
        > 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
        > 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
        > of his time, is truly impressive. He had studied Newton for
        > 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
        > him, and most deeply influenced him -- Aristotle, Plotinus,
        > 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.
        > Hegel knew his ancient philosophy, especially Aristotle, better
        > 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
        > 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
        > 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
        > from AOL at AOL.com.
        > =0
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