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getting real

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  • jaime.denada
    C.S. Wyatt, Your response doesn t enlighten or surprise me in the least. I ve heard it all before, and it must come as a huge relief for parents with children
    Message 1 of 70 , Apr 6, 2007
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      C.S. Wyatt,

      Your response doesn't enlighten or surprise me in the least. I've
      heard it all before, and it must come as a huge relief for parents
      with children who have an authentic disability. It's one thing to
      exclude others in your personal relationships; it's quite another to
      exclude whole groups of people based on what you deem facts. Thanks
      for sharing your expertise but I find Derrida a more useful tool.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator
      <existlist1@...> wrote:
      > On Apr 06, 2007, at 9:29, jaime.denada wrote:
      > > tc,
      > >
      > > Even if you choose to ignore the increasing number of depressed,
      > > anxious, and otherwise "impaired" adults, how can you ignore the
      > > that 1 in 150 children is now diagnosed with autism? Without
      > > over the statistics, isn't it paramount we accept or try to
      > > realities different than our own? Who's normal anyway? Who
      defines an
      > > epidemic? Who's in the control group?
      > You have just entered into my specific territory of research and
      > public address. At least in the area of autism / autism spectrum
      > disorders, brain injury, and the rhetoric associated with these
      > disabilities, I can claim to be an "expert" in more ways than most.
      > 1) There is no "epidemic" because the medical definition of an
      > epidemic is a fast spreading contagion without an underlying
      > cause. Unfortunately, "epidemic" is like "war" -- we have a crime
      > "epidemic" and "ignorance" epidemic if you want to twist
      > Why not an "epidemic" of terror? Let's get all "post-modern" and
      > assume no meanings at all for "epidemic" and make it so scientists
      > cannot communicate clearly to each other.
      > How the media describe something is not a scientific description,
      > it can certainly panic parents. We now have parents demanding --
      > getting -- diagnoses of autism, ADHD, depression, and whatever
      > they have learned from the Internet.
      > There is a curious "cause/effect" question. Are we finding more
      > thanks to media coverage or is coverage creating more false cases?
      > have to tell you that autism and childhood depression are not
      > diagnosed by a trained psychiatrist, but rather by family doctors,
      > school psychologists and others (Grinker 2007).
      > It's interesting how many students now tell me they have the
      > disability of the week. Self-diagnoses are the new trend. If you
      > get a doctor to medicate you, all the better.
      > 2) Definitions and counts do matter, because societies make
      > legal, and political decisions based on those counts and
      > How much money, energy, and time we dedicate to a group does (like
      > or not) end up a topic for debate. Can we integrate everyone? At
      > cost does one group get aid? Not even financial, but time. I am
      > one specialist in a field. There aren't enough specialists to help
      > every student. We must "triage" serious cases and decide how to
      > allocate limited human time and energy.
      > Example: I can help a student with HFA or Asperger's Syndrome
      > integrate. I cannot help, at this time, a severe case of autism
      > if some people make such promises). So, do I spend more time on
      > I can help quickly? If so, they integrate and become independent.
      > I help everyone equally, the time for HFA/AS integration might
      > (it declines with age) and then all the students end up forever on
      > state aid and treated as outcasts.
      > Because we are now deciding if "autism" should be a broad
      > we are increasingly classifying functional adults and children as
      > "autistic" without a clear or consistent logic to this. There was
      > serious (very serious) error in the 1993 edition of the DSM
      > an "and" became an "or" and autism went from being a set of
      > symptoms to a selection of "this or that" and we soon witnessed an
      > expansion in the number of cases.
      > This is why words matter so much to those of us in technical
      > One change and the numbers of autistic individuals diagnosed in
      > states jumped 200 to 1000 percent. Talk about the power of words!
      > correction was made in the 2000 edition, but by then states were
      > already giving aid to children with mild social differences under
      > heading of "autism."
      > My concern is that we classified students, put them in special
      > education, and they "lived down to expectations" as a result of
      > error. We are only now seeing some of the results in higher
      > 3) Read Laura Hershey on the issue of disability and The Other.
      > was an MDA Poster Child in the 1970s and now protests such quests
      > cures. She calls for more money and aid to help those who could be
      > helped right now -- and less for a quest for a cure. Is she being
      > pragmatic or is she cynical?
      > Again, it is not merely a matter of money. I could give an endless
      > amount of money to research but there are only so many scientists
      > only so many "man hours" we can dedicate to each disease in the
      > world. Does it not make sense to help the easiest cases first, so
      > eventually we can dedicate all our efforts to finding a cure?
      > 4) I do not care if anyone understands my existence -- I simply
      > it to be accepted as a reality. I'm not even too keen on being
      > "tolerated" because that implies there is an extra effort required
      > engage me.
      > 5) Rates for everything you named are probably not increasing.
      > we have gone from 100 disorders in the 1965 DSM to more than 300
      > recognized by the DSM and ICD. With better research, we are
      > identifying things that probably have always been there.
      > A word, a definition, does not make something new. Changing the
      > also does not change the actual symptoms of conditions of the
      > diagnosed. Deleting something from the DSM (like homosexuality)
      > not mean it was "cured" by science -- it means science and society
      > are willing to reclassify things.
      > Autism rates, depression rates, etc., may have been higher in the
      > past. We certainly know that stories exist that seem to be
      > these conditions.
      > Finally, what is a "disorder" might be highly regarded in another
      > culture. Cultures decide what is or isn't a "disorder" for too
      > reasons to discuss in one posting. Before the Industrial
      > a mild case of autism would not have mattered. People didn't need
      > address huge groups or even small groups to work on a family farm.
      > Social anxiety in a group of 20 family members does not manifest,
      > in a group of 100 strangers we can call it an obvious disorder.
      > Society became more complex, cities grew in size, and what
      > differences were masked or unimportant are not more obvious and
      > hinder functionality in society. How we "help" the disabled is now
      > something people like myself try to ethically, legally,
      > decide.
      > As a university instructor and graduate research fellow, I can
      > you that many of my colleagues cannot believe people with some
      > disabilities belong at a university. I'm in the odd position of
      > arguing we diagnose too many students as disabled while also
      > for better support systems for those students who are HFA/AS and
      > succeed at a university.
      > It's not an easy position to occupy, since people dislike what I
      > from both sides.
      > - C. S. Wyatt
      > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not
      > that I shall be.
      > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
      > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
    • 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
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        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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