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Re: Das last man

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  • louise
    The dark night of the soul, or, in my own case, I felt it was the dark night of the sense, also mentioned by John of the Cross, is hardly able to be
    Message 1 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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      The dark night of the soul, or, in my own case, I felt it was the
      dark night of the sense, also mentioned by John of the Cross, is
      hardly able to be communicated, though one IS it, and emerges
      therefrom, and so one's writings carry away whatever has been won,
      fought over. I allow the incoherence to stand, a smidgeon of
      hebephrenia, the very stuff, for the categorially-minded, of "Alice
      in Wonderland". Why should one ever require* anyone to agree with
      oneself?? The very acme of inauthenticity, surely. To wrestle with
      meaning, something I do whilst waiting for a better communication, to
      or from.

      Louise

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "m00dy58" <m00dy58@...> wrote:
      >
      > Well of course, you're right, but specifically how many people do
      you
      > require to agree with you ;) A gander through the archives reveals
      > much discussion of existential themes and authors. Is there really
      > anything new to discover?
      >
      > m
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
      > >
      > > Friends,
      > >
      > > Since this list is one supposedly devoted to "Existentialism", I
      > would have
      > > thought that most of us would have some affinity to the basic
      > themes of the
      > > subject. But such is not the case.
      > >
      > > I guess the concepts of overdetermination or of multivalent
      layers
      > of
      > > intentionality, much less the unconscious drives,
      > misdirection, "false consciousness"
      > > and the like have been ignored by the flat cognitive/analytic
      > notions of
      > > "self" that have spawned in the wake of our regime of short
      > attention spans and
      > > "feel good" ideologies. So much the worse for us.
      > >
      > > Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any
      > folks here
      > > who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have
      > come to
      > > understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought
      sanguinities
      > as a hopeless
      > > charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?
      > >
      > > Choice? Do you actually think that our stupid and
      inane "choices",
      > much less
      > > our career paths and stock portfolios have ANYTHING at all to do
      > with
      > > "authenticity"? Do you really understand the issue such that
      having
      > a 'conscious
      > > opinion' means anything at all with regards to the deeper
      > ambiguities of
      > > self-identity? Do you really think you're free? Really? Just
      > because you can choose
      > > whatever brand of toothpaste suits your fancy? Is existentialism
      > for you just
      > > about the "Me"? Is that what it has come down to here?
      > >
      > > Wil
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > **************************************
      > > See what's new at http://www.aol.com
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
    • Will Brown
      Message 2 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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        << Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any
        folks here who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and
        have come to understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought
        sanguinities as a hopeless charade, an empty shell game, a bad
        comportment to life itself? >>

        Well, since the question was asked, I have an odd duck sort of answer.
        If one were to come upon an insight that creates a dark night of the
        soul because the insight given was that the empty shell game was the
        self that seeking its answer in the future, from a search for the
        mundane to enlightenment. Since that insight was taken by the entity
        that was engaged in that activity, what it did was strip the future
        out of the picture, leaving this seeking-machine in a present that had
        no future.

        I think this is where most descriptions of existentialism get to; the
        notion of the uselessness of life, where the only answer seems to be
        that we need to grab ourselves by the bootstraps and choose to live.
        If the insight took away even that option, another option might
        present itself, and that being to stay put and come to understand this
        futureless world. If, in that staying and looking, the past dropped
        off, and one came to a self-presence that replaced the present, would
        not a new bootstrap come into being?

        The description of what the existential means would change with that
        change and bring another meaning with it for the one so changed. How
        one then comes to describe that change is personal, but the change
        described would easily fit into a universal language recognized by the
        description of the change itself. So, that would be how this
        particular odd duck would describe a dark night of the soul. I have,
        from time to time here, been quacking and waddling oddly. ~~~~willy


        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "louise" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
        >
        > The dark night of the soul, or, in my own case, I felt it was the
        > dark night of the sense, also mentioned by John of the Cross, is
        > hardly able to be communicated, though one IS it, and emerges
        > therefrom, and so one's writings carry away whatever has been won,
        > fought over. I allow the incoherence to stand, a smidgeon of
        > hebephrenia, the very stuff, for the categorially-minded, of "Alice
        > in Wonderland". Why should one ever require* anyone to agree with
        > oneself?? The very acme of inauthenticity, surely. To wrestle with
        > meaning, something I do whilst waiting for a better communication, to
        > or from.
        >
        > Louise
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "m00dy58" <m00dy58@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Well of course, you're right, but specifically how many people do
        > you
        > > require to agree with you ;) A gander through the archives reveals
        > > much discussion of existential themes and authors. Is there really
        > > anything new to discover?
        > >
        > > m
        > >
        > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Friends,
        > > >
        > > > Since this list is one supposedly devoted to "Existentialism", I
        > > would have
        > > > thought that most of us would have some affinity to the basic
        > > themes of the
        > > > subject. But such is not the case.
        > > >
        > > > I guess the concepts of overdetermination or of multivalent
        > layers
        > > of
        > > > intentionality, much less the unconscious drives,
        > > misdirection, "false consciousness"
        > > > and the like have been ignored by the flat cognitive/analytic
        > > notions of
        > > > "self" that have spawned in the wake of our regime of short
        > > attention spans and
        > > > "feel good" ideologies. So much the worse for us.
        > > >
        > > > Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any
        > > folks here
        > > > who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have
        > > come to
        > > > understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought
        > sanguinities
        > > as a hopeless
        > > > charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?
        > > >
        > > > Choice? Do you actually think that our stupid and
        > inane "choices",
        > > much less
        > > > our career paths and stock portfolios have ANYTHING at all to do
        > > with
        > > > "authenticity"? Do you really understand the issue such that
        > having
        > > a 'conscious
        > > > opinion' means anything at all with regards to the deeper
        > > ambiguities of
        > > > self-identity? Do you really think you're free? Really? Just
        > > because you can choose
        > > > whatever brand of toothpaste suits your fancy? Is existentialism
        > > for you just
        > > > about the "Me"? Is that what it has come down to here?
        > > >
        > > > Wil
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > **************************************
        > > > See what's new at http://www.aol.com
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • eupraxis@aol.com
        specifically how many people do you require to agree with you Everyone likes to be agreed with, but that is not what I am asking. Existentialism always has
        Message 3 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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          "specifically how many people do you require to agree with you"

          Everyone likes to be agreed with, but that is not what I am asking. Existentialism always has as a theme the "problematized" self, let us say. That would mean that such things as Behaviorism, for example, although it has a strong idea of what the Self is (or is not) and what freedom is (etc.), is not Existentialism. The latter can reflect on the issues brought forth by the former, but any adoption of it as a base theoretical outlook would change the genre, if I can use that term, into something else altogether.

          In other words, just having freedom, being or choice, etc., as a subject-matter does not qualify a discourse as Existentialist, which is presumably what we are here to examine and discuss. An example: Hegelian philosophy as such is not an existential philosophy. However, he does introduce themes and problems that have everything to do with it, like the alienated subject or the notion of positive and negative infinity, for example.

          Or certain contemporary trends in Cognitive Science (like Thomas Metzinger's "Being No One", MIT 2003) that deny any notion of the "common sense" Self, but rather understands it as a perceptual and discursive function. What does mean to our experience of ourselves as living persons, notwithstanding? Etc.

          It is not, finally, a matter of opinions, but of questions and reservations that everything to do with this -- our only -- life.

          Wil







          -----Original Message-----
          From: m00dy58 <m00dy58@...>
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 8:30 am
          Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man

























          Well of course, you're right, but specifically how many people do you

          require to agree with you ;) A gander through the archives reveals

          much discussion of existential themes and authors. Is there really

          anything new to discover?



          m



          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:

          >

          > Friends,

          >

          > Since this list is one supposedly devoted to "Existentialism", I

          would have

          > thought that most of us would have some affinity to the basic

          themes of the

          > subject. But such is not the case.

          >

          > I guess the concepts of overdetermination or of multivalent layers

          of

          > intentionality, much less the unconscious drives,

          misdirection, "false consciousness"

          > and the like have been ignored by the flat cognitive/analytic

          notions of

          > "self" that have spawned in the wake of our regime of short

          attention spans and

          > "feel good" ideologies. So much the worse for us.

          >

          > Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any

          folks here

          > who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have

          come to

          > understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought sanguinities

          as a hopeless

          > charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?

          >

          > Choice? Do you actually think that our stupid and inane "choices",

          much less

          > our career paths and stock portfolios have ANYTHING at all to do

          with

          > "authenticity"? Do you really understand the issue such that having

          a 'conscious

          > opinion' means anything at all with regards to the deeper

          ambiguities of

          > self-identity? Do you really think you're free? Really? Just

          because you can choose

          > whatever brand of toothpaste suits your fancy? Is existentialism

          for you just

          > about the "Me"? Is that what it has come down to here?

          >

          > Wil

          >

          >

          >

          > **************************************

          > See what's new at http://www.aol.com

          >

          >

          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          >





















          ________________________________________________________________________
          Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • m00dy58
          True, but surely the science of choice processes leads to a miasma of ethical and educational agendas, e.g. how to correct defective behavior, etc. This is
          Message 4 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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            True, but surely the science of choice processes leads to a miasma of
            ethical and educational agendas, e.g. how to correct 'defective'
            behavior, etc. This is the merged frontier for existentialism is my
            opinion. There's often too much self-absorbed reflection, not to
            mention role playing, here (mea culpa). It's not the worst way to
            hammer out authenticity, unless of course, we're 'out there' trying to
            improve the lives of others.

            m

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote: In other words,
            just having freedom, being or choice, etc., as a subject-matter
            does not qualify a discourse as Existentialist, which is presumably
            what we are here to examine and discuss.
          • eupraxis@aol.com
            M, A miasma, indeed! I am all for the interfacing of disciplines. My own principle field of interest is, just so you know, is not existentialism. I consider
            Message 5 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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              M,

              A miasma, indeed!

              I am all for the interfacing of disciplines. My own principle field of interest is, just so you know, is not existentialism. I consider the 'genre' a basic one, however, and one that is of perennial interest and lasting value. But, as so many right-wingers have said over the years, it is an "anti-" discourse, essentially. It can never be sanguine about god, country and power; about war, poverty and injustice; or about human delusion and failure.

              I have said in the past that Existentialism is inherently leftist. While a good deal of it has been, the statement is overweening. Heidegger was a reactionary; Nietzsche, an a-political elitist; Kierkegaard, an evangelical of sorts, etc. Yet every one of them was critical of his time and and suspicious of any self-satisfied notion of the Self.

              Wil







              -----Original Message-----
              From: m00dy58 <m00dy58@...>
              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 10:46 am
              Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man

























              True, but surely the science of choice processes leads to a miasma of

              ethical and educational agendas, e.g. how to correct 'defective'

              behavior, etc. This is the merged frontier for existentialism is my

              opinion. There's often too much self-absorbed reflection, not to

              mention role playing, here (mea culpa). It's not the worst way to

              hammer out authenticity, unless of course, we're 'out there' trying to

              improve the lives of others.



              m



              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote: In other words,

              just having freedom, being or choice, etc., as a subject-matter

              does not qualify a discourse as Existentialist, which is presumably

              what we are here to examine and discuss.





















              ________________________________________________________________________
              Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • m00dy58
              Yes, and what s of great interest to me here is how this division will play out in our domestic arena. Will what Naomi Wolf points to as the 10 steps leading
              Message 6 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                Yes, and what's of great interest to me here is how this division
                will play out in our domestic arena. Will what Naomi Wolf points to
                as the 10 steps leading to fascism in "The End of America" play out?
                Is existentialism fated to be a practical or idealistic bone heap?

                m

                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote: M, A miasma,
                indeed!

                I am all for the interfacing of disciplines. My own principle field
                of interest is, just so you know, is not existentialism. I consider
                the 'genre' a basic one, however, and one that is of perennial
                interest and lasting value. But, as so many right-wingers have said
                over the years, it is an "anti-" discourse, essentially. It can never
                be sanguine about god, country and power; about war, poverty and
                injustice; or about human delusion and failure.

                I have said in the past that Existentialism is inherently leftist.
                While a good deal of it has been, the statement is overweening.
                Heidegger was a reactionary; Nietzsche, an a-political elitist;
                Kierkegaard, an evangelical of sorts, etc. Yet every one of them was
                critical of his time and and suspicious of any self-satisfied notion
                of the Self.

                Wil
              • Herman B. Triplegood
                I don t know very much about existentialism. I can t answer your questions like an existentialist would probably answer them. So, I ll just answer them like a
                Message 7 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                  I don't know very much about existentialism. I can't answer your
                  questions like an existentialist would probably answer them. So, I'll
                  just answer them like a regular old "blue collar worker", who ain't
                  out to save the world, would answer them.

                  The "dark night of the soul" that you describe is different things to
                  different people.

                  For some, it is the barrel of a thirty eight caliber revolver, loaded
                  with hollow point bullets, jammed into the mouth, with a finger on
                  the trigger, and a moment of decision -- to squeeze the trigger or
                  not. For others, it is walking into their daughter's bedroom with
                  that revolver, and blowing her face off while she sleeps. For others,
                  it is hanging from the end of a rope, slowly choking to death, in a
                  friend's trailer, while he goes out to buy another quarter ounce of
                  dope. It is a nineteen year old crack whore mother sitting in the
                  middle of Boulder Highway with a baby in her arms wanting to be run
                  over. It is forgetting your Lithium, and struggling to forget you
                  ever knew how to play classical guitar, before the electroshock
                  treatments wiped all that out. That is a "dark night of the soul"
                  right there. Being old, and dying alone in your apartment. Being
                  young, and not having a home. Clocking in everyday, and regretting
                  that your life never amounted to anything beyond earning a paycheck
                  and getting drunk on Friday night. That is a "dark night" too.
                  Gambling away one hundred thousand dollars. Being in the wrong house
                  when the murderer stops by for a visit. Being the wrong religion in
                  Baghdad. Having a ticket for the wrong airline on September 11th.
                  Finding out that your uncles molested you. Setting foot on Omaha
                  Beach in 1944. Living in Hiroshima in 1945. Being only eighteen in
                  1965.

                  Nobody has a monopoly on "dark night". Most of us, almost all of us,
                  carry memories of such terrible experiences. Some of the, we
                  ourselves go through. Others, our closest friends or family go
                  through. Toothpaste can be a most welcome relief from all of
                  that "dark night". Just ask the eighty-something year old veterann
                  who slogged his way across Italy, France and Germany, and is still
                  amazed, to this day, that he lived, and so many others didn't.
                  His "dark night" is every night, when he dreams, when he remembers.

                  It sounds so romantic to say "dark night of the soul", but there
                  isn't much, really, that is romantic about normal everyday pain, and
                  anguish, and plain old, good old fashioned, human suffering.

                  Hb3g

                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > "specifically how many people do you require to agree with you"
                  >
                  > Everyone likes to be agreed with, but that is not what I am asking.
                  Existentialism always has as a theme the "problematized" self, let us
                  say. That would mean that such things as Behaviorism, for example,
                  although it has a strong idea of what the Self is (or is not) and
                  what freedom is (etc.), is not Existentialism. The latter can reflect
                  on the issues brought forth by the former, but any adoption of it as
                  a base theoretical outlook would change the genre, if I can use that
                  term, into something else altogether.
                  >
                  > In other words, just having freedom, being or choice, etc., as a
                  subject-matter does not qualify a discourse as Existentialist, which
                  is presumably what we are here to examine and discuss. An example:
                  Hegelian philosophy as such is not an existential philosophy.
                  However, he does introduce themes and problems that have everything
                  to do with it, like the alienated subject or the notion of positive
                  and negative infinity, for example.
                  >
                  > Or certain contemporary trends in Cognitive Science (like Thomas
                  Metzinger's "Being No One", MIT 2003) that deny any notion of
                  the "common sense" Self, but rather understands it as a perceptual
                  and discursive function. What does mean to our experience of
                  ourselves as living persons, notwithstanding? Etc.
                  >
                  > It is not, finally, a matter of opinions, but of questions and
                  reservations that everything to do with this -- our only -- life.
                  >
                  > Wil
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: m00dy58 <m00dy58@...>
                  > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 8:30 am
                  > Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Well of course, you're right, but specifically how many people do
                  you
                  >
                  > require to agree with you ;) A gander through the archives reveals
                  >
                  > much discussion of existential themes and authors. Is there really
                  >
                  > anything new to discover?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > m
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Friends,
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Since this list is one supposedly devoted to "Existentialism", I
                  >
                  > would have
                  >
                  > > thought that most of us would have some affinity to the basic
                  >
                  > themes of the
                  >
                  > > subject. But such is not the case.
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > I guess the concepts of overdetermination or of multivalent
                  layers
                  >
                  > of
                  >
                  > > intentionality, much less the unconscious drives,
                  >
                  > misdirection, "false consciousness"
                  >
                  > > and the like have been ignored by the flat cognitive/analytic
                  >
                  > notions of
                  >
                  > > "self" that have spawned in the wake of our regime of short
                  >
                  > attention spans and
                  >
                  > > "feel good" ideologies. So much the worse for us.
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any
                  >
                  > folks here
                  >
                  > > who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have
                  >
                  > come to
                  >
                  > > understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought
                  sanguinities
                  >
                  > as a hopeless
                  >
                  > > charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Choice? Do you actually think that our stupid and
                  inane "choices",
                  >
                  > much less
                  >
                  > > our career paths and stock portfolios have ANYTHING at all to do
                  >
                  > with
                  >
                  > > "authenticity"? Do you really understand the issue such that
                  having
                  >
                  > a 'conscious
                  >
                  > > opinion' means anything at all with regards to the deeper
                  >
                  > ambiguities of
                  >
                  > > self-identity? Do you really think you're free? Really? Just
                  >
                  > because you can choose
                  >
                  > > whatever brand of toothpaste suits your fancy? Is existentialism
                  >
                  > for you just
                  >
                  > > about the "Me"? Is that what it has come down to here?
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Wil
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > **************************************
                  >
                  > > See what's new at http://www.aol.com
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  ______________________________________________________________________
                  __
                  > Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL
                  Mail! - http://mail.aol.com
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • eupraxis@aol.com
                  H, It sounds so romantic to say dark night of the soul , but there isn t much, really, that is romantic about normal everyday pain, and anguish, and plain
                  Message 8 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                    H,

                    "It sounds so romantic to say "dark night of the soul", but there isn't much, really, that is romantic about normal everyday pain, and anguish, and plain old, good old fashioned, human suffering."


                    An inch you cannot scratch. I wasn't being romantic.

                    There isn't much required to read existential authors. Just the books, really. I also hasten to add here that not all of it is dour and negative. But the negative, like Nietzsche's moment of nausea in "The Birth...", is, sadly, required.

                    Wil















                    -----Original Message-----

                    From: Herman B. Triplegood <hb3g@...>

                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com

                    Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 11:16 am

                    Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man
































                    I don't know very much about existentialism. I can't answer your


                    questions like an existentialist would probably answer them. So, I'll


                    just answer them like a regular old "blue collar worker", who ain't


                    out to save the world, would answer them.





                    The "dark night of the soul" that you describe is different things to


                    different people.





                    For some, it is the barrel of a thirty eight caliber revolver, loaded


                    with hollow point bullets, jammed into the mouth, with a finger on


                    the trigger, and a moment of decision -- to squeeze the trigger or


                    not. For others, it is walking into their daughter's bedroom with


                    that revolver, and blowing her face off while she sleeps. For others,


                    it is hanging from the end of a rope, slowly choking to death, in a


                    friend's trailer, while he goes out to buy another quarter ounce of


                    dope. It is a nineteen year old crack whore mother sitting in the


                    middle of Boulder Highway with a baby in her arms wanting to be run


                    over. It is forgetting your Lithium, and struggling to forget you


                    ever knew how to play classical guitar, before the electroshock


                    treatments wiped all that out. That is a "dark night of the soul"


                    right there. Being old, and dying alone in your apartment. Being


                    young, and not having a home. Clocking in everyday, and regretting


                    that your life never amounted to anything beyond earning a paycheck


                    and getting drunk on Friday night. That is a "dark night" too.


                    Gambling away one hundred thousand dollars. Being in the wrong house


                    when the murderer stops by for a visit. Being the wrong religion in


                    Baghdad. Having a ticket for the wrong airline on September 11th.


                    Finding out that your uncles molested you. Setting foot on Omaha


                    Beach in 1944. Living in Hiroshima in 1945. Being only eighteen in


                    1965.





                    Nobody has a monopoly on "dark night". Most of us, almost all of us,


                    carry memories of such terrible experiences. Some of the, we


                    ourselves go through. Others, our closest friends or family go


                    through. Toothpaste can be a most welcome relief from all of


                    that "dark night". Just ask the eighty-something year old veterann


                    who slogged his way across Italy, France and Germany, and is still


                    amazed, to this day, that he lived, and so many others didn't.


                    His "dark night" is every night, when he dreams, when he remembers.





                    It sounds so romantic to say "dark night of the soul", but there


                    isn't much, really, that is romantic about normal everyday pain, and


                    anguish, and plain old, good old fashioned, human suffering.





                    Hb3g





                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:


                    >


                    >


                    > "specifically how many people do you require to agree with you"


                    >


                    > Everyone likes to be agreed with, but that is not what I am asking.


                    Existentialism always has as a theme the "problematized" self, let us


                    say. That would mean that such things as Behaviorism, for example,


                    although it has a strong idea of what the Self is (or is not) and


                    what freedom is (etc.), is not Existentialism. The latter can reflect


                    on the issues brought forth by the former, but any adoption of it as


                    a base theoretical outlook would change the genre, if I can use that


                    term, into something else altogether.


                    >


                    > In other words, just having freedom, being or choice, etc., as a


                    subject-matter does not qualify a discourse as Existentialist, which


                    is presumably what we are here to examine and discuss. An example:


                    Hegelian philosophy as such is not an existential philosophy.


                    However, he does introduce themes and problems that have everything


                    to do with it, like the alienated subject or the notion of positive


                    and negative infinity, for example.


                    >


                    > Or certain contemporary trends in Cognitive Science (like Thomas


                    Metzinger's "Being No One", MIT 2003) that deny any notion of


                    the "common sense" Self, but rather understands it as a perceptual


                    and discursive function. What does mean to our experience of


                    ourselves as living persons, notwithstanding? Etc.


                    >


                    > It is not, finally, a matter of opinions, but of questions and


                    reservations that everything to do with this -- our only -- life.


                    >


                    > Wil


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    > -----Original Message-----


                    > From: m00dy58 <m00dy58@...>


                    > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com


                    > Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 8:30 am


                    > Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    > Well of course, you're right, but specifically how many people do


                    you


                    >


                    > require to agree with you ;) A gander through the archives reveals


                    >


                    > much discussion of existential themes and authors. Is there really


                    >


                    > anything new to discover?


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    > m


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > Friends,


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > Since this list is one supposedly devoted to "Existentialism", I


                    >


                    > would have


                    >


                    > > thought that most of us would have some affinity to the basic


                    >


                    > themes of the


                    >


                    > > subject. But such is not the case.


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > I guess the concepts of overdetermination or of multivalent


                    layers


                    >


                    > of


                    >


                    > > intentionality, much less the unconscious drives,


                    >


                    > misdirection, "false consciousness"


                    >


                    > > and the like have been ignored by the flat cognitive/analytic


                    >


                    > notions of


                    >


                    > > "self" that have spawned in the wake of our regime of short


                    >


                    > attention spans and


                    >


                    > > "feel good" ideologies. So much the worse for us.


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any


                    >


                    > folks here


                    >


                    > > who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have


                    >


                    > come to


                    >


                    > > understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought


                    sanguinities


                    >


                    > as a hopeless


                    >


                    > > charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > Choice? Do you actually think that our stupid and


                    inane "choices",


                    >


                    > much less


                    >


                    > > our career paths and stock portfolios have ANYTHING at all to do


                    >


                    > with


                    >


                    > > "authenticity"? Do you really understand the issue such that


                    having


                    >


                    > a 'conscious


                    >


                    > > opinion' means anything at all with regards to the deeper


                    >


                    > ambiguities of


                    >


                    > > self-identity? Do you really think you're free? Really? Just


                    >


                    > because you can choose


                    >


                    > > whatever brand of toothpaste suits your fancy? Is existentialism


                    >


                    > for you just


                    >


                    > > about the "Me"? Is that what it has come down to here?


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > Wil


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > **************************************


                    >


                    > > See what's new at http://www.aol.com


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


                    >


                    > >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    >


                    __________________________________________________________


                    __


                    > Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL


                    Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


                    >


                    >


                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


                    >


























                    ________________________________________________________________________
                    Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • eupraxis@aol.com
                    Yes, a recommended text (along with the Naomi s -- Naomi Klein s -- book on Disaster Capitalism. No, I quite agree. Wil ... From: m00dy58
                    Message 9 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Yes, a recommended text (along with the Naomi's -- Naomi Klein's -- book on Disaster Capitalism. No, I quite agree.

                      Wil




                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: m00dy58 <m00dy58@...>
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 11:13 am
                      Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man

























                      Yes, and what's of great interest to me here is how this division

                      will play out in our domestic arena. Will what Naomi Wolf points to

                      as the 10 steps leading to fascism in "The End of America" play out?

                      Is existentialism fated to be a practical or idealistic bone heap?



                      m



                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote: M, A miasma,

                      indeed!



                      I am all for the interfacing of disciplines. My own principle field

                      of interest is, just so you know, is not existentialism. I consider

                      the 'genre' a basic one, however, and one that is of perennial

                      interest and lasting value. But, as so many right-wingers have said

                      over the years, it is an "anti-" discourse, essentially. It can never

                      be sanguine about god, country and power; about war, poverty and

                      injustice; or about human delusion and failure.



                      I have said in the past that Existentialism is inherently leftist.

                      While a good deal of it has been, the statement is overweening.

                      Heidegger was a reactionary; Nietzsche, an a-political elitist;

                      Kierkegaard, an evangelical of sorts, etc. Yet every one of them was

                      critical of his time and and suspicious of any self-satisfied notion

                      of the Self.



                      Wil





















                      ________________________________________________________________________
                      Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Aija Veldre Beldavs
                      ... these words evoke for me suggestions of a desire to simultaneously prioritize existentialism as a higher form of unique that nevertheless is supposed to be
                      Message 10 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        eupraxis@... wrote:
                        > Existentialism always has as a theme the "problematized" self, let us say. That would mean that such things as Behaviorism, for example, although it has a strong idea of what the Self is (or is not) and what freedom is (etc.),is not Existentialism. The latter can reflect on the issues brought forth by the former, but any adoption of it as a base theoretical outlook would change the genre, if I can use that term, into something else altogether.
                        >
                        > In other words, just having freedom, being or choice, etc., as a subject-matter does not qualify a discourse as Existentialist [...] Hegelian philosophy as such is not an existential philosophy. However, he does introduce themes and problems that have everything to do with it, like the alienated subject or the notion of positive and negative infinity, for example.
                        >
                        > Or certain contemporary trends in Cognitive Science (like Thomas Metzinger's "Being No One", MIT 2003) that deny any notion of the "common sense" Self, but rather understands it as a perceptual and discursive function. What does mean to our experience of ourselves as living persons, notwithstanding? Etc.
                        >
                        > It is not, finally, a matter of opinions, but of questions and reservations that everything to do with this -- our only -- life.
                        >
                        > Wil
                        >
                        >> Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any folks here who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have come to understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought sanguinities as a hopeless charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?
                        these words evoke for me suggestions of a desire to simultaneously
                        prioritize existentialism as a higher form of unique that nevertheless
                        is supposed to be relevant to other philosophies or world views, even as
                        those are categorized as derivative, subordinate, or irrelevant. :D i
                        would rather think in terms of evolving open systems where what
                        otherwise would be a historical datable western relatively narrow
                        intellectual movement is placed in a broader relational more universal
                        context.

                        for me it is hubris to presume who has suffered dark nights of the soul
                        as opposed to who has not. not everyone even feels a reason to share
                        artistic expressions of grief, horror, and despair at the absurdity of
                        existence, except perhaps with those with whom one feels especially
                        close. in other cases such experessions are not only suppressed, but
                        erased by authorities from history. in any case, such sensibilities are
                        hardly confined to intellectual exercises in philosophy.

                        in high school and the first years of college i devoted serious time to
                        reconcile for myself philosophy with both science and the disciplines
                        that tried to deal with the sense of being human. i still follow
                        philosophy discussions - as on this list. however, engagement within
                        the practice of life, of the arts, of science and the human disciplines
                        is more direct. i am concerned about overlong narcotic-like
                        disappearance into narcissistic inner worlds, intellectual or emotional,
                        without engaging with actual social powers or nature's laws. and i
                        don't even bother about questions of "authenticity" any more as you are
                        what you are. the subject of "fakelore" in folklore was dumped by most
                        folklorists some years ago.

                        Das last man? whatever...go through angst long enough and even that
                        becomes whatever in that one is constantly making the choice to live now
                        or not.

                        aija
                      • eupraxis@aol.com
                        aija,   I would rather think in terms of evolving open systems where what otherwise would be a historical datable (sic) western relatively narrow
                        Message 11 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                          aija,




                           



                          "I would rather think in terms of evolving open systems
                          where what otherwise would be a historical datable (sic) western relatively narrow intellectual
                          movement is placed in a broader relational more universal context."



                           



                          That would be great -- in another list.


                          "For me it is hubris to presume who has suffered dark nights of the soul as
                          opposed to who has not. not everyone even feels a reason to share artistic
                          expressions of grief, horror, and despair at the absurdity of existence, except
                          perhaps with those with whom one feels especially close. in other cases such expressions
                          are not only suppressed, but

                          erased by authorities from history. in any case, such sensibilities are hardly
                          confined to intellectual exercises in philosophy."




                           



                          I have no idea what you mean, or if you have any idea what I
                          meant.


                          "I am concerned about overlong narcotic-like disappearance into
                          narcissistic inner worlds, intellectual or emotional, without engaging with
                          actual social powers or nature's laws. and I don't even bother about questions
                          of "authenticity" any more as you are what you are. the subject of
                          "fakelore" in folklore was dumped by most folklorists some years ago."




                           



                          If existentialism means delving into a "narcissistic
                          inner world", I have to wonder what you are doing at a list on existentialism.
                          Auto-flagellation?


                          "Das last man? whatever...go through angst long enough and even that becomes
                          whatever in that one is constantly making the choice to live now or not."




                           



                          Do you write for Metalacalypse? Anyway, "The Last
                          Man" is from Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and bears on the notion of
                          Heidegger's Das Man. Or, as you would say, "whatever...".







                          Wil













                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@...>
                          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 11:41 am
                          Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man

























                          eupraxis@... wrote:

                          > Existentialism always has as a theme the "problematized" self, let us say. That would mean that such things as Behaviorism, for example, although it has a strong idea of what the Self is (or is not) and what freedom is (etc.),is not Existentialism. The latter can reflect on the issues brought forth by the former, but any adoption of it as a base theoretical outlook would change the genre, if I can use that term, into something else altogether.

                          >

                          > In other words, just having freedom, being or choice, etc., as a subject-matter does not qualify a discourse as Existentialist [...] Hegelian philosophy as such is not an existential philosophy. However, he does introduce themes and problems that have everything to do with it, like the alienated subject or the notion of positive and negative infinity, for example.

                          >

                          > Or certain contemporary trends in Cognitive Science (like Thomas Metzinger's "Being No One", MIT 2003) that deny any notion of the "common sense" Self, but rather understands it as a perceptual and discursive function. What does mean to our experience of ourselves as living persons, notwithstanding? Etc.

                          >

                          > It is not, finally, a matter of opinions, but of questions and reservations that everything to do with this -- our only -- life.

                          >

                          > Wil

                          >

                          >> Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any folks here who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have come to understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought sanguinities as a hopeless charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?

                          these words evoke for me suggestions of a desire to simultaneously

                          prioritize existentialism as a higher form of unique that nevertheless

                          is supposed to be relevant to other philosophies or world views, even as

                          those are categorized as derivative, subordinate, or irrelevant. :D i

                          would rather think in terms of evolving open systems where what

                          otherwise would be a historical datable western relatively narrow

                          intellectual movement is placed in a broader relational more universal

                          context.



                          for me it is hubris to presume who has suffered dark nights of the soul

                          as opposed to who has not. not everyone even feels a reason to share

                          artistic expressions of grief, horror, and despair at the absurdity of

                          existence, except perhaps with those with whom one feels especially

                          close. in other cases such experessions are not only suppressed, but

                          erased by authorities from history. in any case, such sensibilities are

                          hardly confined to intellectual exercises in philosophy.



                          in high school and the first years of college i devoted serious time to

                          reconcile for myself philosophy with both science and the disciplines

                          that tried to deal with the sense of being human. i still follow

                          philosophy discussions - as on this list. however, engagement within

                          the practice of life, of the arts, of science and the human disciplines

                          is more direct. i am concerned about overlong narcotic-like

                          disappearance into narcissistic inner worlds, intellectual or emotional,

                          without engaging with actual social powers or nature's laws. and i

                          don't even bother about questions of "authenticity" any more as you are

                          what you are. the subject of "fakelore" in folklore was dumped by most

                          folklorists some years ago.



                          Das last man? whatever...go through angst long enough and even that

                          becomes whatever in that one is constantly making the choice to live now

                          or not.



                          aija



















                          ________________________________________________________________________
                          Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Aija Veldre Beldavs
                          ... right. msgs are read insofar as one has time and gets something out of them, not necessarily even close to what the author intended. the only way to
                          Message 12 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            eupraxis@... wrote:
                            >
                            > I have no idea what you mean, or if you have any idea what I
                            > meant.
                            >
                            right. msgs are read insofar as one has time and gets something out of
                            them, not necessarily even close to what the author intended. the only
                            way to narrow the gap is to get to know someone in a broader context,
                            which is why radical individualism doesn't resonate with me any more
                            than radical socialism or some kind of group-think.
                            > if existentialism means delving into a "narcissistic
                            > inner world", I have to wonder what you are doing at a list on existentialism. Auto-flagellation?
                            >
                            are you asking me to justify my being on the existentialism list? :)
                            but that is your chosen interpretation of what i said, which presumably
                            tells more about you than me.

                            i said i worry about such phenomena in general. true, it has to do more
                            with questions that are not particularly relevant to this list, such as
                            science fiction, the electronic media, and consumer society, but it also
                            has applications to philosophies that address individuality, but not
                            relations or community.
                            > Do you write for Metalacalypse? Anyway, "The Last
                            > Man" is from Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and bears on the notion of Heidegger's Das Man. Or, as you would say, "whatever...".
                            >
                            i have metal music moods, but don't consider myself as either
                            sociopathological or especially prone to conspiracy theories. otoh Olaf
                            Stapledon's -Last and First Man- and -Starmaker- was good sf when i read it.

                            aija
                          • eupraxis@aol.com
                            are you asking me to justify my being on the existentialism list? No, certainly not. It was a rhetorical question. By the way, Adult Swim, 11:45pm eastern
                            Message 13 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              "are you asking me to justify my being on the existentialism list?

                              No, certainly not. It was a "rhetorical" question. By the way, Adult Swim, 11:45pm eastern time: tune in and you will get my (bad) Metalocalypse joke.

                              Wil

                              WS







                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@...>
                              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 12:20 pm
                              Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man

























                              eupraxis@... wrote:

                              >

                              > I have no idea what you mean, or if you have any idea what I

                              > meant.

                              >

                              right. msgs are read insofar as one has time and gets something out of

                              them, not necessarily even close to what the author intended. the only

                              way to narrow the gap is to get to know someone in a broader context,

                              which is why radical individualism doesn't resonate with me any more

                              than radical socialism or some kind of group-think.

                              > if existentialism means delving into a "narcissistic

                              > inner world", I have to wonder what you are doing at a list on existentialism. Auto-flagellation?

                              >

                              are you asking me to justify my being on the existentialism list? :)

                              but that is your chosen interpretation of what i said, which presumably

                              tells more about you than me.



                              i said i worry about such phenomena in general. true, it has to do more

                              with questions that are not particularly relevant to this list, such as

                              science fiction, the electronic media, and consumer society, but it also

                              has applications to philosophies that address individuality, but not

                              relations or community.

                              > Do you write for Metalacalypse? Anyway, "The Last

                              > Man" is from Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and bears on the notion of Heidegger's Das Man. Or, as you would say, "whatever...".

                              >

                              i have metal music moods, but don't consider myself as either

                              sociopathological or especially prone to conspiracy theories. otoh Olaf

                              Stapledon's -Last and First Man- and -Starmaker- was good sf when i read it.



                              aija



















                              ________________________________________________________________________
                              Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • eupraxis@aol.com
                              Sorry, on Sunday nights. WS ... From: eupraxis@aol.com To: existlist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 12:30 pm Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man
                              Message 14 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Sorry, on Sunday nights.

                                WS







                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: eupraxis@...
                                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 12:30 pm
                                Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man



























                                "are you asking me to justify my being on the existentialism list?



                                No, certainly not. It was a "rhetorical" question. By the way, Adult Swim, 11:45pm eastern time: tune in and you will get my (bad) Metalocalypse joke.



                                Wil



                                WS



                                -----Original Message-----

                                From: Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@...>

                                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com

                                Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 12:20 pm

                                Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man



                                eupraxis@... wrote:



                                >



                                > I have no idea what you mean, or if you have any idea what I



                                > meant.



                                >



                                right. msgs are read insofar as one has time and gets something out of



                                them, not necessarily even close to what the author intended. the only



                                way to narrow the gap is to get to know someone in a broader context,



                                which is why radical individualism doesn't resonate with me any more



                                than radical socialism or some kind of group-think.



                                > if existentialism means delving into a "narcissistic



                                > inner world", I have to wonder what you are doing at a list on existentialism. Auto-flagellation?



                                >



                                are you asking me to justify my being on the existentialism list? :)



                                but that is your chosen interpretation of what i said, which presumably



                                tells more about you than me.



                                i said i worry about such phenomena in general. true, it has to do more



                                with questions that are not particularly relevant to this list, such as



                                science fiction, the electronic media, and consumer society, but it also



                                has applications to philosophies that address individuality, but not



                                relations or community.



                                > Do you write for Metalacalypse? Anyway, "The Last



                                > Man" is from Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and bears on the notion of Heidegger's Das Man. Or, as you would say, "whatever...".



                                >



                                i have metal music moods, but don't consider myself as either



                                sociopathological or especially prone to conspiracy theories. otoh Olaf



                                Stapledon's -Last and First Man- and -Starmaker- was good sf when i read it.



                                aija



                                __________________________________________________________

                                Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





















                                ________________________________________________________________________
                                Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • jimstuart46
                                Wil, You seem to require two character traits of the genuine existentialist: Heidegger was a reactionary; Nietzsche, an a-political elitist; Kierkegaard, an
                                Message 15 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Wil,

                                  You seem to require two character traits of the genuine
                                  existentialist:

                                  "Heidegger was a reactionary; Nietzsche, an a-political elitist;
                                  Kierkegaard, an evangelical of sorts, etc. Yet every one of them was
                                  critical of his time and suspicious of any self-satisfied notion of
                                  the Self."

                                  True existentialists don't subscribe to "feel good ideologies"
                                  or "flat cognitive/analytic notions of self". Further, true
                                  existentialists "have faced the dark night of the soul".

                                  I agree with the sentiments you express here, although I do wonder if
                                  I am supposed to be one of your targets in your posts. Perhaps you
                                  think of me as one of those who talks about freedom, being and
                                  choice, but not in a sufficiently critical manner to count as a
                                  genuine existentialist.

                                  I feel that by your criteria I ought to count as a genuine
                                  existentialist as I hold to Kierkegaard's account of the self, and to
                                  the political outlook of Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein. But I am not
                                  concerned to justify my existentialist credentials here.

                                  I agree with one aspect of what you are saying, and disagree with
                                  another aspect.

                                  I agree with you that an attitude of complacency and self-
                                  satisfaction does not sit well with existentialism. An existentialist
                                  confronts uncomfortable truths, and has a distrustful attitude both
                                  towards himself (being wary of self-deception) and towards his
                                  society (being wary of rulers and those hungry for power).

                                  I disagree with your attitude towards diversity on this forum. You
                                  seem to want contributors to restrict there contributions to a more
                                  narrow agenda. You want a sort of existentialist "political
                                  correctness" where views which don't respect the idea of "the
                                  problematized self" or a critical attitude to society are to be
                                  discouraged on the forum. You want contributors to have faced their
                                  personal "dark night of the soul".

                                  Like you, I do get frustrated sometimes by posts which seem to have
                                  no connection to existentialism, or are flippant or shallow, or
                                  consist solely of platitudes, but I also like the diversity of views
                                  and outlooks exhibited on the forum.

                                  In particular, I enjoy reading the contributions of the regular
                                  contributors like yourself, Louise, Bill, Hb3g, Knott and Aija, who
                                  all manifest very different life experiences and ethical and
                                  philosophical outlooks. To use Kierekgaard's expression, you are
                                  all "single individuals" who have thought things through for
                                  yourselves, and are not afraid to say what you think and take the
                                  flak.

                                  Yes, not everyone has completely kosher existentialist credentials,
                                  but as long as the individuals have thought seriously about what they
                                  are saying, and they write with an attitude of respect for others,
                                  that is fine by me.

                                  Jim
                                • eupraxis@aol.com
                                  Jim: I disagree with your attitude towards diversity on this forum. You seem to want contributors to restrict there contributions to a more narrow agenda. You
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                    Jim: I disagree with your attitude towards diversity on this
                                    forum. You seem to want contributors to restrict there contributions to a more
                                    narrow agenda. You want a sort of existentialist "political
                                    correctness" where views which don't respect the idea of "the

                                    problematized self" or a critical attitude to society are to be
                                    discouraged on the forum. You want contributors to have faced their personal
                                    "dark night of the soul".



                                     



                                    Answer: I wasn't thinking of you, actually, but you are
                                    correct that "shiny happy people existentialism" is not
                                    existentialism. If that describes you, I am sorry for that, but I am confident
                                    of my position vis-a-vis the literature, which goes by the ascription of
                                    "existentialist" and which has everything to do with the mode of
                                    thought called the same.



                                     



                                    What you mean by "political correctness" eludes
                                    me. What politics would you like espouse that you feel is too politically
                                    incorrect, as far as I or anyone else goes? Gulags, extraordinary renditions,
                                    waterboarding? Doesn't sound like you. Or are you saying that it is all-too
                                    "political correct" to mention the 'dark night of the soul', rather
                                    than champion some Prosac inspired crap about how a day with a big utilitarian smile
                                    is like a day without sunshine?



                                     


                                    Wil






                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: jimstuart46 <jjimstuart@...>
                                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 3:30 pm
                                    Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man

























                                    Wil,



                                    You seem to require two character traits of the genuine

                                    existentialist:



                                    "Heidegger was a reactionary; Nietzsche, an a-political elitist;

                                    Kierkegaard, an evangelical of sorts, etc. Yet every one of them was

                                    critical of his time and suspicious of any self-satisfied notion of

                                    the Self."



                                    True existentialists don't subscribe to "feel good ideologies"

                                    or "flat cognitive/analytic notions of self". Further, true

                                    existentialists "have faced the dark night of the soul".



                                    I agree with the sentiments you express here, although I do wonder if

                                    I am supposed to be one of your targets in your posts. Perhaps you

                                    think of me as one of those who talks about freedom, being and

                                    choice, but not in a sufficiently critical manner to count as a

                                    genuine existentialist.



                                    I feel that by your criteria I ought to count as a genuine

                                    existentialist as I hold to Kierkegaard's account of the self, and to

                                    the political outlook of Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein. But I am not

                                    concerned to justify my existentialist credentials here.



                                    I agree with one aspect of what you are saying, and disagree with

                                    another aspect.



                                    I agree with you that an attitude of complacency and self-

                                    satisfaction does not sit well with existentialism. An existentialist

                                    confronts uncomfortable truths, and has a distrustful attitude both

                                    towards himself (being wary of self-deception) and towards his

                                    society (being wary of rulers and those hungry for power).



                                    I disagree with your attitude towards diversity on this forum. You

                                    seem to want contributors to restrict there contributions to a more

                                    narrow agenda. You want a sort of existentialist "political

                                    correctness" where views which don't respect the idea of "the

                                    problematized self" or a critical attitude to society are to be

                                    discouraged on the forum. You want contributors to have faced their

                                    personal "dark night of the soul".



                                    Like you, I do get frustrated sometimes by posts which seem to have

                                    no connection to existentialism, or are flippant or shallow, or

                                    consist solely of platitudes, but I also like the diversity of views

                                    and outlooks exhibited on the forum.



                                    In particular, I enjoy reading the contributions of the regular

                                    contributors like yourself, Louise, Bill, Hb3g, Knott and Aija, who

                                    all manifest very different life experiences and ethical and

                                    philosophical outlooks. To use Kierekgaard's expression, you are

                                    all "single individuals" who have thought things through for

                                    yourselves, and are not afraid to say what you think and take the

                                    flak.



                                    Yes, not everyone has completely kosher existentialist credentials,

                                    but as long as the individuals have thought seriously about what they

                                    are saying, and they write with an attitude of respect for others,

                                    that is fine by me.



                                    Jim





















                                    ________________________________________________________________________
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                                  • jimstuart46
                                    Wil: I wasn t thinking of you, actually, but you are correct that shiny happy people existentialism is not existentialism. If that describes you, I am sorry
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                      Wil: I wasn't thinking of you, actually, but you are correct
                                      that "shiny happy people existentialism" is not existentialism. If
                                      that describes you, I am sorry for that, but I am confident of my
                                      position vis-a-vis the literature, which goes by the ascription
                                      of "existentialist" and which has everything to do with the mode of
                                      thought called the same.

                                      Jim: No, I would not describe myself as a "shiny happy person", and
                                      I am not disagreeing with your interpretation of the existentialist
                                      literature.

                                      My own philosophical outlook is closest to Kierkegaard's but without
                                      the theism. This is a pessimistic outlook.

                                      Wil: What you mean by "political correctness" eludes me. What
                                      politics would you like espouse that you feel is too politically
                                      incorrect, as far as I or anyone else goes? Gulags, extraordinary
                                      renditions, waterboarding? Doesn't sound like you. Or are you saying
                                      that it is all-too "political correct" to mention the 'dark night of
                                      the soul', rather than champion some Prosac inspired crap about how
                                      a day with a big utilitarian smile is like a day without sunshine?

                                      Jim: No, my point was that you seemed to be advocating a version of
                                      political correctness which disallowed (or, at least, discouraged)
                                      non-existentialist or anti-existentialist viewpoints. My alternative
                                      was to allow the full range of views, as even the anti-
                                      existentialist post can be the catalyst for a good discussion.

                                      Jim
                                    • eupraxis@aol.com
                                      Okay. To be perhaps even more infuriating, though...I am not a pessimist either, at least in the long view. I agree with Kant and Hegel and Nietzsche, each in
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                        Okay.

                                        To be perhaps even more infuriating, though...I am not a pessimist either, at least in the long view. I agree with Kant and Hegel and Nietzsche, each in their own way, that reason or rationality or just good sense may actually prevail.



                                        WS




                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: jimstuart46 <jjimstuart@...>
                                        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 5:23 pm
                                        Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man

























                                        Wil: I wasn't thinking of you, actually, but you are correct

                                        that "shiny happy people existentialism" is not existentialism. If

                                        that describes you, I am sorry for that, but I am confident of my

                                        position vis-a-vis the literature, which goes by the ascription

                                        of "existentialist" and which has everything to do with the mode of

                                        thought called the same.



                                        Jim: No, I would not describe myself as a "shiny happy person", and

                                        I am not disagreeing with your interpretation of the existentialist

                                        literature.



                                        My own philosophical outlook is closest to Kierkegaard's but without

                                        the theism. This is a pessimistic outlook.



                                        Wil: What you mean by "political correctness" eludes me. What

                                        politics would you like espouse that you feel is too politically

                                        incorrect, as far as I or anyone else goes? Gulags, extraordinary

                                        renditions, waterboarding? Doesn't sound like you. Or are you saying

                                        that it is all-too "political correct" to mention the 'dark night of

                                        the soul', rather than champion some Prosac inspired crap about how

                                        a day with a big utilitarian smile is like a day without sunshine?



                                        Jim: No, my point was that you seemed to be advocating a version of

                                        political correctness which disallowed (or, at least, discouraged)

                                        non-existentialist or anti-existentialist viewpoints. My alternative

                                        was to allow the full range of views, as even the anti-

                                        existentialist post can be the catalyst for a good discussion.



                                        Jim





















                                        ________________________________________________________________________
                                        Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Exist List Moderator
                                        ... I m wondering, beyond the New Age obscurisms and religion, what ideologies promise one a feel good solution in today s world? In fact, I would argue that
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                          On Nov 01, 2007, at 7:41, eupraxis@... wrote:

                                          > "self" that have spawned in the wake of our regime of short
                                          > attention spans and
                                          > "feel good" ideologies. So much the worse for us.

                                          I'm wondering, beyond the New Age obscurisms and religion, what
                                          ideologies promise one a "feel good" solution in today's world? In
                                          fact, I would argue that most of the humanities are littered with
                                          victimology, guilt, and a generally low regard for most (curiously)
                                          humans.

                                          Then again, I was based in the notoriously pessimistic Department of
                                          Rhetoric and now deal with Communications Studies part of the time.
                                          Read enough communications research, or even too many issues of MIND,
                                          and you realize people make decisions emotionally, instinctively, or
                                          through some other process and then rationalize the choice. You're
                                          left wondering how many people at least try to pause and analyze
                                          choices -- or analyze after the fact.

                                          We seem to be conditioned by fear and dread. Probably, this was a
                                          survival issue. The human most afraid was more likely to be cautious
                                          and survive. Now, that fear instinct is regularly manipulated by
                                          political parties ("Do you want to be bombed?" "Your Social Security
                                          will be cut!" "Terrorists want candidate X to win!" "Children will die
                                          if Y wins!") with people in fields like my own studying MRIs to learn
                                          how to better manipulate voters. Of course, we do those for the
                                          "right" (left?) candidates, so that's okay.

                                          Of course this has affected my view of free will. It's also influenced
                                          how suspicious I am of everything, just as my work writing or my
                                          internships as a reporter shaped me. Three years of defense-related
                                          work also shaped my cynical outlook.

                                          > Besides myself and perhaps Louise (or Trinidad), aren't there any
                                          > folks here
                                          > who have faced the dark night of the soul, as it were, and have come
                                          > to
                                          > understand our self-satisfactions and consumer-wrought sanguinities
                                          > as a hopeless
                                          > charade, an empty shell game, a bad comportment to life itself?

                                          Personally, I don't have a soul -- thankfully sparing me being "saved"
                                          by various fanatics. My view of hopelessness is much grander than a
                                          moment. I simply wonder why, with the universe eventually coming to
                                          either a cold or explosive end (theories vary), we don't make more of
                                          the brief moments of existence.

                                          Life is short. You can wallow in misery or you can do something about
                                          it. You can try to understand the absurd (which I think is beyond
                                          comprehension) or you can do something to make other "meaningless"
                                          lives more tolerable. Sure, I also want my life to be tolerable along
                                          the way.

                                          Once you know how mortal you are, or if you have generally lived with
                                          that mortality, then you can either decide (free will, definitely) to
                                          end the pain of existence, or you can decide to confront the absurd
                                          and make the most of it.

                                          My free will is to live. Beyond that, once you choose to exist you are
                                          forever moderated by the circumstances of your birth -- genetic,
                                          social, familial, and even fortunate circumstances. Certainly, I had
                                          no choice when it came to my physical limitations, but I do choose to
                                          live with them or to wallow in self-pity.

                                          I'd rather exist... cynicism and all.

                                          - C. S. Wyatt
                                          I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
                                          that I shall be.
                                          http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                                          http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
                                        • Herman B. Triplegood
                                          Reason, or rationality, or just good sense, should prevail. That isn t optimism. That is being reasonable -- as well as pragmatic. All three that you mention
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                            Reason, or rationality, or just good sense, should prevail. That
                                            isn't optimism. That is being reasonable -- as well as pragmatic. All
                                            three that you mention are important for what they have to say about
                                            this. But Kant is my favorite. He is honest about whar reason can and
                                            cannot know, and he recognizes that the practical applications of
                                            reason are of greater importance to us than the merely theoretical
                                            applications. Yet, he does not disrespect theoretical reason either.
                                            His view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of
                                            existential in this way, don't you think?

                                            Hb3g

                                            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Okay.
                                            >
                                            > To be perhaps even more infuriating, though...I am not a pessimist
                                            either, at least in the long view. I agree with Kant and Hegel and
                                            Nietzsche, each in their own way, that reason or rationality or just
                                            good sense may actually prevail.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > WS
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: jimstuart46 <jjimstuart@...>
                                            > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 5:23 pm
                                            > Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Wil: I wasn't thinking of you, actually, but you are correct
                                            >
                                            > that "shiny happy people existentialism" is not existentialism. If
                                            >
                                            > that describes you, I am sorry for that, but I am confident of my
                                            >
                                            > position vis-a-vis the literature, which goes by the ascription
                                            >
                                            > of "existentialist" and which has everything to do with the mode of
                                            >
                                            > thought called the same.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Jim: No, I would not describe myself as a "shiny happy person", and
                                            >
                                            > I am not disagreeing with your interpretation of the existentialist
                                            >
                                            > literature.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > My own philosophical outlook is closest to Kierkegaard's but
                                            without
                                            >
                                            > the theism. This is a pessimistic outlook.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Wil: What you mean by "political correctness" eludes me. What
                                            >
                                            > politics would you like espouse that you feel is too politically
                                            >
                                            > incorrect, as far as I or anyone else goes? Gulags, extraordinary
                                            >
                                            > renditions, waterboarding? Doesn't sound like you. Or are you
                                            saying
                                            >
                                            > that it is all-too "political correct" to mention the 'dark night
                                            of
                                            >
                                            > the soul', rather than champion some Prosac inspired crap about how
                                            >
                                            > a day with a big utilitarian smile is like a day without sunshine?
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Jim: No, my point was that you seemed to be advocating a version of
                                            >
                                            > political correctness which disallowed (or, at least, discouraged)
                                            >
                                            > non-existentialist or anti-existentialist viewpoints. My
                                            alternative
                                            >
                                            > was to allow the full range of views, as even the anti-
                                            >
                                            > existentialist post can be the catalyst for a good discussion.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Jim
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            ______________________________________________________________________
                                            __
                                            > Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL
                                            Mail! - http://mail.aol.com
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            >
                                          • Herman B. Triplegood
                                            CSW: I m wondering, beyond the New Age obscurisms and religion, what ideologies promise one a feel good solution in today s world? In fact, I would argue
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                              CSW: I'm wondering, beyond the New Age obscurisms and religion, what
                                              ideologies promise one a "feel good" solution in today's world? In
                                              fact, I would argue that most of the humanities are littered with
                                              victimology, guilt, and a generally low regard for most (curiously)
                                              humans.

                                              Hb3g: It is odd. One would think that the humanities would be a
                                              humanistic lot. If what you say is true, then, it would appear that
                                              they are, indeed, a bunch of pessimists. As for the "feel good
                                              solution", well, one could look at it two ways, just as one could
                                              look at pessimism two ways. There is blithe optimism that fails to
                                              see there really is an ugly side. But there is also a more realistic
                                              optimism that recognizes that we shape what we experience to some
                                              extent by the attitudes we bring to our experiences. Typically,
                                              people I have known who are realisically optimistic tend to feel
                                              better about themslves and their life and, I maintain, probably do
                                              live better lives. Just as realistically pessimistic people tend not
                                              to be bamboozled so easily.

                                              CSW: We seem to be conditioned by fear and dread.

                                              Hb3g: It is a basic instinct. Usually, whenever something new or
                                              surprising comes along, our initial reaction to it is a fearful one.
                                              Understanding comes later. Often, much later.

                                              CSW: Personally, I don't have a soul -- thankfully sparing me
                                              being "saved" by various fanatics. My view of hopelessness is much
                                              grander than a moment. I simply wonder why, with the universe
                                              eventually coming to either a cold or explosive end (theories vary),
                                              we don't make more of the brief moments of existence.

                                              Hb3g: Yeah, I ain't got one of those either. Thank god! HAHAHA! Okay,
                                              thank fate! Or, whatever! That's better!

                                              CSW: Life is short. You can wallow in misery or you can do something
                                              about it.

                                              Hb3g: Suffering is one of the many problems that just being alive
                                              presents to us. We ought to deal with it instead of just give in to
                                              it. That is one of the things I really like about the whole
                                              Enlightenment scientific attitude. Let's try to mitigate suffering
                                              rather than elevate it and worship it as our punishment for just
                                              being alive. Seneca once said that fate guides those who are willing
                                              and drags the rest along in chains. I think Seneca, of all people,
                                              would have known the truth to this. He had the misfortune of having
                                              to be Nero's mentor.

                                              CSW: Once you know how mortal you are, or if you have generally lived
                                              with that mortality, then you can either decide (free will,
                                              definitely) to end the pain of existence, or you can decide to
                                              confront the absurd and make the most of it.

                                              Hb3g: But is it really absurd? It seems to me that you have leaped
                                              from "pain of existence" to "absurd" here, or, perhaps, from "mortal"
                                              to "absurd", but how, in your thinking, does this really follow? What
                                              would not being absurd even look like on this account? Living
                                              forever? Never having a pain of existence? This sounds an awful lot
                                              like what theological doctrine dangles in front of our face as the
                                              reward for being in conformity with those expectations of us. The
                                              problem with either of these notions, being immortal, and being in a
                                              state of eternal bliss without pain, is that they are impossible.
                                              They, themselves, are what is absurd. They are absurd when they are
                                              held up as the ideals upon which the living of a necessarily mortal
                                              and necessarily often painful life must be based. As such ideals,
                                              they in fact constitute a denial of life, rather than an affirmation
                                              of it. Why? Because they demand that life must "live up to" what life
                                              can never be.

                                              CSW: My free will is to live. Beyond that, once you choose to exist
                                              you are forever moderated by the circumstances of your birth --
                                              genetic, social, familial, and even fortunate circumstances.
                                              Certainly, I had no choice when it came to my physical limitations,
                                              but I do choose to live with them or to wallow in self-pity. I'd
                                              rather exist... cynicism and all.

                                              Hb3g: Yeah, me too. I would rather exist. but I might change my mind
                                              about that if I was withering away from a painful cancer. It is
                                              interesting to observe that it certainly wasn't by means of our free
                                              will that any of us began to live. We didn't have a choice about
                                              that. Also, having a "will to live" isn't necessarily always a "free"
                                              will kind of thing. There is a basic instinct to survive that has
                                              little, if anything at all, to do with our freely deciding anything.
                                              We easily forget that. We like to talk ourselves into believing that
                                              the reason why we continue to live is because we freely choose to do
                                              so. I do not think that this is really the case. We continue to live
                                              because we must. That is what living things, by their very nature,
                                              necessarily, must try to do.

                                              This is life. This is what life does. Where is the freedom? It looks
                                              like necessity to me. But, then again, I tend to believe that when we
                                              come to really understand what freedom is, it looks like necessity.
                                              That seems to be a paradox. But what if it is a true paradox? Kant
                                              thought it was a true paradox. He said that both sides of the
                                              antinomial argument on that point had to be true.

                                              Hb3g
                                            • eupraxis@aol.com
                                              Hb3g, [Kant s] view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of existential in this way, don t you think? Kant had a great influence on the seminal
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                                Hb3g,

                                                "[Kant's] view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of
                                                existential in this way, don't you think?"

                                                Kant had a great influence on the seminal thinkers of the 20th Century that
                                                we associate with Existentialism and Phenomenology, but I wouldn't call him an
                                                existentialist.

                                                In my opinion, Existentialism-as-such comes out of a distinct period of
                                                Western European history that was described by its contemporaries as a "crisis" and
                                                scission (witness the 'fin de siecle' themes at the century's turn). I see
                                                Nietzsche's 'Death of God' in that light, for example.

                                                Certainly from the 1840s onwards, the themes of critical breakage are writ
                                                large in most philosophical, political and scientific writers of note, from Marx
                                                and Stirner through Darwin and Rutherford and Freud, Einstein, Joyce and
                                                beyond. But the period between and after the wars was absolutely decisive in the
                                                trajectory of the genre that understood itself as something cohesive and with
                                                the familial associations that make up a trend or 'school'.

                                                Kant sensed his time as one of liberation from medieval backwardness, and as
                                                achieving "enlightenment" (Aufklarung). It was a Progressive and "philosophe"
                                                discourse. The crisis of his time was not his own, but was rather the that of
                                                the faltering medievalism of church and crown. Existentialism's crisis is our
                                                own.

                                                Secondly, Existentialism is essentially anti-formalist (which might strike
                                                someone new to it as odd as he or she is trudging through densely theoretical
                                                texts like Being and Time or Being and Nothingness). The architecture of the
                                                first Critique is anathematic to what Existentialism is all about, as is anything
                                                like a categorical imperative. Heidegger recasts the former's "categories" as
                                                existentialia in B&T, which retains the rationalizing function of the
                                                original while not allowing itself the architectonic of Kant's logic. (I see Sartre's
                                                B&N as more Hegelian than Kantian.)

                                                And yet, once one begins to see older texts through that oddly jaundiced eye
                                                of modernity, it is hard not to recast them as if 'contemporary', especially
                                                when one reads, not as an historian, but as a "user", if I can use that term. I
                                                read Hegel that way, and Kant too.

                                                Wil

                                                In a message dated 11/1/07 8:09:09 PM, hb3g@... writes:


                                                > Reason, or rationality, or just good sense, should prevail. That
                                                > isn't optimism. That is being reasonable -- as well as pragmatic. All
                                                > three that you mention are important for what they have to say about
                                                > this. But Kant is my favorite. He is honest about whar reason can and
                                                > cannot know, and he recognizes that the practical applications of
                                                > reason are of greater importance to us than the merely theoretical
                                                > applications. Yet, he does not disrespect theoretical reason either.
                                                > His view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of
                                                > existential in this way, don't you think?
                                                >
                                                > Hb3g
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >




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