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Re: Das last man

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                        "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 11 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                          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 12 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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                            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 13 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





















                              ________________________________________________________________________
                              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: 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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
                                      >
                                      >
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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
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                                      ______________________________________________________________________
                                      __
                                      > 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 18 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 19 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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