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

Re: Das last man

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Yes, a recommended text (along with the Naomi's -- Naomi Klein's -- book on Disaster Capitalism. No, I quite agree.

            Wil




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

























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

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

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

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



            m



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

            indeed!



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

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

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

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

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

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

            injustice; or about human delusion and failure.



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

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

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

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

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

            of the Self.



            Wil





















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


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Aija Veldre Beldavs
            ... these words evoke for me suggestions of a desire to simultaneously prioritize existentialism as a higher form of unique that nevertheless is supposed to be
            Message 5 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 6 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 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 8 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    "are you asking me to justify my being on the existentialism list?

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

                    Wil

                    WS







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

























                    eupraxis@... wrote:

                    >

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

                    > meant.

                    >

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

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

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

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

                    than radical socialism or some kind of group-think.

                    > if existentialism means delving into a "narcissistic

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

                    >

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

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

                    tells more about you than me.



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

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

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

                    has applications to philosophies that address individuality, but not

                    relations or community.

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

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

                    >

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

                    sociopathological or especially prone to conspiracy theories. otoh Olaf

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



                    aija



















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


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • eupraxis@aol.com
                    Sorry, on Sunday nights. WS ... From: eupraxis@aol.com To: existlist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 12:30 pm Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man
                    Message 9 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Sorry, on Sunday nights.

                      WS







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



























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



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



                      Wil



                      WS



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

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

                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com

                      Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 12:20 pm

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



                      eupraxis@... wrote:



                      >



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



                      > meant.



                      >



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



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



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



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



                      than radical socialism or some kind of group-think.



                      > if existentialism means delving into a "narcissistic



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



                      >



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



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



                      tells more about you than me.



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



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



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



                      has applications to philosophies that address individuality, but not



                      relations or community.



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



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



                      >



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



                      sociopathological or especially prone to conspiracy theories. otoh Olaf



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



                      aija



                      __________________________________________________________

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



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





















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


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • jimstuart46
                      Wil, You seem to require two character traits of the genuine existentialist: Heidegger was a reactionary; Nietzsche, an a-political elitist; Kierkegaard, an
                      Message 10 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Wil,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        Jim
                      • eupraxis@aol.com
                        Jim: I disagree with your attitude towards diversity on this forum. You seem to want contributors to restrict there contributions to a more narrow agenda. You
                        Message 11 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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 14 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                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 15 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Reason, or rationality, or just good sense, should prevail. That
                                  isn't optimism. That is being reasonable -- as well as pragmatic. All
                                  three that you mention are important for what they have to say about
                                  this. But Kant is my favorite. He is honest about whar reason can and
                                  cannot know, and he recognizes that the practical applications of
                                  reason are of greater importance to us than the merely theoretical
                                  applications. Yet, he does not disrespect theoretical reason either.
                                  His view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of
                                  existential in this way, don't you think?

                                  Hb3g

                                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Okay.
                                  >
                                  > To be perhaps even more infuriating, though...I am not a pessimist
                                  either, at least in the long view. I agree with Kant and Hegel and
                                  Nietzsche, each in their own way, that reason or rationality or just
                                  good sense may actually prevail.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > WS
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: jimstuart46 <jjimstuart@...>
                                  > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Sent: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 5:23 pm
                                  > Subject: [existlist] Re: Das last man
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Wil: I wasn't thinking of you, actually, but you are correct
                                  >
                                  > that "shiny happy people existentialism" is not existentialism. If
                                  >
                                  > that describes you, I am sorry for that, but I am confident of my
                                  >
                                  > position vis-a-vis the literature, which goes by the ascription
                                  >
                                  > of "existentialist" and which has everything to do with the mode of
                                  >
                                  > thought called the same.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Jim: No, I would not describe myself as a "shiny happy person", and
                                  >
                                  > I am not disagreeing with your interpretation of the existentialist
                                  >
                                  > literature.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > My own philosophical outlook is closest to Kierkegaard's but
                                  without
                                  >
                                  > the theism. This is a pessimistic outlook.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Wil: What you mean by "political correctness" eludes me. What
                                  >
                                  > politics would you like espouse that you feel is too politically
                                  >
                                  > incorrect, as far as I or anyone else goes? Gulags, extraordinary
                                  >
                                  > renditions, waterboarding? Doesn't sound like you. Or are you
                                  saying
                                  >
                                  > that it is all-too "political correct" to mention the 'dark night
                                  of
                                  >
                                  > the soul', rather than champion some Prosac inspired crap about how
                                  >
                                  > a day with a big utilitarian smile is like a day without sunshine?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Jim: No, my point was that you seemed to be advocating a version of
                                  >
                                  > political correctness which disallowed (or, at least, discouraged)
                                  >
                                  > non-existentialist or anti-existentialist viewpoints. My
                                  alternative
                                  >
                                  > was to allow the full range of views, as even the anti-
                                  >
                                  > existentialist post can be the catalyst for a good discussion.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Jim
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  ______________________________________________________________________
                                  __
                                  > Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL
                                  Mail! - http://mail.aol.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                • Herman B. Triplegood
                                  CSW: I m wondering, beyond the New Age obscurisms and religion, what ideologies promise one a feel good solution in today s world? In fact, I would argue
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    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 17 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      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
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >




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


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.