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Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man redux

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  • 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 1 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
      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



      __________________________________________________________

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    • 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 2 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
        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 3 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
          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 4 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
            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 5 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
              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 6 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                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 7 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                  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 8 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                    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 9 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
                      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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