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Re: Relevance of NDEs to Existentialism

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  • bhvwd
    ... the ... terms ... room ... that.:) ... fruit salad. Entanglement can be a scientific term of sub atomic origin. There is no reason to extend any of that
    Message 1 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > mary.jo11 wrote:
      > > Joe,
      > >
      > > I realize that in a different conversation we might deconstruct
      the
      > > terms existence and essence. But seriously, in an existentialism
      > > forum, the burden is on you to show 1) that essence precedes
      > > existence, and 2) its relevance.
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      > > Joseph Polanik <jPolanik@> wrote:
      > >
      > > and, what 'existence/essence unity' would that be?
      >
      > i would think that should a strong reason arise to think these
      terms
      > "entangled," in the spirit of scientific openness, there would be
      room
      > even in a strongly committed existentialism forum to acknowledge
      that.:)
      >
      > aija
      >Now slow down Aija, a few apples ,a few oranges and you serve up a
      fruit salad. Entanglement can be a scientific term of sub atomic
      origin. There is no reason to extend any of that science to
      essance/existance discussions. Are you going to speak as a
      scientist? I can see little relevance in science to what is
      essentially a metaphysical foolishness about spirit. In a strongly
      committed existential forum there is no talk of spirit, soul, or any
      of the putrid concepts of faith. That is why Jim is the master of
      talking at tangents about god. Now you blast in with some quasi
      relevant material derived from quantum physics. What are you trying
      to say? Do some good and teach us some physics or serve your salid to
      the faithful. Jim can be relied on for some english wallnuts. Bill
    • Joseph Polanik
      ... if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the burden is on you to demonstrate the existence of an essence. Joe ... -- Philosophy is, after all,
      Message 2 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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        mary.jo11 wrote:
        > Joe,
        >
        > I realize that in a different conversation we might deconstruct the
        > terms existence and essence. But seriously, in an existentialism
        > forum, the burden is on you to show 1) that essence precedes
        > existence, and 2) its relevance.

        if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the burden is on you
        to demonstrate the existence of an essence.

        Joe










        >
        > Joseph Polanik <jPolanik@...> wrote:
        >
        > and, what 'existence/essence unity' would that be?
        >
        >
        >
        > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!
        >
        > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >


        --
        Philosophy is, after all, done ultimately in the first person for the
        first person. --- H-N Castaneda

        @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
        http://what-am-i.net
        @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
      • eupraxis@aol.com
        Joe, You wrote: if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the burden is on you to demonstrate the existence of an essence. I know that the irony of
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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          Joe,

          You wrote: "if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the burden is
          on you to demonstrate the existence of an essence."

          I know that the irony of your statement escapes you. Much the pity, that. The
          "existence precedes essence" phrase is famously (it is one of the most famous
          of blurbs) from Sartre, Being and Nothingness. I am quite sure that Mary
          assumed that you were familiar with all of this.

          When Sartre (that's Jean Paul Sartre) writes that existence precedes essence,
          he is precisely putting the notion of essence under erasure, returning it to
          its root 'esse', or "to be".

          Wil

          In a message dated 3/2/08 1:07:05 PM, jPolanik@... writes:


          >
          >
          >
          > mary.jo11 wrote:
          > > Joe,
          > >
          > > I realize that in a different conversation we might deconstruct the
          > > terms existence and essence. But seriously, in an existentialism
          > > forum, the burden is on you to show 1) that essence precedes
          > > existence, and 2) its relevance.
          >
          > if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the burden is on you
          > to demonstrate the existence of an essence.
          >
          > Joe
          >
          >
          >




          **************
          Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

          (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
          2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • louise
          Wil, I like Joe s idea of a cooperative enterprise, in the effort to philosophise to some purpose. The irony of his statement, if such it was, also escaped
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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            Wil,

            I like Joe's idea of a cooperative enterprise, in the effort to
            philosophise to some purpose. The irony of his statement, if such it
            was, also escaped me. Are you suggesting that Sartre's dictum is
            equivalent to the statement that existence abolishes essence?
            One starting-point for a Sartre neophyte like myself might be
            reference to the lexicon provided by CSW, in which existence is
            defined thus:

            ~ Existential thinkers write of existence as it is in its factuality
            as opposed to idealistic philosophy (such as Hegelianism) which
            equated essence with existence to the detriment of existence. ~

            In fact, such was the starting-point I decided upon, as evidenced by
            this post. I choose, therefore I am. Childlike, but relevant.
            Observing oneself, and all that.

            Louise

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
            >
            > Joe,
            >
            > You wrote: "if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the
            burden is
            > on you to demonstrate the existence of an essence."
            >
            > I know that the irony of your statement escapes you. Much the pity,
            that. The
            > "existence precedes essence" phrase is famously (it is one of the
            most famous
            > of blurbs) from Sartre, Being and Nothingness. I am quite sure that
            Mary
            > assumed that you were familiar with all of this.
            >
            > When Sartre (that's Jean Paul Sartre) writes that existence
            precedes essence,
            > he is precisely putting the notion of essence under erasure,
            returning it to
            > its root 'esse', or "to be".
            >
            > Wil
            >
            > In a message dated 3/2/08 1:07:05 PM, jPolanik@... writes:
            >
            >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > mary.jo11 wrote:
            > > > Joe,
            > > >
            > > > I realize that in a different conversation we might deconstruct
            the
            > > > terms existence and essence. But seriously, in an existentialism
            > > > forum, the burden is on you to show 1) that essence precedes
            > > > existence, and 2) its relevance.
            > >
            > > if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the burden is
            on you
            > > to demonstrate the existence of an essence.
            > >
            > > Joe
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > **************
            > Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
            >
            > (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-
            campos-duffy/
            > 2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • eupraxis@aol.com
            Louise, I haven t looked at CS s lexicon, and I will leave aside any remarks that interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank me later).
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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              Louise,

              I haven't looked at CS's lexicon, and I will leave aside any remarks that
              interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank me later). But,
              yes, I am "suggesting" that Sartre, as it were, 'abolishes' essence in favor of
              existence. It is called "Existentialism"; you might check it out sometime.

              In other words, Sartre is contending against Platonic Realism (or what is
              usually called Idealism).

              In any case, if I should explain the irony of Joe's statement and thoroughly
              beat the dead horse to a pulp, the point would be that the demonstration of
              'the existence of an essence', besides being terminologically redundant, is also
              precisely what an existentialist would NOT think possible.

              Wil

              In a message dated 3/2/08 1:59:52 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:


              >
              >
              >
              > Wil,
              >
              > I like Joe's idea of a cooperative enterprise, in the effort to
              > philosophise to some purpose. The irony of his statement, if such it
              > was, also escaped me. Are you suggesting that Sartre's dictum is
              > equivalent to the statement that existence abolishes essence?
              > One starting-point for a Sartre neophyte like myself might be
              > reference to the lexicon provided by CSW, in which existence is
              > defined thus:
              >
              > ~ Existential thinkers write of existence as it is in its factuality
              > as opposed to idealistic philosophy (such as Hegelianism) which
              > equated essence with existence to the detriment of existence. ~
              >
              > In fact, such was the starting-point I decided upon, as evidenced by
              > this post. I choose, therefore I am. Childlike, but relevant.
              > Observing oneself, and all that.
              >
              > Louise
              >
              >
              >




              **************
              Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

              (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
              2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • bhvwd
              ... burden is ... that. The ... most famous ... Mary ... precedes essence, ... returning it to ... always assumed Sartre put up essence as a bogeyman and then
              Message 6 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                >
                > Joe,
                >
                > You wrote: "if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the
                burden is
                > on you to demonstrate the existence of an essence."
                >
                > I know that the irony of your statement escapes you. Much the pity,
                that. The
                > "existence precedes essence" phrase is famously (it is one of the
                most famous
                > of blurbs) from Sartre, Being and Nothingness. I am quite sure that
                Mary
                > assumed that you were familiar with all of this.
                >
                > When Sartre (that's Jean Paul Sartre) writes that existence
                precedes essence,
                > he is precisely putting the notion of essence under erasure,
                returning it to
                > its root 'esse', or "to be".
                >
                > Wil
                > I pine for the good old days when we held forth on nothingness. I
                always assumed Sartre put up essence as a bogeyman and then grabbed
                his bat and beat the shit out of it. Such a fine, french concept to
                abuse, Jean Paul really must have hated the spirits, the essance. It
                was as if he stood and screamed" I am alive and you are the smell of
                death" When the French speak about smell it is getting serious. In
                Being and Nothingness Sartre takes it back to the nihilism posturing
                as an essence in life. But it is nothing as long as beings like you
                live to affront it. Bill
                > In a message dated 3/2/08 1:07:05 PM, jPolanik@... writes:
                >
                >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > mary.jo11 wrote:
                > > > Joe,
                > > >
                > > > I realize that in a different conversation we might deconstruct
                the
                > > > terms existence and essence. But seriously, in an existentialism
                > > > forum, the burden is on you to show 1) that essence precedes
                > > > existence, and 2) its relevance.
                > >
                > > if you speak of an existence/essence unity; then, the burden is
                on you
                > > to demonstrate the existence of an essence.
                > >
                > > Joe
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > **************
                > Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
                >
                > (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-
                campos-duffy/
                > 2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • louise
                Wil, I am more sceptical than to take your statements for some kind of gospel truth, and it is no disrespect to your own learning. The fact is, that I
                Message 7 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                  Wil,

                  I am more sceptical than to take your statements for some kind of
                  gospel truth, and it is no disrespect to your own learning. The fact
                  is, that I consider myself to have been an existentialist for nigh on
                  three decades, and deem it reasonable to expect open discussion on
                  the very topic of this list, which founds and develops itself in the
                  work of various authors. It is an emotional matter, yes, for those
                  of us who care about discourse, and its particular responsibilities,
                  toward the countless life-forms on this planet. I am not a
                  utilitarian, yet I acknowledge the reality of consequence. The
                  questions at issue seem to me philosophically complex. Surely the
                  Platonic Realism against which Sartre was contending does not exhaust
                  the relevant meanings of the term, 'essence'? I agree with you about
                  the inapposite wording, 'existence of an essence', yet in my opinion
                  Joe's questioning of Mary's original statement in #43828 is perfectly
                  legitimate. The patience with which we think, as human beings, takes
                  a long time to evolve. I suppose that a quality like 'patience' is
                  itself an essence. Some human existences exemplify it more than
                  others. Probably there are sound, impatient answers you might put to
                  what could be digressive and muddled on my part, but I do trust the
                  messy kind of progress.

                  Louise

                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                  >
                  > Louise,
                  >
                  > I haven't looked at CS's lexicon, and I will leave aside any
                  remarks that
                  > interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank me
                  later). But,
                  > yes, I am "suggesting" that Sartre, as it were, 'abolishes' essence
                  in favor of
                  > existence. It is called "Existentialism"; you might check it out
                  sometime.
                  >
                  > In other words, Sartre is contending against Platonic Realism (or
                  what is
                  > usually called Idealism).
                  >
                  > In any case, if I should explain the irony of Joe's statement and
                  thoroughly
                  > beat the dead horse to a pulp, the point would be that the
                  demonstration of
                  > 'the existence of an essence', besides being terminologically
                  redundant, is also
                  > precisely what an existentialist would NOT think possible.
                  >
                  > Wil
                  >
                  > In a message dated 3/2/08 1:59:52 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Wil,
                  > >
                  > > I like Joe's idea of a cooperative enterprise, in the effort to
                  > > philosophise to some purpose. The irony of his statement, if such
                  it
                  > > was, also escaped me. Are you suggesting that Sartre's dictum is
                  > > equivalent to the statement that existence abolishes essence?
                  > > One starting-point for a Sartre neophyte like myself might be
                  > > reference to the lexicon provided by CSW, in which existence is
                  > > defined thus:
                  > >
                  > > ~ Existential thinkers write of existence as it is in its
                  factuality
                  > > as opposed to idealistic philosophy (such as Hegelianism) which
                  > > equated essence with existence to the detriment of existence. ~
                  > >
                  > > In fact, such was the starting-point I decided upon, as evidenced
                  by
                  > > this post. I choose, therefore I am. Childlike, but relevant.
                  > > Observing oneself, and all that.
                  > >
                  > > Louise
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > **************
                  > Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
                  >
                  > (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-
                  campos-duffy/
                  > 2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • eupraxis@aol.com
                  Louise, You wrote: I am more skeptical than to take your statements for some kind of gospel truth, and it is no disrespect to your own learning. The fact is,
                  Message 8 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                    Louise,

                    You wrote: "I am more skeptical than to take your statements for some kind of
                    gospel truth, and it is no disrespect to your own learning. The fact is, that
                    I consider myself to have been an existentialist for nigh on three decades,
                    and deem it reasonable to expect open discussion on the very topic of this
                    list, which founds and develops itself in the work of various authors. It is an
                    emotional matter, yes, for those of us who care about discourse, and its
                    particular responsibilities, toward the countless life-forms on this planet."

                    Response: 'Kay. Assuming that you are contending with my understanding of
                    Sartre's B&N, show me. Sartre denies any kind of transcendence or
                    otherworldliness. As Bill has put it, he goes right to edge of nihilism. [end]

                    You wrote: "I am not a utilitarian, yet I acknowledge the reality of
                    consequence. The questions at issue seem to me philosophically complex."

                    Response: And this has something to do with what? How does that seem to you
                    to be a question currently at issue? A consequence is something that comes
                    after, as a result of. The "reality of a consequence" wouldn't be an essence,
                    then, would it? If you use a nomological rendering of essence (say, an act is
                    preceded by its potential penalties, etc.), then you are still playing the same
                    Platonic card: only a god could guarantee in time such a moral law. I don't
                    think that is what you mean, though. Otherwise, if a consequence is said to 'have
                    a reality' in the essential sense of the term, that would be like saying
                    "down" exists so that falling can happen. Any of these ways of thinking are
                    anathematic to existentialism. [end]

                    You wrote: Surely the Platonic Realism against which Sartre was contending
                    does not exhaust the relevant meanings of the term, 'essence'?

                    Response: It most certainly does exhaust the meaning of the term under
                    discussion, as we were discussing precisely Sartre. [end]

                    You wrote: I agree with you about the inapposite wording, 'existence of an
                    essence', yet in my opinion Joe's questioning of Mary's original statement in
                    #43828 is perfectly legitimate.

                    Response: I was defending Mary's claim that, "in an existentialism forum, the
                    burden is on you to show 1) that essence precedes existence, and 2) its
                    relevance." The second part (the relevance part) is moot, of course. [end]

                    You wrote: "The patience with which we think, as human beings, takes a long
                    time to evolve. I suppose that a quality like 'patience' is itself an essence.
                    Some human existences exemplify it more than others. Probably there are sound,
                    impatient answers you might put to what could be digressive and muddled on my
                    part, but I do trust the messy kind of progress."

                    Response: I suppose you could understand patience in a Heideggerian way, as
                    one of a kind of existentialia or basic existential categories of experience;
                    something like Care, etc., although he prefers boredom and impatience. Do the
                    existentialia precede existence, though? They can be said to logically precede
                    Dasein's experience of the world, not unlike Kant's categories, but they have
                    no reality outside of Dasein and are thus consanguine or coeval with presence.
                    So I think we are back to the same place.

                    Thus Spoke,
                    WS


                    In a message dated 3/2/08 2:40:20 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:


                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Wil,
                    >
                    > I am more sceptical than to take your statements for some kind of
                    > gospel truth, and it is no disrespect to your own learning. The fact
                    > is, that I consider myself to have been an existentialist for nigh on
                    > three decades, and deem it reasonable to expect open discussion on
                    > the very topic of this list, which founds and develops itself in the
                    > work of various authors. It is an emotional matter, yes, for those
                    > of us who care about discourse, and its particular responsibilities,
                    > toward the countless life-forms on this planet. I am not a
                    > utilitarian, yet I acknowledge the reality of consequence. The
                    > questions at issue seem to me philosophically complex. Surely the
                    > Platonic Realism against which Sartre was contending does not exhaust
                    > the relevant meanings of the term, 'essence'? I agree with you about
                    > the inapposite wording, 'existence of an essence', yet in my opinion
                    > Joe's questioning of Mary's original statement in #43828 is perfectly
                    > legitimate. The patience with which we think, as human beings, takes
                    > a long time to evolve. I suppose that a quality like 'patience' is
                    > itself an essence. Some human existences exemplify it more than
                    > others. Probably there are sound, impatient answers you might put to
                    > what could be digressive and muddled on my part, but I do trust the
                    > messy kind of progress.
                    >
                    > Louise
                    >
                    >
                    >




                    **************
                    Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

                    (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
                    2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • louise
                    ... some kind of ... fact is, that ... decades, ... of this ... authors. It is an ... and its ... this planet. ... understanding of ... nihilism. [end] ...
                    Message 9 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                      >
                      > Louise,
                      >
                      > You wrote: "I am more skeptical than to take your statements for
                      some kind of
                      > gospel truth, and it is no disrespect to your own learning. The
                      fact is, that
                      > I consider myself to have been an existentialist for nigh on three
                      decades,
                      > and deem it reasonable to expect open discussion on the very topic
                      of this
                      > list, which founds and develops itself in the work of various
                      authors. It is an
                      > emotional matter, yes, for those of us who care about discourse,
                      and its
                      > particular responsibilities, toward the countless life-forms on
                      this planet."
                      >
                      > Response: 'Kay. Assuming that you are contending with my
                      understanding of
                      > Sartre's B&N, show me. Sartre denies any kind of transcendence or
                      > otherworldliness. As Bill has put it, he goes right to edge of
                      nihilism. [end]
                      >

                      No, I cannot show you. Am being honest, in declaring myself a Sartre
                      neophyte; though I did read B&N many years ago, it has left virtually
                      no trace. Many readers of this list will not have read the text. I
                      am interested in the possibility that, besides the kind of erudite
                      discussion you most prefer, there may be benefit and interest in
                      other forms of posting. It should present no difficulty, if there be
                      tolerance and adherence to the rules of the list, for precise debate,
                      robust argument, inventive literary efforts, personal existential
                      narratives, suggested reading lists, and good-humoured banter, to
                      find place here. Though that is simply my own interpretation of what
                      existlist is about, and it is not exhaustive, even from my own point
                      of view. With regard to the specific point you make above, I am
                      still seeking to understand the meanings and context of terms
                      like 'transcendence' or 'otherworldliness'. I believe that the more
                      one questions, if the enquiry be free, that is, conducted without
                      aggression, the more may appear to view. Nature is everywhere, in a
                      sense, including in the practice of philosophy, an apparently
                      abstruse intellectual art, and will reveal most where respect for her
                      mysteries prevail. If this seems too mushy for you, so be it. My
                      own attitudes have mellowed through sustaining new experiences, and
                      my scepticism has evolved and continues to do so. I intend to answer
                      only one or two points in each e-mail, for clarity's sake.

                      Louise
                    • louise
                      ... of ... complex. ... seem to you ... that comes ... an essence, ... an act is ... playing the same ... I don t ... You re right. I did not make clear the
                      Message 10 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                        >
                        > Louise,

                        > You wrote: "I am not a utilitarian, yet I acknowledge the reality
                        of
                        > consequence. The questions at issue seem to me philosophically
                        complex."
                        >
                        > Response: And this has something to do with what? How does that
                        seem to you
                        > to be a question currently at issue? A consequence is something
                        that comes
                        > after, as a result of. The "reality of a consequence" wouldn't be
                        an essence,
                        > then, would it? If you use a nomological rendering of essence (say,
                        an act is
                        > preceded by its potential penalties, etc.), then you are still
                        playing the same
                        > Platonic card: only a god could guarantee in time such a moral law.
                        I don't
                        > think that is what you mean, though.

                        You're right. I did not make clear the context. It was a general
                        point, about the consequences of posting any statement at a public
                        forum like this. Whatever one writes, is multiply interpreted.
                        Perhaps I was just encouraging myself, to take care in saying as
                        exactly as possible what I mean. As opposed to the dubious practice
                        of considering a general welfare, a form of liberalism to which I
                        might be susceptible, and which I distrust extremely. I am, though,
                        as you recall, a Nooist, and, as Eduard has recently stated, if you
                        want a god you may have one to believe in. Existential
                        responsibility, though, might urge caution, about whether or no you
                        really know what you are doing, in finding, or choosing, such a god.
                        Philosophical discipline is desirable, in order to avoid narrowly
                        cultic affiliations which prove destructive. I have confidence in
                        Nooism, because of my empiricism, and my respect for learning and
                        wisdom.

                        Louise


                        Otherwise, if a consequence is said to 'have
                        > a reality' in the essential sense of the term, that would be like
                        saying
                        > "down" exists so that falling can happen. Any of these ways of
                        thinking are
                        > anathematic to existentialism. [end]
                      • louise
                        ... contending ... under ... wording, existence of an ... statement in ... forum, the ... its ... course. [end] Let s see, first of all you say we were
                        Message 11 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                          >
                          > Louise,

                          > You wrote: Surely the Platonic Realism against which Sartre was
                          contending
                          > does not exhaust the relevant meanings of the term, 'essence'?
                          >
                          > Response: It most certainly does exhaust the meaning of the term
                          under
                          > discussion, as we were discussing precisely Sartre. [end]
                          >
                          > You wrote: I agree with you about the inapposite
                          wording, 'existence of an
                          > essence', yet in my opinion Joe's questioning of Mary's original
                          statement in
                          > #43828 is perfectly legitimate.
                          >
                          > Response: I was defending Mary's claim that, "in an existentialism
                          forum, the
                          > burden is on you to show 1) that essence precedes existence, and 2)
                          its
                          > relevance." The second part (the relevance part) is moot, of
                          course. [end]

                          Let's see, first of all you say we were discussing precisely Sartre,
                          then you quote Mary's response to Joe which invokes existentialism in
                          general. Am I missing something here, or is this not at least
                          implying that Sartre is the only permitted authority regarding the
                          interpretation of essence/existence? In regard to his own works,
                          fair enough, but the original post referred to an existence/essence
                          unity (without even mentioning Sartre) which, so far, sounds to me
                          like an unexplained, unexamined article of faith. I should really
                          like to understand its provenance. Perhaps that should be a question
                          to Mary, except that she already replied to Joe as if he should do
                          the work of understanding what she meant.

                          Louise
                        • eupraxis@aol.com
                          Let s see, first of all you say we were discussing precisely Sartre, then you quote Mary s response to Joe which invokes existentialism in general. Am I
                          Message 12 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                            "Let's see, first of all you say we were discussing precisely Sartre, then
                            you quote Mary's response to Joe which invokes existentialism in general. Am I
                            missing something here, or is this not at least implying that Sartre is the
                            only permitted authority regarding the interpretation of essence/existence? 'In
                            regard to his own works, fair enough, but the original post referred to an
                            existence/essence unity (without even mentioning Sartre) which, so far, sounds to
                            me like an unexplained, unexamined article of faith. I should really like to
                            understand its provenance."
                            ----
                            Response: No, I think you're missing something here. Can you name another
                            existentialist author who uses that dyad who is either not referring to Sartre,
                            or who is using the dyad in some other novel way? And in any case, whenever
                            such a dyad ("existence/essence") is used without any special proviso, wouldn't
                            one understand those terms in their usual sense, especially in a philosophical
                            list? Finally, can you show me another meaning to these terms that would be
                            readily understandable?

                            I don't think you would have an easy task with any of that. [end]

                            Wil


                            In a message dated 3/2/08 5:06:40 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:


                            > Let's see, first of all you say we were discussing precisely Sartre,
                            > then you quote Mary's response to Joe which invokes existentialism in
                            > general. Am I missing something here, or is this not at least
                            > implying that Sartre is the only permitted authority regarding the
                            > interpretation of essence/existence? In regard to his own works,
                            > fair enough, but the original post referred to an existence/essence
                            > unity (without even mentioning Sartre) which, so far, sounds to me
                            > like an unexplained, unexamined article of faith. I should really
                            > like to understand its provenance. Perhaps that should be a question
                            > to Mary, except that she already replied to Joe as if he should do
                            > the work of understanding what she meant.
                            >
                            > Louise
                            >




                            **************
                            Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

                            (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
                            2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • louise
                            ... Sartre, then ... general. Am I ... Sartre is the ... essence/existence? In ... referred to an ... far, sounds to ... really like to ... another ...
                            Message 13 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                              >
                              > "Let's see, first of all you say we were discussing precisely
                              Sartre, then
                              > you quote Mary's response to Joe which invokes existentialism in
                              general. Am I
                              > missing something here, or is this not at least implying that
                              Sartre is the
                              > only permitted authority regarding the interpretation of
                              essence/existence? 'In
                              > regard to his own works, fair enough, but the original post
                              referred to an
                              > existence/essence unity (without even mentioning Sartre) which, so
                              far, sounds to
                              > me like an unexplained, unexamined article of faith. I should
                              really like to
                              > understand its provenance."
                              > ----
                              > Response: No, I think you're missing something here. Can you name
                              another
                              > existentialist author who uses that dyad who is either not
                              referring to Sartre,
                              > or who is using the dyad in some other novel way? And in any case,
                              whenever
                              > such a dyad ("existence/essence") is used without any special
                              proviso, wouldn't
                              > one understand those terms in their usual sense, especially in a
                              philosophical
                              > list? Finally, can you show me another meaning to these terms that
                              would be
                              > readily understandable?
                              >
                              > I don't think you would have an easy task with any of that. [end]
                              >
                              > Wil

                              Wil,

                              I'm finding your response helpful, in determining which of my
                              questions appear to be based on lack of necessary knowledge, such
                              that no useful answers will be forthcoming, and which are worth
                              investigating further. It does look to me at present as though the
                              territory involved would be Platonic Realism and theistic
                              existentialism, if there be any genuine relation between the two
                              which admits of description by means of the dyad.

                              Louise
                            • eupraxis@aol.com
                              Louise Most (all actually) of the religiously oriented existential literature that I know, from Kierkegaard through to Ricoeur, conspicuously avoids the
                              Message 14 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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                                Louise

                                Most (all actually) of the religiously oriented existential literature that I
                                know, from Kierkegaard through to Ricoeur, conspicuously avoids the
                                metaphysical analyses one would otherwise expect from a theist; to wit, some proof that
                                God exists. Yet we have sin, fallibility, self-loathing, etc. -- and I am not
                                without my sense of depth -- I have heard the bay of the wolf during the
                                night, have undergone attacks of dread and regret, have lost myself (my Self) in
                                the infinity of nothingness, and the rest of it.

                                Some have applied a kind of reverse Anselmian argument to assuage all of
                                this; they proffer God by means of the overwhelming vacuity of the eternal. If it
                                is that absurd, God must exist. Hence 'Plato' lives on, or has always.

                                But I go another route. The only God (Absolute) for me is (at best) Hegel's,
                                and it is entirely mundane and apparent. One derives no comfort from Hegel,
                                only context. I am probably alone here when I say that Hegel is the first
                                existentialist. But I digress.

                                Lacan tells us that what we most desire is an illusion. He means that
                                reflexively: We want an illusion; and what we think we want is itself illusory.
                                Essences and eternal verities are what we most desire; thus they are necessarily
                                imaginary. It is like Nietzsche's insight that logic is inherently optimistic.
                                From an existentialist point of view, that is a profound idea. Logic may limit
                                thought to rationality, but 'belief' in logic means that one lives in a dream,
                                nevertheless.

                                That is the sense of transcendence that I decry and that Sartre deconstructs.
                                To say that existence precedes essence is to say just this.

                                Wil



                                In a message dated 3/2/08 6:45:45 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:


                                > Wil,
                                >
                                > I'm finding your response helpful, in determining which of my
                                > questions appear to be based on lack of necessary knowledge, such
                                > that no useful answers will be forthcoming, and which are worth
                                > investigating further. It does look to me at present as though the
                                > territory involved would be Platonic Realism and theistic
                                > existentialism, if there be any genuine relation between the two
                                > which admits of description by means of the dyad.
                                >
                                > Louise
                                >




                                **************
                                Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

                                (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
                                2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • louise
                                Wil, Thanks, Louise ... literature that I ... wit, some proof that ... and I am not ... during the ... (my Self) in ... all of ... eternal. If it ... always.
                                Message 15 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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                                  Wil,

                                  Thanks,

                                  Louise

                                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Louise
                                  >
                                  > Most (all actually) of the religiously oriented existential
                                  literature that I
                                  > know, from Kierkegaard through to Ricoeur, conspicuously avoids the
                                  > metaphysical analyses one would otherwise expect from a theist; to
                                  wit, some proof that
                                  > God exists. Yet we have sin, fallibility, self-loathing, etc. --
                                  and I am not
                                  > without my sense of depth -- I have heard the bay of the wolf
                                  during the
                                  > night, have undergone attacks of dread and regret, have lost myself
                                  (my Self) in
                                  > the infinity of nothingness, and the rest of it.
                                  >
                                  > Some have applied a kind of reverse Anselmian argument to assuage
                                  all of
                                  > this; they proffer God by means of the overwhelming vacuity of the
                                  eternal. If it
                                  > is that absurd, God must exist. Hence 'Plato' lives on, or has
                                  always.
                                  >
                                  > But I go another route. The only God (Absolute) for me is (at best)
                                  Hegel's,
                                  > and it is entirely mundane and apparent. One derives no comfort
                                  from Hegel,
                                  > only context. I am probably alone here when I say that Hegel is the
                                  first
                                  > existentialist. But I digress.
                                  >
                                  > Lacan tells us that what we most desire is an illusion. He means
                                  that
                                  > reflexively: We want an illusion; and what we think we want is
                                  itself illusory.
                                  > Essences and eternal verities are what we most desire; thus they
                                  are necessarily
                                  > imaginary. It is like Nietzsche's insight that logic is inherently
                                  optimistic.
                                  > From an existentialist point of view, that is a profound idea.
                                  Logic may limit
                                  > thought to rationality, but 'belief' in logic means that one lives
                                  in a dream,
                                  > nevertheless.
                                  >
                                  > That is the sense of transcendence that I decry and that Sartre
                                  deconstructs.
                                  > To say that existence precedes essence is to say just this.
                                  >
                                  > Wil
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > In a message dated 3/2/08 6:45:45 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > Wil,
                                  > >
                                  > > I'm finding your response helpful, in determining which of my
                                  > > questions appear to be based on lack of necessary knowledge, such
                                  > > that no useful answers will be forthcoming, and which are worth
                                  > > investigating further. It does look to me at present as though the
                                  > > territory involved would be Platonic Realism and theistic
                                  > > existentialism, if there be any genuine relation between the two
                                  > > which admits of description by means of the dyad.
                                  > >
                                  > > Louise
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > **************
                                  > Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
                                  >
                                  > (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-
                                  campos-duffy/
                                  > 2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                • jimstuart51
                                  Wil, I have enjoyed reading your exchange of posts with Louise. I think you both make some good points and you both write with decisiveness and passion. I am
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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                                    Wil,

                                    I have enjoyed reading your exchange of posts with Louise. I think you
                                    both make some good points and you both write with decisiveness and
                                    passion.

                                    I am not in complete agreement with what you write about Sartre.

                                    My understanding is that Sartre's famous expression "existence
                                    precedes essence" was to apply to human beings, and only human beings.
                                    He introduced this expression in order to contrast human beings with
                                    all other entities in the world.

                                    Because human beings have absolute freedom, they cannot have an
                                    essence as to have an essence is to lack absolute freedom. I (and
                                    other human beings who grasp their freedom) choose how to act, and in
                                    this choice I create myself anew at each moment of choice. By
                                    contrast, animals, plants, trees, chairs, tables, buildings, etc.,
                                    lack choice and in these cases we can justifiably speak of such
                                    entities having essences.

                                    So, on my reading of Sartre, he does not deny essences in toto, he
                                    just denies that free individuals like you or me have essences.

                                    In this regard Nietzsche is different to Sartre. Nietzsche did, I
                                    think, deny essences across the board, even to scientific entities
                                    like gold, lead, water, etc. For Nietzsche, human beings were not
                                    essentially different to animals, plants, trees, etc., in that all
                                    lacked essences.

                                    I don't think an existentialist has to deny essences to scientific
                                    entities. I view existentialism as a philosophy concerned with the
                                    human being and her choices in an inhospitable, purposeless world. I
                                    don't think such a view necessarily excludes a belief in logic, nor a
                                    belief that scientific entities have essences.

                                    Jim
                                  • eupraxis@aol.com
                                    Jim, Thanks. No, I think it is clear, and not just from B&N, that Sartre denies any kind of transcendent reality, except for the Imaginary itself. This is
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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                                      Jim,

                                      Thanks.

                                      No, I think it is clear, and not just from B&N, that Sartre denies any kind
                                      of transcendent reality, except for the Imaginary itself. This is fundamental
                                      to his phenomenology and his artistic work, in my opinion. However, the
                                      consequences of "existence preceding essence", which was meant as a slight on the
                                      lingering scholasticism of the Academy, is just as you describe it.

                                      By the way, there have been all kinds of stories about Sartre's supposed
                                      conversion to religion during his decline. They are nonsense, and I know that by
                                      the best anecdotal evidence available to me: to wit, I know someone, a great
                                      friend and mentor, who was in that loop. To the end, Sartre was a committed
                                      atheist.

                                      Wil

                                      In a message dated 3/3/08 7:05:17 AM, jjimstuart1@... writes:


                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Wil,
                                      >
                                      > I have enjoyed reading your exchange of posts with Louise. I think you
                                      > both make some good points and you both write with decisiveness and
                                      > passion.
                                      >
                                      > I am not in complete agreement with what you write about Sartre.
                                      >
                                      > My understanding is that Sartre's famous expression "existence
                                      > precedes essence" was to apply to human beings, and only human beings.
                                      > He introduced this expression in order to contrast human beings with
                                      > all other entities in the world.
                                      >
                                      > Because human beings have absolute freedom, they cannot have an
                                      > essence as to have an essence is to lack absolute freedom. I (and
                                      > other human beings who grasp their freedom) choose how to act, and in
                                      > this choice I create myself anew at each moment of choice. By
                                      > contrast, animals, plants, trees, chairs, tables, buildings, etc.,
                                      > lack choice and in these cases we can justifiably speak of such
                                      > entities having essences.
                                      >
                                      > So, on my reading of Sartre, he does not deny essences in toto, he
                                      > just denies that free individuals like you or me have essences.
                                      >
                                      > In this regard Nietzsche is different to Sartre. Nietzsche did, I
                                      > think, deny essences across the board, even to scientific entities
                                      > like gold, lead, water, etc. For Nietzsche, human beings were not
                                      > essentially different to animals, plants, trees, etc., in that all
                                      > lacked essences.
                                      >
                                      > I don't think an existentialist has to deny essences to scientific
                                      > entities. I view existentialism as a philosophy concerned with the
                                      > human being and her choices in an inhospitable, purposeless world. I
                                      > don't think such a view necessarily excludes a belief in logic, nor a
                                      > belief that scientific entities have essences.
                                      >
                                      > Jim
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >




                                      **************
                                      Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

                                      (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
                                      2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • mary.jo11
                                      Although uncomfortable with notions of orthodoxy, I accept this one. The other is nothingness, since it also binds and liberates existential thought. Legal
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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                                        Although uncomfortable with notions of orthodoxy, I accept this one.
                                        The other is nothingness, since it also binds and liberates
                                        existential thought. Legal definitions of when life begins and ends
                                        are less relevant to the existentialist than personal situation. Mary

                                        eupraxis@... wrote:

                                        To the end, Sartre was a committed atheist.
                                      • Exist List Moderator
                                        ... Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary of Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some entries and continue
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
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                                          On Mar 02, 2008, at 14:13, eupraxis@... wrote:

                                          > I haven't looked at CS's lexicon, and I will leave aside any remarks
                                          > that
                                          > interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank me
                                          > later).


                                          Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary of
                                          Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some
                                          entries and continue to do so with quotes directly from the thinkers
                                          profiled so as to avoid any notion that the definitions are mine or
                                          any other "expert's" because it is always best to let the author
                                          define his or her own terms.

                                          I also note that the same terms were often used in different ways, to
                                          different ends, by the authors.

                                          Also... I never read anywhere that someone suggested Sartre renounced
                                          atheism. That was a curious mention on the list that I skimmed. Wil is
                                          definitely correct on this matter, based on the contacts I have had
                                          with historians and biographers. I cannot imagine Sartre as anything
                                          other than an atheist... just as I can't imagine him ever humble. I
                                          would cite "Adieux" as my primary source for Sartre's finals days.

                                          - 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
                                        • bhvwd
                                          ... remarks ... me ... of ... thinkers ... or ... to ... renounced ... is ... had ... anything ... I ... all ... year they appear and youn have seen what you
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
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                                            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator
                                            <existlist1@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > On Mar 02, 2008, at 14:13, eupraxis@... wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > I haven't looked at CS's lexicon, and I will leave aside any
                                            remarks
                                            > > that
                                            > > interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank
                                            me
                                            > > later).
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary
                                            of
                                            > Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some
                                            > entries and continue to do so with quotes directly from the
                                            thinkers
                                            > profiled so as to avoid any notion that the definitions are mine
                                            or
                                            > any other "expert's" because it is always best to let the author
                                            > define his or her own terms.
                                            >
                                            > I also note that the same terms were often used in different ways,
                                            to
                                            > different ends, by the authors.
                                            >
                                            > Also... I never read anywhere that someone suggested Sartre
                                            renounced
                                            > atheism. That was a curious mention on the list that I skimmed. Wil
                                            is
                                            > definitely correct on this matter, based on the contacts I have
                                            had
                                            > with historians and biographers. I cannot imagine Sartre as
                                            anything
                                            > other than an atheist... just as I can't imagine him ever humble.
                                            I
                                            > would cite "Adieux" as my primary source for Sartre's finals days.
                                            >
                                            > - 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
                                            >I would go througe the ancient broyhers of the north. In a cold
                                            year they appear and youn have seen what you as yet do not recognise.
                                            Will they keep you ? This place has its merits if you can fite ice,
                                            Bill
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