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Re: [existlist] Re: Relevance of NDEs to Existentialism

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  • 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 1 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
      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 2 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
        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 3 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
          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 4 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
            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 5 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
              --- 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 6 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                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 7 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                  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 8 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                    --- 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 9 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                      --- 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 10 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                        --- 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 11 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                          "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 12 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                            --- 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 13 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
                              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 14 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
                                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 15 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
                                  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 16 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
                                    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 17 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
                                      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 18 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
                                        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 19 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
                                          --- 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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