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Re: Relevance of NDEs to Existentialism

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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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