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

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

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

      Wil


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


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




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

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


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

        Wil,

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

        Louise
      • eupraxis@aol.com
        Louise Most (all actually) of the religiously oriented existential literature that I know, from Kierkegaard through to Ricoeur, conspicuously avoids the
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 2, 2008
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          Louise

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

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

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

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

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

          Wil



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


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




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

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


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • louise
          Wil, Thanks, Louise ... literature that I ... wit, some proof that ... and I am not ... during the ... (my Self) in ... all of ... eternal. If it ... always.
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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            Wil,

            Thanks,

            Louise

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
            >
            > Louise
            >
            > Most (all actually) of the religiously oriented existential
            literature that I
            > know, from Kierkegaard through to Ricoeur, conspicuously avoids the
            > metaphysical analyses one would otherwise expect from a theist; to
            wit, some proof that
            > God exists. Yet we have sin, fallibility, self-loathing, etc. --
            and I am not
            > without my sense of depth -- I have heard the bay of the wolf
            during the
            > night, have undergone attacks of dread and regret, have lost myself
            (my Self) in
            > the infinity of nothingness, and the rest of it.
            >
            > Some have applied a kind of reverse Anselmian argument to assuage
            all of
            > this; they proffer God by means of the overwhelming vacuity of the
            eternal. If it
            > is that absurd, God must exist. Hence 'Plato' lives on, or has
            always.
            >
            > But I go another route. The only God (Absolute) for me is (at best)
            Hegel's,
            > and it is entirely mundane and apparent. One derives no comfort
            from Hegel,
            > only context. I am probably alone here when I say that Hegel is the
            first
            > existentialist. But I digress.
            >
            > Lacan tells us that what we most desire is an illusion. He means
            that
            > reflexively: We want an illusion; and what we think we want is
            itself illusory.
            > Essences and eternal verities are what we most desire; thus they
            are necessarily
            > imaginary. It is like Nietzsche's insight that logic is inherently
            optimistic.
            > From an existentialist point of view, that is a profound idea.
            Logic may limit
            > thought to rationality, but 'belief' in logic means that one lives
            in a dream,
            > nevertheless.
            >
            > That is the sense of transcendence that I decry and that Sartre
            deconstructs.
            > To say that existence precedes essence is to say just this.
            >
            > Wil
            >
            >
            >
            > In a message dated 3/2/08 6:45:45 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:
            >
            >
            > > Wil,
            > >
            > > I'm finding your response helpful, in determining which of my
            > > questions appear to be based on lack of necessary knowledge, such
            > > that no useful answers will be forthcoming, and which are worth
            > > investigating further. It does look to me at present as though the
            > > territory involved would be Platonic Realism and theistic
            > > existentialism, if there be any genuine relation between the two
            > > which admits of description by means of the dyad.
            > >
            > > Louise
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > **************
            > Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
            >
            > (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-
            campos-duffy/
            > 2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • jimstuart51
            Wil, I have enjoyed reading your exchange of posts with Louise. I think you both make some good points and you both write with decisiveness and passion. I am
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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              Wil,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Jim
            • eupraxis@aol.com
              Jim, Thanks. No, I think it is clear, and not just from B&N, that Sartre denies any kind of transcendent reality, except for the Imaginary itself. This is
              Message 6 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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                Jim,

                Thanks.

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

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

                Wil

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


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




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

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


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • mary.jo11
                Although uncomfortable with notions of orthodoxy, I accept this one. The other is nothingness, since it also binds and liberates existential thought. Legal
                Message 7 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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                  Although uncomfortable with notions of orthodoxy, I accept this one.
                  The other is nothingness, since it also binds and liberates
                  existential thought. Legal definitions of when life begins and ends
                  are less relevant to the existentialist than personal situation. Mary

                  eupraxis@... wrote:

                  To the end, Sartre was a committed atheist.
                • Exist List Moderator
                  ... Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary of Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some entries and continue
                  Message 8 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
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                    On Mar 02, 2008, at 14:13, eupraxis@... wrote:

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


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

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

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

                    - C. S. Wyatt
                    I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
                    that I shall be.
                    http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                    http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
                  • bhvwd
                    ... remarks ... me ... of ... thinkers ... or ... to ... renounced ... is ... had ... anything ... I ... all ... year they appear and youn have seen what you
                    Message 9 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
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                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator
                      <existlist1@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On Mar 02, 2008, at 14:13, eupraxis@... wrote:
                      >
                      > > I haven't looked at CS's lexicon, and I will leave aside any
                      remarks
                      > > that
                      > > interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank
                      me
                      > > later).
                      >
                      >
                      > Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary
                      of
                      > Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some
                      > entries and continue to do so with quotes directly from the
                      thinkers
                      > profiled so as to avoid any notion that the definitions are mine
                      or
                      > any other "expert's" because it is always best to let the author
                      > define his or her own terms.
                      >
                      > I also note that the same terms were often used in different ways,
                      to
                      > different ends, by the authors.
                      >
                      > Also... I never read anywhere that someone suggested Sartre
                      renounced
                      > atheism. That was a curious mention on the list that I skimmed. Wil
                      is
                      > definitely correct on this matter, based on the contacts I have
                      had
                      > with historians and biographers. I cannot imagine Sartre as
                      anything
                      > other than an atheist... just as I can't imagine him ever humble.
                      I
                      > would cite "Adieux" as my primary source for Sartre's finals days.
                      >
                      > - C. S. Wyatt
                      > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not
                      all
                      > that I shall be.
                      > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                      > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
                      >I would go througe the ancient broyhers of the north. In a cold
                      year they appear and youn have seen what you as yet do not recognise.
                      Will they keep you ? This place has its merits if you can fite ice,
                      Bill
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