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chez knott

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Chez Knott, Even though your question was not addressed to me, it has been in the past, so I will pipe in here, if you do not mind. The concept of revolution
    Message 1 of 57 , May 5, 2008
      Chez Knott,

      Even though your question was not addressed to me, it has been in the past,
      so I will pipe in here, if you do not mind.

      The concept of "revolution" has a cartoonish sound these days, and has for a
      good long time. I remember the joke from college days that Marxists had
      predicted 100 of the last three revolutions. Very funny in its day.

      The concept, in its formal sense, is usually cast in terms of a critical
      break. Either the old structure stands in contradistinction to the reality that it
      is dependent on, or the necessary conditions of the "base" are not met by the
      superstructure that is supposed to be its realization. These two general
      models dictate the consequent revolution (intellectual, social, etc.) as organic
      and systemic.

      The latter of the two is the standard socialistic model, more or less. In its
      most formal sense, it implies a 'continuity in discontinuity', or a
      dialectical "sublation" that, as it were, solves the contradictions between base and
      superstructure. Marx, being a good Hegelian (despite his protestations to the
      contrary) was of the opinion that this 'sublation' would always be "progressive"
      -- that is to say, a motion towards the Good. Progressive politics of all
      stripes, in my opinion, retains a sense of 'theodicy', except that it replaces
      God with Reason. But Reason, when made into a beneficent principle or
      metaphysic, is still some kind of supervening Mind, even when couched as the reasoned
      outcome of a mutual threat. And Mind is just another word for God. Some of us
      are not as sanguine about that as others have been.

      Nietzsche was the first to disabuse me of that virtual metaphysic. His
      sometimes tasteless political comments should be read as rhetorical excesses in his
      war against metaphysics. Socialism for him was just another form of Chr
      istianity, a false view of the world that offers a reversal of ethics (the poor are
      the rich, the weak are the strong), without the self-consciousness of its own
      regime.

      Adorno was another. He lost his Hegelian faith when the Gestapo was banging
      on his doors, and thereafter at the revelations of Auschwitz. Adorno lead me to
      the realization that, even if the dialectics of Reason are demonstrable,
      Reason will only necessarily realize rational systems, not "Good" ones. That is to
      say that dialectics can be negative; rationality can find a sense of
      stability, can demonstrate some semblance of security and wealth, but be technocratic
      at the expense of free, systematic at the expense of ethical. It can be both
      true and false.

      Still, I have some faith that a progressive future is still possible. It is
      my opinion that such an end is also the truth of philosophy sand its ultimate
      object.

      I'll leave it there for now.

      Wil



      **************
      Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family
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      (http://food.aol.com/dinner-tonight?NCID=aolfod00030000000001)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • eupraxis@aol.com
      Knott, First, Will, let me say I was pretty happy with your summary as, even if I don t seem to make sense to you, you summarized things fairly well (skoffing
      Message 57 of 57 , May 23, 2008
        Knott,

        "First, Will, let me say I was pretty happy with your summary as, even
        if I don't seem to make sense to you, you summarized things fairly
        well (skoffing aside), so at least I don't feel like I was completely
        unclear."

        Response: Thanks. That is encouraging.
        ---
        "You say: Even a 'true belief' is not knowledge, if the means to the
        idea does conform some method."

        Response: I assume that you saw that I left out "not" (no pun) in "idea
        does [not] conform some method."
        ---
        "Any method? You see, it is the specifics which you feel are ok to
        glaze over that is where we likely disagree. Not that I think we will
        ever agree as you think my perspective is too skeptical, and I think
        yours not enough. But what is acceptable 'method'? At times it seems
        that your method of reading out of books is acceptable to come up with
        what you interpret as ideas from those books, and, well, I would
        suggest those reading the Bible, Koran, Śruti, The Book of the
        SubGenius, etc. all have a similar method, coming to what they believe
        are logical conclusions from reading what they read. You suggest those
        readings of what may be considered philosophical thought are not
        acceptable, while your own is...perhaps because you believe the
        authors were better (I am unclear)."

        Response: Knowledge is always perspectival and partial, but that isn't
        an argument against its possibility or formal necessity. To the extent
        that early humanity used what we can call religious speculation to
        explain the apparent world, using Reason, albeit unchecked and feral,
        to both make sense of the manifold of experience and to uplift Reason
        itself, even if with only partial self-consciousness, as something
        special and qualitatively superior to mere reactivity, those early
        assays into explanation are primitive knowledge. The specifics were in
        error, but the activity of Reason approaching the manifold with its own
        theoretical talents was an inchoate form of ... science. Of course,
        theory by reason alone is capable of all sorts of fantasy. And today,
        such a route to explanation by simple religious myth, which does not
        come about as an achievement of thought any longer, but as a recital of
        ideology and dumb habit, would be anti-science, anti-intellect and mere
        'belief' and nothing more.

        The advent of 'Greece', with the discovery of logic and formal method
        was a watershed moment for theory, and thus transformed the very
        conceptual basis of knowledge into something both demonstrable and
        hypothetical. It was the advent of hypothesis, not 'belief', that
        allowed knowledge to blossom. That is to say that only when the
        discourse became "dialectical", let us say (following Plato or Hegel,
        as you like), or only when a thesis can be put into doubt, or is
        falsifiable (Popper), as we would put it today, has theory attained its
        true character in its relation with the world. That genealogy or
        declination is knowledge. Belief blocks that movement of thought and
        questioning. It presumes knowledge by casting AWAY te very doubts that
        are the presupposition of knowing.
        ---
        "You say you are not proceeding from assumption, and I am not seeing
        how that is possible."

        Response: That was never my position. See above.

        Wil



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Knott <knott12@...>
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, 23 May 2008 9:30 am
        Subject: [existlist] Re: Oooey ooey rich and chewy inside!

























        First, Will, let me say I was pretty happy with your summary as, even

        if I don't seem to make sense to you, you summarized things fairly

        well (skoffing aside), so at least I don't feel like I was completely

        unclear. Question. You say:



        > Even a

        > 'true belief' is not knowledge,

        > if the means to the idea does conform some

        > method.



        Any method? You see, it is the specifics which you feel are ok to

        glaze over that is where we likely disagree. Not that I think we will

        ever agree as you think my perspective is too skeptical, and I think

        yours not enough. But what is acceptable 'method'? At times it seems

        that your method of reading out of books is acceptable to come up with

        what you interpret as ideas from those books, and, well, I would

        suggest those reading the Bible, Koran, Śruti, The Book of the

        SubGenius, etc. all have a similar method, coming to what they believe

        are logical conclusions from reading what they read. You suggest those

        readings of what may be considered philosophical thought are not

        acceptable, while your own is...perhaps because you believe the

        authors were better (I am unclear).



        As I have been lamely stating all along, I think some patterns appeal

        to me more and have historically (that is, I've more-or-less a science

        interest and background, which it was a little difficult to detach

        from), but I also recognize that a pleasing pattern may just be

        appealing to a sense of aesthetics, which is rather subjective. There

        are some very elegant models. However, I don't implicitly trust my own

        conclusions, or those of anyone else, obviously. I am positively

        insane about those who are incredibly sure of anything...and desire an

        understanding of it. Not to liken the two, but I used to read a lot

        about mass murderers who also had belief sets far outside my own as to

        what they could configure as right and wrong...correct and not...and

        how on earth they could justify their own actions. There is something

        they started with as an assumption that i did not.



        I never found it. It still makes no sense to me.



        You say you are not proceeding from assumption, and I am not seeing

        how that is possible.



        Crackly Firestove
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