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wearying debate

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  • louise
    in the course of recent discussion with newbie chris lofting, i took the attitude, live and let live , on the basis that he was an exponent of a scientism
    Message 1 of 34 , Sep 8, 2008
      in the course of recent discussion with newbie chris lofting, i took
      the attitude, 'live and let live', on the basis that he was an exponent
      of a scientism that in the context of everyday life is not illegal, and
      that my own opinion (in which i am clearly not alone) that his theses
      are essentially off-topic to the list, is consequence of my existential
      commitment, subjective, and based in philosophical enquiry. it is,
      however, annoying, that so much mental space becomes occupied with what
      looks to me like the forays of a religious zealot. it would not be
      that, posted at a neurology list.

      louise
      ... who believes angels are angels
    • Herman B. Triplegood
      Well, that was a pretty good rant Wil. Hb3g ... in the ... genuine and ... I consider ... ones that ... a lot of ... you have ... you have ... being ... you
      Message 34 of 34 , Sep 19, 2008
        Well, that was a pretty good rant Wil.

        Hb3g

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        >
        > Hb3g
        >
        > Yes, that was a rant, but there is nothing wrong with a rant or two
        in the
        > course of one's day, every now and then, assuming that it is
        genuine and
        > self-defining. I have mine too.
        >
        > Look, friend, I have read Heidegger and studied him since the 70s.
        I consider
        > him to be one of the 'must reads' of our tradition. My comments are
        ones that
        > are, as they say, "considered", that is to say life-long and after
        a lot of
        > soul searching along that highway of despair (to gloss Hegel) that
        you have
        > described so passionately.
        >
        > Yes, of course, Heidegger is a profound thinker. He is everything
        you have
        > said he is. But there is another moment of doing philosophy, of
        being
        > 'authentic' perhaps, when for whatever reason and at whatever time
        you say to yourself
        > "yes" or "no", and then again louder and more emphatically. There
        was just such
        > a moment for me with Heidegger when I all of a sudden felt as if in
        a
        > mausoleum -- or better, at a church service (a mass) when reading
        him. The
        > 'religiosity' that I glean in Heidegger, which he believes is
        poetry, is indicative of
        > both his conservative politics that 'hearkens' the missing and
        missed past
        > rather than pointing to the proud present and liberational future;
        as well as his
        > almost Hamlet-like inability to do much of anything at all but
        brood his
        > thought. That is my reading, but I would say that it is more than
        JUST my own
        > subjective interpretation.
        >
        > In any event, assuming the above to be understandable, the issue
        then comes
        > down to the ethical/political. In my view Heidegger's politics are
        entirely
        > aesthetic! Let's not forget that his attachment to Nazism (which
        lasted until the
        > allies entered Berlin) was FOR THE SAKE OF CULTURE. Like our
        own "culture
        > warriors" of the rightwing kind, his dread of loss (of homeland as
        destiny) lead
        > to the same bait and switch politics that has stuptified Junkers
        and bumpkins
        > alike, so well described by Thomas Frank in his 'What's the Matter
        with
        > Kansas". While Heidegger was certainly not a racist (or at least
        not an
        > anti-Semite), his thought does in fact lead one to an almost Jung-
        like insistence on a
        > 'Deutschland fur Deutsche' regimen which, when understood within
        the general
        > claims for a general philosophy, one which precludes "Russia and
        America", and
        > presumably everyone else but for the Greeks themselves (which are
        mostly fantasy
        > images for him), well --- the generality becomes apparent as all-
        too specific
        > "doesn't it" (as you like to put it). Heidegger's works prior to
        and during
        > the fascist period are interesting and thought provoking, but they
        are
        > inherently reactionary and intolerant. Heidegger wouldn't
        know "freedom" if it bit him
        > in the arse.
        >
        > That is always the problem when one regards "History" as a special
        unfolding,
        > as destiny or 'eschaton': the question becomes "whose history?".
        Whose
        > destiny? Oh yes, the "destiny of Being". Hiding behind the anti-
        humanism of
        > anthropomorphic transcendental signifiers. Well, that's an old
        game, although God is
        > usually the moniker given. But Heidegger is too modern for
        that. 'Only a an
        > empty transcendental signifier can save us now,' as he sort of
        said. So if there
        > is no God that can save us, it is the rememory, the alethea, of
        Being. Really?
        > Not the labor theory of value, or the scientific method, or global
        labor
        > movements, or impeachment hearings, or ....?
        >
        > Not for Heidegger! Too onical, I guess. It is like a aesthete who
        loves
        > Music, but who is bored with everything he hears. Love the ideal!
        But we all know
        > what absolutes are. They are an abyss. (If you stare too long at
        the abyss,
        > ....)
        >
        > And finally, and if I may be so bold as to suggest: an attachment
        to any
        > thinker is almost always a recipe for foolishness. I think a good
        dose of
        > Nietzsche is in order.
        >
        > Rant for rant.
        >
        > Yours,
        > Wil
        >
        > In a message dated 9/13/08 11:55:18 PM, hb3g@... writes:
        >
        >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Well...?
        > >
        > > Isn't truth a great mystery? What about un-truth? Isn't that an
        even
        > > greater mystery than truth? What about what we know? How do we
        know?
        > > Why do we know?
        > >
        > > Better yet, what about what we don't know? Something is revealed
        to
        > > us, and we call that truth. For, isn't truth, when it comes right
        > > down to it, what is revealed to actually be the case? So, we DO
        know
        > > truth. We know something. We know some things. That is for sure.
        And
        > > yet, there is always something more that is not revealed to us,
        > > something that remains hidden from us. How else do we account for
        the
        > > fact that truth is something that we must achieve? That truth
        isn't
        > > just handed to us, as if on a silver platter, when we are born?
        And
        > > yet, this very fact, that truth isn't just handed to us, that we
        have
        > > to achieve truth, brings us to the very mystery that truth is even
        > > concealed in the first place, that there can be any such thing as
        not
        > > knowing the truth of the matter, or, even knowing the truth of the
        > > matter wrongly, i.e., being in un-truth, as opposed to being in
        truth.
        > >
        > > What about THAT? As philosophers, what do we say about THAT? What
        do
        > > we DO about that? Do we just tack a label onto it? Do we dismiss
        it
        > > as "mysticism" and just move on to "more scientific" topics of
        > > discussion? Do we, as philosophers, simply assume, out of hand,
        that
        > > the fact that we do NOT know, counts for nothing at all?
        > >
        > > How un-Socratic that actually is! How un-Platonic it actually
        turns
        > > out to be! The whole point of the Socratic method, of many of the
        > > major dialogues of Plato, the "Socratic" ones as well as
        > > the "Platonic" ones, especially, the Meno, the Phaedo, the
        > > Theaetetus, the Sophist, the Parmenides, is, EXACTLY, this very
        > > mystery of our NOT always being in the truth.
        > >
        > > Heidegger has EXACTLY this very mystery in view. Where there is
        > > truth, there is also un-truth. Where there is knowing, there is
        also
        > > not knowing. Where there is Being, there is also NOT Being. It is
        as
        > > obvious to Heidegger, as it is to anyone else that it matters
        whether
        > > or not these recondite reflections upon the meaning of Being
        > > ultimately cash out into the realms of the existential and the
        > > political.
        > >
        > > But, like good old Socrates, and also Plato, and many other deep
        > > thinkers on the mystery of life, Boethius, even Kant, we are
        warned
        > > against the temptation to level off the ontological insight, to
        turn
        > > it into a series of trivial observations about our everyday Being
        in
        > > the world. What Heidegger, and Socrates, and Plato, are all
        talking
        > > about is something very obvious. It is SO obvious, in fact, that
        we
        > > totally miss it, and we altogether lack any insight into it at
        all.
        > >
        > > I was convinced of this long before I read Heidegger. It has been
        the
        > > guiding philosophical principle of my life, ever since the
        question
        > > of the meaning of life (Being, whatever) first came up for me at
        the
        > > age of thirteen, that, in life and through living, what we are up
        > > against is, fundamentally, a mystery. Maybe it sounds trite, at
        this
        > > point, to say that the mystery of life is not a problem to be
        solved,
        > > but a reality to be experienced, but, as trite as it may seem to
        > > some, it is, to me, a true statement, and, as a true statement, it
        > > does not preclude the possibility of a very precise articulation
        of
        > > the very essence of the problem, the question, the meaning, of
        life.
        > >
        > > Eros, as we find it in Plato, doesn't just mean physical, sexual,
        > > passion. It means, a fundamental "striving toward" the object, the
        > > essence, the goal, the root. We totally miss the depth of that
        > > striving when we level it off into an infinite task of progress
        > > toward an ultimately unattainable, asymptotic, limit of our
        knowledge
        > > and freedom.
        > >
        > > It is just another one of those many cases where we read our
        modern
        > > ways of thinking into what the Greeks said, and we THINK we
        > > understand them when we foist upon them terms of discourse that
        were
        > > utterly foreign to the Greek ways of thinking! Ha! The one thing
        that
        > > Heidegger does, which is so important, if only we take him
        seriously,
        > > is that he shakes loose our anachronistic readings of the Greeks.
        He
        > > takes us back to the very root of Greek philosophical concepts, by
        > > showing exactly how those very concepts were grounded in, and grew
        > > out of, the everyday language of the Greeks, a language that was
        far
        > > closer to a direct comprehension of the Being of beings than
        either
        > > Latin or English have turned out to be.
        > >
        > > It isn't just word magic, or folk etymology, either. The analyses
        are
        > > too detailed, too cogent, to be fabrications based upon mere
        words.
        > > At every step, Heidegger also shows the phenomenological bases of
        the
        > > geneses of the concepts he is analyzing. You won't get this if you
        > > don't work hard when you read Heidegger, and that means being
        willing
        > > to at least look at the Greek texts he brings into the
        conversation.
        > > And you don't have to master Greek to follow Heidegger either.
        Just a
        > > little bit of Greek CAN go a long way.
        > >
        > > If all of this IS mysticism, well then, SO BE IT! A lot of things
        get
        > > a bad rap these days. We think we are so superior! Just because we
        > > are modern! What a bunch of bull that is! I, for one, will not
        deny
        > > that all of THIS, the life in which I find myself involved, and
        the
        > > many and various situations in which I find myself constantly
        > > ensnared, not to mention the whole history that I have inherited,
        all
        > > of these things are all, taken together, when it comes right down
        to
        > > it, parts of a great mystery that I cannot pretend to have finally
        > > understood, or to have finally solved. We know the name of THAT
        kind
        > > of pretense! The pretense to having THE answer. It is sophistry!
        Pure
        > > and simple!
        > >
        > > The very first step, the real step, into the realm of the
        > > philosophical, requires, of us, that we keep firmly in mind, the
        > > constant fact, that what we actually know is NOT what really
        counts.
        > > It is what we DON'T know that counts. This is the Socratic state
        of
        > > mind; an IRONIC state of mind, of course! It goes along with the
        > > Socratic way of understanding, a way of understanding that is all
        > > about the questioning, NOT just the answers.
        > >
        > > But hey! That's me! I am a square peg, and I don't mind "being
        > > square" about THIS at all.
        > >
        > > Yeah, we can go ahead and "nutshell" Heidegger, and every other
        > > philosopher to boot. Why not? Obviously, we are indifferent to
        what
        > > they actually said, or why they said it. Our little schematism of
        > > convenient concepts, our way of pigeonholing philosphers, not to
        > > mention poets and novelists, is all that matters anyway. Why?
        Well,
        > > because we ARE the superior ones. Right? We ARE the ones who are
        now
        > > beyond the end, the culmination, of history, or, at the very
        least,
        > > we are almost THERE by now. Hold onto your hat! The eschaton is
        the
        > > day after tomorrow! Right?
        > >
        > > At the end of the day, having conquered everything, having
        dominated
        > > everything, what do we really understand? Nothing. What
        fundamental
        > > insights do we really have? None.
        > >
        > > Oh my! Was that a rant?
        > >
        > > Hb3g
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > **************
        > Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion blog,
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        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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