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Re: What triggered existentialism?

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  • devogney
    ... term subconcious etc is a word that can never be fully defined. And any value a person might obtain from it would be reflected in the integration of head
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 5, 2008
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Maybe the term "existensialism" like the term "God", the
      term "subconcious" etc is a word that can never be fully defined. And
      any value a person might obtain from it would be reflected in the
      integration of head and heart rather than fitting in to any solidly
      defined definition. The term "Tao" in eastern thought is again a
      reference to something that probably never could be fully defined,
      and if it it ever reached that point where it could be fully
      defined, it would no longer represent the fertile frontier for growth
      and integration. I read a Carl Jung quote in regard the subconcious
      that in affect said that "the term subconcious like the terms God and
      the Devil refer to things of which we dont know too much about".
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: louise
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 3:36 PM
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: What triggered existentialism?
      >
      >
      > Rose,
      >
      > These are fruitful questions. What is called by the name of
      > existentialism constitutes a subject for academic study, yet also
      > represents a body of texts that might inspire an individual to
      take up
      > a new direction in the manner of living life, or indeed simply
      provide
      > interest, an engagement of feeling. In Kierkegaard's sense, to
      > reduplicate in one's own existence the ideas understood by one's
      > intellect, in effect to close the gap, between head and heart, or
      to
      > hold them in dynamic tension beneath a third, spiritual term, the
      realm
      > of the divine, is how I might best describe a philosophical
      discipline
      > which in one form or another has been part of the Western, and
      possibly
      > not only the Western, tradition, for two and a half millennia.
      Yet I
      > remain dissatisfied with my own description. Still in search of a
      less
      > abstract apprehension. Any description this brief is likely to be
      > perilously vague, anyway.
      >
      > Louise
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rose Lieberman" <lapis@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before
      it
      > was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product
      of
      > its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?
      > >
      > > War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another
      > philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single
      person
      > that rang true for others?
      > >
      > > Rose
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Herman B. Triplegood
      It started with Kant. The first philosopher, ever, to seriously take on the conundrum of human freedom plus human finitude. I have said it before, and I will
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 5, 2008
        It started with Kant. The first philosopher, ever, to seriously take
        on the conundrum of human freedom plus human finitude. I have said it
        before, and I will say it again. What Kant was really all about
        cashes out, ultimately, inevitably, into existentialism.

        Hb3g

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rose Lieberman" <lapis@...> wrote:
        >
        > Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it
        was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product
        of its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?
        >
        > War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another
        philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single
        person that rang true for others?
        >
        > Rose
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • tom
        If one of the criteria of existensialism is the idea that whatever we put our faith in, it is I that have placed that faith; it might be argued that
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 9, 2008
          If one of the criteria of existensialism is the idea that whatever we put our faith in, it is I that have placed that faith; it might be argued that existensialism could not have emerged until after the printing press and the industrial revolution. I recall reading the Marshal Mccluan book of media being the means or such a number of years ago, and he maintained that the printing press and literacy to a large extent created the concept of the individual. Protestanism, and its reliance on reading your bible replaced the right hemisphere experience of Catholic liturgy and sacraments with the left hemisphere experience of the individual alone reading and reflecting. Also the industrial revolution replaced a predestined life as a peasant with the various possibilities of being a tradesman or merchant. A few years ago, I read a George Soros book in which he differentiated between traditional and critical thinking, as well as the difference between an organic and an open society. The concept of choice, so pertinent to existensialism, only becomes a reality as economic, social, and political evolution transforms organic socities into open ones, and traditional thinking into critical thinking. The quote from "Tale of Two Cities" "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times" is a relection of that shift, although obviously the French Revolution made the dichotomy more extreme. The resistance to westernization prevalent in the mideast is to a large extent rooted in the fear of the negative aspects of a change from an organic to an open society, and the consequent change from the family being the focus to the individual.
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Rose Lieberman
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2008 6:46 AM
          Subject: [existlist] What triggered existentialism?


          Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product of its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?

          War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single person that rang true for others?

          Rose

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • chris lofting
          ... The shift from symmetric thinking (social thinking and dream state expression) to anti-symmetric (parts thinking) and on into asymmetric thinking
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 9, 2008
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            > [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tom
            > Sent: Friday, 10 October 2008 8:55 AM
            > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [existlist] What triggered existentialism?
            >
            > If one of the criteria of existensialism is the idea that
            > whatever we put our faith in, it is I that have placed that
            > faith; it might be argued that existensialism could not have
            > emerged until after the printing press and the industrial
            > revolution. I recall reading the Marshal Mccluan book of
            > media being the means or such a number of years ago, and he
            > maintained that the printing press and literacy to a large
            > extent created the concept of the individual. Protestanism,
            > and its reliance on reading your bible replaced the right
            > hemisphere experience of Catholic liturgy and sacraments with
            > the left hemisphere experience of the individual alone
            > reading and reflecting. Also the industrial revolution
            > replaced a predestined life as a peasant with the various
            > possibilities of being a tradesman or merchant. A few years
            > ago, I read a George Soros book in which he differentiated
            > between traditional and critical thinking, as well as the
            > difference between an organic and an open society. The
            > concept of choice, so pertinent to existensialism, only
            > becomes a reality as economic, social, and political
            > evolution transforms organic socities into open ones, and
            > traditional thinking into critical thinking. The quote from
            > "Tale of Two Cities" "It was the best of times. It was the
            > worst of times" is a relection of that shift, although
            > obviously the French Revolution made the dichotomy more
            > extreme. The resistance to westernization prevalent in the
            > mideast is to a large extent rooted in the fear of the
            > negative aspects of a change from an organic to an open
            > society, and the consequent change from the family being the
            > focus to the individual.

            The shift from symmetric thinking (social thinking and dream state
            expression) to anti-symmetric (parts thinking) and on into asymmetric
            thinking (mediation) brings out education systems that focus on high
            precision (differentiating). What this does is fragment general symmetry
            into local symmetries - i.e. the multitude of individuals but now as
            conscious beings and so open to self-regulating if 'allowed'. This brings
            out the transcendence/transform dichotomy where transformation is
            shape-shifting and so adapting to a context without change of inner 'being'.
            OTOH transcendence will bring out total change or more so the assertion of
            one's own context to replace any existing context with something considered
            'better'.

            In most social revolutions the focus is more on distortion of symmetry
            rather than breakage, fragmentation within the box that eventually leads to
            a re-integrating of the fragments into some 'better fit' order but will
            within the enclosure of the original symmetry. This is adaptive change such
            that the egalitarians overthrow the aristocrats who overthrow the
            egalitarians etc - this is reflected in current times with the
            nationalisation and so socialisation of capitalist institutions being an
            'instinctive' response to the problems with those institutions. However,
            what is currently starting to emerge is a focus on hybrid forms where the
            capitalist/socialist dichotomy is self-referenced to elicit from the middle
            of that dichotomy variations on the themes and so choices beyond the 'basic
            two that appear to not work 'as is''.

            That said, there is a bias in these choices to increase in regulations and
            so a falling back upon restrictions of individual freedom for the sake of
            the collective.

            The brain dynamic is more so OSCILLATIONS across
            left-hemisphere/right-hemisphere as well as front/back where such
            oscillations reflect a brain trying to deal with the new/complex and so
            derive a language with which to perform and represent mediation - what is
            implied is that the existing set of responses to stimuli does not work in
            the current local context and so refinements or new habits need to be made.

            Thus consciousness is a product of oscillations where left-brain bias is
            more anti-symmetric (differentiating, part, mechanistic) and right-brain
            bias is more symmetric (integrating, whole, organic) and oscillation links
            these elements into an asymmetric dichotomy that is self-referenced (the
            oscillations).

            The more educated one is the more differentiating (also brings out the
            front/back dynamic where frontal lobes etc cover anticipatory behaviours)
            and so the more expressive of consciousness and sense of self. The richness
            of well-developed language requires high level differentiations and so a
            COMPETITIVE context overall where such introduces pressures to make finer
            and finer distinctions and develop better and better technologies and so
            develop from there.

            This focus on distinction-making creates borders and so lets loose what
            lives on borders - complexity/chaos dynamics and so the availability of
            'emergences' that can elicit transcending over transforming. Existentialism
            appears to have emerged as a consequence of the fragmentation of general
            symmetries and development (training) of individual consciousness to a level
            where questions are raised with regard to the level of proactive individual
            experiences and assessments when compared to the reactive natures of our
            social beings (symmetric thinking etc)

            Some of the roots of existentialism can be identified in ancient Asian
            perspectives free of their religious exaggerations (secular Taoism, Zen
            Buddhism etc) with their focus on a way of living (and so on doing rather
            than being). The discipline involved, when taken to extreme will NATURALLY
            convert doing into being since the object/relationships dynamic is grounded
            in all of our species where local context elicits biases that form into
            cultural groups with their own languages. These languages will derive
            specialist forms due to self-referencing and so cover the range of
            being/doing. TO map out the sameness across all of these specialisations,
            and so expressed differences, requires consideration of the general
            methodology used across the species in deriving meaning.

            Chris.
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