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The philosopher and the poet

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  • jimstuart51
    Tom, You write: Supporting your point of view Knott, Bob Dylan did not like to give any further interpretations on his songs, maintaining the listener can more
    Message 1 of 24 , Nov 28, 2008
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      Tom,

      You write:

      Supporting your point of view Knott, Bob Dylan did not like to give
      any further interpretations on his songs, maintaining the listener
      can more profitably interpret them without any further details. There
      are theories that much of art and various creative expressions rises
      from the subconscious depths of the artist, who may not consciously
      understand the details any more or maybe not as much as someone else.
      45760

      Whilst I can agree with this, I would suggest that the aim of the
      philosopher is to attempt to get at the truth, in spite of the fact
      that his "subconscious depths" may have an influence on what he
      thinks and writes.

      It is common today to argue that the philosopher has no hope of
      making progress towards the truth because at base he is irrational:
      he is at the mercy of irrational forces, no matter how hard he tries
      to escape them.

      Perhaps I am naïve, but I believe a human being is capable of
      thinking rationally, of putting forward a sound argument, and
      arriving at truths, truths his subconscious may wish to hide from him.

      Further, Bob Dylan was a poet and not a philosopher. The poet is
      happy to create an ambiguous poem which is open to multiple readings,
      and which can fire the imaginations of readers in many different
      directions. In contrast, the genuine philosopher aims to makes his
      thoughts clear and distinct, such that a determinate meaning is
      manifested, a meaning which is open to view, and is open to as little
      latitude in interpretation as possible. Or so I view the genuine
      philosopher.

      Jim
    • tom
      Jim, The paragraphs below are from the Wikpedia definition of existential philosophy. It states that existensilism deals with the acting,feeling, living
      Message 2 of 24 , Nov 28, 2008
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        Jim, The paragraphs below are from the Wikpedia definition of existential philosophy. It states that existensilism deals with the acting,feeling, living individual. In regard to Kierkgard it states that he regarded truth as subjective. The more we get into the subjective feeling individual, the more difficult it is to find any one size fits all philosophy.




        Søren Kierkegaard
        Existentialism is a term which has been applied to the work of a number of late nineteenth and twentieth century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences,[28][29] shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject-not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.[30] In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.[31] Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophy, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.[32][33]

        Although they didn't use the term, the nineteenth century philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche are widely regarded as the fathers of existentialism. Their influence, however, has extended beyond existentialist thought.[34][35][36]

        The main target of Kierkegaard's writings was the idealist philosophical system of Hegel which, he thought, ignored or excluded the inner subjective life of living human beings. Kierkegaard, conversely, held that "truth is subjectivity", arguing that what is most important to an actual human being are questions dealing with an individual's inner relationship to existence.



        Response: Argument, since the days of Socrates and Plato and
        Aristotle, if not long before in that tradition, has insisted that
        intellectualism is the only road to truth, and is the only truly
        UNSELFISH road to knowledge. It is when we give in to pain, and
        feelings generally, they we allow our selfishness to intrude in
        matters intellectual. Follow Aristotle: if you want to cry, read
        Sophocles. But when you reflect on your tears, do so with rigor. No?


        The above was from a post by Wil I believe, but again to see intellectualism as the only road to truth and to worship the alienated intellect rather than positing integration between the intellect and the feeling, sensing, intuiting faculties as the ideal is a mistake in my opinion. Maybe from a totally academic point of view, philosophy could be totally intellectual, but from a subjective individual point of view without a feeling subject I dont know how value could exist. This is my point of doubt when people speculate the possibility of computerized intelligance becoming agents in their own right. Without feelings like lust, compassion etc, the cognative functions would have no will to direct them.

        Tom

        Tom



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: jimstuart51
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, November 28, 2008 3:14 PM
        Subject: [existlist] The philosopher and the poet


        Tom,

        You write:

        Supporting your point of view Knott, Bob Dylan did not like to give
        any further interpretations on his songs, maintaining the listener
        can more profitably interpret them without any further details. There
        are theories that much of art and various creative expressions rises
        from the subconscious depths of the artist, who may not consciously
        understand the details any more or maybe not as much as someone else.
        45760

        Whilst I can agree with this, I would suggest that the aim of the
        philosopher is to attempt to get at the truth, in spite of the fact
        that his "subconscious depths" may have an influence on what he
        thinks and writes.

        It is common today to argue that the philosopher has no hope of
        making progress towards the truth because at base he is irrational:
        he is at the mercy of irrational forces, no matter how hard he tries
        to escape them.

        Perhaps I am naïve, but I believe a human being is capable of
        thinking rationally, of putting forward a sound argument, and
        arriving at truths, truths his subconscious may wish to hide from him.

        Further, Bob Dylan was a poet and not a philosopher. The poet is
        happy to create an ambiguous poem which is open to multiple readings,
        and which can fire the imaginations of readers in many different
        directions. In contrast, the genuine philosopher aims to makes his
        thoughts clear and distinct, such that a determinate meaning is
        manifested, a meaning which is open to view, and is open to as little
        latitude in interpretation as possible. Or so I view the genuine
        philosopher.

        Jim





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • jimstuart51
        Tom, Thank you for your reply to my post, but I think you have misunderstood me somewhat. Recall, I wrote this: I would suggest that the aim of the
        Message 3 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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          Tom,

          Thank you for your reply to my post, but I think you have
          misunderstood me somewhat.

          Recall, I wrote this:

          "I would suggest that the aim of the philosopher is to attempt to get
          at the truth, in spite of the fact that his "subconscious depths" may
          have an influence on what he thinks and writes.

          It is common today to argue that the philosopher has no hope of
          making progress towards the truth because at base he is irrational:
          he is at the mercy of irrational forces, no matter how hard he tries
          to escape them.

          Perhaps I am naïve, but I believe a human being is capable of
          thinking rationally, of putting forward a sound argument, and
          arriving at truths, truths his subconscious may wish to hide from
          him."

          You seem to have interpreted these words as implying a narrow
          abstract intellectualism which excludes the sort of subjective
          philosophy which Kierkegaard wrote.

          I am a great admirer of Kierkegaard (and Nietzsche for that matter),
          and I agree with you that the genuine philosopher writes his
          philosophy from the heart (writes it with his own blood as Nietzsche
          put it). He writes from his personal experience, with fear and
          trembling, trying to put his strong emotions into a clear and
          understandable prose structure.

          What I was objecting to in the above quote were too related ideas:
          first that the philosopher does not fully understand his own words
          (due to them emerging from his subconscious – in the Freudian sense –
          and not his conscious reflections) and secondly that the philosopher
          is not capable of fully rational thought and argument (again due to
          him being a mere siphon for his irrational, hidden, repressed desires
          that are out of his reach in his subconscious).

          Kierkegaard would have had no truck with Freud. Nietzsche may well
          have agreed with a lot of Freud's ideas – not surprisingly since
          Freud got his best ideas from Nietzsche in the first place.

          So, hopefully you can see that I actually agree with you when you
          write:

          " … to see intellectualism as the only road to truth and to worship
          the alienated intellect rather than positing integration between the
          intellect and the feeling, sensing, intuiting faculties as the ideal
          is a mistake in my opinion. Maybe from a totally academic point of
          view, philosophy could be totally intellectual, but from a subjective
          individual point of view without a feeling subject I dont know how
          value could exist."

          I feel I can agree with what you write here, but still maintain that
          there is a difference between the philosopher and the poet.

          Further, I do not read Wil as denying that the philosopher can write
          from strong feelings or connect his philosophical argument to his own
          subjective viewpoint. Rather I think both Wil and I want to emphasize
          that philosophy is (and ought to be) predominantly a rational
          activity were the participants aim to put forward valid arguments and
          aim to refute their opponents claims with sound arguments, rather
          than just making brute assertions. The philosopher aims to get to
          that truth using his powers of reason. There may be other ways of
          accessing the truth, such as mystical experience, or inner
          transformation, but these ways are not strictly philosophical.

          Jim
        • eupraxis@aol.com
          Jim, I am in agreement with you. Wil ... ************** Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com.
          Message 4 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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            Jim,

            I am in agreement with you.

            Wil

            In a message dated 11/29/08 5:24:23 AM, jjimstuart1@... writes:


            >
            >
            >
            > Tom,
            >
            > Thank you for your reply to my post, but I think you have
            > misunderstood me somewhat.
            >
            > Recall, I wrote this:
            >
            > "I would suggest that the aim of the philosopher is to attempt to get
            > at the truth, in spite of the fact that his "subconscious depths" may
            > have an influence on what he thinks and writes.
            >
            > It is common today to argue that the philosopher has no hope of
            > making progress towards the truth because at base he is irrational:
            > he is at the mercy of irrational forces, no matter how hard he tries
            > to escape them.
            >
            > Perhaps I am naïve, but I believe a human being is capable of
            > thinking rationally, of putting forward a sound argument, and
            > arriving at truths, truths his subconscious may wish to hide from
            > him."
            >
            > You seem to have interpreted these words as implying a narrow
            > abstract intellectualism which excludes the sort of subjective
            > philosophy which Kierkegaard wrote.
            >
            > I am a great admirer of Kierkegaard (and Nietzsche for that matter),
            > and I agree with you that the genuine philosopher writes his
            > philosophy from the heart (writes it with his own blood as Nietzsche
            > put it). He writes from his personal experience, with fear and
            > trembling, trying to put his strong emotions into a clear and
            > understandable prose structure.
            >
            > What I was objecting to in the above quote were too related ideas:
            > first that the philosopher does not fully understand his own words
            > (due to them emerging from his subconscious – in the Freudian sense –
            > and not his conscious reflections) and secondly that the philosopher
            > is not capable of fully rational thought and argument (again due to
            > him being a mere siphon for his irrational, hidden, repressed desires
            > that are out of his reach in his subconscious)
            >
            > Kierkegaard would have had no truck with Freud. Nietzsche may well
            > have agreed with a lot of Freud's ideas – not surprisingly since
            > Freud got his best ideas from Nietzsche in the first place.
            >
            > So, hopefully you can see that I actually agree with you when you
            > write:
            >
            > " … to see intellectualism as the only road to truth and to worship
            > the alienated intellect rather than positing integration between the
            > intellect and the feeling, sensing, intuiting faculties as the ideal
            > is a mistake in my opinion. Maybe from a totally academic point of
            > view, philosophy could be totally intellectual, but from a subjective
            > individual point of view without a feeling subject I dont know how
            > value could exist."
            >
            > I feel I can agree with what you write here, but still maintain that
            > there is a difference between the philosopher and the poet.
            >
            > Further, I do not read Wil as denying that the philosopher can write
            > from strong feelings or connect his philosophical argument to his own
            > subjective viewpoint. Rather I think both Wil and I want to emphasize
            > that philosophy is (and ought to be) predominantly a rational
            > activity were the participants aim to put forward valid arguments and
            > aim to refute their opponents claims with sound arguments, rather
            > than just making brute assertions. The philosopher aims to get to
            > that truth using his powers of reason. There may be other ways of
            > accessing the truth, such as mystical experience, or inner
            > transformation, but these ways are not strictly philosophical.
            >
            > Jim
            >
            >
            >
            >




            **************
            Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
            favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&
            icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Knott
            ... Not clear on the importance of truth , how it is defined, or its tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that truth is a clever
            Message 5 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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              > I would suggest that the aim of the
              > philosopher is to attempt to get at the truth, in spite of the fact
              > that his "subconscious depths" may have an influence on what he
              > thinks and writes.

              Not clear on the importance of 'truth', how it is defined, or its
              tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that
              truth is a clever misconception. I am willing for something other than
              truth to be at the end of the rainbow.

              Dorothy and Toto
            • eupraxis@aol.com
              ... Knott, This is a question with a long pedigree. I would answer that no truth is ultimate. Newton s Laws are true, Einstein s are more disclosive and
              Message 6 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                In a message dated 11/29/08 7:33:18 AM, knott12@... writes:

                > "Not clear on the importance of 'truth', how it is defined, or its
                > tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that
                > truth is a clever misconception. I am willing for something other than
                > truth to be at the end of the rainbow."
                >

                Knott,

                This is a question with a long pedigree. I would answer that no 'truth' is
                ultimate. Newton's Laws are true, Einstein's are more disclosive and greater
                perspectivally, if that is a word. Zizek has been using the term "parallax" to
                describe the inherent warble in appearance, analysis, ... and so forth. This
                parallax always makes of the Real a distortion, while leaving another sense of
                Real as a nagging residue. In this sense I can agree with the otherwise cynical
                formulation that "truth is [always] a clever misconception."

                I would only add that this is no argument against truth. We deal with our lot
                as it appears to us, in the manner deemed most appropriate.

                Wil



                **************
                Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
                favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&
                icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Aija Veldre Beldavs
                ... how about ongoing insight for the purpose of living a better life as one comes to see it within the time and circumstances one is given [Lord of the
                Message 7 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                  Knott wrote:
                  >> I would suggest that the aim of the
                  >> philosopher is to attempt to get at the truth, in spite of the fact
                  >> that his "subconscious depths" may have an influence on what he
                  >> thinks and writes.
                  >
                  > Not clear on the importance of 'truth', how it is defined, or its
                  > tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that
                  > truth is a clever misconception. I am willing for something other than
                  > truth to be at the end of the rainbow.
                  >
                  > Dorothy and Toto

                  how about ongoing insight for the purpose of living a better life as one
                  comes to see it within the time and circumstances one is "given" [Lord
                  of the Rings:)]. humans being social animals, a satisfying life
                  includes being able to better interrelate, which requires empathy and a
                  human-centered as well as ecological perspective. for me existentialism
                  is a start or perhaps a corrective, but it is neither exclusive nor
                  self-sufficient; i draw much else that i need from other sources for
                  what i don't see as especially developed or even addressed by the
                  existential pioneers.

                  i don't see how in terms of lived experience one can be deeply and
                  creatively responsible without empathy for all of ongoing living life as
                  it interrelates. also, people who have made an especial impact on me
                  don't necessarily seem to come from the same backgrounds, philosophical
                  or otherwise.

                  aija
                • jimstuart51
                  Knott, You write: Not clear on the importance of truth , how it is defined, or its tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that truth is
                  Message 8 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                    Knott,

                    You write:

                    "Not clear on the importance of 'truth', how it is defined, or its
                    tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that
                    truth is a clever misconception. I am willing for something other
                    than truth to be at the end of the rainbow."

                    If we start off in the ordinary world of human affairs, then it seems
                    to me that there are various truths that we may or may not know, or
                    some of us know and some of us don't.

                    An example I have used before: Either OJ Simpson did kill his ex-wife
                    or he didn't. You and I don't know. Probably the only living person
                    who does know is OJ himself. There is a truth here, and in a way it
                    would be good if a lot more of us knew what it was, particularly
                    those in the US who administer justice.

                    Philosophical truth is a trickier customer, especially as ordinary
                    empirical methods of verification do not apply. An example: Either
                    the sentences in this post have a determinate meaning or they do not.
                    I agree it is difficult, if not impossible, for you or I to know the
                    truth in this case, but I would suggest that there is truth here,
                    even if we cannot get at it.

                    I think I agree with you that I would probably be content to settle
                    for something less than truth at the end of the rainbow.

                    What about this as a truth-substitute: Informed agreement?

                    Perhaps the best we can aim for on a forum like this is to come to an
                    agreement on the matter at issue, after a full, rational and
                    constructive discussion?

                    Jim
                  • tom
                    I probably was thinking more in terms of the Jungian than the Freudian concept of the subconcious, when I refered to many artistic and philosophophical
                    Message 9 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                      I probably was thinking more in terms of the Jungian than the Freudian concept of the subconcious, when I refered to many artistic and philosophophical creations emerging from the subconcious. Jung envisioned a personal subconcious much like Freud, which was made up primarily of feelings and thoughts repressed by the subconcious, but also posited a collective unconcious beyond that. When I referred to material emerging from the subconcious, I wasn't in any way assuming that it's value was reduced.



                      Rather I think both Wil and I want to emphasize
                      > that philosophy is (and ought to be) predominantly a rational
                      > activity were the participants aim to put forward valid arguments and
                      > aim to refute their opponents claims with sound arguments, rather
                      > than just making brute assertions. The philosopher aims to get to
                      > that truth using his powers of reason. There may be other ways of
                      > accessing the truth, such as mystical experience, or inner
                      > transformation, but these ways are not strictly philosophical.

                      The longer I have lived, the more I've come to doubt that matters of life can be resolved through the strenghth of the argument. Its a starting place, but in my opinion the value of the philosophy to the individual will be revealed to the extent that such a philosophy empowers the individual.I guess in that respect, I could be considered a pragmatist in the William James mode. I suppose also my interest in philosophy, psychology etc is primarily related to inner transformation. Without the possibility of inner transformation, philosophy becomes just another game to while away the time.

                      Tom


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: eupraxis@...
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 7:13 AM
                      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: The philosopher and the poet


                      Jim,

                      I am in agreement with you.

                      Wil

                      In a message dated 11/29/08 5:24:23 AM, jjimstuart1@... writes:

                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Tom,
                      >
                      > Thank you for your reply to my post, but I think you have
                      > misunderstood me somewhat.
                      >
                      > Recall, I wrote this:
                      >
                      > "I would suggest that the aim of the philosopher is to attempt to get
                      > at the truth, in spite of the fact that his "subconscious depths" may
                      > have an influence on what he thinks and writes.
                      >
                      > It is common today to argue that the philosopher has no hope of
                      > making progress towards the truth because at base he is irrational:
                      > he is at the mercy of irrational forces, no matter how hard he tries
                      > to escape them.
                      >
                      > Perhaps I am naïve, but I believe a human being is capable of
                      > thinking rationally, of putting forward a sound argument, and
                      > arriving at truths, truths his subconscious may wish to hide from
                      > him."
                      >
                      > You seem to have interpreted these words as implying a narrow
                      > abstract intellectualism which excludes the sort of subjective
                      > philosophy which Kierkegaard wrote.
                      >
                      > I am a great admirer of Kierkegaard (and Nietzsche for that matter),
                      > and I agree with you that the genuine philosopher writes his
                      > philosophy from the heart (writes it with his own blood as Nietzsche
                      > put it). He writes from his personal experience, with fear and
                      > trembling, trying to put his strong emotions into a clear and
                      > understandable prose structure.
                      >
                      > What I was objecting to in the above quote were too related ideas:
                      > first that the philosopher does not fully understand his own words
                      > (due to them emerging from his subconscious – in the Freudian sense –
                      > and not his conscious reflections) and secondly that the philosopher
                      > is not capable of fully rational thought and argument (again due to
                      > him being a mere siphon for his irrational, hidden, repressed desires
                      > that are out of his reach in his subconscious)
                      >
                      > Kierkegaard would have had no truck with Freud. Nietzsche may well
                      > have agreed with a lot of Freud's ideas – not surprisingly since
                      > Freud got his best ideas from Nietzsche in the first place.
                      >
                      > So, hopefully you can see that I actually agree with you when you
                      > write:
                      >
                      > " … to see intellectualism as the only road to truth and to worship
                      > the alienated intellect rather than positing integration between the
                      > intellect and the feeling, sensing, intuiting faculties as the ideal
                      > is a mistake in my opinion. Maybe from a totally academic point of
                      > view, philosophy could be totally intellectual, but from a subjective
                      > individual point of view without a feeling subject I dont know how
                      > value could exist."
                      >
                      > I feel I can agree with what you write here, but still maintain that
                      > there is a difference between the philosopher and the poet.
                      >
                      > Further, I do not read Wil as denying that the philosopher can write
                      > from strong feelings or connect his philosophical argument to his own
                      > subjective viewpoint. Rather I think both Wil and I want to emphasize
                      > that philosophy is (and ought to be) predominantly a rational
                      > activity were the participants aim to put forward valid arguments and
                      > aim to refute their opponents claims with sound arguments, rather
                      > than just making brute assertions. The philosopher aims to get to
                      > that truth using his powers of reason. There may be other ways of
                      > accessing the truth, such as mystical experience, or inner
                      > transformation, but these ways are not strictly philosophical.
                      >
                      > Jim
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >

                      **************
                      Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
                      favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&
                      icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)

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





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • jimstuart51
                      Aija, You offer the following definition of truth, or possibly the sort of truth-substitute which we may well settle for at the end of the rainbow: how about
                      Message 10 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                        Aija,

                        You offer the following definition of truth, or possibly the sort of
                        truth-substitute which we may well settle for at the end of the
                        rainbow:

                        "how about ongoing insight for the purpose of living a better life as
                        one comes to see it within the time and circumstances one is "given"
                        [Lord of the Rings:)]. humans being social animals, a satisfying life
                        includes being able to better interrelate, which requires empathy and
                        a human-centered as well as ecological perspective."

                        Yes, I would certainly settle for this as a truth-definition or truth-
                        substitute. It is not totally dissimilar to Kierkegaard's account of
                        subjective truth as inner transformation.

                        As usual your post is full of insight and wisdom. It is a shame that
                        your posts do not get fuller, and more sympathetic, discussion on
                        this forum.

                        Jim
                      • tom
                        I agree very much with the ideas expressed by aija in the post.I certainly agree that existensialism is neither exclusive nor self sufficient. I am reminded
                        Message 11 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                          I agree very much with the ideas expressed by aija in the post.I certainly agree that existensialism is neither exclusive nor self sufficient. I am reminded of the quote of Jesus, "The Sabbath was made for man rather than man made for the Sabbath". I'd say the same about philosophy, that philosophy is made for man rather than man for philosophy.

                          how about ongoing insight for the purpose of living a better life as one
                          comes to see it within the time and circumstances one is "given" aija

                          I agree very much with that statement.
                          Tom

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Aija Veldre Beldavs
                          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 9:02 AM
                          Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: The JimWhim?


                          Knott wrote:
                          >> I would suggest that the aim of the
                          >> philosopher is to attempt to get at the truth, in spite of the fact
                          >> that his "subconscious depths" may have an influence on what he
                          >> thinks and writes.
                          >
                          > Not clear on the importance of 'truth', how it is defined, or its
                          > tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that
                          > truth is a clever misconception. I am willing for something other than
                          > truth to be at the end of the rainbow.
                          >
                          > Dorothy and Toto

                          how about ongoing insight for the purpose of living a better life as one
                          comes to see it within the time and circumstances one is "given" [Lord
                          of the Rings:)]. humans being social animals, a satisfying life
                          includes being able to better interrelate, which requires empathy and a
                          human-centered as well as ecological perspective. for me existentialism
                          is a start or perhaps a corrective, but it is neither exclusive nor
                          self-sufficient; i draw much else that i need from other sources for
                          what i don't see as especially developed or even addressed by the
                          existential pioneers.

                          i don't see how in terms of lived experience one can be deeply and
                          creatively responsible without empathy for all of ongoing living life as
                          it interrelates. also, people who have made an especial impact on me
                          don't necessarily seem to come from the same backgrounds, philosophical
                          or otherwise.

                          aija




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • jimstuart51
                          Tom, You write: The longer I have lived, the more I ve come to doubt that matters of life can be resolved through the strength of the argument. Its a starting
                          Message 12 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                            Tom,

                            You write:

                            "The longer I have lived, the more I've come to doubt that matters of
                            life can be resolved through the strength of the argument. Its a
                            starting place, but in my opinion the value of the philosophy to the
                            individual will be revealed to the extent that such a philosophy
                            empowers the individual. I guess in that respect, I could be
                            considered a pragmatist in the William James mode. I suppose also my
                            interest in philosophy, psychology etc is primarily related to inner
                            transformation. Without the possibility of inner transformation,
                            philosophy becomes just another game to while away the time."

                            Yes, I completely agree. That is why those philosophers who linked
                            their philosophy to inner transformation such as Socrates,
                            Kierkegaard and Nietzsche are the ones I like the most.

                            There is, of course, a problem with your sort of pragmatism, though.
                            What if disinterested, rational argument leads to a conclusion which,
                            if widely believed, had a negative effect on individual well-being?
                            What if the conclusion, once believed, debilitated the individual,
                            caused him to sink into apathy and despair, or resentment and
                            aggression? Should such a truth be suppressed?

                            Are you, in fact, a supporter of the "noble lie"?

                            Jim
                          • tom
                            Aija seems to have expressed a view that both Jim and I can agree on. If you dig deep enough, it is often possible to find levels of agreement that go beyong
                            Message 13 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                              Aija seems to have expressed a view that both Jim and I can agree on. If you dig deep enough, it is often possible to find levels of agreement that go beyong apparent surface differences.



                              "how about ongoing insight for the purpose of living a better life as
                              one comes to see it within the time and circumstances one is "given"
                              [Lord of the Rings:)]. humans being social animals, a satisfying life
                              includes being able to better interrelate, which requires empathy and
                              a human-centered as well as ecological perspective."

                              Yes, I would certainly settle for this as a truth-definition or truth-
                              substitute. It is not totally dissimilar to Kierkegaard's account of
                              subjective truth as inner transformation.

                              I like the idea of the integration of the individual with other humans as well as the ecosphere as a measure of value, as well as subjective truth as inner transformation. Without the possibility of inner transformation, philosophy becomes either a word game to pass the time, or if the philosopher is an employed academic just another way to make a living.
                              Tom
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: jimstuart51
                              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 9:55 AM
                              Subject: [existlist] Re: The JimWhim?


                              Aija,

                              You offer the following definition of truth, or possibly the sort of
                              truth-substitute which we may well settle for at the end of the
                              rainbow:

                              "how about ongoing insight for the purpose of living a better life as
                              one comes to see it within the time and circumstances one is "given"
                              [Lord of the Rings:)]. humans being social animals, a satisfying life
                              includes being able to better interrelate, which requires empathy and
                              a human-centered as well as ecological perspective."

                              Yes, I would certainly settle for this as a truth-definition or truth-
                              substitute. It is not totally dissimilar to Kierkegaard's account of
                              subjective truth as inner transformation.

                              As usual your post is full of insight and wisdom. It is a shame that
                              your posts do not get fuller, and more sympathetic, discussion on
                              this forum.

                              Jim





                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • tom
                              Jim, That s a very good point, and one worth pondering. Interestingly, this morning the forum seems to be moving a bit more toward finding agreements rather
                              Message 14 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                                Jim,

                                That's a very good point, and one worth pondering. Interestingly, this morning the forum seems to be moving a bit more toward finding agreements rather than the large amount of bickering and accusations that had recently categorized many of the posts.
                                Tom
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: jimstuart51
                                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 10:12 AM
                                Subject: [existlist] Re: The philosopher and the poet


                                Tom,

                                You write:

                                "The longer I have lived, the more I've come to doubt that matters of
                                life can be resolved through the strength of the argument. Its a
                                starting place, but in my opinion the value of the philosophy to the
                                individual will be revealed to the extent that such a philosophy
                                empowers the individual. I guess in that respect, I could be
                                considered a pragmatist in the William James mode. I suppose also my
                                interest in philosophy, psychology etc is primarily related to inner
                                transformation. Without the possibility of inner transformation,
                                philosophy becomes just another game to while away the time."

                                Yes, I completely agree. That is why those philosophers who linked
                                their philosophy to inner transformation such as Socrates,
                                Kierkegaard and Nietzsche are the ones I like the most.

                                There is, of course, a problem with your sort of pragmatism, though.
                                What if disinterested, rational argument leads to a conclusion which,
                                if widely believed, had a negative effect on individual well-being?
                                What if the conclusion, once believed, debilitated the individual,
                                caused him to sink into apathy and despair, or resentment and
                                aggression? Should such a truth be suppressed?

                                Are you, in fact, a supporter of the "noble lie"?

                                Jim





                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • tom
                                There is, of course, a problem with your sort of pragmatism, though. What if disinterested, rational argument leads to a conclusion which, if widely believed,
                                Message 15 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                                  There is, of course, a problem with your sort of pragmatism, though.
                                  What if disinterested, rational argument leads to a conclusion which,
                                  if widely believed, had a negative effect on individual well-being?
                                  What if the conclusion, once believed, debilitated the individual,
                                  caused him to sink into apathy and despair, or resentment and
                                  aggression? Should such a truth be suppressed?

                                  Are you, in fact, a supporter of the "noble lie"?


                                  Personally, I am not a supporter of the noble lie; but I increasingly understand the forces that promote it. I suspect human life has alternated between periods of renaisance, and periods of inquisition. The opening lines of Tale of Two Cities that "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times" is a very descriptive statement of the impact of old dogmas and assumptions breaking down. It is the best of times for creative, artistic types; and often the worst of times for more conventional types for which family and tribal relationships are the dominant value. Obviously, the dislike of Islamic people for encroaching westernization is largely centered on the disintegrating impact of critical thought on stable families. The term "occult" meaning hidden was in reference to many truths that were found to have transformative value for a spiritual elite, but such truths were feared to be potentially disintegrating to family, tribal, and economic relationships. I've heard it said that most religions had exoteric and esoteric sides. The exoteric side was concerned in formulating dogma to govern the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, leaders and followers etc; whereas the esoteric side was geared toward inner transformation. The Neocons who have been the dominant force in the world in recent years are alleged to be supporters of the noble lie to be fed to the masses to promote national and family solidarity, whereas they believe a small elite of philosophers can face the truth of the will to power as being the only reality in which they personally put much stock.

                                  Tom


                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: jimstuart51
                                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 10:12 AM
                                  Subject: [existlist] Re: The philosopher and the poet


                                  Tom,

                                  You write:

                                  "The longer I have lived, the more I've come to doubt that matters of
                                  life can be resolved through the strength of the argument. Its a
                                  starting place, but in my opinion the value of the philosophy to the
                                  individual will be revealed to the extent that such a philosophy
                                  empowers the individual. I guess in that respect, I could be
                                  considered a pragmatist in the William James mode. I suppose also my
                                  interest in philosophy, psychology etc is primarily related to inner
                                  transformation. Without the possibility of inner transformation,
                                  philosophy becomes just another game to while away the time."

                                  Yes, I completely agree. That is why those philosophers who linked
                                  their philosophy to inner transformation such as Socrates,
                                  Kierkegaard and Nietzsche are the ones I like the most.

                                  There is, of course, a problem with your sort of pragmatism, though.
                                  What if disinterested, rational argument leads to a conclusion which,
                                  if widely believed, had a negative effect on individual well-being?
                                  What if the conclusion, once believed, debilitated the individual,
                                  caused him to sink into apathy and despair, or resentment and
                                  aggression? Should such a truth be suppressed?

                                  Are you, in fact, a supporter of the "noble lie"?

                                  Jim





                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • tom
                                  Jim, I ve heard the point made that people like Buddha, Christ etc were mostly involved in giving one on one instruction, whereas as their ideas were codified
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Nov 29, 2008
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                                    Jim,
                                    I've heard the point made that people like Buddha, Christ etc were mostly involved in giving one on one instruction, whereas as their ideas were codified and dogmatized into organized religions, what were originally intended as correctives for individual imbalances were formulated into general dogma. A spiritual teacher might tell one person they needed to become more assertive, and this individual instruction could become codified as a dogma of assertiveness;and another teacher could tell a person they needed to let things be more and later be codified as a dogma of assertiveness. These suggestions intended to stimulate individual transformations when codified into dogma might readily become barriers to transformation, which I believe involves reconciling opposing values rather than totally supporting one side and opposing the other.
                                    Tom
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: jimstuart51
                                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 9:15 AM
                                    Subject: [existlist] Re: The JimWhim?


                                    Knott,

                                    You write:

                                    "Not clear on the importance of 'truth', how it is defined, or its
                                    tangibility. What if the truth is that there is no truth, or that
                                    truth is a clever misconception. I am willing for something other
                                    than truth to be at the end of the rainbow."

                                    If we start off in the ordinary world of human affairs, then it seems
                                    to me that there are various truths that we may or may not know, or
                                    some of us know and some of us don't.

                                    An example I have used before: Either OJ Simpson did kill his ex-wife
                                    or he didn't. You and I don't know. Probably the only living person
                                    who does know is OJ himself. There is a truth here, and in a way it
                                    would be good if a lot more of us knew what it was, particularly
                                    those in the US who administer justice.

                                    Philosophical truth is a trickier customer, especially as ordinary
                                    empirical methods of verification do not apply. An example: Either
                                    the sentences in this post have a determinate meaning or they do not.
                                    I agree it is difficult, if not impossible, for you or I to know the
                                    truth in this case, but I would suggest that there is truth here,
                                    even if we cannot get at it.

                                    I think I agree with you that I would probably be content to settle
                                    for something less than truth at the end of the rainbow.

                                    What about this as a truth-substitute: Informed agreement?

                                    Perhaps the best we can aim for on a forum like this is to come to an
                                    agreement on the matter at issue, after a full, rational and
                                    constructive discussion?

                                    Jim





                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Camusj@aol.com
                                    Hello everyone Ortega y Gasset makes an excellent case for the use of philosophy by the individual in everyday life. He has had published a small volumn called
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Nov 30, 2008
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                                      Hello everyone

                                      Ortega y Gasset makes an excellent case for the use of philosophy by the
                                      individual in everyday life.
                                      He has had published a small volumn called "Some Lessons in Metaphysics" that
                                      amke the point eloquently.

                                      As just a single human being, he seems to make a lot of sense to me.

                                      Jessie


                                      **************
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                                      NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&icid=aolcom40vanity&
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                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • bhvwd
                                      ... by the ... Metaphysics that ... Gasset , comes from the same worp. It seems he had a real battle with the European bourgeois and referred to them as
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Nov 30, 2008
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                                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Camusj@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Hello everyone
                                        >
                                        > Ortega y Gasset makes an excellent case for the use of philosophy
                                        by the
                                        > individual in everyday life.
                                        > He has had published a small volumn called "Some Lessons in
                                        Metaphysics" that
                                        > amke the point eloquently.
                                        >
                                        > As just a single human being, he seems to make a lot of sense to me.
                                        >
                                        > Jessie
                                        >
                                        > Jessie, He seems interesting and as I think Husserl is great,
                                        Gasset , comes from the same worp. It seems he had a real battle
                                        with the European bourgeois and referred to them as princes. We
                                        could use some of his cynicism in dealing with a few of our present
                                        day princes such as Rubin at City Group. Ortega had a fine idea
                                        of "life projects" and was certainly an existentialist with
                                        motives. Thank you for the tip as Gasset was involved with his world
                                        and was headed the better way. Bill
                                        > **************
                                        > Life should be easier. So should your homepage. Try the
                                        > NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-
                                        dp&icid=aolcom40vanity&
                                        > ncid=emlcntaolcom00000002)
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                      • eupraxis@aol.com
                                        Bill, My reading of Ortega (as we called him back in the day) is quite different. He seems to me to have been a kind of neo-Aristocrat, and certain an
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Nov 30, 2008
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                                          Bill,

                                          My reading of Ortega (as we called him back in the day) is quite different.
                                          He seems to me to have been a kind of neo-Aristocrat, and certain an
                                          anti-populist, a snob in fact. His "Revolt of rthe Masses" is not meant ironically.

                                          Wi


                                          In a message dated 11/30/08 4:00:34 PM, v.valleywestdental@... writes:


                                          > Jessie, He seems interesting and as I think Husserl is great,
                                          > Gasset , comes from the same worp. It seems he had a real battle
                                          > with the European bourgeois and referred to them as princes. We
                                          > could use some of his cynicism in dealing with a few of our present
                                          > day princes such as Rubin at City Group. Ortega had a fine idea
                                          > of "life projects" and was certainly an existentialist with
                                          > motives. Thank you for the tip as Gasset was involved with his world
                                          > and was headed the better way. Bill
                                          >




                                          **************
                                          Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
                                          favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&
                                          icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • bhvwd
                                          ... different. ... an ... meant ironically. ... understanding of european class structures. Do you consider Ortega an existentialist? The brief bio I read
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Nov 30, 2008
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                                            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Bill,
                                            >
                                            > My reading of Ortega (as we called him back in the day) is quite
                                            different.
                                            > He seems to me to have been a kind of neo-Aristocrat, and certain
                                            an
                                            > anti-populist, a snob in fact. His "Revolt of rthe Masses" is not
                                            meant ironically.
                                            >
                                            > Wi
                                            > Wil, You are most probably correctamundo. I have little
                                            understanding of european class structures. Do you consider Ortega an
                                            existentialist? The brief bio I read seemed to label him as such. We
                                            gotta watch out or Bookdoc will blast us with the dead author curse.
                                            Ortega had some twist on Descartes that would really put Knott in
                                            in a ball. Damn dead authors. Bill
                                            >
                                            > In a message dated 11/30/08 4:00:34 PM, v.valleywestdental@...
                                            writes:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > > Jessie, He seems interesting and as I think Husserl is great,
                                            > > Gasset , comes from the same worp. It seems he had a real battle
                                            > > with the European bourgeois and referred to them as princes. We
                                            > > could use some of his cynicism in dealing with a few of our
                                            present
                                            > > day princes such as Rubin at City Group. Ortega had a fine idea
                                            > > of "life projects" and was certainly an existentialist with
                                            > > motives. Thank you for the tip as Gasset was involved with his
                                            world
                                            > > and was headed the better way. Bill
                                            > >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > **************
                                            > Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
                                            > favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-
                                            dp&
                                            > icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            >
                                          • eupraxis@aol.com
                                            Bill, He tried to ingratiate himself as whatever seemed hot at the time. No Unamuno , he. His has his apologists still though. His (falsely) neo-Nietzschean
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Nov 30, 2008
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                                              Bill,

                                              He tried to ingratiate himself as whatever seemed hot at the time. No Unamuno
                                              , he. His has his apologists still though. His (falsely) neo-Nietzschean
                                              disgust at the lower classes visiting museums has been turned into an early
                                              criticism of commercialism and mass culture. But he wqs just trying to cashh in on
                                              Neitzsche's fame at the time. Same for his crap about exisitentialism, etc.
                                              Opportunism, if you ask me.

                                              Wil

                                              In a message dated 11/30/08 4:53:55 PM, v.valleywestdental@... writes:

                                              > Do you consider Ortega an
                                              > existentialist? The brief bio I read seemed to label him as such. We
                                              > gotta watch out or Bookdoc will blast us with the dead author curse.
                                              > Ortega had some twist on Descartes that would really put Knott in
                                              > in a ball. Damn dead authors. Bill
                                              >




                                              **************
                                              Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
                                              favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&
                                              icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)


                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • bhvwd
                                              ... No Unamuno ... Nietzschean ... an early ... to cashh in on ... exisitentialism, etc. ... confidence in it in the future. Surly all that is written on the
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Nov 30, 2008
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                                                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Bill,
                                                >
                                                > He tried to ingratiate himself as whatever seemed hot at the time.
                                                No Unamuno
                                                > , he. His has his apologists still though. His (falsely) neo-
                                                Nietzschean
                                                > disgust at the lower classes visiting museums has been turned into
                                                an early
                                                > criticism of commercialism and mass culture. But he wqs just trying
                                                to cashh in on
                                                > Neitzsche's fame at the time. Same for his crap about
                                                exisitentialism, etc.
                                                > Opportunism, if you ask me.
                                                >
                                                > Wil
                                                > Thank you, I had not used Wikipedia before and may have less
                                                confidence in it in the future. Surly all that is written on the web
                                                must be true. I might have just read it in error. It is the
                                                mind,Wil, and the peering into foggy snow and sleet that has addled
                                                my head. Perhaps our newbie has more to say on Ortega. You havn`t
                                                been in a fight for at least a day and we would not want our mentat
                                                getting rusty. I think you do a fine job here and hope many are
                                                reading your posts. I have taken a visit to what could be called
                                                the pragmatic wing of conservatism. They are in shock and seem ripe
                                                for takeover. Obama is a fierce shock to them and anger has not given
                                                way to any acceptance. It is as if they are at a dead stop and the
                                                rest of us are rushing on into new situations. Those pragmatists
                                                are as shocked by the failure of business as the Ascendancy of
                                                Obama. The thing they were most pragmatic about was money and much of
                                                that disappeared. To them it is a great ,overall devaluation and I
                                                can feel their pain. As I listen to the news I feel I am returning to
                                                the present from some strange past. The neocon elite is broken and
                                                there is no one to control the social conservative wing. It is a
                                                power vacuum and some odd pretenders are starting to emerge. At
                                                present I make no predictions but will in time. It is more than
                                                politics, it is the revision of a philosophy. For that reason I think
                                                the discussion belongs here as well as in many other forums. There
                                                are a lot of people involved and they are in great flux. Bill
                                                > In a message dated 11/30/08 4:53:55 PM, v.valleywestdental@...
                                                writes:
                                                >
                                                > > Do you consider Ortega an
                                                > > existentialist? The brief bio I read seemed to label him as such.
                                                We
                                                > > gotta watch out or Bookdoc will blast us with the dead author
                                                curse.
                                                > > Ortega had some twist on Descartes that would really put Knott in
                                                > > in a ball. Damn dead authors. Bill
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > **************
                                                > Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
                                                > favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-
                                                dp&
                                                > icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                >
                                              • eupraxis@aol.com
                                                Thanks Bill. No, I hadn t seen the Wikipedia stuff. Way back in the day, some friends of mine and I went to a local used bookstore in lower Port Jefferson near
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Nov 30, 2008
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                                                  Thanks Bill. No, I hadn't seen the Wikipedia stuff. Way back in the day, some
                                                  friends of mine and I went to a local used bookstore in lower Port Jefferson
                                                  near Stony Brook Univ, where I did my undergrad years. For one reason or
                                                  another, they had tons of Ortega books (probably publisher's overstock). I had
                                                  gotten nearly all of Ortega's available books. I was very much in the
                                                  existentialism camp at that time, because of its insistence on atheism and freedom, which
                                                  I saw as counter cultural. I remember that I thought Ortega to be a snob and a
                                                  drag. The people that he spoke so derisively about were, basically, me and
                                                  mine. I am one of the unwashed masses who went to the museums, who read the
                                                  books of the master class and who fancied himself no less an equal to anyone else.


                                                  Maybe old Ortega changed his tune later on and became a friend of us toilers
                                                  and malcontents. Who cares, I say. Only Spanish folks care about him, because
                                                  he is one of a very few Castilian writers worth a damn, if he is worth a damn.


                                                  Wil



                                                  **************
                                                  Finally, one site has it all: your friends, your email, your
                                                  favorite sites. Try the NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&
                                                  icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000006)


                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • jimstuart51
                                                  Hi Jessie, Thank you for the suggested reading. I will try to get hold of Ortega s book and see what I get from it. Jim ... by the ... Metaphysics that ...
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Dec 1, 2008
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                                                    Hi Jessie,

                                                    Thank you for the suggested reading. I will try to get hold of
                                                    Ortega's book and see what I get from it.

                                                    Jim


                                                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Camusj@... wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Hello everyone
                                                    >
                                                    > Ortega y Gasset makes an excellent case for the use of philosophy
                                                    by the
                                                    > individual in everyday life.
                                                    > He has had published a small volumn called "Some Lessons in
                                                    Metaphysics" that
                                                    > amke the point eloquently.
                                                    >
                                                    > As just a single human being, he seems to make a lot of sense to me.
                                                    >
                                                    > Jessie
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > **************
                                                    > Life should be easier. So should your homepage. Try the
                                                    > NEW AOL.com. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-
                                                    dp&icid=aolcom40vanity&
                                                    > ncid=emlcntaolcom00000002)
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    >
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