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Re: Concepts (Existentialism, Individualism and Coillectivism)

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  • Mary
    Hb3g, the I we experience might simply be thought embedded and coursing within each body; behaving as a child-god but never realizing it is a proxy for the
    Message 1 of 68 , Mar 28, 2010
      Hb3g, the "I" we experience might simply be thought embedded and coursing within each body; behaving as a child-god but never realizing it is a proxy for the group.

      Thought is contented with the status quo. If we affront its culturally defined concepts of individual, freedom, will, and reality, it reacts defensively. But why should a mature person be concerned that another person disputes the validity of these concepts? Do we hold the ideas, or do they hold us? It is as if thought has a mind of its own. Concept-words such as freedom, etc. are more emotionally imbedded in our bodies than `simpler' representations like tree or table. So even though we roughly agree about their meanings, when someone challenges their reality, thought protests. If these concept-words reflected our actual experiences, they would have the simple force of other types of representation. Rather, when these concept-words are questioned, thought betrays its fragmented habit of incoherently separating and combining, then summons emotions in order to hide from our thinking the fact that we are not actually experiencing these concepts.Thought gives us words instead of substance. We understand far more about the experiencing of a table or tree, including their fundamental structure of nearly infinite space and non-time, than we do these powerful concepts. Thought wants us to take for granted its concept-words in the same manner we take for granted its simpler representations but without the scrutiny and skepticism of scientific method or lived experience. It is probably more accurate to say we don't experience freedom and individuality any more deeply than we do a table, tree, or most people. Why don't we examine them as deeply? Because it's uncomfortable.

      Philosophy should challenge us to perceive beyond our assumptions in order to enable new approaches to the problems which beset us. How we think is a tremendous problem, because thought with all of its reflexive baggage, wants us to continue traveling down the same old familiar road. Breaking free might be viewed as a necessity. In reading Bohm, I find little mention of freedom. He simply concludes, "freedom is the creative perception of a new order of necessity." Thought is characterized by conditioning, but thinking is in the moment of no-time. Why isn't this more preferable to our currently fragmented, mechanistic, and sectarian approach? If I am going to embrace an ideal, I at least want to choose one with more potential.



      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "hb3g@..." <hb3g@...> wrote:
      >
      > I think that our autonomy is not a given, it is an achievement, and it can be forfeited, and it can even be thwarted by circumstances, or by the actions of others, things over which we do not have much control.
      >
      > Such is the predicament that we seem to be in. Our freedom just comes with these conditions. But they don't make the freedom thing any less worth actualizing.
      >
      > And maybe it is naive to believe in the I. But, sometimes, things really are as obvious as we naively take them to be. There is a world, and, for better or for worse, I am in it, and I have to deal with that.
      >
      > It just seems to me that philosophy should not be about explainig reality away, but about questioning reality in a meaningful way, i.e, in a way that really matters, that really makes a difference, for me, i.e., for each and every I, given its necessarily unique perspective, and the ontological parallax that the reality of perspective necessarily implies.
      >
      > Here I am. What is it, for me, to be here? Why should the I, that I am, not have something meaningful, and personal, to contribute to the possible answer to that question, insofar as it pertains to me?
      >
      > And so what if this should happen to turn out not to be an exact match with what some other I might come up with for its answer to its question about the meaning of its life?
      >
      > I kind of like that kind of existential richness to the whole deal, that the answer does not have to work out exactly the same way for every single I there is.
      >
      > It is not necessary, I think, to deny that we are many in order to affirm that we live together and share, collectively, our many unique experiences of one world.
      >
      > It is a paradox, for sure.
      >
      > But it is probably the reason why living our lives, and sharing our lives with each other, can be so interesting.
      >
      > I think I know why we get bored. We get bored because we stop paying attention; not, as we tend to think, the other way around, i.e., that we stop paying attention because we get bored.
      >
      > Hb3g
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hb3g,
      > >
      > > Yes, I think you have described the relationship between the individual and the group accurately, and I agree with what you write in this post.
      > >
      > > What you say about Heidegger's account is particularly to the point. We find ourselves in the world already as part of a group, but we can emerge from the group with our own unique, distinctive, voices.
      > >
      > > How we are is always mainly determined by the group we are a part of, but from within that framework we can genuinely be our own selves. Or so I think.
      > >
      > > Being genuinely ourselves does take effort though. It is easier to allow ourselves to be swept along with the flow, than struggle to swim again the flow.
      > >
      > > Jim
      > >
      >
    • Herman
      Hi Jim, ... Well, yes, but not reasonably. Aristotle believed that it lay in the nature of slaves to be slaves, and that the possibility for freedom was
      Message 68 of 68 , Apr 6, 2010
        Hi Jim,

        On 6 April 2010 22:43, Jim <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
        > Hi Polly,
        >
        > Recall, Irvin wrote this:
        >
        > "Aristotle might emphasize that freedom is the ability to acquire those dispositions necessary for virtue."
        >
        > This account of freedom says nothing about the existence of slaves in a society. So even if Aristotle did mean his account of freedom to apply only to free men and women in a society where slavery existed, I can take Aristotle's account of freedom and say it is a viable definition of freedom, which can justifiably be applied to all human beings here and now.
        >

        Well, yes, but not reasonably. Aristotle believed that it lay in "the
        nature" of slaves to be slaves, and that the possibility for freedom
        was limited to the elite. So your notion of freedom is quite
        different, unless you believe that if Aristotle arrived on the scene
        today that he would not spy anyone who was servile by nature. (He'd
        best get his eyes checked if that was the case).

        Polly




        > Jim
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