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Re: [existlist] Re: Thought is divided

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  • Herman
    Hi Irvin ... Why? Why? Why? What is the relevance of Greek city state philosophy from 400BC to anybody, anywhere in the world today? ... If something cannot be
    Message 1 of 68 , Apr 5, 2010
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      Hi Irvin

      On 4 April 2010 04:37, irvhal <i99hj@...> wrote:
      > Mary,
      >
      > We'd do well here to heed Aristotle's notion

      Why? Why? Why? What is the relevance of Greek city state philosophy
      from 400BC to anybody, anywhere in the world today?

      > that virtue cannot be taught, but must be acquired.

      If something cannot be taught or one cannot intend to learn it, then
      indeed acquiring it is a matter of chance, a lottery.


      > (Virtue being good habits, vice being the converse.) For example, it's one thing to acknowledge that knowledge or health are good. It's quite another thing to have or to cultivate >the disposition or habit for action needed to acquire them.

      If knowledge and health cannot be taught / learned, then the
      suggestion that they are nonetheless desirable comes from a twisted
      elitist mind.


      > Note here too, that our minds aren't "bossy" or contrary about less trying matters, like accepting that 2 plus 2 equals 4 or the whole is greater than its parts.
      >

      You're talking about definitions you have learnt. There is nothing to
      accept or reject in a definition. There's no truth in a definition.


      > As to freedom, that is a muti-faceted concept. For some, it may be absence of physical restraint. Aristotle might emphasize that freedom is the ability to acquire those dispositions necessary for virtue. But as Heidegger noted in "On the Essence of Truth," "Prior to all this ('negative' and 'positive' freedom), freedom is engagement in the disclosure of beings as such."
      >

      Aristotle saw human essence revealed in the relationship master /
      slave. Aristotle's freedom is manifested as the ability to win a
      lottery. Aristotle is totally irrelevant.

      Polly

      > Irvin
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> Jim, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand you to be saying that responsibility is self-control. Self-control is simply applying more thinking to thought in order to control actions Why do you suppose some people think seriously, intending not to act irresponsibly but nevertheless do? This is what I mean when I say that thought isn't responsive: thought is sometimes unable to respond according to intention. In other words, thought is divided. Why do you suppose some people lack this self-control? Why is their thought divided? And isn't this division the same as the division which manifests as self-control, namely using some thoughts to control other thoughts? How is it that being full of thought (consideration) doesn't necessarily produce intended outcomes? Why do some lack the capacity to relate their actions to their thoughts? Could it be that emotion embedded with thought, namely pleasure over pain, is part of a feedback cycle which is nearly impossible to stop without careful attention to thought itself? If one isn't free to be responsible, what is freedom? What is responsibility? Is self-control freely chosen?
      >>
      >> --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
      >> >
      >> > Mary,
      >> >
      >> > For me, responsibility is in the domain of ethics and not in the domain of the law.
      >> >
      >> > I am responsible for my actions which can benefit or harm myself, but, more importantly, can benefit or harm others.
      >> >
      >> > If I drink too much, then drive home and knock down a young mother, I am responsible for her death and for making orphans of her young children. I am accountable to her children for their unhappiness and spoilt lives. This is the case whether or not the society has drink-driving laws.
      >> >
      >> > Laws have nothing to do with responsibility. In some circumstances, the responsible thing for me to do is to break the law.
      >> >
      >> > We don't need lots of laws because people are responsible; rather we need lots of laws because people are irresponsible.
      >> >
      >> > Jim
      >> >
      >> > P.S. With reference to the current title of this thread, I would say that it is the thoughtful person who is responsive to the needs of those around him, and it is the thoughtless person who lacks all sensitivity to the situation who is unresponsive.
      >> >
      >>
      >
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    • 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
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        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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