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Re: [existlist] existentialism

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  • Bill Harris
    George, I like your approach, mess him up right away. If he becomes totally confused he may be forced to think himself out of it. Bill ... From: Eduard Alf
    Message 1 of 275 , Jan 2, 2002
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      George, I like your approach, mess him up right away. If he becomes totally
      confused he may be forced to think himself out of it. Bill
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 3:04 PM
      Subject: RE: [existlist] existentialism


      > George,
      >
      > I think Jim's question was fairly straight forward in wishing to know the
      > meaning of "existentialism". Perhaps it is a bit too early to introduce
      him
      > to the convoluted fashion of our discussion on this list. Perhaps it
      would
      > be better to wait until he is addicted and then throw, eggs, grapefruit,
      > abortion and fat US Presidents at him.
      >
      > eduard
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: George Walton [mailto:george@...]
      > Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 3:29 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [existlist] existentialism
      >
      >
      > jas...
      >
      > To ask what existentialism "means" is to more or less miss the point of
      > what it is trying to convey about meaning itself: it's existential.
      >
      > Think of it, if you will, like this:
      > 1.. You and a friend are having breakfast together. You are eating
      eggs
      > and she is eating a grapefruit. Another friend approaches the table and
      asks
      > what you are eating. You both say grapefruit. Now, unless you are about
      299
      > pins short of a perfect game in the old noggin', you would never call a
      > grapefruit "eggs". Clearly, in a culture where English is the shared
      > language, the sounds "cereal" and "eggs" denote different things. The
      > connotative element, in other words, is all but non-existent re the
      sharing
      > of information [meaning] in this context.
      > 2.. After you have cleared the table, you exclaim, "man, those were
      the
      > best eggs I ever tasted!" Your friend says, "hey, that was the best
      > grapefruit I ever tasted too!". Then you get into an argument over whether
      > eggs taste better than grapefruit. Here, the denotative element is
      "taste".
      > Save for those rare few who do not, medically, have the capacity to taste,
      > it is not like folks who share the English language as a way of
      > communicating meaning about the world around them will hear the word-sound
      > "taste" and be all that far off as to what it means regarding the food
      they
      > eat. Ah, but the connotative parameters here revolve around the word
      "best".
      > How exactly would you go about demonstrating objectively, essentially,
      > scripturally, truthfully, ontologically, metaphysically, empirically,
      > rationally, telelogically, epistemologically etc. that eggs or grapefruit
      > taste "best"? It's a matter of...well....individual taste, eh?
      > 3.. Later in the day, you are watching a video and one of the
      characters
      > has an abortion. Next thing you know, you're embroiled in a heated
      > discussion with your friend as to whether or not an abortion is "moral".
      > Again, there is a denotative and a connotative element that can be
      expressed
      > in any discussion about what words "mean" here. As an objective medical
      > procedure, few will insist that having an abortion means "harvesting
      grapes"
      > or "tuning the engine of a lawn mower". As a moral issue, however, you may
      > as well be arguing over whether eggs taste better than grapefruit. It will
      > never be resolved because, sans God [or His Her It's equivalent] there is
      > simply no vantage point by/from which to denote a moral continuum. At
      best,
      > all you can say is, "well, based on my own experiences and how I have come
      > to understand what they mean, I believe..."
      > Philosophy, I suppose, is useful as a sort of epistemological
      referee---a
      > technical advisor regarding the relationship between human language and
      how
      > we use it to denote and connote "meaning" about "out in the world".
      > Technically, in other words, it lets us know that, if someone says, "all
      > U.S. Presidents have been short, fat, Islamic lesbians from Alpha Centuri"
      > we are not likely to say, "well, I guess in an essentially meaningless and
      > absurd world, that's one possibility".
      >
      > Ah, but regarding how we ought to circumscribe any human relationship
      > "morally", it is essentially futile. As is science.
      >
      > Uh, at least so far?
      >
      > George
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: jascook12 <JCOOK12@...>
      > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 1:47 PM
      > Subject: [existlist] existentialism
      >
      >
      > > Could someone please explain what existentialism means?
      > >
      > >
      > >
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    • mary.jo11
      Also, Fathers and Sons by Turgenev, and Todd Olivier s biography of Camus. Mary
      Message 275 of 275 , Jan 4, 2008
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        Also, Fathers and Sons by Turgenev, and Todd Olivier's biography of
        Camus.

        Mary
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