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Re: [existlist] Re: Self / Other

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  • BrandonD
    There are among the people murderers who have never committed murder, thieves who have never stolen and liars who have spoken nothing but the truth. -Kahlil
    Message 1 of 67 , Apr 2, 2011
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      "There are among the people murderers who have never
      committed murder, thieves who have never stolen
      and liars who have spoken nothing but the truth."
      -Kahlil Gibran

      --- On Sat, 4/2/11, tom <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:

      From: tom <tsmith17_midsouth1@...>
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Self / Other
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, April 2, 2011, 6:59 PM
















       









      Irvhal



      I certainly believe human behavior, abilities etc. are the result of the interaction of genes and environment. To what extent it is one or the other is an interesting question;however the reality of the interaction to me is not debatable. I have heard some genes of both a positive and negative nature are only likely to be activated by certain environmental cues. If Einstein had been raised by Australian aboriginees, he could have had the same genetic potential for mathematical reasoning, but would have lacked the environmental cues to activate it. The same applies to certain genes predisposing people to sociopathic behavior.



      I read a few years ago that the only thing Republicans attribute to environmental influences is sexual identity; and the only thing Democrats dont attribute to environmental influences is sexual identity.



      Peace

      Tom

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: irvhal

      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com

      Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2011 3:11 PM

      Subject: [existlist] Re: Self / Other



      Sartre speaks of existence preceding essence, in order to postulate a radical or free-wheeling freedom, but ultimately falls back on the concept of an underlying or subtle "fundamental project" to explain what Frost would've called the roads taken. Why? Because freedom would be pointless without something on which to hang our hat when acting. But do we indeed chart our course this way? Isn't life incremental, trial and error, or to borrow Toynbee's concept of history, challenge and response? Later in life Sartre acknowledged family and class as exogenous influences in personal formation. (I know of no acknowledgement of genetics, and find his discounting of even a physiological component of sexuality untenable). He seemed to transcend the corner he'd painted himself in, though ever briefly, in "Truth and Existence," written in 1948, which provides the foundation for an existentialist epistemology, only to descend to an elitist, chic apology for Marxist
      eschatology thereafter.



      Irvin



      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:

      >

      > Herman,

      >

      > I have been following your discussion with Mary with interest, and I agree with you both that these issues of becoming an individual and/or belonging to a group are fundamental existential issues which should be confronted.

      >

      > I struggled to fully understand what you were saying in your two posts of yesterday, particularly your references to Sartre. Here are some of the things you wrote:

      >

      > << But, siding with Sartre, becoming an individual seems to be THE fundamental project. He doesn't refer to it as becoming an individual. For him, it is man trying to become God. To me, that is the same.

      >

      > I am saying that the practice of becoming an individual is fundamentally flawed, and I am agreeing with you that it is impossible to achieve. The embarkation on that project is unethical.

      >

      > The category Self is no more than an instance of the category Other.

      >

      > There is, in reality, no privileged access to Self that justifies demarcation from Other.

      >

      > Sartre was very precisely accurate in noticing that all phenomena are Other, in their structural dependence on negation. >>

      >

      > In your first paragraph above you seem to be saying that Sartre approved of the project of becoming an individual, but in the rest of the quotes above you seem to be saying that it is completely wrong-headed to try to become an individual, as in reality there is no Self, so the attempt to become a Self is incoherent. (Perhaps we need to distinguish between what we mean by `individual' and what we mean by `Self'. Are you using them as synonyms?)

      >

      > From my reading of the main existentialist authors I find quite a strong argument for the human being to detach himself from his heritage, his cultural background, and become his own person.

      >

      > Kierkegaard and Nietzsche both rejected just about all of their own cultural backgrounds, preferring the way of the solitary, living in isolation from groups and the prevailing social community. For both Kierkegaard and Nietzsche the herd mentality was pathetic.

      >

      > Heidegger spoke of extracting oneself from the `they', although both him and Sartre did endorse at some points in their lives, aligning oneself with a political movement.

      >

      > Sartre argued that existence precedes essence, and that we should not identify ourselves with our past life (the being-in-itself) but rather at each moment we have the freedom to create ourselves anew (the being-for-itself).

      >

      > In the sense that at every moment we start again from scratch, I suppose it is true to say that for Sartre there is no Self. However I think Sartre did distinguish between Self and Other - without the gaze of the Other we would not feel shame.

      >

      > Further I don't think that Sartre's distinction between being-in-itself and being-for-itself, necessarily supports your own view that all is one.

      >

      > Jim

      >

      > P.S. No doubt Wil will correct me if I have misrepresented Sartre here.

      >



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    • Herman
      Thanks for your thoughts, Bill, Mary and Jim, Much appreciated. Cheers Herman ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 67 of 67 , Apr 23, 2011
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        Thanks for your thoughts, Bill, Mary and Jim,

        Much appreciated.

        Cheers

        Herman

        On 24 April 2011 03:30, Jim <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > Herman,
        >
        > I wonder if you have read Schopenhauer on music. My guess is you have and
        > you agree with his take on music. He argues that music connects us with the
        > underlying oneness of ultimate reality, whereas language and science are
        > part of the veil of Maya. For Schopenhauer conceptual thought is bad because
        > it is all part of the will-to-live, whereas music is not at all part of
        > conceptual thought, but is more like a direct intuition of
        > reality-in-itself.
        >
        > So for Schopenhauer only music without lyrics would be considered untainted
        > by our concepts and reasoning abilities.
        >
        > Music has been a positive presence in my life. Like Bill I prefer
        > contemporary popular music to classical music, although I appreciate
        > different genres of music.
        >
        > As a teenager I identified with the punk movement that developed in the UK
        > in the late seventies. Then music was all about rebellion and distancing
        > oneself from the boring and hypocritical establishment.
        >
        > I still prefer music with an edge to it, but I appreciate more calm
        > harmonies rather than just the rebel yells these days.
        >
        > Jim
        >
        > P.S. Louise, I don't know what kind of music you like these days, but I
        > wonder if you would like P. J. Harvey's latest release "Let England Shake".
        > The subject matter makes me think you may enjoy it.
        >
        >
        >


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