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Re: Being in the world

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  • Mary
    ... Jim, I look forward to this--since impersonal evil is so plausibly deniable-- and also any comments from Wil regarding his selections. I find the numbing
    Message 1 of 42 , May 26, 2011
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      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:

      > I don't think I'll be reading the three books you mention in the foreseeable future, but I do intend to return to Zizek before long, so we may be able to get back to discussing him.

      Jim,

      I look forward to this--since impersonal evil is so plausibly deniable-- and also any comments from Wil regarding his selections. I find the numbing facticity of evil in Cormac McCarthy's "Bood Meridian" and Roberto Bolano's "2666" as nauseating as some Americans' obsession with murder and forensics, especially while we're inadvertently complicit in the suffering and death of others. I have an aversion to both kinds of evil; not very philosophical, I know.

      Mary
    • Mary
      I m not depthy enough to qualify as intellectual, but I do enjoy exercising my mind and occasionally achieve some understanding. In chapter 11 of Zizek s The
      Message 42 of 42 , May 27, 2011
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        I'm not depthy enough to qualify as intellectual, but I do enjoy exercising my mind and occasionally achieve some understanding. In chapter 11 of Zizek's "The Fragile Absolute" he writes that in pagan cultures, Evil was regarded as that which disturbed cosmic balance (Good) but was restored through justice/punishment. A more enlightened view is that this rupture/separation, created by difference, actually unveils a greater good.

        Whatever the source of evil, our contemplation of it reveals a meaning that is transitory and progressive. In any event, we're not separate from it.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        >
        >
        > Jim,
        >
        > Thanks for that.
        >
        > I, of course, reject all of the approaches mentioned. I endorse the dialectical view, which Mary has also underscored, and I also maintain an existentialist's reservation on all system of ethics which seek to delimit my internal self-regard and philosophical liberties. I think that we should all, as 'intellectuals', continually study works of great immorality and forbidden ideas. I think we should all harbor Nietzsche's anarchy and chaos, at least in principle. When we do not, when we become "good", we are as if dead, merely acting out on the dubious plan of an even more dubious Big Other, as Lacan would have it. If the end of philosophy is to make us all into school marms and Dudley Do-rights, I will hand in my membership card for something less maudlin and comic.
        >
        > Incidentally, speaking of Lacan, some day you might check out Kant avec Sade (in the complete Ecrits). Lacan shows how Kantianism breaks down at the affirmation of evil. A tough read, but worthwhile
        >
        > Best,
        > Wil
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
        > To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Thu, May 26, 2011 3:01 pm
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: Being in the world
        >
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        > Wil,
        >
        > Thank you for your thoughts which highlight the deficiencies of my recent posts.
        >
        > I am not a utilitarian, and I am sorry if I gave that impression.
        >
        > I agree that the Kantian idea of respect for persons is a necessary component of moral thinking.
        >
        > Utilitarians say consequences are everything, Kant said consequences are nothing. My position is somewhere in between. I think we should consider the consequences when deciding what to do, but treating others with respect and not resorting to using them as means to our own ends is also necessary.
        >
        > I am against the idea that a "single factor" moral theory could be correct. So I do not believe in any absolute rules, nor any one factor like "maximizing pleasure". Certainly, all other things being equal, happiness is better than suffering, but there may be special cases where the greater suffering alternative is the best one.
        >
        > Generally I align myself with virtue ethics, which views the good life as the life lived virtuously. This view does not emphasize moral rules but rather discusses the character traits which are most conducive to a fulfilled, meaningful, happy life within a harmonious society. Modern proponents of this sort of view include Alasdair MacIntyre, John McDowell, Bernard Williams and Elizabeth Anscombe.
        >
        > I think Murdoch's account of the ethical life in "The Sovereignty of Good" is closest of all to my own outlook. I would not describe Murdoch as a Platonist, as her ethical account is fully this-worldly, and does not appeal to any form of dualism.
        >
        > I don't think I'll be reading the three books you mention in the foreseeable future, but I do intend to return to Zizek before long, so we may be able to get back to discussing him.
        >
        > Jim
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