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Re: [existlist] Re: Inner Space

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  • eduardathome
    I sometimes wonder what postmodern , postmodernism or postmodernity is. I find that these words are used from time to time in opinion pieces of newspaper
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 29, 2012
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      I sometimes wonder what "postmodern", "postmodernism" or "postmodernity" is.
      I find that these words are used from time to time in opinion pieces of
      newspaper columnists, yet I have never found a concise definition as to know
      the meaning. I am inclined to think ... as Dick Hebdige [see
      "postmodernism" in Wikipedia] ... that it's a buzzword that points to
      something else than that which is the subject of discussion. It's that
      "other" thing.

      As an engineer, I give recognition to things that work, even though they may
      not have the best efficacy. Some things are just sufficient. With regard
      to philosophy, as an outlook in life, our lives are so short that whatever
      gets us from our teens to death with least unhappiness, is good enough.

      As an engineer, I do indeed demand thoroughness from philosophy. Actually
      of anything. My criteria is that it have a clarity so as to be immediately
      understood. Which is not to say that one [the reader] should not be
      forearmed with some level of knowledge, but too often a philosophy is
      covered in words that have little meaning or at least do not serve to
      illuminate the text. I used to read a columnist in the Ottawa Citizen
      newspaper and more often than not I would end my reading with ... "what
      the??".

      "If there is nothing at the core of objects, only their pure appearance, our
      resulting freedom towards them should be an attitude of responsibility".

      I did not say that there was nothing at the core of objects. I said that
      "peeling an onion" is an allegory for doing further investigation. One
      hopes, in stripping away all the confounding elements, that the truth will
      eventually be reached. My point of course is that the "absolute truth" is
      never reached, since at each new level one has to interpret what is there.
      I am positing that you can reach a level which may not be absolute truth,
      but is sufficient truth, since it works for you. The corollary also
      applies. If you do not find the real truth, you can make one up from first
      cloth and it becomes the truth if it works for you.

      How can I have "freedom" towards an object?? Or rather freedom towards
      their appearance?? And how is this freedom qualified by an attitude of
      responsibility?? I would suggest that if I feel a responsibility to an
      object [assuming that such is indeed possible] then this would be the
      opposite of "freedom". The idea of "free" is to be completely detached from
      something. As soon as you are connected by responsibility, there is no
      freedom.

      eduard


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Friday, December 28, 2012 10:33 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Inner Space

      I suppose another way to explain this is to say there is no absolute truth
      except the developing notion of particular phenomena. The motion of thought
      between opposites and contradictions might cause one to adopt nihilistic or
      postmodern stances, but the motion itself is truth. This development of a
      notion between what is observed and the observer is true but is guided by
      principles such as those found in science. I generally doubt self-tailoring
      truth will work in the sciences, so I reject it for philosophy. But since
      existentialism is not generally accorded the same respect and rigor as other
      philosophical systems, I suppose postmodernity will forever be how
      existentialism is interpreted. As an engineer, I'm surprised you don't
      demand this thoroughness from philosophy. Personally, I think ethical
      nihilism is closer to existentialism than postmodernity. If there is nothing
      at the core of objects, only their pure appearance, our resulting freedom
      towards them should be an attitude of
      responsibility. This is the foundation of existentialism as I see it.

      Mary
    • eduardathome
      I think that the advent of a post-human or trans-human species is a valid possibility. In fact, I would say that this is a necessary step in human
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 29, 2012
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        I think that the advent of a post-human or trans-human species is a valid
        possibility. In fact, I would say that this is a necessary step in human
        development. We disconnect from nature and create our own replacement. The
        movie I, Robot with Will Smith, shows an evil side which is also a
        possibility, but the movie does not negate the envisaged future of a race of
        robots that will carry on after us.

        Another movie on a similar concept is Blade Runner with Harrison Ford. The
        idea is presented that without a death gene, the replicants could live
        forever. We all want Rachel to live on. I like Roy's last little speech
        ....

        Roy: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off
        the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the
        Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
        Time to die.

        eduardathome

        -----Original Message-----
        From: William
        Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:21 PM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] Re: Inner Space



        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
        >
        > Bill,
        >
        > The current trend is to predict a post-human or trans-human species, one
        > microchip enhanced and/or genetically modified. I don't think this will
        > happen because thought, though it tends to be slavish, is also rebellious.
        > Many people confuse power and success with intelligence, and it's my hope
        > this perception ends.
        >
        > Mary
        > Mary,I think at the core is the law. That which is written and signed has
        > the weight of full perusal and engrossed involement. Single person opinion
        > presents ideas but they are not ratified by any majority or judicial
        > authority. The law precludes anarchy and as Mao proclamed "all power comes
        > from the barrel of a gun".The law is backed up with force and post
        > modernist concepts of deconstruction and irresponsibility are just the
        > musings of disquieted individuals.Philosophy is an individual endeavour
        > and is thrown in the pool of ideas to be considered and endlessly
        > adjusted.
        I agree with you that no majority will opt for chosen mutation or chip
        driven mass culture. Democracy is big ship that takes huge energy to change
        course.The recent legislative debates in Washington demonstrate the slowness
        of process and the gradual evolution of law . I picked existentialism
        because it refuted moral authorites and said nothing contra to the law or
        science. I agree with you that science changes and it has an empirical
        substrate that sets standards that must be met.I find that rational and in
        line with Deccartes seminal concepts. Existentialism does not try to make
        law or force virtue. It sets forth a very general framework that spends more
        energy fighting moralisms and single person dogma.That sits in good
        position with the definition of philosophy as the things to which you cleve
        .You notice I do not use the term love.That is not a rational term and does
        not belong in my philosophy.Way too emotional with no thought out checks
        and balances.Existentialism
        in a basic way allows for change it takes into account very little, it is
        just a general philosophy that does not delve into personal specifics.
        Personal conduct is governed by law and customs derived in other systems
        already in existance. Any philosophy that imposes rules that have no general
        agreement as to their validity is beyond its scope and immediately
        suspect.Yes the things to which we cleve change. But all around us doe not
        move to our musings. Throw things out there as seeds an perhaps some will
        grow. Its a mesage in a bottle game. Bill

        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <vize9938@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I think a couple of things are interesting about your perspective. The
        > > > limitation of knowing the entire or whole truth about anything and
        > > > this matter of interpretation aren't really an obstacle or hindrance.
        > > > These demonstrate not an intransigence on the part of phenomena and
        > > > appearances in preventing our understanding but a structural reality.
        > > > We don't try to get behind the appearance or to peel the layers away
        > > > to reach some absolute truth; there is nothing at the core; appearance
        > > > is reality. Certainly relative perception and personal experience play
        > > > a role in this endeavor, but ultimately all our efforts point to a
        > > > core of nothing rather than a something which is defying our efforts
        > > > to reach it. What I've come to accept about understanding and the
        > > > pursuit of truth is that the motion of thought itself demonstrates a
        > > > circling around any absolute. The movement between contradictions and
        > > > oppositions is just as significant. Scientific principles which are
        > > > discovered and applied are
        similar to philosophical ones in that they change and develop through
        sublation. Something is kept as true but something is also discarded as
        false. Perception, though differing from person to person, is universal. All
        humans perceive, so relative perception plays a role in our understanding
        and can be studied in regards to reason. If our particular or personal
        perception differs extremely from others it can also reveal something about
        perception as much as more commonly agreed upon perceptions. Differences
        don't necessarily lead us to relativism or nihilism. Difference itself can
        become an important part of understanding, truth, knowledge, or reality.
        Think of all the neurological studies that are done on the brains of people
        who differ severely from so called normal brains. The differences can inform
        what is previously understood as normal. The current and somewhat annoying
        meme "the new normal" actually helps explain this but only when taken more
        seriously. Truth is a development
        of a notion; only the idea is real.
        > > >
        > > > Mary
        > > > Mary, Those abnormal brains could be called mutants. It is mutation
        > > > that causes evolution . I think Dick says we are evolving toward his
        > > > new species. Mystics are fringe people who have had unusual
        > > > experiences. I will not go so far as to call Dick a mutant but I will
        > > > use the term other evolved. He does not think like the rest of us but
        > > > when he calls an end point something and we call it another we would
        > > > seem to be on a common progress. I would like for Dick to be correct
        > > > because he says it ushers in a better world. I would ask how these
        > > > edge of the curve individuals can ever hyperpersonalise when they are
        > > > the most distant and distracted of the species? I agee with you Mary
        > > > that at the crux of supposed truth os a ever changing nidus of
        > > > thoughts an as scientific theories are always susceptable to change.
        > > > This super human will have to be a more survivable species and so far
        > > > I see no particular group exhibiting vastly greater traits. I do not
        > > > want to try and out guess
        evolution and I would not try to predict it. Now I might say it appears that
        smart people will become dominant. OK, Ill go that far as a bigger brain
        is where the primate species has been heading. We could call that a solid
        postulate and fewer,smarter people could probably run a better world. I do
        not know if it will go that way and find a sudden leap forward to new
        specis would be counter to the present rate of evolution. So I agree the
        ideas seemingly at some core are just hubs of ideas that may or may not
        remain. Chardin strongly hinted that only god could push mandkind to unite
        with him in an Omega point. Just too much theology for me . It seems to me a
        most improbable outcome ,especially since I am an athiest. Bill
        > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > I was speaking to the issue of whether humans can actually "know"
        > > > > the truth
        > > > > of something. My view is that we can never know the truth for
        > > > > reason that
        > > > > the means to our knowledge is always a matter of interpretation.
        > > > >
        > > > > I suppose that in a way, mathematics is an area for which the truth
        > > > > can be
        > > > > identified. 2 + 2 = 4. But then it is true because we say it is.
        > > > > It is
        > > > > not necessarily the case that 2 of something, plus 2 of something is
        > > > > actually equal to 4 of something. Sometimes it isn't, as say for
        > > > > example
        > > > > when the values are vectors.
        > > > >
        > > > > I am not saying that experience demonstrates what is true in the
        > > > > sense of
        > > > > absolute truth. What I am saying is that experience can get
        > > > > sufficiently
        > > > > close that we can accept it as true in a specific time and place. I
        > > > > guess
        > > > > the label here would be relativism or something like that. The
        > > > > "truth" that
        > > > > we identify in this time/place may not be true in some other
        > > > > time/place or
        > > > > for some other person.
        > > > >
        > > > > Something is said to be true if it works and yes that relates to
        > > > > experience.
        > > > > That the shadow is a coffee table is true, because I experienced
        > > > > pain in
        > > > > bumping into it. But even then it may not be true. The pain may be
        > > > > from
        > > > > bumping into a chair. The search for truth is like peeling an onion
        > > > > till we
        > > > > get so close that it is obvious or we say it is obvious because
        > > > > further
        > > > > peeling is unlikely to reveal something else. And the stress is
        > > > > upon the
        > > > > "unlikely". Sometimes "unlikely" is dependent upon the degree of
        > > > > effort and
        > > > > worth of going further.
        > > > >
        > > > > Some think that the "laws" of science point to some kind of truth.
        > > > > But I
        > > > > doubt that any scientist would say that it is absolute. A law in
        > > > > science is
        > > > > a best guess whose result is repeatable through experimentation. If
        > > > > we get
        > > > > a different answer, the law is modified or abandoned. So much for
        > > > > truth.
        > > > >
        > > > > eduard
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > -----Original Message-----
        > > > > From: Mary
        > > > > Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 3:00 PM
        > > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: Inner Space
        > > > >
        > > > > What seems true to me, eduard, is that you specialize in a
        > > > > reductionist
        > > > > approach to phenomenology while mine is more dialectical. So it
        > > > > seems to me
        > > > > there is no out there, or ocean of phenomena, but an interactive
        > > > > relationship between objects in themselves, including human. Objects
        > > > > themselves are true in themselves as subject, and subjects are true
        > > > > objects.
        > > > > An appearance is truth but it's only arrived at dialectically and
        > > > > speculatively. Experience alone does not suffice to demonstrate what
        > > > > is
        > > > > true. The notion, concept, or idea of objects are an unfolding
        > > > > truth. Truth
        > > > > changes but I don't believe successful experiences alone determine
        > > > > it.
        > > > > Scepticism and speculative reason are philosophical thought.
        > > > >
        > > > > Mary
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Ultimately, everything is an illusion. That is, if you consider
        > > > > > an
        > > > > > "illusion" to be what we "think" we see. Humans are like the
        > > > > > captain of a
        > > > > > submarine. He moves his boat through the ocean by means of
        > > > > > sensors
        > > > > > instead
        > > > > > of "seeing" what is actually out there. We also have sensors
        > > > > > [taste, ear,
        > > > > > eye, touch, etc. ], but it still isn't a case of really knowing
        > > > > > the truth
        > > > > > of
        > > > > > something. We can, however, get close and this then becomes a
        > > > > > sort of
        > > > > > definition of how good is our interpretation. The "rightness" of
        > > > > > our
        > > > > > interpretation is the degree of its success. If at night I
        > > > > > interpret the
        > > > > > shadow in the living room as being the coffee table, the
        > > > > > "rightness" of my
        > > > > > interpretation is confirmed by the pain from bumping into it.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > The "truth" then becomes our best guess that is successful in time
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > place.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > ------------------------------------
        > > > >
        > > > > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining
        > > > > nothing!
        > > > >
        > > > > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >




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