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Re: Question for Mary -- read ths one!

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  • eupraxis
    I am reposting this. Apparently, posting from my email messages runs words together. Thanks, Jim, for your usual measured tone. It is nice to hear again.
    Message 1 of 77 , Mar 17, 2013
      I am reposting this. Apparently, posting from my email messages runs words together.

      Thanks, Jim, for your usual measured tone. It is nice to hear again.

      Actually, and being a good Hegelian, maybe, I see things a tad otherwise than you describe. I see a very 'predictable' inner contradiction at work, splaying matters along something like the Heidegger's ontic-ontological twain, or Spengler's "mere civilization" vs. culture difference, or Nietzsche's notion of bad nihilism — and not just 'over there' across 'that' ideological line, but here, on our side, on the supposed side of progress and rationality. In fact, I see the fight for rationality working itself along to the point where it now denies more than it affirms, becoming more like that to which it was the negation, that is to say a reductionism, a mechanical materialism in many cases that is held to as if a response to the irrationality of our time (which it is, too), but within which abides a new danger, a return of 'the thing'.

      I saw this in an Hegelian group that I once participated in. I see it in the atheist movement of which I am an active member. In the academic sciences, which in the US have waged a literal campaign against academic philosophy programs. I see it in the now-discarded expectations of citizens of open societies for a person-oriented world. Not that all of these are the 'same', but they are all of a certain time, a weltgeist of uncertain aspect.

      So, more than in decades, I see the urgency for existential questions maintained within existentialist attitudes. Without them, we — as it were — become assimilated to the machine, and a machine that has little hope of sustaining us.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      > Mary – That is fair comment what you have written. One theme in existentialism is commitment, and you and Bill have shown a level of commitment to existlist and to each other which none of the rest of us has matched.
      > I agree that a full engagement with the thoughts and feelings of the other is one of the things which make life worthwhile, but this is not easy in an age when there are so many distractions and attempts to grab our attention.
      > Like you (I believe) my primary commitment is to my children, and after that to other family members and significant others in my life. After that I have a certain commitment to certain ideals, including the ideal of intellectual integrity – to doing all I can to think clearly and consistently and to act authentically.
      > I don't think a commitment to an internet forum in itself has much intrinsic value, but if, over time, one becomes engaged in prolonged discussion and exchange of ideas with a group of likeminded individuals then a bond of friendship and solidarity can develop.
      > Perhaps you were able to engage more fully with Bill than the rest of us because your backgrounds were more similar (catholic upbringing, US culture). I was always more able to resonate with what you and Wil and Louise wrote, than I was with Bill.
      > To move outwards to Wil's more general questions, I think part of the difficulty of sustaining a group like this one is that existentialism means different things to all of us, and the narrower existentialist outlook (as growing out of the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and Camus) is rather a spent force. It was the talk of the cafe bars in the 1950's, 60's and 70's, but is now not the philosophical stimulant it was then.
      > To me existentialism is the cluster of ideas that joins abstract philosophical thought with lived existence. It is difficult to write truthful existentialism without slipping into abstract philosophy (on one end) or non-philosophical comment (on the other).
      > Perhaps we (as the group of existlist current members) can achieve this ideal of engaged communication on existentialist themes.
      > Jim
    • wsindarius
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8751648669/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8752770770/in/photostream ... From: hermit crab
      Message 77 of 77 , May 18, 2013


        -----Original Message-----
        From: hermit crab <hermitcrab65@...>
        To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sat, May 18, 2013 7:23 pm
        Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Building a better nothing (Wil sees Krauss)

        Very interesting, Wil. I kept wondering how it went. Good thing he didn't
        start spouting off about philosophers, eh? :-D Thank you for the update.
        The first link worked but the second one did not.


        On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 12:05 PM, <eupraxis@...> wrote:

        > **
        > Hello H,
        > Yes, sorry for my silence. The Krauss talk was nearly identical to others
        > of recent vintage that you can see on YouTube, but he did lay off
        > philosophy a bit and concentrate his sarcasm on Republicans, the South (I
        > am in New Orleans) and string theorists. I got some nice photos of him and
        > said hello (I was part of an invited group, NOSHA). He was pleasant, in
        > that almost-smug way.
        > http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8669528519/in/photostream
        > https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152796725025424&set=a.10152392005530424.946669.654825423&type=3&theater
        > Wil
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: existlist <hermitcrab65@...>
        > To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Sat, May 18, 2013 9:04 am
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: Building a better nothing (Wil sees Krauss)
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        > > Response: As I said, I like Krauss' book and I like him, especially his
        > talks. In fact, he will be here in a few weeks to discuss this very book,
        > and I will be present. My problem with his statements has nothing to do
        > with his manner of doing science; it has to do with his unfortunate
        > dismissal of philosophy and his misunderstanding of ontology.
        > ===Wil,
        > I have been waiting patiently to hear how this meetup went.
        > Please report. :)
        > h.

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