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Re: Existentialism is a...

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  • Mary
    Doug, Think of this choosing as it regards freedom. If we act as if we value our own freedom, we are acting as if the freedom of others is also important. Mary
    Message 1 of 67 , Apr 19, 2013
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      Doug,

      Think of this choosing as it regards freedom. If we act as if we value our own freedom, we are acting as if the freedom of others is also important.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Doug Viener <duditz72@...> wrote:
      >
      > First let me state that I hope I phrase this correctly. I am about ten pages into it and I am having an issue with one of Sartre's ideas. While I agree that man chooses for himself his own nature I am having an issue with how he draws the conclusion that man in choosing his nature chooses it for all mankind. It sounds suspiciously like an a priori version of the golden rule. Where does this leap that what is good for me must hold true for all mankind? Looking for some help seeing how he is drawing that conclusion
      > Doug
      >
      >
      > Sent from my iPhone
      >
      > On Apr 19, 2013, at 4:22 PM, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      >
      > > It is interesting that in somewhat the same fashion, Christians were seen as
      > > unethical or at least immoral in the first century. There is always a
      > > certain suspicion when new philosophies come to the fore and are used to
      > > define this or that group.
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Mary
      > > Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:22 PM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: Existentialism is a...
      > >
      > > eduard,
      > >
      > > When Sartre first introduced his atheistic existentialist ideas, Christians
      > > critics thought he was rejecting morality, when what he really was espousing
      > > was that the individual determines his own. Nietzsche said this first I
      > > believe. The example he uses in the text is a young man who must decide
      > > between staying with his mother or going off to university.
      > >
      > > "From the Christian side, we are reproached as people who deny the reality
      > > and seriousness of human affairs. For since we ignore the commandments of
      > > God and all values prescribed as eternal, nothing remains but what is
      > > strictly voluntary. Everyone can do what he likes, and will be incapable,
      > > from such a point of view, of condemning either the point of view or the
      > > action of anyone else." (Existentialism is a Humanism)
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Why "unethical"??
      > > >
      > > > eduard
      > > >
      > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > From: Mary
      > > > Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 2:13 PM
      > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: Existentialism is a...
      > > >
      > > > Hi Doug,
      > > >
      > > > If I recall correctly, the essay was written as an ethical response to
      > > > charges from primarily Christians that existentialism was unethical.
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > > >
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Doug Viener <duditz72@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Hi,
      > > > > I just starting to wade back into the existentialist nothingness after a
      > > > > long absence from it :) Anyway, I picked up a copy of Sartre's
      > > > > Existentialism is a Humanism. Any advice anyone can offer to help with
      > > > > the
      > > > > reading?
      > > > >
      > > > > Sent from my iPhone
      > > > >
      > > > > On Apr 16, 2013, at 10:43 AM, "existlist" <hermitcrab65@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > > I admit to sometimes seeking solitude out of a feeling of alienation.
      > > > > > Not always though. These are hilarious exaggerations but sometimes
      > > > > > when
      > > > > > I go out to socialize, it does feel as if the conversations are like
      > > > > > this:
      > > > > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2sg3uPMU-w
      > > > > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aeEPT2XL4U
      > > > > >
      > > > > > (like a competition to say something to get a rise out of the listener
      > > > > > instead of just honest sharing)
      > > > > >
      > > > > > h.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Ultimately everyone segs into a condition of solitude. It's our way
      > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > life
      > > > > > > and not necessarily due to a feeling of alienation from others.
      > > > > > > Although I
      > > > > > > suppose you could define it in that fashion as a type of solitude. I
      > > > > > > doubt
      > > > > > > one could say that alienation is a "true" solitary. There must be
      > > > > > > more
      > > > > > > than
      > > > > > > 50 shades.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > eduard
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > > > From: Mary
      > > > > > > Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 1:36 PM
      > > > > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > Subject: [existlist] Solitary/Solidarity
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Keeping this on existentialist footing, a true solitary is one who
      > > > > > > feels
      > > > > > > alienated from others through difference; they find so little in
      > > > > > > common with
      > > > > > > a particular group. Yet in this solitary condition one can also feel
      > > > > > > solidarity with others who are alienated in one degree or another.
      > > > > > > Camus,
      > > > > > > though not an existentialist, wrote about this condition. He
      > > > > > > obviously
      > > > > > > felt
      > > > > > > alienated culturally from his French friends and from their support
      > > > > > > for
      > > > > > > Stalin. On the other hand, he had many lovers, he was an artist and
      > > > > > > reluctant husband. We have differences but we are all human and
      > > > > > > sometimes
      > > > > > > alienated. I think needing solitude is different from feeling
      > > > > > > solitary
      > > > > > > due
      > > > > > > to what see irreconcilable differences. Alienation which leads to a
      > > > > > > generally solitary life is grist for existential angst, whereas
      > > > > > > temporary
      > > > > > > solitude serves as respite before again entering the fray of complex
      > > > > > > relationships. Paradoxically we are united through our alienation.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Mary
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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    • eduardathome
      I still get the feeling that it is words for the sake of words. Take for example your statement of .... Since to be a living being has diversity within
      Message 67 of 67 , May 10, 2013
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        I still get the feeling that it is words for the sake of words.

        Take for example your statement of ....

        "Since to be a living being has "diversity within itself", e.g., human
        beings are living beings, it cannot be the same as pure being".

        You have prior defined things "pure" as having no diversity. Therefore it
        goes without saying that a living being which is also defined as "diversity"
        within itself cannot be "pure" being.

        But, you could just as easily say that diversity is inherent to being and
        thus an attribute of pure being. Afterall, living is action, otherwise you
        are dead. Action itself is diverse in that it can vary. If it doesn't
        vary, you are back to "dead". Therefore, living which is known by its
        diversity is pure being.

        We eventually come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as pure
        being, because we define it in a fashion as to make it impossible.

        I don't think "nothingness" is about the end or beginning of something. I
        think "nothingness" is a mental state or state of mind in which one tries to
        deal with the absence of something. That is, something that one's brain
        expects to be there, but cannot find anything at that location. I think
        that is the meaning of Sartre's néant as not being. Of course I could be
        wrong and I am biased by my philosophy of Nooism which poses that everything
        we think of is resolvable down to mental states. The anxiety comes from not
        finding the thing that is supposed to be there. The expectation is that
        Pierre would be seated in chair #3. Since he isn't there, or rather his
        "not-being" is there leads to anxiety. In the end, it has very little to do
        with the real world presence or absence of Pierre, but only the way in which
        our brains try to conceptualize Pierre.

        eduard

        -----Original Message-----
        From: christopher arthur
        Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2013 2:34 PM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: shaping nothing

        Eduard,

        Maybe the intention is to say that the absolute distinction of Being and
        Nothing is made while one becomes the other, but otherwise they are the
        same. Also he seems to say that the process already happened, so that
        they are no longer in a state of becoming, and therefore always
        presently the same.

        Somehow this reminds me of the Timaeus of Plato where Socrates, with his
        friends, is discussing the beginning of the universe, and they stop to
        make the point to distinguish "between that which always is and never
        becomes from that which is always becoming but never is." In these
        cases what can we say about beginnings and endings, or is there no
        anxiety of nothingness here because we cannot find the ends of such things?

        One question to ask is whether we can feel what pure being is by trying
        to generalize from examples of being...like a human being or a living
        being. Since to be a living being has "diversity within itself", e.g.,
        human beings are living beings, it cannot be the same as pure being.
        But then, why don't we eventually come to the conclusion that there is
        no such thing as pure being? Maybe we're supposed to think that there
        is a little bit of pure being in everything.

        chris

        eduardathome a écrit :
        >
        >
        > One gets the feeling that this is just words for the sake of words.
        >
        > “Pure Being and pure nothing are, therefore, the same”.
        >
        > “... on the contrary, they are not the same, that they are absolutely
        > distinct”.
        >
        > eduard
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Mary
        > Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 11:07 AM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: shaping nothing
        >
        > Hello Jim,
        >
        > The Zizek quotes are from "Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of
        > Dialectical Materialism" Verso 2012.
        >
        > If what we experience are appearances expressing universal ideas,
        > though something, they appear out of nothing. However, illusory being
        > is the only being we have. Something and Nothing both exist as
        > necessary conditions for one another. Nothing is often capitalized to
        > indicate the concept rather than the feeling of nothingness associated
        > with existential anxiety. Previous to reading Hegel I thought absolute
        > Nothing was merely theoretical and only Being was, but my current
        > understanding of Nothing is derived from Hegel's Science of Logic
        > quoted as follows:
        >
        > A. BEING
        > Being, pure being, without any further determination. In its
        > indeterminate immediacy it is equal only to itself. It is also not
        > unequal relatively to an other; it has no diversity within itself nor
        > any with a reference outwards. It would not be held fast in its purity
        > if it contained any determination or content which could be
        > distinguished in it or by which it could be distinguished from an
        > other. It is pure indeterminateness and emptiness. There is nothing to
        > be intuited in it, if one can speak here of intuiting; or, it is only
        > this pure intuiting itself. Just as little is anything to be thought
        > in it, or it is equally only this empty thinking. Being, the
        > indeterminate immediate, is in fact nothing, and neither more nor less
        > than nothing.(Hegel, Science of Logic §132)
        >
        > B. NOTHING
        > Nothing, pure nothing: it is simply equality with itself, complete
        > emptiness, absence of all determination and content —
        > undifferentiatedness in itself. In so far as intuiting or thinking can
        > be mentioned here, it counts as a distinction whether something or
        > nothing is intuited or thought. To intuit or think nothing has,
        > therefore, a meaning; both are distinguished and thus nothing is
        > (exists) in our intuiting or thinking; or rather it is empty intuition
        > and thought itself, and the same empty intuition or thought as pure
        > being. Nothing is, therefore, the same determination, or rather
        > absence of determination, and thus altogether the same as, pure being.
        > (§133)
        >
        > C. BECOMING
        > Pure Being and pure nothing are, therefore, the same. What is the
        > truth is neither being nor nothing, but that being — does not pass
        > over but has passed over — into nothing, and nothing into being. But
        > it is equally true that they are not undistinguished from each other,
        > that, on the contrary, they are not the same, that they are absolutely
        > distinct, and yet that they are unseparated and inseparable and that
        > each immediately vanishes in its opposite. Their truth is therefore,
        > this movement of the immediate vanishing of the one into the other:
        > becoming, a movement in which both are distinguished, but by a
        > difference which has equally immediately resolved itself. (§134)
        >
        > Mary
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Mary,
        > >
        > > I struggle to make sense of the Zizek quotes – which of his books
        > are you quoting from?
        > >
        > > In particular the following quote does not seem satisfactory to me:
        > >
        > > ...The answer to "Why is there Something rather than Nothing" is
        > thus that there IS only Nothing, and all processes take place "from
        > Nothing through Nothing to Nothing." (p.38)
        > >
        > > Surely this is not correct. I know there is something – myself, my
        > family, my keyboard, my desk, my flat, my work colleagues. So Zizek is
        > wrong to say there is only nothing.
        > >
        > > And why does he spell nothing with a capital `N'?
        > >
        > > A perplexed Jim
        > >
        >
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        >
        >



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