## Re: [existlist] Re: shaping nothing

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• As I understand it, the néant or nothingness is the absence of something. It would be like if you lined up all the Presidents and then had an empty spot for
Message 1 of 67 , May 2, 2013
As I understand it, the néant or nothingness is the absence of something.
It would be like if you lined up all the Presidents and then had an empty
spot for 46 of them. The empty spot is then the "no-thing". But it is
actually a state of mind not a real empty space. It is how you mentally
think of the empty space.

it has to be a state of mind, for reason that it leads to action through our
choices.

eduard

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 4:46 PM
To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [existlist] Re: shaping nothing

Chris,

You write: "The empty set is still something to hold, since all sets contain
it."

This is not correct. The empty set has no members. However there are plenty
of sets which contain members, without also containing the empty set. For
example, the set of American Presidents contains about 50 human beings. It
does not also contain the empty set.

You can of course define sets how you like. I can define a set to contain
me, the Eiffel Tower and the empty set. So that set does contain the empty
set.

Jim

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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
Message 67 of 67 , May 10, 2013
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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>