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Re: shaping nothing

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  • Mary
    eduard, For Sartre, at least in Being and Nothingness, his Nothing is more than mere absence; it is non-being and also relates to how thought negates and
    Message 1 of 67 , May 3 3:58 PM
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      eduard,

      For Sartre, at least in Being and Nothingness, his Nothing is more than mere absence; it is non-being and also relates to how thought negates and 'nihilates' thought. He felt the ability to negate comes from Nothing itself.

      ________________________________________
      V. THE ORIGIN OF NOTHINGNESS

      It would be well at this point to cast a glance backward to measure the
      road already covered. We raised first the question of being. Then
      examining this very question conceived as a type of human conduct, we
      questioned this in turn. We next had to recognize that no question
      could be asked, in particular not that of being, if negation did not
      exist. But this negation itself when inspected more closely referred us
      back to Nothingness as its origin and foundation. In order for negation
      to exist in the world and in order that we may consequently raise
      questions concerning Being, it is necessary that in some way
      Nothingness be given. We perceived then that Nothingness can be
      conceived neither outside of being nor as a complementary, abstract
      notion, nor as an infinite milieu where being is suspended. Nothingness
      must be given at the heart of Being, in order for us to be able to
      apprehend that particular type of realities which we have called
      [negativties]. But this intra-mundance Nothingness cannot be produced by
      Being-in-itself; the notion of Being as full positivity does not
      contain Nothingness as one of its structures. We cannot even say that
      Being excludes it. Being lacks all relation with it. Hence the question
      is put to us now with a particular urgency: if Nothingness can be
      conceived neither outside of Being, nor in terms of Being, and if on
      the other hand, since it is non-being, it cannot derive from itself the
      necessary force to "nihilate itself," where does Nothingness come from?________________________________________

      Mary


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      >
      > 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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      >
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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 4:11 PM
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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
        > >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!
        >
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        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >



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