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Re: more nothing

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  • Mary
    Jim, A couple thoughts occur or reoccur to me. Without being and nothing vanishing into one another, there is no becoming; there would be static nothing or
    Message 1 of 43 , May 11, 2013
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      Jim,

      A couple thoughts occur or reoccur to me. Without being and nothing vanishing into one another, there is no becoming; there would be static nothing or static being. That there is something doesn't explain its quality: good, evil, mediocre. Holt addresses this a bit: if there is either a creator or just brute fact, how do we account for the quality of something.

      ALso, something may just as well not exist, so what is our freedom and responsibility toward what does? I think the nothingness or gaps in our being and thought are filled in varying degree with others' being and thought; that we wouldn't even be self-conscious without this entanglement. Again, what do freedom and responsibility mean in this dynamic within ourselves and others?

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Mary,
      >
      > Your short summary of your thoughts on Being and Nothing is a helpful focus and stimulus for my own thoughts.
      >
      > For me Nothing is a concept (a mental construct) which does not pick out anything in reality. If we want to refer to a component of reality, or a possible state of reality we should rather use the word `Nothingness'. Here I am following what Jim Holt writes in his book at page 49:
      >
      > << As the logicians remind us, nothing is not a name; it is mere shorthand for "not anything." To say, for example, that "nothing is greater than God" is not to talk about a super-divine entity; it is simply to say that there is not anything greater than God. "Nothingness," by contrast, is indeed a name. It designates an ontological option, a possible reality, a conceivable state of affairs: that in which nothing exists. >>
      >
      > Unlike Hegel, I try to keep a distance between my thoughts (including the concepts I use) and the aspects of reality my thoughts are about. So in thought I can negate things: I can imagine my desk without the calendar on it – i.e. I can imagine my desk with an empty space where my calendar traditionally sits. However I cannot make the calendar disappear from my desk by thought alone. I would need to physically pick it up and move it for that to happen. Certainly we can change reality and make things disappear, e.g. by burning them, but thought alone cannot change reality, in my view. (Arguably I cannot even change my mental life by thought alone. I can try to erase a particular painful memory, but that painful memory keeps coming back.)
      >
      > I still think the thought `why is there something rather than nothing?' is a powerful thought which, if nothing else, fills me with a sense of wonder that there is something at all, and I am a part of it. From my own perspective I am a big part of this reality, but from the outside (objective) perspective I am a mere tiny (very temporary) fraction of what there is.
      >
      > I think even the advances in science of the last hundred years or so, with the new knowledge that our universe started from something extremely small (possibly nothing at all) and is currently expanding outwards, does not remove my sense of wonder that I am a part of this strange reality, currently hammering away at my laptop keyboard.
      >
      > Jim
      >
    • eduardathome
      Although it isn’t a philosophy but only a tool, there are a ton of influences which lead to Nooism. The primary influence, however, was the brain surgery I
      Message 43 of 43 , Jun 2, 2013
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        Although it isn’t a philosophy but only a tool, there are a ton of influences which lead to Nooism. The primary influence, however, was the brain surgery I underwent when I was in my early 40s.

        In any case, I don’t think that one can truly engage a philosopher X’s ideas without some understanding of the influences. I don’t see it otherwise. Why Sartre came up with Being and Nothingness is as important as the philosophy itself.

        eduard

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Jim
        Sent: Sunday, June 02, 2013 2:12 PM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] Re: Sartre's influences

        Mary - I believe the major philosophical influence on "Being and Nothingness" was Heidegger's "Being and Time". Sartre, I believe, studied this work closely before writing his own magnum opus.


        Sartre takes over some of Heidegger's ideas wholesale like "existence precedes essence". The early Sartre was more existentialist, the later Sartre was more Marxist.

        Eduard - I worry that a concern over the question "What were the influences on philosopher X?" is often a substitute for directly engaging with philosopher X's ideas and claims.

        Should I be more concerned to understand and grapple with your Philosophy of Nooism? Or should I be more concerned to uncover the influences on you which resulted in your personal philosophy?

        Jim




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