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Re: more nothing

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  • Jim
    Mary, You raise a number of valid considerations. First, I am not sure that being and nothing are essential to the idea of becoming. Becoming is just change
    Message 1 of 43 , May 12 3:31 AM
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      Mary,

      You raise a number of valid considerations.

      First, I am not sure that being and nothing are essential to the idea of becoming. Becoming is just change and things can change from one thing to another – the caterpillar changes into the butterfly, for example.

      Even `new' things are created out of raw materials which already exist. My calendar was presumably created in a factory by a machine which was fed in paper and ink. A new human being was previously a foetus and before that a single cell created when a male sperm joins with a female ovum.

      You could argue that my thoughts pop out of nothing, but at the physical level, the neurons in my brain are busy firing throughout my conscious mental life.

      Second, the quality and intrinsic value of ourselves and the things around us are not explained by science. The big bang may explain why there is something rather than nothing, but it does not explain why human beings, the countryside, great works of art and literature, etc. have value. This is a philosophical subject in itself. Why is it that some things have value and other things don't? I'll have to think about this one – I don't have a pre-prepared answer!

      Third, with regard to freedom and responsibility, I would say we have these partly because we can imagine different possibilities in our minds. I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons or Guantanamo Bay, and because I can imagine such a different world, I have both the freedom and responsibility to try to bring about a different (better) world without these negative (evil) things in it.

      So certainly our ability to imagine absence or nothing instead of some of the things in the real world is an important aspect of us as free and responsible beings.

      Finally I agree completely that each of us is entangled with many other people. We all depend on others both for the basic resources of life, but also for our practical and intellectual development. We learn from others, just as they learn from us, and my thoughts and attitudes now have grown out of listening to others and reflecting on conflicting thoughts I have been presented with.

      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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