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Re: [existlist] Re: moving on

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  • christopher arthur
    Eduard, It seems to me that the substitution of consciousness for being is an argument to do with nothingness, which basically seems to say that both
    Message 1 of 171 , Jun 16, 2013
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      Eduard,

      It seems to me that the substitution of consciousness for being is an
      argument to do with nothingness, which basically seems to say that both
      consciousness and being are essentially nothing, so they are both the
      same. The argument that consciousness is nothingness is something to do
      with the fact that even the "ego" is an object of consciousness when
      contemplated just like any other external object.

      Chris


      On 6/16/2013 6:00 PM, eduardathome wrote:
      >
      > I got the being-in-itself. According to
      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_in_itself
      > “In Sartrean existentialism, being-in-itself (être-en-soi) is also
      > contrasted with the being of persons, which he describes as a
      > combination of, or vacillation or tension between, being-for-itself
      > (être-pour-soi) and being-for-others (I'être-pour-autrui).”
      > Being-in-itself refers to objects in the external world — a mode of
      > existence that simply is. It is not conscious so it is neither active
      > nor passive and harbours no potentiality for transcendence. This mode
      > of being is relevant to inanimate objects, but not to humans, whom
      > Sartre says must always make a choice.
      > Although Being-in-itself is supposed to be for objects, Sartre does
      > cover the subject in relation to humans ...
      > One of the problems of human existence for Sartre is the desire to
      > attain being-in-itself, which he describes as the desire to be God —
      > this is a longing for full control over one's destiny and for absolute
      > identity, only attainable by achieving full control over the destiny
      > of all existence. The desire to be God is one of the ways people fall
      > into bad faith. Sartre's famous depiction of a man in a café who has
      > applied himself to a portrayal of his role as a waiter illustrates
      > this. The waiter thinks of himself as being a waiter (as in
      > being-in-itself), which Sartre says is impossible since he cannot be a
      > waiter in the sense that an inkwell is an inkwell. He is primarily a
      > man (being-for-itself), just one who happens to be functioning as a
      > waiter – with no fixed nature or essence, who is constantly recreating
      > himself. He is guilty of focusing on himself as being-in-itself and
      > not being-for-itself. Sartre would say that as a human, a
      > being-for-itself by nature, the waiter is "a being that is not what it
      > is and it is what it is not." Therefore, the waiter who acts as if he
      > is at his very core a waiter "is not what [he] is"- which is to say,
      > he is not solely a waiter- and "is what [he] is not"- meaning that he
      > is many things other than a waiter. In simply playing the part of a
      > waiter, the man in this example is reducing himself to a
      > "being-in-itself" and is therefore in bad faith.
      > Beyond the matter of waiters wanting to be god, in all of this, there
      > isn’t any reference to focusing on Being-in-itself or focusing on
      > Being-for-itself is a matter of different forms of consciousness.
      > There isn’t a “consciousness-in-itself” or a yet different
      > “consciousness-for-itself”. If the waiter focuses on himself as
      > Being-in-itself, he isn’t using some different form of consciousness.
      > But then for Sartre, the Being-in-itself is not conscious.
      >
      > I don’t think you can substitute “consciousness” for “Being”. And it
      > is difficult to understand how one form of consciousness can use
      > another form to do anything.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2013 4:48 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: moving on
      >
      > Being-in-itself or consciousness in-itself simply means it is
      > unreflexive or pre-reflexive in contrast with the for-itself which is
      > reflexive. Hegel, Heidegger and Sartre each use it differently. To put
      > it in common sense terms, even someone who is conscious is not always
      > aware of everything. Being-in-itself is a rock; an animal may be aware
      > of its dinner but not that it (the animal) has consciousness, so it is
      > a consciousness in-itself. Humans are beings who have consciousness
      > which is in-itself, for-itself, and for-others. Consciousness as an
      > object of study or contemplation is an in-itself, but the role of
      > consciousness as the subject who is studying consciousness, is a
      > for-itself. Consciousness is therefore both subject and object, an
      > in-itself and a for-itself-and-others.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > “For example, how is the unity of being-in-itself and
      > being-for-itself not paradoxical when one form of consciousness
      > struggles to gain understanding through use of the other form which is
      > absolute and impenetrable?”
      > >
      > > What??
      > >
      > > How can there be 2 forms of consciousness?? Consciousness is
      > awareness ... you are conscious of something. If there are 2
      > consciousnesses, how can one form use the other?? Makes no sense.
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Mary
      > > Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 12:27 PM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > Subject: [existlist] moving on
      > >
      > > I have no problem with logical thinking which I distinguish from
      > mechanistic (deterministic, strictly physical) thinking, but the
      > former is typically averse to paradox which I regard as a unity of
      > oppositions. Contradictions which persist are paradoxes. When
      > considering that being and nothing contradict one another and yet are
      > the same empty or pure abstraction, before we begin to describe them,
      > as well as all the other unities of undetermined differences which
      > emerge through logical mediation, how paradox is avoidable? For
      > example, how is the unity of being-in-itself and being-for-itself not
      > paradoxical when one form of consciousness struggles to gain
      > understanding through use of the other form which is absolute and
      > impenetrable? Conscious being is an identity in difference that cannot
      > be understood except as moments between both forms.
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>, christopher arthur
      > <chris.arthur1@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > As an analytic philosopher, Bertrand Russell seemed to be very
      > > > successful in using a kind of logical, mechanical thinking to
      > approach
      > > > philosophical problems, and perhaps so was Wittgenstein, but I think
      > > > that we need to draw the line of philosophy somewhere. My point is
      > that
      > > > there are mechanistic approaches worth appreciating, but I think that
      > > > the difference here is that with logic, I follow rules in order to
      > > > deduce truth about the world from what I already know, and when I
      > start
      > > > thinking about neurology, I can't sum up the activity to distinguish
      > > > truth from falsehood. There is certainly some appeal to the intuition
      > > > to be able to take a problem, particularly in existentialism, and
      > > > operate on it logically to arrive at some deeper understanding. That
      > > > same spirit might be cause for reluctance to embrace paradox.
      > > >
      > > > It's curious that in the (brief) discussion that we had concerning
      > being
      > > > and nothingness, that no one seemed to mention the concepts of
      > > > being-in-itself or being-for-itself.
      > > >
      > > > Chris
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining
      > nothing!
      > >
      > > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!
      >
      > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • daveylee40
      It seems to me that we are limited to the qualities and capacities of humanness as supplied by the natural state of being human. Other than that, I personally
      Message 171 of 171 , Aug 25, 2013
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        It seems to me that we are limited to the qualities and capacities of humanness as supplied by the natural state of being human. Other than that, I personally cannot conceive of a fixed nature or essence.

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
        >
        > No congratulations from Sartre unless I understand how I am being in-itself and being for-itself. Since I'm sufficiently satisfied with my grasp of Sartre's Bad Faith, I'm now going to spend some time with how Sartre explains what he considers the 'correct' view of in-itself for being human. What for Sartre is fixed as human essence other than existence, nothing, and freedom?
        >
        > Mary
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
        >
        > > Sartre could encounter the waiter whilst serving the table and ask "what are
        > > you??"
        > >
        > > "I'm a waiter"
        > >
        > > "Aha ... and obvious case of mauvais foi". "But, what are you besides a
        > > waiter??"
        > >
        > > "I'm a father of a family"
        > >
        > > "Still mauvais foi ... a sad case". "I mean, underneath, besides these
        > > particular roles??"
        > >
        > > "Of course, I am a human being".
        > >
        > > "Congratulations".
        > >
        > > eduard
        > >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: Mary
        > > Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:28 AM
        > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [existlist] Fixed nature
        > >
        > > We reject labels which identify us as essentially one particular thing. I am
        > > not my job, so whichever occupation I choose or find myself in and
        > > regardless of the education and training it requires, I am still not that
        > > position/role/job in-itself. It is this idea of having a fixed nature, a
        > > something in-itself, which Sartre opposes. We are being for-itself and
        > > either struggle or recoil at the thought of having the freedom of not having
        > > an identity (an in-itself) so we find ourselves in the 'project' or
        > > condition of bad faith. Sartre thinks our nature is to desire a fixed
        > > nature. But this is further complicated by the fact that others tend to
        > > label us as having a fixed nature.
        > >
        > > If I say you, eduard, are essentially a positivist or a reductionist or
        > > whatever, you reject this because you feel you are not that. If I say you
        > > are an electrical engineer, you're more likely to say this is true, but are
        > > you really only or strictly what your job entails? Aren't you first eduard,
        > > a human being who thinks and does many things besides his job? Aren't your
        > > ideas and ways of being constantly changing? To say that you perform your
        > > job/role as an electrical engineer means you are not strictly that block of
        > > identity. Even if you were to change careers, you wouldn't strictly be that
        > > new identity either. You would be free to be more than just that. Sartre
        > > means that all jobs are equal only in the sense that we still would not be
        > > identified strictly with what we do.
        > >
        > > To say I am not *that* means I am not merely a being in-itself. But it's
        > > more complicated, because if there weren't some facticity about being human,
        > > we wouldn't be able to negate it and be a being for-itself. We would merely
        > > be this block of identity. This is really what Sartre uses bad faith to
        > > explainâ€"the relationship between being in-itself and for-itself.
        > >
        > > Mary
        > >
        > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Mary,
        > > >
        > > > I think that part of the difficulty may be that we are dealing with
        > > > 1930’s thought. The way I see it, Sartre is describing psychology as to
        > > > mental functioning and associated behaviour. But in the 1930’s there
        > > > was very little in the way of realising that we actually used our brains
        > > > to think, so Sartre and others had to resort to labels and phraseology
        > > > which might suffice.
        > > >
        > > > But since such phraseology is disconnected from reality, it easily leads
        > > > to convoluted statements such as, "If I am a cafe waiter, this can be only
        > > > in the mode of *not being* one." That statement makes no sense, and I
        > > > can well appreciate the need for 800 pages of reading to obtain some kind
        > > > of understanding. I don’t believe that such a statement would be made
        > > > by anyone today in the 21st century.
        > > >
        > > > I read the paragraph at least 4 times now and still cannot make any sense
        > > > of it. For example, â€Å"This is the result of the fact that while I must
        > > > *play at being* a cafe waiter in order to be one, still it would be in
        > > > vain for me to play at being a diplomat or a sailor, for I would not be
        > > > one”. I think that what Sartre is saying is that a â€Å"diplomat” is a
        > > > position that requires substantial training and something to which you are
        > > > assigned. You can’t just walk into the Ministry of State building and
        > > > start acting like a diplomat as one might act as a waiter when walking
        > > > into a restaurant. But if that is the case, then Sartre weakens his
        > > > argument for mauvais foi, since the diplomat could equally confuse himself
        > > > with his role.
        > > >
        > > > I agree with your understanding of bad faith. I asked at the office, what
        > > > was the meaning of â€Å"mauvais foi”. It comes down to misrepresenting
        > > > yourself to others, as for example to have a hidden agenda. Sartre seems
        > > > to be using the term as misrepresenting yourself to yourself. In regard
        > > > to the question of whether it is possible to misrepresent yourself to
        > > > yourself, I should think that it is entirely possible. There is nothing
        > > > in the rule book of brain thinking that one has to be entirely logical and
        > > > transparent.
        > > >
        > > > I think the example of the waiter is put in the wrong sense which
        > > > compounds the difficulty. The waiter is said to be too precise and
        > > > therefore he/she has mauvais foi. But it really should be expressed the
        > > > other way around, as waiters who have mauvais foi tend to act in too
        > > > precise a manner. Not all waiters who act precisely have mauvais foi.
        > > > Neither do all beau parleurs.
        > > >
        > > > eduard
        > >
        >
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