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Re: [existlist] Re: Conscious being is in-itself and for-itself

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  • eduardathome
    I did not say that the human neural system is simple. But the idea of it is simple, and so too I think that existentialism is simple and does not need the
    Message 1 of 171 , Jun 24, 2013
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      I did not say that the human neural system is simple. But the idea of it is simple, and so too I think that existentialism is simple and does not need the complexity that people give it. I don’t believe that you need paradoxical thinking.

      I am presuming that Existentialism is ultimately simple, but that writers get carried away with words. Consider the following from ....

      http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/sartre/section2.rhtml

      As Sartre outlines in the conclusion to his work, perhaps the most essential characteristic of being is its intrinsic absence of differentiation and diversity. Being is complete fullness of existence, a meaningless mass of matter devoid of meaning, consciousness, and knowledge. Consciousness enters the world through the for-itself and with it brings nothingness, negation, and difference to what was once a complete whole of being. Consciousness is what allows the world to exist. Without it, there would be no objects, no trees, no rivers, and no rocks: only being. Consciousness always has intentionality—that is, consciousness is always conscious of something. It thus imposes itself on being-in-itself, making consciousness the burden of the for-itself and of all being. On a similar note, the for-itself at all times depends on the in-itself for its existence. In Sartre’s ontology, consciousness knows what it is only through the knowledge of what it is not. Consciousness knows it is not a being-in-itself and thus knows what it is, a nothingness, a nihilation of being. Yet, to Sartre, despite the fact that the for-itself is nothing, it exists only in its relation to being and thus is its own type of is.

      I am sure that somewhere in there is a simple idea, but it just doesn’t make any sense to say that consciousness is what allows the world to exist. That without consciousness here would be no objects only being. I think the author is getting lost in his words. Consciousness is just brain functioning. In brief, he is saying that brain functioning allows the world to exist. That makes no sense, but perhaps there is an idea in there somewhere that might be better expressed.

      eduard


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2013 2:47 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Conscious being is in-itself and for-itself

      You wish to make even the human neural system simpler than it is. The complexity of cell metabolism and ionic activity which create the electrical signals between neurons are necessarily part of an even more complex human body and its wider 'external' environment. In order to be reduced to a simpler explanation, a whole complex process must be understood, whether it's philosophical concepts with their interrelatedness—or—whether it's to reduce the whole of a human being to the function of a neuron.

      I personally know someone who spent half of their biochemistry education studying the effect of just one enzyme in cell metabolism and the other half studying one type of protein. The study of cell activity is inhibited by the heat generated by electron microscopes which requires moving the study to space and implementing x-ray crystallography.

      Please tell me how *fully* understanding how a neuron functions is simple and how that knowledge translates directly into how interactions between people should transpire. The complexity of how emotion affects the brain-body and vice versa is also not fully understood. We can only say there is a relationship between them.

      I've researched to an impasse both sides of this brain-thought divide, and nothing is simple about it. If you need it to be simple, and it works for you, then super. This only means you've merely provided yourself with a fantasy script which works for you. You can't claim with any certainty, based on the *simpler* explanation, whether yours or a philosophical explanation is truth

      The only other arguable attitudes toward brain-thought are skepticism or postmodernism. One suspects all versions of truth; the other accepts all versions, but both usually choose or admit to some practical versions although not fundamentally or essentially.

      There is a wholeness which you refuse to acknowledge, because it requires paradoxical thinking. A paradox simply is; you only have to accept it. Thought, the speculative activity of consciousness, requires a brain, but the thinking brain requires thought, which is produced through a combination of internal and external factors.

      The hard work of examining thought, empirically and philosophically, begins in complexity and if we're fortunate, ends with simplicity. We're not there yet.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      >
      > Overall, from what I have read in places like Wikpedia, I think that Existentialism is a relatively simple system. It takes into account how one deals with the world, oneself and especially “others”. I think that the special writing just makes it unnecessarily complicated.
      >
      > Consider ... “If the cogito reaches toward being, it is because by its very thrust it surpasses itself toward being by qualifying itself in its being as the being to which coincidence with self is lacking in order for it to be what it is.” Surely this could be put in words that anyone could understand. Why the huge complexity??
      >
      > Of course, that reflects my own view for personal philosophy. I believe that one’s outlook and manner of dealing with the world is fundamentally simple. There is no significant issues here, although we are inclined to make things complicated for sake of being complicated. Perhaps it’s my age. For example, we speak of an existential crisis in that we realise we have all this potential but will die before we can fulfill this potential. My view is ... So what; you are made of organic material which obviously degrades. Time is the fire in which we burn. You are going to die ... get over it. The entire universe is dying.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:23 AM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: Conscious being is in-itself and for-itself
      >
      > Okay then, I understand better your objection to my statement. You think I'm attributing to Sartre two distinct forms of consciousness which act upon one another, but I was clumsily attempting to simplify how two aspects interrelate. Initially, nothing about this is simple to understand, especially if one insists on a strictly neurological definition of consciousness.
      >
      > Sartre describes human consciousness as a unity of the in-itself and the for-itself which he calls 'modes.' Throughout the chapter I've been quoting, "Immediate Structures of the For-Itself," he discusses the relationship of these modes through nihilation and transcendence.
      >
      > "Human reality is a perpetual surpassing toward a coincidence with itself which is never given. If the cogito reaches toward being, it is because by its very thrust it surpasses itself toward being by qualifying itself in its being as the being to which coincidence with self is lacking in order for it to be what it is. The cogito is indissolubly linked to being-in-itself, not as a thought to its objectâ€"which would make the in-itself relativeâ€"but as a lack to that which defines its lack."
      >
      > "...if possibility is to exist, human reality as itself must necessarily be something other than itself. This possible is that the element of the For-itself which by nature escapes it qua For-itself. The possible is a new aspect of the nihilation of the In-self in For-itself."
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > >
      > > It still does not resolve anything. Sartre has not said here that there is a consciousness applicable to in-itself versus a different consciousness that is applicable to for-itself. It is just consciousness ... awareness. Your original proposal was that there were 2 â€Å"forms” of consciousness and that one form of consciousness can use the other form to accomplish something.
      > >
      > > Your statement which I questioned was ....
      > >
      > > "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?”
      > >
      > > The Sartre quote states such as ... â€Å"... introduction of emptiness into consciousness” ... â€Å"The concrete, real in-itself is wholly present to the heart of consciousness as that which consciousness determines itself not to be.” He hasn’t identified these consciousnesses as somehow different. And more to the point ... he has not said that there are 2 forms of consciousness. Anyway, how can one form of consciousness â€Å"use” another form of consciousness?? Consciousness is awareness. How can awareness use another awareness to do whatever?? That makes no sense. It is your proposition that there are two forms of consciousness in the brain, which I am questioning.
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Mary
      > > Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 10:10 AM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [existlist] Conscious being is in-itself and for-itself
      > >
      > > I stand by my explanation. There are many examples in "Being and Nothingness" which support my understanding. Your contention that Sartre contradicts himself is simply wrong; Sartre expands on his explanation of the in-itself to demonstrate that human consciousness is both in-itself and for-itself. I had forgotten the essential operation of nihilation which is what Chris was alluding to.
      > >
      > > "The for-itself can not sustain nihilation without determining itself as a *lack of being.* This means that the nihilation does not coincide with a simple . An external being has not expelled the in-itself from consciousness; rather the for-itself is perpetually determining itself *not to be* the in-itself. This means that it can establish itself only in terms of the in-itself and against the in-itself. Thus the nihilation is the nihilation of being, it represents the original connection between the being of the for-itself and the being of the in-itself. The concrete, real in-itself is wholly present to the heart of consciousness as that which consciousness determines itself not to be. The cogito must necessarily lead us to discover this total, out-of-reach presence of the in-itself. Of course the fact of this presence will be the very transcendence of the for-itself. But it is precisely the nihilation which is the origin of transcendence conceived as the original bond between the for-itself and the in-itself. Thus we catch a glimpse of a way of getting out of the cogito."
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Mary,
      > > >
      > > > â€Å"That fact that we don't means that consciousness at the neural level is consciousness in-self.”
      > > >
      > > > I agree that we don’t have awareness at the neural level, in the sense that we cannot monitor neural activity. The fact that we can’t monitor our neurons, doesn’t mean a different form of consciousness which is a â€Å"consciousness in-itself” ... it just means that we cannot monitor neural activity.
      > > >
      > > > But then what you are saying goes directly against Sartre.
      > > >
      > > > --- Being-in-itself refers to objects in the external world â€" a mode of existence that simply is. It is not conscious so it is neither active nor passive and harbors 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.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > The Being-in-itself is without consciousness, so you can’t say there is such a thing as â€Å"consciousness in-itself”.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Where does Sartre say that there is a consciousness in-itself??
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > eduard
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > From: Mary
      > > > Sent: Monday, June 17, 2013 3:16 PM
      > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: soldering
      > > >
      > > > I mean that we have knowledge of the processes in general or perhaps may watch some sort of imaging that shows the areas of the brain that activate during thought. No I don't mean we have direct awareness at the neural level. That fact that we don't means that consciousness at the neural level is consciousness in-self. The fact that we can make neural consciousness an object of study means we also have consciousness for-itself.
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > > >
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å"Consciousness is both being-in-itself and being-for-itself.ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â
      > > > >
      > > > > How is that possible when Sartre says that being-in-itself is not conscious??
      > > > >
      > > > > How can you be have awareness of neurons?? As I am typing this, my neurons are firing away to enable the correct key strokes, but I canÃÆ'¢â‚¬â„¢t monitor my neurons whilst all this is going on.
      > > > >
      > > > > Sartre is correct in that we canÃÆ'¢â‚¬â„¢t know our internal biological processes [neural processes].
      > > > >
      > > > > What specifically do you mean by ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å"we are conscious of their enabling consciousnessÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â?? That makes no sense, particularly in light of what you said about Sartre saying we canÃÆ'¢â‚¬â„¢t know our internal biological processes. YouÃÆ'¢â‚¬â„¢re contradicting yourself.
      > > > >
      > > > > eduard
      > > > >
      > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > From: Mary
      > > > > Sent: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:38 PM
      > > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Subject: [existlist] soldering
      > > > >
      > > > > Consciousness is both being-in-itself and being-for-itself. For example, our neural transmissions which perform the operations that enable consciousness, are in-themselves. They are not conscious of enabling consciousness. We are conscious of their enabling consciousness. I can have awareness of neurons, but neurons are not aware of what they are. They, as performing consciousness, are in-themselves. Neurons are not consciousness for-themselves. Human consciousness is a unity of two modes: being-in-itself and being-for-itself. Actually, being-for-others is a third form but no sense going into that now. When Sartre gets to "The Body" in "Being and Nothingness" he points out that we aren't even privileged to 'know' in the truest sense of the word our internal biological processes; we can only observe them in others and assume knowing by transference.
      > > > >
      > > > > Mary
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Chris,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I donÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'¢â€žÂ¢t think that one can make that argument ... that consciousness and being are essentially nothing; thus the same.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Is Sartre making that argument?? I seriously doubt it, for reason that he specifically states that the being-in-itself is not conscious. If being-in-itself is not conscious then it would be incorrect to present a new term of ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…"consciousness-in-itselfÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I am quite sure that one can manipulate the words to end up with that result, but does it make any sense?? And in particular, can one say that one form of consciousness can use another form of consciousness to do whatever?? There is no sense to that either. Although Sartre may be difficult to understand, I just donÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'¢â€žÂ¢t see him going there.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > eduard
      > > > > >
      > > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > > From: christopher arthur
      > > > > > Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2013 8:49 PM
      > > > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: moving on
      > > > > >
      > > > > > 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
      > > > > > > ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…"In Sartrean existentialism, being-in-itself (ÃÆ'Æ'Æ'ÃÆ'‚ªtre-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
      > > > > > > (ÃÆ'Æ'Æ'ÃÆ'‚ªtre-pour-soi) and being-for-others (I'ÃÆ'Æ'Æ'ÃÆ'‚ªtre-pour-autrui).ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚
      > > > > > > Being-in-itself refers to objects in the external world ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬" 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 ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬"
      > > > > > > 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 cafÃÆ'Æ'Æ'ÃÆ'‚© 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 ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬" 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
      > > > > > > isnÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'¢â€žÂ¢t any reference to focusing on Being-in-itself or focusing on
      > > > > > > Being-for-itself is a matter of different forms of consciousness.
      > > > > > > There isnÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'¢â€žÂ¢t a ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…"consciousness-in-itselfÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚ or a yet different
      > > > > > > ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…"consciousness-for-itselfÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚. If the waiter focuses on himself as
      > > > > > > Being-in-itself, he isnÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'¢â€žÂ¢t using some different form of consciousness.
      > > > > > > But then for Sartre, the Being-in-itself is not conscious.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I donÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'¢â€žÂ¢t think you can substitute ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…"consciousnessÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚ for ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…"BeingÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚. 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:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > ÃÆ'Æ'Æ'ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'Æ'…"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?ÃÆ'Æ'Æ'ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > 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!
      > > > > > > >
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    • 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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