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Re: [existlist] Re: The circularity of consciousness

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  • eduardathome
    “I have stated Sartre maintains that consciousness is being In-itself and For-itself.” How can Sartre maintain that consciousness is being-in-itself, when
    Message 1 of 171 , Jul 5, 2013
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      “I have stated Sartre maintains that consciousness is being In-itself and For-itself.”

      How can Sartre maintain that consciousness is being-in-itself, when he says that being-in-itself does is not conscious??

      Of course it is the self that determines intentional consciousness ... if by “intentional consciousness”, you mean applying one’s consciousness to whatever.

      I am arguing that the self in the act of applying itself to some thought, is acting with its consciousness. If it is acting in consciousness, then it cannot see or know of its consciousness in totality which is implied in the the phrase ... “to be conscious of consciousness”.

      I do not suggest that there is a boundary between self and consciousness. That is, the “self” as being defined as the act of consciousness. The self has to act in order to be the self. If one does not act, then it amounts to just a pile of meat and bones. I think of being-for-itself in that sense. It is the state of the self acting in thought.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Friday, July 05, 2013 2:14 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: The circularity of consciousness

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      > We started out with you saying that there were two different consciousnesses
      > ... to the degree that one consciousness can use the other consciousness.
      > That is what I objected to.

      I have stated Sartre maintains that consciousness is being In-itself and For-itself. Being In-itself is plenitude; it just is. Being For-itself is an emptiness; they depend upon and work together. Consciousness includes regions,modes, kinds, types, parts, aspects,levels, operations, or any other hair you wish to split.

      > It is the self which is applying its consciousness to do this or that
      > operation. I purposely think of this or that. I think of something now in
      > time and then something else later in time. However, there are no "parts"
      > of conscousness. In such case you are back to different consciousnesses
      > again, except you are now saying there are different parts ... amounts to
      > the same thing.

      You say that the self determines intentional consciousness. If the self is doing the application, the self would have to be external to consciousness or at the very least a different part of it. How can a self be consciousness if it is outside consciousness? Are you arguing that self is or is not a consciousness? I've never argued for two discrete consciousnesses, only different functions which depend upon one another as a totality. You yourself seem to be saying that the self is separate from consciousness in order that it may apply consciousness to something. What then is the boundary between self and consciousness; how is it maintained?

      > If there are specific "parts" of consciousness, how are the parts
      > maintained?? What are the boundaries which are particular to some part
      > which operates only for one specialized aspect of thinking. Sartre speaks
      > of "modes" of consciousness. I don't believe he speaks in terms of
      > identifiable "parts". I take it he means "modes" in the sense of
      > "application".

      Again I refer you to the In-itself and the For-itself as boundaries of one another which maintain one another. You've gotten entirely carried away with you connotation of *parts.* These different applications or functions are described as In-itself and For-itself. Sartre uses several different words to explain the relationship, but you persist in arguing that I am arguing for something for which I'm not arguing. I won't continue this particular thread unless you wish to discuss the relationship of the operations instead of the fact that Sartre proposes there are two of them.

      > eduard
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 12:24 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: The circularity of consciousness
      > Neither I nor Sartre posit two separate consciousnesses. Different parts of
      > consciousness perform different operations, yes, but who or what is applying
      > them? If you say consciousness is applying consciousness in different ways,
      > you are affirming the circularity of consciousness.
      > Mary


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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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