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Re: [existlist] Re: Problems with bad faith

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  • eduardathome
    “They are avoiding choice; they are paralyzed by their being unable to choose” If that is the case, then specifically what is it that they are unable to
    Message 1 of 171 , Jul 14, 2013
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      “They are avoiding choice; they are paralyzed by their being unable to choose”

      If that is the case, then specifically what is it that they are unable to choose??

      That’s the first question. The second question is ... How can Sartre conclude that the waiter is paralyzed by being unable to choose, simply from observing that he is behaving in a “waiter-esque” manner.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2013 5:43 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Problems with bad faith

      The way I see it is that eduard regards these examples as dealing with behavior while Sartre intends to show them as the refusal to choose. That is, bad faith and self-deception are not choices; they are the avoidance of choice and a merging of being for-iteslf (choice through the nihilating/negation of their organizing ego, the in-itself. If it were simply a matter of weighing and choosing through awareness the various ways of being, his comments would be relevant. As it is, eduard is focusing on their choosing a specific behavior, when in fact the examples are meant to demonstrate they are not really choosing at all. They are avoiding choice; they are paralyzed by their being unable to choose. The nothingness is too difficult to face, otherwise they would choose.

      In any event, he's failed to erect a philosophical argument and instead focused on common sense and his assumption that Sartre is personally criticizing how someone performs their job and misses entirely his point about nothingness and freedom. If eduard were to argue that by not choosing, they are nevertheless choosing, this would at least make some philosophical sense. However, the choice not to choose is not actually a choice; it's merely a non-choice with repercussions, which in these cases merely means that nothing changes for them and the world simply passes them by while others may be choosing to be being for-itself, and the self-deceivers are stuck in an identity the world has chosen for them. Self-deceivers are not aware they are self-deceiving and thus merging with a role or being in-itself. They are not facing nothingness or choosing to be being for-itself.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Eduard,
      >
      > I think your criticisms of Sartre in this area of discussion come down to two:
      >
      > 1 – You are doubtful if self-deception is actually possible.
      >
      > 2 – Even if self-deception is possible, you ask what is so bad about it?
      >
      > I think Sartre wants to say that bad faith is self-deception, and self-deception does happen and it is a bad thing (mainly for the person who is self-deceiving but also (possibly) for his friends and family).
      >
      > I agree that self-deception is a dubious concept. McCulloch also raises doubts here. His analogy is playing oneself at chess – being both black and white. White cannot devise a cunning trap to lure black into checkmate, because white can't hide the plan from black.
      >
      > Like you, I have not read the Dickens' book Mary refers to, but this sounds a good example to back Sartre's arguments.
      >
      > I am away for a few days now, so this is probably my last post for a bit.
      >
      > Jim
      >




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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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