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Re: [existlist] Re: Welcome back hb3g

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  • eduardathome
    I would take philosophy in the common sense of the word. That is, it is more than just a study, but rather a way of living. How should one encounter the
    Message 1 of 171 , Jul 24, 2013
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      I would take "philosophy" in the common sense of the word. That is, it is
      more than just a study, but rather a way of living. How should one
      encounter the world and react to what it places upon us.

      Freedom is the range over which one can make choices. Or simply that
      ability to make that one choice. Sometimes the amount of freedom is
      dependent upon what kind of choices are being made. For example, my freedom
      to choose to be president of the US is restricted.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Herman Triplegood
      Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 8:12 AM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Welcome back hb3g

      Yep. But you know how it is with these kinds of books. You have to read it
      three or four times, really, in order for it to sink in.

      Several things really struck me about B&N and they were what made it so
      interesting to me. The first was the centrality of freedom. The second was
      the existential psychoanalysis. The third was Sartre's radical dualism, more
      radical than Descartes himself.

      We not only live through the in-itself/for-itself dichotomy, we ARE that
      dichotomy. This duality lies at the very heart of our existence. There is no
      surpassng it. There is no explaining it away. We are wasting our time when
      we try to disprove it. What we really need to do is to try and understand
      it.

      Bringing the analysis into psychoanalysis, and psychology in general, makes
      sense to me. The underlying ontology must have its psychological
      implications. I read a lot of Freud and Jung back in the 1979 - 1982 time
      period.

      I think that philosophy ought to be the protection of freedom. I would
      consider the question of freedom to be one of the penultimate questions.
      Not, is there freedom? Can it be proved? Disproved? But rather, what do we
      do with our freedom? What does our freedom really mean to us?

      This is, I think, where it gets existential. The rubber hits the road. What
      I think, plan, assume, pursue, or give up on, altogether impacts where I
      ultimately end up: either free, or enslaved.

      hb3g

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
      >
      > Sweet! That makes at least four of us who want to make something out of
      > nothing. If you and Jim have already read B&N, your contributions should
      > help eduard and me.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Herman Triplegood" <hbthreeg@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hello Mary, and everybody else. I have returned to the list after being
      > > gone for quite a while. I read the Webber article. It was helpful. It
      > > has been three years since I sat down and read (in English) Sartre's
      > > Being and Nothingness. I need to read it again. That's why I am here. So
      > > I can get some help with the hard parts.
      > >
      > > :)
      > > hb3g
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Thanks, Jim. I hope to hear from you soon.
      > > >
      > > > Where eduard often 'comes from' is the 'so what?' perspective of jaded
      > > > existentialists, in that this freedom to make ourselves and our
      > > > meaning seems old hat. In other words, we've come so far in terms of
      > > > freedom of choice and that passe expression 'identity crisis,' we
      > > > wonder if existentialism is still valid. Eduard will correct me if
      > > > I've misrepresented his stance.
      > > >
      > > > What remains radical about Sartrean existentialism is still not easily
      > > > understood. His work to uncover phenomenological and ontological
      > > > structures of self-consciousness emphasizes nothingness and freedom in
      > > > order to actualize our world much differently. Choosing an identity,
      > > > an occupation, and embracing atheism are only a beginning. Sartre does
      > > > what most philosophers do—destroys assumptions. Of course, I know I'm
      > > > not that table (in-itself); but the process of reaching this
      > > > transcendence (going beyond) implies something about consciousness: it
      > > > is a negating (for-itself) kind of being. Yes, that waiter is acting
      > > > too waiter-esque, the woman too coy, the speaker very speaker-esque.
      > > > But why? The answer lies between the emptiness of self-consciousness
      > > > and the gaze of others—the wrong belief we have of ourselves: we are
      > > > this thing.
      > > >
      > > > But if we have no fixed identity; if nothingness co-exists with being;
      > > > if consciousness is an emptiness—then anything is possible. Freedom is
      > > > a terrifying responsibility because it appears so abstract, when it is
      > > > the most concrete quality of consciousness. Freedom precedes values as
      > > > existence precedes essence. It is an untangling and unlearning of what
      > > > we assume about our being. We are not a given essence; we are an
      > > > existence.
      > > >
      > > > The only reason 'changing our scripts' can work is because
      > > > self-consciousness is empty, is for-itself, is free.
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Well said, Mary!
      > > > >
      > > > > I am now back home with a bit of time to view the internet. I read
      > > > > Eduard's latest set of replies this morning and I was thinking of
      > > > > replying to him all these lines, but you beat me to it.
      > > > >
      > > > > 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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