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Re: [existlist] fixed nature of a human being?

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  • eduardathome
    Interesting. Before, it was said that the waiter should simply recognize that ultimately he was a human being rather than the role that he played. Now it
    Message 1 of 171 , Jul 24, 2013
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      Interesting. Before, it was said that the waiter should simply recognize
      that ultimately he was a human being rather than the role that he played.
      Now it isn't enough to recognize that one is a human being, but also one
      must have an understanding of why in terms of Sartre's being in-itself and
      being for-itself. It would seem that Sartre is not only demanding that the
      waiter get out of mauvais foi, but he must also read Sartre's book.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:10 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] fixed nature of a human being?

      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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    • 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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