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Re: [Kierkegaardian] The Core of the Corpus

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  • Will Brown
    Yep, more context was needed. Here is a quote that places the Moment in perspective. In defining the Moment as he is doing, he is separating it from
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 29, 2005
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      Yep, more context was needed. Here is a quote that places the Moment
      in perspective. In defining the Moment as he is doing, he is
      separating it from Recollection, and moving beyond Socrates.

      "How does the learner then become a believer or disciple? When reason
      is set aside and he receives the condition. When does he receive the
      condition? In the Moment. What does this condition condition? The
      understanding of the Eternal. But such a condition must be an eternal
      condition. –He receives accordingly the eternal condition in the
      Moment, and is aware that he received it.; for otherwise he merely
      comes to himself in the consciousness that he had it from eternity. It
      is in the Moment that he receives it, and from the Teacher himself."
      (PF, Swenson/Hong, p. 79)

      What remains then, is to place this insight/revelation into the
      province of the spheres. Since the /Fragments/ has its own postscript,
      where better to turn than to the /Postscript/? I know that you are not
      to impressed with all of the subjectivity stuff he gets into, or so
      you told Rick, but that is one of the places where he answers that
      question.

      However, my argument here is for the core of his argument to be argued
      in terms of an absolute subjectivity that is the truth, as he argues
      for it in CUP. He has said that CUP was to be his culminating book and
      over half of that not too unsubstantial tome had to do with that
      subjectivity that required a leap to get to. I am arguing for the case
      that what holds his entire corpus together as a whole is the absolute
      change that he begins to express in the /Fragments/. Here is a string
      of quotes that exemplifies the process, giving further voice to the
      above quote:


      "And now the moment. Such a moment has a peculiar character. It is
      brief and temporal indeed, like every moment; it is transient as all
      moments are; it is past, like every moment in the next moment. And yet
      it is decisive, and filled with the Eternal. Such a moment ought to
      have a distinctive name; let us call it the /Fullness of Time/. (PF,
      Swenson/Hong, p. 22)

      "When the disciple is in a state of Error (and otherwise we return to
      Socrates) but is none the less a human being, and now receives the
      condition and the Truth, he does not become a human being for the
      first time, since he was a man already. But he becomes another man;
      not in the frivolous sense of becoming another individual of the same
      quality as before, but in the sense of becoming a man of different
      quality, or as we may call him: /a new creature/. (Ibid., p. 22-23)

      "In so far as he was in Error he was constantly in the act of
      departing from the Truth. In consequence of receiving the condition in
      the moment the course of his life has been given an opposite
      direction, so that he is now turned about. Let us call this change
      /Conversion/, even though this word be one not hitherto used; but that
      is precisely the reason for choosing it, in order to avoid confusion,
      for it is as if expressly coined for such a change we have in mind."
      (Ibid., p. 23)

      "In so far as the learner was in Error by reason of his own guilt,
      this conversion cannot take place without being taken up in his
      consciousness, or without his becoming aware that his former state was
      the consequence of his guilt. With this consciousness he will then
      take leave of his former state. But what leave-taking is without the
      sense of sadness? The sadness in this case, however, is on the account
      of his having so long remained in his former state. Let us call such
      grief /Repentance/; for what is repentance but a kind of leave-taking.
      Looking backward indeed, but yet in such a way as precisely to quicken
      the steps toward that which lies before?" (Ibid., p. 23)

      "In so far as the learner was in Error, and now receives the Truth and
      with it the condition for understanding it, a change takes place
      within him like the change from non-being to being. But this
      transition from non-being to being is the transition we call birth.
      Now one who exists cannot be born; nevertheless the disciple is born.
      Let us call this transition the /New Birth/, in consequence of which
      the disciple enters the world quite as at the first birth, an
      individual human being knowing nothing as yet about the world into
      which he has been born, whether there are other human beings in it
      besides himself; for while it is possible to be baptized /en masse/,
      it is not possible to be born anew /en masse/. (Ibid., pp. 23-24)


      --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "<none>" <jamesrovira@y...>
      wrote:
      > Wait, Will B...see, the problem slips in right away, without really
      > being discussed...you say the "antecedent state is the aesthetic
      > sphere," but is that justified? K says the antecedent state was
      > "non-being" -- notice that K. talks about the Moment making us aware
      > first that we were born, and also aware of the new birth.
      "Non-being"
      > means just that: we don't exist. Either that, or it's a reference
      to a
      > psychological state: we exist without being aware of our own
      existence.
      > In the little bit of context you provided the antecedent state is
      the
      > state prior to our initial birth, therefore non-being means we
      didn't
      > exist. This has nothing to do with the aesthetic sphere. If you
      have
      > more context to support this, though, please share it.
      >
      > It may be another confusion between leaps.
      >
      > Jim R.
      >
    • Will Brown
      Jim R., I really, really should reply in a timely matter, but other considerations got in the way and put this particular reply on the back burner. I think by
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 18, 2005
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        Jim R., I really, really should reply in a timely matter, but other
        considerations got in the way and put this particular reply on the
        back burner. I think by now. as the disparate flavors have
        sufficiently married and the stew is done, it is time to plate it.
        Besides, I need the form I used in it and the quote at the end of it
        for another purpose; a response to your Plato business. This post will
        supply the context for that response. ----willy

        > Eh, Will, you really, really miss the point every time you try to
        represent my point of view. No, at no time did I tell Rick that I
        "wasn't really impressed with that subjectivity stuff." Nor did I
        imply that. Nor do I see how, by any reasonable and honest reading of
        my words, can you even think that. Perhaps I miswrote something.
        - - -- --- -----
        I see where Rick has questioned you on your charge of SK coming
        closely to asserting 'pure subjectivity' and I see where you have not
        yet answered the question, instead, having picked upon JimS's
        paraphrasing.

        = = == === =====

        >I appreciate the extended quotation, but I don't see how it clarifies
        anything you're claiming. yes, the change is absolute. I never denied
        that it was absolute -in a sense-. K. recognizes this problem of
        talking about a transition from being to non-being in a person already
        existing, or talking about a birth of a person already born. This is
        not a difficult problem to grasp once you confront the language K.
        uses, which K. did as he wrote it.
        - - -- --- -----
        James, we continue to be at the same odds. The qualifying of your
        categorical denial that you ever denied that the change was absolute
        with the restriction "in a sense" to that denial exemplifies our
        disconnect. Nothing I say can clarify for you what I am saying. You
        simply do not entertain the possibility of my view being a reading of
        SK. Our difference is in the sense we mean it, and that is the
        decisive difference between us.

        I will say something in my sense of it and you will oppose what I say
        with your sense of it. I will respond with my sense of it and your
        will say that I am not clarifying anything. I agree; all I am doing is
        continuing the back and forth between our two senses of it. I have
        expressed that dichotomy I see between the two possible readings of SK
        from time to time. In one of my expressions of it, dealing with in
        terms of apples, you declared my dichotomy a false dichotomy. From
        your view of my view that is a fact; you see it that way; it appears
        to you to be a false dichotomy. At other times, what I have said
        appears to you to be 'bordering on idiocy' or just plain old bu**shit.
        I do get the impression that you are not too impressed by my view of
        things Kierkegaardian. Could you say that I exaggerate the subjective?
        Am I coming too close to asserting "pure subjectivity"? [place one
        enormous chuckle here]

        = = == === =====

        What follows is another "my sense of it." You may, if you so desire,
        save yourself some pain by not reading further because I will only
        repeat my mantra. You will not agree with it and if you respond will
        respond to that effect. I don't mind going in the circles we have been
        going. With us displaying that absolute difference between us, it
        might prove edifying to someone auditing our discourse.

        You have said that there is an absolute change, but you have said
        nothing about how that change is seen when reflected upon. If one
        cannot reflect upon it, how can that one then talk about it other than
        as speculation?

        Can one reflect upon an absolute change in the self without facing the
        question of a disjunction? This is what I see SK doing throughout his
        corpus. This reflection is the one I see underlying the quote I used
        to base my view upon (see 1006); I see him not as describing something
        abstractly but painting a picture of what is seen in reflection when
        that absolute change is revealed. Let me spend a few more words on
        this point; it reflects our difference.

        I am saying that there is a difference between someone inspecting the
        text and looking for the meaning of it and someone who uses the text
        as a mirror to inspect their relation to the text, and hence, to
        themselves. I am not saying that one or the other is the correct way
        of "inspection"; only that the difference between the two is an
        absolute difference. In line with that, I offer the following quote:

        "The transition thus reveals itself clearly as a breach of continuity,
        even as suffering." (CUP, Lowrie, p. 306; Hong, 343)

        When SK puts that absolute change into terms of reflection, which he
        had said was his task (quote upon request), he is speaking from the
        reflection upon the "breach in continuity" as a revealed leap, which
        is to say that the discontinuity must be accounted for in other than
        abstract terms, or if they are to be expressed in abstract terms, a
        reference to appropriation is necessary. Your omission of this
        negative aspect, which expresses that breach, is that which I see
        missing in your view of what SK is saying. You are trying to balance
        something, a subject/object relationship, that the revelation negates.
        I suspect that negation is what you see as his coming closely
        asserting to pure subjectivity.

        Who is right in this latter matter? Does SK exaggerate or are you
        missing the breach? Is what I say a possible interpretation of SK?
        According to my scenario, when the breach is actualized, the
        appearance of it as the "pure subjectivity" you make of it would be
        negated in the actualization. Aside from that, there is surely enough
        "exaggerations" throughout his corpus to suggest that he means what he
        says as the fact of it (I have added a quote from CUP to that point in
        the PS). How are we going to decide this matter? How about a vote?
        That you would win in a landslide.

        = = == === =====

        PS: Rick, the following quote, while meant to supplement the above,
        especially to give better context to the Lowrie quote above about the
        "breach of continuity," is brought to your attention as also
        supplementing /Purity/, with its mention of the good and the reward.
        Note that the understanding of the sagacity of willing the good is
        given from the side of its actualization, and that the break, the
        breach, the halt, the leap, the discontinuity, the disjunction, and
        any other term he uses to describe what those terms describe, is
        revealed in that actualization, or, in the Moment.

        "The transition from possibility to actuality is, as Aristotle rightly
        teaches, a movement. This cannot be said in the language of
        abstraction at all or understood therein, because abstraction can give
        movement neither time nor space, which presupposes it or which it
        presupposes. There is a halt, a leap. …However, when existence
        gives
        movement time and I reproduce this, then the leap appears in just a
        way a leap can appear: it must come or it has been. Let us take an
        example from the ethical. It has been said often enough that the good
        has its reward in itself, and thus it is not only the most proper but
        also the most sagacious thing to will the good. A sagacious
        eudaemonist is able to perceive this very well: thinking in the form
        of possibility he can come as close to the good as is possible,
        because in possibility as in abstraction the transition is only an
        appearance. But when the transition is supposed to become actual, all
        sagacity expires in scruples. Actual time separates the good and
        reward from him so much, so eternally, that sagacity cannot join them
        again, and the eudaemonist declines with thanks. To will the good is
        indeed the most sagacious thing—/yet not as understood by
        sagacity but
        as understood by the good/ (italics mine for emphasis). The transition
        is clear enough as a break, indeed, as a suffering." (CUP, Hong, pp.
        342-43)

        William Iodine Brown
      • Will Brown
        Hi Jim R., I think your last statement will suffice to make a beginning on an attempt at clarification of the difference between our readings of SK. ... change
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 19, 2005
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          Hi Jim R., I think your last statement will suffice to make a
          beginning on an attempt at clarification of the difference between our
          readings of SK.

          >The leap brings about an -absolute- _existential_ change. It does not
          change us on every level of our being, however. We're still in the
          same physical bodies. We still consist of mind, body, and spirit.
          These are objective realities that K. acknowledges -- or better, takes
          for granted. But this is also very much a part of who we are.

          Our difference is nothing, yet everything. I agree with what you have
          said above about the absolute existential change not changing us on
          every level of our being. Our disagreement rests in my reading of SK
          as speaking to the transition in the only terms within which that
          change is absolute; that being the reflection in which our sense of
          self is given. In other words, it /is/ about the existential and the
          existential has to do with one's sense of being, that is, one's sense
          of self. In those terms, the reflection upon that change, given that
          the self is given in reflection, means that a self-discontinuity is
          revealed. This self-discontinuity is where the 'breach' and the
          'negation' become part of the description. This is SK casting
          Christianity into terms of reflection, which he had said was his goal.

          Here is SK, from the 'long quote' from /Point of View/ I posted in
          your post about pseudonymity pointing to that reading of his corpus:

          "In other words, if the discussion of it is to be only scholarly and
          philosophical, it should be titled: The Relation between Immediacy and
          Reflection within Reflection, or The Process of Development that
          within Reflection Is the Transposing of Immediacy into Reflection,
          here Reflected in the Work of an Author and in the Author's
          corresponding Supporting Existence."

          The leap brings about an absolute existential change, that we agree
          on. How would /you/ go about describing such a change? Do you see SK
          speaking to such a change in his corpus? If you do, give me the quotes
          and your reading of them? I think this request of mine is much in line
          with Rick's request. ---willy

          PS: As I think about it, isn't his /Concept of Anxiety/ about sin and
          isn't sin about selfishness and isn't selfishness about the self?

          PPS: I will carry this discussion over into my response to your (1051).
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