Re: [Kierkegaardian] The Core of the Corpus
- 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
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
"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 email@example.com, "<none>" <jamesrovira@y...>
> Wait, Will B...see, the problem slips in right away, without really"Non-being"
> 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.
> means just that: we don't exist. Either that, or it's a referenceto a
> psychological state: we exist without being aware of our ownexistence.
> In the little bit of context you provided the antecedent state isthe
> state prior to our initial birth, therefore non-being means wedidn't
> exist. This has nothing to do with the aesthetic sphere. If youhave
> more context to support this, though, please share it.
> It may be another confusion between leaps.
> Jim R.
- 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 torepresent 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
= = == === =====
>I appreciate the extended quotation, but I don't see how it clarifiesanything 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
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
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
as understood by the good/ (italics mine for emphasis). The transition
is clear enough as a break, indeed, as a suffering." (CUP, Hong, pp.
William Iodine 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.
>The leap brings about an -absolute- _existential_ change. It does notchange 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).