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The Aardvark Advisory (Preface)

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  • Will Brown
    To whom it may concern. I have finished cobbling together a paper that goes to defining what I see as a bright line difference that separates two absolutely
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2006
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      To whom it may concern. I have finished cobbling together a paper that
      goes to defining what I see as a bright line difference that separates
      two absolutely different ways of interpreting SK. When I post it, it
      will be in two parts, necessitated by the length it acquired in the

      I am adding this preface as a general expression of the form that
      bright line difference settled into as representing itself. The
      conclusion I reached will be placed up front so as to spare you, dear
      reader, from the task of plowing through my very lengthy creation of
      the form to access its conclusion.

      However, anyone who is either curious as to how I reached my
      conclusion, or wish to argue against it, the record will be available.
      If what I say here does not make sense, don't hassle it; my view of
      what SK was going on about is off the wall compared to the usual
      reading of his works. If you like to play handball, by all means, ask
      questions; the wall will be SK's words and the ball will transform
      itself as it bounces off that wall. However, I must warn you; the
      perfectly round ball you hit will more than likely come back to you in
      an absolutely different shape. ----willy

      "In the world of spirit, the different stages are not like cities on a
      journey, about which it is quite all right for the traveler to say
      directly, for example: We left Peking and came to Canton and were in
      Canton on the fourteenth. A traveler like that changes place, not
      himself: and thus it is all right for him to mention and to /recount/
      the change in a direct, unchanged form. But in the world of spirit to
      change place is to be changed oneself, and therefore all direct
      assurance of having arrived here and there is an attempt à la
      Münchhausen." (CUP, Hong, p. 281; Lowrie, p. 250)

      There is, in Kierkegaard, the suggestion of a passageway between the
      aesthetic sphere and the religious sphere that /must/ be passed
      through to get from the former to the latter. This "between sphere" is
      called the ethical sphere. There is, in Kierkegaard, talk of a
      transition from the aesthetic sphere to the ethical sphere.

      There are two absolutely different ways to view that transition; the
      first as if the movement were from one location to another and the
      second as if the movement were from one state of existence to another;
      the former considers the movement as representing a continuity, while
      the latter considers the movement as representing a disjunction.

      There are two absolutely different ways to describe the latter, in
      terms of the aesthetic, that is, in before-the-transition terms, or in
      terms of the ethical, that is, in after-the-transition terms. This
      difference is where the bright line difference I am speaking to
      appears. Let me expand a bit upon that appearance.

      Let the subject of the transition be subjectivity, as qualified by a
      term Kierkegaard uses he calls inwardness. Since there is, as given,
      an operative disjunction between the aesthetic and ethical spheres,
      the difference between the subjectivity of the two must be described.
      If that difference is cast in before-the-transition terms, the
      difference cannot be separated from the transition representing
      continuity other than by declaring the transition as having "really"
      been made. The difference will be cast in terms of really having been
      appropriated, as really being a passionate choice, as having been a
      real decision. This difference may be passionately placed in abstract
      poetic terms, as the person really choosing themselves but the
      description cannot go beyond that; the disjunction being cast in
      pre-disjunction terms means that what "really" really means is
      anyone's guess.

      If that disjunction is cast in after-the-transition terms, the
      before-the-transition terms must be of the same order, which is to say
      that the definition of the ethical is controlling of the definition of
      the aesthetic. The difference between the two is then described in
      terms that looks back across the disjunction, as opposed to terms that
      looks forward to the disjunction. This requires that the disjunction
      itself be written into the after-the-disjunction terms.

      This then is the bright line difference; it is whether the
      after-the-transition terms are cast in before-the-transition terms or
      the before-the-transition terms are cast in after-the-transition
      terms. In the former, the disjunction is outside the terms, while in
      the latter, the disjunction is in the terms. That difference is
      absolute for the transition itself is absolute. In other words, the
      bright line difference lies in whether or not the words themselves
      appropriate that difference.

      William Immiscible Brown, Esq.
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