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Re: A Further Contribution.

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  • Jim Stuart
    Dear Een, I find your Further Contribution a very significant contribution to the Kierkegaardians group - it is challenging to me as an individual, and it
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 8, 2004
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      Dear Een,

      I find your "Further Contribution" a very significant contribution to the Kierkegaardians group - it is challenging to me as an individual, and it has given me plenty to think about.

      This short note is to ask for clarification with regard to the terms "Ideality" and "the Ideal" which are used in the piece. Here are five sections from your posting where these words are used:

      "We interpret (so to speak) experience by means of our ideas, our Ideality."

      "The Actual is the infinitely varied, infinitely changing; and its presence in time is therefore infinitely limited, appearing as a point with no extension.
      Ideality is the permanent, the fixed, the eternal. Eternity's presence in time is infinitely unlimited, touching time at every point, as completion."

      "[The] self in bringing [the] Actual and the Ideal into contact within consciousness (and how else should these two be brought together, except by will, since it is a contradiction that these two should be brought together) posits existence."

      "[T]he self will need to clarify with itself, whether it is willing to be a self with such an Ideality."

      "The Absolute is, therefore, as far as possible from being a feature of an objective reality; since it is the maximum qualification of the self's inwardness in relation to his Ideality, in subjectivity."

      I think these sentences can be read in one of two ways, so I would like you to clarify which way you intend them to be read.

      First way: The ideality of an individual just means the current ideas the individual has. Thus if I 'clarify my ideality', I just reflect inwardly on the ideas I currently have, with a view to deciding if they are adequate, or, alternatively, if some or all of them need replacing by better ones.

      Second way: The ideality of an individual means the person's ideals, that is his values or standards - the things he aims at. Thus, on this reading, if I 'clarify my ideality' I reflect inwardly on my ideals. This reflection could take one of two forms. I could ask myself: 'Am I matching up to my ideals?'; 'Do I need to try harder?'; 'Do I need to feel guilt and remorse at my failures to live up to my ideals?'. Alternatively, I could ask myself: 'Are my ideals the best set of ideals to have?'; 'Ought I to replace some of my ideals with different ones?'

      Thank you in anticipation of your clarificatory remarks.

      Yours,

      Jim



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