Re: new member
- Aaron, BSEE means Bull Shitter Extra Extreme to many around here, but
back in old PU, it means Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Hoo boy, are you trying to turn me into a scholar with that ethical
suspension question? I have not thought about this before in the sense
of explaining what I think it means, so let's see what pops. Normally
I would say that it means going beyond the Good and let someone else
figure that out.
OK, let me for the third question first because it could inform my
answer to your second question. Do I agree with SK as I interpret him?
This could be a very long answer, but the gist will be that I agree
with him in the basic form of what he says but differ in that I am not
a Christian; were I a Christian, I have no doubt that I would be
absolutely in his corner. I think the process he lays out from the
aesthetic to Religiousness-A is an awakening process and I think it is
More gist; I had already gone through a process that I called
self-clarification before I picked up SK, and when I did, I found him
speaking my language, but in Christian terms. I trust this short
answer will suffice; if you need more filling in, give a hollar and I
will fill. Oh yes, this is my only credential for interpreting SK.
Before I can answer the second question, the one about the
teleological suspension of the ethical, I will need to say what I
think the ethical means otherwise my answer will not have a reference.
I will try to keep this as short as possible. The self I see SK
talking about makes its appearance in the leap out of innocence, where
it leaps out of the blue, as it were, into a temporal sense of self,
and the aesthetic sphere of existence; this being where the ordinary
person that SK is addressing finds themselves. The transition from the
esthetic to the ethical sphere is the ending of the temporal sense of
self; it breaks up, either all at once or by first losing the future,
then its past. The ethical is then the grasp of oneself as eternal as
opposed to the temporal. I call it the Presential. In /Purity/ he
calls it one's eternal consciousness, if I may pull a quote:
"In eternity there are chambers enough so that each may be placed
alone in one. For wherever conscience is present, and it is and shall
be present in each person, there exists in eternity a lonely prison,
or the blessed chamber of salvation. On that account this
consciousness of being an individual is the primary consciousness in a
man, which is his eternal consciousness." (PH, Steere, p. 193)
Now that I am now in /Purity/, I see the ethical as willing the good,
not as someone willing the good, but signifying the state of willing
the good; all willing grounded in the temporal, and its future, is
absent because the temporal sense of is absent. I would say that the
following passage from F&T expresses the ethical as the giving up of
the finite to grasp the infinite, and sets the problem of giving up
the ethical to grasp something 'supposedly' higher.
"Therefore, though Abraham arouses my admiration, he at the same time
appalls me. He who denies himself and sacrifices himself for duty
gives up the finite in order to grasp the infinite, and that man is
secure enough. The tragic hero gives up the certain for the still more
certain, and the eye of the beholder rests upon him confidently. But
he who gives up the universal in order to grasp something still higher
which is not the universal -- what is he doing? Is it possible that
this can be anything else but a temptation (/Anfechtung/)?" (F&T,
Lowrie, p. 71)
SK has defined the Christian sin as the sin before God as the
suspension of the ethical. Another quote:
"The ethical as such is the universal and as the universal it applies
to everyone, which may be expressed from another point of view by
saying that it applies every instant. It reposes immanently in itself,
it has nothing without itself which is its telos, but is itself telos
for everything outside it, and when this is incorporated by the
ethical, it can go no further. Conceived immediately as physical and
psychical, the particular individual is the individual who has his
telos in the universal, and his ethical task is to express himself
constantly in it, to abolish his particularity in order to become the
universal. As soon as the individual would assert himself in his
particularity over against the universal he sins, and only by
recognizing this can he again reconcile himself with the universal.
Whenever the individual after he has entered the universal feels an
impulse to assert himself as the particular, he is in temptation, and
he can labor himself out if this only by penitently abandoning himself
as the particular in the universal. If this be the highest thing that
can be said of man and of his existence, then the ethical has the same
character as man's eternal blessedness, which to all eternity and at
every instant is his telos, since it would be a contradiction to say
that this might be abandoned (i.e., teleologically suspended),
inasmuch as this is no sooner suspended than it is forfeited, whereas
in other cases what is suspended is not forfeited but is preserved in
that higher thing which is its telos." (F&T, Lowrie, pp. 64-65; Hong,
p. 54 )
Long quote, but to the point, I think. Now he has set up Abraham to
forfeit this ethical by submitting to the will of God. He is going to
push faith beyond residing in the eternal without its temporal support
one step further and that by suspending the ethical in order to
sacrifice his son to God as ordered by God. I think what he did in
this book is set up the distinction between infinite resignation and
faith, showing the necessity to get first to the ethical before faith
can come into being and making that faith as problematic as possible.
Well, that is how I would answer your question about how I see the
suspension of the ethical as coming down.
Ok, to your last comments:
> Also, you will note (if you read my paper carefully) that I onlyreally half agree with Schrag's interpretation of Kierkegaard. Part of
this has to do with the fact that I think God is a being (and I think
Kierkegaard thinks so too). <
Yes, I think SK thinks God is a being. I have a few thoughts on that
way of thinking that I will toss your way. Inwardness as the
subjectivity revealed in the transition from the aesthetic to the
ethical is brought into living color by the fact that a shift in one's
grasp of oneself as oneself reveals the grasp of oneself as oneself as
concrete, giving rise to what I think is SK's category of spirit. That
inwardness /is/ the personal; only the one in whom that shift occurs
can register it. It brings with it the sense of self-transcendence.
When that transcendence is released in the timeless, there being no
past to have transcended, a sense of silence as a palpable presence is
sensed. If that is related personally, that Other is God as
represented in/by the personal interface. Anyway, that is how I would
say that the personal God makes it appearance. The Buddhist might call
that presence the Void.
> Furthermore, I think that the universal as de Silentio talks aboutit refers not just to Hegelian Sittlickheit, but also Kantian
categorical imperative. <
I don't know enough about those things to comment. I fear I am lost
when in the realm of scholars. Us engineers are a pretty square-minded
PS: Aaron, don't forget to get to the polls. We need twelve people
voting to overturn our moderator's whim; the white hats are leading 7
to 2, but we need three more voters.
Ben? Reg? Goldilocks? Hey, you can come in, vote, and duck right back
out. Help us open our archives to the masses, where our absolute
mastery of the subject may be seen by all and celebrated!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "vigilius_haufniensis"
> Thanks for the response. It certainly gave me a good laugh. But I
> have a couple of questions for you: First, What does BSEE stand
> for? I meant to ask this in my first post but forgot. Second,
> could you perhaps clarify what the teleological suspension of the
> ethical as a mode of existence looks like on your view? Finally, do
> you agree with Kierkegaard as you interpret him?
> Also, you will note (if you read my paper carefully) that I only
> really half agree with Schrag's interpretation of Kierkegaard. Part
> of this has to do with the fact that I think God is a being (and I
> think Kierkegaard thinks so too). Furthermore, I think that the
> universal as de Silentio talks about it refers not just to Hegelian
> Sittlickheit, but also Kantian categorical imperative.
> Ps... I can send you the Schrag article if you want it. Let me know.
> --- In email@example.com, "Will Brown" <wilbro99@>
> > Hi Aaron, let me work my through your response.
> > > Will, Class of 1950 eh? That is a bit before my time. <
> > Yeah, we were the first class of GI-Billers to be disgorged from
> > so that /has/ to be ancient history. Uncle Sammy paid for
> > and gave me 75 bucks a month to live on. I lived on N. 14th St.,
> > across the river, and meals could be had for a quarter in a few
> > restaurants. Is the lion on campus still there roaring at virgins?
> > yes, willyb is a pseudonym, so don't look that name in the BSEE
> > of '50.
> > > Where did you get hold of the SK/Levinas paper? On my outdated
> > website which I assumed no one knew existed? (Perhaps I should
> > that.) <
> > I make it a habit to surf the net with each new member, looking
> for a
> > history of who they might be. I used your name and found the site.
> > speaking of sites, I have one, nowhere as fancy as yours, that now
> > over 700 quotes from SK's works, attributed to work and page number
> > where applicable. If you need a quote, there are plenty to choose
> > http://www.geocities.com/wilbro99/
> > > Glad to here from you. Not so glad that you don't agree that SK's
> > pseudonyms use the word "ethics" in different ways. Have you read
> > Schrag's "Note on the Teleological Suspension of the Ethical." It
> is a
> > very short about 3 pages) article that seems to be in line with my
> > thinking about ethics in SK which I discovered after having written
> > the Levinas paper. I'm not intending to appeal to authority, just
> > someone I thought you might know. Aaron <
> > Likewise. Hey, don't hassle my disagreement because I have found
> > and far between that agree with my take on SK. I have not found my
> > take being seconded by any scholarly paper or essay yet, so despair
> > not when I disagree with you; your side will always be the majority
> > side -- I like to think of the majority side as the side the crowd
> > on. [place sly chuckle here]
> > I found the first page of Schrag's paper on JSTOR and I think that
> > amount is sufficient for me to comment on it. I can't access the
> > archives.
> > He says that the generally accepted interpretation of the question
> > question is that it "neglects the crucial distinction between the
> > ethical as universal moral requirement and the ethical as a manner
> > mode of existence." To augment my general disagreement with what he
> > says on this first page, I would say in particular that he
> > misinterprets SK's use of the term 'universal,' which is to say
> that I
> > interpret the meaning of universal as used by SK as signifying the
> > ethical as the mode of existence, thus eliminating the distinction
> > creates.
> > I will gladly enter a dialogue on our differences, but first, I
> > admit that my approach has no authority to appeal to other than my
> > experience of myself, in, around, and about this thing called
> > subjectivity, which is another way of saying that I have no
> > in things scholarly other than what I have gleaned from the web.
> > Ah yes, the poll. If you are for open archives, join the other
> > and vote, and if you are not for open archives, well, vote anyway;
> > need to reach twelve votes to overturn the unilateral
> decision/whim of
> > our moderator. [place long chuckle here] ----willy
- Hi.I'm a long time student and admirer of K's writings. I saw your group while searching for discussion groups. I am always looking for new or expository materialIf it is ok to join I would appreciate the opportunty to participate.Thank youDavid M.gnosticism6794@...