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Re: [Kierkegaardians] Re: The Royal Joust--Twelfth Tilt--Sir Meddy

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  • James Rovira
    Will -- Kierkegaard s pseudonyms seems to make a distinction between what we relate to in -absolute- terms and what we relate to in -relative- terms. We can
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 4, 2007
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      Will -- Kierkegaard's pseudonyms seems to make a distinction between
      what we relate to in -absolute- terms and what we relate to in
      -relative- terms. We can only have one absolute commitment, but we
      can have several relative "connections" -- not sure what else to call
      it. So the ethical subjectivity, according to E/O II, relates to the
      ethical -absolutely- but to the aesthetic -relatively-.

      Hegel's describes this pattern in the first chapter of the _Science
      of Logic_ -- it's part of his dialectic. In very crude terms, you
      have a "truth" of some sort that arises uncontested, then the
      articulation of that truth gives rise to its negative. But since the
      negative arose as a consequence of the first truth and could not until
      this, it "contains" the first truth within it. So the aesthetic is
      the "first truth," and the ethical arises as the negative of the
      aesthetic, but it contains the aesthetic within it -- only relatively.
      The religious arises as a negative of the ethical, but it contains
      the ethical within it (second ethics according to CA). CA also argues
      that immediacy "must be annulled" -- that is the language of Hegel's
      dialectic as well.

      K is using Hegel against Hegelian thinking, so that his readers
      reflect themselves out of simplicity.

      Jim R

      > Either one takes that as saying that to respect the qualitative dialectic
      > one must drive an absolute wedge between the spheres, or one takes that as a
      > rhetorical devise of some sort, which is to say that one either takes that
      > literally or one takes it figuratively. The difficulty with taking it
      > literally is that acquiring another sense of self is beyond imagining, I
      > mean, can you imagine such a thing? It means leaping over an infinite divide
      > and in landing not being the one who leapt, like poof, the self that was no
      > longer is. Such nonsense, such craziness, it cannot be said what has changed
      > because the before no longer is.
      >
    • Will Brown
      I don t know if you plan to
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 4, 2007
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        <<Willy, I just wish to respond to one thing you write in your post 7074. Consider my remark here and your response to it:>>

        I don't know if you plan to respond to anything else in my post, but the fact that you picked that bit from my post to respond to is like found money. Let me explain that. That particular bit of my response was the only part of my response where I had my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, where I not only understood where you were going, which you have clearly elucidated in this, your follow up, but I decided to bracket it as an example of your conclusion developing out of your premise; not that we all do not do such a thing.

        I would say that we both operate from a conclusion that creates the premise from which we explain our conclusion. For example, the conclusion we each draw as to what SK was going on about is the difference engine that powers our discourse. So, the JS and WB that you have posted here is only my was of saying that I understand what you are saying because you, as I, keep saying the same thing. Viva la Difference!

        <<JS: If your interpretation of K is correct, if indeed K meant to communicate to us that the ethical individual was not in despair, then Christianity is not necessary. Paganism is good enough, because the highest in paganism is the ethical individual, and he, according to your interpretation, has made the leap out of despair.

        WB: [Not sure what you are saying here. Perhaps you are thinking that the leap out of despair is to R-B, which means that my view eliminates such a leap. Ah, I see, your premise is speaking to your conclusion.]

        Is it so difficult to understand what I am saying here? Let me try again.>>

        Ok, this time I shall respond directly to what you say. Promise. The bracket man speaketh:

        <<You interpret K as arguing that the ethical individual is not in despair. But if this is so, then Christianity is not necessary. >>

        [So, you are saying that in your view, my view does not allow for anything beyond the ethical. I would submit that such is true if and only if your view of my view is my view. You see, in my view of my view, I see the ethical as the necessary condition for the specifically Christian to be; for without it, we have the esthetic Christianity, which is not the Christianity SK has in mind.]

        <<We can all make the leap out of despair if we make the transition from the aesthetic sphere to the ethical sphere. And this is as far as we need to go to achieve the goal of full existence and maximum inwardness.>>

        [I suspect this is what you see as the upshot of what I see as the setting of the condition that allows the movement to R-B. Your conclusion is that the leap out of despair is in the movement to R-B; therefore, any leap out of despair prior to that is, eo ipso (borrowed from SK), cutting off the movement prior to its being initiated… ]

        But if this is right, then Christianity goes no further than paganism. Abraham goes no further than the tragic hero. The Christian goes no further than the ethical individual of paganism, for example Socrates.

        [[W]hich is why you have just said what you have just said. See, you are saying that if it does not get there, it does not get there, and I have turned the corner several blocks too soon.]

        But this is a travesty of an interpretation of Kierkegaard, whose whole authorship was aimed at shown exactly how the individual of faith does go further than the highest individual within paganism. Jim

        [This travesty is perhaps of your own making? Were you to agree with me, wherein is the travesty?] [:D]   [wb]    



      • Will Brown
        I think, but I am not sure, that SK says of Hegel that he left existence out of it, which, to my way of thinking says that Hegel s form is empty. Otherwise, I
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 4, 2007
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          I think, but I am not sure, that SK says of Hegel that he left
          existence out of it, which, to my way of thinking says that Hegel's
          form is empty. Otherwise, I don't know. willy

          --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "James Rovira"
          <jamesrovira@...> wrote:
          >
          > Will -- Kierkegaard's pseudonyms seems to make a distinction between
          > what we relate to in -absolute- terms and what we relate to in
          > -relative- terms. We can only have one absolute commitment, but we
          > can have several relative "connections" -- not sure what else to call
          > it. So the ethical subjectivity, according to E/O II, relates to the
          > ethical -absolutely- but to the aesthetic -relatively-.
          >
          > Hegel's describes this pattern in the first chapter of the _Science
          > of Logic_ -- it's part of his dialectic. In very crude terms, you
          > have a "truth" of some sort that arises uncontested, then the
          > articulation of that truth gives rise to its negative. But since the
          > negative arose as a consequence of the first truth and could not until
          > this, it "contains" the first truth within it. So the aesthetic is
          > the "first truth," and the ethical arises as the negative of the
          > aesthetic, but it contains the aesthetic within it -- only relatively.
          > The religious arises as a negative of the ethical, but it contains
          > the ethical within it (second ethics according to CA). CA also argues
          > that immediacy "must be annulled" -- that is the language of Hegel's
          > dialectic as well.
          >
          > K is using Hegel against Hegelian thinking, so that his readers
          > reflect themselves out of simplicity.
          >
          > Jim R
          >
          > > Either one takes that as saying that to respect the qualitative
          dialectic
          > > one must drive an absolute wedge between the spheres, or one takes
          that as a
          > > rhetorical devise of some sort, which is to say that one either
          takes that
          > > literally or one takes it figuratively. The difficulty with taking it
          > > literally is that acquiring another sense of self is beyond
          imagining, I
          > > mean, can you imagine such a thing? It means leaping over an
          infinite divide
          > > and in landing not being the one who leapt, like poof, the self
          that was no
          > > longer is. Such nonsense, such craziness, it cannot be said what
          has changed
          > > because the before no longer is.
          > >
          >
        • James Rovira
          Don t recall if K said that about Hegel, but it sure sounds like something K would say about Hegel. I think K s pseudonyms follow a Hegelian form (another
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 4, 2007
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            Don't recall if K said that about Hegel, but it sure sounds like
            something K would say about Hegel. I think K's pseudonyms follow a
            Hegelian form (another reason the entire pseudonymous authorship is
            an "aesthetic" production) to abandon Hegelian reflection.

            Jim R

            On Dec 4, 2007 2:23 PM, Will Brown <wilbro99@...> wrote:

            > I think, but I am not sure, that SK says of Hegel that he left
            > existence out of it, which, to my way of thinking says that Hegel's
            > form is empty. Otherwise, I don't know. willy
            >
          • jimstuart46
            Willy, Let me comment on two of your remarks from your post (7092) WB: You see, in my view of my view, I see the ethical as the necessary condition for the
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 5, 2007
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              Willy,

              Let me comment on two of your remarks from your post (7092)

              WB: You see, in my view of my view, I see the ethical as the
              necessary condition for the specifically Christian to be; for
              without it, we have the esthetic Christianity, which is not the
              Christianity SK has in mind.

              JS: I agree with you here. But I'm not sure how this thought answers
              my criticism that on your interpretation of K, because the ethical
              individual is not in despair, then Christianity does not seem to be
              necessary.

              WB: Your conclusion is that the leap out of despair is in the
              movement to R-B; therefore, any leap out of despair prior to that
              is, eo ipso (borrowed from SK), cutting off the movement prior to
              its being initiated…

              JS: How many times must I correct you on this issue? How many times
              must I repeat: ON MY INTERPRETATION OF K THE INDIVIDUAL MAKES A LEAP
              OUT OF (THE DISTINCTIVELY AESTHETIC) DESPAIR IN MAKING THE
              TRANSITION FROM THE AESTHETIC SPHERE OF EXISTENCE TO THE ETHICAL
              SPHERE OF EXISTENCE, AND LATER THE SAME INDIVIDUAL MAY MAKE A SECOND
              LEAP OUT OF (THE DISTINCTIVELY ETHICAL) DESPAIR IN MAKING THE
              TRANSITION FROM THE ETHICAL SPHERE OF EXISTENCE TO THE RELIGIOUSNESS
              B SPHERE OF EXISTENCE.

              Arguably the first leap is a leap out of one category of despair
              into another category of despair, so strictly speaking the
              transition from the aesthetic to the ethical is not a leap out of
              despair in toto.

              I still don't find any argument in what you write that, on your
              view, Christianity does in fact go further than paganism.

              I still don't find any argument that the individual of faith has
              gained any deeper inwardness than the ethical individual.

              Jim
            • Will Brown
              JS, a few stray comments follow: = = == === ===== Willy, Let me comment on two of your remarks from your post (7092) WB: You see, in my view of my view, I see
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 5, 2007
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                JS, a few stray comments follow:
                = = == === =====
                Willy, Let me comment on two of your remarks from your post (7092)

                WB: You see, in my view of my view, I see the ethical as the necessary condition for the specifically Christian to be; for without it, we have the esthetic Christianity, which is not the Christianity SK has in mind.

                JS: I agree with you here. But I'm not sure how this thought answers my criticism that on your interpretation of K, because the ethical individual is not in despair, then Christianity does not seem to be necessary.

                WB (now): Ok, so we agree on the structure. This has usually been the case with us from the start. In this respect, we apparently read SK in the same way. Let me spend a few words laying out what I see as the source of our disagreement. The structure begins with the esthetic, call it the lobby, where there is a door that leads to the ethical, and so on. I see two difficulties that may arise in opening that door to the ethical.

                The first is the usual difficulty of our entering two different structures because we do not see the same door, as it were. The second difficulty is infinitely more difficult, for it has the effect of changing the lobby, through the selection of the door, to match the door chosen, which is to say that effectively the whole structure depends upon the door chosen, even the lobby.  What I am suggesting in the second difficulty is that it is the ethical that is controlling, and that the esthetic is defined in contradistinction to the ethical, not the other way around.

                Where does that leave us? I suspect that leaves us with two different views of SK's message.
                = = == === =====
                WB: Your conclusion is that the leap out of despair is in the movement to R-B; therefore, any leap out of despair prior to that is, eo ipso (borrowed from SK), cutting off the movement prior to its being initiated…

                JS: How many times must I correct you on this issue? How many times must I repeat: ON MY INTERPRETATION OF K THE INDIVIDUAL MAKES A LEAP OUT OF (THE DISTINCTIVELY AESTHETIC) DESPAIR IN MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM THE AESTHETIC SPHERE OF EXISTENCE TO THE ETHICAL SPHERE OF EXISTENCE, AND LATER THE SAME INDIVIDUAL MAY MAKE A SECOND LEAP OUT OF (THE DISTINCTIVELY ETHICAL) DESPAIR IN MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM THE ETHICAL SPHERE OF EXISTENCE TO THE RELIGIOUSNESS B SPHERE OF EXISTENCE.

                WB (now): The terms of the argument have changed somewhat, so I would like to go back to how you expressed it in 6931, just to put it in context.

                {JS (now): I think that here you are making a mistake you have made quite frequently over the last few years. You take a quote which applies to the Rel A to Rel B transition, and say, or imply, that it applies to the aesthetic to ethical transition. It seems obvious to me that the "new inwardness" referred to by Johannes de Silentio in the quote is the inwardness of the person of faith, and the "old inwardness" is that of the ethical individual. Am I correct to interpret you as thinking that the "new inwardness" in the quote applies to the individual who makes the aesthetic to ethical transition? Can you see why I might think otherwise?
                - - -- --- ----- --------
                Yes, and yes. This is where our bright line difference resides. You and I simply do not read that transition from the esthetic to the ethical the same way, which means that what we see in the words is not the same. In this instance, our difficulty lies in the meaning of inwardness. I just did a search of my quotes for the term and found it in thirteen of the twenty five works listed for quotes. It is a common term that runs throughout his work, and before we can say what he means by it, I would suspect that finding a common meaning throughout would be helpful.}

                Now, wasn't that bracing? Here it is in black and white; the dispute where the "'new inwardness" is to be placed. Because the quote was from F&T, we entered the land of JdeS, and the rest is history.
                = = == === =====
                <<Arguably the first leap is a leap out of one category of despair into another category of despair, so strictly speaking the transition from the aesthetic to the ethical is not a leap out of despair in toto.>>

                Are you saying that there is a new inwardness in the first leap and another new inwardness in the second leap?

                <<I still don't find any argument in what you write that, on your view, Christianity does in fact go further than paganism.>>

                Huh, run that by me again?

                <<I still don't find any argument that the individual of faith has gained any deeper inwardness than the ethical individual. Jim>>

                Huh, run that by me again?      [wb]      



              • jimstuart46
                Willy, Let me respond to this section of your latest post: JS:
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 5, 2007
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                  Willy,

                  Let me respond to this section of your latest post:

                  JS: <<Arguably the first leap is a leap out of one category of
                  despair into another category of despair, so strictly speaking the
                  transition from the aesthetic to the ethical is not a leap out of
                  despair in toto.>>

                  WB: Are you saying that there is a new inwardness in the first leap
                  and another new inwardness in the second leap?

                  JS (now): Yes, I suppose I am saying that there is a new inwardness
                  as a result of the first leap – this is the ethical inwardness. And
                  there is a new inwardness with the second leap – that is the
                  (paradoxical) religious inwardness.

                  I think you want to insist that there is only one "new inwardness" –
                  the ethical inwardness which results from the first leap.

                  Now, if Kierkegaard had published all his books in his own name, and
                  he only communicated directly and he claimed to be putting forward
                  a "theory of stages", then I might try to fit everything together in
                  the way you do.

                  However, I read Johannes de Silentio as having a different take
                  on "inwardness" to what Judge William has.

                  JdeS is concerned to contrast the lower ethical inwardness with the
                  higher/deeper paradoxical inwardness. In this contrast, Abraham's
                  inwardness is "new" in comparison with the old inwardness of the
                  tragic heroes. Remember Abraham was supposed to be the first man to
                  have faith in God.

                  JW is concerned to contrast the lower aesthetic inwardness of his
                  young friend with his own higher/deeper ethical inwardness. In this
                  contrast, JW's inwardness is "new" in comparison with the old
                  inwardness of the aesthete.

                  And before you come back to me with your criticism that I've lost
                  the "absolute disjunction" between the aesthetic and the ethical,
                  let me agree with JW that there is indeed an absolute disjunction
                  between the aesthetic way of existing and the ethical way of
                  existing. And let me agree with JdeS that there is indeed an
                  absolute disjunction between the ethical way of existing and the
                  paradoxical religious way of existing.

                  Jim

                  P.S. I still don't find any argument in what you write that, on your
                  view, Christianity does in fact go further than paganism. And I
                  still don't find any argument that the individual of faith has
                  gained any deeper inwardness than the ethical individual. I'll just
                  assume you don't want to bother giving a direct response to these
                  two criticisms of your interpretation of Kierkegaard.
                • Will Brown
                  JS, fast and simple: I truly have no idea of what you are asking for. Could you at least point me in the direction you have in mind?
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 5, 2007
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                    JS, fast and simple: I truly have no idea of what you are asking for.
                    Could you at least point me in the direction you have in mind?

                    <<P.S. I still don't find any argument in what you write that, on your
                    view, Christianity does in fact go further than paganism. And I still
                    don't find any argument that the individual of faith has gained any
                    deeper inwardness than the ethical individual. I'll just assume you
                    don't want to bother giving a direct response to these two criticisms
                    of your interpretation of Kierkegaard.>>
                  • Will Brown
                    JS, This is an easy one to respond to; thanks. [wb] {Willy, Let me respond to this section of your latest post: JS:
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 5, 2007
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                      JS, This is an easy one to respond to; thanks.  [wb]

                      {Willy, Let me respond to this section of your latest post:

                      JS: <<Arguably the first leap is a leap out of one category of despair into another category of despair, so strictly speaking the transition from the aesthetic to the ethical is not a leap out of despair in toto.>>

                      WB: Are you saying that there is a new inwardness in the first leap and another new inwardness in the second leap?

                      JS (now): Yes, I suppose I am saying that there is a new inwardness as a result of the first leap – this is the ethical inwardness. And there is a new inwardness with the second leap – that is the (paradoxical) religious inwardness.

                      I think you want to insist that there is only one "new inwardness" – the ethical inwardness which results from the first leap.

                      Now, if Kierkegaard had published all his books in his own name, and he only communicated directly and he claimed to be putting forward a "theory of stages", then I might try to fit everything together in the way you do.}

                      Ok, good, so we have a problem with the pseudonyms; I think that is a good place to transfer it; less harrowing.

                      {However, I read Johannes de Silentio as having a different take on "inwardness" to what Judge William has.

                      JdeS is concerned to contrast the lower ethical inwardness with the higher/deeper paradoxical inwardness. In this contrast, Abraham's inwardness is "new" in comparison with the old inwardness of the tragic heroes. Remember Abraham was supposed to be the first man to have faith in God.

                      JW is concerned to contrast the lower aesthetic inwardness of his young friend with his own higher/deeper ethical inwardness. In this contrast, JW's inwardness is "new" in comparison with the old inwardness of the aesthete.

                      And before you come back to me with your criticism that I've lost the "absolute disjunction" between the aesthetic and the ethical, let me agree with JW that there is indeed an absolute disjunction between the aesthetic way of existing and the ethical way of existing. And let me agree with JdeS that there is indeed an absolute disjunction between the ethical way of existing and the paradoxical religious way of existing. Jim}

                      I think your point is made. I would have to hear more before I could sign on though.



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