Re: One Upbuilding Discourse
- Dear Don,
This is a response to your post 7487 in which you respond to my post
One central issue in these posts is K/p's contrast between the inner
and the outer with particular reference to K/p's account of Hegel,
and his account of his own archetypal ethical and religious
In my post I suggested that when you talked of the outer, this use
was ambiguous between the individual's outward behaviour and the
customs of the society in which the individual existed.
You acknowledge this ambiguity when you write:
<< I'm not sure that K/p's use the term outer very often in specific
circumstances but I suspect that both meanings of outer you suggest
are used. The outer is definitely not limited to outer behavior.
Certainly JdeS in FT speaks of ethics in Hegelian German terms as he
speaks of morality or ethics as "Sittlichkeit" which refers
to "ethical life" which is the ethical life of a society, rather
than Moralitat which is personal or individual morality. The problem
is that K uses the the Danish term "det Saedeliges" for both of
these German Hegelian terms so it is difficult to tell the
difference except by context which is not always clear. This, as I
understand it, is complicated by the fact that there has been no
agreement about how to translate this difference into English. I
would argue that when K/p's use the term ethics or morality in the
context of "the ethical sphere" they are useing it in the sense of
Sittlechkeit (my definition of outer) while when they use it in the
context of "the religious sphere" they use it more in the Moralitat
sense (your definition of outer). I need to reread many of K's works
before I could say for sure whether it is correct or not and perhaps
not even then. Perhaps the sterling Danish scholar Mederic could
weigh in on this. >>
I have not done any investigation of how K/p uses the term `outer'
(or, rather, how K/p's English translators use the term), but
consider this sentence from The Concept of Irony:
"[For Socrates] the outer and the inner did not form a harmonious
unity, for the outer was in opposition to the inner, and only
through this refracted angle is he to be apprehended." (CI, Capel,
Socrates is an ethical individual, according to Johannes Climacus in
CUP. But here `outer' seems to refer to Socrates' outer behaviour.
If this is true, then your view is false.
However, perhaps K/p does sometimes use the term `outer' as you
suggest to refer to the customs of the ethical individual's society.
One complication is that K/p's ethical individuals are a
heterogeneous bunch. Judge William is a very different personality
from Socrates and yet both are clearly ethical individuals. The
tragic heroes of F&T are also ethical individuals, and they are
Judge William is very much a conformist and pillar of his society in
a way that the eccentric and unfathomable Socrates was not. There is
more justification for the view that the author of E/O II intended
Judge William to be a representative of Hegelianism than there is
for the view that Socrates was intended to be a representative of
Hegelianism. However, I nevertheless think that it is incorrect to
view Judge William as a Hegelian type of ethical individual.
I would have to re-read E/O II to argue this point, but my
impression when reading E/O II was that Judge William was supposed
to be an individual who had decisively left the aesthetic sphere
behind, an individual who had chosen himself in freedom, and who,
with single-minded resolution and infinite passion, was setting
about his ethical task. Such an ethical task includes being a good
husband. This is a much harder task than is commonly assumed, and I
think the author of E/O II realizes this.
Further, I read E/O as a text in which the author describes two
infinitely different ways of existing: the aesthetic way and the
ethical way. The reader is presented with an existential choice,
hence the title of the book. Further still, I read K/p as arguing
consistently that Hegel never gets beyond the aesthetic, in fact his
famous system completely lacks an ethics, according to K/p. If I am
correct here, then Judge William is not a Hegelian figure.
<< I think K and his various pseudonyms have different views of how
the inner and the outer (read as the individual's behaviour) should
be related to each other. >>
<< Could you give some examples of the differences you see here? >>
I actually went on to give two examples in my original post. The
individual who loves his neighbour, as described in WL, is someone
for whom the inner love of neighbour necessarily involves outward
loving action. So, for K, there is here an aspect of the inner which
is mirrored in the outer.
Think of Jesus' parable where he depicts love of neighbour. He
contrasts the actions (the outer behaviour) of the Samaritan with
the actions of the Priest and the Levite. There is no need for Jesus
to discuss the inner, the subjectivity, of the Samaritan as
contrasted with the subjectivities of the Priest and the Levite. In
this case, love of neighbour is open to view (at least for those who
have ears to hear).
In contrast, the inner subjectivity of the knight of faith as
depicted in F&T is not open to view. For Abraham, the inner and the
outer are dissimilar. Abraham cannot communicate his subjectivity,
his faith, to anyone. Further the knight of faith who discusses town
affairs and expects his wife to prepare a sumptuous evening meal
cannot be distinguished from the philistine bore. In contrast to the
loving individual of WL, the religious individuals of F&T do not
manifest outwardly their deep and passionate inwardness.
Let me take your remaining remarks altogether:
<< I use evil here as a qualitative, not a quantitative, term. The
point I was making here is that ethical ideality is always
shipwrecked on sinfulness. I don't think that K/p endorses any
ethical approach. He endorses becoming religious. Again 'evil'
or 'very evil' is qualitative. I could also add that the religious
individual is evil also. As I use it, evil is synonymous with sin.
Repentance is always a necessity. >>
So, you are saying that all human beings (except Jesus?) are evil,
because they sin, or are in a state of sin. Well, that makes sense,
although I don't recall K/p referring to all as evil. Johannes
Climacus says that Socrates discovered in himself a `disposition to
evil', and Johannes Climacus described himself as depraved and
corrupt. I think it is more appropriate for an individual to refer
to himself as evil, as opposed to referring to another, or, indeed,
all others, as evil.
Would K/p say that all human beings were in a state of sin? I'm not
sure. Anti-Climacus equates sin with despair, and whilst he says
that the aesthete and the ethical individual are in despair, the
person of faith is not in despair, so arguably is not in a state of
sin, and thus is not evil.
I recall arguing with Ben about this. I argued that K/p's idealized
Christian was not in a state of sin, and, further, did not sin. (See
my post 666 strange that that particular post was one of my best
Finally, you say that you do not think that K/p endorses any ethical
approach. I disagree in a sense. K/p argues that to become a
religious individual, a knight of faith, the individual must first
become an ethical individual. On this point Willy is one hundred
percent correct. I agree that ultimately the ethical is shipwrecked
on sin, but K/p certainly endorses the idea that an individual must
first become an ethical individual.
Hey You, I said CUT IT OUT!
I mean it!
P.S. Jim R; has the new semester started yet? Could you please send us a schedule of the classes you teach? Do you offer any on-line courses on copyright laws? I think Meddy and Fuseki may be interested (foreigners you know). Willy though is old enough to move to Florida! If next semester you see a shriveled up old red-haired man come barreling in on his special Yamaha © Model HWY61'Trike Wheelchair', that may be Willy.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Don" <don@...> wrote:
> Spoken like an "assistant professor" When I am determining how much is
> 10% should I count the words or the letters and does that include white
> Don the legal begal
> --- In email@example.com, "James Rovira" jamesrovira@
> > I think I've made it pretty clear already what I want, Fuseki, which
> > in this case I'm limiting to how I see US copyright law working.
> > Don't quote more than about 10% of my text in documents or websites
> > published externally to this message board without my permission.
> > While people quoting less than 10% aren't not required to ask my
> > permission, I think it's courteous to ask anyhow.
> > Jim R