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Re: [Kierkegaardian] The Apple Core:

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  • Will Brown
    James, elsewhere you wrote: We don t have an absolute disconnect that I can see, Will. We interpret one passage differently, but both believe the leap brings
    Message 1 of 23 , Aug 5, 2005
      James, elsewhere you wrote: "We don't have an absolute disconnect that
      I can see, Will. We interpret one passage differently, but both
      believe the leap brings about an absolute change."

      I can think of one absolute disconnect we have, the question of
      whether or not we have an absolute disconnect; I say that we do and
      you say that we do not. Since the structure of this situation is the
      same structure I used to create the apple pile dichotomy, let me spell
      it out; I can see that it might be useful here. I will create a
      dichotomy that you will declare a false dichotomy, and all else will
      follow from that.

      Let us say that a given authorship may be interpreted in diverse ways
      and that those diverse ways may be categorized so that what we have is
      two categories of interpretation which are incommensurable one with
      the other. We could even say that they are separated by an 'infinitely
      broad ditch' and that to get from one interpretation to another
      requires an absolute leap. Let one category be X and the other
      category Y. We could represent their infinite separation by setting
      one at right angles to another, call their intersection the 'moment,'
      and call one the real axis and the other the imaginary axis, but we

      I see both X and Y as possible interpretations. You see X as the only
      possible interpretation that makes sense, which is to say that you
      reject Y as a viable interpretation. This point is why I chose to
      piggyback my response to this particular message; one in which Mederic
      made the perfect metaphor; it's the engine baby. You said:

      <So back to my point, what's going in the leap is at once both
      absolute and relative, otherwise Kierkegaard's language makes no

      You do not see an absolute disconnect between our interpretations
      because you do not see Y as viable; it creates what you called a false
      dichotomy. Therefore, you must subsume Y in X, which means that
      anytime the suggestion of Y appears in what SK says, it is subsumed in
      X and your contention that the leap is at once absolute and relative
      is posited as fact. If there were no Y as standing alone, you would be
      correct, and that is where the matter would stand. As you have
      suggested to Mederic:

      <May need to consider the possibility that Kierkegaard didn't think in
      Either/Or terms about everything, but sometimes in both/and terms.>

      Is there a Y standing alone? For me there is. There is a change that
      can only be described as a change in one's grasp of oneself as
      oneself. When it comes to be seen that one's sense of self is
      engendered by a reflection, and one then reflects upon that change, a
      paradox rises that brings the one doing the reflecting to an end. When
      I then came across SK, that Y immediately caught my attention. I see
      that Y as running through his corpus like a singular thread that ties
      it all of a piece. Delusion? Always possible, i.e., undecided; 'no'
      being speculation. The only way I will know is in the waking from it.
      But that is how the Y came into being, so maybe there is a delusion to
      the second power as there is a subjectivity to the second power.

      For my part, it's all about the self, and the reflection in which the
      self is given. It is the self that must change absolutely, and that is
      the core of the absolute apple. Sure, there is a body around, but the
      subject of subjectivity is the self. The question that remains is
      whether or not his whole authorship was grounded in the rhetorical; if
      so, then there is only X, with its subsumed Y, and you are correct.
      But still, an entire corpus dedicated to the rhetorical? If there were
      such a leap, only one who has taken it could say that there was such a
      leap; but to deny the possibility of it, does seem to me to be an
      irrational stance. It is either 'yes' because it is yes, or it is
      undecided; 'no' being speculation.

      I do understand that what I have written only continues our dilemma,
      but I needed to lay our a structure for our difference that I saw as
      capturing it. It's simply that I leave Y in a different universe from
      X and you place that Y in your universe of X. Where I see movement
      from X to Y as a leap, you see an inner movement as a leap that brings
      Y into being within X. I don't think it is possible to take the
      movement from X to Y as other than concrete. That surely would bring
      another dimension into being to contain such a movement. Fascinating.
      I'll cut this off here and look some more at the movements suggested
      by our different placing of Y in relation to X. Willy

      --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "<none>" <jamesrovira@y...>
      > That was a good response but my God, Mr. Laitier, you mean the
      > comparison isn't perfect? :). Come, is any? Of course the
      > breaks down between things and people -- it was only relevant to one
      > point: Mr. Brown's implicit assertion that there's a difference
      > the "core" of a person and the person themselves (hence the apple
      > analogy). Substance and accidens. Ok, we've changed the apple
      > is the apple skin still the same? You know all about this. If you
      > want to abandon analogy, let's just stick with something like
      > Kierkegaard's language, then:
      > The individual experiences a qualitative change in the leap.
      > "The individual."
      > Is the "individual" a constant on both sides of the leap? If not,
      > you'd have to assert that the previous individual ceases to exist
      > an entirely new individual comes into being.
      > But if that is the case, you cannot say "the individual" experiences
      > anything in the leap - because the individual ceases to
      > Mid leap?
      > So the individual must be the numerically one before and after the
      > leap, simply a changed "one."
      > So back to my point, what's going in the leap is at once both
      > and relative, otherwise Kierkegaard's language makes no sense.
      > Absolute in relationship to some facets of a person, relative in
      > relationship to another. On the most surface level the individual
      > has made the leap still has the same complexion, hair color, voice,
      > history, etc. The change, as I described in my last post, has to do
      > with the relationship of spirit to mind and body -- but even then,
      > three components still exist.
      > May need to consider the possibility that Kierkegaard didn't think
      > Either/Or terms about everything, but sometimes in both/and terms.

      > Jim Rovira
      > --- Médéric Laitier <mederic.laitier@t...> wrote:
      > > Dear None,
      > >
      > > 'You can change the engine in a car, but the car is still the same
      > > car.'
    • Will Brown
      Hello James, thanks for your response. I do think we are closing in on the bright line that separates our respective views of what SK was going on about. This
      Message 2 of 23 , Aug 7, 2005
        Hello James, thanks for your response. I do think we are closing in on
        the bright line that separates our respective views of what SK was
        going on about. This post of yours offers a more succinct view of our
        divergence. I'll pen only a general response; it may be that we can
        close this chapter in our book. I'll address what I see as the two
        deciding points of your response; the semantic difference in our
        divination of what SK means by the self and my insertion of an
        ontological issue within it.

        The point that immediately leaps out at me is that the two points you
        make fall exactly within the structure I had just created using X & Y
        to show the structure of our difference. Your disallowance of the
        ontological issue effectively places my view of what SK meant by self
        within your view of what he meant by self, which then comports with
        your view of the self-change as "essentially a deep psychological
        change." (see msg. 850) This preserves your view that my view
        represents a false dichotomy and that the absolute change is internal
        to the self.

        Generally, what I have been doing in our discourse is to structure our
        difference as an absolute difference. You have seen each structuring
        as opposing your exegesis of SK's leap, which it in fact indirectly
        does, and have, in one fashion or another, negated the difference my
        structure had modeled as not comporting with your view. That negation,
        in itself, exactly mirrors your negation of my original apple piles as
        a false dichotomy.

        Let me restate that. Generally, what I have been up to in my
        discussion with you is to continually re-present that bright line
        between us. What I see you as doing is continually trying to wipe out
        the line I have drawn. In the process, you have come to see that the
        bright line I have been drawing is, in fact, the line between the
        semantic and the ontological. In effect, we have been doing the same
        thing, narrowing in on our difference, and here I must resort to
        another structure. Forgive me, but I see structures, or forms, in my
        mind's eye that act as a template from which I can extract my
        understanding as necessary.

        The structure I see looks like this. We each have our view of what
        SK's leap means. Our views are not compatible. You have been looking
        at my view and rightly have seen that I have been effectively removing
        the absolute from the inside of your view to outside your view. You
        then negate that removal, which replaces the absolute within your
        view. What I have been doing is laying out structure after structure
        pointing out the absolute difference between the relative and absolute
        views. In effect, I have been discussing your view indirectly by
        addressing the difference between our views. This particular structure
        has you inside it looking at our differences and I outside it looking
        at our difference.

        Let me restate that. By the inside, I mean that I see you as an
        occupant of the relative apple pile and have been addressing you as an
        occupant of that pile in the attempt to show you the difference
        between the two piles. By the outside, I mean just what I have said,
        that I have always been talking about the difference between the two
        piles, which is to say that I have, in the process, been addressing
        you indirectly. But that brings us full circle. You reject the
        difference I see, which folds my difference into your difference,
        which makes this not an ontological issue, but a semantic issue.

        Generally, then, that is what I had in mind for this general response.
        I do think you are right, this horse has been beaten to death, and
        beyond. The wagon behind it, having lost its engine, will fall prey to
        the negation that time provides, and the poor horse will turn into
        glue. I'll let you have the last word as to where we must go if there
        is to be any further going. It is my hope that you will point the way;
        I do thoroughly enjoy the joust our minds engage in. The dance around
        the pole of polemics raises the embers that smolder in my brain to
        full fire, and smoke doth drift from my ears.

        >I don't think I need to explicate how this is a diversionary strategy
        when it comes to dicussing the definitions of concepts and words. The
        only progress possible on this front is by paying close attention to
        K's language.<


        PS: Ah yes, I trust I have been using the terms 'semantic' and
        'ontological' correctly here; I have no expertise in things
        philosophical. Nick-Knack, what say u?
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