• Astrophel
    72
    Needless to add, this subject matter - as complex and convoluted as it can get - is to me very intimately associated with ethics and intrinsic value in general.javra

    That is where it ends up, I think. Happiness, unhappiness and everything you can think of that fit into these (which is everything in experience, for even the plainest most uneventful conditions are saturated with affect. Boredom, perhaps, but that changes nothing) is the existential presupposition for ethics. I cannot even imagine ethics with without some pain or pleasure, or mood, or interest, even, in play, at risk. One cannot, yet, have a moral relation with AI, a dog or cat or squirrel, yes.

    But you know, we cannot speak of happiness analytically (Wittgenstein would not), which is a very peculiar thing. We can talk about what makes a person happy or un, but happiness simpliciter is hands off. Can we call this an intrinsic good (or bad)?
  • javra
    1.5k
    But you know, we cannot speak of happiness analytically (Wittgenstein would not), which is a very peculiar thing. We can talk about what makes a person happy or un, but happiness simpliciter is hands off.Astrophel

    I've been contemplating that a lot lately and for some time now: an idea regarding volitional valence. In short, when we obtain what we intend as intended, volitional happiness (as in the archaic notion of luckiness, good fortune), irrespective of how minor or major the intent. Likewise, when our intention is in any way impeded, volitional suffering (bearing the weight of an unwanted circumstance). All this however is contingent on the reality of intentions and, hence, some notion of teleology - and, in an indirect way, on the reality of freely willed choices. Things of course get very complex, but that's the short version of it. Anyway, addressed because I at least believe it might be possible to speak of happiness analytically in a suitable enough manner, this at least for the topic of ethics.

    Curious to hear your thoughts or rebuttables concerning this overall idea.
  • Astrophel
    72
    Singularity doesn’t step out of plurality, but the other way around. There is no such thing as a centered structure. A play of signifiers is a differential structure with no center.

    “Henceforth, it was necessary to begin thinking that there was no center, that the center could not be thought in the form of a present-being, that the center had no natural site, that it was not a fixed locus but a function, a sort of non-locus in which an infinite number of sign-substitutions came into play. This was the moment when language invaded the universal problematic, the moment when, in the absence of a center or origin, everything became discourse-provided we can agree on this word-that is to say, a system in which the central signified, the original or transcendental signified, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences.”(Sign, Structure and Play, Writing and Difference p352)

    This system of differences must be thought as a temporal process rather than a simultaneous whole. The system unfolds itself from one singular to the next. Each singular is determinate ( even though it never repeats itself) but not decidable , since it borrows from another element in order to be what it is. It is a double structure. You are right to at there is no determinability in the sense of an ability to retrieve and hold onto an exact same entity or meaning. Determinability for Derrida at the level of social structures is a relative stability of thematic meaning.
    Joshs

    I was thinking of an ontological indeterminacy. I mean, if I deconstruct my cat, and the arbitrariness of the signifier cannot be made non arbitrary independently of a context, then the context is the ontological foundation for what my cat is. But beyond this, there is nowhere to go. It is blind metaphysics to think that there can be conceived something beyond context.

    This doesn't just annihilate metaphysics, it places annihilated metaphysics in the language construction itself, if I may put it that way. I mean to say, the utterance qua utterance is entirely foreign to the actuality that is in the palpable "fabric of things" and I talk like this notwithstanding Heidegger's claim that objects in the world are "of a piece" with the language used to conceive of them.

    You won't agree, I suspect, but I claim there is something irreducible to this actuality. I am not convinced our understanding is locked within a totality of the Same. Yes, I suppose this is walking on water talk.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    What has intrinsic value?

  • DA671
    139
    I express my apologies for bothering you, but I hope that you received the message that I sent you. I am a newcomer here, so I do not know exactly this forum works. I hope you have a fantabulous day!
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    if I deconstruct my cat, and the arbitrariness of the signifier cannot be made non arbitrary independently of a context, then the context is the ontological foundation for what my cat is.Astrophel

    The signifier-signified relation is never arbitrary for Derrida, s there never is a sign diver by itself, but I understand where you’re going.

    I am not convinced our understanding is locked within a totality of the Same.Astrophel

    I assume you’re getting this from Levinas. I respect the Levinasian-Kierkegaardian way of thinking, but I think Levinas misreads Heidegger and Husserl when he accuses them of totalizing phenomenology.
  • Astrophel
    72
    Curious to hear your thoughts or rebuttables concerning this overall idea.javra

    My thoughts are a work in progress. In play is the indefeasibility of affectivity (this being a general term for a classification of existentials like pleasure, joy, bliss, happiness, disgust, hatred, revulsion, misery, and on and on. I take facts to be Wittgesntein's facts: sailboats are sailing in the distance, or an ox is stronger than a chihuahua. There is nothing of affectivity in all of these. Facts are accidental, that is, they could have been otherwise and there is nothing that makes them necessary. This is on edge of talk about possible worlds, worlds of logical necessity, or worlds of causal boundaries. I take Wittgenstein to be talking about logically conceivable worlds, and in them, there is no affectivity. You could say there is the fact that I am unhappy or ecstatic, but, and here is the rub, as a fact, there is no "good" in happiness., and there is no "bad" in misery. This opens the discussion for an extraordinary exposition the nature of ethics and aesthetics. How is it that I cannot assail the integrity of the, well, "value of value" that is the good of enjoyment the bad of a toothache, in any conceivable arrangements of context? In all possible worlds of factuality, what is good in this analysis of the good has no place at all. And this is because affectivity of goodness is an absolute. It does not issue from a factual matrix, that is, talk about this kind of thing is beyond the deferential possibilities of any context driven ontology.

    I have to work this idea out, though I have another life beyond reading and thinking philosophy and likely will never do this entirely. But you see the intuition (heh, if there is such a thing) of this is bound up with this "discovery" (again, is there such a thing? Rorty says truth is made not discovered. Oh my!) of what is in an ethical analysis: There is something, some "invisible X" that cannot be reduced to contextual inter-deferentiality (I made that term up. It seems to be okay), I mean, produced out of "difference" of the meanings of ideas. Ethics and aesthetics are, and the limb I am going out on here is a long and slim one, utterly metaphysical in their very mysterious analysis of foundational ...errr, properties. They issue forth an injunction: Don't do this; Do this.

    Of course, ethical injunctions are language constructs, and the same that is true for facts of the world are true here, that is, there is nothing of affect in an injunction, and injunctions are NOT indefeasible. ut this is not about ethics. This is about an abstraction form ethics that reveals an absolute.

    Derrida is maddening to read (for me) but when one catches on (such as I have) , one sees how massively interesting he is, especially vis a vis Wittgenstein's Ethics and Tractatus. I mean, this is literally life changing, if, though, one is that caught up in the enterprise if finding out what it is to be a human being at the level of basic questions.
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    In play is the indefeasibility of affectivity (this being a general term for a classification of existentials like pleasure, joy, bliss, happiness, disgust, hatred, revulsion, misery, and on and on. I take facts to be Wittgesntein's facts: sailboats are sailing in the distance, or an ox is stronger than a chihuahua. There is nothing of affectivity in all of these. Facts are accidental, that is, they could have been otherwise and there is nothing that makes them necessary. This is on edge of talk about possible worlds, worlds of logical necessity, or worlds of causal boundaries. I take Wittgenstein to be talking about logically conceivable worlds, and in them, there is no affectivityAstrophel

    My central interest since college has been the relationship between affectivity, feeling, mood and emotional on the one hand, and cognition, intentionality and understanding on the other. My view is that the two phenomena are utterly inseparable, that there is no expereince that is without affective valence and quality. I would argue that the sense of a world for Wittgenstein, as use context, is that way in which the word matters to us , its significance and relevance. That is an affective feature. There are no facts without relevance, there is no relevance without value, so understanding a fact is already an affective process.
  • Astrophel
    72
    My central interest since college has been the relationship between affectivity, feeling, mood and emotional on the one hand, and cognition, intentionality and understanding on the other. My view is that the two phenomena are utterly inseparable, that there is no expereince that is without affective valence and quality. I would argue that the sense of a world for Wittgenstein, as use context, is that way in which the word matters to us , its significance and relevance. That is an affective feature. There are no facts without relevance, there is no relevance without value, so understanding a fact is already an affective process.Joshs

    I don't see how this can be disagreed with. Experience is not a thing of discreet parts; rather, parts are in the analysis. There is no pure reason and there is no sublime affectivity qua affectivity as some kind of stand alone features of existence. But a question like, what is experience? has to have in its answer something about affectivity and its features, and one feature I find impossibly there is that affect cannot be "defeated" as to what it is by contextual changes. It is what it is regardless of context. And even if this pain can be recast as pleasure (in the mind of a masochist, say) it is not that pain is pleasure, or that pain is therefore made ambiguous, but that it is no longer pain.

    BUT: An utterance places pain in context, that is, when I think about pain, I am already in a system of predelineated understandings, and so, what is said is bound to contingency, bound to a foundational deconstruction (as I am calling it. I don't have the vocabulary quite ready to hand) that denies all "stand alone" claims (call them "Platonic" claims). And so, the utterance "pain is bad" is just as contingent as "snow is white". The point I would make is the injunction not to do X is grounded in existence in a way that cannot be spoken, but is "mysteriously authoritative." I think Wittgenstein would agree.

    I see that the color red, e.g., is there, but is "speechless" apart from its contextual placement possibilities. Affect "speaks" an inaudible and uninscribable "language" of existence.
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