• Astrophel
    72
    Ain't it? It's like being in love. Once there, you don't want to talk about it because talk takes, if you will, the ready-to-hand out of the whole affair. But then, being IN something so completely makes one wonder if one hasn't yielded to the unconsciousness of being IN it, and thereby failing to be open to its generational grounding. I want to be a 'teenager in love" but it's just that I don't want to be a teenager, unaware, blind, driven rather than driving.Astrophel

    Did I say generational?? I meant 'generative'.
  • javra
    1.5k
    Did I say generational?? I meant 'generative'.Astrophel

    I like that as well: generative grounding.

    By the way, when I mentioned "young at heart" I had in mind that this ought to be part and parcel of eudemonia: etymologically, being in "good spirit(s)" (or more literally, of a "good daemon"), which I can only see entailing having a light heart rather than a heavy one - again, despite all the sh*t one undergoes. Maybe this gets wound up with having/gaining a relatively clear conscience despite the hardships and loses and mistakes. There's no questioning that life happens and along with it the bad that jades, which deprives us of yesteryear's more vivid abilities to experience beauty or love, even a sense of wonder. For me, though, wisdom - the type philosophers were once upon a time reputed to pursue - ought be something like the song "Return to Innocence" in theme. Not a return to the ignorances of youth (never found the two equivalent), but to the affects that accompany unjaded souls. Now get reminded of Nietzsche parable of the camel, turned predator fighting the monster of thou shalts and shalt nots, then, at last, turned into a newly birthed babe in the same world as before.

    Wisdom as a generative, even regenerative, grounding of such sort, that I'll go for. Intrinsic value to the max. Sounds like something worth attaining, at any rate. Next issue: how does one find it? :razz:
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    Suppose there's something (x) that has only intrinsic value (zero instrumental value). Being a one-of-a-kind item, x, if you possess it, gives you bragging rights; as the rarest of the rare, x now acquires an instrumental value. That's to say, there can be nothing that has only intrinsic value.

    In the above situation, x is alone. Suppose now that there are many of x. If so, x loses its uniqueness, it's an extra, a spare so to speak. Now x has intrinsic value and no instrumental value.

    Ergo, the conditions for something to be only intrinsically valuable:

    1. It mustn't possess instrumental value of any kind (it should be totally useless).

    2. There should be more than one of it (so that it loses its special status).

    3. It should have intrinsic value of some kind

    Barring 3, the description fits humans I'd say: There's no meaning to life and we're a dime a dozen.
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    Derrida comes to mind: The moment you think at all, you have a muddled or diffused event, and this "unstructured" way of designation is simply the "structure" of the way utterances work. Completely indeterminate when discussion turns to questions at the most basic level because determinacy itself is simply indeterminateAstrophel

    I wouldnt say for Derrida an event is muddled or diffused, but rather a structure composed of differences.

    “I do not believe I have ever spoken of "indeterminacy," whether in regard to "meaning" or anything else. Undecidability is something else again. While referring to what I have said above and elsewhere, I want to recall that undecidability is always a determinate oscillation between possibilities (for example, of meaning, but also of acts). These possibilities are themselves highly determined in strictly defined situations (for example, discursive-syntactical or rhetorical-but also political, ethical, etc.). They are pragmatically determined.The analyses that I have devoted to undecidability concern just these determinations and these definitions, not at all some vague "indeterminacy." I say "undecidability" rather than "indeterminacy" because I am interested more in relations of force, in differences of force, in everything that allows, precisely, determinations in given situations to be stabilized through a decision of writing (in the broad sense I give to this word, which also includes political action and experience in general). There would be no indecision or double bind were it not between determined (semantic, ethical, political) poles, which are upon occasion terribly necessary and always irreplaceably Singular. Which is to say that from the point of view of semantics, but also of ethics and politics, "deconstruction" should never lead either to relativism or to any sort of indeterminism.”( Limited, Inc)

    Reading Michel Henry on Heidegger, I find, "The essence of revelation peculiar to affectivity and taking place in it is completely lost to Heidegger, confused by him with the essence of the ontological understanding of Being to which it nevertheless remains heterogeneous both in its structure and in its phenomenality." I think this is rightAstrophel

    I think Michel Henry is coming from an older Kantian influenced religious tradition, and a s a result he is neither in a position to effectively understand Heidegger nor Husserl. What he does is try to turn Heidegger into Kierkegaard, and I see Heidegger as having moved quite a distance beyond the latter.

    there is only one bottom line to all this, and it is not cognitive. It is affectiveAstrophel

    I think it’s a mistake to prioritize affectivity over cognition. It splits them apart, when in fact they were never separate.

    It is close to Kierkegaard's insistence that when rational systems approach actuality, it is a train wreck, and Heidegger's ontology is, after all, a readable, rational presentation.Astrophel

    I would say instead that Heidegger’s project was dedicated to a deconstruction of rationality.
  • Astrophel
    72
    Have a read of this abstract. The essay used to be online, but now is part of the volume from which this is excerpted; by Norman Fischer.Wayfarer

    How close this is to Heidegger's problem. Our pragmatism gets us out of trouble and scrapes in the world, but then it creates a false sense of existence, treating the world as "standing reserve". Our ready to hand existence is a great asset, yet can occlude primordial meaning.

    It gets a bit complicated for me, though. While animals are, let's say their status as moral, affective agencies, is unquestionable, and I base this simply on their exposure to the thousand natural shocks the flesh is heir to, heard tell of; their capacity for depth and, call it, intimations of profound things experience is capable of, seems limited. Consider the infant, blissful, but agency is missing. Who is blissful? Animals have limited agency, and I leave this term to debate. But would only add that there is a moment in symbolic, pragmatic dealings with the world, where a schism forms between ordinary affairs and reflection, which is, I hazard to say, what existentialism is all about, this break with continuity. What issues out of this is, granted, well, arguably, nothing but trouble. On the other, it seems to be a precipice where we encounter the impossible. Pulling away from spontaneous blisses of infancy (animal-being?) may be seen as opening to something far more primordial, perhaps absolute.
  • Astrophel
    72
    By the way, when I mentioned "young at heart" I had in mind that this ought to be part and parcel of eudemonia: etymologically, being in "good spirit(s)" (or more literally, of a "good daemon"), which I can only see entailing having a light heart rather than a heavy one - again, despite all the sh*t one undergoes. Maybe this gets wound up with having/gaining a relatively clear conscience despite the hardships and loses and mistakes. There's no questioning that life happens and along with it the bad that jades, which deprives us of yesteryear's more vivid abilities to experience beauty or love, even a sense of wonder. For me, though, wisdom - the type philosophers were once upon a time reputed to pursue - ought be something like the song "Return to Innocence" in theme. Not a return to the ignorances of youth (never found the two equivalent), but to the affects that accompany unjaded souls. Now get reminded of Nietzsche parable of the camel, turned predator fighting the monster of thou shalts and shalt nots, then, at last, turned into a newly birthed babe in the same world as before.

    Wisdom as a generative, even regenerative, grounding of such sort, that I'll go for. Intrinsic value to the max. Sounds like something worth attaining, at any rate. Next issue: how does one find it
    javra

    We want to have our cake and eat it, too. But these militate against each other, don't they. The more you return to innocence, the more you have to forget. One one knows solidly the tonnage of suffering of the world, and has the requisite compassion (some do not, clearly) there is no turning back, pulling the covers over the head and going back to sleep.
    Remember, if I may, that miserable suffering is also an intrinsic value. Nietzsche certainly did have to take control because his physical life was a living hell, so much so that he could get behind it in his thinking.
    Here is an odd but provocative idea: suffering and joy, the two dimensions of our ethical/aesthetic world. Do these not tell us by their own natures that only one of these is "intrinsically" desirable? I tend to think suffering is an instruction: Don't do that! And it is not culture of principles telling us this. Kierkegaard was perhaps right: principles are limited formulations, superseded by something so mysterious we had to invent religion.
  • javra
    1.5k
    We want to have our cake and eat it, too. But these militate against each other, don't they. The more you return to innocence, the more you have to forget. One one knows solidly the tonnage of suffering of the world, and has the requisite compassion (some do not, clearly) there is no turning back, pulling the covers over the head and going back to sleep.Astrophel

    Innocence for me is defined by blamelessness. Ignorance is instead defined by lack of understanding (maybe we might both agree that knowledge does not entail understanding, though to understand is to know that which is understood; as one example, to know what someone said without understanding what the person said). Yes, as infants we’re birthed with both and loose both over time.

    I however strongly question that a return to innocence, if at all possible, necessitates a forgetting of the understandings gained.

    Hence the possibility of returning to innocence with a more awakened awareness than that first held in such state – rather than a going back to sleep.

    Of course, all this is contingent on whether one believes that innocence, in the strict sense of blamelessness, can be regained once lost.

    Here is an odd but provocative idea: suffering and joy, the two dimensions of our ethical/aesthetic world. Do these not tell us by their own natures that only one of these is "intrinsically" desirable? I tend to think suffering is an instruction: Don't do that! And it is not culture of principles telling us this.Astrophel

    I agree with this in large.
  • Joshs
    2.5k


    suffering and joy, the two dimensions of our ethical/aesthetic world. Do these not tell us by their own natures that only one of these is "intrinsically" desirable? I tend to think suffering is an instruction: Don't do that! And it is not culture of principles telling us this. Kierkegaard was perhaps right: principles are limited formulations, superseded by something so mysterious we had to invent religion.Astrophel

    Nietzsche and Heidegger wanted to unravel the longstanding predisposition of philsophy to privilege presence over absence, affirmation over negation , pleasure over suffering. As such, they needed to deconstruct the Hegelian dialectic which Kierkegaard took into his own philosophy.

    “Furthermore, we must ask what does the dialectician himself want? What does this will which wills the dialectic want? It is an exhausted force which does not have the strength to affirm its difference, a force which no longer acts but rather reacts to the forces which dominate it — only such a force brings to the foreground the negative element in its relation to the other. Such a force denies all that it is not and makes this negation its own essence and the principle of its existence. "While every noble morality develops from a triumphant affirmation of itself, slave morality from the outset says No to what is 'outside', what is ‘different' what is 'not itself' and this No is its creative deed" (GM I 10 p. 36).

    “The dialectic proposes a certain conception of the tragic: linking it to the negative, to opposition and to contradiction. The contradiction of suffering and life, of finite and infinite in life itself, of particular destiny and universal spirit in the idea, the movement of contradiction and its resolution — this is how tragedy is represented.

    For Nietzsche , however , “the negative is not present in the essence as that from which force draws its activity: on the contrary it is a result of activity, of the existence of an active force and the affirmation of its difference. The negative is a product of existence itself: the aggression necessarily linked to an active existence, the aggression of an affirmation. As for the negative concept (that is to say, negation as a concept) "it is only a subsequently-invented pale contrasting image in relation to its positive basic concept — filled with life and passion through and through" (GM I 10 p. 37).” (Deleuze)

    “ The pertinacity of dialectic, which draws its motivation from a very definite source, is docu-mented most clearly in Kierkegaard. In the properly philosophical aspect of his thought, he did not break free from Hegel. His later turn to Trendelenburg is only added documentation for how little radical he was in philosophy.” (Heidegger)
  • MAYAEL
    154
    thank you for the reply I will try to make an argument for it this evening after I hopefully get a little bit more rest I have barely slept the past 2 days so I'm bound to add several layers of buffoonery and non-coherent jabbering to my replies if I don't get some rest in me.
  • boagie
    216
    Astrophel,

    Another way of describing your concept would be to look at it as an expanded concept of the self. Where there is no expanded concept, no identifying with others, compassion does not even arise. Schopenhauer would say it is a metaphysical realization that you and the other are one. Different examples of self-sacrifice in the process of saving a life can be said to underline this concept. Where there is no sign of this concept in the interpersonal lives of a young individual one might look for psychopathology. This even carries over to our relatives in the animal world, and an early sign of psychopathology is the torture and cruelty of animals. I personally do not believe that civilization would be possible without this underlying process of identification with others, and thus the arising of compassion. As to you expression of the wider range of being, I would just add that, subject and object cannot be separated, thus your brain/mind is only half encased within your cranium, the other half is the physical world as an object. Are you in the world, or is the world in you, or is there another possibility, what does an open system suggest to you?
  • Astrophel
    72
    “I do not believe I have ever spoken of "indeterminacy," whether in regard to "meaning" or anything else. Undecidability is something else again. While referring to what I have said above and elsewhere, I want to recall that undecidability is always a determinate oscillation between possibilities (for example, of meaning, but also of acts). These possibilities are themselves highly determined in strictly defined situations (for example, discursive-syntactical or rhetorical-but also political, ethical, etc.). They are pragmatically determined.The analyses that I have devoted to undecidability concern just these determinations and these definitions, not at all some vague "indeterminacy." I say "undecidability" rather than "indeterminacy" because I am interested more in relations of force, in differences of force, in everything that allows, precisely, determinations in given situations to be stabilized through a decision of writing (in the broad sense I give to this word, which also includes political action and experience in general). There would be no indecision or double bind were it not between determined (semantic, ethical, political) poles, which are upon occasion terribly necessary and always irreplaceably Singular. Which is to say that from the point of view of semantics, but also of ethics and politics, "deconstruction" should never lead either to relativism or to any sort of indeterminism.”( Limited, Inc)Joshs

    But doesn't the "difference" make indeterminate any spoken utterance at the level of the most basic analysis? I do see that undecidability is preferred if there is a purpose that contextualizes, or "totalizes" (I think that is a Heideggerian term, borrowed by Levinas) such that terms can be set and played against each other. But beneath this, there is indeterminacy, beneath all undecidability, there is indeterminacy in the full sense of the term: what is singular in thought and expression is not singular in its essential structure. Singularity "steps out" of plurality of regionalized signifiers.

    In other words, I don't mean that in the middle of deciding whether to go to market today I should get lost in the failure to decide what to do. My thinking, under construction, is that our affairs are pragmatic, our relations with the world are pragmatic, and pragmatism says nothing at all about foundational ontology of the Cartesian kind, some kind of substance. So, I suppose I am agreeing that decidability is a bottom line concept. But I also think that material substance is not just a stand in term for nothing at all, and I don't think that, res cogitans and res extensa are complete nonsense. Something in the hiddeness of the world intimates itself in the Husserlian reduction. It is the Buddhist's bliss (affectivity) which is this sublime ontology that is not discursive in its discovery, but intuitive.

    Philosophers, I have observed, do not like this term, intuition, and I almost wince to use it.


    I think Michel Henry is coming from an older Kantian influenced religious tradition, and a s a result he is neither in a position to effectively understand Heidegger nor Husserl. What he does is try to turn Heidegger into Kierkegaard, and I see Heidegger as having moved quite a distance beyond the latter.Joshs

    I'll take your word for that, though I think it is more that he doesn't really care what a defensible account would be at all. He is more interested moving on to something else entirely. In this paper, "The Power of Revelation of Affectivity According to Heidegger" I haven't really understood it yet, but It seems clear thus far that he has a phenomenological interpretation for Christianity which is Kierkegaardian (I didn't see that he was trying to make Heidegger into Kierkegaard, but rather criticizing Heidegger for defiling the affectivity with mundane meaning): affectivity (existential anxiety) is a momentous, transcendental structure of our existence. He wants to make revelatory anxiety a threshold to God.
  • boagie
    216

    Struggling to wrap my head around this, how does non- locality figure into the processing of subject and object on an individual level? I understand that there is no separation between the world and consciousness, for to take away either, then the other ceases to be. Bare with me, perhaps I need read the thread more closely.
  • Astrophel
    72
    Innocence for me is defined by blamelessness. Ignorance is instead defined by lack of understanding (maybe we might both agree that knowledge does not entail understanding, though to understand is to know that which is understood; as one example, to know what someone said without understanding what the person said). Yes, as infants we’re birthed with both and loose both over time.

    I however strongly question that a return to innocence, if at all possible, necessitates a forgetting of the understandings gained.

    Hence the possibility of returning to innocence with a more awakened awareness than that first held in such state – rather than a going back to sleep.

    Of course, all this is contingent on whether one believes that innocence, in the strict sense of blamelessness, can be regained once lost.
    javra

    Innocence and guilt make no sense to me at all. I think when we refer to a child's innocence, we are really referring to her purity and uncluttered experiences. Free of guilt, yes, but what is guilt as a working ethical concept (not as, say, a psychological concept, about feelings of remorse, resentment, etc.)? The kind of freedom to make this meaningful is impossible. When one stands on the precipice of future events, and chooses, this cannot be done ex nihilo. Contextual possibilities are finite and unique to that one. How is he responsible for, say, not living in a world that provides a conscience? If I were not given a conscience, what would I do?
    At any rate, this forgetting of the understandings gained: Quite an idea. This, it might be argued, requires faith. There must be something that overrides the knowledge of our, if you will, thrownness into a knowledge of the world's miseries. Faith that all is redeemed in the end, somehow. That is why we have concepts of God: an ethical finality for the Good.
    I would agree with you if only it is allowed a metaphysics that redeems. Otherwise, it seems disingenuous.
  • Astrophel
    72
    Struggling to wrap my head around this, how does non- locality figure into the processing of subject and object on an individual level? I understand that there is no separation between the world and consciousness, for to take away either, then the other ceases to be. Bare with me, perhaps I need read the thread more closely.boagie

    Can't say I follow, Boagie. Can you elaborate?
  • Wayfarer
    14.6k
    What [Michel Henri] does is try to turn Heidegger into Kierkegaard, and I see Heidegger as having moved quite a distance beyond the latter.Joshs

    Towards what? What is the horizon which beckons?
  • hypericin
    349
    Happiness has intrinsic value. The positive valence of happiness is hardwired. That is what intrinsic value looks like.
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    Towards what? What is the horizon which beckons?Wayfarer

    There is no single horizon which beckons. Instead there is endless self-transformation, endlessly transforming horizons. The goal is to slip into the movement of sense, to avoid falling prey to stagnant themes or values. The ethic is in the fluidity of change, because this is where intimacy and meaning lies, not in any particular contentful notions of the good or the true.
  • javra
    1.5k
    Innocence and guilt make no sense to me at all. I think when we refer to a child's innocence, we are really referring to her purity and uncluttered experiences. Free of guilt, yes, but what is guilt as a working ethical concept (not as, say, a psychological concept, about feelings of remorse, resentment, etc.)?Astrophel

    I strictly mean technical culpability; else phrased, responsibility for wrongdoing for which adequate amends has not been given. As in being innocent rather than guilty of a crime. When I mentioned that newly birthed infants are birthed perfectly innocent, I intended that they're birthed perfectly free of culpability. Various peoples' perspectives differ on this, but that's my take. Still, for the spiritual/religious: karma may have brought us into this world, else the sins of our ancestors or some such, but - even when entertaining such perspectives - once here, we start off with a blank-slate of culpability. The same applies for our being existentially "thrown into the world", if this happens to be one's perspective.

    As far as "guilt as a working ethical concept" the aspiration to be ethical to me in large part translates into the aspiration to be as free as possible of non-amended wrongdoings, i.e. to be as free as possible from wrongdoings and to remedy as best one can those wrongs one is guilty/culpable of.

    Going back to what I was previously mentioning:

    Clear consciences tend to follow such ethical intents, or so I've been told. For that matter, I don't directly or indirectly know of anyone who glorifies wrongdoings while having much time for things such as (I'd like to say authentic) beauty, love, or wonder. That there might be exceptions in this and that, why not. But as a general rule, it doesn't occur. The experience of these and similar enough states of being does, however, occur in an early enough youth - which at least coincides with a time period when we have a far fewer quantity of wrongdoings by comparison to ourselves as adults: hence a time period when we had a far clearer conscience.

    But, to be frank, my basic point was, and remains, that I don't see the point to wisdom if its about misery, bitterness, self-flagellation, control-mongering, or something of this ilk. If, however, wisdom where to in part bring about eudemonia (with emphasis that eudemonia does not equate to ignorance) despite all the wrongs one has committed and which were committed by other(s) against oneself and one's loved ones, then I can find value in the ideal.

    Or maybe I should ask (to be honest, in a semi-rhetorical fashion): Why should wisdom be considered a good by a so-called "lover of wisdom"? For example, is it supposed to hold some instrumental value, such as that of allowing one far greater manipulative control over others for the sake of increased capital; else, are all the understandings that it reputedly entails supposed to hold some intrinsic value that forsakes eudemonia (i.e., being of good spirit/daemon; hence, of a healthy and flourishing mind)?
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    I refuse to discuss the rumor that my opponent is a drunk.Apophasis

    Everything and anything can be used!

    Taking an electric blanket on an expedition to the Sahara will raise eyebrows. Taking an ice-making machine to the Arctic will too.

    Use is intimately tied to cause. What's outside causality? A unicorn? Useful for keeping children occupied while you finish that long overdue project.

    Outside of mind & body - something no one's ever seen or thought of.
  • boagie
    216


    I only have a rough idea of non-locality wherein physics everything is said to be connected --or entangled. This thing, this non-locality makes sense only if you consider life in general as being plastic relative to the physical world, then the world plastic relative to the greater cosmos--- which works for me. By your definition then, does non-locality infer all things of an evolutionary nature, follow in its development in the wake of a greater reality. Whether that be the slowly-changing earth or the ever changing cosmos? Indeed, if everything is connected, locality or non-locality makes little sense.
  • Astrophel
    72
    I strictly mean technical culpability; else phrased, responsibility for wrongdoing for which adequate amends has not been given. As in being innocent rather than guilty of a crime. When I mentioned that newly birthed infants are birthed perfectly innocent, I intended that they're birthed perfectly free of culpability. Various peoples' perspectives differ on this, but that's my take. Still, for the spiritual/religious: karma may have brought us into this world, else the sins of our ancestors or some such, but - even when entertaining such perspectives - once here, we start off with a blank-slate of culpability. The same applies for our being existentially "thrown into the world", if this happens to be one's perspective.

    As far as "guilt as a working ethical concept" the aspiration to be ethical to me in large part translates into the aspiration to be as free as possible of non-amended wrongdoings, i.e. to be as free as possible from wrongdoings and to remedy as best one can those wrongs one is guilty/culpable of.
    javra

    But you see, I wonder if sense can be made at all out of guilt. What makes a person guilty? We are always led to decisions made that cause some pain to someone. Then, what is a decision? A very sticky wicket. I cannot find that pure accountability; accountability is always bound to a system of established moral thinking. And then there are those pesky motivational issues. The very best freedom to decide can be lies in the standing apart from all this and assuming a perspective tha t is not conditioned, qualified, and this is not a nonsense idea. You get in the car,, key in hand, insert it into the ignition and it won't start. Up until that point, the process was entirely inexplicit, automatic, rote and independent of any meaningful idea of freedom. And let's say you were stealing the car: at what point in the historical events that led up to the failed ignition were your actions truly free? Wasn't it all just one seamless progression and freedom never really entered into it at all? Am I "freely" typing these words, or am I altogether ignoring typing so I can put ideas out there, and when I put ideas out there, is this not the same kind of automatic engagement?

    Ever read Beckett's "Molloy". An interesting part where the dying Molloy Malone tries to grasp the moment of his being passing into oblivion, but there are only words, it is seems as if it is the WORDS that are passing, not Molloy, or was Molloy's identity only constructed of words in the first place? If one is guilty, WHO is the guilty party? There is no small amount of madness in this trying to observe one's self, and then in the observation finding only the observational structure itself. Molloy: "I must go on; I can’t go on; I must go on; I must say words as long as there are words, I must say them until they find me, until they say me . . ."

    Anyway, a bit off point, but interesting, and it illustrates just how hard it is to find the guilty agency.

    Or maybe I should ask (to be honest, in a semi-rhetorical fashion): Why should wisdom be considered a good by a so-called "lover of wisdom"? For example, is it supposed to hold some instrumental value, such as that of allowing one far greater manipulative control over others for the sake of increased capital; else, are all the understandings that it reputedly entails supposed to hold some intrinsic value that forsakes eudemonia (i.e., being of good spirit/daemon; hence, of a healthy and flourishing mind)?javra

    I think you've put your finger on it: The whole point is happiness, isn't it? Is it really, as Mill put it, better to be a philosopher dissatisfied than a pig satisfied? There is a bit of cultural condescension in this, I would think, but the idea is important. I think we would have to consider if there is anything such as profound wisdom that carries an affectivity. Emanuel Levinas speaks of the desideratum than exceeds the desire, and the ideatum that exceeds the idea. He is referring not to an intellectual apprehension, but something intuitive, a relation with the radically otherness of the world that beckons beyond to eternity.

    Something of burning bush thinking in this, as if there is in the great beyond that intrudes into our finitude and in its grandeur trivializes all else. Buddhists and Hindus talk like this.
  • Joshs
    2.5k


    Emanuel Levinas speaks of the desideratum than exceeds the desire, and the ideatum that exceeds the idea. He is referring not to an intellectual apprehension, but something intuitive, a relation with the radically otherness of the world that beckons beyond to eternity.Astrophel

    What Levinas misses is that this radical other isn’t something to be found beyond being, it is within the structure of being itself. Intention always intends beyond itself, but this not the ‘Good’ any more or less than it is the opposite of the good.

    “By making the origin of language, meaning, and difference the relation to the infinitely other, Levinas is resigned to betraying his own intentions in his philosophical discourse. But the true name of this inclination of thought to the Other, of this resigned acceptance of incoherent incoherence inspired by a truth more profound than the "logic" of philosophical discourse, transcendental horizons of language, is empiricism. The profundity of the empiricist intention must be recognized beneath the naivete of certain of its historical expressions. It is the dream of a purely heterological thought at its source. A pure thought of pure difference. Empiricism is its philosophical name, its metaphysical pretention or modesty.”(Derrida)
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    But doesn't the "difference" make indeterminate any spoken utterance at the level of the most basic analysis? I do see that undecidability is preferred if there is a purpose that contextualizes, or "totalizes" (I think that is a Heideggerian term, borrowed by Levinas) such that terms can be set and played against each other. But beneath this, there is indeterminacy, beneath all undecidability, there is indeterminacy in the full sense of the term: what is singular in thought and expression is not singular in its essential structure. Singularity "steps out" of plurality of regionalized signifiers.Astrophel

    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.
  • Astrophel
    72
    I only have a rough idea of non-locality wherein physics everything is said to be connected --or entangled. This thing, this non-locality makes sense only if you consider life in general as being plastic relative to the physical world, then the world plastic relative to the greater cosmos--- which works for me. By your definition then, does non-locality infer all things of an evolutionary nature, follow in its development in the wake of a greater reality. Whether that be the slowly-changing earth or the ever changing cosmos? Indeed, if everything is connected, locality or non-locality makes little sense.boagie

    Before talk about evolution, let's talk about the structure of a perceptual act, the apperceptive nature of the encounter, the analysis of the knowledge relationship between the observer and the world. Phenomenology is a foundational paradigm shift in understanding what it is to be a human being, not to sound too high and mighty, but that really is what it is. Locality and no locality are redefined. How so? Go online and read about Heidegger and his phenomenological exposition on space and time. Space first. This will give you entirely different questions to ask.
  • javra
    1.5k
    Ever read Beckett's "Molloy".Astrophel

    I've only enjoyed his "Waiting for Godot", and I haven't read "Molloy" - though I do like theater of the absurd in general.

    Anyway, a bit off point, but interesting, and it illustrates just how hard it is to find the guilty agency.Astrophel

    And yet at the end of the day, for one cliched example, the heartbroken individual who was cheated on by his/her lover and best friend (to not address worse occurrences) knows this to be the case quite directly, knows of both agency and of culpability as regards both self and other in concrete enough form … rather than, say, endlessly gazing into the ethereal near-nothingness of an undifferentiable cosmic process of becoming wherein no individuated agency seems to occur. Which is to say, it may be difficult to philosophically pinpoint but agency - along with its capacity to do wrongs - nonetheless is a pivotal aspect of the lives we live.

    The whole point is happiness, isn't it? Is it really, as Mill put it, better to be a philosopher dissatisfied than a pig satisfied? There is a bit of cultural condescension in this, I would think, but the idea is important. I think we would have to consider if there is anything such as profound wisdom that carries an affectivity.Astrophel

    Happiness, yes, but it can mean different things to different folks. Moreover, happiness and virtue hold no easily discernable necessary relation. The gangster who massacres others and thereby gains greater respect in the form of fear (rather than the respect that accompanies forms of sincere love), he too obtains happiness in so accomplishing. But not states of being such as that of equanimity in a tumultuous world wherein fortunes can turn on a dime. A difficult topic indeed for, in accordance with what we both previously commented on, everything we do and intend is done not just affectively but, more importantly, for some kind of affective end.

    If we seek knowledge for the sake of power-over-other (a common enough interpretation of the adage “knowledge is power”) then why is it that we seek such increased power to begin with? Only for its envisioned affective end. If we seek ignorance - as I’ve been told certain nihilists such as Cioran at times prescribed - here again it’s done for its envisioned affective end. Anything we actively intend is intended, at the end of the day, for its envisioned affective end. And this envisioned affective end can only be an intrinsic good to us – as “useless” (as some have described intrinsic value) as is our own being to our own being, and yet for whose sake everything that we engage in is done. So I uphold that so too should wisdom be intended: for its envisioned affective end.

    Rather than describing this envisioned affective end as obtained happiness, which is fickle, I’d rather describe it as the obtainment of an unperturbable bliss … one relative to which we might either get closer to or further away from; one which in part brings about the equanimity previously mentioned. And you’re right, eastern traditions maintain this ultra-end of unperturbable bliss to be found in Nirvana, or Brahman; but then so too do certain western traditions uphold the reality of its being as a telos. Sophia as the principle which, as such western traditions would have it and as I’d like to believe, guides us toward it.

    Then again, that which we envision could be mistaken. In a world of relativity there would be no objective truth to whether the envisioned affective end pursued by a mass-murder is right/correct/real and thereby obtainable or else wrong/incorrect/false and thereby a fictitious end to pursue - this in contrast to the envisioned affective end pursued by those who intend virtue as best they can. According to many a philosophical tradition, however, this is not the case: for such affirm the belief-independent reality of an envisioned affective end that is in fact real and thereby right, i.e. the correct aim. For example, the Platonic notion of "the Good".

    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.
  • Astrophel
    72
    What Levinas misses is that this radical other isn’t something to be found beyond being, it is within the structure of being itself. Intention always intends beyond itself, but this is. or the ‘Good’ any more or less than it is the opposite of the good.

    “By making the origin of language, meaning, and difference the relation to the infinitely other, Levinas is resigned to betraying his own intentions in his philosophical discourse. But the true name of this inclination of thought to the Other, of this resigned acceptance of incoherent incoherence inspired by a truth more profound than the "logic" of philosophical discourse, transcendental horizons of language, is empiricism. The profundity of the empiricist intention must be recognized beneath the naivete of certain of its historical expressions. It is the dream of a purely heterological thought at its source. A pure thought of pure difference. Empiricism is its philosophical name, its metaphysical pretention or modesty.”(Derrida)
    Joshs

    I have Violence and Metaphysics here. Let me read it and se if I understand it.
  • Tom Storm
    2.9k
    There is no single horizon which beckons. Instead there is endless self-transformation, endlessly transforming horizons. The goal is to slip into the movement of sense, to avoid falling prey to stagnant themes or values. The ethic is in the fluidity of change, because this is where intimacy and meaning lies, not in any particular contentful notions of the good or the true.Joshs

    Tantalizing. So this last line would seem to rule out idealism or is my idea of idealism handicapped by the Greeks?
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    Tantalizing. So this last line would seem to rule out idealism or is my idea of idealism handicapped by the Greeks?Tom Storm

    One could say that this line of thinking would not have been possible without German idealism.
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    In a world of relativity there would be no objective truth to whether the envisioned affective end pursued by a mass-murder is right/correct/real and thereby obtainable or else wrong/incorrect/false and thereby a fictitious end to pursue - this in contrast to the envisioned affective end pursued by those who intend virtue as best they canjavra

    In relativistic discourses, there can be subjectively generated and intersubjectively validated or invalidated goals based on pragmatic considerations.
  • javra
    1.5k
    In relativistic discourses, there can be subjectively generated and intersubjectively validated or invalidated goals based on pragmatic considerations.Joshs

    I get that, but ... Excuse me for this overused example, but it serves to illustrate why this in itself is incomplete: in relativistic discourses, is the intersubjectivity of current day neo-Nazis (maybe seeking absolute authority over all other as goal) any more right or wrong than the intersubjectivity of those antagoniztinc to neo-Nazis (maybe seeking the often derided notion of harmony among humankind, as in humanism, as goal)? Or consider the total intersubjectivity obtained by converging these two conflicting interests within a common society: does ethics boil down to a matter of "might makes right", such that regardless which faction might overtake the total intersubjectivity addressed, it would be the good faction strictly on grounds of having annulled the other faction's intents and, thereby, very being?

    Same can be asked of whether slavery is a good. To bring things into a more modernized setting: if the slavery entailed by sex trafficking is a good. In both cases, the slave would be deemed a subhuman relative to the community addressed and - much like any lesser animal - would not be considered as holding any viable capacity to pertain to the given intersubjectivity of slave-owners. If these slave-ownership intending subjects were to wipe out all subjects antagonistic to the intent of slave-ownership, would that then make slave ownership and a good thing?

    For such reasons, I associate moral relativism to "might (i.e., the successful implementation of power over other) makes (i.e., brings fourth the reality of) right (i.e., that which is ethically good)". And, personally, I can't abide by this. I'll currently leave my grounding for this to be affective.

    You may not like my interpretations of Nietzsche's will to power, but "might makes right" need not be its only interpretation: Where "power" translates into "ability to accomplish", "will to power" could, at least hypothetically, translate into "will (driving impetus) to accomplish one's one's intent(s)". In which case:

    Supposing that our intents all pivot around the affective end of an ideal imperturbable bliss (one which we'd all ideally like to obtain were it real and/or possible), and further momentarily supposing this affective end to be something akin to, say for example, a global actualization of Nirvana (or of Brahman, or of "the One"), then: Will to power would be a will to actualize this end as best one can - such that, for example, instead of implementing power-over-other (which leads to the supreme goal of cosmic autocracy) one implements things such as compassion and respect for the other's intrinsic value. The latter, in bringing us closer to the end of Nirvana or some such, wouldn't be an instant actualization of this end but, instead, would increase humanistic values amongst all, ideally in all cultures globally.

    The inconsistency to this, of course, is the Nietzsche explicitly affirmed that there is no such thing as Truth, i.e. an accord to an ultimate reality. And, in this, I disagree with him. But I don't find his "will to power" to be nonsensical.

    As off-the-wall as all this might be, maybe you can better see what I mean by an objective good: if, as multiple philosophical traditions have it, there is an ultimate reality that satisfies this envisioned affective end we all pursue in all that we think, believe, and do; then there is a real universal end/goal/telos which when pursues brings us closer to this good and which when deviated from - namely, by intending fictitious, hence incorrect, hence wrong intents - brings about bad.

    Its a very heavy, loaded, topic to address and discuss, but there you have my shpiel. If I do err, I'll err on the side of the golden rule (on the side of an impartially, else independently, real right) and against the belief that might makes - hence, produces - right (which to me is innate to relativism).
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