• Chet Hawkins
    268
    I LOVE Sartre's 'bad faith'. I aim to make things HARDER, not easier. And try selling that to the least common denominator in Democracy. Socrates was right! Golden souls are needed, but Rome has to burn before it is rebuilt. The Rubicon was crossed long ago. Pillaging and raping have been proceeding apace. We are insensate now.

    Bad faith indeed. Morality must be more clearly defined and suggestions made about it. I see the core issue as being that being has become nothingness, or close to it. We are seeing how many directions of low we can tease ourselves towards. Since morality is the hardest thing there is, and objective finally, how many people are going to vote for wise things? Philosophers had best get busy. We need some new Billy Shakes (or perhaps Francis Bacon) to school these pilgrims. Thomas Becket was old wisdom.
    The Dragon of Ignorance is winning hard.
  • Chet Hawkins
    268
    Who said anyone is special? Heidegger is not making any normative claims regarding Dasein. A bird is in a unique position for seeing the entire forest. A fish is in a unique position for seeing what is at the bottom of a lake. A human is in a unique position for seeing the ontological structure of being a human. There are no awards for being pre-ontological.Arne

    YES there are! That is the metaphysical hurdle we are just beginning to come to grips with as a species. Granted a few of us have always been a bit saucy and into caviar of the spirit, wisdom. But these days the love of wisdom is being translated into 'My self-indulgent grift for the unwary'
  • Arne
    815
    YES there are! That is the metaphysical hurdle we are just beginning to come to grips with as a species. Granted a few of us have always been a bit saucy and into caviar of the spirit, wisdom. But these days the love of wisdom is being translated into 'My self-indulgent grift for the unwary'Chet Hawkins

    As true as all of that may be, it is important to keep in mind that those are your claims and not Heidegger's.
  • Chet Hawkins
    268
    As true as all of that may be, it is important to keep in mind that those are your claims and not Heidegger's.Arne
    Why say that? I am not pretending to be Heidegger. That's a very confusing reply.
  • Arne
    815
    Why say that? I am not pretending to be Heidegger. That's a very confusing reply.Chet Hawkins

    Being-in-the-world is a fundamental state, not a social status. It doesn't make anybody special.
  • Chet Hawkins
    268
    Being-in-the-world is a fundamental state, not a social status. It doesn't make anybody special.Arne

    Although I agree, as I understand it, that has no bearing on our conversation. I was the one claiming that no exalted scenario was implied. The reason I wrote that is because it seemed to me you implied that Dasein was reserved for humans, which is indeed a deluded state, status, social, empirical, ... whatever. If that is Heidegger's assertion, I would deny it, and much of what we seemed to agree upon previously (as I understood it) would mean that you were then agreeing that his tack was slightly wrong.

    Also, social status is fundamental as well. It is composed of the SAME seed evolved to the social state as we call it. But atoms then have a social state as well and that is the SAME fundamental thing as ours is. We like to 'put on airs' as if we are different. We do have more moral agency only, but all of t hat complexity is grounded only in the same thing, natural law. There is no escape from law. It's the law.

    That kind of underscores my point. Nothing is not fundamental. The concept of fundamental is in error. Everything is fundamental. When you suggest that something is not by saying that something specific is, you are breaking with truth. You are separating instead of integrating. This is a big part of the problem of choice. We can and do delude ourselves. The real challenge to to get to the heart of why, to uncover that ubiquitous fundamental nature of all, of belonging. Accepting on a deeper level means not going on about the separation in any way.

    This may be 'full of sound and fury signifying nothing', but I believe, as mentioned, we are going to have to do better with a new tier of philosophy to make progress. We seem to be in a massive eddy, a backwater buildup of a jam. Everything must change all at once. That is what integration means. We can't just get 1 or 3 or 6 things right. It has to be all of whatever there are for virtues. So, we need to detail the essence of wisdom, and it has to gel right back down to the start of 'time' and such. Natural law only is allowed. No distracting and tempting delusions. But hey, what do I know? (Nothing, because knowing is impossible) But belief is critical to wisdom and I do believe a lot!
  • Corvus
    3k
    Where Kierkegaard intersects with existentialist themes is about man's relationship to God rather than about God.fdrake
    How is the relationship God possible, if God is unknown? Does K defines what God is?

    when K. writes man he definitely means men rather unfortunately.fdrake
    Why "unfortunately"?
  • frank
    14.6k
    I agree that the distinction between the role I'm playing and who I am is very important here. But I don't think it was specifically based on existentialism, though it's more than likely that Hannah Arendt would have discussed it in her writing on Eichmann's trial.Ludwig V

    I don't think existentialism is the source either. I'm speculating that it was part of the times some how. Kierkegaard's generation included Abraham Lincoln, who was driven by the same idea: that freedom is found in grasping that you're more than the role you're playing. There's also a similarity between Lincoln's beliefs and what Kierkegaard expresses in Repetition. Maybe it was an odd coincidence, or maybe existentialism is coming from some aspect of a shared cultural story arc.
  • Arne
    815
    you implied that Dasein was reserved for humansChet Hawkins

    I made no such implication. Instead, I did and do assert that Heidegger is better situated to describe the fundamental ontological structure of a human than of a fish. It matters not to Heidegger if fish turn out to have the same fundamental ontological structure as human. But how would he know? He doesn't experience being as a fish.

    Dasein is the term given to any and all beings having the characteristics of Dasein. Being a Dasein is not a social status among biological organisms and it comes with no entitlements.
  • Ludwig V
    945

    It's very odd. There seems to be a lot of activity around this topic now.

    You may be right that it was just something that was in the air at the time.

    I tracked the idea of role theory in sociology back to George Herbert Mead - Wikipedia. Nothing earlier.
  • frank
    14.6k
    Ha! He was a proto-Heidegger.
  • Chet Hawkins
    268
    you implied that Dasein was reserved for humans
    — Chet Hawkins

    I made no such implication. Instead, I did and do assert that Heidegger is better situated to describe the fundamental ontological structure of a human than of a fish. It matters not to Heidegger if fish turn out to have the same fundamental ontological structure as human. But how would he know? He doesn't experience being as a fish.

    Dasein is the term given to any and all beings having the characteristics of Dasein. Being a Dasein is not a social status among biological organisms and it comes with no entitlements.
    Arne
    'Better situated' is perhaps a sobering but ultimately timid term to describe agency, the burden of experience. It may be more true than not, but it plays games with truth, rather than addressing truth head-on. Either way, fallibility means mistakes will be made. So, better by far to face the truth with equal measures of courage and analysis. That is to say: As far as we know from this 'situation' we are the best equipped to make any description of ... anything, including the fundamental ontological structure of a fish, and quite to the point INSTEAD OF that fish making the same effort. To mention the fact that we are not ACTUALLY fish is rather silly, even if it is of passing interest as a point of note, mostly to tame conceit.

    But wholesale abandonment of the perspectives of other entities than humans would be nothing short of rank cowardice, an absurd departure from any hope of commonality and unity. That perspective almost is in tacit denial of the oneness of all things, a concept much more reasonable than this implied separation ever can be.

    'So long and thanks for all the fish!'

    We CORRECTLY anthropomorphize the universe. Each atom is alive is my belief. The SAME seeds that formed us formed the fish, and the dolphins, and the ostensible Vogons who need to destroy Earth (Hitchhiker's Guide). To become enamored of separation, rather than unity, is a moral error of a sort. It is a tendency of one emotion only, fear, the seed of all order, thought, reason, structure, and logic.

    The reason I asserted that you implied Daesin was reserved for humans is that again in your response you indicate that Daesin is the term given to beings that have the characteristics of Daesin. That is a ridiculous point of view and precisely wrong for the reasons I already intimated. But to go further: The Oxford Academic:
    Dasein is essentially in the world, because it continually interprets and engages with other entities and the contexts in which they lie. Only Dasein makes the world a unitary world at all, rather than a collection of entities. Dasein is the whole human being, and makes no distinction between body and mind.

    So, even this much vaunted definition (I assume Oxford is acceptable) directs this concept to human only, effectively. And humorously although I was only vaguely remembering the term, it specifically commits the exact sin I described in its definition. It actually implies that humans are LESS aware and LESS moral because of the foolishness of something that is apparently valued in some way by the inventor of this nonsense, Daesin, ostensibly Heidegger. That is to say whoever came up with this idea had an obtuse pride in the separate facilities of a human being. What a strange thing (facetious) coming from an entity that just so happens to be human! And then the perversity is that from this separating and unaware viewpoint the arrogance then also decides that humans or Daesin 'makes the world a unity world'. No! The world was ALREADY unitary and that include the fish, the tree, every atom. ALL OF THEM continually interpret and engage with other entities and the contexts in which they lie. Now if you wish to start speaking properly, in terms of strength of that agency, the depth and complexity of it, without putting on airs and drawing lines where there are none, then I am down for that.

    I also disagree in part with the 'no distinction between body and mind' bit. Then why do we suffer the persistent delusion that there is an essence break there? I can agree that all the universe is composed of parts that together make a whole. I can agree that all elements of that whole are unified by their submission to natural law. Precisely none break the rules. Fish, tree, and human, all are Daesin, just to greater or lesser degrees. The universe is alive. We live because it (the universe) did first. We are not separate or special except as a matter of degree of these characteristics. They are not again wholly reserved to us. And indeed the Oxford definition (and you whether you agree or not) imply that there is some special status to humanity in these assertions.

    The distinction between body and mind is clear. Even today's humans are unable to assess this clarity properly though so it's too profound, too beautiful, to see or accept head-on. It surely scares the analytical types. But they, the analytical types are 'of the mind' or 'more given to order'. All order is based only finally in its pure essence from the universal part we call fear. That is why this cowardice is seen over and over again in logical and empirical and reductionist analysis. Fear is the limiting force in the universe, the only one. The mind is the realm of fear. But its purity is not real, only delusional. The universe has three main parts.

    The body issue involves another part. That part is anger. Anger demands that our fears at least recede so that its analysis paralysis can be converted into being. So, there is most certainly and observably a
    distinction between body and mind. Yet they are ALWAYS found unified because that to is the nature of reality.

    I do not want to derail (entirely), but, for completeness the universe only has one more part besides fear and anger, or building block, if you will. That is desire. Desire is the fuel for the engine. It is chaos, energy. And just like anger, desire is properly balanced with fear in all things. Nature has or tends to this balance as a law.

    So that is my model's EXTREMELY basic refutation of Daesin, ... unless ... Daesin is said to belong to every particle in the universe. The nonsensical application of any basic moral function, choice, to ONLY humans is one of the greatest errors of philosophy of all time, if not the greatest. Is is a hopeless conceit finally, born of delusional worthiness, rooted entirely in happenstance. So much for the glory of Daesin.
  • Ludwig V
    945


    I wouldn't know about that. The Wikipedia article doesn't mention Heidegger.

    But he does seem to have had some views that are vaguely reminiscent of him - and that are interesting for this thread (first tenet):-

    Pragmatism is a wide-ranging philosophical position from which several aspects of Mead's influences can be identified into four main tenets:
    1 True reality does not exist "out there" in the real world, it "is actively created as we act in and toward the world".
    2 People remember and base their knowledge of the world on what has been useful to them and are likely to alter what no longer "works".
    3 People define the social and physical "objects" they encounter in the world according to their use for them.
    4 If we want to understand actors, we must base that understanding on what people actually do.
    I wish pragmatists would find something less narrow-minded than "useful". This is also of interest:-
    Three of these ideas are critical to symbolic interactionism:
    1 the focus on the interaction between the actor and the world;
    2 a view of both the actor and the world as dynamic processes and not static structures; and
    3 the actor's ability to interpret the social world.
  • frank
    14.6k
    I wish pragmatists would find something less narrow-minded than "useful".Ludwig V

    Why does it strike you as narrow minded?
  • Ludwig V
    945
    Why does it strike you as narrow minded?frank

    Because it doesn't recognize the complexity and variety of the things that we do.

    Compare the Watsonian behaviourists who analyzed everything that we do into stimulus and response. It has a sort of rough and ready plausibility, but it doesn't get near to analyzing what people do. Skinner improved things because he added the idea that conditioning starts with spontaneous actions. Still it doesn't get near to understanding because we do some things for a purpose.

    The utilitarians are so called because the first formulations of the theory proposed the we should maximize utility. Now, they talk about benefit because they had to recognize that not everything that we value is "useful". That is better, but still not comprehensive enough.

    Aristotle was the first to recognize the hierarchy of action and purpose. I put down my book in order to get up from the chair in order to walk to the kitchen in order to open the fridge door, in order to get out a beer, in order to open it in order to drink it. At the end of the chain, there must be, Aristotle says, something that is done "for its own sake" and not "for the sake of something else". It's far from perfect, but something like it is clearly correct.

    Sometimes people go for a walk for pleasure and specifically not for any purpose (useful). Hedonists and Epicureans say that we do everything for pleasure. The pleasure is not necessarily anything we do in addition to the walking as when we walk and talk; but often the pleasure is the walking. Is pleasure useful? What for? But pleasure is too narrow to capture all the things we do "for their own sake" unless you stretch it to include all the really important things in life, which are done for their own sake.

    That Wikipedia article has a nice example of the confusions here:-
    Mead theorized that human beings begin their understanding of the social world through "play" and "game". Play comes first in the child's development. The child takes different roles that he/she observes in "adult" society, and plays them out to gain an understanding of the different social roles. For instance, a child may first play the role of police officer and then the role of thief while playing "Cops and Robbers", and play the roles of doctor and patient when playing "Doctor". As a result of such play, the child learns to become both subject and object and begins to become able to build a self. However, it is a limited self, because the child can only take the role of distinct and separate others; they still lack a more general and organized sense of themselves.
    There is no distinction drawn here between the child's motivation and the result of the child's behaviour. No child ever plays in order to "learn to become both subject and object" even though that's the result of the play and evolution no doubt exploits that result. Some people seem completely unable to recognize that anything can be without purpose, so we get long explanations about art and morality (and even science) that seek to reduce them to something "useful".

    I hope that helps.
  • frank
    14.6k

    I agree that it can be overdone, as if use is some sort of holy grail. Obviously the concept of use is dependent on its negation: the useless, like the sight of a beautiful sky while you're busting rocks.
  • fdrake
    5.9k
    @Corvus

    How is the relationship God possible, if God is unknown? Does K defines what God is?

    Just purely logically - and this isn't my interpretation of K speaking this is me. A relationship to a God is possible even if it is unknown. Like a relationship to pollen in the air is possible and unknown, until you notice the hay fever.

    As for K, I'm sure he'd see this as the wrong question. "If God is unknown" - this construes the principal flavour of relation one could have toward as God as epistemic. Like if you don't know something exists, how could you relate to it. That's troubled for two reasons.

    The first is that we aren't cognisant of most things we take for granted in our environments and, moreover, our lives - this is also a broader existentialist theme. That you take a lot of stuff for granted, that you're born into that state, and have to take responsibility for who you are in the mess regardless.

    The second is that, for K, he has a critique of reason anyway. You can be reasonable and in a state of complete stasis, doing nothing. But in that state you're committed to some things anyway. You're not gonna question how reasonable your reason is - how could you, it's a performative contradiction! It's something that you've posited as a value, something to live your life by. "The unexamined life is not worth living" style of thing... But you can live an examined life by positing other premises for it. Like a God. Even if there's no fundamental reason for believing in a God over and above anything else. Another existentialist theme - the absurd.

    There's absolutely contradictions in that account. But K also has a funny relationship with contradictions, he sees these contradictions - between reason for belief and self creation, the irrelevance of knowledge of God and practical service to Him in your life - as essential to the human condition. So for him, the weird shit you're seeing (rightly) in this space of beliefs isn't an error in his reasoning, it's also something he's describing accurately.

    So what're you going to do with this absurd reality? K. believes.

    I do think that he consoles himself with the theology of the soul and bible stories too much, which I think is an encroachment of reason into a thoroughly and proudly unreasonable philosophy (so he's less of a "knight of faith" and more of a LARPer of faith). So even he couldn't absolve himself of the need to salve his analytical capabilities from the cognitive dissonances in faith!

    But I'm sure someone could come up with a better interpretation and criticism of his work than me, too. So take this uncited pile of nonsense as what it is, an athiest waxing lyrical about faith on the internet.

    when K. writes man he definitely means men rather unfortunately.
    Why "unfortunately"?

    'cos he's sexist as hell.
  • Arne
    815
    INSTEAD OF that fish making the same effort.Chet Hawkins

    Being a Dasein is not a social status conferred upon selected biological organisms and comes with no entitlements.

    The fish is entitled to do as it may.
  • Ludwig V
    945


    Exactly. :smile:
  • Arne
    815
    Free will and choice are the only essence in existence. We make far too much of some things. But it is true that evolution drives the formation, the integration, of entities with more and more moral agency.Chet Hawkins

    I agree. The notion of essence as qualities grafted on to existence is a rationalizing of moral agency in a light we consider most favorable.
  • Arne
    815
    The notion that existence precedes essence is pop-psychology. Heidegger says our existence is our essence and Sartre misinterprets Heidegger as saying existence precedes essence and now all proceed as if if "existence precedes essence" is an existential given. It is not!

    And I suspect Nietzsche would argue that "essence" is just another version of an Apollonian value framework grafted on to being in order to sublimate manifestations of will to power in a seemingly reasonable manner.
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    The notion that existence precedes essence is pop-psychology. Heidegger says our existence is our essence and Sartre misinterprets Heidegger as saying existence precedes essence and now we all proceed as if if "existence precedes essence" is an existential given. It is not!Arne

    I've heard that claim before. I think they were both creative philosophers with very different aims, but somehow the philosophy bridged them.

    I don't think it's a misinterpretation -- at least no more a misinterpretation than what Heidegger does with Aletheia; the man got criticized for not representing the notion historically correctly, but I do remember Heidegger's name and not the critic so there's that -- I just think they were both creative philosophers with different sentiments dealing with similar themes in wildly different circumstances.

    EDIT: Though, to be fair, in my quadrivium of existentialists I pair Heidegger to Levinas, and Sartre to Camus.

    I know Simone de Beauvoir was a contemporary, too, and I haven't mentioned her.

    I do think that existentialism has something of a masculine energy to itusually.

    EDIT2: Well... things change. There's definitely feminist existential phenomenology, among other things -- but the quadrivium which sets the stage in my mind is masculine. Derrida spoke of Levinas' work as obviously written by a man (and I agree there -- there are criticisms from other angles to be had; not that the masculine is bad, but the attempt at a universal frame kind of cuts off all the non-masculine existential-phenomenologists)

    Meh... I'm not satisfied with that. There's a relationship there, but I don't have it thought out.
  • Arne
    815
    someone who is trying to understand all that is existentialismRob J Kennedy

    I don't think it's a misinterpretation -- at least no more a misinterpretation than what Heidegger does with Aletheia; the man got criticized for not representing the notion historically correctly,Moliere

    I agree that all misinterpret. But Heidegger's interpretation of Aletheia is irrelevant to whether "existence precedes essence" is a fundamental tenet of existentialism.

    And I make my argument for the sole purpose of cautioning "someone who is trying to understand all that is existentialism." Please see original OP.
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    And I make my argument for the sole purpose of cautioning "someone who is trying to understand all that is existentialism." Please see original OP.Arne

    Gotcha.

    First thoughts and all that.
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    Reading over again -- yeh. I don't believe there are any fundamental tenets of existentialism, and "existence precedes essence" is one I'd count as not being a fundamental tenet.

    I was caught up on the notion that Sartre misinterprets Heidegger.
  • Arne
    815
    I was caught up on the notion that Sartre misinterprets Heidegger.Moliere

    The idea that existence precedes essence stands on its own as does Sartre's philosophy insofar is it relies upon the idea that existence precedes essence. Whether the idea is an accurate interpretation of Heidegger is relevant only to whether the idea is fundamental to existentialism per se. And I suspect that is an issue that would interest neither Sartre nor Heidegger.
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    Mkay.

    I thought you were saying the opposite in describing Sartre as misinterpreting Heidegger here:

    The notion that existence precedes essence is pop-psychology. Heidegger says our existence is our essence and Sartre misinterprets Heidegger as saying existence precedes essence and now all proceed as if if "existence precedes essence" is an existential given. It is not!Arne

    So you're more saying "these are not fundamental" -- which I hope you see we agree on.
  • Chet Hawkins
    268
    I wish pragmatists would find something less narrow-minded than "useful".Ludwig V
    Well, ... Amen to that! Ha ha!

    And that idealists would find something more attainable than perfection. Go figure!

    What does that sound like? Balance.

    Fear is thought is order. It takes high probability short-cuts because they are USEFUL.
    Desire is passion is chaos is freedom. It demands everything especially the impossible, now, and wants to work for nothing.
    Poo (anger) just is. Being just is. People never seem to understand that each emotion also includes a sub-section where it reflects itself back on to itself. The calm of Poo is an anger infusion to anger (calm).

    Playing the who game is misdirection. Heidegger, Sartre, Kierkegaard, you , me, are all not the point. But we realize that if we are describing a philosophy finally and properly there is only one effective reference point, and that is ALL. Everything has to match or its not a philosophy. Saying or intimating that there is a philosophy of JUST parts is ridiculous on the surface of it. A similar poor choice would be that there is some temporal anomaly where truth or natural law is no longer the same. If natural law is law at all, then it must be omnipresent. That does not, of course, prevent laws working with each other in ways we yet do not understand, ... at all.

    We call things anomaly when they do not agree with laws we have 'on the books' via our own observation. But finally that conflict MUST be resolved. There can be no anomalies. So, all an anomaly is is only our own errored interpretations about what natural law is. Nothing is breaking the REAL laws of nature. So the anomaly is always our observations and beliefs.
  • Arne
    815
    So you're more saying "these are not fundamental" -- which I hope you see we agree on.Moliere

    That is correct. I was being hyperbolic with the "pop psychology" and should have said to the effect "the notion that existence precedes essence is not a fundamental tenet of existentialism". I should save the hyperbole for Facebook.
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    Oh sure.

    I could have also been more careful in reading, and so forth.
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