• I like sushi
    4.4k
    Husserl is someone whose works has only recently been unearthed. He wrote an exceptional amount much of which never saw the light of day until recently.

    What he says in his earlier works he moves away from in later works. His views are progressed and refined so taking something like Ideas as a comprehensive representation of his thoughts can be extremely misleading (and in some cases flat out wrong).

    Crisis was the last thing he wrote but he died because its completion.

    He is one of the few cases where I would say you need to read overviews of others who have done the scholarly work because it is a lifetime's work to study everything he did with any rigor. I myself have read overviews of Ideas, have read Crisis with rigor, and got halfway through Logical Investigations sometime ago (so need to restart that when I get a chance).

    I do believe Heidegger did a good job of explicating some of what Husserl was pointing at, but in general feel quite strongly that he went off in the wrong direction (likely due to the differences they had in background - one logical and science based, the other more historic and religious). That is just my opinion though. I am also suspicious that Heidegger partly lifted the vast majority of his ideas from Husserl (there is apparently evidence of this from Husserl's unpublished work predating Being & Time) and doubled down on this given the good chance that Husserl's work would be effectively wiped from history due to the political climate. It may appear that Husserl adopts some terminology from Heidegger in Crisis but (as I mentioned) there is some evidence that the opposite may well be the case for some of the terminological jargon used by Heidegger.

    In short, Heidegger leaned hard into the linguistic turn and Husserl warned about this language focus as potentially misguiding the phenomenological cause (as a science of consciousness). Husserl was very much against psychologism as was Heidegger ... somewhere though there was a quite severe disconnect between their views and Heidegger (as obtuse as he was) did a far better job of expressing his in a more tangible manner most of the time.
  • ENOAH
    731
    Understood. Interesting and helpful. I've tried others of the basics without the assistance of a scholarly explanation and know exactly what you mean. I have to re-read pages, and then go back, and still only get an idea at best. I'm slowly making my way through Cartesian Meditations, sparked by the discussion here. Where does that work place? Would you say I'm especially ill advised to read that without a scholarly hand? I can see why you would say so.

    How about first on my own, allow myself to explore parallels that might be buried by both the author and his disciples/critics, deliberately or neglegently, then see what the experts say, and, read again?

    Don't misread me. I recognize the futility of embarking down the wrong path. That's probably what you're warning against. And of claiming to speak for Husserl without having a clue. I don't say this enough because it will sound inauthentic, but under my breath almost every utterance is prefaced with, "I stand to be corrected, but...". It's just easier and faster to text as if you know. Doesn't that apply to everyone in varying degrees?

    In fairness to conventional logic, for me, that Gettier problem doesn't necessarily sway me. If a misreading of Husserl, nonetheless advances me to a reasonably justified belief, a temporary settlement in what is going to be a perpetual pursuit anyway, it's not the end of the world.

    Thank you. I appreciate the information and do recognize that you are correct and I am being reckless.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    How about first on my own, allow myself to explore parallels that might be buried by both the author and his disciples/critics, deliberately or neglegently, then see what the experts say, and, read again?ENOAH

    That is ALWAYS my approach. It does take considerably more effort though. Meaning at least read something firsthand they have done before approaching them through secondary sources.

    Nietzsche is a good example of exactly how much you can get out of self-study. I was reading Beyond Good and Evil then quickly realised I needed to read The Genealogy of Morals and then Birth of Tragedy ... then I realised I needed to read Aristotle's poetics. Only then could I fully grasp Beyond Good and Evil because I had a better understanding of where his ideas developed from and followed the direct line of thinking back to its origins.

    I very much doubt I would have gained a better understand by reading secondary sources on Beyond Good and Evil.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    If the whole affair were not entirely set against radical indeterminacy, then I would agree. Caring in a truly finite setting only has a finitude of redress, a foundation that could be spoken and laid out clearly as one would talk about the nature of a bank teller or fence post: just look in the dictionary and there it is.Constance

    A fence post has identifiable qualities that define it as a fence post. Some qualities are essential for something to function as a fence post. A post must be rigid enough to support a fence, for example. Other qualities are not essential.

    For a religion to function it must provide meaning, which it supplies with grand narratives, shared values, moral codes, etc etc. The ‘binding’ is desirable and meaningful. Transcendence, on the other hand, is not essential, and transcendence does not require religion.
  • ENOAH
    731
    Meaning at least read something firsthand they have done before approaching them through secondary sources.I like sushi

    Not only do you and I agree. But I remembered that Husserl prescribes same. Duh. What is a phenomenological (Husserlian) approach to Husserl, if not one which starts from scratch?

    "I have thereby chosen to begin in absolute
    poverty, with an absolute lack of knowledge." ---Husserl's intro to Cartesian Mediatations
  • Constance
    1.2k
    For a religion to function it must provide meaning, which it supplies with grand narratives, shared values, moral codes, etc etc. The ‘binding’ is desirable and meaningful. Transcendence, on the other hand, is not essential, and transcendence does not require religion.praxis

    Yes, religion is an institution like anything else, and it has it's utility. But one can say this of ANY institution. GM makes automobiles and UPS delivers packages. These bind, have narratives, rules, as well. The question is, what is this institution religion all about?
  • Constance
    1.2k
    H's TransEgo is not a return to organic aware-ing or conscious living (I think, though expressed in different terms, that's what he thinks he's providing a method to reach), but rather, TransEgo is an experience mediated by mind. Why? Because ego--no matter how polished up-- is still assumed the experiencer. Organic aware-ing has no agent. It is aware-ing. Not I am aware-ing; and not I am aware-ing in the third person. Rather, real organic consciousness or being is the activity of present aware-ing. Not, some imagined agent doing the aware-ing.ENOAH

    Husserl would ask you not to use the term "organic aware-ing" simply because something being organic refers us to the naturalism that one has to suspend in the reduction. The hardest part of phenomenology is making the "qualitative movement" of Kierkegaard's away from naturalistic thinking. The transcendental ego goes back to Kant and his transcendental unity of apperception. Heidegger is only partly aligned with this: The ontology of dasein is structurally "me" and mine": See Hubert Dreyfus' Being in the World, where he writes (and I will give you the long paragraph since you have real interest) under the heading Consciousness is not a Conscious Subject:

    Since, as Heidegger holds, getting the right approach is crucial, we
    must stop here to get the right approach to Dasein. "Dasein" in
    colloquial German can mean "everyday human existence," and so
    Heidegger uses the term to refer to human being. But we are not
    to think of Dasein as a conscious subject. Many interpreters make
    just this mistake. They see Heidegger as an "existential
    phenomenologist," which means to them an edifying elaboration
    of Husserl. The most famous version of this mistake is Sartre's
    brilliant but misguided reformulation of Being and Time into a
    theory of consciousness in Being and Nothingness. Other
    interpreters have followed the same line. Dagfinn F0llesdal,
    one of the best interpreters of Husserl,
    justifies his Husserlian reading ofBeingand
    Time by pointing out that while Heidegger was working on the
    book, he wrote Husserl: "The constituting subject is not nothing,
    hence it is something and has being .... The inquiry into the mode
    of being of the constituting subject is not to be evaded. "4Heidegger,
    however, warns explicitly against thinking ofDasein as a Husserlian
    meaning-giving transcendental subject:
    "One of our first tasks will
    be to prove that ifwe posit an 'I' or subject as that which is primarily
    given, we shall completely miss the phenomenal content ofDasein"
    (72) [46].


    Sartre makes a similar complaint in his famous Transcendence of the Ego, though he was defending something very different and Cartesian. Heidegger did not think a singular "primordial" ontology was possible, and this is a big part of his thinking: ontology is "equiprimoridal" meaning at the basic level of analysis, consciousness as Being qua being never shows up. Onology is about the being of beings, and this simply takes us to an examination the most basic framework of discussion, not a soul, something which would lie outside of where the reduction is able to go. Consciousness is not a phenomenon, I think puts it simply. But me and mine, these do show up as a structural; features of experience: this lamp I witness belongs to MY dasein, not yours or the postman's. There is a paper on this that Dreyfus goes after, by John Huageland, "Heidegger on Being a Person" which I have and Haugeland tries to make dasein into an institutional entity, a public gathering of collective thinking, giving no heed to the "egoic center" of experience. Haugeland draws on Heidegger's notion of das man, the world of general affairs we ARE when we speak and interact in the usual ways. His ontology asks us to rise above this "tranquilized" state of acceptance without question, but he is adamant about the original integrity of this "the they". We ARE this institutional interface in the world, and General Motors and ham and eggs for breakfast is part of the conditions of our "being there" and thus IN a constitutive analysis of our existence. I think of Hirsch's concept of cultural literacy, which conservatives love so much as it curtails cultural acceptance down to a finite body of identity features that belong to us-as-a-culture or a race, is what Heidegger had in mind when he described human dasein, and Haugeland was right about this. (One can see here why Heidegger actually had high hopes, initially, for the Nazis and the "volkism" that was circulating at that time throughout Germany. Does Being and Time promote national socialism? Yes, in a way, I think.)

    But take Husserl's reduction more seriously, I say, down to the wire where language ceases to be in control at all in the job of encompassing what lies before one as a perceiving agency. Heidegger drops the transcendent ego, and replaces it with hermeneutics (the equiprimordiality of ontology), but has he not bypassed the critical move that "affirms" thereness of what is there? This is Michel Henry's point: While Heidegger is right acknowledge that we are "always already" IN a world prior to analytic thinking, a world of "environments" of equipment or utility, that is, of just dealing---this is Heidegger's pragmatism, that ontology lies in this "irreducible" world of non analytic working things out; he is wrong in that he fails to attend to precisely where the reduction takes us: to this "Being" that is not being at all, that is, not belonging to the interpretative language event. To see this critical moment of interface, if you will, talked about at length in Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety, when one steps away from language's "taking as" structure, and, like Walt Wittman, feels the leaves of grass intimately and palpably, one sees the "other" of the world. This other that is radically and impossibly "there". Why impossible? Because it is OUT of Heidegger's being entirely. The scent of a flower is not a problem solved (a pragmatically conceived context of dealing with things) nor a cultural institution nor hermeneutically derived. Terribly difficult to argue this because it is not observable, this being-beyond-being. (I can see Wittgenstein wagging a finger of disapproval: Beyond?)

    This is why I say analytic philosophers are good at understanding arguments, but just bad at understanding the world. They refuse to plunge into the life of the world, if you will. The world is a living affair, saturated with meaning that has to be encountered as it is, and this is really what the OP is about: taking the reduction down to where the world itself "speaks" the very nature of ethicality. What IS the normativity of all ethics grounded in in the final most basic "primordiality"? Principles? Feelings? Attitudes? All of these beg the value question.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    Yes, religion is an institution like anything else, and it has it's utility. But one can say this of ANY institution. GM makes automobiles and UPS delivers packages. These bind, have narratives, rules, as well. The question is, what is this institution religion all about?Constance

    GM and UPS can brand themselves in various ways, whatever it takes to capture a segment of the market. Religion is all about branding too, just at a grand scale and backed with ultimate authority. It promises salvation but it only needs to deliver meaning.

    We don't seem to be going anywhere.
  • ENOAH
    731
    Husserl would ask you not to use the term "organic aware-ing" simply because something being organic refers us to the naturalism that one has to suspend in the reduction.Constance

    Understood. My observation is that, while thinking that the phenomenological reduction ought, also, to bracket Nature, H did not take the phenomenological reduction far enough. It is all "modes" of Mind, including the ego, and all "modes" of the ego, including a so called transcendental ego, which ought to be bracketed so that the practitioner arrives finally at the aware-ing body, not as yet another "mode" of human being for the ego to contemplate or experience, but at being: just being.

    Whether or not that aforementioned interpretation of H is even possible to execute is an open question. But I do think, notwithstanding H's language, that such being is what he was truly after. Like everyone from Plato to Descaryes, to Heidegger, he stopped just short of transcending Mind, because of attachment to ego.


    the "qualitative movement" of Kierkegaard's away from naturalistic thinking.Constance
    Isn't SK's infinite resignation, ultimately acceptance that ego and its attachments are not the ulrimate; that ego has no means of grasping the ultimate; and, his leap and teleological suspensions, like N, H, H and S to follow, prescribed methods to "transcend" that ultimately incapable ego, for [a more authentic way of] being [one with God (for SK) or Truth (TE for H1, Dasein for H2, Good faith for S)? Yes, I am over generalizing their processes and methods. But even if unwittingly, they are all recognizing human perception is mediated, desire constructed; we need a means to return to unmediated sensation and organic drives?
    But we are not
    to think of Dasein as a conscious subject
    Constance
    . Right. Because a conscious subject is still Mind and its mistaken being, the ego. But real being is not. Yet, H2 goes on to describe some complex construction more burdened by ego and its constructions than what preceded him. This I submi
    4Heidegger,
    however, warns explicitly against thinking ofDasein as a Husserlian
    meaning-giving transcendental subjec
    Constance
    And so H2 recognized the "problem" H1 encounters when he imbues the ego with a residual reality after shaving off most of its Fiction by way of the brilliant Transcendental Phenomenology. H2 acts as if he hasn't done the same. But as long as Dasein has "qualities" we can "know" it is "away from" Truth and Reality.

    We ARE this institutional interface in the world, and General Motors and ham and eggs for breakfast is part of the conditions of our "being there" and thus IN a constitutive analysis of our existence. I think of Hirsch's concept of cultural literacy, which conservatives love so much as it curtails cultural acceptance down to a finite body of identity features that belong to us-as-a-culture or a race, is what Heidegger had in mind when he described human dasein, and Haugeland was right about thisConstance
    I should be reiterating this incessantly, but especially now. I did read Being and Time, once, slowly. A wealth of tools it added to my mind's locus in History. But I am so far from being able to understand him, that I should just re-read and reserve comment.

    However, Heidegger's seems an excellent "ology" of how [the constructions and projections of] Mind and its autonomous processes function. And that both on the local level of individual minds (psychology) and universal mind, history or culture (sociology). Yes, he is more ontological in approach but he's right, a primordial ontology cannot be made, because, being pri.ordial, it pre-exists both maker and making. So his is a restructuring for the purposes of projection into the world, of the deepest structures of Signifiers and their dynamics and there function. But they are still signifiers about signifiers. Good as it is.

    take Husserl's reduction more seriously, I say, down to the wire where language ceases to be in control at all in the job of encompassing what lies before one as a perceiving agency.Constance

    Where language ceases, and yet he clings to a very feature of language, the Subject, then purports it to be outside of language. I say he really means the aware-ing our body has of its sensations, drives, bonding, and movements, and tge feelings associated with each unbound by language. That being is necessarily no ego, no lingering objects, no relationship thereto qua objects; transcendental or otherwise.

    I am grateful that you already forgive my misuse of terms which is beyond the understandably (pedantic?) orthodox approach, and even places you at potential ridicule for being open. So I apologize for persistently responding not with total agreement but rather agreement with modifications. Believe me, I am being highly moved by your input. I hope that provides some gratification for your honorable efforts.

    Please feel free to move on, although I welcome your further input.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    GM and UPS can brand themselves in various ways, whatever it takes to capture a segment of the market. Religion is all about branding too, just at a grand scale and backed with ultimate authority. It promises salvation but it only needs to deliver meaning.

    We don't seem to be going anywhere.
    praxis

    I think it is going splendidly. An argument is a conversation. So religion promises salvation. But I am curious, salvation from what? Do people think they need to be "saved" from something?
  • praxis
    6.2k
    Do people think they need to be "saved" from something?Constance

    We want to be saved from our suffering, don't we?
  • ENOAH
    731


    In the 30s (of CM) H recognizes that precondition for perceiving objects is data input. I had to learn what an apple is. Now I see a "apple" unified as perception in one ego. Good.
    But what he didnt carry far enough is that therefore any intellectual exercise whose aim it is to grasp the bare truth, cannot, because it involves the mind, which is already preconditioning the process.

    I think without Mind in the human form, the necessary relationship that the human animal has with say, an apple, to unify it and or separate it for that animal as food, is the pre-existent condition which allows us to visually sense, in the real world, as a real "thing" that fruit, and to eat it (rather than experience it as a blob of atoms say, or an undifferentiated oneness with the observer).

    Both the body and the apple are real, sensor and sensed, but that I even need to explain and understand it that way, and all of the endless concommitant Narratives that flow out of that, from biology, to gravity, to botany, nutrition, Adam, Shakespeare, and Johnny Appleseed, are all layers of constructed representations of that real, unspeakable sensation.

    It is similar for the body as an object sensed (what we call ourselves). What it really is is its drives sensations bonds feelings movements, but that I even need to explain and understand it that way, and all of the endless concommitant Narratives that flow out of that, like, desire, emotions, neuroses, and now, an ego to unify and structure those as belonging to the body, yet they are all just layers of constructed representations of that real, unspeakable body being.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    Not necessarily.

    See Nozick's thought experiment involving The Experience Machine.

    It was created as an argument against hedonism but does reveal enough to show the importance of experiencing reality (with its suffering) over pleasurable experiences that are disconnected from reality.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    We want to be saved from our suffering, don't we?praxis

    Sure. But then the whole matter turns on suffering and the ethical/aesthetic dimension of our existence. This is in the OP. GM solves fairly straight forward problems, hires a legion of engineers and product designers, and so on. But religion reaches into metaphysics because the relief sought here is not IN our existence; it IS our existence. You are right, of course, about the narratives and rituals that bind people together, but, as with GM, there is this underlying condition, a need, that is being addressed that itself is NOT part of the pragmatic apparatus that responds to this, but is PRIOR to this. For GM it is a practical matter entirely. For religion it is existential, and this requires inquiry to move into an existential analysis, not merely a practical one.

    So then, what is the existential analysis of suffering? Suffering, pleasure, misery and happiness and all of the entangled nuances of our ethical and aesthetic affairs fall under the general category of value. Religion's essence then is determined by what we can say about value-in-being, or the "pure reduced phenomenon" of value, which simply means we are not looking at the many contingencies that complicate instantiations of value that occur all the time. Value is going to be an apriori analysis into the universality and apodicticity of value-in-the world.

    Thus far, does this make sense to you?
  • praxis
    6.2k
    For religion it is existential, and this requires inquiry to move into an existential analysis, not merely a practical one.Constance

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that religions tend to be dogmatic and not very open to analysis. It’s dogmatic for essentially the same reason that GM is dogmatic in its branding.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    I’m sure you’ve noticed that religions tend to be dogmatic and not very open to analysis.praxis

    The whole point here is to give analysis to that which popular religions are dogmatic about. To look beneath all those churchy fetishes. What is a fetish? It is a practice, and object, anything, really, that is parasitic on an original source of value, and they can completely dominate to the point where the original gets lost in the entanglement. What is religion beneath all of that all of that historical contrivance and bad metaphysics? Something truly primordial, like logic is primordial to thought.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    What is religion beneath all of that all of that historical contrivance and bad metaphysics? Something truly primordial, like logic is primordial to thought.Constance

    If religion is “bad metaphysics” and such, then isn’t it a step away from what you claim is the primordial beneath it?

    Is the essence of a car the materials it’s composed of or the function is serves, namely locomotion.
  • ENOAH
    731
    We want to be saved from our attachment to human-only constructions where we think in terms of suffering/not suffering. Though the myth, ritual, dogma have evolved their roles, the essence of religion was a "mechanism" whereby we might "transcend" the world of super-imposed difference (good and bad, this and that) to "remember" or "realize" that we are whole, "holy."
  • praxis
    6.2k


    You say "... the essence of religion was...". Is it no longer the essence, or was realizing the whole not religion before? In any case, religion isn't needed to realize the whole, and it's not essential for religion to facilitate realizing the whole. I would argue that religion is anti-enlightenment in nature because enlightenment leads to independence. Moral development leads to independence so that is also opposed to the essence of religion.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    If religion is “bad metaphysics” and such, then isn’t it a step away from what you claim is the primordial beneath it?

    Is the essence of a car the materials it’s composed of or the function is serves, namely locomotion.
    praxis

    Well, you're not going to like this answer, but the question about the essence of something doesn't belong to anglo american analytic philosophy, something most here associate with (whether they know it or not). Rather, it is a concern of continental philosophy which deals with metaphysics, and the whole affair of philosophy's place in the world is very differently determined. So, having prepared you, Since religion IS metaphysics, the thematic interests are limited. But take the car you mention: many ways you can look at this, that is, many contexts that can be the frame of talk about the "essence" of a car. Is it merely locomotion? Or entertainment? Or purely practical? Perhaps what a car IS refers to its mechanical working parts. Perhaps a context of human evolution, a car among the most contemporary expressions of survival and reproduction; or the way a car is an extension of the body's own working parts (like Marshall McLuhan put it). One can go on all day, I suppose. But the essence of a car is so bound to our cultural, scientific entanglements in the world, it is hard to abstract from these to something truly primordial about a car being what it is. It is "equiprimoridal" in its essence. It is an odd sounding word, but I think the idea rather clear. All of our cultural institutions are like this. What is the essence of, say, marriage? Or science? A library? A restaurant? Anything you can name sustains multiple candidates.

    What would it be like for something to have its essence in a singular primordiality? I am arguing that religion is like this. This is the primordiality of value. One really should read a bit from Wittgenstein's Tractatus to see where this argument has its basis (though, God forbid HE discuss it. Witt wanted nothing to do with the way philosophy mangled and distorted something so important). Ethics deals with the GOOD, and alas, the BAD, in capital letters to steer clear from the contingent good and bad, like a good chair or bad gps reception.

    What IS the metaethical "good and bad"? It is far stranger than people know, for attention is not on the entanglements of the world. ONLY the pure phenomenon. What does this mean? Why did Wittgenstein call the good divinity? And not to be found in the "states of affairs" of the world? Most have there eyes closed to this question. It is a metaethical question, this primordiality, this that "stands as its own presupposition."

    Like epistemology, one has to, well, stare at this problem to understand it, what Heidegger called meditative thinking. It's peculiar nature lies in it NOT being discursively constructed. One is asked to literally stand before the world and describe what is "there". That's phenomenology.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    It is "equiprimoridal" in its essence. It is an odd sounding word, but I think the idea rather clear. All of our cultural institutions are like this. What is the essence of, say, marriage? Or science? A library? A restaurant? Anything you can name sustains multiple candidates.

    What would it be like for something to have its essence in a singular primordiality? I am arguing that religion is like this. This is the primordiality of value.
    Constance

    I don’t recall much about it but years ago I read something to the effect that the death of religion is due to the categorization of value. Your one candidate became many.
  • ENOAH
    731
    You say "... the essence of religion was...".praxis

    Unintentionally.

    In any case, religion isn't needed to realize the whole, and it's not essential for religion to facilitate realizing the wholepraxis

    How then? If we are even thinking of approximately the same thing, not regarding the "whole" so much, but in what we mean by "realizing"? Since you appear to dismiss the moral approach to realizing the whole (and I agree). And you dismiss the religious approach (with which I also agree) and seem to couple it with the "essence of religion" in your dismissal; then how? By reason? By something Cartesian-like? Im interested in your idea, but even if you didnt mean reason, may as well address it.

    How can reason, a product and instrument of, and necessitated by, the "emergence" of difference, take you beyond difference? Reason trades in difference; the essence we are after is a "return" to a natural wholeness.

    You're right that religion can't help; it's worse than the best philosophical methods, but the essence of religion is, to my current belief, exactly that. It's the final necessary turn away from all particulars, even reason, and a return (not transcendance) to natural reality (for the conventionally religious, a return to God or God's creation; for me a return to organic nature).

    Reason keeps the being attuned to the becomings; because reason is no less constructed and projected. It is only by humbly (only because it requires/involves disregarding the subject) returning to being that we can realize our wholeness undisplaced by the veil of the multiform particulars.


    it's not essential for religion to facilitate realizing the whole. I would argue that religion is anti-enlightenment in nature because enlightenment leads to independence.praxis

    I'm not sure enlightenment leads to independence. How? While I await, I'll mention, I think it's almost the opposite. Attachment to ego and other differences creates a strong incentive to treat one's body as the one and only end. While realization that reality is in the living being and not the ego and its desires; that the latter are not activities on behalf of the body, but rather, a desire for attention, for the Subject to be heard by and influence others, then although the subjects voice can never be silenced, it's narrative will shift naturally to the organism and the species. The cacophony of "me" will be curbed and that is the essence of religion.

    Philosophy cannot as effectively silence the ego. Descartes provides an example; Husserl too; and probably Heidegger. And these were the ones whose aim it was to get down to the most real unconstructed version of a human being.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Understood. My observation is that, while thinking that the phenomenological reduction ought, also, to bracket Nature, H did not take the phenomenological reduction far enough. It is all "modes" of Mind, including the ego, and all "modes" of the ego, including a so called transcendental ego, which ought to be bracketed so that the practitioner arrives finally at the aware-ing body, not as yet another "mode" of human being for the ego to contemplate or experience, but at being: just being.

    Whether or not that aforementioned interpretation of H is even possible to execute is an open question. But I do think, notwithstanding H's language, that such being is what he was truly after. Like everyone from Plato to Descaryes, to Heidegger, he stopped just short of transcending Mind, because of attachment to ego.
    ENOAH

    This I think is where disclosure of being becomes radical and impossible, the impossible is what you have in mind, and I don't mean this in a critical way, but in a way that reveals the true nature of the problem. Heidegger is always there wagging a finger of disapproval: even in your most profound intimation of being freed by the method of bracketing, and one understands freedom and being outside the totality language and culture, one cannot reduce agency to that of an infant or a feral adult: what might they be able to "think" of their "being" intimations. Frankly, they would not only not think about them, but they would not have such intimations. Even Thic Quan Duc's masterful freedom from physicality, REQUIRES language to manifest this freedom in the understanding. Every possibility of experience for a person (dasein), because it is an experience, is going to have to go through Heidegger's thoughts about this: We are never free from language in understanding something. Rather, language MAKES freedom possible because words are inherently open. Bracketing occurs within the broader scheme of language possibilities, and philosophy itself is a discursive disclosure of the world. It always comes back to this: as outside of the meaning possibilities as an insight might seem to be, it occurs not only within a context of thought, but is made possible by the context of thought.

    I am only disagreeing with the idea that the no holds barred reduction cannot and should not be conceived as free of language. One IS language. Does this mean that we thereby confine disclosure to the Totality of finite culture and its language possiblities? Of course not, firstly because language is intrinsically open. But it really DOES depend on the thinker/experiencer: Some stand in this openness, like Heidegger, and really have no, well, "intimations of immortality" at all. Others have such intimations. But certain things cannot be ignored and are there for all to see, and one is that whatever intuitions one has about the world, it occurs in the understanding as thought. Thought meets the world and in this itself.

    Isn't SK's infinite resignation, ultimately acceptance that ego and its attachments are not the ulrimate; that ego has no means of grasping the ultimate; and, his leap and teleological suspensions, like N, H, H and S to follow, prescribed methods to "transcend" that ultimately incapable ego, for [a more authentic way of] being [one with God (for SK) or Truth (TE for H1, Dasein for H2, Good faith for S)? Yes, I am over generalizing their processes and methods. But even if unwittingly, they are all recognizing human perception is mediated, desire constructed; we need a means to return to unmediated sensation and organic drives?ENOAH

    I never though Kierkegaard really understood ethics because he was, as everyone during his time, preoccupied by Hegel's rationalism. To really understand K one would have to deeply into Hegel, something I have put off for a long time. K clearly held ethics in contempt, as if ethics were simply the rules we lay down. Metaethics for him is exemplified by Abraham's willingness to kill Isaac, faith so implicit and absolute, it is like breathing. But it is a commandment from God that supersedes all other "commandments" of categorical ethics. Why does K not see that the "commandment" of normal ethics itself possesses the divine commandment? This is one way to state the central idea of the OP.

    But on the other hand, remember that infinite resignation is not a description of the knight of faith. To understand K on this is not easy, for me, anyway. I have most difficutly with the absurd. See his account to the lad who in love and the love is hopeless. The absurd is to believe in it anyway. Now, this is not meant as a way to live life in ordinary affairs. It is meant to be a way to explain Abraham: It is insane, or absurd, to believe that Isaac will be spared, and yet, in K's reading, Abraham believes this implicitly! And so it is with God and faith: The idea of a perfectly redemptive God is absurd (just like the lad believing he has a chance with the princess), yet the knight of faith has no question at all. She maintains a normal life, but "inwardly" there is absolute faith.

    K puts the matter to faith. I put the matter to "observation" and philosophy: once the reduction takes us down to the existential core of ethics, the "pure" phenomenon (and to remind, there really is no such thing as this. It is discovered by the understanding in the reduction) acknowledged in the burn, the broken bone, the joy and the pleasure, and so on, we find an element of the absolute (see Wittgenstein's Lecture on Ethics. It's online).
  • Constance
    1.2k
    I don’t recall much about it but years ago I read something to the effect that the death of religion is due to the categorization of value. Your one candidate became many.praxis

    It is what it is because it is an absolute. Value propositions qua value possess the same apodicticity of logic: universality and certainty. Value-in-the-world is as coercive as logical form itself. Logic, of course, is empty, an existential nullity. I mean, even if there were actually something in the world called logic, it would tell us nothing beyond the tautological nature of itself. But value is IN existence, and thus our everyday ethics, the ordinary matters of keeping promises and not acting horribly to others, and all the talk about utility and deontological duty, embodies a dimension of existence that is apodictic.

    This is exactly what God in its essence IS.
  • praxis
    6.2k


    To say that value is an absolute, and that it’s IN existence, that it’s exactly what God in its essence IS, is completely meaningless to me. If it has meaning I don’t see why you couldn’t express that meaning.
  • ENOAH
    731
    one cannot reduce agency to that of an infant or a feral adult: what might they be able to "think" of their "being" intimations. Frankly, they would not only not think about them, but they would not have such intimations.Constance

    Then Heidegger is not far from the hypothesis I currently believe, because I do not disagree.

    I'm just suggesting that Husserl admit that our inability to bring agency, or the Agent, into Reality or Being doesn't mean we arbitrarily designate the furthest edge of agency, as Being. Thats exactly the problem.

    If the Agent as TransEgo is the "purest" form of human being why can't the Agent experience "itself" without "intimations"? Why? Because there is no Agent; there is only intimations. And, not beyond, but behind or before those intimations, there is Real Being, no attributes nor expressions, just the present participle pure and simple.

    H is describing a process of the laws and dynamics of Mind. He is mistaking the grammatically necessary subject as a central being with will and authority; that which experiences. But really, there is no
    such Agent.

    That is why this discussion is relevant to the subject matter at hand. As far as H in his transcendental phenomenological reduction gets is the end of philosophy and the beginning of the need for some other mechanism to surpass intimations in order to get at this real being pure and simple. H knows it cannot be done (here, the ultimate infinite resignation). At least stop there, or intuit, as SK did, that the so-called transcendental leap (but it's not, it's a return to earth) is a "religious" movement; and neither ethical nor logical.

    REQUIRES language to manifest this freedom in the understandingConstance

    That we humans must "understand" something in order for it to be the Truth, is not something I accept. I'm not sure about Thic Quan Duc, but I would think, the hypothetical Zen master who hypothetically succeeds at executing what I'm suggesting to be the essence of religion, (that is, has a "glimpse" into being unadulterated by becoming) does not admit to any ability to manifest that experience in language. But on contrary, admits that it is necessarily not manifested. Projection is what takes the human experience out of "eternity" of presence and into the "not real" world of history or time.

    words are inherently openConstance
    Are you sure words aren't the opposite? They are the limiting adjunct we superimpose upon that which is inherently open. That's the whole problem. That's why phenomenology to begin with.

    Thought constructs the world and in the process displaces any real being with the grammar of a self.

    Why does K not see that the "commandment" of normal ethics itself possesses the divine commandment? This is one way to state the central idea of the OP.Constance

    Because "ethics"--as SK used that tool--signified the universal conventions made by humans over time. The so called human ethics of a matter are inapplicable to the Ultimate Truth. I agree with you that Ethics is ultimately metaphysics, but both ethics and metaphysics are conditional truths applying and understood within the world of constructions and projections. So called God, or ultimate reality, can not be subjected to the logic of words, nor can It be understood. It must be accessed by be-ing not by knowing. TPR is still a process of knowing.

    The absurd is to believe in it anyway.Constance

    I agree that's how SK presented his intuition--but as for H, I extrapolate on SK here and suggest that what he really meant was that access to the Ultimate (for him, Christ) is by suspending this notion of reason, logic, justified belief because the ultimate is in something utterly other than that.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    If we are even thinking of approximately the same thing, not regarding the "whole" so much, but in what we mean by "realizing"?ENOAH

    Make real. Realizing that you’re awake, for example.

    For the rest, maybe it’s enough to say that I make a distinction between religion and spirituality. You and Constance don’t seem to make that distinction. I think religion can begin with spirituality, but it can also be entirely contrived.

    Judging from your post I’d say that you’re spiritual but not religious.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    To say that value is an absolute, and that it’s IN existence, that it’s exactly what God in its essence IS, is completely meaningless to me. If it has meaning I don’t see why you couldn’t express that meaning.praxis

    I am aware. I don't think it is dialectically unachievable. It just takes the right leading questions and a willingness to follow through.

    Question: there are facts of the world, mere facts, like those found in everydayness and science. It is a fact that baseball is a game and that moths are attracted to light, and on and on. An infinite number. Putting aside the many issues about facts, how they align with the world, the nature of the knowledge relationship between a fact knowing agency and that which facts are "about" and so on, and bringing attention solely to "value facts," the kind of thing Wittgenstein insisted there was no such thing as (putting aside his complaint and allowing facts to include the value that attends the "mere" factuality. I think his definition of a fact in the Tractatus is arbitrarily narrow). All facts are value facts, simply because a fact is apprehended in a value constituting system, perception; but this we put aside as well. Later but not now, for the value facts I want to look closely at are those facts that exhibit the strongest presence of the value, simply to make the case poignant and clear.

    So the first step is to recognize that value facts are qualitatively distinct from, call them, natural facts or plain facts or "states of affairs". An explicit value fact would be something expressed in the proposition, "This sprained ankle is killing me," or " I'm in love," or, "This Hagen Dazs is so good!" The first question is this: what is the difference between natural facts (as Husserl called them) and value facts?
  • ENOAH
    731
    I’d say that you’re spiritual but not religiouspraxis

    Fair enough. However, to clarify, I think that I have arrived at most of my hypotheses following the reasoning of thinkers both east and west, and not following any devotion, etc. Nor are such hypotheses dualistic. In fact, I would reject a "soul" "spirit" and the "spiritual."

    But I understand your point, and that you may already have contemplated that, using "spiritual" as perhaps the "religious studies" version of metaphysics.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    what is the difference between natural facts (as Husserl called them) and value facts?Constance

    The former is supposed to be free of ethical principles, values, or goals.
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