• praxis
    6.2k
    I would reject a "soul" "spirit" and the "spiritual."ENOAH

    I know what you mean but the term doesn't bother me. I guess that I think of it as simply resolving existential crisis. Philosophy, science, religion, and other disciplines can all help, in my experience.
  • ENOAH
    731
    I think of it as simply resolving existential crisispraxis

    Agreed
  • Constance
    1.2k
    The former is supposed to be free of ethical principles, values, or goals.praxis

    A principle in normative ethics is contrasted with ordinary pragmatic normativity, as with where one should turn the faucet knob clockwise for the water to flow, and the like. Someone like Dewey might take issue with this, but this really is not the point. All normativity is pragmatic. Anyway, pragmatics is contingent on what needs to be done, but ethics has a noncontingent property, which is what this idea is about. And if it's a matter of contingency, the factual content can be exhaustively accounted for in the mere facts that are there. The "fact" is, my shoe is untied. Examine the evidence empirically, do an analysis of the apriority of the proposition's structure if you like, even deconstruct the terms in play (attend to the "differance" in the meaning generative interdependence of words), and in the end this fact will have been exhaustively analyzed. Literally nothing left to say. This is Wittgenstein's "state of affairs," finite, delimited and exhaustible. There certainly will be more to say in some future and unseen context of meanings; perhaps physic's string theory will be a more elaborate and well founded idea, or the Higgs boson particle will be found to have other properties. Kuhn's paradigms of scientific revolutions will continue to be challenged, but in these challenges, what will ensue is yet another delimited finitude of meaning. This is the point: there is nothing "absolute" to be discovered in a "state of affairs". (If you read any Heidegger, this is his "totality" that defines the "potentiality of possibilities" in a given culture).

    But what could something "absolute" even mean? The best we can imagine lies with logic and apodicticity. Modus ponens will not be contradicted. This is formal requirement and it cannot even be imagined to do so. One CAN make claims about the historicity of language settings and say, after all, 'logic' is just a term that belongs to a language and language itself is contingent, and the "truth" language produces is "made" not discovered, (see Rorty's Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, e.g.); but the intuition (another word) "behind" the logical insistence, this is absolute. Like trying to imagine an object moving itself, impossible.

    Regarding value, here is a question: what do you think about the idea of ethics having the same apodicticity as logic?
  • praxis
    6.2k


    Everyone may agree that one plus one equals two but in ethics, for whatever reason, people's values don't always align.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    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.ENOAH

    The most curious thing I can think of. Where Husserl, and everyone for that matter, goes wrong, and this lies with ethics: even Heidegger with is Being as Care: there is this paper on Heidegger and "the ethics of care" which spells out pretty well how he really doesn't have the dimension of ethicality in his thesis. Care is all me and mine, and being with others (mitsein) the same. All thing fall with the domain of ME, and this ME is not transcendental, not Husserl's transego; it is just the description of the structure of the ontology of dasein. It goes back to Kant's transcendental unity of apperception, which, long, long story short, says see how all that I acknowledge AT ALL belongs to an egoic center. The particulars fall way in Kant's "reduction" basic logical forms, but there is IN the analysis of this structure, the structure of me and mine. This scent of flowers from the hallway is MY scent, and no one else's, and the same goes for the thoughts in my head, the feelings I have, and so on. The whole enterprise is MY world.

    When you deny agency, you are not acknowledging this basic feature of our existence. This is not to say there IS a transego at all. It is simply that IN the horizon of observable phenomena, one discovers this identity of all that is there. There is this paper by Haugeland mentioned by the Heidegger scholar Hubert Dreyfus, I may have mentioned before, that tries to make dasein into an institutional entity only. See Dreyfus' Being in the World for his refutation.

    Why do I disagree with you? This is a central question, for the entire idea here rests solely on the "phenomenon" of value-in-the-world. It is an argument:

    The question is, what if ethics were as apodictic as logic? Clearly, logic is absolutely coercive to the understanding, but it is also only vacuously coercive. Who cares if logical form insists? It carries no authority about anything, only itself. But what is it about logic that is absolute? No one can say, and we can only obey, for one cannot get "behind" the intuition of logic. It stands as its own authority. It is both absolutely coercive and stands as its own authority. Is ethics like this?

    Yes, very much. Without going into the rigor of a formal argument, just look at the basics. First, ethics has as its core, real pain and pleasure, not to put too find a point on it, and this is pervasive in our existence, making everything we experience a ethical possibility; why just stealing my time, say, has ethical consequences. Time is valuable simply because the experiential content of unit of time is inherently valuative in human experience. From the vaguely interested to extreme sports, and from mild boredom to having your liver vivisected without anesthetic, there is this "real time" good and bad in play, lost, like logic gets lost, in the matters one is attending to---but this is a reduction down to a discovery of what is structural and unnoticed in everydayness. Keep in mind that value-as-such does not exist, nor does logic, nor does it not exist. These are analytic terms about our existence, an imposition on the entangled givenness of the world. They do, however, reveal a dimension of our existence. The problem is that both logic and value is understood in the contingencies of language and, as Heidegger rightly said, language is a historical system of understanding, hermeneutical, that is, interpretative in nature, so when we go after anything, we are always already IN a language context.

    But this is where things get truly interesting. I cannot claim that logic is an absolute because the very term absolute is bound up in the merely contextual possibilities a language can provide. But there is this very real insistence of knowing an object cannot move itself, say, and while I have to suspend the acknowledged system of symbolic logic (and Kant's categories. The world of tautologies and contradictions), this insistence is not itself of this system, that is, it is not a discursively grounded "truth" that things cannot move themselves (though it is through discursivity that we discover it). So we are witnessing something "impossible" in the logically coercive "intuition". Logic is mystical, as is value. Logic says nothing about the world, where value says a great deal. It says that all of our ethical and aesthetic affairs issue from Being as a single primordiality. In the world's entanglements with "states of affairs" this primordiality goes unseen, even by Heidegger.

    But all of this rests with this primordial simplicity: Put a lighted match under your finger and observe. Ask, ontologically, what IS this? Nothing of this event is more salient than the ethical bad or the existential bad of the experience. Most philosophical arguments want to toy with the language of ethical judgments we make (see John Mackie's Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. Obviously, I both disagree and agree with this notion. Language "invents" the means of construing the world, but ethics finds its authority in something PRIOR to discovery.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Everyone may agree that one plus one equals two but in ethics, for whatever reason, people's values don't always align.praxis

    But this analysis is not about judgments people make and where they disagree. It is about the existential ground of ethics. A metaethical argument: what IS the Good? What IS the bad? of value in experience? This is what makes ethics possible and our differences have no bearing on this. We are hardwired closely the same, but softwired often very differently. I love a rainy night, another hates such things, so the case in which I am deprived of experiencing one makes for a greater ethicality than would apply to this other. But the question here is, what does it mean to "love" something AT ALL? To feel good. or miserable, pleasure or pain, etc.
  • ENOAH
    731
    this ME is not transcendental, not Husserl's transego; it is just the description of the structure of the ontology of dasein.Constance

    But how? I think H² aimed for pure being, but, to put it plainly, couldn't detach the ego. Makes perfect sense, reason, like it's particular, logic, and its universal, the rest of grammar, necessarily includes subject and predicate. Even in the first modern phenomenological reduction, there it necessarily was, I think. No your body doesn't think; your mind constructs extremely fitting signifier structures, and projects them. Descartes remained in the projection; aimed for the body, but, just as is being done here, fell short.

    Why do we all fall short? Any intellectual effort is necessarily short of Truth. Intellectual pursuits are projected constructions. From what I have gathered, I can detail the mechanics less complexly than Dasein and all of its--though H2 may deny it--categories. But we're all just making and believing what fits various malleable criteria, triggers.

    Again, H might have realized but fell short due to his locus in History, that the only access to being is by a non intellectual path, one involving the being, the Body, not in pursuit of being, but having returned its aware-ing to its being. Philosophy needs to have the courage to admit a more functional truth, even if it proposes a practice which is virtually impossible. But it cannot. So we turn to religion. . .
  • ENOAH
    731
    The question is, what if ethics were as apodictic as logic? Clearly, logic is absolutely coercive to the understanding, but it is also only vacuously coercive. Who cares if logical form insists?Constance

    Apodictic only applies within the field in which both ethics and logic sprouted. Both are "apodictic" in varying degrees. First, you use "coercive/insist" I like that. Both, when, following a dialectic, present(v) to the aware-ing being in ready-to-project form, autonomously trigger a feeling which in turn triggers a further dialectic, and so on. I know I'm vague. I'll illustrate.

    To simplify. In logic, take a statement like, "I do not exist." It triggers a habitually well tread path to whatever that bodily feeling for so called rejection is; and the next structure presents a temporary settlement which resolves the so called contradiction. Bad e.g.? So be it, hopefully you see where I'm going. Logic readily triggers feelings for immediate belief [i.e. in what the particular rule of ligic presents]. I'm not saying we're brainwashed. I'm saying there are settlements which are so functional, they lay potent triggers.

    In ethics, the dialectics are much broader, the paths not so well tread to the specific feelings to settle at belief. "Don't exaggerate your gas expense on your taxes" triggers certain feelings (so called uneasy for e.g., but we cannot label them) which trigger a broader and vague range of potential settlements, leaving an opening for a slowed down and projected dialectic. "Don't kill your partner" a much more clear path to the feeling which promptly and narrowly settles the dialectic. Like a rule of logic.

    You can go ahead and link them philosophically if that fits. E.g. that ethics is logical even. I don't know.

    Through the evolution of these structures, logic, and ethics, they generally function in these ways. That's as far as I can say. When projected; our bodies readily respond.

    Apodictic need not be something sourced in some pre-Historic Reality or Truth; it could just be a function of Mind going about its business in potent ways. In nature there would be no concern about existence nor I. And there would be nearly no moment where one would kill one's partner.

    There must be an agent for human existence, yes, because Mind has evolved the Narrative form as most prosperous, and so predicates must have subjects. But what is really taking place is that well practiced code is triggering our Being to feel in ways which trigger action, or choice, emotion, or ideas; all just more code. No longer is the human animal aware-ing the drive only to mate, bond with and preserve partner, never-mind the odd growl; it is triggered by thoughts of justice, passion, revenge. No longer is the being aware-ing living; it is triggered by ideas of a self, a special place moving in existence, rather than just existing; and obsessions ensue.


    But. Yes. Ethics is like Logic that way. Both can have immediate and positive effects upon feelings and actions. If that's apodictic.




    Put a lighted match under your finger and observe. Ask, ontologically, what IS this?Constance

    It should be, "pain-ing."

    But images structured for just such a purpose flood the aware-ing and displays ontological pain-ing with, and I won't even illustrate with the obvious few, but there may be hundreds triggering feelings, coloring the pain-ing with the making known of experience.
  • JuanZu
    120
    I wonder where your thoughts lie on the matter.Constance

    We cannot prevent our assessments from slipping into how things should be. We cannot avoid that our assessments are posed on a quasi-universality space. Society, language, culture, writing, technology, multiculturalism make our problems project beyond a singularity. "I am a slave to my own words" means that what I say is not said by me, but also by the other, and moreover, it may be said by everyone. We say how one should act in general, because it is impossible to say how one should act for myself alone and for no one else ever.

    The essence of religion consists in giving a face and a will to the universalizing influence that is exerted upon us and upon which we are deployed. It is the law with a face and a will. Hence that face and will can become anthropomorphic (God). The question is why do we give a divine face and will to the unfolding of the law? The essence of religion, it seems to me, lies in the answer to the question of why we give face, will and divinity to the quasi-universalizing (it would be better to say Exteriorizing) unfolding of our valuations.
  • ENOAH
    731
    why we give face, will and divinity to the quasi-universalizing (it would be better to say Exteriorizing) unfolding of our valuations.JuanZu

    Or...why do we anthropomorphize the essence of religion? The essence not being in the face, but in the faceless [and nameless/and indefinable] which "precedes" the face we give.
  • JuanZu
    120


    But religion would be our reaction to the deployment and imposing force of the law which constitutes us as theoreticians or followers of the law. We, consequently, in some cases, act religiously. However, such an unfolding cannot itself be religious insofar as it is the condition of possibility of religion itself.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    But how? I think H² aimed for pure being, but, to put it plainly, couldn't detach the ego. Makes perfect sense, reason, like it's particular, logic, and its universal, the rest of grammar, necessarily includes subject and predicate. Even in the first modern phenomenological reduction, there it necessarily was, I think. No your body doesn't think; your mind constructs extremely fitting signifier structures, and projects them. Descartes remained in the projection; aimed for the body, but, just as is being done here, fell short.

    Why do we all fall short? Any intellectual effort is necessarily short of Truth. Intellectual pursuits are projected constructions. From what I have gathered, I can detail the mechanics less complexly than Dasein and all of its--though H2 may deny it--categories. But we're all just making and believing what fits various malleable criteria, triggers.

    Again, H might have realized but fell short due to his locus in History, that the only access to being is by a non intellectual path, one involving the being, the Body, not in pursuit of being, but having returned its aware-ing to its being. Philosophy needs to have the courage to admit a more functional truth, even if it proposes a practice which is virtually impossible. But it cannot. So we turn to religion. . .
    ENOAH

    There is too much in this to take on. You know Heidegger was arguably the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, and his views are comprehensive. I can only give sketchy ideas where hundreds of pages are written. Heidegger explicitly rejects "pure being" as a descriptive term for dasein, human existence, that is. He doesn't use terms familiar terms like ego or consiousness (the German equivalent). H wants to start a new discussion with new terms in play, mostly Greek ones, going back to Parmenides, Heraclitus, Aristotle, and Plato, because, like Nietzsche, among other things, the intervening thought he thought distorted philosophy. Purity is replaced by "equiprimordiality". The purest you can possibly get is hermeneutics, which is the opposite of purity: The most basic things one can say about our existence is complicated, not simple and pure. Descartes was simple and pure with his cogito: a thinking substance here, and res extensa there. This is the kind of thing Heidegger argued against very early on in Being and Time. For both Husserl and Heidegger, the reduction takes one to the foundation of thought and Being. Husserl thought it took one to single primordiality, pure phenomena. For Heidegger, and he is qualifiedly right about this, this is a fool's errand.

    So he does not share you idea of Truth. There is no such thing as this impossible finality. The world is foundationally open and indeterminate. Truth is made, not discovered, Rorty says, partly influenced by Heidegger (mostly Dewey), philosophy, as you put it, has "the courage to admit a more functional truth." Pragmatists hold the same (Peirce, James, Dewey; though Peirce goes a bit too far with his "long run inquiry"). A very strong position most can't get behind. My position is he right, and the only exception in Being-in-the-world is value-in-the-world. Not that what we say about value by calling it "the Good" itself "speaks" what it is. Rather, in value experiences, value speaks "through" knowledge claims from sources unseen, and its "language" is ethics. This is, I say, exactly what religion attempts to do in its essence.

    I do get confused on some of your positions. See, I want to agree with "Any intellectual effort is necessarily short of Truth" but the line between what an intellectual effort is saying and what this "truth" is needs to be made clear. There are complications. Is truth propositional truth? Or is there a dimension of "truth" that is non propositional, and I think you agree with the latter. But again, see where this goes: You "agree" with the latter? You mean a proposition that states the latter? And when you "think" about your position, the understanding you have certainly can be of something that is not language, like being burned or put to the rack, but the what is it? question, well, language is all over this! Language tells us X is not language. The only way to make this work is to think of language, not in propositional "distance" from the world, but part of that which language is not.

    Apodictic only applies within the field in which both ethics and logic sprouted. Both are "apodictic" in varying degrees. First, you use "coercive/insist" I like that. Both, when, following a dialectic, present(v) to the aware-ing being in ready-to-project form, autonomously trigger a feeling which in turn triggers a further dialectic, and so on. I know I'm vague. I'll illustrate.ENOAH

    Okay, but there are no varying degrees of apodicticity. This is the nature of an "absolute". When you mention a "feeling" I am intrigued. See what Pierce says here:

    Doubt is an uneasy and dissatisfied state from which we struggle to free ourselves and pass into the state of belief; while the latter is a calm and satisfactory state which we do not wish to avoid......The irritation of doubt causes a struggle to attain a state of belief. I shall term this struggle inquiry,

    See how he recasts cognitive statements in terms of feelings and struggles, something more basic in the analysis. Language to Peirce has been conceived in this Cartesian tradition of res cogitans, a thinking subject and this is just wrong. His analysis is pragmatic, a "doing" such that doubt spurs one toward belief, a stasis of comfort and settledness, a cessation of struggle. Heidegger is similar in his "ready to hand" mode of dasein's being.

    Anyway, I wonder if this is what you have in mind when you talk about the "field in which both ethics and logic sprouted." Pragmatics. I think this is right, myself, but the view here goes further than this, deeper into the presuppositions
    To simplify. In logic, take a statement like, "I do not exist." It triggers a habitually well tread path to whatever that bodily feeling for so called rejection is; and the next structure presents a temporary settlement which resolves the so called contradiction. Bad e.g.? So be it, hopefully you see where I'm going. Logic readily triggers feelings for immediate belief [i.e. in what the particular rule of ligic presents]. I'm not saying we're brainwashed. I'm saying there are settlements which are so functional, they lay potent triggers.ENOAH

    And by this apodicticity of logic is like Peirce's Fixation of Belief, above; this "temporary settlement which resolves the so called contradiction." This wants to demystify language, and certainty is just a feeling of fixity that is, perhaps, hard wired, but no more. There are no eternal truths for Peirce, though he does not hesitate to say, if irrationality actually "works" for someone, he really has no ground for arguing the point, for after all, there simply is NO foundational Truth. What is true is what works!

    But I'll stop you where you say "bad, e.g.?" It is not feelings of belief, nor the rote meanings in things, nor the settled functions that we respond with. It is the qualitative presence of the pain of having your kidney speared. The world "does" this and it is impossible to interpret what is bad about it out of what it is.

    In ethics, the dialectics are much broader, the paths not so well tread to the specific feelings to settle at belief. "Don't exaggerate your gas expense on your taxes" triggers certain feelings (so called uneasy for e.g., but we cannot label them) which trigger a broader and vague range of potential settlements, leaving an opening for a slowed down and projected dialectic. "Don't kill your partner" a much more clear path to the feeling which promptly and narrowly settles the dialectic. Like a rule of logic.ENOAH

    Ethical problem solving is not the issue here. Metaethics is. A rule of ethics is an embedded phenomenon. But ask, what makes an ethical rule what it is? It "ethicality" issues from where, at the most basic level? It is not the feeling that something is wrong or right, nor is it about belief, though one does believe. It is not an epistemic issue about how beliefs are fixed. It is the simplest of all inquiries into the "pure" phenomenological presence of what makes something "bad" in the ethical/aesthetic sense (Witt conflates the two).

    You can go ahead and link them philosophically if that fits. E.g. that ethics is logical even. I don't know.ENOAH

    The idea is simpler than you suggest. A person loves Ravel, and goes to a concert and experiences aesthetic bliss. The question here is, what does this value-fact of the bliss experience yield to analysis? Just this. The prescribing Ravel, the belief that Ravel should be as a rule listened to by others, and so forth, all presuppose this most basic analysis.

    This is the way it has to be to approach something like the essence of religion and ethics. There is no claim the ethics is logical. The matter turns of apodicticity, not logical apodicticity, but that which is AS coercive as logic. What is it for something to be apodictic? It is such that one cannot even imagine something that is apodictically true, to be false. Like imagining an object moving itself. The Good of bliss is tautological, and one cannot even imagine bliss nothing being good. It is impossible.

    The argument of the OP turns on just this. Note that logic's apodicticity is vacuous; while value is just the opposite of this: value is the essence of something being important at all.

    Through the evolution of these structures, logic, and ethics, they generally function in these ways. That's as far as I can say. When projected; our bodies readily respond.ENOAH

    It doesn't matter how the body responds. All that matters is the apriori analysis of a value event. Only this.

    Apodictic need not be something sourced in some pre-Historic Reality or Truth; it could just be a function of Mind going about its business in potent ways. In nature there would be no concern about existence nor I. And there would be nearly no moment where one would kill one's partner.

    There must be an agent for human existence, yes, because Mind has evolved the Narrative form as most prosperous, and so predicates must have subjects. But what is really taking place is that well practiced code is triggering our Being to feel in ways which trigger action, or choice, emotion, or ideas; all just more code. No longer is the human animal aware-ing the drive only to mate, bond with and preserve partner, never-mind the odd growl; it is triggered by thoughts of justice, passion, revenge. No longer is the being aware-ing living; it is triggered by ideas of a self, a special place moving in existence, rather than just existing; and obsessions ensue.

    But. Yes. Ethics is like Logic that way. Both can have immediate and positive effects upon feelings and actions. If that's apodictic.
    ENOAH

    Evolution is off the table, as is any science that may have an opinion. Evolution simply presupposes the existence of value. this is about the apriori analysis of value. The mating, the bonding and the anthropology all are off the table. One has to approach value as Kant approached logic and reason: it lies here and now in midst of the analytic, ahistorical, aempirical, qualitatively contained in what is there before your waking eyes and what has to be the case given what is there. Nothing else. Heidegger's historicity is suspended.

    But images structured for just such a purpose flood the aware-ing and displays ontological pain-ing with, and I won't even illustrate with the obvious few, but there may be hundreds triggering feelings, coloring the pain-ing with the making known of experience.ENOAH

    Far simpler than this. Put a lighted match to your finger and observe like a good "scientist". What do you witness? Wittgenstein saw that there was something there too profound to be taken up into the deflationary ways of philosophy.
  • ENOAH
    731
    Generally, it's very clear to me that the liberties I'm taking far exceed my knowledge. I'm just exploring and, as I've said before, appreciate your efforts at keeping me within the boundaries.

    I'll review what you wrote for my own edification and will try to resist the seemingly irresistible.
  • ENOAH
    731
    such an unfolding cannot itself be religious insofar as it is the condition of possibility of religion itself.JuanZu

    Interesting. Maybe that's how [far] I'm taking "essence." Mabe you're suggesting the condition of possibility precedes the essence? I'll leave it to you if you wish to elaborate.
  • ENOAH
    731
    Darn. I know what I said. But I offer and seek clarifications

    .

    There are complications. Is truth propositional truth? Or is there a dimension of "truth" that is non propositional, and I think you agree with the latter. But again, see where this goes: You "agree" with the latter? You mean a proposition that states the latter? And when you "think" about your position, the understanding you have certainly can be of something that is not language, like being burned or put to the rack, but the what is it?Constance

    Exactly. I acknowledge that jungle gym we have to traverse. Here, in this human world, expressions of (among other things) truth must involve, somewhere in the history of its expression, "a proposition that states the latter."

    That's why I'm saying that while I recognize,
    1. The brilliance and complexity of Husserl and Heidegger, and
    2. My incapacity to even scratch the surface of their comprehension,
    Yet,
    they are not elucidating on any ultimate Truth about so called Eternity, or how the Universe/Reality/Godhead (if you wish), function, but only on how the human mind constructs and projects.
    The former, is utterly not propositional, not knowledge in any form. It can only be accessed by the being in its being: thought is a distraction. Mind has displaced truth with make-belief.

    I'm not suggesting these ideas are what Heidegger or Husserl are saying. I'm not saying that what I am saying is immune from the same critique. What I'm saying is, no one can say them.

    As cringe as it may sound, especially here, and I didnt plan to arrive here, but some Zen Koans have it seemingly right. Not a direct quote, modified for us:

    Novice: "Master, what is the Ultimate Truth?"

    Answer:
    [Implied preface but unspoken: "don't even ask the question; asking already prohibits truth]
    "When hungry, I eat. When tired, I rest."

    Or even better, putting it in its proper form, "hungering/eating; tiring/resting," (see, "drawing water/chopping wood"). That is for humans, ultimate truth: not what in its many forms, just is-ing. But we're in love with ourselves; and not without reason. So we cannot abandon the thinker or it's thoughts. I'm just making the observation.

    And I think the observation is only not helpful if we insist that truth is not in the human be-ing ["its organic is-ing]."


    More to clarify:
    wonder if this is what you have in mind when you talk about the "field in which both ethics and logic sprouted." Pragmatics.Constance

    Not sure re "pragmatics" but I generally relate to the Pierce quote. Anyway, why for me apodictic does appear in degrees, and what I mean by "sprouted same field," is also related to my referencing organic feeling. While laws of logic seem apodictic, you'll note some Moral Laws also come close (which is your objection, "comes close" is thus not apodictic). Think of both as ultimately a belief (I believe it absurd or un-do-able to believe "I am a married bachelor"/ I believe it "absurd" un-do-able to believe "I'm going to kill my only child"). Neither actually has anything to do with a pre-existing attribute/state/law/tendency/desire of any all encompassing reality governing the universe or my body. Both are paths stored in memory as "language" to trigger functionally fitting responses. These triggers are so well entrenched in the feedback loop from language to feelings, that they promptly "release" whatever organic feeling it is which inspires a powerful confidence in the animal which would cause it to without hesitation act. Powerful trigger in the form of language is apodictic. Most people would also "with the fervor of apodiction" never eat shit. It is the same mechanism but not so obviously organic, buried in signifiers.


    There are no eternal truths for Peirce, though he does not hesitate to say, if irrationality actually "works" for someone, he really has no ground for arguing the point, for after all, there simply is NO foundational Truth. What is true is what works!Constance

    Yes! And irrationality does work for some. Those suffering delusions (obviously, doesnt work for the rest of Mind but its "working" for that mind and we need not get intonthe reasons*); those inspired by a teleology requiring the suspension of rationality (e.g. a parent acts against reason to lift a car off a trapped child; romantic love; an individual is willing to temporarily suspend even reason in pursuit truth etc). Our minds with well tread paths to the Subject, reject any ideas--like such radical relativity--but a Phenomenological Reduction might reveal that "if it works" is what is at the root of every belief held by every mind.

    *arriving at "it works" and triggering belief, follows a dialectic which ways things to degrees like, an individual minds locus in history, its intersecting with others, input thus far, habituations, convention, past trauma, special inclinations, logic, reason, efficiency, teleology, bonds with others etc etc etc


    It is not feelings of belief, nor the rote meanings in things, nor the settled functions that we respond with. It is the qualitative presence of the pain of having your kidney speared. The world "does" this and it is impossible to interpret what is bad about it out of what it is.Constance

    This sounds like something I need to understand better. If you don't mind clarifying when you can.


    It is the simplest of all inquiries into the "pure" phenomenological presence of what makes something "bad" in the ethical/aesthetic sense (Witt conflates the two).Constance

    Same as above. I mean, what makes a stab in the kidney "bad"?

    1. The Truth is, it is neither. It is pain.

    2. It's "bad" because we have constructed well tread paths triggering that feeling which in turn triggers "bad"; sad paths arising in relation to Signifiers like,
    a) pain
    b) stabbing
    c) injuring the kidney
    d) being injured
    e) being at risk of death
    f) etc...

    Am I far from where you are going? This one has puzzled me.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    The essence of religion consists in giving a face and a will to the universalizing influence that is exerted upon us and upon which we are deployed. It is the law with a face and a will. Hence that face and will can become anthropomorphic (God). The question is why do we give a divine face and will to the unfolding of the law? The essence of religion, it seems to me, lies in the answer to the question of why we give face, will and divinity to the quasi-universalizing (it would be better to say Exteriorizing) unfolding of our valuations.JuanZu

    In a very serious way, everything around us is already anthropomorphized, but to see this, one might have to go through Kant. But the basic idea is that when I perceive anything, that which is perceived is an event and a synthesis. Seeing a tree is to "see" my perceptual contribution to the event of seeing the tree. A tree IS the thought, feelings, intuitions, and so on as well as "that over there". Epistemology and ontology come together, two sides, if you will, of the same thing.

    I have no idea what something is outside of this synthetic being I witness, and it is just bad metaphysics to even think such a thing. "The world is mystical," wrote Wittgenstein in the Tractatus. But whether it is "states of affairs" or language games, clearly metaphysics like this is foolish.

    So here we are, in a world saturated with "the human," always already anthropomorphized when we catch a bus or study geological.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    they are not elucidating on any ultimate Truth about so called Eternity, or how the Universe/Reality/Godhead (if you wish), function, but only on how the human mind constructs and projects.
    The former, is utterly not propositional, not knowledge in any form. It can only be accessed by the being in its being: thought is a distraction. Mind has displaced truth with make-belief.
    ENOAH

    I do continue to disagree with this.

    To get to Universe/Reality/Godhead, you have to work through phenomenology. There is a letter to someone, can't remember who, in which Husserl relates that many of his students found in phenomenology a sound basis for religious understanding. Surprised him a bit. The way I see it is this: I don't read Heidegger to understand Heidegger, nor Husserl to understand Husserl. Rather, I read them to understand the world. But they are only as helpful as I am eager to understand. A person has to be REALLY eager to read this philosophy. One has to be already looking rather emphatically for Universe/Reality/Godhead to discover how phenomenology can facilitate discovery; or, one has be just be really interested in existential puzzles. Rorty straddled the fence and came up with very helpful thoughts for me. But he had no core religious interests. Dropped philosophy altogether at the end, taught literature, convinced there was nothing more to say in philosophy. But this was because he was through and through an academic, and had no, well, intimations of anything else. When he said there are no truths beyond propositional truths (truth is something a proposition has, and there are no propositions out there in the trees and rocks) he was following Dewey's naturalism.

    Husserl does talk about the universe, reality, not so much the godhead. I talk about this kind of thing, though the talk is "threshold" talk. The reduction takes people like me to the threshold of finitude. The reduction facilitates this, inspires it, clarifies it, gives vague but strong curiosity a contextual setting for thoughts to make sense. Kant helps and Heidegger helps massively, and so does Dionysius the Areopogite and Meister Eckhart. And Derrida, and ALL of them. This is mystical phenomenology, where no self respecting anglo american philosopher will step foot.

    Truth: I defend one truth, really, which is that what is sought here is not truth. One seeks the Good. We are not trying to discover what IS qua IS; this is patently absurd and it gives us his "equirpimordaility". for Heidegger, an historical ontology of structural features clear to inquiry. But, I argue, there really is a primordial singularity, and this is value, the Good, what the entire universe/reality/godhead is "about". What is the the Good? This is existential, by which I mean one has to look away from discursivity, and toward existence. Stop thinking, in other words. Husserl's epoche, all the way down the rabbit hole, leads no where but here, the cessation of thought in order for the world to "speak" at the basic level.

    Of course, this is close to what you have been saying, but you do continue to say "thought is a distraction" and I can't abide by this. It is a distraction if you are trying experience something that is itself expressly not thinking. If you are trying to learn how to ride a bike, you don't talk your way through this. But once done, and you get it, the understanding is there, and always has been there. Try to imagine what it would be like to know how to ride a bike, but when asked to explain, absolutely nothing came to mind. What, no feet applying pressure to pedals in a circular thrust connected to a series of gears, etc.? Yes, a child might find herself like this, but a child has very limited understanding. A child may have God attending every moment of life as an infinite grounding of meaning, but the child will understand nothing. Language does this. Thought does this. Affective cognition; this is what we are, and the two are one. The Good, or God, is not itself the thought of the Good, but through thought one acknowledges and understands. Through thought, thought recognizes its own finitude. What is thought really? This question is transcendental. You were impressed by the Fink passage. earlier. He is saying the the entire ground of world acceptance is open and the epoche allows us to stand in the openness of the world.

    I do suspect you harbor still a deep physicalist ontology, as we all do. This has to be, well, cured. Kant is the cure. He is not, certainly, right about everything. But if you have the curiosity that will sustain through several hundred pages of rather dense thinking, then you will come out the other end a very changed philosopher.

    What I'm saying is, no one can say them.ENOAH

    Yes and no. To say "no one can say them" tells us first that the not being able to say is already said in the utterance itself. One can say X cannot be said, but for this to make sense, X has to be brought into a context of saying. Nothing but paradox. X can be said, but is not in the saying itself, what is said. Same goes for my cat. X is always already in need of a context to disambiguate. This in no way intrudes or undoes what it IS, but it raises the issue of where and how thought allows this to happen. For Husserl, and post Husserlians like Henry, the proof is in the pudding. Once the world is divested of all language has to say in all of its reigning mundanity, the world beneath, the hidden primordiality of the world becomes more evident. The reduction takes one INTO the world and reveals the things that are suppressed by familiarity. And one can see the foundational religiosity that modernity has preplaced.

    Not sure re "pragmatics" but I generally relate to the Pierce quote. Anyway, why for me apodictic does appear in degrees, and what I mean by "sprouted same field," is also related to my referencing organic feeling. While laws of logic seem apodictic, you'll note some Moral Laws also come close (which is your objection, "comes close" is thus not apodictic). Think of both as ultimately a belief (I believe it absurd or un-do-able to believe "I am a married bachelor"/ I believe it "absurd" un-do-able to believe "I'm going to kill my only child"). Neither actually has anything to do with a pre-existing attribute/state/law/tendency/desire of any all encompassing reality governing the universe or my body. Both are paths stored in memory as "language" to trigger functionally fitting responses. These triggers are so well entrenched in the feedback loop from language to feelings, that they promptly "release" whatever organic feeling it is which inspires a powerful confidence in the animal which would cause it to without hesitation act. Powerful trigger in the form of language is apodictic. Most people would also "with the fervor of apodiction" never eat shit. It is the same mechanism but not so obviously organic, buried in signifiers.ENOAH

    Consider what happens when you try to imagine an object moving itself. This is buried in signifiers? What is meant by buried? Does it mean that there is an indeterminacy of the "trace" in talking about anything? But this is addressed: the trace is the interpretative value that inhibits any sort of direct apprehension of things in the world. But now, take the lighted match and apply it to your finger. Are you thereby distanced from the terrible pain because the language that stabilizes your understanding of what is occurring cannot be shown to be correspondingly linked to it? The notion is absurd. Clearly, the world is this overwhelmingly vivid and its existence cannot be doubted for a moment at this level of inquiry. What can be doubted is the interpretation of the world, and so the pain you experience: What is it? is an interpretative issue, save one thing, and this is the OP. Now consider an object self moving: it is impossible. Surely we can talk about certainty and the feeling of moving toward doubt and how the need for fixity asserts itself, but you find yourself in Hume's world, where Kant points out that there is difference between the mere concatenation of two events that happen with such frequency that they are mistaken for an embedded law, and events that happen by necessity.

    One way to go is Quine's in his Two Dogmas paper: He doesn't argue against necessity, but against analyticity: two terms that differ have different senses (the morning star and the evening star) even though they may have the same object. I'd have to read it again. But it is an interesting point, and perhaps in line with your thoughts. And if there is an impact on the thesis of the OP, it would be a favorable one, for religion has its essence in metaethics and metaaesthetics, and these are powered by value-in-the-world. Value's apodicticity is IN existence, not form, and the existence of suffering and delight is even less effected by considerations of language and trace. That punch to kidney is far more actual and indubitable in its consequences than the principle of negation. Not more; it is absolute. There is no more or less here.

    Yes! And irrationality does work for some. Those suffering delusions (obviously, doesnt work for the rest of Mind but its "working" for that mind and we need not get intonthe reasons*); those inspired by a teleology requiring the suspension of rationality (e.g. a parent acts against reason to lift a car off a trapped child; romantic love; an individual is willing to temporarily suspend even reason in pursuit truth etc). Our minds with well tread paths to the Subject, reject any ideas--like such radical relativity--but a Phenomenological Reduction might reveal that "if it works" is what is at the root of every belief held by every mind.ENOAH

    I couldn't agree more. Same goes for Husserl. There is one exception, which is posited several times above. It has to be kept in mind that we are dealing with phenomena, not the familiar world. In the phenomenal world, planets do not revolve around the sun nor does UPS deliver boxes. All of this is suspended. The phenomenal world is an extraordinary "place" and Kant is a good way to look into it at first. It is a very odd world, and if you have a kind of well passion to find out about what can be said about existence and the godhead, then you will be taking a step into a kind of no man's land. A far greater intimacy with the world than most can even imagine.

    This sounds like something I need to understand better. If you don't mind clarifying when you can.ENOAH

    It is just that there is no analysis to something truly primordial (Heidegger aside). That pain CANNOT be refuted or argued about or divested of its essence, which in our hermeneutical setting we call bad. The pain can made ambiguous in familiar ways (torturing someone into telling you where the bomb is located, and the like) and it can be strangely transmuted in weird associations, like masochistic fetishes, but that just changes what is clearly pain ul to what is now complexly painful, and this is the world. Not what this is about. If there are no transmuting conditions that would compromise the pain's being bad, then...... Not hard to imagine, screaming children in burning cars and the like are exemplary. The fact that you can reconstrue pain says nothing about its nature. This is the point.

    Same as above. I mean, what makes a stab in the kidney "bad"?ENOAH

    Exactly! Do an exhaustive analysis of the factual contents of the kidney-in-pain event. Compare to a non-value fact, like the earth having more mass than a river rock or the DNA molecule having genetic material. Any non value fact is presumably exhaustible by an empirical analysis. Even an apriori analysis, if you like. But what happens with the analysis of the kidney? You will find, and this is why Wittgenstein refused to talk about it, something "else". You are invited to question this, but this is not well received in modern philosophy. Just because it is massively mysterious. What is the Good? The love, the happiness and bliss and pleasures, and the horrors and terrible suffering; what IS this dimension of our existence?

    Am I far from where you are going? This one has puzzled me.ENOAH

    One has to disengage explanations. This is what the reduction is all about. Look as if one were a scientist looking for objectivity in one's observation. Do you find the "non natural" property, as G E Moore put it (Principia)?
  • Constance
    1.2k


    If you are looking for the godhead, than ask that fateful question, only take it very seriously: how does anything out there get into a knowledge claim? Not that it does not get into a knoweledge claim, for clearly it does. But how is this possible? It is crazy to go after this, but once you see that the epistemic relation between you and the lamp on your desk is epistemically impossible in all the familiar models, you have to then go to some other model. Phenomenology only can see this.
  • hypericin
    1.5k
    I mean, we put out of inquiry all, or nearly all, that circulates though typical religious mentalities, in an effort to determine if there is something "real" that religion is truly about; something that is not simply a historical fiction conceived in an ancient mind.Constance

    I think your inquiry about religion itself captures the essence of religion.

    Religion is how we fill the symbolic space. The symbolic space is a product of how we think. Any object of thought can have multiple levels of symbolic meaning. "Surface" meaning, and any number of deeper meanings "behind" this. A tree isn't just a tree: it is a source of food or building materials. Beyond this, it might symbolize ecology, a stand-in for the beneficient features of life itself. And it might mean God's benevolence, or timeless persistence. All these symbolic meanings are bestowed upon the tree, none are inherent to the actual tree.

    Religion is how this symbolic space is colonized in different cultural arenas. It apparently cannot be left empty, it has to be filled in one way or another. Everything has meaning in religion, because religions fully fill the symbolic space.

    So your question, what is the true meaning of religion, is itself an expression of the basic religious impulse to fill the symbolic space. In this case, the space behind "religion".

    And this is why science is a competitor to religion. Not because the mechanistic accounts of how things work differ. But because it offers a parallel, and empirically grounded, vision of what explaining the meaning of things looks like. The tree isn't just the tree we see. It is the vast scientific story that explains it.
  • ENOAH
    731
    A person has to be REALLY eager to read this philosophy. One has to be already looking rather emphatically for Universe/Reality/Godhead to discover how phenomenology can facilitate discoveryConstance

    Fair point. I'm not sure that I've ready philosophy in the spirit of "love [ing it] with all of my heart soul and might." There might be something to that; but the "arrival" will have to reach beyond the reaches if reason if it is to be ultimate.

    The reduction takes people like me to the threshold of finitude.Constance

    Clearly, this is where we seem to have always agreed. Same as my point above.

    This is mystical phenomenology, where no self respecting anglo american philosopher will step foot.Constance
    God help us


    One seeks the Good. We are not trying to discover what IS qua IS; this is patently absurd and it gives us his "equirpimordaility".Constance

    I see. I haven't been clear enough about tge relative absurdity of seeking what is unattainable to the Seeker. I say a solution is drop the Seeker and look at being (for a second). You seem to say drop the seeking, and focus the seekers attention on what is good. I agree, but consider yours to be the next step. This is how I see tge metaphysical as necessarily preceding the ethical. Step one: know you are not the projections; albeit inextricably entangled. Step two: focus on making the projections good (as in morally/as in without tge ego)

    thought is a distraction" and I can't abide by this. It is a distraction if you are trying experience something that is itself expressly not thinkingConstance

    I'm too unclear. Yes. Of course thought is unavoidable and the necessary pre-step in my aforesaid steps one and two. I assume that because I participate, it is obvious that I recognize one cannot avoid this pre-step. I accept H and H executed admirable presteps.




    A child may have God attending every moment of life as an infinite grounding of meaning, but the child will understand nothing. Language does this.Constance

    This and only this, I think is where we may diverge. Yes, child "understands" nothing without language. But since all judgement, including those flowing out of that fact exist only in language, "language" adjudges understanding to have ontological(?) epistemelogical(?) metaphysical(?)--Truth--priority over what that hypothetical child receives from so called God. It's not "meaning" another species of "language". And yes, I cannot identify or label for you what that receipt from God is without language. Duh (not you, all of us). I can only receive it. My theory (already ultimately false as I repeat it) is that the Child receives Life from God. But because (completely hypothetical) Adam chose knowledge over life, we are always in need of redemption--not because God withdrew Its Gift--but because our fixation on wanting to understand it, obstructing us from just being it.


    .
  • ENOAH
    731
    I do suspect you harbor still a deep physicalist ontology, as we all do.Constance

    I completely do. But not because of a strictly realist or empirical word view. Rather, because once one considers that humans experience "unnaturally" through its evolved system of construction-then-projections, it is reasonable to assume that every re-presentation of tgat system falls short of Reality. Outside of Mind which, by examining history, has propped itself up as the means to eternal truth, while simultaneously recognizing itself as only a mediator, the only thing left to trust is that the Natural Universe is real. And of course, I am left to paradoxically trust that and understand it in Mind's terms.

    So, highest goal for a philosopher: be human.


    One way to go is Quine's in his Two Dogmas paper: He doesn't argue against necessity, but against analyticity:Constance

    You are a wealth of, I repeat, reliable information.


    But how is this possible? It is crazy to go after this, but once you see that the epistemic relation between you and the lamp on your desk is epistemically impossible in all the familiar models, you have to then go to some other model. Phenomenology only can see this.Constance

    Maybe I'm "wishing" phenomenology was aiming at [my conception of "Organic"] being but its "purpose" has always been just epistemological. It offers a philosophically reasoned methodology (not unlike empiricism) for understanding the only reality it is even capable of admitting.
  • Tarskian
    301
    So your question, what is the true meaning of religion, is itself an expression of the basic religious impulse to fill the symbolic space. In this case, the space behind "religion".

    And this is why science is a competitor to religion. Not because the mechanistic accounts of how things work differ. But because it offers a parallel, and empirically grounded, vision of what explaining the meaning of things looks like. The tree isn't just the tree we see. It is the vast scientific story that explains it.
    hypericin

    Superficially, science can indeed appear to fill the symbolic space.

    That is why scientism exists as an ideology, i.e. a pseudo-religion. In times of rapid scientific progress, it is even quite popular.

    However, it only works for people who do not understand science, so that it remains mysterious.

    As soon as you somewhat understand the limitations of science, as soon as you understand that it cannot explain what you had hoped that it would, it stops being useful as a religion.

    As the unfilled void reappears with a vengeance -- it always does -- the existence of life will appear to be meaningless. The lack of spirituality will push the unbeliever in his struggle down the path of absurdism. We were not built to live without spirituality. That is why spirituality is so universal across the globe and throughout history.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Religion is how this symbolic space is colonized in different cultural arenas. It apparently cannot be left empty, it has to be filled in one way or another. Everything has meaning in religion, because religions fully fill the symbolic space.

    So your question, what is the true meaning of religion, is itself an expression of the basic religious impulse to fill the symbolic space. In this case, the space behind "religion".

    And this is why science is a competitor to religion. Not because the mechanistic accounts of how things work differ. But because it offers a parallel, and empirically grounded, vision of what explaining the meaning of things looks like. The tree isn't just the tree we see. It is the vast scientific story that explains it.
    hypericin

    On the other hand, the science that discusses a tree is not just filling space, not just a lot of empty fictional narrative. Religion, too, taken seriously, is not this. Of course, there is a great deal of fiction in the "grand narratives" of metaphysics, but just as, say, when the tree is put into a more rigorous context of discussion, its more frivolous narratives are dropped, so with religion, we seek to drop the frivolous and discover what it is "really" about.

    It can ALL be called a story, certainly. Geology is a story about the earth, astronomy one about the stars, and so forth. But a view like this divests the engagement of any objective verisimilitude at all. But then, as Kierkegaard said about bible stories, fictions no more fictional than modern claims of discovery. This is what happens when you either, as Kierkegaard put it, think of thought and reality as a collision of entirely unlike natures, or, like Heidegger, think all truth is an historical construct. Truth is made, not discovered, said Rorty.

    I actually think all of this is right, or close to being right. Fascinating idea, really. Reading Paul Ricoeur, I find the idea that we mostly live a narrative compelling, and if you want to talk about it, fine. But for the matter here concerning religion: For this argument, the claim is one can stand outside narrative. Doing this, one no longer stands among the familiar notions that clutter living, the everydayness, the "idle talk" (Heidegger), and the mindless "narrative" of one's affairs that mostly defines who we are. Long story on this, but again, religion: Stand apart from the familiar naivite of daily events, and witness the phenomena that lies "beneath" such things. Now you can observe the presuppositional grounding of the world, phenomena. What one finds here is not narrative, but stark presence, even obscenely vivid and real beyond ordinary apprehensions. This is "life" says Michel Henry (his own use of the term).

    I argue that one can discover the nature of religion here, in the nature of human affectivity. Affectivity is the existential value Wittgenstein was talking about when he said "The Good? this is what I call divinity."
  • Constance
    1.2k
    We were not built to live without spirituality. That is why it is so universal across the globe and throughout history.Tarskian

    I lean to saying yes to this. But "spirituality" is in need of a proper "deconstruction" and by this I only mean that when you start looking into the term and its possibilities, you discover more clearly where the issues lie. Spirituality is an intellectual and existential struggle, or, it should be. When one pulls one's head out of the sand and asks the big questions that inspired the ancient stories, the difficulty lies in "the void" as you put it, the indeterminacy of all our affairs. What actually happens when you confront this? For most, very little. meaning one either retreats beneath sand of old stories and rituals or one just rejects the sense of the confrontation, like Wittgenstein. But note, he was by no means an atheist. He placed Kierkegaard in the highest regard, but argued that this cannot be argued or spoken of because there is nothing in the grid of states of affairs that is "value". Positivists are bad Wittgensteinians because they took nonsense to mean without meaning, which is just the opposite of what he was about. For Witt, value meaning in ethics and aesthetics was TOO important to be trivialized by philosophers .Anyway, very few take the third alternative, which is to try to understand religion at its foundation. An analysis of spirituality, if you will. Two questions: what is value? and what is knowledge/ontology (same thing, I argue)?

    This is what is being attempted here.
  • Tarskian
    301
    Spirituality is an intellectual and existential struggle, or, it should be.Constance

    In my opinion, rationality is a tool and spirituality is another one. If your only tool is a hammer, then the entire world will start looking like a nail.

    We know very well that rationality cannot deal with the question about the meaning of life. It would be the same as asking a computer why he exists. Humans can answer that question. The computer cannot, at least not rationally. The computer would have to ask us, because only humans know the answer to that question.

    Concerning the meaning of life, we would only be able to rationally answer the question, if we had created it. So, since we didn't, we can try to ask the one who did. That is not a rational endeavor but a spiritual one.

    For most, very little. meaning one either retreats beneath sand of old stories and rituals or one just rejects the sense of the confrontation, like Wittgenstein.Constance

    I think that I agree with Witggenstein on this matter. There is no confrontation. Spirituality is the solution for a problem that rationality cannot solve.

    Anybody trying to determine rationally if God exists or not, is wasting his time. The correct question is: Does faith in God give you spiritual satisfaction? If yes, then you are one of the lucky ones, blessed with the ability to stave off the absurdity of meaninglessness. If not, then you are unlucky because you will almost surely fail to find a satisfying alternative.
  • hypericin
    1.5k
    On the other hand, the science that discusses a tree is not just filling space, not just a lot of empty fictional narrative. Religion, too, taken seriously, is not this.Constance

    I don't want to give an all too easy answer that "everything is just a narrative" and science and religion are"just empty fictions filling space". My point is that cognitive architecture comes first, not some inescapable reality standing outside all narrative.

    The cognitive architecture I think drives the religious impulse is the one that allows a hunter gatherer to observe a dragonfly and see:

    * The phenomenal impression of the insect, it's appearance and motion through space.
    *The apprehension that these phenomenon are not chaotic, but they belong to an organized entity of the category "dragonfly", and more broadly "insect".
    * The larger irrelevance of this entity to the current task of hunting a deer.
    *The larger still relevance of the early appearance of the dragonfly, possibly presaging an early summer.

    At least four levels of meaning, all attached to the same phenomenon, all held by the same brain. But this one-to-many relationship between appearance and meaning begs the question:: is that it? Or is there a deeper meaning beyond all these? What is the meaning of all these meanings?

    Religion arises to fulfill the spiritual need, the need to fill in all these "higher", "deeper" meanings whose existence is like a shadow cast by our own cognitive machinery. If it doesn't provide all the answers, it at least provides a framework within which answers can be found. Having such a framework seems to be a deep human need, without which we suffer, as @Tarskian points out.
  • ENOAH
    731
    given the challenges I face expressing my "thoughts" in technical terms, permit this depiction.

    The ultimate purpose (reduction) of the mechanisms of art and metaphor is not that they deliver meaning. They deliver their purpose deliberately off the track, in "language" which doesn't say what it means. That's their first ultimate purpose, because by doing so their message is "you're focusing on the wrong thing," it's not what our expression means, it's what it does to your body, triggering feelings, which, if it's excellent art, hopefully, are to vague to recycle into words or emotions, leaving the effect of the metaphor "purely" organic. Why? Because that's what is Real.

    Same goes for the essence of religion. Both it and art point aware-ing away from the expression, and rather, in the direction of what is real: the feeling living organism.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Fair point. I'm not sure that I've ready philosophy in the spirit of "love [ing it] with all of my heart soul and might." There might be something to that; but the "arrival" will have to reach beyond the reaches if reason if it is to be ultimate.ENOAH

    Well, if ever you get the impulse put to heart and soul forward, be aware that anglo american thinking is very different from the metaphysics of continental philosophy. The former enjoy puzzles, little more. Clever about arguments, but regarding the world, they, as Kierkegaard said of Hegel, simply have forgotten that they actually exist.

    I see. I haven't been clear enough about tge relative absurdity of seeking what is unattainable to the Seeker. I say a solution is drop the Seeker and look at being (for a second). You seem to say drop the seeking, and focus the seekers attention on what is good. I agree, but consider yours to be the next step. This is how I see tge metaphysical as necessarily preceding the ethical. Step one: know you are not the projections; albeit inextricably entangled. Step two: focus on making the projections good (as in morally/as in without tge ego)ENOAH

    Dropping the seeker. Explicit seeking, yes. But the question is not about what is encountered only. It is about what has to be the case given what is encountered. An extrapolation.

    But first, what is actually witnessed. The following I think you will agree with. Suffering is, again, poignant and makes the case most visible. So I am now in my phenomenological analytic, and not that of biology, medicine, chemistry, and the rest of the "natural" sciences. Such a position is unique, even sui generis, for to observe phenomena qua phenomena, one has to engage in the method of the reduction. Like I said, it is a bit of a no man's land, a radical forgetting, if you will. Imagine what is was like for the ancient mind to behold the sun with such a dearth of presuppositions about the world that it was possible to think it a God. Put aside the modern prejudice that comes with its "grand narrative" of knowing; you've heard this term before, no doubt. It is Lyotard's referring to the postmodern collapse of metaphysics. Science, too, is a grand narrative, more obfuscating and intrusive than the church ever was in its explicit denial of metaphysics. We are all trained k through 12 and beyond in this. This entire education has to be ignored. This is why I think the Buddhists are very advanced phenomenologists, for all they do is sit quietly, but not "doing nothing". Rather, they are annihilating the world's knowledge structure, and this is just what the reduction does, if allowed to do so.

    So what is actually witnessed as the "pure" phenomenon really does need a liberation from everydayness. Can one observe the sun (errr, without burning a retina) or a tree altogether without habit and familiarity at all? See Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety where he investigates Christianity's original sin. "Habit" of the race, he calls this impediment of culture and he condemns the displacement of faith by all of the many institutions that had become so privileged. Free of the tedious recollection, beholding it only in repetition. A Kierkegaardian book on this called Repetition: to participate in the world not as the way it is possessed by prior knowledge, but as it is first done, first encountered, free of this. The idea in Repetition is an attempt to explain just this above, to receive the world not as a backward looking event, allowing memory to dominate and determine, but as a first encounter, in each encounter, a first, forward looking with the anticipation free of encumbering presuppositions. This is phenomenology's mystical perspective (notwithstanding Heidegger, who nevertheless gives this kind of thing a wealth of conceptual facilitation), this uncanny discovery of the now, in which one looks around, and is lost as the habits of perception do not spontaneously seize the moment.

    Now we can think of suffering. Its "thereness" released from interpretation. What is witnessed is now without identity save its own, but note the event is proximal in some way. It is not over there, but "here"; but where is here? The here is me, and the concept of mine pins the suffering to me. When the attempt is made to severe suffering altogether from proximity, there is a misrepresentation of what is witnessed. Recall the old Cartesian cogito and Henry (and Husserl's) complaint. What is there is witnessed to be there, and, as I have argued, the more the object is loosened from the relation, and becomes disembodied "thereness" it drifts into nothingness. Can suffering exist without agency? Without anyone experiencing the suffering? This I take to have a negative answer.

    But it IS a very, very good question, I think. That such an idea is impossible (I am affirming) has serious implications. It is not like the quale red, say. Agency and "being appeared to redly" does not have nearly thislogical insistence (or the logic of the intuition of agency and suffering being inseparable). Can the color red appear sans agency? Hmmm. If there is no value in the experience of the "being appeared to redly" (thought this is just an abstraction) that is, if there is no caring, no vital intimacy or even interest, boredom, then we could very well dismiss Husserl's Transego. But value; this is altogether different. One might call it an argument for the soul, the "seeker" who is the non seeking existing agency that is the center of affectivity.

    I'm too unclear. Yes. Of course thought is unavoidable and the necessary pre-step in my aforesaid steps one and two. I assume that because I participate, it is obvious that I recognize one cannot avoid this pre-step. I accept H and H executed admirable presteps.ENOAH

    They are giants. Worth reading if you just want to see if you can keep up. With Heidegger, it is Being and Time in one hand and Greek terms he uses to rethink philosophy in the other.

    This and only this, I think is where we may diverge. Yes, child "understands" nothing without language. But since all judgement, including those flowing out of that fact exist only in language, "language" adjudges understanding to have ontological(?) epistemelogical(?) metaphysical(?)--Truth--priority over what that hypothetical child receives from so called God. It's not "meaning" another species of "language". And yes, I cannot identify or label for you what that receipt from God is without language. Duh (not you, all of us). I can only receive it. My theory (already ultimately false as I repeat it) is that the Child receives Life from God. But because (completely hypothetical) Adam chose knowledge over life, we are always in need of redemption--not because God withdrew Its Gift--but because our fixation on wanting to understand it, obstructing us from just being it.ENOAH

    There is a lot in this. Putting aside Adam, I do see the idea. All I can say is that language itself is just as alien and impossible to pin. It opens possiblities. The uncanniness of the world is revealed as what is not language, but this is done in the openness of language. More on this if you like.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    I knew there was a reason Continental philosophy isn't taken seriously...
  • Constance
    1.2k
    I knew there was a reason Continental philosophy isn't taken seriously...AmadeusD

    .....isn't taken seriously by those who have never read it. To those who have read it, it is taken very seriously. But Wikipedia is not reading.
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