• Constance
    840
    But "where" is time, so to speak? For when past and future are "discovered," such a discovery is always, already an event that cannot reach beyond the delimitations of an indeterminate present, named thusly because presence has only meaning contextually, placed in a setting of temporal utterances. The past and future make no sense at all. The argument goes like this: We use terms like past, present and future regularly, and they are useful, obviously. But these are unsustainable on analysis: show me the past and will show you a present event affirming something called past. the future and the present suffer the same fate. All that can be confirmed is an altogether indeterminate present, for lack of a better word.

    The unconscious: it takes but a moment to see that ANY talk at all about the unconscious is self contradictory, for to speak of it is to bring it to consciousness, thus, the moment it comes to our lips, rises up to thought and language, it is conscious, and all possible references to what the unconscious could be, from Freud through the extravagant Jung, is just an analytical step away from nonsense. But what about yesterday? As an actual past, it never happened. All that can ever happen is a presumption of a recollection.

    It is fairly easy to deconstruct our ideas shut down preemptively discussion about what they could say and be about, but time and the unconscious seem especially fragile. I don't have to cite Structure, Sign and Play for this. Time and the unconscious fall apart almost instantly. Blatantly contradictory. No way out of this that I can see.

    All the world is foundationally indeterminate. Hence, metaphysics, i.e., religion.
  • Joshs
    3.8k
    show me the past and I will show you a present event affirming something called past. the future and the present suffer the same fate. All that can be confirmed is an altogether indeterminate present, for lack of a better word.Constance

    The present ( primal impression) isn’t indeterminate, it’s specious, complex. Retention and protention (anticipation) belong to the present. They are a part of the immediate ‘now’.

    Gallagher(2017)writes “primal impression, rather than being portrayed as an experiential origin, “the primal source of all further consciousness and being” is considered the result of an interplay between retention and protention. It is “the boundary between the retentions and protentions”

    The primal impression comes on the scene as the fulfilment of an empty protention; the now, as the present phase of consciousness, is constituted by way of a protentional fulfilment.
  • Constance
    840
    he present ( primal impression) isn’t indeterminate, it’s specious, complex. Retention and protention (anticipation) belong to the present. They are a part of the immediate ‘now’.

    Gallagher(2017)writes “primal impression, rather than being portrayed as an experiential origin, “the primal source of all further consciousness and being” is considered the result of an interplay between retention and protention. It is “the boundary between the retentions and protentions”

    The primal impression comes on the scene as the fulfilment of an empty protention; the now, as the present phase of consciousness, is constituted by way of a protentional fulfilment.
    Joshs

    Indeterminacy is what you get when determinacy is out the window. All claims that exhibit a determinate designation of time possess a baseline indeterminacy due to a collapse of determinate language. One says she is in a room. Is this sustainable as a knowledge claim if she does not know where the room is? Yes, if the conditions of the proposition are settled entirely within the conditions of being in a room and no more (as, say, an electrician might want to know only if the power outlet is in a room of outside, and no more than this). But no if inquiry is taken to its limit.

    I can see that Gallagher would be right about this as well as I can see that psychologists are right about short term and long term memory, and that Kant is right about time's structure being apodictic. But the point I want to make is more simple. The immediate now has no meaning if not played against a past or a future possibility. But these possibilities reduced to immediacy are instantly contradictory: what is immediate is impossible to conceive without temporal dimensions, that is, having a beginning and an end, but such a structure analyzed in these time words suffer the failure to produce instances, "observable" either intuitively or otherwise demonstrably, of past of future. These collapse into indeterminacy, I am saying, because no determinacy can be made about them at the most basic level.
  • Joshs
    3.8k
    indeterminacy due to a collapse of determinate language. One says she is in a room. Is this sustainable as a knowledge claim if she does not know where the room is?Constance

    As I recall , determinism for you is closely tied to intrinsicality, a property inherent to something that can be located dependably outside contextual change. I believe this kind of determinacy is another name for meaninglessness.
  • Constance
    840
    As I recall , determinism for you is closely tied to intrinsicality, a property inherent to something that can be located dependably outside contextual change. I believe this kind of determinacy is another name for meaninglessness.Joshs

    I would call it, depending what "it" is, threshold meaning, which is where we "are". It is not as is if there were some line firmly drawn between propositionable determinations and the world. We impose this kind of rigidity on the world, and philosophy's job, I claim, is to take us to where meanings run out, and see this the way Caputo does (though without the biblical intrusions): as an an apophatic and revelatory philosophy, free of the both Freud's claims of illusions and Nietzsche's brand of nihilism, and wide open in the vicinity of affirmation. What is, after all, love, happiness, suffering, wretchedness? This is the kind of question that I privilege over all others. Truth is what leads to affective affirmation and Nietzsche was right about this, but wrong about will to power, whatever that could possibly mean (if all you do in life is overcome illness, as it was with Nietzsche, "will" takes on a perverse reification, is the way I see him).
  • Joshs
    3.8k




    Truth is what leads to affective affirmation and Nietzsche was right about this, but wrong about will to power, whatever that could possibly mean (if all you do in life is overcome illness, as it was with Nietzsche, "will" takes on a perverse reification, is the way I see him).Constance

    Will to power is the self-differentiating creative impetus of willing. Deleuze says:

    Will to power does not mean that the will wants power. Will to power does not imply any anthropomorphism in its origin, signification or essence. Will to power must be interpreted in a completely different way: power is the one that wills in the will. Power is the genetic and differential element in the will; it does not aspire, it does not seek, it does not desire, above all it does not desire power.”
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    Hegel in the first chapter of his Phenomenology also says that the present cannot be settled. I don't know what he means by this. I see time as if a point traveling along a line. The line doesn't exist but the point does. It seems very unfragile to me. I'm not sure about the unconscious
  • Agent Smith
    7.4k
    recollectionConstance

    The past-memory infinite loop conundrum

    Q1. How do you know the moon landing happened in the past?

    A1. Because we have a memory of it!

    Q2. How do we know it's a memory and not our imagination?

    A2. Because it happened in the past!

    Goto Q1, happy riding the merry-go-round! Tell me when you've had enough, ok!
  • Constance
    840
    Will to power does not mean that the will wants power. Will to power does not imply any anthropomorphism in its origin, signification or essence. Will to power must be interpreted in a completely different way: power is the one that wills in the will. Power is the genetic and differential element in the will; it does not aspire, it does not seek, it does not desire, above all it does not desire power.”Joshs

    I cannot imagine something that is not "anthropomorphic". Not in the naïve sense, but in that all that I acknowledge is of a piece with myself. I am, if you will, all over it and through it, even if it is other than myself.

    Had to read deleuze to to respond so I "read through" Nietzsche and Philosophy". This is a metaphysical concept, as I see it, a metaphor grounded in the material acts of "will" that are witnessed in dasein (if you want to talk like that; I think dasein is useful when I want steer clear of science and its largely unthematized metaphysical assumptions about what a person is).

    As I see it, when I recognize time and the unconscious as obvious impossiblities, it is a far more simple analysis, prior to Deleuze and Nietzsche. It comes off as a logical abstraction at first, but a close and honest look at it is something of a revelation. It "finds," on close attention, an intuitive counterpart, not at all unlike reaching out intuitively to eternal space and encountering the impossibility of it. This is not an abstraction.

    The unconscious: A contradiction on the face of it. Certainly it does not put psychologists out of business, but at the basic level of analysis it directs one away from a confident empiricism and more toward, say, Eugene Fink's Sixth Meditation which discusses the "primal philosophical act of the reduction."

    Not without its opposition, I know.
  • Constance
    840
    Hegel in the first chapter of his Phenomenology also says that the present cannot be settled. I don't know what he means by this. I see time as if a point traveling along a line. The line doesn't exist but the point does. It seems very unfragile to me. I'm not sure about the unconsciousGregory

    Time as a concept can make sense in different ways. You can think of it a fleeting "now" or as past, present future. You can look at time as an apriori intuition, that is, a succession of events that has a structure of the form, two distinct events cannot occupy the same moment (as two colors cannot occupy the same space); such a thing is impossible. But is this just a logical impossibility? Or an intuitive one?

    The line you speak of is first a geometrical representation. It is not "what time is" but a way of illustrating it, and like all analogs there is going to be the problem of not allowing that which is analogized to be affected by that which is brought in to illustrate. Time is not an object, and so it is a different, and far more difficult problem: you don't really have before you that which the analog is supposed describe, in the way you have a cat that has it very apparent ability to "pounce suddenly" carried over to someone you know who argues in a way that exhibits this same quality. Where is time itself to make the comparison? is it an intuition? Sure, in the same way logic is an intuition, that is, the structures we use to illustrate logic, the modus ponens, etc., have something there that shows itself, but never does logic itself "show up"!
    What we try to do when we talk about time is metaphysics. There is the world and we give the world expression in language. I am simply pointing out that language falls apart instantly on examination of the way time is put together as a concept. Past? Show me the past. At the very moment you try, the past is not there; only a "sense" of presence that presents itself AS past. And all possible accounts of the past cannot reveal the past, demonstrate its existence.
  • Constance
    840
    The past-memory infinite loop conundrum

    Q1. How do you know the moon landing happened in the past?

    A1. Because we have a memory of it!

    Q2. How do we know it's a memory and not our imagination?

    A2. Because it happened in the past!

    Goto Q1, happy riding the merry-go-round! Tell me when you've had enough, ok!
    Agent Smith

    I am saying that the concept of the past is nonsense AS some kind of demonstrable, witnessable, logically sustainable possibility. The thinking leads to an apophatic denial: The moon landing, e.g. i remember it, hearing of it, reading about it, witnessing televised accounts and so on. Let's say I was there and observed it first hand. In order to say the past IS the past, there would have to be some observable presence taken AS the moon landing in my recollection that reveals true past and not just an adumbrated past, a mental simulation. Past would have to demonstrably past AS past, as if the past could leap out of its no-longer-there and declare itself as there; it would at least have to show up at least once, and even in theory would have to be plausible. But all of this is precluded immediately given that every accounting the the past can only be a present adumbration, a memory we call the past.

    This has implications that are quite interesting, by my lights. It introduces us the impossibility of language's possession of the world; to an apophatic cancellation of knowledge claims "beneath" the regularity of assumptions of given time words. I am late!; see you next Tuesday; yesteray was my birthday' and on and on. We know time vocabulary is a common feature of lived experience, but this is philosophy: what is it really?? One encounters metaphysics instantly, IN the simple analysis of our routine conversations.
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    I can show time by speaking of my life. I know surely that these events happen. Some people doubt this philosophically and say the world could have started last Thursday but they betray a lesser understanding of time if time is so unreal the past may never have existed
  • Agent Smith
    7.4k


    Last Thursdayism? Have you read about it?

    You're on the mark that the past is a question mark i.e. we can't be certain as to whether it's real or just our minds playing tricks on us - memory ain't perfect (Mandela effect, confabulation, false memories, etc.)

    Memory-past skepticism, what does it entail? You say we're led towards metaphysics. In what sense? How?
  • Constance
    840
    I can show time by speaking of my life. I know surely that these events happen. Some people doubt this philosophically and say the world could have started last Thursday but they betray a lesser understanding of time if time is so unreal the past may never have existedGregory

    But the response to this invites a broader discussion of "speaking of my life." What "event" are you talking about, that is, how does such a thing bear up under analysis? I can tell you with confidence that I just had breakfast. How is this confirmed? By more recollection of language that was taught to me when I was a child and reinforced constantly and became a part of the fluidity of experience. People do not question this kind of thing, and the certainty runs high! But here, I am taking this assumption and revealing its instability at a basic level; simple, really: no past event has ever been encountered as a past event. And this whole affair of the recollection confirming what-is-not-a-recollection, that is, the past, is nonsense. The past can only be affirmed within a language "game" if you will, in which things make sense WITH other things; I mean talk of today, yesterday last century and so on are meaningful only with a system of time words.
    Time is just as real as any other useful contextualized idea. ALL such ideas are analytically "fragile" when attention is put on a more basic level of assumptions.
  • Constance
    840
    Last Thursdayism? Have you read about it?

    You're on the mark that the past is a question mark i.e. we can't be certain as to whether it's real or just our minds playing tricks on us - memory ain't perfect (Mandela effect, confabulation, false memories, etc.)

    Memory-past skepticism, what does it entail? You say we're led towards metaphysics. In what sense? How?
    Agent Smith

    Consider two camps: in mine, everything is metaphysics. In the other, everything we call metaphysics is nonsense. For me, it is clear: all basic level inquiry leads to indeterminacy, whether is it about quantum physics or my cat. Ask me what my cat is, where it is, how old it is, if my cat exists, properties my cat has, etc., and I will show you the road to deconstructing my cat into oblivion, referring to all knowledge claims that make cats cats and fence posts fence posts. Time seems particularly fragile because it falls apart so readily. Yesterday? You mean that-which-is-not-this-occurrent-event? Something outside "outside" an occurrent event? No sense can be made of this. Such a thing is unwitnessable.
    What does this entail? It depends on how interested the inquirer is. You start putting everything into play in terms of basic meanings, then the world can fall apart. After all, what makes the world what it is a learned phenomenon. We "make" the world from moment to moment. The question is an intrusion, undoing certainty, useful for solving problems. Metaphysics is simply the final problem, which is where religion usually dominates. But religion is reducible to philosophy.

    Philosophy's purpose is to eventually replace religion.
  • Joshs
    3.8k


    Consider two camps: in mine, everything is metaphysics. In the other, everything we call metaphysics is nonsense. For me, it is clear: all basic level inquiry leads to indeterminacy, whether is it about quantum physics or my cat. Ask me what my cat is, where it is, how old it is, if my cat exists, properties my cat has, etc., and I will show you the road to deconstructing my cat into oblivion, referring to all knowledge claims that make cats cats and fence posts fence posts. Time seems particularly fragile because it falls apart so readily. Yesterday? You mean that-which-is-not-this-occurrent-event? Something outside "outside" an occurrent event? No sense can be made of this. Such a thing is unwitnessable.Constance

    There are two other sorts of camps. In one, indeterminacy is a failure of knowledge, the breakdown of certainly that leads to a skepticism , alienation or even nihilism. In the other camp, it is the determinacy associated with certainty that leads to lack of intelligibility, alienation and fragmentation, because understanding and meaning are functions of relevance , and relevance is a function of the structure of time , whereby the present occurs into a past history such that the world a always recognizable and familiar to us at some level. Meaning , understanding , determination and relevance require a dance between past and present in which the past is adjusted to the present, while the present bears the mark of its past. To determine a present is to produce it. If rather than a making, we think of determinism as a finding of what was already there, we have been lured into confusion.
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    There is also a connection to the world. We can make some sound judgment about what animals and bugs are, right? Confusing one's imagination might be a problem because it is our connection to imagination that gives us access to memories. I know the memories were formed in this world because I am still in this world. I know my thoughts come from me and also that memories come from the past. Otherwise you are just a thought floating in nowhere
  • Constance
    840
    There are two other sorts of camps. In one, indeterminacy is a failure of knowledge, the breakdown of certainly that leads to a skepticism , alienation or even nihilism. In the other camp, it is the determinacy associated with certainty that leads to lack of intelligibility, alienation and fragmentation, because understanding and meaning are functions of relevance , and relevance is a function of the structure of time , whereby the present occurs into a past history such that the world a always recognizable and familiar to us at some level. Meaning , understanding , determination and relevance require a dance between past and present in which the past is adjusted to the present, while the present bears the mark of its past. To determine a present is to produce it. If rather than a making, we think of determinism as a finding of what was already there, we have been lured into confusion.Joshs

    Interesting the way skepticism, alienation and nihilism works: the more one puts the question to regular affairs, the more these affairs become that which that which is alienated. To see that indeterminacy is there, "in" the cat, is to see that all along, "cat" assumptions have been radically incomplete. Usually inquirers work from an assumption of "the usual" being a baseline for deviation; I think it is the opposite: one sees in the pervasive aporia that it is the ordinariness of things that is out of touch, somehow wrong, a failing to understand.
    Relevance a function of the structure of time? Well, yes, insofar as everything is. Time just has to be drastically qualified to be made sense of. Because IN the, for lack of a better word, present, not a fleeting anything but a firm reality, past has its only place, and it brings question to whether these words really are covering up something that does not fit common sense.
  • Constance
    840
    There is also a connection to the world. We can make some sound judgment about what animals and bugs are, right? Confusing one's imagination might be a problem because it is our connection to imagination that gives us access to memories. I know the memories were formed in this world because I am still in this world. I know my thoughts come from me and also that memories come from the past. Otherwise you are just a thought floating in nowhereGregory

    Heh,heh--a thought floating nowhere. I like that. But what if being here is shown to be just that? the trouble lies in a reliance on common vocabulary, but historically, we can see how vocabularies have come and gone. What it is to be "somewhere" is very different from, say, Christendom in the middle ages. Being somewhere now means being an evolving organism whose reason and emotions are what what hve been viable in the competition for reproduction and survival through millions of years. This is the planet Earth, just ask a geologist for an entire library of discussion on this.

    The question goes to a "discovery" of something that is not subject to revision, something not made by cultures' languages and values. If there can be nothing discovered that is both actual and immutable, then we are floating nowhere, and there is nothing in a scientists telescope or microscope that is going to change this. Now a true epistemic nihilist will say, like Rorty (who would deny, like Nietzsche, that he is a nihilist; he would claim that it is the metaphysicians who are the nihilists, denying this world in favor of another) that talk about a nonpropositional intuitive knowing is just absurd. There are language games with bad vocabularies, and a bad vocabulary is one that says there are things that can be "discovered" in the world. We are not floating nowhere because this idea of nowhere is simply a meaningless term, borrowed form familiar usage then thrown out of bounds into some made up otherworldliness.

    I call Rorty and his ilk nihilists because they are intuitively deaf. Religion is largely a fiction, I will grant that, I mean, if you're reading a bible and its tales, it's a good yarn. But to think religion was conceived out of the need for entertainment is simply, if you'll pardon the term, stupid; massively so. Religion is a response to our foundational indeterminacy, especially in ethics. This indeterminacy is not a fiction. It is not where my cat is. It IS my cat. It IS myself and all things. THAT is the difficult intuitive transition to make. Our language must deal with our "floating" as a problem to solve.
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    I tentatively agree with the ethical indeterminancy you mention in that everyone has to follow their conscience. Not everyone will agree on those. But we do agree that we share a world. That's how we can have this discussion. It's spirit to spirit. The unconscious and the super-ego are united parts of us, although we usually live in the ego. They show the ego has value as an identity. They mediate each other. I've struggled a lot with the idea of anatman and I think it is resolved in finding more unified states of consciousness. Who knows what it is in its essence! How we experience the soul/spirit is key (and I think overuse of the word consciousness is a problem). And I think I can know that truth is real and also that the past happened somewhat like I remember. If I eat fudge and I latter have the taste of fudge in my mouth, I know why I'm tasting it because I connect the logic with the memory.
  • Constance
    840
    I tentatively agree with the ethical indeterminancy you mention in that everyone has to follow their conscience. Not everyone will agree on those. But we do agree that we share a world. That's how we can have this discussion. It's spirit to spirit. The unconscious and the super-ego are united parts of us, although we usually live in the ego. They show the ego has value as an identity. They mediate each other. I've struggled a lot with the idea of anatman and I think it is resolved in finding more unified states of consciousness. Who knows what it is in its essence! How we experience the soul/spirit is key (and I think overuse of the word consciousness is a problem). And I think I can know that truth is real and also that the past happened somewhat like I remember. If I eat fudge and I latter have the taste of fudge in my mouth, I know why I'm tasting it because I connect the logic with the memory.Gregory

    What follows will sound a bit odd.

    It is not a mundane indeterminacy, as in cases of moral differences of opinion It is a meta-indeterminacy, an ontoethical (I suppose you could call it) deficit that shows up at the level of basic questions. This is the kind of thing religion is made to address. It is a progress in existential philosophy that moves from Kierkegaard through to Derrida. Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety puts forward the radical distinction between thought and actuality, then Husserl has his way: the world of daily lived experiences as they are articulated by science sits on top, so to speak, of an intuitive landscape. The philosopher's mission is to describe this phenomenological world, a VERY different "place" from science's world.

    This requires a method of reduction, the phenomenological reduction. Hard for one to imagine there being anything "mystical" about Western philosophy (putting aside Eckhart, pseudo? Dionysius the Areopagite, and others), but Husserl really opened a strange door: We live in a world of implicit and explicit foundational assumptions; what if we terminated those assumptions and could witness the world itself?

    Are we here aligned with the prajnaparamita? Isn't the metaphysics of meditation a reduction of the familiar to the "thereness" that underlies it? Now we ask, what is ethics? and are faced not with centuries of intellectualizing, but the world and its essential presence, and inquiry into ethics is metaethical, a purified experience, if you will.

    As for memory, it is not being challenged that we have memories. The question is, what does it mean to have memories? Husserl's reduction, I am arguing, delivers the world from a reality constructed out of assumptions grounded in familiarity and pragmatics. What we call the past is a pragmatic concept, i.e., it works to think like this in solving problems. The whole world of language and culture is just this, and their claim to truth, reality and the rest are reductively annihilated in meaningful meditative states.

    Of course, all of this is impossible. Just ask Heidegger. But I think Heidegger just didn't have those kinds of experiences, those weird, quasi mystical, Eckhartian intimations of....whatever. The Husserlian phenomenological reduction, I argue, has only one consummatory end: the apophatic termination of the world (very Kierkegaardian, really).
  • Agent Smith
    7.4k
    Consider two camps: in mine, everything is metaphysics. In the other, everything we call metaphysics is nonsense. For me, it is clear: all basic level inquiry leads to indeterminacy, whether is it about quantum physics or my cat. Ask me what my cat is, where it is, how old it is, if my cat exists, properties my cat has, etc., and I will show you the road to deconstructing my cat into oblivion, referring to all knowledge claims that make cats cats and fence posts fence posts. Time seems particularly fragile because it falls apart so readily. Yesterday? You mean that-which-is-not-this-occurrent-event? Something outside "outside" an occurrent event? No sense can be made of this. Such a thing is unwitnessable.
    What does this entail? It depends on how interested the inquirer is. You start putting everything into play in terms of basic meanings, then the world can fall apart. After all, what makes the world what it is a learned phenomenon. We "make" the world from moment to moment. The question is an intrusion, undoing certainty, useful for solving problems. Metaphysics is simply the final problem, which is where religion usually dominates. But religion is reducible to philosophy.

    Philosophy's purpose is to eventually replace religion.
    Constance

    Most interesting. — Ms. Marple

    All inquiry eventually ends but not in clarity but in confusion. There are always some presuppositions that haven't been examined in the philosophical sense i.e. they were put into service as (vague) intuitions - like @Clarky keeps reminding us about how metaphysics is about utility rather than truth notwithstanding truth is most useful...or not (lies can be quite handy as well).
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    I recently found Neville Goddard and how all is one in God. It seems true, and listening to hours of Gregorian (sic) chants confirm it for me. I never understood the meditation thing but I don't doubt "reality" on a daily basis either. I find myself on my bed typing this and it all seems as real as can be. The cell phone even appears "to be" exactly as it looks, without any noumena behind it. So I get the idea of something beyond this world which engulfs it, but the regular daily things seem pretty clear and obvious to my perception. That's why it strange for me to read people saying that truth can't be found. Isn't there the truth of today? But putting all peoples' perspectives together is where the meta comes in. How is it that truth makes sense to me but others use words that contradict it? In moral questions it gets worse. I think it's wrong to ever kill another human, while others think self defense, death penalty, ect is valid. We have to ask our consciences those questions, and the truth part in prayer or meditation, as you say
  • Constance
    840
    All inquiry eventually ends but not in clarity but in confusion. There are always some presuppositions that haven't been examined in the philosophical sense i.e. they were put into service as (vague) intuitions - like Clarky keeps reminding us about how metaphysics is about utility rather than truth notwithstanding truth is most useful...or not (lies can be quite handy as well).Agent Smith

    Confusion only if one is confused. Science proceeds on a body of assumptions, but does not claim because these assumptions have reached their conclusive and final completion that they are confused. It is a "work in progress." What takes up indeterminacy is where determinacy leaves off. It is finding that field of inquiry which takes up at the basic level themes of indeterminacy that is first order of discovery.

    Confusion at first is always the case. Who gets Einstein at first glace? But language constructs contexts, and contexts are interpretative settings for the world to be seen, understood. How is this division between metaphysics and the given world contextually framed? It goes first to Kierkegaard and the "impossible" difference between language/logic and the world. As I see it, the difference between a toothache and its misery, and the language we use to "know" what toothaches are. The understanding is conceptual, is Kant's old claim. But he was right.

    So, how can one study, consider or even bring to mind actuality without language. "How to Avoid Speaking" Derrida asks. The world, in this raw presentative sense, is entirely other than language, so when we speak of it, we are always already at a distance. And we can see this at the intuitive level: there is a letter on my desk. I know what it is, but I also know the letter is not as if the essence of "being a letter" does not leap out at me from the thing there before me. I give it a context in which it acquires its intelligible identity, and it is this I am able to speak, tell others about, and so on.

    Here, we have actually encountered metaphysics. It is there IN the actuality I face. We "call" things, that is, take them AS contextualizing language, the unnamable what it IS, is utterly alien to the familiarity that is context.

    Heidegger thinks language is of a piece with the letter, and I think he is right, that is, as I see it as a letter, this "seeing as" fills the object, cannot be extricated from it as what-is-not-actuality. However, this does not change the actuality that is there and presents a profound deficit of understanding. It does not follow that actuality therefore "fits" into the schemata of established and familiar thought. We "face" metaphysics as a radical OTHER, just as we face, say, spatial eternity as radically other: It is not confusion we feel when we put our intuitions to the task of acknowledging infinite space. It is an event of our interiority, not a logical contradiction. We do this kind of thing all too seldom, I mean, allowing exercise to these threshold intuitions. Eternity is an existential confrontation, an impossibility that is IN the world's finitude. Massively interesting by my thinking. The letter on my desk is precisely this.
  • Constance
    840
    but I also know the letter is not as if the essence of "being a letter" does not leap out at me from the thing there before me.Constance

    this has an unintended double negative.
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    Language is mysterious for me. How does a child learn to connect words to actions and objects. If i point to a vase and say "vase", how does the child know that I am referring to the material object and not the pointing action, or the color of the vase for that matter. There is something we learn about language through social action and I don't think we can put our fingers on it. Is it indeterminate? I also want to know more about how we learn ancient languages and what the philosophy of language can say about that. Let's say one generation has a word for something, and then the next generation changes the meaning. The third generation will read the first with the second generation's meaning. So how it is possible to know what old languages mean? In our present world we learn subtitles and these are the core of communication, but again they are mysterious for me in that I don't know how they work. If we are disconnected from the past, there is still the question of how we are connected to the present

    I like your writing style btw
  • Constance
    840
    I recently found Neville Goddard and how all is one in God. It seems true, and listening to hours of Gregorian (sic) chants confirm it for me. I never understood the meditation thing but I don't doubt "reality" on a daily basis either. I find myself on my bed typing this and it all seems as real as can be. The cell phone even appears "to be" exactly as it looks, without any noumena behind it. So I get the idea of something beyond this world which engulfs it, but the regular daily things seem pretty clear and obvious to my perception. That's why it strange for me to read people saying that truth can't be found. Isn't there the truth of today? But putting all peoples' perspectives together is where the meta comes in. How is it that truth makes sense to me but others use words that contradict it? In moral questions it gets worse. I think it's wrong to ever kill another human, while others think self defense, death penalty, ect is valid. We have to ask our consciences those questions, and the truth part in prayer or meditation, as you sayGregory

    What the "real" is, I cannot say. That is, the issues that come out of trying to contextualize what it is to be real don't make things clearer until enough work is done that familiarity begins to yield, and one begins to understand what Kierkegaard meant by repetition. Look at it in this (somewhat Wordsworthian) way: There was a time when I did not have any of the impositions of language and memory taking hold of the world and in their grasp, defining it. Of course, being so young, nor did I have a structured personality to understand anything; I was a non-egoic agency, and the world was "pure" phenomena. This idea of pure phenomena is the way Husserl talks about "things themselves" that appear in a lucid apperceptual encounter with the world in the employment of the "method" of reducing experience to its phenomenal underpinning. It is a method, his "epoche," and not simply a thesis! Starting with Husserl is not a bad idea, and his Cartesian Meditations are very accessible. Anyway, in the reading and the practice of the epoche (phenomenological reduction), there is, one could argue, a regressive attempt to regain what was lost in the process of enculturation, and what was lost is the ability to spontaneously witness the world in a purely forward looking (rather than a backward recollection) way, with only an unmade future, a "nothing" before you, but FREE of the learned anxieties that qualify a typical lived life (see Heidegger's What Is Metaphysics). This kind of encounter is like the atman realizing she is the Brahman, if you want to use that language (language is the prison cell and the key at once. Better to be very cautious of any language, I say. See Levinas' Totality and Infinity, though it will drive you a bit mad trying to understand what he's saying. Such works at first need to be "read through" imperfectly, then adjacent readings about this, and then others about these, and so on.)
    I think Rorty and Derrida have truth right. See Derrida's Structure, Sign and Play (not his famous "Differance" which will just irritate you). Even to utter the term 'truth', you are in a vast language context out of which there is no exit, for to conceive of an exit is an act of language. So our understand of anything is always already a language affair. I can't really do this justice. You'd have to read these guys, watch online lectures, etc. As I see it, truth eventually points to its own delimitations, and truth itself calls for a shutting down of the world, that is, culture and familiarity.
    As for ethics, killing others and all of its confusions, I put these down altogether, and ask the foundational question: what IS ethics? It is a thing of parts. Long discussion. See John Mackie's Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong for the opposite of what I believe about this. It is masterfully written. I take the exact opposite view, though.
  • Constance
    840
    Language is mysterious for me. How does a child learn to connect words to actions and objects. If i point to a vase and say "vase", how does the child know that I am referring to the material object and not the pointing action, or the color of the vase for that matter. There is something we learn about language through social action and I don't think we can put our fingers on it. Is it indeterminate?Gregory

    You are missing the essential part of language acquisition: it occurs in time. See the pragmatists on the hypothetical deductive method (aka, the scientific method). What is, say, nitro glycerin? The anxwer comes in the form of a conditional: IF it impacts a surface at a certain velocity, THEN it will explode. That is what it IS. All things we encounter are things we already know. How was this acquired? imagine a no nothing infant, noises all around, modelled language everywhere. Eventually you make the connections: IF this noise is made, THEN the color RED is present. Hmmmm; noise...the color red...Eureka!
    Of course, infants don't think like this, but it is fairly intuitive that the process is like this.

    The meanings we encounter in the world are forward looking. We don't know, in the knowing, what things are; we know what they do, the results they produce.
  • MAYAEL
    239
    what exactly are you referring to as "real" exactly? I mean you say you are experiencing the "right now" and that it feels real to you while others say it's not real
    So I guess my question is by what means are you determining that your experience is actually real?
  • MAYAEL
    239
    language is the material that the matrix is made out of and that we are all trapped within,

    because instead of you personally experiencing something inorder to know it
    I can instead tell you about it and when I tell you about it I am building a copy of that experience that I had inside your mind so that your mind can experience it without the body and without the limitations of linearity in time
    The main drawback however is that no matter how I tell it to you you will never have the same exact copy of that "thing" in your mind that I do

    And this is what makes us different then every other living creature and it's also the reason why we lose sleep wondering these philosophical questions that don't seem to bother other living creatures

    Because are minds are so developed around language it has unfortunately created a kind of lie so to speak because using language we make things like the concept of time and the past and the future and so many other concepts that aren't in the now right now and Infront of your face literally

    And they require you to use your imagination inorder to see and understand them

    Whereas other animals they only deal with what's real
    And what's real is what's right in front of your face and happening right now and nothing else

    So much of what we know is because of language and not because we literally experienced it for ourselves
    So 95% of what we know is a fake kind of knowledge of existence and the route of why we have these questions about life and why we feel like the world is an illusion AKA Maya because to us it is a false world because most of us have never actually experienced the world that we know of in our heads we've only talked about it whereas animals have much less knowledge than we do but all of the knowledge that they have is of the real world because they literally experienced it and so this is why language is the material the glue and the string that holds the matrix together
  • Richard B
    111
    But “when” is space, so to speak? Position A and position B can be determined be measuring the distance between the two points based on some established convention. But these concepts are unsustainable on analysis; show me the duration at positions A and B. If positions A and B have no duration, all that can be confirmed is an altogether indeterminate position, for a lack of a better word.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.