a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:52 pm

Dan~ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:What am I missing here?

Realness is inescapable.


We'll need a context of course.

Or, instead, should we first pin down the definitive, technically correct meaning of "realness" and "inescapable".

Give that your best shot and then pick a context in which to explore Kant's take on moral obligations among rational human beings.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:58 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

Throughout history, and in all cultures, people have responded to Kant’s fundamental question ‘What is the human being?’ in very diverse ways; even denying that humans have any relation with the material world, as extreme gnostics do. Or Hare Krishna devotees exclaim, ‘You are not your body’. Indeed, there has been a long tradition in Western philosophy that identifies the subject/self with consciousness.


Okay, but where does this actually take us other than back to the point I keep raising: that, in regard to "all things human", what counts is not what you "exclaim" to be true but the extent in which your exclamations are able to be substantiated experientially with respect to a particular context that most in the discussion will be familiar with.

Otherwise, the exchange ends up revolving only around what you believe to be the case about being human. And, down through the ages there have been countless intellectual renditions -- social, political, economic -- of that.

Anthropologists have long emphasized and illustrated the diversity of cultural conceptions of the human subject; but even within the Western intellectual tradition there exists an absolute welter of studies that have attempted to define or conceptualize the human subject in different ways.


And how much more readily that is accomplished when the concepts themselves come to reflect, by and large, how one defines the words in the concepts. That is why, when push comes to shove, anthropologists have been able to depict cultures over time historically and across space culturally that construe "what is the human being" in so many complex and conflicting ways. What does that tell us about the limitations of language itself in capturing these things objectively?

Western responses to Kant’s fundamental question have been extremely diverse and contrasting, and I want to briefly discuss three approaches: the essentialist, the dualist, and the Kantian triadic ontology of the subject.


The "Kantian triadic ontology"?

That ought to be interesting.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:39 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

The first approach tends to define the human subject or self in terms of a single essential attribute. The following essentialist characterizations of humanity are well known: Homo economicus (‘economic man’), Homo faber (‘the tool-making primate’), Homo sapiens (‘wise man’), and Homo ludens (‘man the player’). Aristotle famously defined humanity as Zoon logon echon – ‘the animal endowed with reason’. (The tendency to group Aristotle together with the likes of Descartes, Kant and Heidegger as an advocate of a dualistic metaphysic is, however, somewhat misplaced, because Aristotle, as Ernst Mayr always insisted, was fundamentally a biological thinker. Aristotle certainly knew a lot more about the diversity of animal life than did the pretentious Jacques Derrida and his cat.) Robert Ardrey, in contrast, defined humanity as the ‘killer ape’; while Julien La Mettrie and Richard Dawkins seem to envisage the human person as simply a biological machine. A more recent controversial account of humans depicts them in rather Hobbesian fashion as a wholly predatory and destructive animal: Homo rapiens (John Gray). Such misanthropy is debatable, and is simply an update of Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion that humans are a ‘pox’ on a beautiful earth. Many twentieth century deep ecologists have expressed the same negative sentiments, that humans are ‘aliens’ or ‘parasites’ on the rest of the biosphere; and thus famines, the AIDS epidemic, and malaria, were extolled as a way of reducing the human population. Such anti-humanism was long ago critiqued by the social ecologist Murray Bookchin.


What does this reveal if not the many, many diverse and conflicting ways in which my "I" and your "I" and their "I" can be "situated" out in a particular world understood from a particular point of view? Again, all I attempt is to make the distinction between what we have come to believe about the "human condition" "in our head" and that which we are, to the best of our ability, able to demonstrate to others as something that they would/should want to believe too.

And that would certainly be the case in regard to establishing the "single essential attribute" of someone's identity. The "the real me".

The start of course is simple enough: "I" am a biological entity that must acquire everything necessary to remain among the living. Agreed? Ah, but after that, we bump into all of the men and women down though the ages who have gone on to propose hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of diverse and conflicting social, political, economic, philosophical, moral and spiritual explanations for the rest of it.

Sure, what is the alternative but to at least make the attempt. One way or another we have to devise the least dysfunctional manner in which to interact. But to imagine that what you have figured out does in fact reflect the best of all possible worlds?

How could that not be a manifestation of human psychology?

On the other hand: whatever that means.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:13 pm

iambiguous wrote:Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

The first approach tends to define the human subject or self in terms of a single essential attribute. The following essentialist characterizations of humanity are well known: Homo economicus (‘economic man’), Homo faber (‘the tool-making primate’), Homo sapiens (‘wise man’), and Homo ludens (‘man the player’). Aristotle famously defined humanity as Zoon logon echon – ‘the animal endowed with reason’. (The tendency to group Aristotle together with the likes of Descartes, Kant and Heidegger as an advocate of a dualistic metaphysic is, however, somewhat misplaced, because Aristotle, as Ernst Mayr always insisted, was fundamentally a biological thinker. Aristotle certainly knew a lot more about the diversity of animal life than did the pretentious Jacques Derrida and his cat.) Robert Ardrey, in contrast, defined humanity as the ‘killer ape’; while Julien La Mettrie and Richard Dawkins seem to envisage the human person as simply a biological machine. A more recent controversial account of humans depicts them in rather Hobbesian fashion as a wholly predatory and destructive animal: Homo rapiens (John Gray). Such misanthropy is debatable, and is simply an update of Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion that humans are a ‘pox’ on a beautiful earth. Many twentieth century deep ecologists have expressed the same negative sentiments, that humans are ‘aliens’ or ‘parasites’ on the rest of the biosphere; and thus famines, the AIDS epidemic, and malaria, were extolled as a way of reducing the human population. Such anti-humanism was long ago critiqued by the social ecologist Murray Bookchin.


What does this reveal if not the many, many diverse and conflicting ways in which my "I" and your "I" and their "I" can be "situated" out in a particular world understood from a particular point of view? Again, all I attempt is to make the distinction between what we have come to believe about the "human condition" "in our head" and that which we are, to the best of our ability, able to demonstrate to others as something that they would/should want to believe too.

And that would certainly be the case in regard to establishing the "single essential attribute" of someone's identity. The "the real me".

The start of course is simple enough: "I" am a biological entity that must acquire everything necessary to remain among the living. Agreed? Ah, but after that, we bump into all of the men and women down though the ages who have gone on to propose hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of diverse and conflicting social, political, economic, philosophical, moral and spiritual explanations for the rest of it.

Sure, what is the alternative but to at least make the attempt. One way or another we have to devise the least dysfunctional manner in which to interact. But to imagine that what you have figured out does in fact reflect the best of all possible worlds?

How could that not be a manifestation of human psychology?

On the other hand: whatever that means.




A simulation by artificial means may take up the slack . But is he, will be or she, get the trust necessary to possess worthy of that absolute doubt?


Iambiguous said,

"The start of course is simple enough: "I" am a biological entity that must acquire everything necessary to remain among the living. Agreed? Ah, but after that, we bump into all of the men and women down though the ages who have gone on to propose hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of diverse and conflicting social, political, economic, philosophical, moral and spiritual explanations for the rest of it.

Sure, what is the alternative but to at least make the attempt. One way or another we have to devise the least dysfunctional manner in which to interact. But to imagine that what you have figured out does in fact reflect the best of all possible worlds?

How could that not be a manifestation of human psychology?

On the other hand: whatever that means."

The paradoxical result is simulated distinctively by the forced upon ' mea ing that tries to spin an architectural matrix on a retroactive meaningful development.

Functional interpretations are still meaningful to a satisfactory degree.
Such becomes necessary to avoid collapse into a sense of chaos.
Would You agree?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:00 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

The list of what is deemed to be the essential characteristic of the human species seems virtually endless. But significantly, such interpretations based on a single essential characteristic tend to gravitate to two extremes. On the one hand, there are those scholars who firmly believe in the existence of a universal human nature or essence. Generally adopting a highly individual-centered approach, the human subject is thus defined either as a purely rational ego (as with rational choice theorists), or as having innate tendencies and dispositions – as having a universal nature that was forged through natural selection processes during the Palaeolithic, when humans were hunter-gatherers. Thus humans have a nature, and it is fundamentally tribal, as Robin Fox puts it.


Really, how can someone explore in depth human historical and anthropological accounts and come to the conclusion that there is an "essential characteristic" -- an "essential nature" -- able to explain away all of the many, many diverse and ofttimes conflicting moral narratives and political agendas? Especially in regard to the so-called "rational ego"? Instead, once you go beyond biological imperatives that pertain to all of us, the rest becomes a cauldron of perennial confrontation.

As for human nature being essentially tribal, how do you explain the manner in which capitalism has of late basically ripped that demographic font to shreds. It's not a question of if the individual prevails in the modern global economy, but how many millions of individuals are left behind barely able to sustain themselves as wage slaves from week to week to week.

Unless you want to call this assessment itself the essential characteristic of human interactions.

On the other hand, many other scholars, particularly cultural anthropologists, existentialists and postmodernists, deny that humans have an essence or nature. Such scholars often suggest that in becoming human beings, through the development of language, symbolic thought, self-consciousness, and complex sociality, we have moved beyond nature to become free of the chains of our instincts. We have become, in Ernst Cassirer’s term, Homo symbolicum. Such a conception has often been critiqued (by, for instance, Steven Pinker), as it implies that the human mind is simply a ‘blank slate’ which has completely effaced human biological history and the inherited specific faculties of the human brain, and therefore, mind.


Memes for the most part. Social, political, economic. Sexual, artistic, psychological. There are really no aspects of human interactions in which the biological imperatives we all share in common are not confronted, then molded and manipulated, in a ceaseless accumulation of ever evolving human communities. All with their own more or less unique set of circumstances. The part where dasein, conflicting goods and political economy become more and more intertwined in "I".

And the beauty of memes of course is that the moral and political objectivists among us can claim that they and they alone understand what they mean...and why everyone else is obligated to understand them the same way.

You can't do that with genes...with the brute facticity built into human biology in the either/or world. There you either understand or misunderstand what is in fact demonstrable as "natural".

Not that this will ever stop the objectivists. In regard to, among other things, race and ethnicity and gender and sexual orientation. Even the gap between what we think we understand about the evolution of life on Earth and all that there is yet to be known is closed by them in concocting their "one of us" vs. "one of them" mentality.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:53 pm

Don’t mind iambiguous much,

He’s currently a diagnosable narcissist.

He believes that because he changed his mind once, that truth cannot possibly exist for anyone ever.

If he makes ONE fucking mistake ONCE! Everyone must make mistakes forever! This is the depth of his soul right now.

That’s his current shtick, he’ll grow out of it and join the objectivists.
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:12 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Don’t mind iambiguous much,

He’s currently a diagnosable narcissist.

He believes that because he changed his mind once, that truth cannot possibly exist for anyone ever.

If he makes ONE fucking mistake ONCE! Everyone must make mistakes forever! This is the depth of his soul right now.

That’s his current shtick, he’ll grow out of it and join the objectivists.


I have told you repeatedly that I am of the opinion -- and that is all it is, my own personal opinion -- that you are afflicted with a "condition" that prompts you to post things here at ILP that make absolutely no sense at all. Surreal, bizarre things. You pummel us with all of these assumptions about everything under the sun but you fail to convince me that you are actually able to demonstrate that they are true much beyond you believing that they are.

Something is proven only in the fact of you having posted it.


That and this:

:scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked:

You know, just in case this condition is contagious.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:49 pm

Iambiguous,

I don’t give a fuck about what anyone says:

by definition: nobody wants consent violation

You, like others, who confess to be atheists, cannot go there, because It’s a REAL disproof of a good god! Something falsifiable !!! I’ve met closeted homosexuals before! To meet them (especially in this era) is astounding !

Like Shakespeare wrote: “thou dost protest too much”

You’re a closeted theist. I can smell this anywhere! You even use the theist argument “the only reason morality exists is if god exists”

I hate those fucks, I hate you actually. My hate is not me projecting, I really hate people that cry out loud that if god doesn’t exist, morality doesn’t or can’t exist! You’re trolling the god concept. Everyone wants god to exist as a benevolent creator. Not very benevolent because obviously every being in existence is having their consent violated !

The trolling by you is simple: if god doesn’t exist, then we can do whatever the fuck we want! Which is your attempt at forcing people to believe in god, actually your attempt at forcing you to believe in god!

Dude! Consent violation occurs. That’s a moral fact! God hasn’t been born yet. Those are objective statements.

You will become an objectivist some day!
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:36 am

Consent violation does occur, Sorrily, but that does not lead to the requirement that a pre supposed zero sum ideal should be abandoned.
But if they should, then what injunctive sets can be pre-established at least to compensate for the gaps hidden within?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:43 pm

Ecmandu wrote:
I don’t give a fuck about what anyone says:

by definition: nobody wants consent violation


Just for the record, socially, politically and economically, "consent violation" is in fact a real thing. Just Google it: https://www.google.com/search?ei=i5oUX5 ... ent=psy-ab

Lots and lots of different takes [historically] on what it is and what to do about it. Marx and political economy, Freud and the id, ego and super ego, Jung and...the Shadow?

But the point of this thread is, instead, to focus in on the extent to which any particular individual's take on it is embodied in what I construe to be "dasein" in my signature threads. As opposed to those objectivists among us -- with or without a "condition" -- who insist that there is one and only one way in which to understand it.

Their way. Just ask them.

If you dare: :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:26 pm

Consent violation is not a dasein issue, it’s 100 percent subjective and objective - the only concept that works this way!!! You say to yourself “I don’t like this”. Well fuck, that’s as subjective as it gets!! The objective part? People on the outside say, “I guess other people don’t like things”.

I know people as moral nihilists, post modernists and post structuralists will argue anything to feel good.

Problem is, no matter how much they argue, every fucking being in existence is having their consent violated (including them). — that’s the one fucking concept you don’t fuck with! And I say this to the people who want to fuck with EVERY concept!!
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:36 pm

Of course, for some, you don't have to "dare to ask".

In fact, for them, there is almost nothing you can do to stop them from screeching out at you their own rendition of The Way.

Then you react.

Me?

:scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked: :scared-shocked:

my new favorite emoji...thanks Ec. I wouldn't have found it without you
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:59 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

Homo Duplex

It has also long been recognized that humans are fundamentally both natural and cultural beings, and that language, self-identity, and social existence are interconnected, and have been throughout human history.


Tell that to those hell-bent on reducing human identity down to either genes or memes. Or intent on emphasizing one far more than the other. If only up in the scholastic clouds.

Really. Pick a behavior, put it in context and describe where the biological self ends and all the rest of it begins. Now, sure, in the either/or world, that is more readily apparent. If Mary has sex and becomes pregnant by John or Jim buys a gun and kills Jane, there are any number of objective facts that can be pinned down in describing what they as individuals experienced. She did this and that happened. He did that and this happened. Every rational human being is able to concur in regard to the self on this level.

But how ought language, identity and social existence be interconnected when the discussion turns instead to the self as a moral agent? Where here do genes meld into memes meld into other genes meld into others memes in pinning down "I" rationally? And where is one more clearly in charge?

As Kenan Malik emphasized, human nature is as much a product of our historical development as it is of our biological heritage. Emile Durkheim famously expressed this dualistic conception of human subjectivity as Homo duplex when he wrote:

“Man is double. There are two beings in him; an individual being which has its foundation in the organism, and a social being which represents the highest reality in the intellectual and moral order”

Like his mentor, Auguste Comte, Durkheim allowed little scope for a science of psychology, let alone any existentialist thought.


This is basically my point. That, in any number of complex contexts, objectivists anchor "I" to either genes or memes. "I" understood either solely or far more by way of nature or nurture. Thus the dog eat dog survival of the fittest advocates of biological imperatives versus those who embrace "humanism" and put all the emphasis instead on learning and unlearning behaviors due to historical and cultural "environments" that shape and mold each new generation to be moral or immoral.

For me, it is more the profoundly problematic intertwining of both. Science works in some instances but the existentialists are closer in others.

I merely suggest a far more "profoundly problematic" self, that, for some of us, result in a fractured and fragmented personality in the is/ought world of value judgments and conflicting goods.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:44 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

It has long been recognized, by thinkers as diverse as Edmund Husserl, Erich Fromm, and Lewis Mumford, that there is an essential ‘paradox’ or ‘contradiction’ at the heart of human life. For humans as organisms are an intrinsic part of nature, while at the same time, through our conscious experience, symbolic life, and above all, our culture, we are also in a sense separate from nature.


The mystery of mind. The far more highly evolved self-conscious minds of the human species. In fact, who really knows what the minds of "lesser creatures" perceive and/or conceive about the world around them. We know that we share more "primitive" brains functions with many other animal species. And we often make that distinction between creatures able to grasp on at least some level the existence of "I" -- orangutans, chimpanzees, gorillas, bottlenose dolphins, elephants, orcas, bonobos, rhesus macaques, European magpies -- and those creatures that seem to be propelled/compelled entirely by biological imperatives embedded in instincts and drives.

We have instincts and drives as well. But, unlike most other animals, we are, given some measure of human autonomy, actually able to react to and to judge the behaviors of those who, in embodying their own more primitive brain functions, don't choose the same values and behaviors as we do.

I merely focus the beam here on the extent to which these interactions are rooted more in dasein -- "I" -- than in what philosophers can tell us about, among other things, the moral obligations of so-called "rational" minds.

In this light humans have been described by Raymond Tallis as an ‘explicit animal’. We have what Cicero described as a ‘second nature’. This duality or dialectic is well expressed in the famous painting in the Vatican by Raphael, The School of Athens, which depicts Plato pointing up to the heavens while Aristotle points down to the earth.


Still, once again, take this particular "intellectual contraption" down off the skyhooks, and integrate the words out in particular worlds understood in conflicting ways by the only species, capable of communicating memes as well. Historical, cultural and interpersonal in any number of particular human communities.

Instead, the discussion continues on -- in articles such as this -- only up in the clouds of scholastic abstraction:

Human duality is also reflected in the fact that the human brain is composed of two distinct hemispheres, with distinct functions, and two very different ways of being in the world. The left hemisphere is associated with language, symbolic thought, analysis, facts or things in isolation, focussed attention, and the non-living aspects of the world; while the right hemisphere is associated with visual imagery, pre-linguistic thought, synthesis, patterns and relations, things in context, and organic life. Reason, science, creativity and selfhood all involve both sides of the brain, and there is no simple relationship between the hemispherical differences and ethnic, class or gender affiliations. It is significant however that if the right side of the brain is severely damaged, the left side becomes overactive, and an ultra-rationalist sensibility may develop. This sensibility is manifested in a predilection for abstraction and geometric patterns, a flight from the body, a feeling of fragmentation, a lack of empathy for others (egoism), and alienation from the natural world – the postmodern condition, or the schizophrenic personality lauded by Gilles Deleuze?


Whereas the "duality" that I am most intrigued by revolves around the distinction between I in the either/or world and "I" in the is/ought world.

These biological elements/imperatives are important to grapple with and to grasp but once one is convinced they have the clearest possible understanding of them, how is this knowledge applicable to identity as an existential contraption confronting conflicting goods out in a particular political economy?

Always assuming of course that the is/ought world reflects the actual existence of free will in our own species. In other words being able to explain scientifically how the evolution of biological life on Earth actually resulted in the autonomous mind.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:48 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

A Triadic Ontology

In this seminal text [Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View (1798)] Kant suggested that there were three distinct, but interrelated, ways of understanding the human subject: firstly as a universal species-being (mensch) – the “earthly being endowed with reason” on which Kant’s anthropological work was mainly focussed...


Reason derived first and foremost from the biological imperatives rooted in the evolution of life on Earth. Then the endless debates over whether the reason men and women are endowed with is better understood from the perspective of nature or nurture...from genes or memes.

...secondly as a unique self...


But: unique only given the extraordinary complexity of the genetic I and the memetic "I" out in a particular world historically, culturally and circumstantially; a profoundly problematic subjective/subjunctive "self" that evolves over time embedded in very, very different social, political and economic contexts. And awash further in the exigencies embedded in contingency chance and change.

All of which is subsumed for the objectivists among us in that rock solid "real me" ever and always in sync with "the right thing to think, feel, say and do".

...and thirdly as part of a people – as a member of a particular social group (volk).


Same thing. The parts that are in fact true for all in the community and the parts that seem true for some but not for others.

Notwithstanding the last element, Herder always insisted that Kant, with his emphasis on universal human faculties such as imagination, perception, memory, feelings, desires and understanding, tended to downplay the importance of language, poetry and cultural diversity in understanding human life. But as a pioneer anthropologist, Herder also emphasized that anthropology, not speculative metaphysics or logic, was the key to understanding humans and their life-world, that is, their culture.


Anthropology. Flesh and blood human beings interacting in extant historical, cultural and experiential communities in which once again some things are able to be demonstrated as true objectively for all.

And some things aren't.

All I can do here then is to seek out those who share in the things that Kant either emphasized or downplayed. And in regard to a particular context most here will be familiar -- from "the news" say -- discuss in more detail the "human subject".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:28 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

Long ago the anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn, following Kant, made a statement that is in some ways rather banal but which has always seemed to me to encompass an important truth. Critical of dualistic nature-culture conceptions of the human subject, Kluckhohn, along with the pioneer psychologist Henry Murray, suggested that every person is, as a species-being (a human) in some respects like every other person; but they are also all like no other human being in having a unique personality (or self); and, finally, that they have affinities with some other humans in being a social and cultural being (or person).


Which is basically what I am myself suggesting in the OP:

a man amidst mankind...

That is the paradox, right? I am an individual....a man; yet, in turn, I am but one of 6,500,000,000 additional men and women that constitutes what is commonly called "mankind". So, in what sense can I, as an individual, grasp my identity as separate and distinct from mankind? How do I make intelligent distinctions between my personal, psychological "self" [the me "I" know intimately from day to day], my persona [the me "I" project -- often as a chameleon -- in conflicting interactions with others], and my historical and ethnological self as a white male who happened adventitiously to be born and raised to view reality from the perspective of a 20th century United States citizen?

How does all of this coalesce into who I think I am? And how does this description contrast with how others grasp who they think I am? Is there a way to derive an objective rendering of my true self? Can I know objectively who I am?

No, I don't think so.

Identity is ever constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed over the years by hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of variables---some of which we had/have no choice/control regarding. We really are "thrown" into a fortuitous smorgasbord of demographic factors at birth and then molded and manipulated as children into whatever configuration of "reality" suits the cultural [and political] institutions of our time.

On the other hand:

In my view, one crucial difference between people is the extent to which they become more or less self-conscious of this. Why? Because, obviously, to the extent that they do, they can attempt to deconstruct the past and then reconstruct the future into one of their own more autonomous making.

But then what does this really mean? That is the question that has always fascinated me the most. Once I become cognizant of how profoundly problematic my "self" is, what can "I" do about it? And what are the philosophical implications of acknowledging that identity is, by and large, an existential contraption that is always subject to change without notice? What can we "anchor" our identity to so as to make this prefabricated...fabricated...refabricated world seem less vertiginous? And, thus, more certain.


And it would seem to be a "banal" example of, well, commonsense. What could possibly me more obvious in regard to "I" interacting with others out in a particular world historically, culturally and circumstantially?

But over and again, I come across objectivists of all stripes who reject it. Why? Because to the extent this is a reasonable manner in which to view human interactions in a world teeming with conflicting goods -- with contingency, chance and change -- the less reasonable it is to suppose that the objectivists can demonstrate that they are instead "at one" with the "real me" able to transcend history and cultural and circumstances in order to grasp -- re Kant and others -- the one behavior that all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to choose.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:49 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

....three categories relate to three levels or processes in which all humans are embedded; namely, the phylogenetic, pertaining to the evolution of humans as a species-being; the ontogenetic, which relates to the life history of the person within a specific familial and biological setting; and, finally, the socio-historical, which situates the person in a specific social-cultural context.


Okay, you're a serious philosopher. Do these distinctions seem reasonable to you? If so, in regard to an experience you had that was of particular importance to you, how would you describe it insofar as to the best of your ability you focus in on distinguishing these three categories of "I", "I" and "i".

My point would be that there are biological/demographic facts about you. Facts that all rational men and women would accept because they can be reasonably demonstrated to be facts. The first because you are in fact a member of the human species given the evolution of life on planet Earth. The second because there are any number of facts that can be established in regard to our "specific familial and biological setting". The third because there are as well numerous facts that can be shared with others regarding the demographic parameters of the life we live.

The self here is an objective entity interacting with other objective entities such that actual truths can be exchanged in which all reasonable can come to agree regarding. Thus allowing us to, among other things, go about the business of interacting with others from day to day without everything being brought into question.

So Kluckholm, not unlike Kant, thought human beings need to be conceptualized in terms of three interconnected aspects: as a species-being characterized by biopsychological dispositions and complex sociality; as a unique individual self; and finally, as a social being or person, enacting social identities or subjectivities – which in all human societies are multiple, shifting and relational. For an anthropologist like Kluckhohn the distinction between being a human individual and being a person was important, for many tribal people recognize non-human persons, while under chattel slavery, the law treated human slaves not as persons, but rather as things or commodities.



Here I can only keep coming back to what I deem to be the most important distinction of all: the extent to which, however one comes up with categories from which one approaches any particular sense of identity, one is able demonstrate that what he or she believes "in my head" is in fact true. Now we don't have many "tribal" folks among us but for them they embodied a culture in which, by and large, there was a place for everyone in the tribe/village and everyone had damn well better be in their place. Things were only as they could ever be given one or another collection of Gods.

For the rest of us though in the "modern world" there are considerably more options. Socially, politically and economically. But my distinction still holds. To what extent as one of the three "selves" above are you able to demonstrate that what you think is true is in fact true.

Shifting back and forth between and intertwining the either/or world and the is/ought world.

Given a particular context.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:10 pm

Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

Throughout the twentieth century, many scholars, within diverse intellectual traditions, did develop a more integrated approach to the understanding of the human subject, recognizing, like Kant, the need to develop a more complex model of the subject.


"Scholars with diverse intellectual traditions", explore the "human subject".

Enough said?

The human subject as an intellectual contraption that bears almost no resemblance whatsoever to flesh and blood human beings going about the business of attaining and then sustaining the least dysfunctional world.

You know, to actually live in.

Instead, the complexity [as in this very article] will revolve almost entirely around words defining and then defending other words.

The sociologist Marcel Mauss, for example, in contrast to Durkheim’s concept of Homo duplex, conceptualized the human subject as l’homme total, conceived as a biological, psychological and social being; a living being with inherent capacities and powers and a unique self constituted through diverse social relationships.


Okay, but how are differentiations of this sort not just basically common sense? There is the self as a biological entity embedded in the human species. But even here the genetic programing of particular individuals is all over the biological map. Some focus on gender, others on race, still others on temperament and character. Where here do genes end and memes begin? And the psychological "I" intertwined in the social "I" embedded in countless historical, cultural and circumstantial contexts...how can this not make the task of pinning down, among other things, the motivations and intention of any one of us in any particular context nothing short of profoundly problematic?

Likewise, within the pragmatist tradition, George Herbert Mead and C. Wright Mills emphasized that the human being was simultaneously a biological organism, a self with a fundamentally social psychic structure, and a person embedded within a specific historical context.


Exactly. Given this enormously complex intertwining of variables from countless "disciplines", does not pragmatism seem the best approach to, say, moral and political interactions, to government policies?

Then yet more "schools of thought":

The Marxist phenomenologists Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Herbert Marcuse, the Neo-Freudian scholars Erich Fromm and Erik Erikson (who attempted a synthesis between psychoanalysis and, respectively, Marxism or anthropology), and the cultural anthropologists Clyde Kluckhohn, Irving Hallowell and Melford Spiro, have all attempted, in various ways, to convey the complex triadic nature of human subjectivity. The postmodernist mantra that with the developments in biotechnology and computer science (the web) we are ‘humans no more’ – the title of a recent text – is pure reverie [dream], to use a term of that rather neglected French scholar Gaston Bachelard.


So, given all of this, how on earth are we to explain the sheer number of moral and political objectivists among us? Both down through the ages and cross-culturally. Well, excluding determinism as the only explanation for everything, I can only presume that there must be something in how the human brain is hard-wired that we are "driven" towards a psychological need to pull everything together into one or another rendition of this: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=185296
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:45 pm

That is true, and the causes are important to dwell upon:


Reductionism is primarily a socio-psychological phenomenon , to fill in the ever widening gaps that can not be recalled, is cognitive reaction of that ever increasing lapse

It is a compelling dynamic that reasserts the a-priori signified lack of substantially verified data.
Russell's sense suffered from this intangible lack of data.

However with automotively simulated memory , the psychological need will diminish.
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:51 pm

A Philosophical Identity Crisis
Chris Durante asks himself just what makes him the person he used to be.

Stepping into a park I had frequented as a little boy, memories of my childhood began to flood my mind, each one a rich story of a distant past. As I continued to reminisce, each story flowed into the next, and I began to witness the development of an intricate character whom I refer to as ‘me’. All these stories that I had authored in my experience flowed together to give me a unique history.


I still recall the very first experience I had as a child with my "identity" as more than just me thinking this or doing that. I was at my Aunt Betty and Uncle Mike's house in Miners Mills, Pennsylvania. My family moved to Baltimore when I was 7, but every summer I would go back and spend a couple of months at my Grandmother's house. That day I had I had done something I was being reprimanded for but I refused to go into details as to why I had done it. That's when my Aunt Mary said something to the effect, "it's no use, he is just like his father".

And then for the first time, and for reasons I did not understand, I began to really think about that. "Philosophically", as it were. I began to wonder how the boy I had become was connected to my parents and my family and how they had raised me and how in some ways I had come to be like them.

What if I had been raised by different parents in very different circumstances? Would I have done what I did that day? Would I have reacted to others as I did?

But then of course I slipped back into just being a kid again.

Yet reflecting on all the experiences, goals, traits, and values that I’ve had, it dawned on me that my identity seemed more elusive than one might usually believe. Ruminating over these strands of my past, at times it was as if I could watch my traits develop, values evolve, my goals be accomplished and recreated; but other moments I recollected appeared in my mind as if they were foreign elements in my mental landscape. Some of the stories seemed to be integral aspects of who I am, while other memories seemed very distant, almost as if the main character was a different person.


Here of course all you need to note is that while this is largely applicable to all of us, the actual pieces that come together out in particular worlds, lived in particular ways, understood from particular points of view, seems clearly to revolve around the manner in which I encompass human identity in dasein. And surely philosophers over the years have not managed to encompass themselves an assessment of identity able to take into account all of these diverse sets of circumstances.

As for ethicists, what progress has been made going all the way back to the pre-Socratics in providing us with a more rational manner in which to differentiate right from wrong? Let alone the most rational manner. "I" here is as existential, as problematic as ever. Perhaps even more so in a "postmodern" world where almost everything is up for grabs in the minds of the deconstructionists. Even language itself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:03 pm

A Philosophical Identity Crisis
Chris Durante asks himself just what makes him the person he used to be.

We usually intuitively believe that our identities remain constant over long periods of time. We acknowledge changes in character traits, etc., yet maintain a belief in the singularity of people’s ‘actual’ identities. If your good friend Greg were to claim that he was not the same person he was five years ago, we would not usually assume that Greg was now a numerically distinct person, we would take it as a figure of speech denoting that Greg has undergone some major event in his life, or that he has undergone some drastic change in his personality traits. Yet when asked “Just what is it that makes a person persist as the same person over time?” can we really say what it is that gives human beings the unique personal identities we assume them to have?


What else can this possibly revolve around "for all practical purposes" except those aspects of our self that we are most certain about. Things about us most able to be demonstrated to others as in fact true. Me? Well I am in fact a white male. I am an American citizen. I live in Baltimore. I worked at Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock company. Also at Bethlehem Steel. I was drafted into the Army. I was in Vietnam. I went to college at Towson State University. I majored in philosophy. I was a political activists for nearly 25 years in various radical/left wing organizations. I was married, divorced and helped to raise our daughter. And on and on and on with any number of facts about myself that I certainly consider to be crucial components of my own "personal identity".

And who here can't describe the same sort of demographic/circumstantial Me.

Many philosophers have attempted to tackle the issue of personal identity, generating a number of distinct theories. I shall provide a synopsis of the two major accounts, mentioning some of the major players, and proceed to reconcile these opposing views with a hybrid account of what constitutes a personal identity which persists over time as a numerically identical individual, or in other words, what makes a single person.


There's that word again: theory.

"I" encompassed scholastically in a "world of words" in which "intellectual contraptions" take over the task of of pinning down what makes us "a single person".

But, okay, fine. Come up with your theories. And then bring them to a thread like this where these intellectual assessments can be tested by taking them out into the world where the manner in which we see ourselves may not be at all in sync with the manner in which others see us.

And that's the part where, in my view, the most crucial distinction has to be made between what we believe about ourselves in any particular set of circumstances and what we can demonstrate to others is in fact true...and that they ought to believe it as well.

Instead, the author takes us straight back up into the stratosphere:

The two major – and rival – accounts of personal identity in philosophy have been physical or body-based theories, and psychological theories of persistent identity. The dominant of the two are those theories which adhere to some form of psychology-based criterion of continuing personal identity. Yet before delving into this account I would like to summarize the physicalist approach.

The bodily continuity criterion for personal identity states that for a person at a particular time (t1) and a person at a later time (t2) to be numerically identical (meaning, retaining a single identity which has persisted over time), the person at t1 (P1) and the person at t2 (P2) must possess the same body. If it can be said that the body in question is indeed the same body despite any changes in regard to its individual parts or particular material composition, then P2 is indeed the same person as P1.


Now, don't get me wrong. Making distinctions of this sort can certainly be useful in grappling with our own physical and psychological self. We have to spend at least some time thinking through our behaviors in terms of the fundamental relationship between the mind and the body. How are they intertwined in any particular context assuming some measure pf autonomy. Where does nature pass the baton to nurture, and genes to memes in explaining what motivates our intentions in choosing this over that. How are both aspects of "I" entangled as we go about the business of actually living our lives.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:17 pm

A Philosophical Identity Crisis
Chris Durante asks himself just what makes him the person he used to be.

While the defenders of the psychological criteria and the advocates of the bodily criteria continue to duel, concocting amusing and intriguing science-fiction-inspired thought-experiments, neither group has successfully managed to take down their opponent.


As though this were even remotely possible!

How does the psychological criteria faction "take down" the fact that the evolution of life on planet Earth has resulted in a species that in some crucial respects are no less subject to the dictum "biology is destiny" as all the other species of life around us. But, short of hard determinism, how can the bodily criteria faction dismiss the fact that unlike all other species on Earth, ours alone has evolved a brain that configured into minds configuring into selves that, through the complex interaction of nature and nurture, sustains an extraordinary psychological sense of reality rooted in memories that sustain "I" through all manner of new experiences.

Each camp of theorists has attempted to capture something of what makes a human being a person retaining a single identity. However, neither position seems to capture another integral element of our lived existences, namely, that we tend to define ourselves through the telling of stories. We get to know one another by learning about each other’s life histories, and we relate to others, identifying with them, based on their values, ideologies, beliefs, personalities, etc., all of which are transmitted via narratives, verbal, written, or otherwise. Hence, an alternative response to the philosophical identity crisis has been the proposal that a human self gains its identity through narration. This is often referred to as Narrative Identity Theory.


Okay, but what particular stories relating to what particular situations either able or not able to be effectively communicated to others and, when, disagreements pop up, able to be resolved such that a true account is arrived at.

So, ever and always, from my frame of mind, this always revolves around particular "values, ideologies, beliefs" etc., that are used to describe, assess and then judge a set of behaviors that come into conflict because there are parts of the stories that don't jibe.

All Narrative Identity Theorists maintain in some form or another that the identities of persons are self-created narratives – claiming that narration, or story-telling, is the mode in which we represent ourselves to ourselves, present ourselves to others, and represent others around us. The narrative theorist is attempting to capture that element of experience in which we say, “Hey, tell me your story,” or “I know you, I’ve heard stories about you.”


How can one speak of "narrative identity" as "self-created" without grappling to understand how the story behind any particular individual's sense of identity is not itself rooted historically, culturally and circumstantially? Why this story and not another? Then, from my frame on mind, back again to dasein.

And then to the part where aspects of the story are anchored in the either/or world while other aspects revolving around value judgments contain subjective/subjunctive "personal opinions" which come to clash with others.

Then what? Which story is most in sync with reality?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:04 pm

A Philosophical Identity Crisis
Chris Durante asks himself just what makes him the person he used to be.

On this account, who one is (and is not) is contingent upon the stories of one’s past, and the stories of who one wishes to become; the goals one possesses and the actions taken to arrive at those ends; the values inherited narratively or arrived at through reflection and self-story-telling; and one’s emplotment as a character in the story of one’s life, interacting with the stories of others.


Yes, and what seems clear to me is that as children the narratives are crammed into our malleable brains by those who do so out of love for us. Or out of duty. They don't see it it as indoctrination, but as passing on an understanding of the world around them as others had once passed it along to them.

But in the "modern world" this has now become far more problematic. After all, look at the computer technology reconfigured into an internet that allows us to come into contact with hundreds and hundreds of very, very different narratives. In particular, in regard to what may well be the most important question of them all philosophically: How ought I to live?

Some theorists have maintained that the personal self is the product of an interactive unified narrative, others the virtual center of multiple narrative streams, while yet others maintain a more existential position, viewing the self as a constant becoming, evolving as we interact with our environments and reflect on our lives.


On the other hand, not many "theorists" come to conclude that, in regard to the question "how ought one to live?", one can come to conclude that, as a fractured and fragmented person-ality, any and all answers are hopelessly rooted in subjective points of view ever and always shifting over time given new experiences. After all, when you go down that road, theories alone are particularly of little use.

Pre-eminent defenders of narrative identity include Daniel Dennett, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Paul Ricoeur. Although they differ in their approaches, they all attempt to capture features of the human condition which previous theorizing has ultimately left out, namely the importance of our life histories, story-telling, cultural immersion, goal-directedness, and self-creation.


How about this: We'll need a context of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:12 pm

A Philosophical Identity Crisis
Chris Durante asks himself just what makes him the person he used to be.

In conclusion:

Back To Life

While these theories of what make you continue to be you may seem obscure or abstract, they do indeed hold some bearing on human life and the concerns which arise on a daily basis – especially in medical settings, where we are faced with issues relating to brain death, permanent vegetative states, comas, advance directives and living wills, and many psychiatric dilemmas. All of these in one way or another evoke questions touching on the various theories presented.


On the other hand, this doesn't make them any less abstract. Medically or otherwise. For me crunch time here always revolves around encompassing any particular theoretical/philosophical/epistemological assessment of "I"...and then at least making the attempt to factor into it descriptions of existing situations in which conclusions are arrived at such that value judgments are attempted in turn. When and where and how and why do the more "academic assessments" collapse into the components of my own moral philosophy? Or, instead, do the facts that are able to be established lead one to an overarching conclusion consistent with a "real me" able to be wholly in align with the "right thing to do"?

Retiring from my sojourn in the park, having pondered the great mysteries of the human condition, I asked myself, “Could it not be that I am at once dependent upon my psychological connectedness, my biological persistence, and my life history, for my identity?” Although I did not accomplish a miraculous philosophical breakthrough during my stroll, I hope I have provided some food for thought with this précis of positions on the ‘Philosophical Identity Crisis’.


Could it be instead that "I" is so profoundly, problematically embedded in all of these factors that in any given set of circumstances one can only go in so far in attempts to extract the most authentic, the most real self? And that when push comes to shove the bottom line always revolves around the extent to which what you believe is true about yourself, you are in fact able to demonstrate to both yourself and others is true because in fact it can be demonstrated to be true to and for all rational men and women.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:37 pm

Satyr wrote:A typical desperate degenerate has come to believe - most because they have simply adopted this perspective - that the 'self' is "an illusion", as they put it.

This is an indirect way of expressing a dissatisfaction with the presence, of self, and their interpretation of it as 'appearance' - it's failure to represent an absolute state of being.

blah blah blah


Let's presume this is directed at folks like me.

Over and over and over again, he and his ilk refuse to acknowledge the extent to which I make a distinction between the self interacting with others in the either/or world and the self reacting to the behaviors that others choose by either approving or disapproving of them through one or another set of moral and political value judgments.

Let's note as an example something that has now become "big news" of late. Trump nominating another conservative to the Supreme Court, prompting others to argue for the need to "pack the court" with more liberals.

Does Satyr actually believe that in regard to facts that can be demonstrated to exist for all rational men and women, I am arguing that the self here is an illusion? That if in fact the new conservative court overturns Roe v. Wade, the selves of those women who might be criminally prosecuted for murdering their unborn babies is all embedded in "I" as an illusion?!!

Trust me: The "dissatisfaction" experienced by these women will be anything but illusory.

No, instead, my point is to suggest that the "I" embedded in any particular set of circumstances relating to the facts that can be demonstrated to exist in regard to any particular unwanted pregnancy is indeed a flesh and blood product of the evolution of life on planet Earth.

Genes are everywhere here. But what of the part when different people in different sets of historical, cultural and experiential contexts react to these biological imperatives with very different sets of moral and political value judgments.

What of "I" then? What here can be ascertained as in fact true objectively? And how do Satyr and his ilk demonstrate that only the manner in which they construe nature here reflects the most rational assessment?

So, let's see if he actually addresses the specific points I raise here. Either in regard to packing the court or abortion. What political policies here are deemed by him to be most in sync with nature.

Stay tuned.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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iambiguous
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