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Subject:

Re: FW: AI's Elegies

From:

"david.bircumshaw" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 18 Oct 2001 10:14:32 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (336 lines)

Phew!

Yes, some post Mark, btw, it's still sizzling in my inbox!

Even reading alone is a socially-derived act.

But there are all sorts of issues throbbing at the edges of this thread,
which I would not deem myself competent to tackle.

Best

Dave



David Bircumshaw

Leicester, England

Home Page

A Chide's Alphabet

Painting Without Numbers

www.paintstuff.20m.com/index.htm

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.bircumshaw/index.htm
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Weiss" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2001 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: FW: AI's Elegies


> Spare me the reading list and the characterizations. I've in fact read
> Heidegger, Sartre and Bergson, tho not recently. This is I think a serious
> disagreement, and Heidegger's appeal to the unknowable isn't particularly
> convincing, requiring ultimately an act of faith. We have after all no
> experimental subject to interrogate, because we are all formed in a social
> matrix and we tend not to remember very much of our pre-language lives, if
> there are such--there is considerable evidence of signing and response to
> signing in even very recently born children.
>
> We each remember that we have a history of transactions with ourselves and
> people and things not ourselves. But the nature of those transactions and
> the terms in which we interpret them to ourselves are not self-generated,
> they are agreed-upon. We are social beings to such an extent that we
define
> even solitude in social terms. And it seems reasonably clear that without
> the almost constant extension of our sense of self to people and things
> outside our psyches the species would not have survived this long. There
is
> a limitation to the degree to which we can even see ourselves as
> independent organisms.
>
> What I don't know, because I haven't made a study of his entire oeuvre, is
> if Heidegger ever engages anything like these not particularly novel
ideas,
> whether he ever attempts to include a larger context in his understanding
> of individual being. That was in fact my question.
>
> Mark
>
> At 09:09 AM 10/18/2001 +0100, you wrote:
> >On Wed, 17 Oct 2001 21:56:21 -0700, Mark Weiss <[log in to unmask]>
> >wrote:
> >
> >>So you're saying that his perspective is radically unsocial.
> >
> >Shall I remind you at all that his philosophy is considered totally
> >nichilistic?
> >
> >Also, I am not saying these things, I am reporting his philosophy of the
> >being: so, he has said what has defined him .
> >Also, of you want to know what he thinks about the being before we talk
> >about heideggerian perpective, you should toa nd read Being and Time, as
> >Candice is doing.
> >- erminia
> >
> >
> >
> >>
> >>I didn't say that I don't understand him at all. Let's say that I don't
> >>think one can abstract being from the matrix in which beings exist--that
> >>being is only in dialogue--as language is only in dialogue, whether the
> >>speakers are internal or external. That it's a matter of negotiation.
And
> >>that how one conceives of being has implications for how one acts in the
> >>world.
> >
> >
> >Then you should read Sartre....(and be a Communist as he was). It is
> >Marxistic critique of society that enphaissed the importance of people in
> >their own time. Youa re then talking not about the being (*the Self, as
> >intended in abstact, absolute trems, as in Helegel or Heidegger), but you
> >are talking about identities at work. This is the point. Do identities
> >represent beings? The Pirandellian quest?
> >
> >For matters concerning identities, you shall read Time and Free Will by
> >Bergson ,  who wrote extensively on the difference between the subjective
> >and objective perception of time (history), memory and matters of these
> >kind  and who , unlike Heidegger and Hegel, is very readable, his style
> >being locic and argumentative (explainatory, even).
> >
> >
> >
> >Erminia
> >
> >
> >>Mark
> >>
> >>
> >>At 05:32 AM 10/18/2001 +0100, Erminia Passannanti wrote:
> >>>On Wed, 17 Oct 2001 14:58:11 -0700, Mark Weiss <[log in to unmask]>
> >>>wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>Martin: I've read Heidegger on several occasions with various degrees
of
> >>>>incomprehension.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>I am not surprised, Heidegger is generally a philosopher speaking and
> >>>writing for other  philosophers who like that kind of extreme
> >>>sophistications(the French got very enthusiastic about Heidegger).
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>Your little explanation is very helpful.
> >>>
> >>>.......but it can't be. Heidegger 's philosophy is too complex for
anyone
> >>>to find relief in our reductions.
> >>>
> >>>In Sein und Zeit, Heiddeger idea of the "self" as "being" (the being in
> >>>process) dealt mainly with the dialectical relationship between
language
> >>>and the mind .
> >>>Language has an intuition of the being, and attributes to this being a
> >>>word, the self.
> >>>The self as we understand it comes to us through language. But its
meaning
> >>>is not merely a linguistic effect. It is just the preliminary
> >understanding
> >>>of what the self is -  which happens in an extra-linguistic sphere - to
> >>>make language possible.
> >>>In Metaphysics, Heidegger states (sorry about the rough translation):
> >>>
> >>> "Let's suppose that this indeterminate meaning of the being is not
given,
> >>>and that we do not understand not even what it means. Which thing there
> >>>would be then? Only one word less in our language? No. There would not
be
> >>>then - generally speaking - no language at all.  "
> >>>To maintain the sense of the being, at least in part, outside of
> >linguistic
> >>>games was perhaps for Heidegger one necessary condition to safeguard
the
> >>>essence of language itself.
> >>>So, to analyze the meaning of the self(in German Sinn), one must
> >understand
> >>>the meaning of the word representing the being to the mind. To be able
to
> >>>ask oneself: What is the "being"?
> >>>For Heidegger, as for every philosophy, the sense of this "being" is so
> >>>central as to be the primary task of all our speculations:  if we do
not
> >>>clarify what we mean with the word "being" than we cannot speak about a
> >>>self at all.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>question: it seems to me that our sense of individual selfhood is
> >>>>conditioned by our sense of self-within-society.
> >>>
> >>>For Heidegger the problem concerning the being is not merely a
linguistic
> >>>problem but in fact is something that gradually identifies itself with
> >>>linguistic issues. Being is an ontological primumn cognitum, it is
> >>>phenomenologically given and it is not created by language, it
pre-exist
> >>>language. What is phenomenologically given can only be understood
starting
> >>>from the being itself and therefore pre-exist to any linguistic
> >>>formulation. And yet, we are caught into the necessity to express it
> >>>linguistically.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> >Even those of us who
> >>>>believe that individual selfhood ends with the last breath often
behave
> >as
> >>>>if we assume that self-within-society continues (sorry for the shabby
> >>>>terms), otherwise we wouldn't work so hard to influence events that
will
> >>>>only unfold after us, often at the risk of death. Does Heidegger ever
> >>>>address this, or is he wedded to a sense of self in isolation? And if
so
> >>>>how does he deal with apparent altruism?
> >>>
> >>>The being escapes any speech and signification  because it is that very
> >>>beginning from which every speech and signification is made possible.
> >>>Derrida Writes: Consider it as essence or existence [...], the being
> >>>of "the being" does not belong to the field of speech, because it is
> >>>already implied in every speech in a generalized manner and it renders
> >>>speech possible. "
> >>>
> >>>In this light, the sense of the word "being" is not an effect of the
> >>>linguistic articulation of the word representing it since it is the
base
> >>>itself on which the entire articulation of that very representative
word
> >is
> >>>based and is structured. The true sense of the being cannot be
explained
> >by
> >>>or through language. Therefore the sense of the being, the self, can
only
> >>>being explained outside language.
> >>>
> >>>The sense of the being, our "self" transcend language, but can only be
> >>>communicated by language: so one must understand how to live within
> >>>language to understand how indefinable the self is.
> >>>In other words, because the self is unique, it cannot be really defined
> >>>since definitions imply comparisons and the self in being unique cannot
be
> >>>satisfied by any definition. So, its meaning is identical to its being.
It
> >>>does not refer to anything else. Its real sense is not given by the
> >>>language game, although we can only represent it to our mind with a
word.
> >>>You see how complicate and radically abstract this is?
> >>>
> >>>We can doubt of whichever ent, but we cannot doubt of that it means "
to
> >>>be " in contrast to what it is " not to be " in the Hegelian sense :so
we
> >>>can understand what to be is starting from our understanding of what
not
> >to
> >>>be will be.
> >>>
> >>>The issue is of the great importance, because it is this determination
of
> >>>the being that decides the essence of language. Either the being is
> >>>absolutely indeterminate, to the point that its sense is the
nothingness,
> >>>as in Hegel 's theory, and therefore language, than stands on the sense
of
> >>>this word, the being, does not mean anything, and  does not represent
> >>>anything; or the being has a sense that is in toto opposed to "
> >>>nothingness", and consequently language has a sense, in other word,
> >>>language therefore can refer to something that is to outside of
language
> >>>itself.  It is not therefore society or language that justify the self,
as
> >>>the being, but some pre-existing condition outside language and society
> >>>themselves, in other word an ontological primum. Because it is very
> >>>determinate, there is no possibility there for perspectives, points of
> >>>view , interpretations of what the being is. The being cannot be
> >>>interepreted, since it escapes the linguitic game of cross references.
> >>>The self, the being is not an object that stands in front of us and
offers
> >>>itself to our interpretations.
> >>>In a way, it is just the excess of evidence of the being - its mater of
> >>>fact - that renders us blind to it. It is too determinate...
> >>>Erminia
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>
> >>>>Mark
> >>>>
> >>>>At 07:04 PM 10/17/2001 +0200, Martin J. Walker wrote:
> >>>>>These are very knotty questions which are not as simple as saying
"the
> >>>self
> >>>>>is an illusion, amen." For Heidegger, as I understand it, Being (das
> >Sein)
> >>>>>is indefinable by being-there (Dasein), which all persons have in
> >common:
> >>>>>their selves are constituted by that community & their language
(based
> >on
> >>>>>understanding,Verstehen, plus Rede, speech), both of which also imply
> >the
> >>>>>project (Entwurf) & the care (Sorge), the latter comprehending the
past
> >&
> >>>>>present as the condition & the future as the field of
self-realization
> >>>which
> >>>>>must end in death, thus my dread (Angst) until I affirm death as my
most
> >>>>>real possibility, thus devaluing  in a sense all the projects etc of
> >>>>>Being-there & attaining authentic existence, though Being is always
far-
> >>>off.
> >>>>>The transcendent Self of the Upanishads is actually closer to Being
than
> >>>>>Being-there, thus only a logical step forward (and a lot of
meditation)
> >>>was
> >>>>>necessary for Gautama to realize _sambodhi_ as the illumination that
> >>>>>transcends the object-subject of normal consciousness: this results
in
> >>>>>_nirvana_, in which the distinctions of the normal self have
vanished.
> >>>>>Thus in both philosophies the normal self is something to be
transcended
> >>>as
> >>>>>not finally constitutive of Being, but it is hardly a simple
illusion.
> >>>>>Heidegger  would presumably frown on any belief in survival after
death
> >as
> >>>>>inauthentic.
> >>>>>I can't understand why you find the implications of non-self <a bit
> >>>scary>,
> >>>>>as death (nothingness) will relieve you of your self in any case, a
much
> >>>>>scarier consideration I would have thought; I myself shall be quite
> >happy
> >>>to
> >>>>>wander around the Bardo or various reincarnations before being
relieved
> >of
> >>>>>self, if death is not the end. Amen.
> >>>>>Martin
> >>>>>
> >>>
> >
>

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