Monday, January 29, 2007

Husserl is also a target in Gadamer's impossibily of phenomenological neutrality

kela Joined: 08 27 04 Posts: 1807 Posted: 01/28/07, 6:25 pm Post subject: no, i was not aware of that fact. where does he describe these events? paul hacker, the great shankara scholar, converted to catholicism as well. a few months back, i read an article by williams on language and construction in madhyamika. it was apparently adapted from thesis. while occasionally he make some interesting points, he tends to ramble on and repeat himself, and often he's not very clear about what he's trying to say. while his little book on mahayana buddhism is a nice over-view and useful for undergrads, i'm not all that impressed by his work. when don lopez was on sabbatical in the mid nineties, he went to england to work with williams. he was not all that impressed by him either (nor by england, for that matter.)

Posted: 01/28/07, 7:28 pm Post subject: yes of course. i was simply attempting to get a handle on the phrase, "metaphysics is the myth of the given." the phrase comes from sellars, and by the same token, i imagine that much the same could be said about wilber's relation of sellars as what you say about his relation to quine; in other words, he is not necessarily referring to sellars' quasi-kantian attack on empiricism when he makes use of the phrase. the phrase has, perhaps, come into contemporary jargon of late through the work of rorty.
in "philosophy and the mirror of nature," sellars appears alongside heidegger and the later wittgenstein as one of the great "deconstructors" of the classical modern tradition. it is sometimes pointed out that husserl, in his attack on empiricism, made use of arguments similar to the argument implied by the "myth of the given." but i think that for later 20th century thought, husserl's phenomenology, too, has become a target, a version of the "myth of the given." certainly in rorty's book, as in gudmensen's "wittgenstein and buddhism," the "phenomenogical" and "eidetic" reductions function as analogs to russell's "sense data" analysis (to which gudmensen compares the abhidharma analysis of "dharmas").
husserl is also a target in gadamer's account concerning the impossibily of phenomenological "neutrality," and the necessity of "Vorurteilen" in "historically effected consciousness." at the same time, i cannot resist the temptation to think that perhaps in the back of his mind, wilber is still entertaining the idea that the "given" means some sort of metaphysically a priori assumption. this, of course, would imply a kind of eqivocation on the term "given" and a distortion of what sellars has in mind. but given what i have read in the interview with cohen, this does not appear to be the case.
by the phrase "metaphysics is the myth of the given" he appears to be referring to the idea of "metaphysics" as is implied by the term "post-metaphysics," for which the "foundational epistemology" of husserl and russell is central. even still, what the "post-metaphysical" thinkers mean by "metaphysics" is not at all clear, and not very satisfactory. pehaps it is time for a short piece on the idea of "metaphysics."Back to top
Posted: 01/28/07, 7:51 pm Post subject: interesting. all of this has a quasi-kantian ring to it. compare collingwood's "absolute presuppositions" or gadamer's "Vorurteil" both of which remain opaque since they function as transcendental "grounds," as it were, for all acts of understanding within a particular world-view (we cannot "see" that which "forms" our "seeing" or understanding since any act of "seeing" already presuposes that which "forms").
collingwood does say, however, that the presuppositions of older zeit-geists can however be seen for what they are. in the classical tradition in india the impasse is solved by the presence of "scripture," which not only provides the transcendent norms for the life of the worldly brahmin, but also reveals the trancendental structure that cannot otherwise be seen but that must be transcended for those on the course of release, the samnyasins. presumably, in the modern world, which looks upon "scripture" with suspicion as mere "dogma," "punditry," and so on, it is the siddha himself (da or ramana) who functions as the "transcendent guide" and provides the way out -- an adaptation from anti-brahmanic tantrism. Back to top
Posted: 01/28/07, 8:00 pm Post subject: anarchist of sorts. yes, one would imagine that the idea "small is beautiful" might not quite jibe with the idea of a theory of everything.

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