Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
poesis and techne From what I understood from class on Tuesday is that Heidegger thinks there are two different ways of revealing truths of the world- through poesis and techne. Poesis is made referenced to as poetry and our thoughtful expressions of truth. This means we can merely sense the world for what it is up front and through our experiences with it come to the understanding of truths. Thus, there are plenty of literary works representing truths of the world applicable to life or merely for the world’s sake. (I easily associate the world with the environment and nature I don’t know if this is the wrong mindset).
A practical example of poesis is this: one can apply and express the crashing of waves on the rocks and turning current flows a river to the sappy break up of a girlfriend who has found new meaning and outlook on relationships with a social change occurring in her life (sounds like a top hit emo song…but I digress). Where as techne is the understanding of finding truth through the world as means for our projects that further out ends. For example, we intentionally look at a river as a resource to generate power that will produce electricity in a factory that slaughters meat for me to eat. Okay, so we have an understanding of these 2 things…
I think Heidegger won’t fully comprehend the truths of the world by only using poesis methods. He won’t do so because poesis limits truth to world’s natural process (however that is defined) and provides some sort of aesthetic significance when the world’s capabilities are so much more when we recognize them and utilize them to our advantage, hence techne methods. I wont know the truths that a river could generate electricity if I was only sold on thinking about the river as a body of water, which begins from some mountain top and ends in the ocean, and not to mention the processes of evaporation and precipitation.
By all means am I not saying its right or just to utilize the world in whatever way it holds capability to further or advantage humans’ ends. But I would hold fast that Heidegger won’t find all the truths possible of the world without reasoning and thinking through the processes of techne. Good. 3.28.07 John Creger Philosophy Permalink
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Anthony, I'm sorry you feel this way. I think it really depends on what you're trying to convince me of. If you're trying to convince me of belief in the supernatural and the divine, then you're right I won't be convinced. I'm not really sure what it is that you're advocating or defending. I certainly would not disagree that religion has played an important role in history that is often positive just as it has often been negative. If you bring up empirical examples regarding contributions that Christianity made during the Middle Ages as Adam just did, I won't disagree with you. Nor do I have the belief that religion is the source of all evil or injustice. Maybe you could be a bit more clear as to what, exactly, you're defending.
I disagree, of course, with the thesis that the Gospels aren't instrumental in the way you suggest. I read these texts essentially as political tracts, much like pamplets handed out on street corners prior to the Russian revolution, designed to form a new people and new way of thinking about the social. This seems suggested to me by the way in which they were distributed throughout the old world and written. That said, I fully confess that I cannot demonstrate this, nor do I think you can demonstrate the contrary. It's just what strikes me as most plausable given the socio-historical circumstances and the emergence of the early church. You, of course, know much more about this than me. Posted by: Sinthome March 25, 2007 at 04:42 PM Adam, Sinthome, Anthony: Your discussion is fascinating and probably too intricate at this point to intercede. But I will venture that it is now off-topic. History is hardly relevant in the question of whether instrumental use of a religious vocabulary and tradition in order to temporarily suspend the emotional reaction of a fundamentalist to rational discourse is justified, productive, or in short, opens up more 'possibilities'.
On the one hand, I would posit that contemporary philosophy, in a way that would confound Hume, Voltaire or most pre- or early enlightenment thinkers, is perfectly comfortable with religious language in discourse at 'the fringes' of reason. But from the perspective of the rather mundane factual question of whether global warming exists, someone either is cognizant and open to verifiable evidence according to scientific method, or one is not. Because a discussion with a fundamentalist on this question would not be grounded in any mutual agreement on right reason, the possibilities of admitting religious tradition into argument would be wholly tied to irrational, perhaps even sophistical uses of rhetoric to confound the interlocutor. Put simply, there would be the appearance of agreement without any movement in their soul, to ironically put it in typically Socratic religious language. Posted by: Floyd March 25, 2007 at 05:04 PM
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
"Despite his sophistication, Wilber appears to have missed the point of deconstructive postmodernism." Misunderstanding Derrida and Postmodernism: Ken Wilber and “Post-Metaphysics” Integral Spirituality Gregory Desilet
The relevant passage in the interview centers on the topic of translation. In Derrida's discussion he admits, according to Wilber, that the “transcendental signifier/signified” is ultimately necessary in order for translation to be possible. Since the critique of the transcendental figures prominently in the foundation of deconstruction, this admission undermines the radical thrust of Derrida's work. For Wilber, Derrida's admission marks his grudging capitulation to the inescapable role of absolute transcendence in systems of meaning. Since Derrida is famous for extending his critique of language and “the text” to include the “textuality” of Being, his deconstruction of the transcendental signifier/signified also initiates a thorough disillusionment with the possibilities for any form of absolute transcendence. These broader implications of Derrida's views explain Wilber's interest in the passage in Positions.
Being familiar with Derrida's work, I was fairly certain he did not, and would never, make any such admission or reversal as Wilber was suggesting. A few days after this meeting I located my copy of Positions and found the passage Wilber had referenced. What follows is an account of what I discovered and the conclusions that can be drawn about Wilber's reading of Derrida and the implications of that reading in relation to a more general assessment of his integral spirituality approach...Where traditional metaphysics understands transcendence, deconstructive postmodernism understands forms of “quasi-transcendence” in the continual mitosis and reconstitution of self and awareness and the boundaries of both. The “normal self,” contrary to the assertions of integral post-metaphysics, never consists entirely of illusion but instead grounds itself upon the condition of becoming—as an unholy (unwholly) marriage of the tension between the real and the construct. This “what is” and “yet to come” everywhere constitute the structure of the self as well as the Kosmos.
With the possible exception of Gilles Deleuze, Derrida stands alone among postmodern theorists in his insistence upon the paradoxical “one that is also two” structure at the core of Being. Consequently, Derrida presents philosophical postmodernism at its best. Although offering no ultimate escape from metaphysics, Derrida's approach offers an escape from traditional metaphysics and its construction of notions of absolute transcendence that easily slide, however unintentionally, toward authorization of modes of certainty that do little more than contribute to predispositions of non-negotiation and systems of exclusionary discrimination. Based on the sobering history of human experience, these systems of exclusionary choice-making lead communities down the destructive trail of rituals of purification, often ending in deadly conflict and the violence of suicide, homicide, or genocide. This trail of death is, in itself, sufficient reason to avoid the traps of traditional metaphysics—a metaphysics that underlies most, if not all, of the world's major religions, including their mystical variations.
Derrida acknowledges that since there would appear to be no escape from metaphysics there can be no escape from violence. A measure of violence is built into the nature of what is. But the violence of transformation may be a preferable substitute for the violence of death-dealing just as the violence of translation may be preferable to the violence of book-burning. This less violent alternative metaphysical stance subverts the exclusionary structure built into the modes of absolute transcendence conjured by versions of traditional metaphysics. For this reason understanding the difference presented in Derridean deconstructive postmodernism remains crucial to overcoming the mistakes of the past and highlights the importance of avoiding the misunderstandings evident in Wilber's (and others') misreadings of Derrida.
Undoubtedly Wilber would not be happy to find his “integral” views associated in any way with “exclusionary” forms of metaphysics. Clearly he wants to dissociate himself from such traditions of thinking and spirituality. Nevertheless, attempts to depart from exclusionary forms of metaphysics cannot succeed by reaffirming orientations that give renewed meaning and prime significance to states of transcendental awareness implied in notions such as “transcendental signifiers,” “pure consciousness,” and “realizations of oneness.” The deconstructive critique of transcendence appears to be a part of Derridean postmodernism that Wilber and other integral theorists have not so much overlooked as underestimated.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
"It is undeniable that the development of 'microphysics' has brought the way in which nature is described in this science very much closer to that of the newer psychology: but whereas the former, on account of the basic 'complementarity' situation, is faced with the impossibility of eliminating the effects of the observer by determinable correctives, and has therefore to abandon in principle any objective understanding of physical phenomena, ..." which I think supports your point "that largely unnoticed and unacknowledged changes occur when embodied knowledge is expressed [in] the analytical schema ..."
"... the latter can supplement the purely subjective psychology of consciousness by postulating the existence of an unconscious that possesses a large measure of objective reality." Jung emphasizes this idea in his essay referenced above. As he puts it, "... archetypes must have a nonpsychic aspect..." Which sounds a bit like Sri Aurobindo's idea of the psychic center. What do you think Rich? ~ ron
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
- Desire and Distance: Introduction to a Phenomenology of Perception, by Renaud Barbaras (translated by Paul B. Milan, Stanford University Press, 2007). I thought Merleau-Ponty had already written the book on the subject, but Barbaras impressed me at several points for his willingness to go through and beyond Merleau-Ponty. His first sentence reads: "The question of perception not only has a 'technical' or a 'regional' scope, as we often tend to think; it merges in reality with the ontological question in its simplest sense, namely as an inquiry into the meaning of the being of what is" (p. 1).
- The Present Personal: Philosophy and the Hidden Face of Language, by Hagi Kenaan (Columbia University Press, 2005). Kenaan describes his book as "a philosophical attempt to think the depth of the possibility of listening to the other person" (p. ix). He asks, "How do you inhabit your language, or, in what way is it you that inhabits the language that you speak to me?" (p. 1). Neither Kenaan nor Cavarero appear to be aware of one another's work.
- Consciousness and the Acquisition of Language, by Maurice Merleau-Ponty (translated by Hugh J. Silverman, Northwestern University Press, 1973). The book is comprised of lecture notes from a course taught by Merleau-Ponty at the Sorbonne. The notes were taken by students and approved for publication by Merleau-Ponty. The book is missing a lot of what I love about Merleau-Ponty–not simply his style, as if that could be reduced to a kind of belletristic display, but his way of engaging the reader to explore subtleties and obscure facets of a philosophical problem. I want to study the book, though, because the topic has arisen in my own thinking, and because Merleau-Ponty's approach to language is so startling even today that I want to fully appreciate where he was coming from and how his thinking developed.
- The pleasure of the text corresponds to the readerly text, which does not challenge the reader's subject position.
- The blissful text provides Jouissance (bliss, orgasm, explosion of codes) which allows the reader to break out of his/her subject position. This type of text corresponds to the "writerly" text.
The "readerly" and the "writerly" texts are identified and explained in Barthes's S/Z: An Essay (ISBN 0-374-52167-0). Barthes feels that "writerly" is much more important than "readerly" because he sees the text's unity as forever being re-established by its composition, the codes that form and constantly slide around within the text. It is thus that one may passively read, but actively write, even in a fashion that is a re-enactment of the writer himself.
The different levels of codes (hermeneutic, action, symbolic, semic, and historical) inform and reinforce one another, making for an open text that is indeterminant precisely because it can always be written anew. As such, although one may experience pleasure in the readerly text, it is when one sees the text from the writerly point of view that the experience is blissful.