marți, 30 august 2011

What does come out from our flesh?

What does come out from our flesh? It is not a futile question, because the existence altogether cannot be conceived as existence, if it is not able to come out from what is in lack of existence. A sense of existence can be acquired by knowing how does it come out from inexistence. Accordingly, a sense of flesh can be obtained by investigating it in the same manner.

The most common experience says that only residual matter comes out from flesh. The ancient medicine takes even the creative matter of sperm as being a residual matter, too. We may grant such belief for the fact that the birth of the son is the death of the father, as Hegel claimed.

And glossing to Hegel’s claim, we may further look for the residual matter that comes out from the flesh as a kind of demystifying the appearance of the unlimited possibilities of extension that is always induced by the movement of human body. Moreover, since no one would say that a human body moves from a place to another, but the whole person, such extension pertains to human beings themselves. As long as an individual moves himself through spaces or according to his organic pulsation of life, he never seems to have a terminus point, being always in a continuous expansion. Even if he is standing in one definite place, the movement of his life attracts the things and persons that subsist around him. For instance, the deathbed ceases to be a simple bed.

The action and the language are two manner of avoiding an expansion that is in fact above our control. If one acts, then he is assured that he imposes himself over the things of the world. Nonetheless, the language who ever hasty extends our possibilities of understanding gives us the illusion we even possess any thing or person we want.

Meanwhile, the residual matters pouring from the flesh are common signs of the limits of our existence, as the son means the death of his father. The bloodshed imputed to Cain can be counted for as an imputation of revealing the finitude of human life in the most salient way, namely, as the pouring of blood from our body. We can recall Homer’s words that the soul itself comes out from the man through the blood that pours from wounded flesh.

However, a long Christian tradition perseverated in speaking about the desires of the flesh. They are supposed to come out from the flesh, the Greek sarx by St. Paul, as different from both the body and the soul. The habitual practice of language to take the things in possession reverses the common experience of what comes out from the flesh as another way of conquering the reality, for this time by acquiring the objects of desire.

It is ignored the residual matter that comes out from the flesh and its natural tenderness, which can be felt by the simple sense of touching. Nonetheless, the Christian use of the word ‘flesh’ does not take into account its own doctrine of the personal responsibility for any so called bodily desires.

Therefore, the desire should be separated from the flesh in order to observe its tender presence accompanying the conquering movement of our language and of our purposed actions.

luni, 29 august 2011

Spinoza: Things Conceived through Themselves

That which cannot be conceived through another thing must be conceived through itself.

Spinoza, Ethics, the second axiom

Such an axiom or rather an advice seems to be easily understood if we remind the way of successive exclusions followed by Descartes in his Meditations. But since Descartes made his way easier by including the kinds of knowledge in some large category, as, for instance, sensibility, his repeated exclusions commits to the acceptance of these categories, even if in the mode of exclusion. The kinds of knowledge excluded are in fact stated as really existent and just wait for Descartes’ discovery of certainty for imposing themselves in a compulsory manner to the results of knowledge.

From Descartes’ experience, but also from the current experience of thought, we may infer as a common fact about philosophical accounts that what they leave apart as general categories with the goal of knowing some specific objects of researching always returns and impedes the discovery of things in their peculiarity. Differently from the spread of Spinoza’s Ethics, we commonly fail to acquire the knowledge of an object while we cease to be concerned of another individual thing, as, for example, our bodily existence, by classifying it in a large category, as the concept of ‘body’ in our case. We may prove this pointing out to the common tendency to represent soul as almost a pair of the body. Yet, some particular manners of bodily action omitted when it was advanced the concept of a ‘body’ say more about the affective life than we imagine by separating it from the body. Paradoxically, if we do not commit to this concept and assume the particular manners of bodily existence, we owe less to the body for our conceptions. Thus, one who reads in the circulation of blood something about our ever moving thoughts and their enslavement to the functioning of our lives comes to know something about the life itself, not about body.

Therefore, Spinoza’s advice for an excurse in the field of excluding the things that can be conceived through another thing should be taken as an investigation of things placed on the same level of generality. Only this way shows the knowledge as the effort of grasping the reality. For only when we have all the things surrounding us, not partially detached in general classes, there is possible to seize by thought the simple and common fact of being altogether with the whole of the things and human beings, and with their thoughts and words, too.

Spinoza’s interest is also to discover the reality conceived by him as the substance which has self-existence. That which is conceived by another thing have to be excluded, but, contrary to Spinoza, such effort has to be done as regards the act of conceiving things. The act of conceiving things is the main source of placing them aside from observing their existence, as Descartes did during his meditations.

In the act of describing the reality, we met the tendency of conceiving things as Spinoza’s substances. Who would refuse to such a minor thing as a pair of shoes to be a self-existent thing? And who would refuse this to a human being? All of these are figured out as independent realities in the virtue of being named with singular names or proper names. Also, because of their spatial existence. But the space is not conceived as the limit of the thing, as Aristotle’s stated in Physics, being in fact understood as a ‘here’ or ‘there’, as a collection of points that subdue an existent thing while testify its existence.

The language and the space conceived as an aggregate of points give both birth to the conception of the things as substances, though both of them ignore in fact their existence. Without being considered in their existence and, accordingly, in their power to resist to a simplifying view of them as mere names or spatial points, things and men are easily melted together, so that they come to be seen as depending one on another for their existence.

Therefore, Spinoza’s axiom cannot be accepted as a simple demand of excluding some things in order to know the remaining substances.  First of all it is necessary to disentangle them from the chains where they are included through language and spatial representation. Afterwards, their self-existence as substances would not seem as a matter of a simple separation of each by others, but as independent sources of attracting the remaining things to themselves. A man who assumes his existence is not a separated and singular being, but one who attracts to him the rest of existing things. For the language and spatial representation are manner of ignoring the existence, the thought should be considered as the way of assuming your own existence, and for assessing the existence of other things. Surely, not that thought that searches for its conceptual separation, as it is the case of Cartesian philosophy.

marți, 23 august 2011

Spinoza: Body is not Limited by Thought

A thing is said to be finite in its own kind [in suo genere finita] when it can be limited by another thing of the same nature. For exampole, a body is said to be finite because we can always conceive of another body greater rhan it. so, too, a thought is limited by another thought. But body is not limited by thought, nor thought by body.
Spinoza, Ethics, the second definition

Before we say about a thing that it is limited in its kind or genus, we approach it in relation to its genus.

A relation that is not marked off by an opposition or a difference, but, on the contrary, it is a sort of agreement. A thing ascribed to a genus is primarily in agreement with its genus. What sort of agreement? Not that tensionate agreement that is supposed when we think of a genus as subduing its species. It is rather that agreement claimed for memebers of the same family, close to Wittgenstein’s idea of a family ressemblance between things. For genus is derived from the Greek words that designate ‘birth’ and the ancestry ensued from the birth of one man.

The members of a family know that behind them it is something that tie them together, though each of them acts individually. It is not a tie that denies their individuality, as we always are bent to conceive the relation of a genus with its species. It is that stable point forgotten in the course of movable actions of an individual, but always there, in the same place. For this reason, at least Homeric heroes remember their family by its place of dwelling. In an individual person or thing, the genus seems to count for what remains unaltered after the continuous dissipation of the individual in various actions. For the man, the corpse is not only a dead matter, but also that stable part of a man that allows someone to read the signs of the human kind. And, as we put the corpse away from the conception of a living man, so we do as regards the relation of things with their genus, every time when we do not speak about them. Before we recall that a table is to be called as a table, we use it with the back thought that is something in it that makes it a stable and definite object. Who does use a table with the thought that it is just the object he uses and not anything else apart from its current use?

Therefore, when we put the theoretical question of the inclusion of a thing in its genus, we are already far from the common dealing with things in that unspoken way that reveals the genus as a durable part with which thing shares the closeness of belonging to a family.

And it is a theoretical question, as much it is a spoken one: ‘a thing is said to be finite…’. The language is responsible for the transformation of the relation between a thing and its genus as one that signifies a strength difference between them, even an opposition, best known when we definitionaly establish the difference between the things that belong to the same genus.

The clarification brought by language has the costs of a reluctance interposed between things and also between things and man who knows them. As a consequence, things appear with rigid limits and we are tented to conceive them as being enclosed in their individuality and merely overruled by a genus, as there is graphically represented in a tree of classification. Surely, since we speak about things in this way, they really are so for us.

As Spinoza claims, the things spoken come to show their finitude. Our language exercises itself in limiting the realities discussed, and also the community of speakers, since language is spoken by someone as he is a different person than others and often with the purpose of imposing a belief or an idea to others deemed to be lesser in the same community of speakers. ‘A thought is limited by other thought’ primarily because the thought is expressed through language and it is in the property of one speaker. There is not a syllogistic order of premises and conclusions mutually limited, when we thought of a state of facts or of a thing without speaking loud what we take in consideration.

In the moment we accept that things are not to be found in the opposition provided by the language, we surpass the practice of including them under the leadership of a genus. They are free for being together, for Spinoza, as there is the case of thought and body.  For instance, the difference between the thought of a table and its bodily existence becomes futile. Or, we are also entitled to say that the difference between men’s thought and body is not as deep as the language makes us to believe. The fact that each belongs to a different genus does not necessary involves that, for instance, the movement of body and the development of thoughts do not  merge each other for constituting one resemblance of family as strong as that supposed by their unspoken relation to their own genera or kinds.

vineri, 19 august 2011

Nietzsche: Life is Refuted!

They encounter a sick or a very old person or a corpse, and right away they say ‘life is refuted!’
But only they are refuted and their eyes, which see only the one face of existence.

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

And still the temptation of saying ‘life is refuted’ remains. A reason for this is the habit of emitting general statements every time when the particular cases overwhelm the power of one person. The sickness of an individual man seems deeper than the intensity of life possessed by his observer. To not be conquered by his sickness till to the point of diminishing and, therefore, proceeding to a refutation of your healthy life for the sake of the sick man, it is preferred to profess a refutation of life itself conceived as a general notion. One finds a way of feeling comfort for himself in its generality, even if this comfort means, as Nietzsche added, ‘a thick melancholy’. Such sad and supposed deep feelings makes one to overleap the problem of judging how much life or death is in himself. Their general extension is an at hand excuse.

The refutation of life is in fact close to its reverse: the full embracement of life. The same generality of life appears to someone who has optimistic feelings about it. The solely difference is that the optimistic feelings means a dispersion among the life events, this being the form of omitting the strict individuality.

When one state is a pair of its contrary, both of them lack their importance and become trivial matters.

This similarity is the cause of the triviality that accompanies any general statement about life, optimistic or pessimistic. Also, any suffering for an individual fact decays in its importance, if it is assumed in the name of a general statement about life and the same occurs with the optimistic statements. 

Another mark of their triviality is the suddenness of the process of passing from the individual fact to the general statement: and right away they say…It is the suddenness of an exclamation or of a wordless shout. But it is not a meaningful shout by itself, since it is issued as an inductive inference that contains more than one meaningful proposition.

The accusation of triviality does not imply the refutation of their truth, but they are true in the same way many scientific propositions are, without any relevance to the existence shared by an individual. Such relevance is borne by the individual cases from which someone starts for saying general statements. The sick man, the old one and the corpse is relevant to an individual man as long the second knows to appreciate in himself what is sick, aged and dead. When he exams himself, he will simultaneously know what is health, young and alive in him.

The appeal of knowing the both sides of existence, made at first by Heraclitus, has to pass through an individual examination, as the Greek philosopher stated by quoting the Delphic advice of self knowing. The continuous and implicit reference to your individual person should not be equated with a subjective fashion of viewing the existence, but as a manner of apprehending that existence which is relevant to individual persons and as a way of controlling the easiness of saying general statements about life.

And any such examination becomes immune to sudden encounters. You are always at yourself and this simple fact weights much than any floating generality. This weight cannot be a strictly personal belief, since it is heavier than the individual who bears it and almost always wills to loose himself through general statements and topics.

luni, 15 august 2011

Sartre's Unity of Action

The only truly human unity – unity of action
J.-P. Sartre, The Quest for the Absolute

To qualify unity as human, animal, artistic, etc. supposes the belief in the value of unity beyond any qualification. It is the simile of the Ancient philosophical allegation of an all surpassing unity.

Apart from the unity as the highest principle, one that is also beyond being, it may be approached as a human value. In this respect, it is still worthy, but not for itself. The unity is desirable in its negative side, as a form of paying off the absence of an ever lasting or eternal life.

As long as there is not any menace to the continuity of a life in a previous shape or pattern, nobody longs for an exhaustive interpretation of his life. And of this sort is the representation of life as a unity. Moreover, it is not needed any linguistic description of such a life.

A so called ‘normal’ life is not included as a subject matter of discussions where the words abound. We scarcely find a literary or a philosophical account of a ‘normal’ life, not only because of its platitude, but also for its speechless character.

When someone attempts to speak about it, he needs to hang on its surrounding context. He will discuss the social implications of a ‘normal’ life, its duties, its space of dwelling etc, just because all of these are able to be judged as variables to be occupied by more than one possessor of a ‘normal’ life.

Therefore, about a ‘normal’ life it is inappropriate to discuss its unity or multiplicity, since it is pure existence. And anybody lives such a ‘normal’ life together with its discontinuities that make it not abnormal, but able to be discussed.

The raise of the possibility of discussing a life erupts in an excess of discourse. The slowness of a description is too close to the rhythm of a ‘normal’ life for being adopted. It is preferred the outrageous or at least tonic discourse about an action.

Therefore, Sartre’s ascription of human unity to the action is influenced by the fact that action permits such a linguistic outburst. All the slogans that accompany social actions constitute a proof for this fact. Not only for an outer observer, but also for the possessor of a continuous life, the possibility of action is primarily a possibility of discussing his or her life.

As a consequence, the unity of human life hardly can be viewed above the abundance of the words that come together with human actions. If we stated that the unity substitutes existence, it is pretty sure that it needs greater amplitude than that exposed by actions, many times one weakened by the proliferation of language.

joi, 11 august 2011

Sensation and Memory in Aristotle, Metaphysics, 980a26-b1

By nature animals are born with the faculty of sensation, and from sensation memory is produced in some of them, though not in others. And therefore the former are more intelligent and apt at learning than those which cannot remember.
Aristotle, Metaphysics, 980a6-b1

What could mean nature in the act of recognizing a natural faculty? One rigorous analysis of language could qualify both ‘nature’ and ‘natural faculty’ as doubtful concepts, since they have no clear cut objects of reference. ‘Nature’ is rather an object of various interpretation, as ‘natural faculty’ is only a derivative notion posited after the simpler apprehension of senses and of different manifestations related to them.

When two such concepts with an indefinite reference are joined, this fact is possible by the power of stating facts in the name of the coherence supposed by the notions involved. It seems that we may call something as the ‘nature’ of an animal exactly because we may call or understand something as a ‘natural faculty’. It is a sort of coherence as that met in analytical judgments and in their possible extension in a whole discourse. If we remember that Kant’s critique to analytical discourses aimed at the metaphysical and theological ones, it is a reason to look for the power exposed by them. They are not contrary to the experience as an appeal to real facts, but rather against the long periods of hesitation that fragmentize an empirical discourse. These hesitations proved by an empirical discourse as a consequence of its attempt to observe phenomena are easily overwhelmed by a metaphysical or theological discourse that thinks of itself as having all the objects at his disposal.

Therefore, any empirical inquiry that adopts a forceful analytical discourse is in fact far from being an empirical one. Aristotle’s observation is not excepted from this apparent empiricism. Sensation and memory are attributed to animals in so fashion, that any account of human knowledge cannot leave room for any disruptive movement to this pattern.

We may call it an analytical pattern as long it provides two ways from which human knowledge cannot depart, like we cannot move further by emitting an analytical judgment. Everything else seems to be contained by them, because sensation is suggested as the faculty that subdues an outer experience and the memory is the faculty that retains and encloses such experience in ourselves.

The authority of an appeal to a natural fact can be contested by a different view of it. Namely, there should be a view that hesitates between describing the now living animal and its ever changing existence. Moreover, it should be aware of its death. Such hesitation will drive us to moderate the characterization of something as stable as its epistemological faculties or as its nature.

Thus, Aristotle’s belief about the universal presence of sensation in animals should be adjusted for mentioning instead all animals’ capacity of dealing with the world in the way it affects their being in the most intimate way. For senses are to be viewed as the most intimate aspect of their being. The sensorial activity is not one of a sensorial faculty, but rather the clashing, smooth, or lifeless manner in which the world catches the animals in its own movement. Reversibly, the sensorial activity should describe the ways of acting upon the world, too. As a consequence, the so-called ‘sensation’ signifies a cognitive side of animals only in a partial manner, if we take the cognition as a capacity of accumulating data from the world.

Memory could be treated in the same way. According to its relation to a sensorial activity that transgresses the simple explanation of a capacity of grasping information from the world, the memory does not stock information, but represents the shelter needed for retreating outside of an exhausting existence in the world. The memory shows that animals search for this shelter in themselves, but the inner sense of this self is ruined by the fact that it is constituted from the former exposure in the world. Also, something close to the memory may be viewed in the death of the animals, one instance of their retreat from the world.

The intelligence and learning would not be so stable features of an animal as Aristotle suggests. Intelligence is not the simple apprehension of the world. For its reliance on memory, learning could be a way of stepping back from a vivid relation to the world for the sake of consolidating our individuality. The Darwinian idea of struggle for existing adds an argument for considering that animals use their organic memory as a means for imposing their individuality.

The human beings prove their intelligence and learning by language. The language can exacerbate the meanings of sensorial activity and of memory. It can be an intriguing and offensive way of imposing to other men, without any reference to the world. Also, it can make dead a lot of human contacts with the world. Surely, this is the work of considering human being as an aggregate of faculties, too.

luni, 8 august 2011

Nietzsche: The Child in the Man

In the real man a child is concealed: it wants to play. Up now, you women, go discover the child in the man!
Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

It is hard to accept an expression as ‘real man’. What does it mean an ‘unreal man’? The simplicity of a deductive logic points out that there exists a class of men, each of them being real for this reason.

Each man is taken out from the class with the risk of becoming an unqualified entity. He will show a bundle of idiosyncratic features hard to become the object of a definition or of an account of its identity. Thus, for the fact that he escapes from such an account, we may say that the man is pretty unreal while he is an individual person. It is not about the lack of reality that a dead man proves. Any pathological report knows to classify a corpse as a man or a woman.

The unreal man is one who lays open for being traveled out by a lot of events which we call parts of a life experience. He is not a real man because of being shared by events that rise above any human determination at all.

To become a real man needs to rise above the simpler and outer qualification made by a pathologist. As a second movement, there is needed that the man to turn back to his individuality shared by the life events.

How much does remain from a man after these steps in order to still be a man and even a real one?

Not so much or only some weak sketches of what is cultural qualified as manhood. As it is, at least important for Nietzsche’s philosophy, the power of a man to express his will. The sketchy appearance of a personal will does not mean a lack of will, but a will supported by sketchy forms of living. So it is a will contained by the words which express it. Or the will that judges only the particular conditions of its existence, those that put him out of himself for paying attention to the life events.

Therefore, the man who searches for its reality is primarily a being with a poor vital force. Its difference from the woman is exactly this kind of isolation in himself caused by a poor amount of life. Nietzsche’s language should be modified: the new born real man is the human being in its lack of living and in its compensatory movement to gain power by verbally deciding and by loosing itself among life events. The compensatory movement describes the theoretical perspective about life, since any theoretical approach consists in the verbal interpretation of life and in collecting outer or natural facts to be studied.

The next step in becoming a real man is to have the conscience that the isolation and the loneliness are able to be forms that encompass life. They formerly felt well as merely means of theoretical approaches, since they promised the easiness of adhering to the seriousness of a theoretical inquiry. It was left apart the unordered play of a child. Nietzsche alluded to all these by the idea that the real man conceals a child who wants to play.

The loneliness as a form able to contain life is an absurd idea. The loneliness does not give birth to anything and it is rather hostile to life while being indifferent to others’ lives.

Love between human beings is generally deemed as absurd, too. Therefore, as a natural movement from an absurd idea to an absurd relation between human beings, the loneliness succeeds of acquiring life through love. It is the love for human beings and their world, the love for a woman or for a man, but what matters is the love itself, not the objects of love.

The woman is not a woman, but in fact the human being who refuses to hang its loneliness on the theoretical means of compensating the poorness of life. It is the human being that makes itself free for being occupied by life.

The derogatory cultural image of a woman as a person in slavery or obedience to the others tells in fact about the servile aspect of human being willing to receive a life that is not proper to outer events, but adequate to itself.

From the meeting of these two aspects in the same human being, ‘the man’ becomes a real one. Those aspects are not extinguished in their individuality. Both of them subsist, for which reason the real man comes to possess life as a playful child that is discovered in himself. The loneliness of the theoretical inclination and the absolute lack of any sense of existing for itself give birth to a disordered and playful development of a vivid thought.

sâmbătă, 6 august 2011

Note on Argumentation as a Practice

When someone commits an error, there are two possible explanations: either he missed some precise data about a particular fact in the context of knowing the rest of all the relevant information about the matter discussed, or he comes to publicly express a long time erroneous practice.

In the first case, the error can be eliminated by a simple correction. It is supposed that the author of such an error has all the required knowledge and he misses just one point of it. A simple negation of his false statement proves to be sufficient.

In the second case, to correct the false belief means to correct all the practice that backs it. The common habit is to reduce the second case to the first one. For instance, we could imagine that we eradicated the seemingly false belief in a world fully providentiated (at least the simplest way of expressing such belief) only through denying it. Certainly, arguments are added, but they are built for that one proposition that denies the belief. But it still remains for philosophy the task of finding a view of the world able to satisfy the human needs concerning the world as the doctrine of providence does.

However well constructed could be the arguments, they can contribute to correct the false practice only by becoming themselves parts of a practice. Therefore, an argument has in fact three values: truth, its persuading force, and the power of becoming a practice.

Any argument for a thesis should pay attention to know what are the practices that support the alternative theses. Or, if there are not such alternative theses, it has to search for the practice that jeopardizes the raising of that thesis. Afterwards, the arguments can be built for becoming a more reliable practice than the false one.

The subject matters of philosophy always pertain to the second case.

vineri, 5 august 2011

The Loneliness among Others: Descartes and Ramon Lull

Descartes emphasizes that his proper medium for meditations was gained by isolation among a crowded town.

Is a technique of philosophizing in need to give an account of the relation of its author with other people?

A negative answer is supported by all possible instances of other techniques that are mastered by the specialized workers or artisans. They would never make public expositions of their techniques, but only of the products obtained by using them. The techniques are rather placed on the level of the intimacy of the artisan and, moreover, such high specialization in using certain techniques gives him the identity as an artisan. Thus, we may say that the relation with others is obviously not on the level of techniques, but on that of the identity of an artisan in respect of the identities of other people who benefit or would be indifferent as regards the results of his works.

For this reason, Descartes’ claim of loneliness as a requisite of developing his meditative exercise is not necessary. Or, we dare say that is the sign of a lack in his identity as a philosopher. His loneliness should appear as a result of his meditations and not as a prerequisite device.

When the philosophical discourse establishes from the first move its departure from other people, this means that it confesses its author’s weakness or his weak believe in his own philosophical identity. Such weakness spreads between the lines of his discourse, that becomes kept in the constrains of denying its lack of reliability. The symptoms appear under the guise of crowding philosophical concepts, as if the left crowd of people is theoretically regained, or by presenting the philosophical ideas as a common good. Descartes thought of his meditations that shows so certainty as any other obvious thing from the common experience.

The claim of certainty for cogito, ergo sum may be interpreted as a strategy of defense against other human beings who move among a lot of certainties. They are exactly those people among who Descartes isolated himself. Of course, they are always much more than cogitative things and they are aware of this in their everyday life.

Another kind of loneliness we met in Ramon Lull’s mystical account of the relation between the Lover and the Beloved divine being: The Lover was all alone, in the shade of a fair tree. Men passed by that place, and asked him why he was alone. And the Lover answered: “I am alone, now that I have seen you and heard you; until now I was in the company of my Beloved”.

It is a loneliness about which the others put questions and is not the preliminary confession of the lonely Lover. It is that loneliness of any artisan when he shows his identity among others, and not his techniques.

And the philosophy should be closer to such love, if it wants to gain a relation with the object of thought and not only a negative separation from the rest of human beings. In this case, the philosophical discourse will undertake all the possible certainties met in the common life, if its object of love is the life itself and not a divine being. There would not be neglected the plurality of language forms that extend above the limits of a conceptual frame.

If the men pass by the philosophical discourse and affirms the loneliness of the philosopher, it is a good sign that the philosophy is not astray from his identity as a philosopher. There are many chances that any of these men who would want to stay for hearing the philosophical discourse will find that the loneliness of the philosopher is in fact a vivid companionship even with the people among he isolated without claiming this.

miercuri, 3 august 2011

Tender is the Philosophy

About Jesus Christ: In the next place, his love is tender, wise, and strong. I say that it is tender, since he has taken upon him our flesh; wise, since he has held himself free of all sin; and strong, since it reached to the point of enduring death.
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon XXII on the Song of Songs

The tenderness is linked to flesh, and Bernard also speaks about the tenderness of our carnal love.

The tenderness stays apart from wisdom and strength. We may simply infer that it is not able to prevent one from evils, being unwise. It cannot endure evils, too, and most of all death, being weak.

Thus, it seems to be fitted only for good things. With its weakness and lack of wisdom, there is less probable that it could be stay firmly attached to good things. It rather floats around them, as the flesh can hardly and for short time be strictly attached to the bones and to the harsh rhythm of life.

When it is close to good things, there is a matter of luck and not of a purposive and strong decision. It is a happy meeting, but bearing the sadness of its lack of any firm tie with them.

The appearance of tenderness in contexts of speaking or thinking is both a strange and a familiar one. It is strange because of our habit of attributing to words and thoughts wisdom and strength; it is familiar, because of the tenderness inscribed in our flesh.

Since it is far from being strongly attached to good things, the tenderness does not assure us that our discourses or thoughts are good ones. Therefore, its presence does not announce their true value, though it is not a manifestation of falseness. If it is noticed, it seems to drag them down to an intimate ownership. In fact, the sense of tenderness ever stay in the back of our words and thoughts that tend to show themselves as having the hardness and eternity of a different being than the carnal one which we are.

Against the Christian interpretation, the tenderness of flesh is not a passive part of human being. Actually, when it becomes a passive attitude, tenderness does not exist any more, but the things impressed on it. It comes to be their companion. For instance, tenderness survives together with sexual lust as long there is involved the softness of the flesh and it is not moved away.

When the tenderness is contained by love, there is precluded any sense of passivity. Its weakness and unwise nature are directed to the object of love, though, as Bernard specifies, it is not sufficient for love.

The tenderness can be contained by philosophy as love for wisdom, too. It would be or has already been useful in order to add the necessary carnal humanity to our thoughts. For instance, we have the tenderness of Socrates’ humility in the act of philosophical dialogues.

Note on Culture

A strictly personal point of view easily becomes a common one when it is classified among other personal perspectives.

Consequently, its force as a definite position because of its peculiarity decays. If we cannot say that we have already heard some similar claims, it is easy to say that we heard a lot of personal points of view many times.

This habit of ignoring personal perspectives drives to a corresponding view of the matters about which there are such perspectives.  They have to be classified in some category or another or they have to fulfill some general requirements of objectivity.

Therefore, we have the habit of gladly receiving all the subject matters which do not imply a particular attention because of their uncommon meaning. Only the topics that can be put under a preconceived list of topics raise the interest in them. So, it was built the concept of culture. And the proud of a gradual possession of much or less culture substitutes the necessity of expressing a personal point of view.

There is not the problem of how we can rise above our dominant culture, but rather how we can renounce to the comfort of solving the tribulations of expressing a personal view with the help of the behavior that gives birth to the culture.

For this behavior is so familiar to us, that it cannot be even recognized as such. It slips through the supposed inner and personal thoughts, too.

Its large spreading contributes to its reception as the normal frame of developing ourselves. Certainly, the total ignorance of the way we adopt and create culture would be a lack in knowing humanity.

The most remarkable sign of the necessity of going outside of the cultural habit is the simple fact of our individual bodily existence. It always stands apart from the cultural behavior because it cannot be reduced to any general cultural value.

marți, 2 august 2011

The Others and the Thought

People should be overlooked in order to avoid including them among other insolvable matters of one’s existence. They are easily attachable to the set of things that require much than a human being can provide.

 These are the things which cannot be thoroughly dealt with and never can be drove to an end. For instance, the personal bodily constitution and all the other things attached to it, the old ideal of reaching wisdom, or the preoccupation for finding the perfect artistic expression.

Yet, the ways in which others impose to us and for which they cannot be ignored make the act of ignorance a problem, too. There are the very well known states of sickness, poverty, dependence, but most of all the loneliness showed by others. Who can solve someone else sense of loneliness, if he is aware of his lonely human condition, too?

In fact, all these ways make plain all our own concealed weakness and unsolvable character, with the consequence of not being able to help others by using our own properties.

Therefore, the charitable acts can be done as long as the charitable man refuses to consider his individual characteristics. He offers words of consolation picked up from the common language or he disappears behind his effective deeds.

As regards the proper way of taking others as objects of our thought, i.e. by a personal reference to them, it is preferable to take them together with the stronger things around them. The human being mingled with inanimate things, as it is the case of approaching men and their history, gives us some solid ground on which we can forget the common weakness.

Surely, this is not a true account of men, but the alternative of confronting them in their weak solitude transforms our discourse in an instable chain of words that hardly can count as true ones, at least for our habit of judging true on the model of firm and sterile scientific propositions.

luni, 1 august 2011

The Eternal Return or ‘Benedictus qui Venit in Nomine Dominus’

If one is aware of the finitude of his life, his awareness does not count as an acquisition of knowledge.

Differently, someone who is aware of a certain scientific fact after he learned it is considered as a knower.

The difference seems to be caused by the lower quantity of information acquired at once with the recognition of our death.

However, the amplitude of the awareness of personal death may supply its scarce informational value.

A more important difference consists in the limitedness of moving the thought forward after obtaining such awareness of death. Without the implications of death exposed by some existentialist philosophers, the death cannot be transformed in an extensive field of reflection. As medieval spirituality used to do, it is sufficient to look to the bodily signs of death, or to prey near the human bones.

The awareness of death is a thought drove to the end of life and becomes itself an ended thought. The life of thought could be saved only by preventing it from a long attending of death or any other dead matters.

Notice that Nietzsche’s Zarathustra expels and curses those who preach death - ‘everywhere sounds the voice of those who preach death’- and speaks about an eternal return: ‘must we not return eternally?’.

The view of an eternal life is not the solution, because it is always conceived as an afterlife and, therefore, the ended life still occupies the first term of reflection; Zarathustra: Or ‘the eternal life’. It’s all the same to me…

For not be affected by the thought of dead matters one needs to ignore the current sense of motion from a place to another, since the point of departure is always expected to drive to a final point. The continuous or repetitive motion of the heart is to be preferred for apprehending a movement that is not directed to an end. Obviously, this sort of movement is proper to life.

Since the current sense of motion supposes a final term and our bodily heart has an end, we should embrace the repetitive motion by ignoring our natural habit of ever going to a specific destination. The efficiency of such assumed ignorance is proved by the general and habitual ignorance of death.

While ignorance is not suitable for a philosophical inquiry, it is recommended the illusion, which is still a means of knowledge as a form of imagination. Thus, it should be chosen either the illusion of having other nature than human – as the overman does -, either the illusion of coming from an indefinite point, as it is the case of claiming that one comes in the name of the Lord.

Deep Thoughts

One man walking to a certain and unknown location is as less prone to deep thoughts as it is one man caught in a vivid and demonstrative conversation.

Such conversation is a simile of the walking because the speaker also wants to go somewhere, even if this location is in fact of an immaterial nature. Nonetheless, an unknown destination of a travel is still immaterial before it will be reached.

Who can distract its attention to the road followed by dedicating himself to long duration thoughts, even if he knows that those thoughts would help him to arrive at the intended location?

A deep thought is a waste of time in this case, and so it is in a conversation.

Therefore, whenever is used a conversational language, it appears the tendency to ignore deep thoughts. It is a common situation in philosophy, since it was borne in conversational context and often takes the form of convincing demonstrations.

Because of its duration, a deep thought moves so slowly, that becomes imperceptible its target. Its motion seems not to be a linear one, as the steps of demonstration are developed. Rather, it shows a movement of continuous retreat, which can be characterized as a circular movement around itself. But doing so, mind succeeds in imposing its proper movement. It ceases to borrow the way we behave in common travels to certain locations.

For this reason, conversational language is weak as regards the power of resisting to the surrounding contexts. It is closer to other elements of human behavior than to the way we think.

Moreover, the philosophers provided themselves with substitutive means of demonstration, ones that imitate the movement proper to deep thoughts. For instance, we have the definitions that tie the defined realities to propositional statements. They restrain our freedom of thinking beyond the limits of a certain interpretation of things, commanding us a continuous and seemingly circular reference to the definitions.

But the brevity and the limitation of definitions is just a hasty solution for introducing deep thoughts in our philosophical discourses. On the contrary, a deep thought should be able to a continuous redefinition of things discussed, as long it is needed to describe their thoroughly interconnection which is responsible for the circular motion of deep thoughts.