miercuri, 22 februarie 2012

Grounds and Premises

The grounds of an argument cannot overleap its premises.

We may say that the grounds come from elsewhere than the language that generates the premises and the argument as a whole.

They are not in a parallel dimension to the argument, as if they were that reality that verifies it. The notion of ‘ground’ should mean something that can stay by itself, without being the expedient of the premises that need confirmation. The ground should provide to those who give arguments their firm position on which they are in right to give them.

The simple reality that confirms the premises cannot support the man who provides them.

The existence of something like the grounds of an argument is often testified in a negative way. The resistibility of an argument to any proof from reality that falsifies its premises and conclusion is often imputed to the author of an argument, supposing that he has other reasons of his position than the premises.

There is also a habit of accusing such reasons of being originated in some features belonging to an area at best to be disclosed by ad hominem arguments.

Instead, the reasons of an argument that resists to objections are signs of some grounds of the argument, which cannot cope with the expressed premises. We speak of scientific, religious, moral grounds, but all of them should prove their functionality as grounds for an argument by their force to sustain the man who issues arguments. Farther, we know that the grounds succeed in their task, as long as the arguments he offers can easily change their forms of expression. Then, we know that the grounds are confined to the argument and not to its linguistic form.

Having that force over language, the grounds cannot be discovered behind any sort of argument. Not every argument can be related to a reality that supports the man himself. Therefore, many arguments prefer to be concerned with the reality that confirms the premises; their efficiency is always conjoined with an unexplainable sense of futility.

marți, 21 februarie 2012

Questioning Life

When someone questions his life, the objects of his questions run away, being falsely represented by static images. Love, death, good, happiness are all immobile images that invades the thinking of life.

And all the great questions about human life endeavor to obtain answers regarding life in its inner movement. In spite of such purpose, any determination of life makes it an immobile object. For instance, a phrase as ‘X’s life’ is an attempt to stop the course of one’s life by transferring to it the supposed immobility of that person X.

Farther than the simple determinations, the question stops the mobility of life by its presuppositions. While any question has some presuppositions known by the questioner, it binds the ongoing reality of life with the static characteristic of the presupposition. The presupposition that there is something as love worthy to be present in one’s life forces the answerer to forsake his ongoing love.

Therefore, not without sense, Plato holds the idea that a question about moral life should be supported by a reality that precedes any actual, concrete life.

The need of questioning life is caused by the very mobility of life. Any move of life faces the always present determinations that stop it. However, such confrontation does not justify the adequacy of questions about life and their answers that take the form of receipts of living, since there is a problem concerning life as such and not its purposes.

The ideal treatment of questions about life should refrain from searching for a manner to prescribe ways of life. It is sufficient to philosophically expose those immobile images in their interconnection for revealing a structure that expresses a sort of movement to be followed in the concrete lives.  The single result thus obtained would have an analogical nature: we could follow those purposes of life that make us wondering about them as like as their abstract correspondents are related each other.

duminică, 19 februarie 2012

Abandoning the World

The refusal of the pleasure as a goal of life does not imply a supposed abandonment of the world. It seems to be so, since the pleasure brings the world in our intimacy and it would be so, if the intimacy were rightly conceived as a space we can freely configure.

But the intimacy escapes from our will, being instilled in the being of our body. As much as we would attempt to ignore the body as measure of our individuality, it functions as such and pulls the person in the inner space of the bodily life. The pains remind us that we are not different from the body, the pleasures remind that we find comfort in our body, and both keep us in the world in spite of any creed contrary to bodily life.

Therefore, the renouncement to pleasure is in fact an act of embracing the tension between a declared abandon of the world and its acceptance through the bodily life.

The declared abandon strengthens itself by imaging a spiritual life that doubles its bodily counterpart. Many times, a spiritual life is one that allows someone to feed with spiritual food, to walk through heavens, or to be kept in heavenly marriages. It is not the fulfillment with the world that we meet in pleasures, but it is saved the pattern of receiving the world, even if it is absent. In that pattern, the intimacy is voided of life as it is any other form without content or matter. And yet the lifeless intimacy of the body persists and together with it a lifeless world.

Perhaps the abandonment of the world is more adequately called as a death, with the mention that the human individual lays in his dead body, too.

Instead of a declared renouncement to the pleasure as a goal of life that is fated to be showed as a false statement, it is preferable to retain yourself from discussing pleasure or its denying as alternatives for judging the goal of life. Because there are not only these two alternatives: it is the acceptance of the world, the choice for a lifeless world, and the assumed tension between the declared renouncement to the world and its bodily acceptance.

As regards the acceptance of the world, the pleasure is only one of the many means by which we can approach it. The magnitude of pleasure makes us to believe that it is the most appropriate means, but the body as the matter that receives pleasures and pains should have a greater magnitude and the individuality inscribed in the body is greater than pleasure, too.

sâmbătă, 18 februarie 2012

Objectivity and Moderation

Both the self-denial and the self-confidence in human relationship with the world are out of the control exercised by moderation.

Each of them left that self that is able to temper the excesses by its neutral status. Neutrality means a state of indifference to any part involved in a problem; to be neutral to yourself means to be indifferent to your self. As a result, there is inadequate to claim the existence of a ‘self’ of moderation.

The reason invoked as a guarantee of moderation occupies the place of indifference to your self. It is suggested that reason undertakes all that means ‘self’.

But reason of moderation remains different from any kind of selves. It brings an amount of things that are objects of calculation on a field, where the self is striving to configure its independence to things. Thus, self-denial means that someone keeps him apart from the things he cannot reach, while self-confidence means that someone keeps himself above the things he needs not to reach.

It seems that only by self-denial and self-confidence the things are approached as things that are different from the human self. And, as a consequence, the objectivity can be attained through an excess regarding the way someone conceives himself.

The tranquility instilled by a moderate scientific view of the world cannot provide an objective point of view. Things of the world and the knowing man are mixed in an indefinite way, till to the point that is always forgotten that the scientific language belongs to us, not to the world.

vineri, 17 februarie 2012

Note on Humility in Knowledge

If the primary knowledge is already constituted at the final step of human development, but not in a systematic manner, then the man has to return to himself in an analytical fashion.

Though the return is seemingly easy, it is repugnant as regards the necessity to see yourself in the small parts disclosed through analysis.

More promising is the rhythm of great steps achieved by a synthetic process of knowledge, even if they move the man out of the most intimate things he knows. The great scientific discoveries and the great amount of daily facts lure the man to attend a greatness that does not belong to him.

The value of humility praised by religious thinkers shows its importance every time when someone has to cease his comfort in the greatness of knowing things that are strange to him.

But such humility in knowledge strengthens the power of every part obtained through analysis, clarifying that each of them concerns yourself. For instance, if we late on analyzing our language, not abandoning ourselves for speaking about universe or political issues, every discovery, as small as can seem to be in the community of speakers, is a great conquest in the field of that sort of knowledge that strictly belongs to us.

The humility in knowledge can be also conceived as an assumed self belittlement among those others that feed our own synthetic knowledge.

miercuri, 15 februarie 2012

Epicurus: Pleasures, Disturbances, Friendship

No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail disturbances many times greater than the pleasures themselves. (Epicurus, Principal Doctrines, 8)

According to Epicurus’ pronouncement, we may say that pleasure escapes from its antagonistic relation with pain or distress; also it seems to be more than a sheer subjective feeling.

Following a common moral consideration, the pleasure is qualified as good or bad, defying its primary reception as a good just for the fact that ceases the feeling of pain.

For doing so, we should presuppose the existence of a higher moral position than that of pleasure or pain. Platonic morality gladly speaks about such a higher position, which is subdued to moral values.

For Epicurus, since the pleasures are not by themselves bad, they cannot be judged from an outer or higher position. Against the presumable reply that a pleasure is a good, since it is felt as such by those who have a pleasant feeling, he turns to the sources of pleasure.

The sources of pleasure are called ‘ta poietika’, not the same thing as the objects of pleasure. In this way, the sources of pleasure claim a creative function coming from outside, which brings the pleasure out of the boundaries of subjectivity.

It is not an exteriority morally connoted, but rather the span of things, persons, or facts that compose one’s life. More than any other manner of fitting the individuality to the world, pleasure makes all the elements of the world to become integrant parts of a certain individual.

 Pleasure is the acceptance of a thing as being your own thing in a more intimate sense than the sheer possession. We can disclaim the relevance of certain properties others attribute to us, but not the pleasures we feel.

Thus, there is another dispute than that between pleasure and pain: the individuality of the pleasant feeling has to fight in the intimate domain of personal life with the external things of the world that arrive to us as creators of pleasure. The disturbances such things produce represent menaces to our individuality.

The greatest peril would be that of allowing to other persons to come in our individual life, since we admit them as being causes of pleasure. Their entrance in our life would mean that they can affect what constitutes our individuality, especially our way of thinking.

Whenever thinking is attained by admiration or pleasure felt for a different person who thinks, it appears the possibility of being led out of our individuality, though the progress of thinking almost always is accomplished in this way. The annoyances of a life dedicated to study others’ ways of thinking, as the sense of futility, are those disturbances accused by Epicurus.

Nonetheless, the commitment to an individual thinking implies that egoism of pleasure often imputed to Epicurus’ doctrine. It is a creative egoism that is acquired as if you would be an outer instance to yourself or a poietikon. In the strictest manner, it suggests the distance from anybody that inspires feelings of pleasure or implies, contrary to Kant’s morality, to diminish others till to the point that they will represent sources of pleasure like inanimate things.

When Epicurus recommends friendship as the highest value in reaching wisdom, we may understand that such individuality that is easily affected by pleasant feelings for others can be also creative in the process of acquiring friendship. Thus, Epicurus uses the noun ktesis when he speaks about the acquisition of friendship (philia, Doctrines, 27), implying an effort to take the friendship into possession, not simply an acceptance for the pleasant feelings it causes.  Therefore, when the friendship is the result of a creative effort, it becomes a means of expressing your own individuality, not an alteration.

marți, 14 februarie 2012

Note on Inner Scrutiny

When someone is asked about his opinion about a certain matter, his first attempt is to find a place for his opinion in the domain suggested by that matter.

The domain always appears vaguely, with no clear demarcation between things, words, and persons involved.

To place immediately an opinion in a confusing bundle of aspects related to a certain matter becomes a clear act only if it is considered in its operation of positing an opinion.

An inner scrutiny for reaching to a personal opinion can be wrongly directed for obtaining the same kind of clarity. Someone opens a supposed inner space of thinking for disclosing the power of positing his own opinion or belief, but it is ignored the primary necessity of eliminating the confusing domain he meets in the question. So, the inner scrutiny shows to be an easy enterprise that requires only a greater attention to your feelings.

On the contrary, a right inner scrutiny demands for a primary delimitation of a certain domain. In this case, what counts as an inner investigation is the power of overcoming a confusing state. It would be a vague self that can be hardly recognized in the things, words or persons, which are posited in their own places.

luni, 13 februarie 2012

Epicurus and the End of Arguments

One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. (Epicurus, Gnomologium Vaticanum, 26)

In a rigorous normative manner, Epicurus starts his advice with the verb ‘must’ (dei). But what does determine a norm for logos or argument?

A norm for the length of arguments that are expressed in natural language, not in a logical one, could be imposed by the participants to a certain conversation, as Socrates repeatedly requests to his interlocutors in Plato’s dialogues.

When the call for brevity of arguments is asked by some participants to a conversation, the norm shows to be a means of controlling the speakers and only afterwards the arguments they use.

Because the length of arguments is caused by the desires of their authors to extend their individuality in the field of conversation. Persuasiveness overwhelms and ignores the truth, as Plato endeavors to say in Socrates’ name.

But the will for persuasiveness is also supported by the nature of arguments. They do not oppose to any will of making them long or short. And they do not turn the speaker to their end: a discourse seems to last even if the speaker ceases to utter it. It remains in others’ mind.

The property of arguments of being indifferent to length and time could be responsible for speaker’s choose of long discourses.  He has the chance to reach the values of extension and eternity, otherwise difficult to meet in other facts of life. Moreover, he has the chance to state his own extension and his own time, so that the audience is easily made to believe that what is heard represents the world itself. The persuasiveness always implies that those who are persuaded do not search for a confirmation in the world.

Plato holds that the subject matters of the arguments can provide the brevity of arguments, while Epicurus invokes their end: the same end for long and short arguments. Both of them measure the discourses by appealing to something placed outside them.

Referring to their end, Epicurus posits a value that is in direct contradiction to the seemingly endless nature of the arguments. The end appears at the natural limits of arguments and has the force to oppose to their speaker, too, since he also has an end. Therefore, the end shows to be a norm for brevity that comes from the arguments themselves and restricts the speaker in his entirety.

Of course, the speaker may fight for long discourses even more boldly, if he wants to defy the end. However, if he wants to ground his personality as a definite whole, he would learn from Epicurus that the end provides also the property of being the same. The end as the logical law of reduction provides precision to the logical arguments, too.

A charitable interpretation of Plato’s dialogues would say that the Forms as subject matters of the short arguments are rather limitative means of controlling the length of discourses, than starting points for speculative images. In this case, the end and something that ends the arguments and the self-pride of their speaker are the same.

duminică, 12 februarie 2012

Epicurus: Pure Pleasure and Knowledge of Universe

It is impossible for someone to dispel his fears about the most important matters if he doesn’t know the nature of the universe but still gives some credence to myths, So without the study of nature there is no enjoyment of pure pleasure (Epicurus, Principal Doctrines, 12)

Because Epicurus holds that the right pleasures are especially the natural and necessary ones, an impure pleasure would be one that contradicts less or more naturalness and necessity.

It is also supposed that we feel pleasure, but also we can recognize ‘the most important matters’. They would come in the range of unnaturalness and possibility.

What kind of recognition? It can be that of apprehending the limits of nature and necessity we reach in our possession of pleasures.  

Thus, they are limits of our own person, if we consider pleasures as expressions of our individuality. Unnaturalness and possibility are outside us and come from the innermost feelings of individuality. If both of them become problems to be solved by the knowledge of the nature of universe, then it derives that the universe we place above us as the source of naturalness and necessity has its subjective origins in the contrary values.

Closer to us is the myth, which appears as a spontaneous reliance on what is higher than us. The myth will immediately embody the empty space left by the knowledge of the limits of our individuality.

Our fears raise from the knowledge of myths, but fears proves themselves to be other ways of expression of the same individuality as that affirmed in feelings of pleasure.

The myth creates a mythological world and that is the world closest to us. Therefore, if it is cleaned by the religious senses, the primary world of men is that that allows a chain of stories, places and incomprehensible facts, as it is currently known from the experience of life. The possibility and lack of naturalness lays in our contacts with other men.

On the other side, the knowledge of universe Epicurus recommends will stay outside of us, since it is acquired through ignoring the primary recognition of our limits, which we see manifested by fears.

If the knowledge of universe comforts our feeling of pleasure, it will do by an amputation of our natural tendency to come out of our individuality till to its limits. If it is adopted in the frame of individualistic feeling of pleasure, it still jeopardizes the free recognition of our limits.

When the man claims the possession of the basic truths about the nature of universe, he will be ever bent to shape the domain of the possible and unnaturalness he meets in his life among others according to the naturalness and necessity. It results that is an inadequate way of apprehending life.

The knowledge of universe can remain adequate only in the province of a closed subjectivity or, as Epicurus says, as a pure pleasure.

vineri, 10 februarie 2012

Past Things

The inclusion of the subject into the predicate in the proposition of traditional logic suggests the tranquility proper to things of the world as they are represented in a general order of species and genera.

When the subject is included in the predicate, it leaves away all our problems in confronting the things as subjects. The things seem to escape from us by a self-movement to the predicates they belong to.

Once included in predicates, the subjects will express an eternal generic relation between the class of subjects and that of predicates.

The same dissolution in eternity occurs whenever we adopt the things of the world in their multitude. The passage from a thing to another means that the things are successively lost.

The things about which we spoke and according to which we acted cannot disappear, since they always can be recalled for explaining our present state. In fact, they are left over to interact with other lost things. It is an ordered interaction like that of the inclusion of subject into predicate, because each new thing is added to those old ones already consumed.

We might presume that they benefit from tranquility as the eternal generic relations between propositional terms. Although the past things may overrule in the present time and may produce disorder in one’s life, if they are conceived as causes of remorse and regret, they do not generate disturbance by themselves.

The only motive for which the past things seem to disturb the present state is the fact that the man interrupts his ordered passing from a thing to another. In such passage, the man is connected to the life of particular things, as it is due to an individual being. When he ceases his current relation to them, the generality interposes between him and things, infringing his natural manner of dealing with them.

Therefore, there are not past things that act over present in virtue of their individuality, but only as things that have a degree of generality. For instance, we may be impressed by the memory of our childhood, but it is both our own childhood and the childhood as such.

joi, 9 februarie 2012

Note on the Cognitive Interest

When someone is bent to know a particular thing, he could not be satisfied in knowing that that thing lays so firm by itself, so that is contrary to his state of preoccupation.

Perhaps the things that present themselves to us as self-sufficient, as there are the scientific data or the everyday events, will never succeed in rising a real cognitive interest.

Though the knowledge of natural sciences and the information about daily events dominate other kinds of knowledge, they cause by such domination a more salient exposition of the needs of a cognitive interest, since there is possible for everyone to overlook all that dominant knowledge in order to be concerned to his own life; a life that can be also interpreted as a cognitive experience. It is the experience that benefits at most from men’s interest.

To approach the cognitive interest for life does not downgrade the philosophical discourse to trivial matters, because they are accounted for by the everyday information. In fact, without any required reference to what means the individual life, such approach has to orientate to those things that always decay, move, or change both concerning their state or our own state of knowledge, in each case thing that is like our cognitive preoccupation.

It would not result a corpus of interesting data, but a knowledge that brings out in a higher degree the human thought.

miercuri, 8 februarie 2012

Note on Imaged Acts

Conceiving others as acting in some definite manners, not merely according to what we believe as being their proper and immobile features, our  judgment fails into confusion.

It is the confusing position induced by the false implicit belief that we can comprehend in our static imagination about others their mobile life.

To reduce mobility to sheer sequential order is the easiest way of concealing the confusion.

Such order can be instituted only in the subjective thought; otherwise, if we adopt the objective temporal order, it would be irrelevant for describing acts we do not know in the present.

The subjective origin of sequential order implies a sense of domination over those we speak imaging their actions. Thus, we think they should conform to our moral values in their deeds, so that we often conceive good, bad, courageous actions etc., even if our own practice testifies that the values are attributed when our acts finish or are finished in our thoughts.

marți, 7 februarie 2012

Variation on the Platonic Beauty

For living in a beautiful way, kalon, as Greeks said, the normative ethics or the utilitarian calculations do not make sense.

Because none of them, the pure norm and the calculation, do not produce beauty. A life guided by laws was expelled by the first Christians on the reason of not living room for a more beautiful feeling as love, the calculation of utility hardly could be judged apart from the ugliness of an egoistical measure of things.

The beauty in one’s behavior requires him to be connected to beautiful things in a gentle way.

And, from the love story between Socrates and Alcibiades, we learn that such gentleness is not the weakness of a sentimental experience, but the following of the tenderness derived from the attachment to the Beauty as a Form. Excluding Plato’s metaphysical view, we might concede that a beautiful way of life presupposes the perpetual conscience that the beauty lays out in our proximity, not being caused by us and not depending on some particular beautiful things.

The only duty of a man would be to prepare such proximity. It is a proximity to yourself, not the social neighborhood. Again from Plato, we find that the preparation takes a form that is by itself different from the precise following of beautiful things, namely, the continual exercise of knowledge.

Such exercise of understanding also appears in the permanent contact with beautiful things that need to be understood. The so called esthetical experiences can become acts of understanding, when they give birth to a practice or to a way of life.

By thought or by art, a beautiful life is one that evicts the intricacies of social life. A good and beautiful life would mean that one takes only what is beautiful in others, even if the others are diminished to their independent features, omitting those that interrelate them in human affairs. We also have to notice that Greeks used kalon for expressing goodness, too.

luni, 6 februarie 2012

Note on Mixed Things

The things that are in a state of mixture support those beliefs about them that pretend to be independent points of view. For instance, many moral statements or decisions, even those that contradict each other, are supported by the facts that are mixed in the area of human behavior.

Only the man who expresses his belief is not supported by the mixed things. His belief is a way to find support in things by neglecting his own unsupported position.

Along with the renouncement to his vulnerable position, especially when is hastily done, he abandons his deeply involvement in the mixed things he treats or about which he decides, since we should admit that the man as a thinker has an apart position, though full of doubts, than the things different from him have.

Therefore, for making a better start in discovering his own thought, one should refrain from referring to mixed things.

duminică, 5 februarie 2012

Aristotle: The Desire of Continuance of Pleasure

According to Aristotle, any feeling of pleasure must at least incite for its continuance (cf. De anima  414b et seq. and R. Polansky’, Aristotle’s De anima, comment ad. loc.).

The statement could be supported in a description of the mechanism of producing pleasure that in fact ignores the temporality of the process.

A sudden feeling of a pleasure does not allow the clear demarcation of what contributes to pleasure in terms of a sequential series. The object of pleasure is not in the beginning of the pleasant feeling when it is eaten, but in the middle of it. When we separate it as a starting point, we need to justify its existence differently from the way we do for its existence as an object of pleasure.

The same objection of inadequacy to the temporality of the process of pleasure could be addressed to Aristotle’s contend that the continuance of the feeling of pleasure results after someone feels the pleasure.

The continuance or the permanency appears as more deeply implicated in the feeling of pleasure. Against moralists’ advice, someone who longs for a pleasure is supported by an implicit believes in its continuance, without being interested if the pleasure really lasts for a long or short time. And this omission is equally to the belief in the permanency of pleasure.

It is not a surprising omission, since the implicit rule for being confident in life would specify to take the life as an unending state. Memento mori sounds only in monasteries, where the human life is replaced by a wished divine life.

Moreover, the object of pleasure enters in the process of feeling without any temporal feature. We call the most usual objects of pleasure as abstract ones. Food, drink, and sex, which are enumerated by Aristotle as common pleasures, are abstract names that occur in the common discourse, while the eternal Platonic values as good or justice often appear determined as concrete values: my good, my justice, etc.

Aristotle himself speaks about phantasia as a faculty of soul able to make the objects of pleasure present in abstracto when they lack for the present time.

We could infer that the longing for permanency comes along with the entire feeling of pleasure and persists after the pleasure is felt, without being generated by it, as Aristotle suggests.

Consequently, Socrates’ hope that the erotic life would finish in a desire for the eternal value of beauty seems justified. Erotic or love dramas about lost lovers testifies about it. No sad and truly lover will speak about a lost erotic experience, but about the drama of losing, the lost love being viewed as an interruption of the continual life time. Thus, for instance, Orpheus’ cry in Gluck’s opera: ‘Que faro senza Euridice?’

Otherwise, some pleasures, as that of listening music, could be freed from the area of those attributed to the sheer taste. Instead, they could be considered as alternatives to the permanence of everyday life. We know that music has its proper time, which is better articulated than ours and provides a high sort of permanence.

sâmbătă, 4 februarie 2012

Note on Justification and Quantity

What we generally consider as given facts, objects, and persons, needs a justification or a sufficient reason for being attested as belonging to what does exist for us.

There is not a cognitive skepticism until we receive such justification, but a cognitive indifference.

The cognitive indifference gives birth to a series of deeds and statements that attest the lack of knowledge. It is always possible to speak about unknown things.

Because the justification is not causal, but rather quantifiable through the degree of being implied in some fact, of using a thing – our shoes exist for us because we use them - , or living with others, the adequate measure seems to be the quantity in abstracto, though it is a determinate quantity.

As a result of such confusion, there is often falsely believed that we know a fact, a thing, or a person just for the fact we can use a lot of words about them.

vineri, 3 februarie 2012

Heraclitus: A Dry Soul is Wisest and Best

Heraclitus, B118: ‘A dry soul is wisest and best’

Reconstituting Heraclitus’ thought, the dry soul has the virtue of being wisest and best for its opposition to the watery death.

It cannot be decided if the physical interpretation of man’s nature is only a scientific attempt or an analogical speculation, too.

On the analogical level, death seems rather closer to dryness as the final point of a process of loosing vitality, while the property of being watery is rather attributable to a mind that is an ongoing spring of wisdom.

If we grant that Heraclitus meant to close the dry soul to the fire, the cosmic principle, it is in need to clarify why it is close, since a dry thing which suffers the action of fire shows itself as having a different nature than fire.

In order to solve this problem, it is required to see that a different thing is primary debt to that other thing that makes him different, and not to the multitude of things that belong to the class of species of the same genus, as it is suggested in Aristotle’s definitional account.

Consequently, the man is a man when there is thought of being different from that other thing represented by divinity, not when he is conceived as having reason or as being biped.

Nonetheless, the different thing is different due to the process by which is differentiated by that other thing. For Heraclitus’s soul, the process of drying.

A soul that is distinguished by fire is one that is restricted in its content. If we speak about something as soul’s content, we might imagine an individual who becomes reach of elements able to be classified as ones that are different from soul, but coming in its possession. The beginning or the principle of such gathering of elements cannot be placed in the soul itself, but in its relation to the multitude of different things surrounding man.

Thus, it is a common experience that the individual acquires knowledge through the simple existence in the world or by sheer coexistence. The soul grows in its content, but does not grow as a soul. Actually, it is circulated by things and peoples as water does in fruits of the earth. And death is the final point of being possessed from something else. However, the wisdom and the excellence of soul must belong to soul itself.

Only because the soul is a vague notion, someone may identify it with the phonic individuality and so to claim that is wise, since he is able to speak about things that circulate him. Therefore, the soul cannot be a spring of wisdom but only a floating thing among things, like souls of dead men were driven on the rivers of death in Greek mythology.

Differently, a dried soul, though passive to the fire, has clearly grounded in itself the process of growing (soul is ‘a logos increasing itself’, B115), since it recognizes itself as a soul through the action of the thing that is utterly different from man: the divine fire. We do not learn from Heraclitus’ fragments how such grounding act begins, but it is sufficient to know that he does not appeal to that individuality constituted by gathering the multitude of different elements. Like the process of drying, we might presuppose that the soul becomes wise and best through the action of viewing them in a restrictive way, but not by abstraction or by collection.

Heraclitus restricts the things to those aspects that reflect the cosmic contradiction and unity. There is a multitude of concrete things, too, but not one imposed by the things.

miercuri, 1 februarie 2012

Hegel's Nature and Human Nature

Hegel, Encyclopedia’s Philosophy of Nature: ‘The goal of Nature is to destroy itself and to break through…Nature has become an other to itself in order to recognize itself as Idea and to reconcile itself with itself…Spirit, just because it is the goal of Nature’

If we adapt Hegel’s consideration to the nature of man, the common image of the raising of man to a spiritual life would be significantly changed.

A simile of Nature in man is not a definable characteristic of all humanity, but rather what seems to any individual as being him as a unity. The difference between what constitutes a man and the man as such is not really perceived by a spontaneous observation and only this kind of cognitive movement counts for explaining how man perceive himself as a certain unity.

The spontaneous self image is absent for a man, but its absence is filled by a multitude of personal features with which he is familiar. The first discussions about self arise from the use of a personal name. All that is confusing perceived as belonging to you becomes clarified by a name that can be viewed otherwise as the weakest sign of individuality.

It is not chosen only the name, but also that expectation that language can shape whatever is confused concerning us and is able to bring it to us as a definite property.

There is not a misinterpretation of the language. Language is a precise manner of dealing with things, but its preciseness often extends over the confusing things on their surface. Like the schematic representations of things, language seem to extract from them just what is necessary for other relations than those supposed by their approach. If the words would enter into the things, they could not come out for being used to different communicational purposes. To communicate needs the brevity and the simplicity that cannot be taken by a long inquiry into things.  It naturally excludes the long description of the elements that compose a confusing image as it is that of the self.

In the case of the primary self-knowledge, the language establishes the surface of individuality designated by the personal name. By this, the confusion itself remains untouched.

The untouched confusion cannot be destroyed just in the virtue of approximation of its content through language, since what is confusing cannot be involved in a definite process as destroying. Therefore, we are far from Hegel’s Nature that destroys itself for becoming Spirit.

Whereas the man conceives himself as a certain confusion saved by a name, his spiritual goal will fail. He will become spiritual by inserting into the untouched confusion a different element called spirit or by adding to the surface of his linguistic identity the spirituality that has also a linguistic nature.

Moreover, since he does not destroy himself, the man cannot renounce to his idiosyncratic perspective when he talks about spiritual matters, which are deemed to have a general meaning. All that is proper to someone in a superficial way, as the attitude of envy, resentment (as Nietzsche remarks), desire of dominating through language, etc. contaminates the supposed spiritual reflections.