luni, 16 aprilie 2012

Aristotle: Self-Love and Property

Every individual loves himself and this is surely natural…practically everyone likes to have their piece of property (Aristotle, Politics, 1263b1-4)

Which are the arguments for the naturalness of self-love?

The Greek term for nature, physis, is unaffected by the modern belief that the natural features can be discovered by a process of analysis. For Greeks, a natural feature reflects the definite character of a thing, a regular pattern of origin and growth, surely not ones to be discovered through analysis, but rather by a synthetic view of the thing. Time to time, we have the opportunity to see the natural thing how it retreats from its confusing and spontaneous interaction with us for following its origin and course of growth. For modern time, if we take the natural beings as objects of analysis, then we are obliged to assume that the dead plants and animals are secondary means of revealing something that can be at best observed in the living exemplars. However, the modern analysis leaves away the conscience of that assumption when it considers itself in right to name the natural features of beings.

The ancient manner of grasping the natural characteristics of a being should function in the case of human self-love, too. Only time to time and in the moments when humans retreat in themselves, there is possible to evaluate the naturalness of self-love. For instance, though Aristotle uses the existence of elaborate language as an argument for human social character, there are moments of life when language retreats in the individual for expressing his singularity, sometimes through monologs, sometimes through linguistic constructions as philosophy and poetry. Awkwardly or wisely, man sinks by language into himself, as if he would confound with his lover.

There is always followed a pattern of retreating that we ever presuppose during the quotidian tendency of dragging others out for being agents of the social life, because our means of social interactions are conceived exactly for such purpose. For example, we would never love, persuade, placing into a social range or learn anyone without knowing which are his patterns of singularity that must be removed or diminished. The singularity of growing process and finally of death exposes what the permanent retreats just signalize.

Since every retreat is measured by the place left, in any social context we can remark the naturalness of self-love anyone possesses.

The piece of property Aristotle refers to is not by itself an argument for the naturalness of self-love, but its result. Any retreat marks an approach of individual singularity against the usual exposure in social contexts and the piece of property is the way of reentering in the society without leaving apart the natural self-love.

The individualism involved by possession of properties should not afraid more than the retreat for self-love without any external outcome, since such retreat means that the individual does not reenter in society. He posits the self-love against it. Therefore, if he retreats in his natural self-love, then all the others have to argue more for the naturalness of the social love and with the risk of expanding merely the artificial character of argumentation.

duminică, 15 aprilie 2012

Thoughts, Decisions

Before each decision the self returns to a state of indeterminacy that it is forgotten, though present, in man’s daily life.

Because only through decision someone knows himself as a definite agent in a world not belonging to him.

Although the action following the decision cannot determine the self otherwise than in respect of the circumstances of that particular action, its former precariousness of definite features urges someone to identify himself with his concrete representation as an agent. It is the happiness for finally finding something for rendering substantiality to the doubtful self before decision. The identification can easily be deduced from the tenacity of any voluntary act.

Moreover, the other factors of the action are neglected, as it is testified by the fact we generally speak about someone‘s actions and less about actions as such.

However, there are rarely cases when someone declares the ownership over actions and the identification of the self with them. Such prominent claim rather appears in polemical contexts, where the polemic state is the sign of the fragility of self.

Nonetheless, a thought may be taken as a decided act. And it follows all the aspects of a decision for acting, until someone comes to identify himself with it in polemical context. And it is often forgotten that thoughts have much in common with the original indeterminacy of the self than the heterogeneous actions have.

sâmbătă, 14 aprilie 2012

Spinoza: True Idea

Spinoza: ‘A true idea must agree with that of which it is the idea [ideatum]’.

Maybe this condition leaves the true idea in a state of impossible validation, since it seems impossible to determine what is the ideatum of an idea from elsewhere than from the idea itself.

However, if we test the hypothesis of an idea that not agrees with its ideatum, we will find that the disagreement can be revealed.

The disagreement involves definite positions for the idea and its object or ideatum, so that we may compare them as self-subsistent entities.

As a paradox of knowledge, we cannot appreciate plainly the character of the object that belongs to a false idea. Yet, that object receives rough outlines from the false idea itself.

There are blatantly false ideas or genuine false ideas with many credentials for being accepted as true ones. What makes the first blatantly false is their reference to things that do not require an investigation of their truth. Their falsity is, therefore, easily imputable to their author and the falsity becomes a simple error.

Meanwhile, the genuine false ideas are those that suggest they used for their construction the participation both of the author and of their objects. And such supposition is grounded on the possibility of giving to their objects definite names. A definite name is one bearing a greater sonority than others and keeping it in itself; for instance, the names of the scientific matters – a catalogue of scientific labels of some studied things becomes easily convincing in virtue of its firm sonority and makes impossible to perceive the things otherwise than through their names. Since we  know that things cannot be confounded with their names, the self-indulgence of the authors of ideas in naming things is a sure sign that their ideas do not agree with their objects.

Conversely, an idea that use weak names for its object point to the fact that it is in agreement with it. The so blamed metaphysical concepts as being, one, substance seem suitable for being considered as forming ideas that use weak names.

vineri, 13 aprilie 2012

Note on Being Ashamed of Body

Someone who chooses an intellectual life may feel ashamed because of the permanent presence of body; especially, when intellectual progressive achievements confront a similar progressive decay of the body.

These contradictory directions of progress are paralleled by a contradiction of their stabile points. While intellectual principles give someone the power of escaping from his subjective thoughts to objective ones, bodily processes that resist to any change absorbs into them the power of any individual. So does the process of breathing, since the man is finally absorbed into his last breath.

This second contradiction is shameful for the man dedicated to an intellectual life rather when he looks to other’s bodily existence. When others are seen retreating in their body, the elevated intellectual purposes in domain of morality – as it is the spirit of altruism, the implicit claim of teaching others by your manifested intellectual knowledge, or even the immoral goal of dominating others by your intellectual skill – are exposed in their futility.

Thus, to be ashamed of the body also means to be ashamed of others. Such overlapping of the objects of shame might help someone to know that taking his bodily existence into an intellectual account he will learn something about others, not only about him.

joi, 12 aprilie 2012

'Yes, but...' and the Common Sense

In the common conversations, if we use the expression ‘yes, but’, we mean that we accept a previous statement and add another one that continues it, or we express a slight difference. It is also plausible that we admit the previous statement in a concessive way.

In any case, it is supposed that the things initially set down remain untouchable, in spite of adding new statements.

In any conversation, the new statements come to multiply themselves and to captivate the interlocutors. Thus, the first admitted statement remains keeps the stability that lacks to the new statements.

Therefore, we might say that initial statement could ever return in the same form in the middle and to the end of conversation. And such return would agree with the fact that ‘but’ introduces a logical conjunction which requires that all its terms to be true.

When the common beliefs are admitted in theoretical thinking as some initial statements we receive by ‘yes, but’, then all the theoretical construction after ‘but’ will be futile, since the first statements can return exactly as they were initially assumed. Thus, contrary to its charitable purpose of safeguarding the common sense, the philosophy that claims it as being its own fundament risks to be diminished by that ground. Moreover, it is diminished the common sense, too, because of its association with a futile theoretical approach.

Differently, when the common beliefs are ignored by theoretical thinking, there are many chances to reach that true of the conjunction as a whole. There is possible to grasp that ‘yes’ laying behind any ‘yes, but’.

marți, 10 aprilie 2012

The Need of Knowing God's Nature

Do we need to know the nature of God?

Leaving aside the history of debates on divine attributes, there should be admitted that they are the only means for approaching something as God’s nature.

Therefore, maybe we are in right to change the initial question into ‘Do we need to know the God’s attributes?’.

The Platonic condition of not discussing what we do not know what it is bans this question. Even if there are many cognitive needs that surpass such condition, it seems to be applicable for an object of knowledge as God, since human ignorance is incapable for providing the minimal support for founding a cognitive attitude to it.

Thus, we should cautiously restrain the second question to the epistemic procedure of attribution. Do we need it?

According to one of Spinoza’s definitions from Ethics, ‘by attribute I mean that which the intellect perceives of substance as constituting its essence’. The attribution would be the specific function of intellect facing reality as substance; in a simple interpretation, the necessity of establishing the essence of a substance can be viewed as the necessity of bringing the seeming external substance in a firm human possession.

In this case, the need of attribution is the need of knowledge as such. Again in a simple interpretation, knowledge is the need of possessing the seeming external reality.

We say that the reality is apparently external, because any epistemic account comes in a way or another to admit that a wholly external reality is unconceivable.

Consequently, the need of possessing the reality is also the need of knowing what belongs to us with the help of something different from us. Gods, ideal realities, scientific realities, trivial things, others are all suitable for the role of being something different from us. Until establishing a definite epistemic point of view, all of them are equally in right to fulfill our mentioned need. And in all of them there is something from us.

luni, 9 aprilie 2012

Morality, Temporality

Temporality is the main enemy of morality, not the immorality.

It is the temporality belonging to human facts or to human life as a whole.

The succession of life events can easily serve as a replacement for the conclusive succession sought through moral commands and decisions. What the last ones want to produce in human life, namely a change in the way of living, is produced by itself through the simple succession of life events.

From this reason, morality often fought with the indifference to any change in life. The indifference makes room to the unnamed changes that occupy the human disposition to submit to explicit moral changes.

The lack of unnamed changes of life is their distance to the sphere of language; many times, they are not considered worthy for being told farther. Meanwhile, morality is bent to consume its will for changing lives in that sphere of language which is abandoned by unnamed changes.

sâmbătă, 7 aprilie 2012

Truth and Its Mirror

Besides the correspondence between a true proposition and a state of things, there is also supposed something else. There is wrongly supposed that such third element is the justification of the true proposition. We could not advance to the things by a retreat in the area of proposition, to which the justification belongs, too.

Though put under the criterion of confirmation, truth is also expected to be mirrored by things that confirm it.

To mirror the truth means that things have the power to make the true proposition about them as one of their features.

Moreover, the mirroring function would be able to procure to the proposition the brightness it cannot have among words. Brightness for a proposition is its power to clarify a cognitive attitude to the word.

When world clarifies cognitive attitudes, it is free from any human constrains of a scientific cognitive apparatus. Because we know that most telling views of the world are those that escape from our rational expectations [notice the world disclosed by art].

So, the world mirrors the truth non-rationally or, more precisely, as long we know that rationality is ever expressed by language, it does this silently.

The true propositions that are meant to supply the need for something else than the simple confirmation should be able to deal with the silence of things.

vineri, 6 aprilie 2012

Note on the Theories about Man

Maybe the efficiency of a theory about human beings is determined by its power to not speak about man.

Thus, the religious views of man may efficiently convert people due to their ability to show that man is not the final point of the discourse.

 The abundance and the tumult of discourses about particular men in daily life need to be stopped for approaching a state of efficiency.

The efficiency – from Latin efficere (to accomplish) – could not be found in the register of discourses that are bound to generate other discourses, even if the generated discourses are words of confirmation. Discourses cannot accomplish something else than other discourses. Therefore, a conspicuous discourse about man exposes a spoken man or makes its auditors to conceive themselves as spoken men.

The efficiency primarily belongs to man’s life and the efficient theories about him only remind about it, they cannot generate it.

joi, 5 aprilie 2012

Truths, Delusions

If we order some human beliefs among delusions – and religious beliefs constituted the main objects of such interpretation -, we should know what human enterprise has no traces of delusion.

The claimed possession of truths is not sufficient for excluding delusion. The healthy enthusiasm of discovering and possessing truths is stained by the delusion that they can belong in an essential way to those that found them.

Nevertheless, nobody can claim that some truths constitute him like some organic features. The truths lay in their truthfulness as bodily parts in their organic position.
At most we can deludedly convince ourselves that truths may be dragged out from their truthfulness for populating our lives consecrated to discover them.

In this case, truths and the beliefs generally deemed to be delusions cannot be clearly separated. The success of supposed objective truths over delusional beliefs is just a result of the fact that someone who claims the possession of truths is rarely worried by the unrest of someone who believes in realities that overcome him. Thus, the possessor of truths has the easiness of drawing clear-cut limits between truths and delusions.

[There is not a peculiarity of Plato’s philosophy that he allows mythical beliefs to interweave with the searching for truths never claimed to be possessed.]

miercuri, 4 aprilie 2012

Note on Learning

Someone may learn very well some matters without having any knowledge about what means to learn them.

If there are known the procedures of knowledge or simply the ‘how’ of learning, it does not mean that the meaning of learning certain matters is also known. Because the meaning of learning should lay somewhere outside of the learning process itself.

The matters of learning, the teacher, and the disciple occupy that outer dimension of learning. They occupy it disorderly or at least without the clear order of the learning process.

Therefore, for finding the meaning of learning some particular matters, we cannot display a unitary explanation by pointing out the value of learning for disciple’s development, for teacher’s social role, or emphasizing the value of those matters for human development.

We rather come to know that learning some things has ever an obscure meaning accordingly to its specific disorder. The obscurity is the result of the ongoing occurrence of unlearnt matters during life. They impose themselves to any element of the process of learning with a force that is able to destabilize the firm confidence in learning. And they show what is the meaning of learning some matters by contesting it.

For instance, we know better the value of learning scientific matters, if we take into account the stages of life when we confront some unlearnt shortcomings as illness or death. The disciple and the teacher of those matters are commonly disturbed by such failures of life, so that we must question how they succeed in confronting illness and death by their assumed statuses.