a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:31 pm

Shaping The Self
Sally Latham examines the construction of identity through memory.

Concerning the identity of the person themselves – the thinking being – perhaps surprisingly for his time and culture, Locke claims that personal identity is not tied up with the soul. This is because he thinks that the same soul could in fact play host to different consciousnesses. It is your consciousness which makes you the same person over time; specifically it is the continuity of your memories.


The soul. On the other hand, what is the point of connecting the dots between "I" and a "soul" if there does not appear to be a way [philosophically or otherwise] in which to pin down what a soul/the soul/my soul is?

It's just another configuration of God, for all practical purposes. As for the conscious self going back to the cradle and forward to the grave, my own arguments still seem entirely reasonable to me. Some things we become conscious of are there for all rational people to become conscious of in turn. While other conscious assessments never seem able to get much further than personal opinions. And Locke's personal identity here would seem no less problematic than yours or mine.

The continuation of personal identity through memory is crucial for justice. For instance, in order to properly see the consequences of our actions and maintain our full responsibility for them, we must be able to contemplate our future selves as connected to the person about to carry out an action now, and we also must remember an action for it to qualify as really being ‘me’ who did it.


Yes, technically. But if different "souls" can't agree on what either does or does not constitute, say, social and political justice, how do they manage to configure their individual memories into one frame of mind in which those disagreement dissipate and then fortuitously are subsumed in the best of all possible worlds?

Again the part that most "serious philosophers" authoring articles like this, almost never seem interested in exploring.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:47 pm

Shaping The Self
Sally Latham examines the construction of identity through memory.

The implication of Locke’s memory criterion for identity seems to be that my identity changes over time as my memories fade, or perhaps reappear after a period of absence.


Obviously: how we think about ourselves changes over time as new experiences and new relationships create new memories. For example, we might do things today that might have been thought inconceivable or thought to be atrocious ten years ago. The biological self changes in accordance with the human body that all of us come into the world with. But the moral and political self is considerably more problematic. Memories as chemical and neurological interactions in my brain are the same as in your brain. But the memories themselves are wholly dependent on lives that might be very, very different. You remember what you do and as a result of that you choose one behavior...while my own memories prompt me to choose a conflicting behavior.

Then what? What can we come to agree about regarding this memory induced dissension? Whose memories are the most rational?

Though that's not the direction the author goes:

One famous objection to Locke’s view along these lines was from Thomas Reid (1710-1796). I’ll give an adapted version. Suppose that as a ten year old I am given a bike for Christmas. When I am thirty, I am given an iPhone for Christmas, and I can remember being given the bike. When I am eighty, I can recall being given the iPhone, but have no recollection of being given the bike. The argument is that according to Locke’s memory criterion, the eighty year old ‘me’ is the same person as the thirty year old ‘me’ but is no longer the same person as the ten year old who received that bike. The thirty year old is the same person as the ten year old as they can remember the bike. However this cannot be true according to the rules of logic. The eighty year old (A) is identical to the thirty year old (B) and the thirty year old (B) is the same as the ten year old (C), but the eighty year old (A) is not identical to the ten year old (C). But the laws of logic state that if A=B and B=C then A=C. So Locke must be wrong.


Wrong about what?

Sure, as we get older, memories fade. Some get obliterated altogether. But the facts here don't change. You either received a bike for Christmas when you were ten or you did not. That you have forgotten this doesn't change the fact of it. Someone might have taken photographs of you on the bike on that Christmas morning. This may or may not jog your memory.

But: The rules of logic? How does that -- as a "technical" issue? -- really pertain to the facts here? I'm missing an important point obviously.

Instead, what I always focus on are the memories that, over time, prompt us to embrace one set of moral and political values rather than another.

For instance suppose a ten year old is indoctrinated by her parents to embrace a liberal/left wing understanding of the world around her. She remembers that clearly. Then at thirty her experiences and her thinking have convinced her to embrace a conservative/right wing understanding. Though she still remembers her liberal childhood views. Then at eighty she is still very much a conservative but she has completely forgotten being indoctrinated by her parent to think as a liberal thinks.

Again, the facts here are what they are. Someone can have an extremely faulty memory in regard to them while another remembers everything exactly as it unfolded from childhood on.

But the memories themselves linked to the creation of a Self linked to either liberal or a conservative worldview doesn't enable us to establish whether or not one frame of mind rather than another is the more reasonable.

Or, rather, so it seems to me. Particular memories are just another manifestation of dasein in my view.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:48 pm

Shaping The Self
Sally Latham examines the construction of identity through memory.

A different problem with the memory criterion is that of false memories. It might seem that the very term is a contradiction: either we remember truly, or we don’t remember at all. But it is certainly possible to have a first person experience of remembering being present at an event when one was not present, and this could be indistinguishable from a ‘real’ memory.


Ask me about the most vivid "false memory" that I had.

But to the extent that a memory is either true or false in regard to one's sense of identity, the implications for dasein are no less embedded [for me] in the extent to which what you remember is able to be confirmed as in fact true. Whereas your memories of experiences involving moral and political value judgments can be unequivocally true or false...but that doesn't make what you remember anymore convincing as a value judgment said to be either demonstrably right or demonstrably wrong.

If I woke up with vivid apparent memories of being Lady Gaga and performing at Wembley, wouldn’t this make me Lady Gaga the person (if not the physical woman) according to Locke’s criterion of identity?


Come on, how can Locke's "criterion of identity" here not be just the sort of "technical" argument that has little or nothing at all to do with someone other than Lady Gaga being Lady Gaga.

Here we would have to invoke multiple universes or sim worlds or Matrixes in which, reality wise, practically anything goes.

Again, we can reply to this with a qualification. Perhaps the state of consciousness we are experiencing as a memory needs to have an appropriate causal relationship with the event being experienced for it to be called a genuine memory. So unless my ‘memory’ of singing at Wembley is caused by my actually singing at the concert, then it’s not a memory at all, and can’t be included in Locke’s theory.


Let's not forget though that memories unfold "in our head". And to the extent that either philosophers or doctors or neuroscientists do not fully understand what that entails, it's all going to be basically a "technical" examination of reality/"reality". Ending [for some] in the belief that even the technical discussions themselves are only as they ever could be in a wholly determined universe.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:43 pm

The Self and Self-Knowledge
Richard Baron inspects different ideas of the self.
A book review of an anthology on the self and self-knowledge.

What counts as a person?


No, what really counts as a person? What is the most important factor to take into consideration when pinning down the philosophical parameters of "Know Thyself"?

We think we know our own beliefs, desires and sensations, but what kind of knowledge is that? And how secure is that knowledge?


Well, we all know where I draw the line here: between those things we describe about our self that are able to be confirmed as in fact true objectively, and those things about us that start with, "In my own opinion..."

After all, when push comes to shove, out in the world of actual human interactions, what else "for all practical purposes" is there?

These are big philosophical questions, and this collection of essays by eleven leading philosophers shows just how much our thinking about them has advanced in recent years.

If there is a theme through this book, it is that to understand the self we need to interweave several strands in our thinking: for instance, that the concept of the self has an ethical dimension, or that concepts of rationality have special roles to play, or that you only have beliefs and feelings if you are disposed to state them.


Well, that's good. Ethics is now my own primary motivation for pursuing philosophy: "how ought one to live?"

And rationality in "special roles" can only be explored substantively given particular contexts.

And I am certainly fully disposed to state my own beliefs and feelings. Not to mention deconstruct yours. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:00 pm

The I am on your side guy says:


Construction is easy( err) deconstruction waaaay hard(err)
Meno_
breathless
 
Posts: 9048
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:15 pm

The Self and Self-Knowledge
Richard Baron inspects different ideas of the self.
A book review of an anthology on the self and self-knowledge.

If there is a theme through this book, it is that to understand the self we need to interweave several strands in our thinking: for instance, that the concept of the self has an ethical dimension...


This becomes particular important for those who insist that morality and rationality are interchangeable. Ayn Rand and her objectivists ilk in particular. Here ethics becomes nothing less than a metaphysical certainty. That way the world can be divided the rational few and the irrational many.

Of course when the focus is on the "concept of self" then all one need do is to think up the one and the only conceptual dimension of ethics to go along with it. Your own for example. Indeed, that there are have been hundreds of them championed down through the ages is "proof" of just how crucial it is grasp this relationship philosophically. The irony here being completely lost on the objectivists.

...or that concepts of rationality have special roles to play, or that you only have beliefs and feelings if you are disposed to state them.


Concepts. Beliefs. Feelings. Stated or not in my view, what really counts must be the extent to which we can anchor them in descriptions of human interactions able to be defended beyond the concepts, beliefs and feelings themselves.

How about this then, I suggest: a particular context in which to explore them.

The first of these strands is visible in Carol Rovane’s essay, in which she makes use of her ethical criterion of personhood. For her, a person is not necessarily a biological organism: a person is an entity that pursues its own coherent projects as a single entity, with one set of thoughts. A group of people who all think individually, and who might disagree, does not count as a person on this criterion. But a tightly-knit team of people who thought and acted as one, could count as a person. One aspect of the ethical dimension is that we should respect peoples’ projects.


Instead [of course] this particular context must first give way to philosophical assessments of this sort. We must pin down what it means for "an entity that pursues its own coherent projects as a single entity, with one set of thoughts" to become a part of a group of such individuals such that the task then becomes making a distinction between "I" and "we" and "them".

What the individuals may disagree about or come together as one and embrace must not become the main focus of "personhood" in examining the "ethical dimension". At least not "in the beginning".

Yes, these distinctions are not unimportant. And they are all over the map historically, culturally and experientially. But, in regard to an actual situation in which ethics becomes a major concern, what are the limits of any particular philosophical quest.

That's precisely why, in my view, we need to include contexts in the quest. From the beginning.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:53 pm

The Self and Self-Knowledge
Richard Baron inspects different ideas of the self.
A book review of an anthology on the self and self-knowledge.

It is pretty radical for Rovane not to start with the biological body as the basic criterion of personhood. One reason why it is so radical is that thoughts are in the heads of individual bodies. Moreover, we naturally think of persons as individual bodies. But does that prove anything, or could we just be making a mistake in our natural intuitions?


What could possibly be more, well, categorical and imperative?

The biological brain has to be the point of departure. We only have an identity able to explore the "ethical criterion of personhood" either by way of philosophical pursuits or "natural intuitions" because the evolution of biological life on Earth has [thus far] culminated in the human mind.

So, the crucial juncture has to be in exploring the relationship between genes and memes. And while we all come into this world with pretty much the same biological hard drive the part that revolves around the nurturing we get from others and the nurturing we pass on to the next generation seems to be the source of any number of far more problematic...contexts.

Christopher Peacocke says that our thoughts really ought to prove something. He makes the point that how we think of ourselves as ourselves ought to give us a good general guide to what it is to be a self.


And for all practical purposes in the either/or world that's about it, right? We go about the day doing any number of things, either alone or with others, and it never occurs to us to ask, "who am I?"

He reflects on how we file and integrate our experiences, then goes on to rescue the self from David Hume’s famous challenge to the whole concept. Hume claimed in A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) that when he looked within himself, he could find only perceptions, not a self. Peacocke argues that the self can exist as the subject of conscious states without itself being an object of perception.


Okay, "perceptions, not a self". But that takes us all the way out to the really big questions. The part where the interactions of object and subject need to be explained given the existence of existence itself. The part where, once again, in the either/or world none of that actually seems to matter.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:03 pm

The Self and Self-Knowledge
Richard Baron inspects different ideas of the self.
A book review of an anthology on the self and self-knowledge.

Self-Knowledge

Moving on to our knowledge of ourselves, there are several possibilities. One is that we work out our beliefs, desires and sensations by observing ourselves. Another is that our beliefs, desires and sensations are automatically presented to us, so that we know we have them without our needing to deliberately observe or work anything out. So if you believe that Sacramento is the capital of California, or if you desire chocolate, or if you have a headache, you just know that you have that belief, or that desire, or that headache, without having to make any observations of yourself.


Needless to say the exploration into self-knowledge here gets bogged down in the "technical" minutia of how as biological entities we come to connect the dots between "I" and the world around us. The self here is presumed to exist in a world where we have "beliefs, desires and sensations " relating to either/or relationships such as state capitols, reactions to chocolate or having or not having a headache.

In other words, excluding hardcore solipsism or sim worlds of demonic dream world or levels of Matrix realities.

The part where I may or may not have the capacity to grasp and communicate knowledge about the Self in a technically correct manner myself but a world in which this is within the grasp of those sophisticated enough to grapple with such things as logic and epistemology more rigorously.

Think for example any number of posts here from those like Faust or Only_Humean.

Then just more of the same:

A third possibility is that if you sincerely express a belief or desire, that means you have a belief or desire. If I ask you about the shape of the Earth, and you sincerely say “I believe that the Earth is round,” then you have that belief. All of these possibilities, and more, are considered in this book, although the idea that we look at ourselves and then work out what we believe, desire or feel, gets short shrift. The range of options reflects the need to accommodate several points. We seem to have rock-solid knowledge of our own states of mind: you may not know the right answer to some factual question, or what you ought to want, but you must know what you think is the right answer, or what you do want. And it would be very odd to ask someone how she knew that she was in pain; so that kind of knowledge seems to be immediate and incontrovertible. On the other hand, we can sincerely say we think one thing, but act as if we think something else. Someone can sincerely say they believe that a volcano will never erupt again, but always avoid going within twenty miles of it.


Here there is what you think is the right answer and the extent to which there is a right answer able to be demonstrated as in fact the right answer for all rational men and women.

Of course as with the volcano there may be a right answer -- it either will or will not never erupt again -- but even the "experts" are unable to determine that beyond all doubt.

As for what we want or desire, here things become problematic in the is/ought world. We may want something that others insist rational men and women ought not want. Or we may want the same things but come to squabble over the means chosen to get them.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:24 pm

Dasein And The Arts
So how do you apply philosophical principles to think about art? An example can be derived from an unlikely source. Reneh Karamians uses Heidegger’s philosophy as an illustration of how to understand aesthetic experience.

Martin Heidegger gave philosophy a new description of humanity. No longer was mankind defined in terms of mind distinct from the physical world, as in Cartesian thought for example, but rather as being-in-the-world. Heidegger described ‘being’ as the essence of humanity, and employed the term ‘Dasein’ (German for ‘being-there’) to describe our existence.


On the other hand, come on, philosophers can "describe" or "define" humanity in any number of ways if their conclusions ultimately come down to the descriptions articulated in a world of words.

Bottom line [one of them]: that, to this day, we still have no definitive, demonstrable argument that clearly separates mind from matter. Including the assumption that mind is but more matter wholly in sync with a determined universe.

And, again, being in what particular world? For example, when Heidegger's Dasein contends with my own dasein in the pitched battles that flare up over conflicting moral and political value judgments.

Or, sure, stay up in the clouds:

This idea of being as the essence of humanity is not difficult to understand. It’s the realization that the essence of human existence is not to be found in our corporeality, as it would be for a physical object existing in space and time, but rather, in a certain type of experience of existing.


And isn't this just a hop, a step and a jump to one or another religious dogma. Or to one or another ideological dogma. Like fascism.

Or even a combination of both: https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows ... azi-occult

The Science Channel documentary: FORBIDDEN HISTORY The Nazi Occult

Therefore, when Heidegger refers to humanity as Dasein or being-there, he is referring to the human experience of existing rather than to a person’s physical location in space and time, which is irrelevant when discussing the essential nature of humanity. To clarify the term ‘being’, one might further say that being is the totality of experience during any given unit of time.


Needless to say, in regard to my own rendition of dasein in the is/ought world, I'm for going in the opposite direction.

Which is why the objectivists here among us are so intent on either excoriating me or "foeing" me. Their whole "philosophy of life" revolves around the psychology of objectivism which revolves around the belief that there must be an "essential nature of humanity". Why? Because, well, damn if they haven't discovered it themselves!
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:36 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

In order to appreciate Heidegger’s thought it is necessary to see it in relation to the Western metaphysical tradition from which it has emerged. This would be true, of course, for any thinker, but it is especially so for Heidegger, because Heidegger’s thinking represents a radical challenge and correction to the tradition itself. Heidegger does to the traditional view of ‘Being’ and ‘the world’ what Marx is said to have done to Hegel’s dialectic: he stands it on its head. He stands it on its head – so he might contend – in order that we may finally see it right-side-up.


From my own frame of mind, however, an appreciation of Heidegger's thought revolves around the extent to which someone is able to bring his conclusions down out of the philosophical clouds and make them come alive in descriptions of actual human interactions. Which particular being out in which particular world doing which particular things "right-side-up"?

I merely narrow the focus all the more given the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein [existentially] in the OP that begins this thread.

The problem with the traditional view, from Heidegger’s perspective, is not that it fails to comprehend the most abstract and remote issues, the Alpha and Omega of Being, but that it fails to properly grasp what is most obvious, what is ‘everyday’, what is right before our eyes; what is, perhaps, so close that it is ‘uncomfortably’ close.


And, if Heidegger were still around, I'd note for him the manner in which dasein as I know it makes most others particularly uncomfortable. We could compare reasons why. I could make my distinction between I in the either/or world and "I" in the is/ought world. We could discuss this distinction in regard to, say, fascism in America today.

And in this failure it has institutionalized an interpretation of life and the world that is inauthentic and self-alienated.


Of course, from my own vantage point "here and now", it is the moral and political objectivists who have "institutionalized" their own "interpretation of life and the world" such that those who do not or will not share their own value judgments are deemed to be inauthentic by continuing to be alienated from the one true path.

Like for example, right here, obsrvr524's "Coalition of Truth".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:16 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

so much depends upon
a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater
beside the white chickens

William Carlos Williams


The poem quoted above will serve this purpose well. It is, apparently, the expression of a simple moment of life; perhaps it is a worried sigh, a moment’s nervous reflection. It might have been uttered at the end of a long day’s work, or in preparation for a new one. It is almost too simple to say anything about. We are finished with it before we have begun. And yet it is precisely here, in the obvious, in the everyday, that Heidegger begins his revolutionary investigations.


Hmm, this ought to be interesting. An actual context [however ambiguous] in an actual world [however Williams imagined it].

First, however, this part:

What does the world consist of? If we ask this question of traditional metaphysics the answer we receive, allowing for variations in terminology and approach, is: ‘substance’ and ‘form’ manifest as ‘entities in relation’, i.e., the world consists of a large collection of disparate entities related to each other by their respective locations in space and time.


Here a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens. And an individual who is has much invested in it.

These entities are of various shapes, sizes and compositions, and among them are we ourselves; human beings. Human beings ,admittedly, are somewhat problematic, for they possess ‘minds’ and it is difficult to say exactly how minds fit into the world of spatio-temporal entities in relation. But, however this may be, the mind itself is seen as just another kind of thing in the world.


Somewhat problematic? The gap between wheelbarrows, chickens and human beings with minds able to write poetry examined by philosophers would seem to be, among other things, nothing short of astounding. Minds that are even able to speculate that the gap may well just be an inherent manifestation of a wholly determined world in which wheelbarrows chickens and human beings are actually just different kinds of dominoes that nature set into motion going back to an explanation for nature itself. What if the human brain is just another kind of thing in the world. The dasein thing.

If we can come to understand how all these entities have emerged, what their essential properties are and how they relate to one another, we will have understood all there is to know about the world of which they and we are a part.


And, if not?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:11 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

Let us look at William Carlos Williams’ poem, then, as a microcosm of ‘the world’ and see what light we can shed on it from this perspective. There are three entities present in the world of this poem. The poem tells us of the wheelbarrow, the rainwater and the chickens. We are told something about the properties of these entities as well: the wheelbarrow is red, the chickens white, the rainwater, as we can surmise from the fact that it ‘glazes’ the wheelbarrow, is transparent. And, further, the poem tells us of the spatial relations of these entities to one another: the red wheelbarrow is ‘beside’ the white chickens, the rainwater ‘glazes’ the surface of the red wheelbarrow. The poem circumscribes a region of space and tells us what is present there and how it is present; a red wheelbarrow, glazed by rainwater, beside white chickens. From the traditional standpoint we easily understand all of these terms and relations. And having understood them we have more or less exhausted all that can be gleaned about this world from this poem.

And yet there is something missing. If we were to reconstruct the poem on this basis we would get something like: “There is a red wheelbarrow/ glazed by rainwater/ beside the white chickens.” But this is not the poem. Something essential has been left out. We have, of course, entirely neglected the first line of the poem: “So much depends upon…”. How are we to fit this line into our foregoing analysis? What is this ‘depends upon’?


Exactly!

That's my point. So much depends upon the context in which these words have meaning for the poet. So much depends upon his frame of mind at the time he wrote them. So much depends upon whatever might be the "larger meaning" of them. He wrote the words from one vantage point, we read them from another. So, in that regard how might we make a distinction between Heidegger's Dasein in Being and Time and the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein in my signature threads.

And all I can do is to note this as my own interest and to invite others to comment on it given that which prompts them to react to the poem as they do.

Personally, the poem evokes almost nothing in me. And I certainly don't respond to it as "a microcosm of ‘the world’". And no doubt in part because I am not at all familiar with the work of William Carlos Williams. An existential component of dasein given my own life.

Now, suppose Williams had created these lines and the wheelbarrow, the chickens and the rainwater had existed in a German concentration camp. Heidegger reads the poem. How would he distinguish his Dasein from my dasein then? That's the sort of discussion that appeals to me.

As opposed to, say, this one...

What sort of an entity is it and where does it stand in relation to the other entities of the poem? But, of course, it is not an entity at all. It is not a ‘something’ that is also present along with the wheelbarrow and the chickens. What is it then? In a world composed entirely of entities and relations it must be either the one or the other. If it is not an entity then perhaps it is a relation. And indeed, at first, this appears to be just what it is. ‘Depends upon’ relates ‘so much’ to ‘wheelbarrow’ somewhat as ‘beside’ relates ‘wheelbarrow’ to ‘chickens’.


Really, what on earth is the point of an assessment like this? An Entity and a No Entity world?

A "relation"?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 05, 2021 5:26 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

so much depends upon
a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater
beside the white chickens

William Carlos Williams

There is a human being, somehow, in this poem. There is a human being who utters the words “so much depends upon” and for whom ‘so much’ refers, not to a collection of entities, but to the status of its own being, with which it is concerned. But where is this person? Why does this person not appear? Where does this person stand in relation to the wheelbarrow and the chickens?


Exactly. Isn't this the first thing that has to pop up in our head? My first reaction is to think of anything that comes close to me which might relate to depending on "a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens".

Nope not much comes up at all. So I can only try to imagine what might have prompted Williams to pen the poem. As in "so much depended" on him writing. Which can only then revolve around someone having asked him why he did write it?

What else is there "for all practical purposes"?

So, is anyone here aware of Williams having explained what he meant by the poem?

In other words:

If, in traditional terms, we were to describe the type of entity a ‘person’ is, we might say that a ‘person’ is an organic being having a body containing two arms and two legs, who walks upright and is equipped with ‘reason’. But no such entity appears in this poem. We have no idea where the person of this poem is, what he or she looks like, whether he or she is tall or short, young or old, he or she. In a sense there is a person in the poem and in a sense there is not. How are we to resolve this? It is here that Heidegger takes his revolutionary turn: The person is not in the poem, rather the poem is ‘in’ the person.


My point of course is that if the poem does refer to an actual existing man or woman we could them why so much depends on these things. And there are things we can know about him or her that we can all agree are true: is he short or tall or somewhere in between? Is he young or old or somewhere in between? There are any number of things that can be determined about him or her that we can all agree on with respect to the either/or world. But the reason so much depends on "a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens"?

Well, here the reason might refer back to something that we can all understand objectively...or not. It could refer back to something in the either/or world or to something in the is/ought world.

But, whatever it is, what on earth are we to make of Heidegger's distinction between the person not being in the poem, but rather the poem being "in" the person?

Given a particular context in which so much does defend on "a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 15, 2021 6:27 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

From a Heideggarian perspective, traditional metaphysics is strangely ‘disembodied’. It looks at the world but it forgets what it looks as. And in forgetting what it looks as it distorts and misconstrues the meaning of the things that it looks at. When it finally comes around to reflecting upon itself, reflecting upon the ‘human being’ who is looking, it even takes itself to be another thing it is looking at rather than the original being it is looking as.


Once again I can only challenge those here who think that they do grasp the significance of this point, to take it out into the world that they live in, and, in regard to their interactions with others, note how it is relevant given a context in which we can differentiate the manner in which Heidegger construes Dasein in Being and Time and the manner in which I have come to understand it given the OP on this thread and the OP here: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382

The reason we cannot ‘find’ the person in the poem is not because the person isn’t there. The person of the poem cannot be looked at in the poem because it is the person who is doing the looking. The world of the poem is not separate from the person who is looking. It is the world of this person.


And he knows this...how? Is he privy to the intention and the motivation of the poet? What if it is in reference to a particular man making reference to a particular set of circumstances in which much did depend on "a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens"? Does this make the poem more or less interesting, intriguing, insightful? And how is the answer to this not more dependent on my understanding of dasein than on Heidegger's?

Every perspective on the world is a perspective of some person whose world it is. There is no disembodied ‘world’ that exists in and of itself and can be understood by itself. Every world is a world revealed through the being of ‘Dasein’ – Heidegger’s term for the human person, understood not in terms of how a human being appears to others, but in terms of how it is to be as a human being oneself.


I'm sorry, but this is nothing short of unintelligible to me. How it is to be as a human being oneself?

I ask anyone here defend their own understanding of that. And, sure, in a context of their own choosing.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 25, 2021 4:53 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

The ontological constitution of Dasein, says Heidegger, is as ‘Being-in-the-world’. The hyphens indicate that the ‘world’ and Dasein’s ‘being’ must always be thought together. Every Dasein opens up to a world, discloses a world, and lives in relation to the world that it discloses. Dasein is its world; the world is a constitutional element of Dasein’s being. It is no more possible to separate Dasein from its world than to separate two sides of a coin from each other.


We'll need an actual context of course. That way we can compare and contrast what those here who believe they do grasp what Heidegger means by "the ontological constitution of Dasein", with what I mean by the existential parameters of dasein out in a particular world in which flesh and blood human beings interact in an actual set of circumstances embedded now and not then, here and not there: historically, culturally, experientially.

Anyone here willing to explore this distinction with me?

In the interim, back up into the clouds...

The ‘things’ of the world, the ‘entities’ within it, are things that are first of all revealed in terms of their significance for Dasein. So much depends upon them. The very being of Dasein depends upon them. The wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater. The white chickens. These are not mere ‘entities’ standing by themselves in their spatio-temporal relations. These are the elements of Dasein’s world, of Dasein’s being; crucial to the progress of Dasein’s life. Dasein must work with these things, act upon them, create with them the world that is to be.


Again, this all seems closer to common sense to me than to a revealing philosophical insight. Yes, in particular situations entities like wheelbarrows, rainwater and chickens can actually become a part of our lives. They will have more or less significance to us depending on why they would or wouldn't. Who needs to be a "serious philosopher" to grasp that"? Although, sure, the technicians among us can then intertwine things we sense/perceive/conceive into really, really complex [and often obtuse] logical and epistemological discussions.

And then I am back to asking them to take those conclusions relating to Dasein and commence a discussion with me regarding the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein with respect to conflicting moral and political value judgments. And, possibly, in regard to the parts on the other side of the grave.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:15 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

Heidegger’s term for the type of Being these things have is ‘ready-to-hand’. Dasein reaches out to them, works with them, creates its future through them. This is, first of all, their significance. They are significant in terms of what Dasein can do with them for the sake of its future. In this respect they have meaning in relation to their significance for Dasein.


Going back to the poem, yes, any particular one of us might assign significance to this or that wheelbarrow, this or that chicken or this or that rainfall. If, for example, we are a farmer. There are aspects of them in combination that might be accounted for in a particular narrative containing particular facts. No controversies or philosophical debates pop up at all. Here, from my frame of mind, Daseins are more or less interchangeable. They are part and parcel of the biological evolution of life on Earth culminating in a species that interact with wheelbarrows, chickens and the weather. But that is hardly the context in which I broach my own little "d" dasein.

Heidegger defines philosophy itself as the attempt to understand the meaning of Being. From the standpoint of traditional thought it is scarcely possible to say what this phrase itself might mean. How can Being have a meaning? Being, after all, just is. Beyond that what is there to say of its meaning?


Of course, any one of the dozens of Gods that are worshipped and adored by members here might reveal Himself/Herself/Itself and put an end to that speculation. Being then becomes whatever an omnipotent and omniscient God commands it to be. Although for the No a God/the God denominations that might still be rather problematic. Or for those who worship gods and goddessess. Would they vote on it?

Of course for Heidegger the assumption is that God/Being is more an existential contraption:

But for Heidegger Being is revealed only through the being of Dasein. And Dasein’s being isn’t just there, as a static entity standing amongst other entities. Dasein’s being is always a ‘beingtoward’. It is a concernful ‘being-toward’ its possibilities. Dasein is forever procuring its future, through its present, out of its past. And each future becomes a new past out of which a new future must be shaped.


Now all we need do is to bring this to the attention of each individual out in particular worlds historically, culturally and experientially. See if the philosophers among them can reconfigure this "general description" into an actual moral narrative and political agenda. As, in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, Heidegger did with the fascists?

Time, for Heidegger, is not a mere succession of moments, any more than things are mere entities in relation. Time is the life-activity of Dasein; it is Dasein’s being as being-toward. And this life-activity, this being-toward of Dasein, is fuelled by ‘concern’. Dasein is a being fundamentally concerned with its being. Dasein, as being-toward, is always concerned with what it will become. Being as such is meaningful in relation to Dasein’s concern for its being. It is Dasein’s being as concern that gives the world its meaning, and it is only through such meaning that entities are revealed to us.


Time, like space, like matter, like energy, like "I" itself remains a profoundly problematic mystery going back to, well, you tell me. And intellectual contraptions of this sort may or may not get us closer to pinning it down. But there is still the time that we experience existentially in the course of interacting with each other from day to day. Time spent interacting in the either/or world and time spent interacting in the is/ought world. Then the part where I configure Dasein into dasein in regard to conflicting value judgments.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:13 pm

Heidegger, Metaphysics & Wheelbarrows
Richard Oxenberg gives a poetic introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time.

Things have meaning because so much depends upon them. Perhaps, Heidegger suggests, too much depends upon them. In the face of its concern with what will become of it Dasein is anxious. Dasein does not know where it has come from nor where it is going. Dasein always finds itself already in a world it has not created, projected upon a future it cannot be sure of. This is what Heidegger calls the ‘thrownness’ of Dasein.


I merely point out the obvious here: that, when you are "thrown" historically and where you are "thrown" culturally and experientially, can only be played down or just shrugged off in the manner in which so many objectivists do.

In fact, they have to play that down or shunt it aside in order to convince themselves that their own doctrinaire moral narratives and political agendas transcend all that mere "existential stuff". Others are obligated to share their own value judgments precisely because they are derived [philosophically or otherwise] from the most rational thinking of all.

Dasein discovers itself as already ‘thrown’ into its existence, ‘thrown’ upon itself and its world from a somewhere it does not know. In the face of this ‘thrownness’ Dasein feels anxious about itself, and senses the ‘uncanniness’ of its existence, the strangeness of its being thrown upon itself and its world.


Well, Dasein may discover this philosophically in a intellectual contraption, but dasein has to deal with all of the particular variables that come to encompass one's own unique personal life. And isn't it basically this anxiety which propels so many to embrace one of another rendition of "the psychology of objectivism"? Subsume all the uncertainty, confusion, ambiguity in the conviction that in being "one of us" you're one of the good guys.

On the other hand, this part, even as an "intellectual contraption" truly resonates for me:

Dasein’s anxiety is not a result of any extrinsic circumstance, and hence no change of extrinsic circumstance can undo it. It is Dasein’s own manner of being that makes it anxious. In response to this anxiety Dasein seeks to flee from itself. It seeks to become something else, to lose itself in forgetfulness, to escape the burden of being itself. But where is Dasein to flee? How can a being escape its own being without ceasing to be? The ontological structure of Dasein, as ‘being-in-the-world’, provides a solution. Dasein flees from itself by immersing itself in its world, and then forgetting that it has done so. Dasein comes to see itself as just another entity in the world. An entity among entities. A face in the crowd. Dasein becomes one of the many. Just like the others. Lost among the multitude. It does what ‘they’ do. It thinks what ‘they’ think. It absolves itself of responsibility for choosing itself and finds comfort in the anonymity of the conventional. It becomes everybody…and nobody.


Only, for me, the little "d" dasein comes to revolve more around this:

1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.
2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.
3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.
4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others...it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.
5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.
6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity....on their very Self.
7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with "logic".


Or what I call an "objectivist".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 41654
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Previous

Return to Philosophy



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dan~, Google [Bot]