It seems to me that we do agree on many things up to a certain level, but then we differ on a moral ground.
I don't know. I've been thinking on ethical themes quite a bit lately. I was sort of neglecting that issue when I started this post. How's this? It's dangerous for man to think of himself in isolation, as if he were not intimately connected with his planet. As far as interpersonal morals go, I think the Christian ideal is sublime. Forgiveness, recognition of the other as self. An extension of the self to include all existence.
---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 02:15 PM ----------
OK, you are right. Classes are artifacts, men make classes, even impose classes onto objects - and that' s the beauty of it, that is right too.
We - humans - are special, intrinsically or not. I mean, our species has been so hugely successful that we are entitled to think that we own this world.
And this is the problem to me.
How did we get there and where are we going? These are old trite philosophical questions, but the answers define very different philosophical orientations.
I see no divine right that conjured for this supremacy - again, God is dead...
I don't see a world ennobled by mankind. No, we are usurpers (and I don't really mean to express a negative connotation by that).
The complicated part of this is that "usurpers, intrinsic, ennobled, god, etc." are all within
man. Animals are indescribably beautiful, but is that how they find each other? Probably they do experience a sense of beauty and love, especially the warm blooded animals. I should make clear that I see no divine right at all for man. I think he should wise up and treat this world like the garden of eden it could
be. If we had a consciousness of values and our politics in order, we have the technology to live well without destroying all that's good on the earth. Sustainability! A population that does not grow. Let's replace the ones we lose. If we do want to breed like crazy, we can colonize the moon. Of course it's not just about population. Not at all. I suspect that 10 billion could live here without destroying shapeship Earth, if we cared
enough. Of course nations having military tensions with other nations make such concerns secondary, to name just one example. In short, I do care. Man is a fool if he sh*ts in his cradle.
---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 02:28 PM ----------
There are 2 open questions.
How far does transcendentalism goes? Kant built a pure formal subject that was possibly the only real thing in the world, then he thought to implement it with a moral law. (And we know that we both don' t stop here).
Or is the subject and epiphenomenon of a larger self? And what would that larger self be? Hegel answered reason, Nietzsche will-to-power. The chosen answers lead to incompatible perspectives - and that has a deep impact on praxis.
Hegel though that nothing on earth could be better than the Prussian state, Nietzsche called for a radical revaluation of all values.
In my opinion, the "transcendental" (a term I am moving away from if only because of its confusing associations...) does not go all that far. I personally think it's a few pieces of protologic, especially the intuition of unity.
The bit tells us something, I think. Color and sound are where qualia come back in. Now these are raw experience of course, and we don't expect them to be "out there" except in the form of EMW or pressure waves in the air. I've been really looking at this in Ineffable and 9In)significance of Qualia threads. Even if we just ignore the Kants, a simple consideration of qualia shows just how abstract a concept like "matter" is. And yet ask most folks and the world is made of "matter." And yet matter is made of...? "mind"? But "mind" is another abstraction.
Maybe Hegel thought the Prussian state was closest to his ideal, that the end of history was out of the womb if not full grown. Kojeve's version is the one I know best. The idea is that a society where the master and slave have been synthesized into the citizen whose individuality is recognized as a value in itself..legal personhood without the necessity of bring home a skull to pour wine from.. Basically Napolean spreading the French revolution's ideals was the beginning of the end of history. That's my understanding. (I'm no Hegel expert, but I do love that Kojeve book.)
It's my understanding that Hegel saw reality as spirit. So the "real" is tricky here. Being is revealed by discourse. Man is time is the concept. Spatial being is the present. Man's project is conceptual, a desired future that steers his work on the spatial present. You may already know all this. But I swear on my own grave that within this Kojeve book there are some brilliant concepts. I don't swallow it whole, and Kojeve is surgical when it comes to showing Hegel's overextensions of favored concepts.
About the "subject." We dont have experience, I suggest. We are experience, sensual/emotional/conceptual. Concept is a system of division within sensation, emotion, and itself. We also mysterious share this world, but perhaps it's better said that "we" are
overlapping experience, including the concepts of self, mind, matter, physics, psychology, all the rest. I know it's not practical. A practical view is everyday realism. But it's more logical than most of what I can think of.
---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 02:34 PM ----------
And I have problems getting your view too when I consider the quote above together with
Well, I'm just know trying to address this apparent dualism. I had this avatar, a triangle with infinity on one end, and a minus sign on the other, with a plus sign at the top. The infinity sign represented continuous sensual/spatial/emotional experience. The minus sign represented negation/unity. It seems to me that every unity is bounded by a "not." The chair is surround and bounded by not-chair. Justice by in-justice. The finite by the in-finite. Essence and accident. But it's so hard to even notice "qualia" in such an abstract society. We live in our symbols. Hegel writes about the skeptic and stoic escaping their slavery by means of abstractions. The Christian creates a master above the master. It's not that simply, for one thing. And Hegel really sides with slave anyway, as the slave drives history, by finding himself in his work, and by creating abstractions. I notice that humans usually justify their contempt for another with their abstractions. So I'm seeing a morality better expressed by metaphor, which is still abstract but more nakedly pointing at rather than being the truth.
---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 02:36 PM ----------
But I put it all down to your intellectual honesty, notably when you write such a brave sentence as
(I wish more people - possibly myself too - posting here were as humble and honest as you).
Thanks. Especially now, I want to be able to step back from my favored abstractions and open myself to learning from the "Other." It's in no way my doctrine or superstition but only a metaphor. All humans are one. Their sins are mine, and mine are theirs. So I better behave.This is just an ideal for non-practical mind states. A way to get past hatred, envy, greed, etc., as much as possible. "emotional hygiene" is my scientifically approved phrase. .