Letter from Leibniz

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Fido
 
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 04:34 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
When we look out at the immensity and diversity of the natural world we can identify most of the things and processes that we see there. We are not, therefore left to guess and play hit or miss with our sense of a mystical play. We are not so confused at what is clear and naturally present because we are in posession of some knowledge. This, I will claim, is a good thing in the ultimate sense of 'the good'.

I harbor an inclination to believe that we see only what is intense, and miss much with a significance we cannot recognize. What do we see or sense of the natural world? We know only what we know as important, and having consequences. But, can you calculate what part of the natural world we can sense? Without the whole who can reckon the part? The more sensitive we build our senses with technology the more we feel. Is there an end to it, or is just that where ever we look we see? Well then, gaze as you will at nature, but glance at your own. What do you feel? How do you feel? Where do you feel you are? Why do you feel you are? The most profound part of our world we can never cut off an throw on the scales. We live in a world of emotion and profoundly essential moral concepts. How does one balance their existence with a spirit level? The nature we must contend with, and reconcile within all to live is human nature. Where is the science of human kind out of all the sciences that try?
Quote:

There may be a 'good' that human beings across history down through time immemorial could achieve as a kind of sense of great inner-joy and over-flowing pleasure which could even be described as divine. But this innate sense of 'the good' is now added to even moreso by the state of the art in scientific knowledge and information regarding the natural world. The world is given to us on a modern platter and this amplifies and stimulates the sense of gratitude that once was reserved untill before eating meals with a thanking of goodness.
The good is for each to decide. No man can determine good, nor truth for another. It is for personal good achieved in a social fashion that brings people together in government. Can the state empower a few to destroy the people? Sure, and is it not easier to turn good into bad than bad into good? Every social reason has its own momentum of belief and preconceptions. It is unfortunate that so often people have to be in misery and dejected poverty to reach the point where rebellion no longer frightens them. It is sad that social change cannot quietly go about happening, and does not wait to be carried on as an act of deparation. Some times one part of the population benefits more from technology and knowledge than another, and injustice becomes entrenched. How do you change that?
Quote:

Knowledge is good in itself. It is a healthy pair of eyes on a clear summer day. It frees and liberates humanity. It should not be taken for granted.

The question of the nature of knowledge is a question that is like the posession of knowledge itself. It is seeking for a great crystal unity which like knowing what things are, is also a kind of good. To ask such a question is an exercise in healthy thinking.

Spare me the platitudes. All is not for the best in this best of worlds. Knowledge is not good in itself, but good is what we can do with knowledge if we are good. That is why the essential question to humanity is not what we know but how shall we use what we know for good. Then, What exactly is the good? Forget war and remember over population? Remember law and forget justice? Remember ideas, and forget humanity? What is the key to our survival? What it the abode of our happiness? I may well agree that technology has the power to free humanity. Certainly, and to enslave. Only with a government over technology -that follows complete consensus can we all know the good at hand. For so many, it is a cause of bitterness if they must walk while another rides, or if they should ride while another flys. Many of our people, and too many of our children suffer a poverty of wealth, honor, and opportunity. In what sense are they better than serfs, since they must work longer for less to show. There was no peasant not uplifited by the general peace and progress of his society. Where is the peace and progress in ours?
Quote:

Now the rationalist answer to the question of the nature of knowledge: i.e. that knowledge is generated from within; is perhaps not so far removed from the opponents of rationalism who propose an alternate solution in the sense that both questions aim at some good witch is the solution to a question which perplelxes the mind as to what is its nature. It's like that Star Trek show where the machine becomes intelligent and seeks out its maker: we all seek for god, we all seek to know, we all seek for love that will make us complete and happy. And that is what the quest for knowledge is at bottom: a desire to remove some blemishes from the mind's eye to behold a beauty and wholeness of the self, the world, the cosmos and humanity's place as well as to salve its discord: we want to go home to a clear summer's day.

--

Knowledge does begin in the mind so far as any can see. We are built for the very thing the world presents to us: Patterns. We are color sensitive, and rythem sensitive, texture sensitive, taste sensitive and pattern sensitive. We are evolved to our environment. But is it not true that our selves live in our stomach? If I think of myself objectively, I am as an object behind my eyes and forehead, only because that place hurts when I must think. Instinctually, because of the need to protect organs we locate our beings generally south of where they may be. Still, I like that you are seeking a motivation to secure knowledge. Why? The need to know is an emotional need. In my case that need is perverse since I spent a great part of my life afraid I was retarded. Maybe I am a savant. It is certainly easier to prove stupidity than alacrity. In any event, Why we need to know is a part of the meaning we attach to knowledge. I do not fear my knowledge. I fear much knowledge because it is poison without antidote. What meaning do I give knowledge? What good is your knowledge must come before my answer. It must serve a humane purpose for me to think well of it.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 10:53 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:


I harbor an inclination to believe that we see only what is intense, and miss much with a significance we cannot recognize. What do we see or sense of the natural world? We know only what we know as important, and having consequences. But, can you calculate what part of the natural world we can sense? Without the whole who can reckon the part? The more sensitive we build our senses with technology the more we feel. Is there an end to it, or is just that where ever we look we see? Well then, gaze as you will at nature, but glance at your own. What do you feel? How do you feel? Where do you feel you are? Why do you feel you are? The most profound part of our world we can never cut off an throw on the scales. We live in a world of emotion and profoundly essential moral concepts. How does one balance their existence with a spirit level? The nature we must contend with, and reconcile within all to live is human nature. Where is the science of human kind out of all the sciences that try?



'I harbor an inclination to believe that we see only what is intense, and miss much with a significance we cannot recognize. What do we see or sense of the natural world? We know only what we know as important, and having consequences. But, can you calculate what part of the natural world we can sense?'

Why should it be that we see only what is 'intense' in the world? Why should we not recognize the quiet of an afternoon, with birds singing soflty in the distance? Why can't we recognize the science which tells us that, for example, on the longest day of the year at the summer solstice that the shadows are the shortest of all year? Why can't we use the delicate descriptions and inner-light that through knowing some science we throw out as a measure upon the things in the physical world?

Why can't we lay back into the middle of a quiet day and contemplate the nature of our thoughts and how they conform to the nature that surrounds us? Why can't we penetrate some into the subtle connections between a philosophic meditation and the sense of nature? What is to stop us from feeling, sensing and knowing the subtle natures of things, from knowing the littlest of things forward and backwards and foreward again until we reach some certainty regarding these hidden gems of unity in nature?

'The most profound part of our world we can never cut off an throw on the scales. We live in a world of emotion and profoundly essential moral concepts. How does one balance their existence with a spirit level? The nature we must contend with, and reconcile within all to live is human nature. Where is the science of human kind out of all the sciences that try?'

In Plato's dialogues, especially the so-called "early" dialogues Socrates attempts to do just that: he weighs the moral aspects of human life and he does so in a profound and meaningful way. And in fact, Plato, who is one of the greatest artists in all literature as well as a philosopher, spends a great deal of time on the question of 'balance'. He divides human desires and attempts to use reason to make sense and order them in the great light of his day; and many learned men in history and even today believe that Plato has succeeded at least to a great degree.

There exists a common element within the modern technological sciences and the philosophical examination of human morality: that being the use of reason. It is reason alone that could provide us with moral truths. And it is reason that discovers values (unless your superstitious) and what makes them good values or bad.

Fido wrote:


The good is for each to decide. No man can determine good, nor truth for another. It is for personal good achieved in a social fashion that brings people together in government. Can the state empower a few to destroy the people? Sure, and is it not easier to turn good into bad than bad into good? Every social reason has its own momentum of belief and preconceptions. It is unfortunate that so often people have to be in misery and dejected poverty to reach the point where rebellion no longer frightens them. It is sad that social change cannot quietly go about happening, and does not wait to be carried on as an act of deparation. Some times one part of the population benefits more from technology and knowledge than another, and injustice becomes entrenched. How do you change that?


'The good is for each to decide. No man can determine good, nor truth for another.'

There does not exist as many 'goods' as there does individual men. Nor does there exist as many truths as there are individual people without the possibility of relief by some compression. It is only by the use of reason that we can order our feelings and virtues. It is reason that is needed. The only alternative is religion, which puts passions in charge of passions. You wouldn't leave a drunkard in charge of your children and you wouldn't want them educated in irrational doctrines, so why won't you advocate teaching reason to the people in the form of science and philosophy? :mad:


If you are looking for a utopia where every man is to be made happy or content simultaneously then I say you are looking in strange places for strange results: you will not find them there, I guarantee it. Only through education is such a thing even remotely conceivable so I suggest that you read the great books which discuss education e.g. Plato's Republic, Rousseau's Emile, et. al.

Fido wrote:


Spare me the platitudes. All is not for the best in this best of worlds. Knowledge is not good in itself, but good is what we can do with knowledge if we are good. That is why the essential question to humanity is not what we know but how shall we use what we know for good. Then, What exactly is the good? Forget war and remember over population? Remember law and forget justice? Remember ideas, and forget humanity? What is the key to our survival? What it the abode of our happiness? I may well agree that technology has the power to free humanity. Certainly, and to enslave. Only with a government over technology -that follows complete consensus can we all know the good at hand. For so many, it is a cause of bitterness if they must walk while another rides, or if they should ride while another flys. Many of our people, and too many of our children suffer a poverty of wealth, honor, and opportunity. In what sense are they better than serfs, since they must work longer for less to show. There was no peasant not uplifited by the general peace and progress of his society. Where is the peace and progress in ours?


'Spare me the platitudes. All is not for the best in this best of worlds. Knowledge is not good in itself, but good is what we can do with knowledge if we are good.'

How do we know what to do with knowledge without knowing what to do?

'That is why the essential question to humanity is not what we know but how shall we use what we know for good. Then, What exactly is the good?'

If knowing how to use knowledge is a question then how do we answer it without a form of knowledge? And how do we go about defining the good if we rely upon irrational methods and approaches?

Fido wrote:


Knowledge does begin in the mind so far as any can see. We are built for the very thing the world presents to us: Patterns. We are color sensitive, and rythem sensitive, texture sensitive, taste sensitive and pattern sensitive. We are evolved to our environment. But is it not true that our selves live in our stomach? If I think of myself objectively, I am as an object behind my eyes and forehead, only because that place hurts when I must think. Instinctually, because of the need to protect organs we locate our beings generally south of where they may be. Still, I like that you are seeking a motivation to secure knowledge. Why? The need to know is an emotional need. In my case that need is perverse since I spent a great part of my life afraid I was retarded. Maybe I am a savant. It is certainly easier to prove stupidity than alacrity. In any event, Why we need to know is a part of the meaning we attach to knowledge. I do not fear my knowledge. I fear much knowledge because it is poison without antidote. What meaning do I give knowledge? What good is your knowledge must come before my answer. It must serve a humane purpose for me to think well of it.


'Still, I like that you are seeking a motivation to secure knowledge. Why? The need to know is an emotional need.'

Plato suggests that the need to know is driven by Eros. It is a kind of love. Ignorance happens to be ugly too.

'It must serve a humane purpose for me to think well of it.'

Knowledge in itself is neither good nor bad but constructive learning is beautiful - as it happened I just now to watch a child learning to tie her shoes and thought how nice it was. -- What is the difference between searching for the certainty in knowing for a philosopher and a little girl learning to tie her shoe? I believe, in the larger scheme of things that they are profoundly similiar.Smile
 
GridLok
 
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2007 01:34 am
@Pythagorean,
Hey hang about fellas! How's a bloke meant to keep up with you two?

Fido. I'll confine myself to addressing your responses to my comments:

1. Whether it be 'understanding' or any other capability, "my experience" thus far - as a psychology graduate (though I mention that not as a claim to authority, but as a context), is that while there may well be individuals who entirely lack a certain attribute, and no amount of effort will lead to any improvement in performance, these are generally very rare. On the whole, most people can do most things to greater or lesser degree. This suggests that the biological/physiological structure relevant to the performance of any ability, is present and operational in the overwhelming majority of human beings. The degree of functionality is however highly variable. Thus, some excell with little or no apparent effort - and with effort perform at a level all bit incomprehensible to those of lesser capacity. But even the majority 64% or so, can generally improve; even if, after a while, diminishing return of effort means they stop short of exploring their inherent ability to its limit. This, I suggest is very much the case with 'understanding' (although, I shall, in point 2. ask for clarification of what you mean by that term).
2. So, to 'understanding' and what you meant by the word?
Quote:
It is a quality of mind that some people have, like the ability to play music, or paint. Understanding is an art given first to natural talent, and I can see where some have it, and have it at an early age while others do not and never will.
My reading of what you stated led me to think you may have been referring more to the so-called intuitive levels of perception and response, which seldom making it into the slow-lane of encoding for language, lead to outcomes that seem beyond representation in formal, linguistic expression.

As for the general tone of your writing, that is to say the sense that I experience when I reflect on what I have read, I perceive a distinct sadness, or hurt, or even anger:
Quote:
What part of understanding is a sympathy for life and a sense of the terrible stuggle of life I cannot say. I can say it is not in books alone for very few books should give to all a sense of the fatal tragedy we call our lives, but from which people only take dry facts and figures, and the statistics of a corpse.
Quote:
The need to know is an emotional need. In my case that need is perverse since I spent a great part of my life afraid I was retarded. Maybe I am a savant. It is certainly easier to prove stupidity than alacrity
. And so I return your blessing, peace.

Smile
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2007 06:59 am
@GridLok,
GridLok wrote:
Hey hang about fellas! How's a bloke meant to keep up with you two?

Fido. I'll confine myself to addressing your responses to my comments:

1. Whether it be 'understanding' or any other capability, "my experience" thus far - as a psychology graduate (though I mention that not as a claim to authority, but as a context), is that while there may well be individuals who entirely lack a certain attribute, and no amount of effort will lead to any improvement in performance, these are generally very rare. On the whole, most people can do most things to greater or lesser degree. This suggests that the biological/physiological structure relevant to the performance of any ability, is present and operational in the overwhelming majority of human beings. The degree of functionality is however highly variable. Thus, some excell with little or no apparent effort - and with effort perform at a level all bit incomprehensible to those of lesser capacity. But even the majority 64% or so, can generally improve; even if, after a while, diminishing return of effort means they stop short of exploring their inherent ability to its limit. This, I suggest is very much the case with 'understanding' (although, I shall, in point 2. ask for clarification of what you mean by that term).
2. So, to 'understanding' and what you meant by the word? My reading of what you stated led me to think you may have been referring more to the so-called intuitive levels of perception and response, which seldom making it into the slow-lane of encoding for language, lead to outcomes that seem beyond representation in formal, linguistic expression.

As for the general tone of your writing, that is to say the sense that I experience when I reflect on what I have read, I perceive a distinct sadness, or hurt, or even anger: . And so I return your blessing, peace.

Smile

I agree that true mental defects are rare. A whole lot less rare is something common to philosophy, and really, to philosophers and that is an inability to relate. And this may seem strange, but do you think Socrates had a happy home and chose to live in culvert? My prime example is Nietzsche, who was not so rare in light of today in being raised in a mother dominated houshold; and what did he get out of it? He talks of love, and sex, but he did not know. His contempt for women was clear. His want of a full picture of life for his super man was evident. So, how is it that people go to this guy for truth when truth if it is present in a person's mind should be demonstrable in their lives and relationships. Look at Baudelair. Look at Rousseau (sp). Look at Martin Luther. Why does a perversity of existence so often result in art or philosophy? If I were trained as a psychologist I would study it. Literally, I would do a history of all that is known of philosophers on the basis of psychology.

All change is an attempt at problem solving. What problems drive people to become philosophers? I can't see that any philosopher is better than his ability to define the problem of his age; and perhaps this is enough to make one great. Ultimately, the practical matter of truth; the truth we can quantify and investigate with science is small in relation to the psychological, which is to say, the moral problem of truth, which cannot be quantified. The fact is, that those people who can relate, and who find help and solice in their relationships do not need to further investigate in the search for truth. They have it. And, all our forms are forms of relationship. These forms structure our relationships the way marriage as a formal relationship used to tell its participants what their role was. Eventually, every society and civilization degrades to the point where traditional forms of relationship do not have meaning, do not satisfy, and do not make happy. These relationships also serve two important functions that are more easily shown in primative society: recognition, and realization. We have no objective proof of what each of us assumes with great certainty: That we exist. A recognition serves better than a look in the mirror to make us feel real. But also, our forms organize our behavior so we can make our living, and live in an extended society that houses, and feeds us. The more a society degrades the less we get out of our forms of relationship. We put in, and do not get out, and so we are forced to find or create new forms.

Now, who am I to lecture you. I am educated in nothing and a failure in everything; even human relationships. But seeing everything, as it were, from the outside, I can see much that would be confusion if seen from within. In any event, it is in the mind, and in moral truths where our true destination lies. Not that we should try to cast any truth in concrete and make it eternal. Rather, that truth, like all truth, must have meaning to living people to actually be true. The truth lives in people.

If I can clarify on the issue of understanding then, at its base is pity and sympathy. When we can feel with another, and understand all causes in terms of their human effects, when we do not dismiss another's misery as tragedy, then we are understanding. There is a story of our mythical Abraham Lincoln, who, as a child chastised some other children for heaping coals on the backs of terripins to free them from their shells. And he said that even an ant values his life as you do yours. Now, this man may have killed a turkey in his life; and he may have killed a skunk; and he did kill slavery at least in chattle form, but primarily he acted in a rational fashion on the basis of an emotional connectedness. It must have hurt him deeply to consider the many deaths he ordered. I know the injustice in his society affected him. I do not doubt that he welcomed his death. All one need do to see this is true is to consider the opposite. Are not those with the least pity and sympathy also the least understanding? It is for this reason that children are so often wise beyond their years, because they can feel as others feel simply by witnessing.
 
GridLok
 
Reply Sat 15 Dec, 2007 10:39 pm
@Fido,
Hot damn! Don't know how I did it, but I just managed to delete all that I had written. What a bummer!

Fido. Don't know if it is of much consolation, but I too, up until very recent times, considered myself to be a pretty miserable flop in the human achievement stakes. The change to an unconditional acceptance of myself (and others), in the sense of simply being a person - neither worthwhile nor worthless, is so recent I won't make any claims as to its permanence. But so far so good! If I may make so bold, go easy on your sense of self. OK, so you stuffed-up but good, possibly in every which way, but you're still about, reaching out, trying live as 'good' a life as you know how. That's quite some achievement. Sadly, there are many for whom Night falls fast (Kay Redfield Jamison, 1999).

There are many things in your post to which I would like to respond; too many for this occasion. I especially don't want to go about making unsubstantiated assertions. I will therefore start with a statement of what I think are fundamental premises to which all other remarks will inevitably relate.

THE LAWS OF EXISTENCE:
(And by 'Laws', I do mean, immutable and inviolable!)

  1. DIFFERENTIATION: It is not, I suggest, possible for human beings to conceptualise existence, save as dualistic. By this I mean for every 'is', there must be an 'is not'. Even at a quantum level, or whatever the most fundamental level existence might have, there must be the possibility of differentiation.
  2. REPETITION: Differentiation alone is chaos. Essential to any possibility of relationship is re-cognition, that is to say, the possibility of 'same as'.
  3. GRADATION: Differentiation of repetition leads to dimension, to relationship, but is still insufficient.
  4. RATE-OF-CHANGE: Gradation of gradation allows for the ordering of variation, of change i.e. acceleration and deceleration.


That will have to do for now, but I shall return! And when I do, I'll seek to illustrate the above with reference to your comments - as well as Liebniz's letter.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 16 Dec, 2007 07:16 pm
@GridLok,
GridLok wrote:
Hot damn! Don't know how I did it, but I just managed to delete all that I had written. What a bummer!

Fido. Don't know if it is of much consolation, but I too, up until very recent times, considered myself to be a pretty miserable flop in the human achievement stakes. The change to an unconditional acceptance of myself (and others), in the sense of simply being a person - neither worthwhile nor worthless, is so recent I won't make any claims as to its permanence. But so far so good! If I may make so bold, go easy on your sense of self. OK, so you stuffed-up but good, possibly in every which way, but you're still about, reaching out, trying live as 'good' a life as you know how. That's quite some achievement. Sadly, there are many for whom Night falls fast (Kay Redfield Jamison, 1999).

There are many things in your post to which I would like to respond; too many for this occasion. I especially don't want to go about making unsubstantiated assertions. I will therefore start with a statement of what I think are fundamental premises to which all other remarks will inevitably relate.

THE LAWS OF EXISTENCE:
(And by 'Laws', I do mean, immutable and inviolable!)
  1. DIFFERENTIATION: It is not, I suggest, possible for human beings to conceptualise existence, save as dualistic. By this I mean for every 'is', there must be an 'is not'. Even at a quantum level, or whatever the most fundamental level existence might have, there must be the possibility of differentiation.
  2. REPETITION: Differentiation alone is chaos. Essential to any possibility of relationship is re-cognition, that is to say, the possibility of 'same as'.
  3. GRADATION: Differentiation of repetition leads to dimension, to relationship, but is still insufficient.
  4. RATE-OF-CHANGE: Gradation of gradation allows for the ordering of variation, of change i.e. acceleration and deceleration.

That will have to do for now, but I shall return! And when I do, I'll seek to illustrate the above with reference to your comments - as well as Liebniz's letter.

I can't say off hand that I really disagree with this; but I would add that we seem to subtract ourselves as the essential element of reality. We have always been learning as human beings, but until recent times we were not consciously conscious. And I think that is true today. Self consciousness interferes with education, if not with every experience. We learn best when we are not aware of it occuring, when we are blind to inner reality, and can see only reality in the larger sense.
 
GridLok
 
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2007 05:36 pm
@Fido,
Fido, I shall have to ask your indulgence:

Quote:
we seem to subtract ourselves as the essential element of reality
In what sense do mean this? Do you mean that we talk of (and presumably conceptualise) reality in a way that talks of our 'self' as a given, that we do not include 'our' self as an element of the reality we examine? Are you suggesting that, in considering all possible 'essential elements' in our assessment of reality, we omit (or subtract) that of our self - and yet 'ourselves' are essential to any perception (of reality, or anything else for that matter)?

Quote:
but until recent times we were not consciously conscious

Am I right in taking it that, by "consciously conscious" you refer to that which you sub-sequently call "self consciousness"? If so, how recent is "recent times"? How did you determine recency?

Quote:
Self consciousness interferes with education, if not with every experience. We learn best when we are not aware of it occuring, when we are blind to inner reality, and can see only reality in the larger sense.
I'm unsure as to what you think there is in self consciousness, that interferes with education. Are you referring to the way in which self consciousness is, I think, very often (if not always) integral with value judgements about self and other, leading to inhibitions or barriers against unqualified acceptance of what is encountered? Hmm. That's a bit of a tangled torrent of words. Guess it would be best if you could expand on what you initially stated.

Thank you for the thoughtfulness of your responses.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2007 08:28 pm
@GridLok,
GridLok wrote:
Fido, I shall have to ask your indulgence:

You shall have my indulgence squared without troubling to ask.
Quote:

In what sense do mean this? Do you mean that we talk of (and presumably conceptualise) reality in a way that talks of our 'self' as a given, that we do not include 'our' self as an element of the reality we examine? Are you suggesting that, in considering all possible 'essential elements' in our assessment of reality, we omit (or subtract) that of our self - and yet 'ourselves' are essential to any perception (of reality, or anything else for that matter)?

My guess is that we don't think of self as an essential giver of meaning when we see reality. If we go to a great public specticle, we never think: I am the one making this real, and making everyone here real. We remove ouselves from the scene, and all that occurs occurs without. We think of it as real with or without us, which it may be, but if we are not present at all, meaning is gone. We do not filter most of lifes experience through weir of self. We witness much, detached from ourselves, and cannot grasp when or where a subconcious judgement may be occuring. Now, this is a sense I get, that when people live thoughtlessly, on reflex, unaware even in the middle of hustle and bustle that they may be picking up on a lot of what is happening, but they are not engaged, not feeling, and not judging, and so not consciously aware of their vitality, and their meaning, or their part in things. Can you think of the many times people on these forums talk of nature and exclude themselves. In human beings nature contemplates nature, but how often are we conscious of that fact?
Quote:

Am I right in taking it that, by "consciously conscious" you refer to that which you sub-sequently call "self consciousness"? If so, how recent is "recent times"? How did you determine recency?

A fellow named Julian Jaynes, wrote a book many years ago called the Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. copyright,1976 And, he draws a line in the sand after the time of the Illiad, and before Jesus when the Jews began to consciously persecute and punish Prophets. Now, Sacrates could be a good example of this hearing of voices which primitives do not pick up on as a form of self consciousness, or a running commentary on reality. Instead primitives might think they were hearing an external voice, perhaps the voice of a god. Part of consciousness is the reconciliation, perhaps even the expectation that we will often have conflicting thoughts and feelings working their way toward resolution in our minds. We might say, that the most conscious had a survival edge. Those waiting on advice from their invisible friend were tardy, and got ate.
Quote:

I'm unsure as to what you think there is in self consciousness, that interferes with education. Are you referring to the way in which self consciousness is, I think, very often (if not always) integral with value judgements about self and other, leading to inhibitions or barriers against unqualified acceptance of what is encountered? Hmm. That's a bit of a tangled torrent of words. Guess it would be best if you could expand on what you initially stated.

Thank you for the thoughtfulness of your responses.

Yes, you are getting it right: barriers, and impediments. Who am I to talk. I might have done better in school if I never had to hear a lecture and could write responses, as now. My daughter has add, and I think I did too. I have trouble processing verbal information. As soon as people start talking to me I start thinking, and it is like listening to two people at once as I try to form words with thought. I can't take anything in without thinking and having questions come to mind. I learn consciously, and the more demanding is the subject the more often I must revisit it in my mind. Philosophy, and writing about philosophy is my refuge from extreme self consciousness, and emotionality. No one I know of feels more what they learn than I. So, on a question like Leibniz and perception I feel I know it because I learn painfully slowly and consciously.

You can tell a number of facts to a group of people trying to get through a school day, and tell them they will have to know them all tomorrow on a quiz, and they might have 9 out of 10. I will have that number I can relate to something I already know, and a significant part I may not even remember hearing. The difference between myself and others is that while learning consciously, I can learn more that I can reference later. During my short stay at university, I often asked people about classes I was planning to take. You would not believe how often I heard from people that they forgot it as soon as they took their final. These were good students, but the burden of knowledge they did not feel essential to the future they shook off like a dirty undershirt. I have never been able to tell good knowledge from bad. To learn anything I had to try to learn everything, and I haven't, but I have learned a lot, and best, I have been able to see how what I have learned relates, and to conceptualize what I know. I don't think I am retarded, but the way I learn is different from others, for sure. Sorry to give you my life story. I make a better bad example than good.
 
 

 
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