Is the ideal also "real"? Does perfection "exist" in the "real" world?
Well, my view is that the world-sans-man and man-sans-world are both abstractions. I have wrestled with the problem of universals and the nature of number for awhile lately, and now think that Form/Concept is prior to abstractions like man, world, self, real, etc.
So perfection exists in the real world if only in our "heads." The clash in not between the human mind and the world, because these are distinctions imposed by concept. The clash is between conception which is digital and sensation and emotion which are continuous. As far as spatial
form goes we do seem to have intuitions of perfect circles and perfect straightness, etc.
---------- Post added 06-05-2010 at 12:07 PM ----------
You seem to think all such concepts are merely human constructions
such concepts are almost universal and recurring.
Yes, the concepts are recurring. I think "human construction" is one more construction. All concepts but the empty proto-concept are vulnerable in my view. They exist systematically in relation to sensation and emotion. They ar created and destroyed. The most useful and pleasurable are always with us, though. For instance, the "self" seems like a practically necessary abstraction. But it is actually quite questionable.
5.621 The world and life are one.
5.63 I am my world. (The microcosm.)
5.631 There is no such thing as the subject that thinks or entertains
ideas. If I wrote a book called The World as l found it, I should have
to include a report on my body, and should have to say which parts were
subordinate to my will, and which were not, etc., this being a method of
isolating the subject, or rather of showing that in an important sense
there is no subject; for it alone could not be mentioned in that book.--
5.632 The subject does not belong to the world: rather, it is a limit of
5.633 Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be found? You will
say that this is exactly like the case of the eye and the visual field.
But really you do not see the eye. And nothing in the visual field
allows you to infer that it is seen by an eye.
5.6331 For the form of the visual field is surely not like this
5.634 This is connected with the fact that no part of our experience is
at the same time a priori. Whatever we see could be other than it is.
Whatever we can describe at all could be other than it is. There is no a
priori order of things.
5.64 Here it can be seen that solipsism, when its implications are
followed out strictly, coincides with pure realism. The self of
solipsism shrinks to a point without extension, and there remains the
reality co-ordinated with it.
5.641 Thus there really is a sense in which philosophy can talk
about the self in a non-psychological way. What brings the self into
philosophy is the fact that 'the world is my world'. The philosophical
self is not the human being, not the human body, or the human soul, with
which psychology deals, but rather the metaphysical subject, the limit
of the world--not a part of it.
---------- Post added 06-05-2010 at 12:12 PM ----------
For the Greek rationalists the ideal, the eternal, the changeless, the perfect was more real, more being, more existent than the world of change, flux, imperfection, sense experience and temporality.
I agree with this. And this is how I understand Hegel's "the real is rational." For after all, reality is a concept used to organize sub-concepts, at least to me. Raw sense-data and/or raw emotion means
nothing in the absence of form/concept. Form is meaning imposed on this flux, and largely derived from this flux. I think most of our forms are temporal. But the proto-Form (or Form of Forms) exists automatically. In a way, Parmenides was right, but so was Heraclitus.
Spatial form is more complicated. Let's consider standards of visual beauty, both in painting and more importantly human beauty.
THere are Forms which are not easily reduced to concept. For instance, Euclidean intuitions.
Intuitive geometry is a body of form that seems quite static. I put this in its own category, as I think it's truly different from the digital concept. Zeno's paradoxes illustrate this I think.
I use the word "concept" to be understood, but I'm not an idealist. The Form of the self/world is the structure of the self-world. Our materialistic abstractions have most of us convinced that man and the world exist separately, even though humans have never experienced this. "No finite thing has genuine being.."