A transmission is a "part" of a car in a different sense than a car being a "part," or a "member" as you say, of a "general notion," or "set," of "cars," or "vehicles," or "human inventions."
Yes and no. I will grant that logos is a box of melted crayons, but what I'm pointing at is the similarity here, and not the differences. I'm trying to get at the structure of thinking, the essence of essence, if you will. What do all abstractions have in common, I ask?
---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 12:31 AM ----------
An engineer can look at a wheel in terms of whether or not it will come "apart," if you'll pardon the pun, but he also must consider whether it will support the rest of the car, what kind of traction it provides on differing road surfaces or in different weather conditions, what kind of road wear it will experience, how often it has to be checked for proper tire pressure, etc.
Well, the human mind is impressive. I feel you are describing all the different sorts of systems the wheel-concept is associated with. You mention an engineer. What is physics without its abstractions? What is force? What is friction? These abstractions are a way to unify experience, to see how apparently unrelated experiences are indeed related. An apple falls from the tree. The Earth rotates around the sun. "Gravity" we say. And of course we call the big picture a Universe. "Let's call it a Multi-verse," someone might say, but why is it so unnatural for us to say universes or multiverses?
---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 12:40 AM ----------
A rainbow doesn't have entirely discreet colors and yet is intelligible as well as dynamic.
From my point of view a rainbow is discrete because for us it is a "rainbow." This singular
word is reveals that we think of these non-discrete colors as a unity. In the same way, when describing this non-discrete spectrum, we are forced to use discrete concepts. From my point of view, the eye and the ear can indeed experience continuity, but language cannot express continuity except in terms of the discrete. Precisely because we speak and think in essences, sets, unities --within an admittedly complex and tangled system of such unities. Of course poets specialize in pushing against this boundary, as much as possible.
I should emphasize that I don't think that experience itself is composed of unities, but that language and thought are. One of the reasons I love math is because it is forced to deal with this as well as it can. Calculus was a strange and difficult invention.
---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 12:46 AM ----------
"Peanut butter." "Claustrophobic." "Kevin Bacon." There. I've thought of three things at random. What's the unity among them? (I know, there are o
What is the unity among "these three things"? Ah, but the answer to this is hidden in your question. The unity among them is that they are all unities. After all, you thought of three
things, right? And what is this word "things"? What peanut butter, claustrophobic, and mr. bacon have in common is that they are all, in your own words, things. What makes a thing a thing and not things if not its singularity? Some may find it trivial, but I find our use of the singular and plural significant. Doesn't our language use reveal something about the way we process (chop up) experience? Of course we also sew these experience-bits together. We can make all the molecules we like from these atoms, to speak metaphorically. And we can use the same atoms in different molecules.
---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 12:59 AM ----------
Ortega is not saying that there is no subject. In fact he says that there is no subject without an object. In his metaphysics, the "subject" and the "object," or as he puts it, "I" and "my circumstance" coexist within the radical reality that is "my life," and therefore he has characterized reality as a "unitary duality." It is also a plurality in the sense that there are many such "unitary dualities" or "lives."
From my point of view there is a subject as long as we think in terms of a subject. The subject is not fundamental, even if undeniably useful. Unity-in-difference is a big Hegelian theme too, incidentally. His "unitary duality " is pretty close to my own view. Being as negative
one, not as a static one. This is just a metaphor, not number mysticism. (I don't think numbers exist outside of man. Or man outside of number, as newborns can recognize quantity it seems...)
How's this ? A self-eating self-sh*tting system of concepts that becomes conscious of itself as such --but just as important conscious of all individual concepts as contingent, replaceable. Here lies the "negativity" that makes the intelligible structure of the "world" dynamic.
I absolutely agree about all those pluralities. Indeed, indeed. I'm just saying that we process those pluralities in bits, as far as thinking goes. Feeling is something else. Music is something else. Painting and dance are something else. We experience sensation as a continuity. It's this collision of sensual/emotional continuity and linguistic quantification that interests me. Quality and quantity.
---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 01:03 AM ----------
I'm not sure Heidegger would agree.
Well, Heidegger is not someone I take as an authority. He asked some great questions, of course. Did he want them answered? I say again that our notion
of nothingness is a being. And what is "being" if not an utterly indeterminate singular
Insofar as Heidegger points out the "miracle" or "strangeness" that anything is
, I applaud him.
---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 01:11 AM ----------
You could also say that it is composed of parts. So parts and unities co-exist.
More next time.
Yes, I agree with you 100% percent here. Parts which are unities and unities of parts. And I'll say again I'm not trying to play the physicist here but only the foolosopher. I'm concerned with the structure of experience. I'll leave the quirks of quarks to others.
Thanks for the conversation, longknowledge. :detective: