Wisdom is Passionless...

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Søren Kierkegaard
  3. » Wisdom is Passionless...

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:24 am
"Wisdom is passionless. But faith by contrast is what Kierkegaard calls a passion". - Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1946

It's amazing and quite amusing that Wittgenstein is able to sum up Kierkegaard's words so simply. As Kierkegaard says, "In the case of a mathematical proposition the objectivity is given, but for this reason the truth of such a proposition is also an indifferent truth". It's not that wisdom is bad, just because it's passionless and indifferent to me. It's quite important, for Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein, that the manner in which one chooses (the intensity, the passion involved in choice) is just as meaningful as the content of the choice (the what).

Wittgenstein explains that a religious belief "could only be something like a passionate committment to a frame of reference. Hence, although it's belief, it's really a way of living, or a way of assessing life. It's passionately seizing hold of this interpretation." Kierkegaard would agree: "an objective uncertainty (e.g. the Christian narrative) held fast in an appropriation-process of the most passionate inwardness is the truth, the highest truth attainable for an existing individual."

What Kierkegaard calls "truth", Wittgenstein calls "way of living". Taken together, we can call that "subjective truth", as opposed to the passionless "objective truth", like the indifferent mathematical propositions. Wisdom and Faith. Objective and Subjective Truths. Make sense?
 
salima
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 10:00 am
@Victor Eremita,
you mean philosophers actually believe in faith? i knew they believed in passion...

is kierkegaard saying that our faith in a thing makes it true as far as we are concerned?

subjective truth...is faith?
 
prothero
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:46 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Subjective truths (aesthetics, ethics, values and religion) are what we are willing to fight and die for (where our passions lie).
Objective truths generally do not inspire this kind of response.
That is why to deny the "reality of subjective truth" in some sense is to deny the "reality and concerns of human experience"
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:26 pm
@prothero,
prothero;169716 wrote:

That is why to deny the "reality of subjective truth" in some sense is to deny the "reality and concerns of human experience"


Right! It's a strange sort of wishful thinking. Our experience as humans is not just conceptual, to put it mildly. We are more accurately described as desire than as concept. Obviously, we are both and then some. But you see what I mean, I'm sure. And we always act with limited information.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 06:29 pm
@Reconstructo,
I wonder if K had the idea in general from the passiveness of wisdom or the possession of wisdom, the noun-ness of wisdom versus the activeness, agressivness, verb-ness of faith.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 06:37 pm
@Victor Eremita,
I think the meaning of 'passion' is a bit problematic in these contexts. In classical Eastern philosophy, the sage is invariably depicted as 'one beyond passion'. It is likewise with the Stoics and in fact much traditional philosophy. On the other hand, though, you have the image of 'the passion of Christ' and 'the compassion of the Bodhisattva' (wisdom being).

Perhaps 'passion' in the former sense is understood as a personal emotion, attachment, or mood. I think when the old-style philosophies speak of 'going beyond passion' this is what they mean. However religious compassion can be quite passionate, but it is no longer self-centred or emotional in the same sense as ordinary worldly passion. I mean, many of the Christian Saints are far from emotionally cold or remote. They weep, bleed, empathize, rhapsodise, and are enormously passionate. So that is the only way I can understand it.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 07:29 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;169783 wrote:
I think the meaning of 'passion' is a bit problematic in these contexts. In classical Eastern philosophy, the sage is invariably depicted as 'one beyond passion'. It is likewise with the Stoics and in fact much traditional philosophy. On the other hand, though, you have the image of 'the passion of Christ' and 'the compassion of the Bodhisattva' (wisdom being).
I also connected the word passion with a constellation of thoughts when I read VE's post. Passion has deep roots within us. It has us reaching out without thinking. But like Dido's passion, it can be ultimately for nothing. Is that looking at things objectively? To know meaninglessness?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 07:50 pm
@Victor Eremita,
No I think the key to the idea of 'wisdom is passionless' is not objectivity, but detachment, or, better still, disinterest. As in, to look at something dispassionately. Disinterest, in the philosophical sense, is far more noble than mere 'objectivity'. Objectivity may be alright for jurors and lab workers, but the esteem in which it is held as a 'philosophical virtue' is just one of the prejudices of modernity.

Meister Eckhardt had a great sermon on the 'divine disinterest'. I haven't got my copy on hand at the moment, but Wikipedia says
Quote:
One of his most intriguing sermons on the "highest virtue of disinterest," unique in Christian theology both then and now, conforms to the Buddhist concept of detachment and more contemporarily, Kant's "disinterestedness." Meister Eckhart's Abgeschiedenheit was also admired by Alexei Losev in that contemplative ascent (reunion with meaning) is bound with resignation/detachment from the world. The difference is that truth/meaning in the phenomenological sense was not the only result, as expressed in Eckhart's practical guide "for those who have ears to hear", but creation itself. He both understood and sought to communicate the practicalities of spiritual perfection and the consequences in real terms.
I note with interest the 'reunion with meaning'. So it is the opposite of 'knowing meaninglessness'.

I will see if I can find my copy of Eckhardt.....

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 11:54 AM ----------

Reference is here
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 11:33 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;169796 wrote:
I also connected the word passion with a constellation of thoughts when I read VE's post. Passion has deep roots within us. It has us reaching out without thinking. But like Dido's passion, it can be ultimately for nothing. Is that looking at things objectively? To know meaninglessness?


I feel that even meaninglessness is a form of meaning. It's a closure in regards to the situation, and it offers the satisfaction that all closure offers.
But sometimes one sees a certain futility through the cracks...

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 12:37 AM ----------

jeeprs;169799 wrote:
Disinterest, in the philosophical sense, is far more noble than mere 'objectivity'. Objectivity may be alright for jurors and lab workers, but the esteem in which it is held as a 'philosophical virtue' is just one of the prejudices of modernity.

I don't even see a real attempt to ground so-called objectivity except in consensus, albeit in roundabout way. It seems to me obvious that objectivity depends on inter-subjectivity, or rather that both depend on language use, on consensus. Experiments must be repeatable. Other scientist must experience sensations that they organize for themselves by means of certain concepts. If enough of them agree, that's a working theory. The non-scientist is convinced by technology, because it's all inscrutable equations to the non-scientist.
Of course I'm not anti-science. I'm just anti-lazy-philosophy. Smile
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:08 am
@salima,
salima;169565 wrote:
you mean philosophers actually believe in faith? i knew they believed in passion...


Faith is a passion (possibly even the highest passion attainable in a man). Not all passion is faith.

Quote:

is kierkegaard saying that our faith in a thing makes it true as far as we are concerned?


It's true in so far as it is your way of living as Wittgenstein says. The belief or proposition may or may not be true objectively.
 
salima
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 07:02 am
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita;169869 wrote:
Faith is a passion (possibly even the highest passion attainable in a man). Not all passion is faith.



It's true in so far as it is your way of living as Wittgenstein says. The belief or proposition may or may not be true objectively.


maybe faith is supposed to be a passion, but to me it isnt...those things that i have faith in actually fill me with a sense of peace rather than any feeling of passion. maybe that is just me...what i am passionate about are ideals and principles...

i would define subjective truth as what we believe and subscribe to. for instance, some people think the world is full of liars-to them it really is, because all they hear are lies. from another person's point of view they are wrong-but there will always be someone to disagree. no one can have a truth that nobody else will disagree with, even though we are bordering here on the ridiculous now-like flat earth society etc. but by my definition, subjective truth for that first fellow in this paragraph would be that the world is full of liars.

now my question would be-is there any such thing as objective truth? i dont think so...and i also suspect that if there were any objective truth no one would be able to know it.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Søren Kierkegaard
  3. » Wisdom is Passionless...
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 06/23/2021 at 12:12:10