School of Economic Science
THE DIALECTIC OF THE GENETIC CIRCLE

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    School of Economic Science - Study Forums Forum Index -> Plato Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Avital Ronell
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:15 am    Post subject: THE DIALECTIC OF THE GENETIC CIRCLE Reply with quote

I’ve decided to examine the impact of some serious thinking on my own: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M0VCXY8

So, I’ve juxtaposed the tradition with the present, in my little book about the genetic circle, which you have ruthlessly pulled from these pages.

I give a taste below:

Contents:

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE: PRELIMINARY CLARIFICATION OF THE IDEA OF HISTORY IN CONTRADISTINCTION TO THE IDEA OF NATURE

CHAPTER TWO: AN EXHIBITING PERTAINING TO THE IDEA OF HISTORY

CHAPTER THREE: A NOTIONAL ANALYSIS WITH THE AIM OF DISCLOSING THE ETERNAL RETURN ONTOLOGICALLY

CHAPTER FOUR: IDEAS ABOUT THE GENETIC CIRCLE


INTRODUCTION:

Genetic taken as ‘where it comes from’ and circle in the vaguest sense given by language. How does language give?: The heron is circling the lake. Copernicus’s celestial spheres revolve about the heavens, describing circles in the void. A circle of friends.

Here I will present some ideas pertaining to the problem of the genetic circle, taken initially in dialectical connection with the problem of the eternal return of the Greeks, as that which is saved in history, and then on its own ground as the central problem of the completion of history.

Dialectic, like this, means simply: a great change in which something decisively remains. A stone is not dead, except by metaphor. A stone has never been alive that it can now be dead. Death Is decisively oriented towards life, so that something remains. History, ontologically, in this way is dialectical.

Dialectic means also, and this too refers to our present study, a bringing-above-the-way-things-are-usually-spoken-of, with the intent to think through, to break out of, the oblivion of normal chatter. This is like lifting water out of a basin, with the hands, so that it slips back into the vessel. And, moreover, at bottom, it always remains water. We deal here by necessity with mere speech (logos), not with the basin itself, not with language. If one could deal with language, that would be like pointing, yet we must try to point by telling, which is harder, but unavoidable. I do not intend to take up a position on the possibility of reaching language, with these comments, but only to point out what is presently done here.

There are levels, with this dialectic. Dialectic as it is commonly known is principally a dialogical exercise, two. Yet how is something that belongs to conversation produced as a treatise? Association is not chiefly based on standing there. In dialog the expressions of others are brought together with our own and treated in exchange and conversation. I associate with the content, what the words aim at, in that I aim at something definite, I come into a relation — what is said by another could as well be said by me — ‘ as well him as another ’ as Joyce wrote in his Ulysses.

The genetic circle is the positive form of the slogan, ‘We have no time.’ The text is largely a constitutive analysis, giving form to the problem. Presented in the hopes that one may one day enter this problem properly. Our reference is not to Nietzsche, but to a circle which may someday be thought, or better, lived with the present ontological situation, as the Greeks lived their cyclical determination.

We attempt in what follows to articulate a problem, that is guessed at in a vague way. This is a presupposition of our inquiry. It is always possible that our evidence does not at all point to our problem, as we envisage it already before coming to it. Hence what follows has chiefly a provisional character.


CHAPTER ONE: PRELIMINARY CLARIFICATION OF THE IDEA OF HISTORY IN CONTRADISTINCTION TO THE IDEA OF NATURE

Where ‘nature’ means universe, the universe of physics, nature can not be taken as something in contradistinction to convention. Nature is ontologically understood. We are not speaking of a division within the universe, as of genes and memes. In this sense history is a possibility of being, differing from nature. History does not, in this sense, mean facts understood according to a tendency.

Now we are acquainted with history, as it stands ontologically, in contradistinction to nature. It is a field of ‘all possible experience.’ An acquaintance is something vague, but there is fruitful vagueness, and there is confusion due to vagueness. Having a vague hold on the concept, is a having of ‘a bad attitude’ towards the matter, once known, but not grasped with any aptitude. We want to come to a point where we can intuit the phenomenon of the genetic circle, out of its supposed invisible resonance. What we aim at is a kind of learning. In all work of this kind as we are here endeavoring, so far as it is genuine, there is a terribly intense desire to avoid confusion of a trivial kind. So we must go on to become more than merely acquainted with this history, and we will attempt that in this chapter. We want to be able to do more than simply to repeat a few formulas about this, as definitions, or as formal explications that are like some beautiful herons circling with their wings open, above a lake, far from all ground.


--


the brilliant world of philosophy, in its many registers, still never fails to amaze me.... let us forever find more ways to vector and to posture
Back to top
Avital Ronell
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is addressed to people who cannot abide with the parroting of thought that is everywhere the norm today, but who really prefer understanding.

Today we must not be lacking in audacity!

Unfortunately the text of our study is not given in the formatting that is exactly warranted, due to the limits of the forum’s system. So that, among other things, some italics have been omitted. Also, I should have liked to include the optical feature of red letters with the Dostoevsky texts.

Just as in my early thesis on Goethe, I have had to move into an extreme position which is not pleasant to many. It is indispensable and so I shall not shrink back from showing what I must, and not waiting for sunny conditions in which to do so I shall begin at once.

The present study, http://www.amazon.com/DIALECTIC-GENETIC-CIRCLE-ascertaining-possibility-ebook/dp/B00M0VCXY8/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409678422&sr=1-3, and the biographical novel make a pa de deux. So we can also consider part one of Broder’s 'Transformations of Fire' saga (though here we remain with a Freudian tenour, in correspondence with the central Greek problem, the nomos as it stands in antipathy to the specifically habitual movement [and not the necessary movement] of things as such): http://www.amazon.com/The-Serpentine-Crutch-Broder-ebook/dp/B00LCDWOA8

With the second volume we shall consider the specific interpretation of Kant, of the transcendental thought, which constitutes the early work of Heidegger up until the so-called turn. Here, our presupposition is that whoever does not at once see Being and Time as a specific modification of Kant should give up this research at once. Of course, Kant was prepared by the thinkers of the 17th century, and Being and Time allows history to govern the Kantian approach, which is to say, allows the transcendental subject, in the edited form of Dasein, to stand within the historical mystery.

The gist is this: only if we speak without understanding will we find anything principally new in Heidegger's early sorties. In Heidegger, as with any thinker of the higher caliber, and anyone at all, there are, of course, characteristic features. What has made Heidegger interesting? We will find this answered chiefly in the matter of the way of treating the material, according to the already known method of, rather than, as with, eg, Nietzsche, interpreting the text of the world, a making more noticeable out of the ground of what stands as uninterpreted. The ground of simple being there. This is the same as with the historicist position Heidegger took over.

Like this, making more noticeable means hermeneutical phenomenology, illuminating and bringing out, as it stands in contradistinction to explaining and answering, ie, the causal questions, as about the why (why means in the simple sense the very same thing as causality). This question of what is new in Heidegger we will be compelled to take up, and we will elaborate this and many other things in our next treatise, but the question that animates our current study is ‘What is learning?’ this question stands, still today, between truth and essence, the place of the historical movement. That is our fundamental premise. It is in that that we go beyond truth as a for-this-time, or, as a because-of-this. Truth as a I-want-to-know-how-to-do-this-or-that (of course, here, we presuppose that truth as what really is, means, the same as, what really is is inextricably connected to the concept, the what-for of a thing that truly is). Thus beyond the highest predicament of the categories. Thus below we have a specific answer to the oldest metaphysical question, and we move entirely within the tradition.

Immediately I give the text of our first inquiry in full:




THE DIALECTIC OF THE GENETIC CIRCLE

(Attempts at ascertaining the possibility of approaching the problem of the genetic circle.)





Contents:

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE: PRELIMINARY CLARIFICATION OF THE IDEA OF HISTORY IN CONTRADISTINCTION TO THE IDEA OF NATURE

CHAPTER TWO: AN EXHIBITING PERTAINING TO THE IDEA OF HISTORY

CHAPTER THREE: A NOTIONAL ANALYSIS WITH THE AIM OF DISCLOSING THE ETERNAL RETURN ONTOLOGICALLY

CHAPTER FOUR: IDEAS ABOUT THE GENETIC CIRCLE


INTRODUCTION:

Genetic taken as ‘where it comes from’ and circle in the vaguest sense given by language. How does language give?: The heron is circling the lake. Copernicus’s celestial spheres revolve about the heavens, describing circles in the void. A circle of friends.

Here I will present some ideas pertaining to the problem of the genetic circle, taken initially in dialectical connection with the problem of the eternal return of the Greeks, as that which is saved in history, and then on its own ground as the central problem of the completion of history.

Dialectic, like this, means simply: a great change in which something decisively remains. A stone is not dead, except by metaphor. A stone has never been alive that it can now be dead. Death Is decisively oriented towards life, so that something remains. History, ontologically, in this way is dialectical.

Dialectic means also, and this too refers to our present study, a bringing-above-the-way-things-are-usually-spoken-of, with the intent to think through, to break out of, the oblivion of normal chatter. This is like lifting water out of a basin, with the hands, so that it slips back into the vessel. And, moreover, at bottom, it always remains water. We deal here by necessity with mere speech (logos), not with the basin itself, not with language. If one could deal with language, that would be like pointing, yet we must try to point by telling, which is harder, but unavoidable. I do not intend to take up a position on the possibility of reaching language, with these comments, but only to point out what is presently done here.

There are levels, with this dialectic. Dialectic as it is commonly known is principally a dialogical exercise, two. Yet how is something that belongs to conversation produced as a treatise? Association is not chiefly based on standing there. In dialog the expressions of others are brought together with our own and treated in exchange and conversation. I associate with the content, what the words aim at, in that I aim at something definite, I come into a relation — what is said by another could as well be said by me — ‘ as well him as another ’ as Joyce wrote in his Ulysses.

The genetic circle is the positive form of the slogan, ‘We have no time.’ The text is largely a constitutive analysis, giving form to the problem. Presented in the hopes that one may one day enter this problem properly. Our reference is not to Nietzsche, but to a circle which may someday be thought, or better, lived with the present ontological situation, as the Greeks lived their cyclical determination.

We attempt in what follows to articulate a problem, that is guessed at in a vague way. This is a presupposition of our inquiry. It is always possible that our evidence does not at all point to our problem, as we envisage it already before coming to it. Hence what follows has chiefly a provisional character.


CHAPTER ONE: PRELIMINARY CLARIFICATION OF THE IDEA OF HISTORY IN CONTRADISTINCTION TO THE IDEA OF NATURE

Where ‘nature’ means universe, the universe of physics, nature can not be taken as something in contradistinction to convention. Nature is ontologically understood. We are not speaking of a division within the universe, as of genes and memes. In this sense history is a possibility of being, differing from nature. History does not, in this sense, mean facts understood according to a tendency.

Now we are acquainted with history, as it stands ontologically, in contradistinction to nature. It is a field of ‘all possible experience.’ An acquaintance is something vague, but there is fruitful vagueness, and there is confusion due to vagueness. Having a vague hold on the concept, is a having of ‘a bad attitude’ towards the matter, once known, but not grasped with any aptitude. We want to come to a point where we can intuit the phenomenon of the genetic circle, out of its supposed invisible resonance. What we aim at is a kind of learning. In all work of this kind as we are here endeavouring, so far as it is genuine, there is a terribly intense desire to avoid confusion of a trivial kind. So we must go on to become more than merely acquainted with this history, and we will attempt that in this chapter. We want to be able to do more than simply to repeat a few formulas about this, as definitions, or as formal explications that are like some beautiful herons circling with their wings open, above a lake, far from all ground.

If an American speaks of a ‘Chinese love of nature,’ insisting that the ‘Chinese are closer to nature than we Westerners.’ what is meant? That unlike us, Chinese love trees, mountain crags, a strong wind, and the sight of a hawk circling the sun? Do we want to speak here of Mao’s love of swimming? Mao is vitally brought into the Western thought of nature, in his thinking of the possibilities of experience. ‘Water is afraid of human beings’, the famous conclusion of the Chairman, after long reflection on the nature of water. He meant anything that the physical world allows could be done, without regard to the old stigma about the dangers of water, and on swimming. He generalized this thought and it became possible to speak of it in the same breath as Existentialism. It is questionable whether Mao thought as a volitionist, willpower and freedom, a bringing himself to the forefront as almost a western individual, a Sartre, was the main thing transmitted from the West, and assimilated, or whether, Mao thought truly as a physicist, a materialist, an Einstein: ‘What is, not what you think ought to be.’

With Kant, we find there is no guarantee that rationality is the goodness of nature, that nature is good. The ‘father image’ may step in and assert itself. What is of its own may not be helpful in the relieving of man’s estate, the appeasing of the human condition. Whilst the categorical imperative is a duty based principle, freedom reports to the teleology of nature. Kant says, ‘freedom is the only right one has by virtue of being a human being’ it is the only teleological, or natural tendency, in Kant's system.

The question that Freud always fled from, though it enticed him, was about the absolute permeation of the ego with the unconscious. There is something that is like a transcendental chaos in the drives. I mention this only to show the basic grounds of this problem we now wish to enter, in relation to the Cartesian problems, the splitting of the ego from the unconscious on the one hand, and the human things from the objective on the other. With Descartes three positions arise, and they develop in their various ways. Passion, desire, will, sense perception, thought (a list of things that are conscious). The consciousness as separated from the unconscious (psuke or soul with the Greeks, as the whole person) with Descartes. I put this here to show all that is sloughed off with the object, with nature. The unconscious is shed, Freud and Jung who were medical doctors, found problems without a physiological basis, their sorties were not arbitrary, but had a ground in the scientific doxic orientation itself.

Now we are mentioning various matters that must orient us, and let us become awake to the movement, or flux, of concepts in lived history.

The beautiful landscapes of the Tang and Song Dynasty are closer to what has likely been meant by the American. (Or allow us, for the sake of our current purpose, to think that it was.) In these ‘mountain and water paintings’ the love of the painter is using the world as a great instrument, on which to let some pure music resonate. Anyone, with little preparation in fine art history, can find a feast of freedom in this. (Now, if this example is felt to be too ethereal, another might be found. Also, we might point to the narrative of Dostoevsky as a more important example, as it is in the following chapter.) When I speak of freedom, I do not speak of Kantian freedom, but I speak of freedom decisively as it bears on the problem of the flux of history. We are by this look, that of the paintings, freed-up, in some measure, towards a intuiting of the ground of the problem of history. This speaks to the power of what is let shown by the painter. This nature is not nature as stands over-and-against convention, as in the Greek world. So far we give what amounts to a conviction, but one that is not unfounded. Here we bring evidence, and hope to show the possibility that this be thought new. In saying we bring evidence, what is meant is not that a trial will begin, as before some judge or other, but only that the matter is not arbitrary when put into the middle of ordinary life, that examples that strike us as sensible say to us, this has a basis, and is not fallen from the sky.

In Chinese thought, prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, and the beginning of Western-style logic, we find a division perhaps usefully compared to that of nature and convention, as found with the Greeks. This is no ontological expression, but it is a conscious-striving-for. In this way: city, country, mountains. T'ao Ch'ien was the poet of this thinking of the ‘mountains.’ Of the realm of the sages, even the drinker’s delights, and surely the felicity of the hidden village. The thinker of a third space, of the human space. But, decisively, this thought comes in contrapuntal orientation to the earlier spaces, the country and the city.

Chinese nature comes to us in the paintings. But in the work of T'ao Ch'ien we have something equal to (thought hardly the same as) the political questions (this is not a question of the relative merit of painting over poetry), since it is thought on the ground of a-wanting-to-solve, as by someone, who having become disillusioned and even anguished, found a dream preferable to medicine, as cure in the face even of suicide. Thus, I stand beside what we now speak of as Utopian thinking, as a dreaming of impossible dreams, as political thinking. Thinking which may point to this or that recommendation of an end, as thought by the Russians this is a Quixotic thinking (cf. Turgenev's essay on Hamlet and the Quixote) by this or that idiosyncratic individual within the ummah or the volk or this or that homeland, of whatever station and relative importance within a defined people, state or community, however broadly thought. The ontological is not at all of this character, but it is more like a backdrop, and almost invisible.

What is said in the above paragraph gives way to a confusion, for the assaying of the accent of the various thinkings, that of the mountains, or that of the Utopian spirit of the Russians, devolves upon a basic orientation. An intuition of what is treated out of its ground, in the way it is first found before it is discussed as a matter apart from the seeing and saying simply. This risk, of tendentious bringing-into-genres, threatens every genuine exploration. What is more or less tendentious can be contrasted with what comes to pass out of the ground of history, what an age can not avoid, by way of prejudices.

Nature, as a gong, resonating from the golden age, Eden, a silver age, some distant moment. In illo tempore, in that time. What I say here I put down only for the sake that we become acquainted with what is said, so as to assure ourselves we have looked around and discovered what there is, here and there, said about this matter, as a mere saying. There are several thoughts of nature in former times that have come down to us in acquaintance. A rounded and primordial integrity. I see what, if I see it right, has a unity and a harmony, the beautiful.

I say, however, we speak of mere acquaintance. It is perhaps with the so-called native peoples of Northern America that we see most the continuation of this mythical being, as with the spirits. The mythical, muthos, true account, this has its different grounds. Language compels reflection in many ways, it says in many ways. With the Greeks epiphany means the coming of the god, the presence of the god. The aorist tense, in Iliad, shows the traveling of Thetis, the mother of Achilles, in the Greek manner. The traveling, when she comes to see Achilles on the beach, is not incomplete as an action, but it is the eidos, already in the language. A traveling as traveling, not as a doing now, or an almost done. That is how the gods come to mortals with Homer.

With Plato the ground of knowledge is determined by what always is. Truth is pronounced as a speaking of what, by those who have acquaintance with the right understanding, can lead themselves back to the knowledge. Many kinds of things move, they displace themselves, I make a leap, all these things, each leaving and coming, have behind them an unmoving space. This space always is. I find the sharp outline of some thing, from it I describe a closed curved line, abstracted from the things as it is among what moves. From the line I comprehend the possibility of a point, the basis for geometry. Geometry is true, but one who does not know from their own being, just how to run back to the ground of space, as what always is, will move stupidly like a machine through geometry, and so have no knowledge. I put this explication here especially because we wish to pronounce truth with the Greeks in order to complete our dialectic, for us, knowledge is not found in the Greek notion of what always is, but in one that we will discover as characteristically fitting, for us. History remains oriented by this beginnings with the Greeks, not only by this, but now we do not touch on the Hebrew beginnings, for example, of the west (though that can not fail to influence us at every step).

In Hegel, de haut en bas, if you wish, there is a bending down to the Chinese nature. I only mention this to show how the completion of History is drawn up in this thinking, it finds histories converging in the history, like this we see Mao tending towards, if not reaching, that final thinking of nature, as in physics. (Or again in the question of economic governance of corporations and states in the so-called underdeveloped and emerging countries, as to whether they will teleologically converge on the peak of anglo-germanic modes, or strike out according to this or that organic trajectory.) Today eight of eight top officials in China are engineers, not physicists!, perhaps this says something about the situation in regard to the lack of final resolution of the matter. I mention here in passing Spengler’s opinion. He says that Western science has conquered the world, but that it remains Western in character. This does not chiefly concern us because we do not take issue with the right or wrong of it, or even by-in-large with the truth of it (since it is a matter ordinary judgment can not decide on with any great reliability, and thus ambiguity is genuinely present in the issue, it is at genuine issue for us), but we only wish to take into account that such a view has been produced.

One can not coherently speak of a Western history (in this text we do not deal only with, or chiefly with, Western history with regards to our main problem) without thinking of the Hebrew and the Greek. We can not possibly go into this now, I only mention it in order so that we can keep that in mind as we proceed. What is to be kept in mind is not the particular historic situation, but the problem of origin as such, in that it is a difficulty. And that unlike the case of a man, born here or there in a city, who, eighty years latter, says, ‘That is me.’, when pointing to a picture of himself, who has in dialectic fashion remained himself through the transition, here, with our question, the life in question, that of history, is more confusing and more difficult to catch in a glance. It is obvious, but we don’t blush at saying it, because we are again and again bringing these matters to new and vital thought, or hoping to do so.

History — which history? History seems to say something about an ‘ought’ where nature remains silent. This claim of remaining silent is a feature of an historical moment. But one that stands in reference to the earlier points of development. ‘Some of you think you came in on the Mayflower’ the voice of Malcolm X in tacit polemical exchange with MLK. Something conjured to remind one of the question of roots, images of resurrected histories. One denies the shared continuation of the people, ‘black separatism’, another nation. Who is it that would climb to the mountain top; to the peak of Plymouth Rock? Like an idée fixe or a manifest destiny? I raise this not to present a choice between two political paths into action forged in the recent past, but to show that history may be taken as a matter of deliberative discussion. But, here, the issue is that those who think they came in on the Mayflower are supposed to be mistaken. For in reality they have another direction, apart from the ones who landed on that rock, the rock as is often said, must be remembered to have been landed on them. If they are wrong, that means they are simply blind to something they can not deliberate over, something more primitive, they can treat with it in judgment no more than such a matter as that of someone who thought they had been born in Birmingham, but in fact had been born in Washington. Only genuine inquiry could answer that, and not logical wranglings.

However, then, is history a matter of choice that it can be negotiated in some way? We find here a confusion between history as a chronicle told in accordance with a tendency, that of an integrationist or a separatist, that of one who recommends this or that pointing to the basic fact of the origin of a people, as a discussion about where one indeed stands and the way deliberative decisions might arise as a choosing of paths going forward. Over and above the place one takes in regard to this or that neighbor, to discussions with relatives, to the whole of daily interactions, as a more basic matter that can not be evaded. I mention this aspect to show that there is a legitimate confusion in this matter.

The confusion is supposed to be halted by the thinking of this age as being the completion of history according to the arrival of the thinking of nature, in physics. History in this way finds a specific point of departure, the moment we have come aware of the division between this and that history and that of nature as the peak of history. Thus here we come to history on its ontological ground. That is, also, in passing, an answer to those who would say, history is another arbitrary position, like that of Marxism. The reference is not to a claim about what history will bring, but to the moment that it is noticed, as an absolute moment, the first and only original noticing of history in contradistinction to nature. We can say this happened around the year 1800, but an exact date, or the thinker that first caught it is not given. We do not mean to intimate Hegel, not Kant, nor Vico nor some inextricable connection between these thinkers with regard to a study of what they have transmitted one to the others, in their texts, or according to a philologist’s study of the working of various things that have been expressed in this or that text. We do not point to only Croce, or to Heidegger or some other thinker thought to have produced this problem, but to the living texture of the societies that produced this in their history, as they appear in the overall view of these matters, taken in the opening of the idea of history, and so in the presence of much that could never be summed and seen at once by persons in person.

If someone who has an acquaintance with these matters, but does not belong to our circle and so is in a way an outsider to these ideas, comes and asks how we stand in respect to the problem of the postmodern, then we must point to our method of moving in this thinking, which is almost like saying our means. If one takes, say, Lyotard as the proper representative of the postmodern, on the view that he has brought a certain juridical thinking to bear in a way that was both original and exceptionally competent, and that with respect to the philosophical treatment of the matters taken up there is evident excellence, we might still ask how he has pictured postmodernist problems with respect to their ground in order to indicate how it stands with respect to history, and to nature. The acquaintance with the objection that postmodernism is itself a kind of dogmatic position, like that made to Marx, which looks at the postmodern as a broad anarchical plethora of histories, but under one guiding principle as it were, allows for questions to be put, that themselves will yield answers at the level of simple talk.

In such talk we would indicate our readiness to attack this or that philosophy with a number of objections, which might then be answered in such a way that we might become armed for discourse, as in some bar, let us say in Comstock Saloon, in North Beach, with beer, and to chat. Or in some university lecture hall, or a colloquy, and to trade appropriate comments which demonstrate an acquaintance, and so show that one is not ignorant of these matters. In this respect we should say that the one who wants answers to such questioning would do better to cultivate an aptitude for dealing with the matters in such a way as to take them up. In something like the way one who is at the sheer mercy of trying to persuade this or that person through argument, might also begin to pursue with the example of their behavior, that their attitude would show and so speak. The character meant, with this metaphor for rising to the level of an aptitude, is not that of coercion, but of seeing the attitude as it is in the one who is oriented by their attitude. And from the practice of, oneself, taking on such attitudes.

Like this I do not claim to dispute this or that thinking, but say that if one wishes to see how we stand in respect to this matter, one will do better to come into the questions. Once one tests this or that way of aiming at this or that matter, a definite familiarity will open the questions to elucidation unavailable to that which is expressed out of a mere acquaintance.

With Spengler, who was not greatly competent as a philosopher, nor in any decisive way original, we find that something has been articulated in such a way as to be invaluable. We can not conclude that the great thinkers are the most important for us, but our sights are more widely set beyond the expressions, and the passion for knowledge of them, as exhibited in this or that book. If one wished, say, only to cultivate philosophical competence, one should go, eg, to Husserl, to Kant, to Aristotle. I give no list of those weaker thinkers, resisting the urge to invidious expression, but we have mentioned already Spengler, whilst at once elevating him. Pertinent is only the matter that exacting and concentrated study is not to be taken as the only matter. Nor, I add, is the beauty, those great beauties of speech, that dominate this or that philosopher, and give them more than a sense of having said something very powerful. And the same goes for advanced idioms, which demonstrate a sense of language far in advance one's own time. As if, say, James Joyce had become a thinker. Such trends of development can hardly be counted as a detraction, but no more are they a merit simply.

Spengler tells us that science is Western science, but that it is now everywhere, that is crucial for asking after the character of the present history, and marks a question about its genetic status, with allusion to our basic subject matter. We mention this to show that we are not to find ourselves simply within the circle of thinkers and legitimate philosophers, but in our world. So we have to go beyond certain limits without becoming arbitrary and random, a very threatening concern, and absolutely decisive to our whole orientation.

To round the matter, for someone who might ask how all this continues today, what is the general character of present day thought?, and to draw ourselves up to a confrontation with the larger situation of thought, we can say that the Anglo-English thought now current belongs still to the questioning of dogmatic and skeptical positions, which stem from the medieval schools but reach their apogee with the dawn of modernity, and the question of access through the ideas, such as are spoken of with Descartes, with the transcendent reason of Descartes (reason which replaces god) which the anglo-american thought pivotally excises, and with Locke, with the primary and secondary qualities, and in this way with the objective and subjective.

On the other side, predominant with the community of EGS-like thinking, there is the resultant of critical thought. With its great variety of compulsory invention, and inventive thinkings. Put in the sharpest possible terms, the critical, the central phenomenon of this thought and its leading star, is understood in contradistinction to the dogmatic and the skeptical. The matter of the standing of these schools do not chiefly concern us, but we mention them in order to clarify, without simplifying, the determining factors active with the large majority of active scholars. This is a mere general word on the subject, as a simple chronicling. It is, of course, clear that what is liked in this and that institution is subject to much which belongs to the theory of institutions, and their powers, one does not need to go, for instance, to Foucault or to Nietzsche (to Burkhardt) to see this, but whoever has eyes will see it at once.

This is a record of the subject we are to study, or its ground out of which we will look further, and it is a mere report. One can do no more than note all this, but what has been intended is allowing the instincts to build some strength in regard to judgment about these matters, and to the possibility of research. It is in becoming familiar beyond a mere acquaintance that we free ourselves to the possibility of going through mere talk, and into some exploration.




CHAPTER TWO: AN EXHIBITING PERTAINING TO THE IDEA OF HISTORY

In order to prepare ourselves for what follows we want to get closer to history. The moment history is grasped ontologically is the ground of our current research. ‘Moment’ here taken in the general vague sense, nothing technical is meant here. History—what is meant by that? What question do we ask when we come to history. Only one: ‘What is learning?’

We should have here a concrete entry to the question about learning, and so we shall. We shall also be learning something in learning of learning. Or we shall make the attempt. If some person from outside our circle were to come to us, asking why we do not treat learning as an issue for the clinical psychologist, cognitivist, or biological researcher we might say that we have no argument with them. The way characteristics are passed from parent to child, the commands issued and the information transferred as by proteins and so forth, we take as a truth of science. We ourselves are planned in this sense, ordered by the genetic brood. In so far as evolution already touches on the phylogenetic grounding of all learning out of the biological, and so, physical experiential world we allow all that (of course science itself admits of the motion of indefinite revision, yet tacitly it tends to think in terms of the eventual apogee of each problem, in a finding a solution as according to the general thought of progress now everywhere in the air and absolutely crystallized). With this quibblesome nod I pass away from these questions, only having touched on them so as to say something to those outside this circle, more than to assure ourselves of our armaments, or to arm ourselves for rhetorical skirmishes. What we wish to learn is how we have come to learn this scientific learning, and what that means that we know this. We take the view of history, not physics. In a certain sense this means the explicit rejection of physics (I do not mention the problem of ‘function’ as opposed to cause as with Comte, and I stay away from the matter of emergence for it is too lengthy, and it is not right to go into such things here), yet it is obscure in what way that repudiation comes. One can not serve both without admitting a radical opening into the postmodern.

First we have to set the scene while at the same time going to a particular path to the problem and we begin doing this already with our preparatory avenue.

Critical reason—what is that? The phrase has obviously descended into the nether world of gossip. This ‘reason’ stems from Descartes. Nietzsche calls it ‘a new faculty’ with a sneer at the expense of the pride of those who have discovered or invented it. When it gets home, it is on the ground of Kant. It finds and discloses itself with Kant. And somehow Kant remains its climax and central moment, and this moment is still with us, like this it is vital. But what is it? This critical reason as found in contradistinction, again, to dogmatic reason and to skeptical reason. To induction as with Hume, and to general thought. Like this, again, a specific rendering finds it outside or betwixt and between the rationalists and the empiricists. Though it is given over to the rationalists in a misleading fashion. Misleading because with them it is not the vouchsafe for the division of the two as it is with Descartes.

It finds its basic orientation from Hobbes and Locke, where production takes the place of reflection, with the production of abstract ideas, man, stone, regime, as in the ‘blank slate’ set beside the production value out of the earth. Even if I only pick a rotting apple from the ground, I use some labour, to produce what is for me of value. This is the root of modern problems, those here understood as related to Mandeville, to Adam Smith, Hegel, that what is irrational becomes latter seen as rational, the invisible hand. Here we have the ground of capitalism and communism. In that labour produces value for the capitalist, but not property which owes a debt to society. I mention this because it relates to the question of where things are from.

What is pivotal for us is that taken from this point of view, that of production, generated itself in opposition to the view of reflection, only after Kant is it possible to see Descartes as the origin of this idea of reason. But we ourselves do not intend to take up the problem in this fashion. That of the cunning of reason, or the public benefit wrought by vice-ridden bees. This view moves time tendentiously, and is connected to the crystallization of progress as a matter of progress as seen through some chronicle. (Thus the bone of contention with Marx, with Heidegger as read by Sartre, with Lyotard). We ourselves admit a kind of learning, but it has only an ontological character terminating in the moment of history. We must come into an aptitude for treating with this that is simply said, that is what we aim at in the remainder of this chapter.

Descartes says that a power, that an unlimited being, might deceive, but if he be deceived he is yet such as to be deceived, he is. Descartes follows Protestant thinking, the miracle is out, Satan remains in the world of the senses as a very ancient creature of unlimited power. Descartes makes himself god. The transcendent, from this transcendence he claims a hold on the objective, the only outside of the world. You need to see how the concept of the objective is produced, out of the older medieval thought of objects as what are thrown up against someone in the world.

Let Descartes stand in the presence of Luther, who threw his dog out of the window, taking it for the deceiver, the deceiving being. Luther understood himself in command of a judgment able to evade the unlimited power, to see through it. Draw for yourself the acquaintance with the connection between action and thinking here, that is, the action of Luther, and the thinking of Descartes, for we will bring it into actual research presently with an analogous example from Dostoevsky, which we can look at more closely from his texts. We are, like this, giving literature a grounding, so that it is not merely literature, but founded. At the same time we are giving what is chronicled ( I will say chronicle in the place of history normally understood) the chance to be taken up with greater aptitude, through what will be honed in the reading of Dostoevsky’s texts.
Following Keiji Nishitani to the development of nihilism in Dostoevsky, we look then at Raskolnikov and at Ivan Karamazov. Here it is obvious that with Crime and Punishment we have chiefly the tale of an action, but with Ivan there is the going into the ontological. As the sight of learning is shown even in the text itself. What is learning? We must ask if there is learning too, in the first case, for remembering Luther, in his connection to Descartes, we must think out whether there can be said to be a development.

Raskolnikov had an idea, so that we can see in him a man who brought an idea to action. But this idea is coming into direct conflict, almost polemical conflict, with his time. It is almost a matter of debate.

From Chapter V, Crime and Punishment: ‘I maintain that if the discoveries of Kepler and Newton could not have been made known except by sacrificing the lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men, Newton would have had the right, would indeed have been in duty bound... to eliminate the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of making his discoveries known to the whole of humanity. But it does not follow from that that Newton had a right to murder people right and left and to steal every day in the market.’

I do not give what was said by his dialogic partner, but only suggest the forcefulness of the argument, and that it is directed towards mankind, as such. It is directed towards action, but not towards a going into the action. ‘Going into the action’ would mean something more radical, I reserve that term for the account of Ivan, in his interactions with ‘Ivan’s Devil.’

I see in this, with Nishitani, a radicalization of the learning. Learning is our word, but it seems to me the treatment of nihilism can be generalized and brought to bear on the problem of Descartes with respect to his connection with Luther, and so to the idea of the new reason, there is a deepening and a going beyond, there as well. Here we are saying learning and we mean history. Whereas with Nishitini the grasp of the idea, if you like, of nihilism on its own ground, is the main thing.

With Raskolnikov the argument justifies the action: "Good God!" he cried, "can it be, can it be, that I shall really take an axe, that I shall strike her on the head, split her skull open... that I shall tread in the sticky warm blood, break the lock, steal and tremble; hide, all spattered in the blood... with the axe.... Good God, can it be?"

With Dostoevsky it is more complex. We can find in this text the double movement of illness and idea. Almost upon every page a trial by idea and a trial by illness. Yet, it all centers around the action. That is decisive in the case of Crime and Punishment. And beyond that, who will not admit that it is a story in the good rousing sense, complete with many outward happenings.

What we have said is no philological evincing, but only a pointing to the material, and very coarse. We do not intend more. Let us now turn to Ivan Karamazov, and the way the idea commands the center with him.

Ivan’s ‘crime’ is also connected to an action, but a moral and not an overt action, it is in fact so subtle as to be impossible to judge along with Alyosha, and to come out with the verdict of absolute non-involvement in the murder, that of the father by Smerdyakov. Ivan’s ‘action’ is not the murder, as with Raskolnikov, but he is in the place of critical reason. He is that by which the choice is taken, in contradistinction to commands of the genetic code on the mechanical happenings of ordinary reason (cf. Kant). See the escape from ordinary reason, into the moral reason. That is in the fuzziness of it, to the judging mind, in the carriage, it is there already in the utterance. When it began we don’t know. Whither reason? We do not intend to insist on a direct identity of moral reason and critical reason, however understood. Only to point to a few interesting features of this text as far as it could be of some use to us in sharpening our instinct for the matter of learning.

You can see how what is said does not in a simple philological way come out of the text, but that it is arbitrary we deny. If it were arbitrary, we should have failed to move beyond an acquaintance and into the attitude of the text proper to its content. An aptitude for dealing with the content marks the possibility of the exploration. And not, here, the training in a perfect decoding according to the specific expression drawn from the text.

There is something in Dostoevsky's treatment of this theme that surpasses everything in his earlier work in profundity. I give the extended central passage, but the theme is not limited to these words, but resonates throughout the novel:

““You see ... I am going to Tchermashnya,” broke suddenly from Ivan. Again,
as the day before, the words seemed to drop of themselves, and he laughed,
too, a peculiar, nervous laugh. He remembered it long after.

“It’s a true saying then, that ‘it’s always worth while speaking to an intelligent man,’ ” answered Smerdyakov firmly, looking significantly at Ivan.

The carriage rolled away. Nothing was clear in Ivan’s soul, but he looked
eagerly around him at the fields, at the hills, at the trees, at a flock
of geese flying high overhead in the bright sky. And all of a sudden he
felt very happy. He tried to talk to the driver, and he felt intensely
interested in an answer the peasant made him; but a minute later he
realized that he was not catching anything, and that he had not really
even taken in the peasant’s answer. He was silent, and it was pleasant
even so. The air was fresh, pure and cool, the sky bright. The images of
Alyosha and Katerina Ivanovna floated into his mind. But he softly smiled,
blew softly on the friendly phantoms, and they flew away. “There’s plenty
of time for them,” he thought. They reached the station quickly, changed
horses, and galloped to Volovya. “Why is it worth while speaking to an
intelligent man? What did he mean by that?” The thought seemed suddenly to
clutch at his breathing. “And why did I tell him I was going to
Tchermashnya?” They reached Volovya station. Ivan got out of the carriage,
and the drivers stood round him bargaining over the journey of twelve
versts to Tchermashnya. He told them to harness the horses. He went into
the station house, looked round, glanced at the overseer’s wife, and
suddenly went back to the entrance.”

(It is perhaps worth considering here something about intelligence in general, that it is an opening and a danger: With Socratic irony there is a requirement: an ‘Intelligent’ interlocutor. Irony will fly over the head of the fool.)

This is litigated, after the murder, in Ivan’s room. We go into the madness and it, and not the action, become the central matter:

I am not a doctor, but yet I feel that the moment has come when I must
inevitably give the reader some account of the nature of Ivan’s illness….

….

And so he was sitting almost conscious himself of his delirium and, as I
have said already, looking persistently at some object on the sofa against
the opposite wall. Some one appeared to be sitting there, though goodness
knows how he had come in, for he had not been in the room when Ivan came
into it, on his return from Smerdyakov.

We might wonder, here, whether Luther too found the dog in this manner. Was it that there was no dog? We must take that as possible, and if so the analysis must be rethought. We here suppose Luther as a man of action was dealing, in a way, with realities. It is likewise doubtful that every case of witchcraft was a simple lie, or a hallucination in regard to the giving witness. We saw here flying behind the barn, her, and no one laughs them out of court. This was no mere conspiracy, or group thinking. However, principally these comments undermine our case. for we can by no means show them to be so, and doubts arise as to various motivations, as of the actors concerned. In any case, with Luther the matter was outwardly concerned, for he ran around proclaiming the downfall of this devil as a act accomplished, and by him in the flesh.

We take this madness of Ivan and set it beside Descartes’ unlimited doubt. It was a thinking that gave way to something all out of proportion to mere thought. Whatever befalls me, I am, for I am subject to the befalling. I am no tree or stupid unreasoning brute of a dog, I am such as to be deceived. I have a ground beyond everything. This can not be taken as a mere argument, it must be that like Ivan he somehow went into his thought, and fought with it, so to speak:

“and you,” he added, addressing his visitor, “I
should have remembered that myself in a minute, for that was just what was
tormenting me! Why do you interfere, as if I should believe that you
prompted me, and that I didn’t remember it of myself?”

“Don’t believe it then,” said the gentleman, smiling amicably, “what’s the
good of believing against your will? Besides, proofs are no help to
believing, especially material proofs….

….

Well, that’s how it is now, though I am your
hallucination, yet just as in a nightmare, I say original things which had
not entered your head before. So I don’t repeat your ideas, yet I am only
your nightmare, nothing more.”

“You are lying, your aim is to convince me you exist apart and are not my
nightmare, and now you are asserting you are a dream.”


It is simple enough to pass such things off as literature. Of course, one might admit that, yes, at least in some cases such things happen. But they are uninteresting in that they are extreme, and indicate only a defect. Yet, what if Descartes is such a ‘defect’? Can it amount to that? One would then need to know how Descartes learned to come over to the ‘original things’ he found in his doubt, how they took over the ground of his being.

Luther found, or claimed to find, his doubt in the form of a dog, the trickster, the very ancient creature with great knowledge of the world. He defeated it, in the flesh. Descartes found his doubt within himself, in his chamber, where he often slept late, his doubt about the world with only creatures, and no miracles. How did his whole scientific orientation crop up out of an illness? In these questions we make a very hard tangle, possibly the knout is taking us entirely away from the matters. For now we will leave these thoughts, first we must have a more simple picturing of learning. If we are not to be entirely vague and useless, but we will not be stopped-short, rather we recommend a return after more is known.

Learning in general, a concept in its movement, reading:
I see something on a page. A word, inked lines. If I do not know how to read can I properly be said to see words there? It is likely we answer no. Yet, what is it I don’t know how to do that I will not find inked lines there? Simply some name, some artificial language (is lacking)? There is perhaps at some level nothing to orient ourselves towards, that is possible. The word doesn't point to the line. As if I built the word on the line. There is perhaps no ‘scaffolding’ but history in its movement. Not what we reflect upon out of eternity, nor what we produce from the blank slate.

This is a simple example to give us some provisional understanding. How does it stand beside the universal doubt? The doubt seems to go even beyond the level of the inked lines. From reason I then produce inked-lined? (from reason and not from the ground of some scaffolding or primitive sign) Here we take up the view that there is not a question of some blank slate, from which these things are produced, but a learning, going from Luther’s world, say, to modernity. Who today throws a dog from a window, claiming it was the devil? That would be a very marginal case, very stigmatized and a quite sad case, a severe defect of the mental faculties at the bottom of it.

We can not stay with Descartes and ‘criticism.’ We reject it, in every form. But what else is possible here? What field of study can establish the opening to this troublesome issue?

Surely something very fundamental has moved here. The flux of history. We must make some more specific sorties: If we look to Ivan, unlike with the case of Raskolnikov, we do not primarily see the case of an attempt to meet a high challenge. To prove through an act that I am extraordinary, not just some lashing wit with a strong argument. We find not even here, primarily a argument of will, a attempt to show my will, that I may order him, where as Nietzsche says, ‘he obeys’, and by that mean me. The flexing of the will is not the main thing with Ivan. There is a still deeper stratum. The extreme genius of Dostoevsky lets this remain in its primary vagueness, where it can never be seen. Yet one circles it, the text finds it and lets it resonate as with those beautiful paintings of the Chinese painters. Yet, in this case, it is even the flux, the change itself that is resonating. This is all questionable, and one only points to the ground, so those with an instinct can explore the matter. I claim it is not merely arbitrary, that is my only claim here with this look at Dostoevsky’s forceful picturings in connection with Luther and Descartes. The flux of history is there in both cases. We must see past the arguments orientations that concern paradigmatic positions, which then are forced into history, as with science. Why science? With Nietzsche the question has the flavour of asking about Burkhardt's notion of artfulness, of reflective and calculating associations, institutions, in their movement. But that does not go to the level of what can not quite be grasped, we can grasp the largest predicaments science insists on, in its idea, nature, and then we can search for the wills that were active in its coming to be, but the process by which no will is active is history. It is like a learning.

It is only this flux that must be the subject of our exploration, in our orientation, for history is many. You can see here a connection with the eternal return, with Greek thought, it is that there is a ground that is ‘changeless’ cast alongside one that is historically shifting. But this changelessness is of a dialectically transformed kind. It looks for us as if this flux is not real, where as with the Greeks it was the ‘changeless’ that was not real. There is an inverted circle that begins to show a dull outline in all this, in acquaintance. But, to get closer we must say exactly how we look at the Greek’s, into their action, as they were being.




CHAPTER THREE: A NOTIONAL ANALYSIS WITH THE AIM OF DISCLOSING THE ETERNAL RETURN ONTOLOGICALLY

We want to understand what the Greeks understood by eternal return according to the possibility of being it brought them, ontologically. Eternal return has the sense of an orienting ground. That to which human endeavors stand in reference to, as a kind of highest belief about the nature of the universe. This analysis presupposes that we are in a better position to understand the Greeks than they were themselves, as a latter thinker is better poised to see his predecessors. As a grown person looking on their youth. But, here, we are not aiming at the disclosure of this or that that has been expressed in a treatise or a dialog (as of Aristotle or Plato), but for the possibility for experience known to the Greeks in their lives. Not a why as an explanation that goes beyond observation, but a sense for the same being as the Greeks, as a resonance. The hint of this tacit and invisible orientation, as is vaguely hinted at, perhaps in the Song and Tang paintings. Or, again, as is hinted at it the extreme confusion and the illness of Ivan Karamazov.

Fantasies of exotic times? ‘Chinese nature’, as some recrudesing dream ground?, these examples are not necessary, others may be sought if these are not liked. To recover this is not a matter of a proof, or even a decoding, as of a text, but an increasing strengthening of the attitude towards what is meant by the eternal return, out of the ground of everyday living, and the feeling of being taken by its hidden drives, its invisible teleology, that which genuinely produced, or steered the Greeks in their endeavours , we must wonder into the experience of being thrilled by the sight of the eidos of the regime, but without letting experience dominate us and charm us. Experience is what I personally see. Dialogic discussion open beyond experience into the general, or the whole. This general grasping must not be allowed to take our whole attention. Rather an instinct for what tacitly directs both these categories of being is what we aim to cultivate. Especially, here, with regard to the Greek world.

Dialogue as a sphere of generality, as a thinking of the circle:

We are making our own Greek circle. We have reference to The Republic. We follow it vaguely, and keep to some of its methods.

A Republic is understood not as a structure of government, but as a regime. Regime — what is meant by that? The Greeks would have known in the everyday sense what this meant (of course, here, from the Greek politea, there is the meaning government, and the meaning regime, as seized in contradistinction to, and presence of, the laws: for laws can be handled in this and that way, and legislators can produce laws in this or that fashion). It means for us, a circling, ‘a rounded and orbicular’ thing. Hence we think of Revolutions: the regime of Peter the Great, the regime of Stalin, the regime of Vladimir the great … regimes.

What is important here is to see in each respective period, the Tsarist, the Soviet and the capitalist, a mere spinning as of a universal wheel. We think then in contradistinction to the crystallized thinking that tacitly rules every modern reflection, the thought of progress.

Again, the Nazi revolution, marks an inbetween period. Whereas the BRD can signal to the mind’s eye a simple return to a reasonable state. A diseased period, a tyrannical regime, passing back, full circle to its ground. We, today, see nothing in this but a development, nothing else, and we do not find a turning.

With Copernicus revolution still meant a perfect celestial circle, as of the perfect motion of eternal time in the ether. Elliptical motion was unknown to Copernicus.

The ground of this thinking is simpler. Space, the void, gives the boundary to earth and sky, and to human beings in their place. There is an orientation that can be found, and is eternally. There is a attempt to again and again reset this alignment, and return to it.

Before the Greeks, one kills a fox or a hen, buries some of the blood in the ground, burns some of it, lets the smoke go up, eats another, finding the center and balance. A reintegration of what was destabilized in the universe or cosmos. Again, with the dramas, one brings terror and pity into the deeply polluted psyche, catharsis, one resets. Again, with the dialogic discussions of Plato, one abstracts from the appearances, and finds space the boundary, the measure of things.

A line is lifted from the sharp profile of some thing, a dinner plate. That line is abstracted, it moves away from the world. It stands in a kind of pseudo space. In truth. It is unforgotten, we pronounce truth as a going out of the oblivious way of seeing. As a becoming seen properly. Yet we do not see space, but something that precisely makes us lose our oblivious attitude in respect to space, with respect to what always is.

Excavating the notion of eternal return is not all that we aim at, but notial understanding too falls short, empathetic motion too will not be enough. Having an acquaintance with some of the reasons the Greeks thought in terms of a circling, an eternal circling is not enough, we must do some actual research, but most of all we must feel compelled to do as did the greatest minds among the Greeks, i.e., for the deepest and most serious reasons. Why reflection? This is the question that stands over and against the Nietzschean question, why science.

Nations for us are changing, it is obvious that they change. How can we think of the movement of the regimes as anything but an evolution? With us there is the possibility of dispensing with the evaluative dimension, as with postmodernism, that regime is not better, the Nazi regime is as defensible as the BRD. It is possible to dispense in thesis, in orientation, with the moral question.

What did the Greeks, who already understood, in everyday terms, the regime in the manner that has taken us so long, just now, to bring out? Their question was about the eidos. If we think in terms of production we ask, what is the best regime, and how do we make. This question, while the Greeks ask it, is by no means the motive of their inquiry into the regime. Rather they ask what is a regime. A question rather unintelligible to us. We must see why intelligent people asked this question.

When a book is moved from its shelf a space is open, and it is said to be filled with air, many things may fill that space, a hand or a bookshelf. I find that the displacement of space, by the many kinds of things that can come into space, have a ground in space, as what is none of these many things. I find somehow that space encompases and stands always. What is always in the heavens, in the void, is space, what is always behind things here, is space. I find there is that being that always is.

With the regime, there is is this or that regime, a good one, the best one, a bad one and the worst. I find that there is always something which is a regime, a being. What is it that we live with space and the being of beings, of what I now, with training see to be the space behind this or that thing, and the eidos, behind this or that regime. This state of Putin, this is one regime, but it is also there as a regime, as the eidos, the manifold of actions come into one look, the images of the best and all the way to what is worse, the total glance as what always is.

With the Greeks, in what we speak of here, so coarsely, and inadequately, but I hope not misleadingly, there is a wish to reflect upon what always is, anywhere, in any time. Why reflection? This question seems to have its ground.

What is cyclical is, put as an explanation, a matter of the penetration of the oblivious understanding, and a drawing out of the well, some of the true water. A ruminative thinking must go beyond this mere acquaintance, so far we only say a thing or two about the problem, and do not ‘feel’ the idea, as with Dostoevsky.




CHAPTER FOUR: IDEAS ABOUT THE GENETIC CIRCLE

If I trace the determination of the large majority of thought today to the authority of the sciences I find a specific orientation, out of the thesis of the thinking of mechanical motion abstracted from evaluative or emotional positions. This could be taken as an abstraction of the anthropomorphic elements. With Locke the primary and secondary qualities, the scientific and ordinary world, remain qulia. Some are judged to be transcendent, some to be part of ourselves, or due to a kind of correlation.

This judgment itself is identical with the Cartesian reflection, the unlimited doubt, I am, thus as the one who can be fooled. A stone can not be fooled, a reasonless brute can not be fooled. A cat can not be tricked, in this sense. Animals have recourse to teleological thought, the bird solves the puzzle, for the reward. But not to that thought that ramifies the abstract content beyond the teleological spheres. Science is no teleological thinking, nature is no goal but a category of ‘any possible experience.’ The highest principles of thought belong to this judgment, not the practical matters.

If it is shown that the distinction between the primary and secondary qualities is objective, the subjective would be shown to be objective. We are lead to the most common sort of collapse, one is compelled to drop the distinction. As with Nietzsche.

We must, as above with the example of Ivan, and in some other places, go deeper than the law of human willing. Or of the will to will taken abstractly. We must go to what is invisible but like a kind of swirling as of the movement of water in a sink, resonates somehow. There is something we expect to come into, an instinct, but strictly speaking we can not say why except that we want an answer. The question has an empty ring, seen simply as a matter corresponding to intellectual pursuits, to epistemological drives.

It is more that something inadmissible in proper discourse, in scientific thought, I mean philosophical scientific thought, as with Husserl, as with observation and description, must be relied upon, a kind of primitive experience which is no experience. Someone might say this is a received problem, and say that it belongs with religious faith. The ambiguity of what is primitively directed points towards the matters treated in the history of being. Towards a general grasping of the history of being. That is the evidence that claims to give a ground, in the vaguest sense, that is of a different status from transcendent derivation of some other rationality, or some claim to an experience given to no other, as of some revelation. Nothing is said, but there's an instinct, as I say. Instincts come out of going beyond mere acquaintance. We take that as our basis. In so far as we are motivated by the specifically historical reflections we become more genuinely ensconced in this attitude, and its sequel in aptitude for exploring the issues that make up the substance of this problem.

Let us quote Strauss at some length:

Science, as the positivist understands it, is susceptible of infinite progress. That you learn in every elementary school today, I believe. That every result of science is provisional and subject of future revision, and this will never change. In other words, fifty thousand years from now there will still be results entirely different from those now, but still subject to revision. Science is susceptible of infinite progress. But how can science be susceptible of infinite progress if its object does not have an inner infinity? In other words, the object of science is everything that is being. The belief admitted by all believers in science today — that science is by its nature essentially progressive, and eternally progressive — implies, without saying it, that being is mysterious.

We locate a certain infinity in the grounds of the natural object. Science does not like the word infinity. Infinity breaks through the sphere. We must perhaps be more guarded. There is an indefiniteness to the object. The object, the concept, the basic concept of natural science.

Concept means a way of knowing what to do there. As with reading, I can read, I find words. I can do Science, I find, in my experience, the natural world. A Starbucks is no Starbucks for a man who comes from a remote bend of the Amazon, and sees that thing there, as just some thing. A thing is not an object, not a thing reduced to its primary qualities and thought as abstracted and transcendent of the human world.

The concept is not only a matter of values, as if of appraisal or evaluation. Concept refers us back to the Greek eidos. We begin to move in a circle which is wider than that of the will, it is not a matter of a chaos. It is a matter of a circular or orbicular perspective in the historical field. But, we have no time. History is not the empty homogeneous time of the object. It is not that I abstract myself as a subject, and then make clear to myself what is inescapable and exists transcendently, thus the object, and its motion, taken as a clock time. Neither is time, the time that we do not have, this remainder of qualitative time, as with the human being, understood as a natural being or as the subject of duration in the collapse of subjective and objective distinguishing. This having of no time is oriented towards the flux of history.

We find a rupture in the sciences that move through the self-orientation of the sciences, towards the transcendent object. And we see that it is not a matter of valuation, as if to say, ‘Why science?’. We do not evade but stay with. It was always possible to understand the thesis of objectivity as not best, or as a specific modification of human thing


Last edited by Avital Ronell on Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:03 am; edited 11 times in total
Back to top
Avital Ronell
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....., experiencing, that is oriented by natural science, by nature in that thesis, can not be shown to be best. Best would be an evaluation.

We, however, do not refer to an overthrow that decides us against the object thesis. It is part of the circle in which we move and as relevant as the coordinates we find in Attic world, and with the islands. Hence, we are likely to become disoriented. The situation of the disoriented researcher, so confusing and strange, nonetheless finds a stable orientation in the flux of history as a ‘what always is.’ It is for that reason that I speak of a dialectic. Something is retained in the movement of the orientation, that is moreover decisive to the human being, or could be.

This is all a very provisional survey, and we have to take it that there are many errors herein. The pursuit of this question is perhaps possible.
Back to top
Avital Ronell
Guest





PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mistaken location of post.
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    School of Economic Science - Study Forums Forum Index -> Plato Forum All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
This forum is sponsored by the School of Economic Science for use by its members; members of its branches; members
of affiliated schools worldwide and by all other Internet users interested in the study subjects presented.
Powered by phpBB Copyright © FSES, 2007. All Rights Reserved