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The Greek Designation of the Animal, or Life Simply.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:34 pm    Post subject: The Greek Designation of the Animal, or Life Simply. Reply with quote

I was just meditating about the Greek understanding of the animal, and thought I would think it through by writing about it. Perhaps someone will find something more to say after what follows.

I begin with a word on the world of the human.

The human:

What does it mean to go beyond what is immediately intelligible without doing so: to go beyond the penultimate (the genus) which is vague, to the true definition (the specific difference) and then on to poetry. It means growing awareness.

I walk to the cafe along the road, someone looks as if they are going to cut in line, I am anxious, pensive, I order my coffee, the coffee comes, all this is both bland and immediately intelligible, I am about the things and feelings I have named, they are there, I have the coffee and I go to sit, I sip the coffee: I see the world in all its sharpness and freshness. That is to go to the level of determination known to poetry. It is to bring more into what is immediately intelligible, into the sleepiness of the way the thing looks, and so the way it is.

But that was there unexpressed; it is a matter of consummate awareness. One says that ‘only a poet can say it,’ and this means that poets have not yet become pale, blanched, like a plethora, like grammarians.

--

Presuppositions: although I am in a way an animal too, I must speak of the animal as some living thing, something that I might talk about, and so the animal is the animal, simply, by way of human being.

I speak from out of the being of what is, so that in a way it is being that speaks here, about some things, or about nothing which is the lack of something and not, if you will, truly nothing.

poesis (meaning making) i.e., teleology as ergon

ποιέω (poieo, “to make”)

Is the animal a poet? No. By metaphor you could say so, but not literally. Poetry means bringing more awareness to what is. Bringing more means that an animal has no things that they are about. Rather they have emotion, thought of in the sense of the deer late at night startled by the rustle in the bushes. They have no things which they are about. To name is to bring awareness, thus I name the stone, the circle. Now I am ‘out and about.’ The same as when someone says, what are you talking about, nonsense? To talk nonsense is to talk about nothing. That is the privative state of discourse; one does not find those beings clearly before the mind as one does with memories that are vital. What is there in the telling is what is truly existing for awareness.

When I go from saying animal, to saying hooved animal, I find more awareness, and more being there. Likewise the poetic description of the gleam of the fur brings more. The animal has no poetry, and no existing poetry, though, by metaphor, there may be poets among animals. Yet their poetry, which is by metaphor, never exists. One can even sense as much, the proof is that certain animals are more charming or more intriguing than others, not by species, but by themselves alone. But the animal has no access to the ergon; rightly speaking the animal does not see the light upon their hide or the gleam of the fur.

This is what, in early times, when people had much greater discourse with animals, and so were not burdened with histrionic sentimentality, called low animal cunning: that the animal is very intelligent. They said this and meant at the same time that randomly, as it were, some people also show sparks of cleverness, but with the animal, this cleverness, has no existence for the animal, although it too can be trained and brought to a consummate level, not only by man, but within the community of the animal, through learning. In this sense the intelligence of the animal has nothing to do with it not living amidst things, and not being about this and that task.

These modern sentimental difficulties, which tend to make an attachment to the animal indispensable, bring indignance in the one who reads, ‘the animal is poor in world’ for they know better… They have not understood, for the ground of the poverty so spoken must be grasped. This is a difficulty, intrinsic to our age, in the inquiry about the matter of the ergon; and so about being. We should not allow the demand of this clarification to slip from our grasp.

All this, however requires first the proof that the discourse is not dogmatic and abstract. Otherwise in the hearing one will be dismissive. Since it will be passed off as mere talk that an object is an object by virtue that it has an outline, and that we call it an object will be called mere convention, and a muddle will quickly yank us away from the matter. So one must be able to show directly and immediately that the stone sitting there can not merely be something we say, and not a convention, but at the same time, that without the words, why should we find it a body at all, why should it be that outline that counts as a stone, and not something else? There must be a ground from which existence somehow crops up. So that one can be about one’s allotted tasks.

All this that hovers above the startled deer, or the sleeping bird that shoots out of its tree branch, seems perhaps to move just as thoughtlessly, yet we call this ‘our life?’ In what sense is it ours? We will wonder at this designation if it occurs to us that all this existence is a scaffolding above the life of the deer (we too being animals, but rational or existing ones) that is startled and so darts into the brush, the deer that itself is about nothing and no task; though, to be sure it lives and was startled, the deer itself and not some bicycle wheel, somewhere down the chain of a mechanism, turned by the movement of a man’s legs.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take this as antiphony to your hard to respond to, yet needing response post (first section). It doesn’t seem that not dwelling in poetry is adequate

Long ago I was writing a poem and this came out;
I give two from four verses. I see different worlds in it and many interfaces. I might have called it Interfaces if I were prone to titles, which I’m not - and that would have been a terrible title.


The days are hot my friend
The tea cups tinkle and the strawberries are sweet
The coffee mugs pile up, and spoons
Are strewn extraordinarily about the place
The helichrysum hangs on the wall to dry
And a dead wasp lies clinging to the window frame
So near the formless yet holding its shape
Out of sheer stubbornness.


Insecta: Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera,
Mostly diptera, unstartled by the season's repetition,
Go their way. They do not penetrate the cycle,
Or if they do, they choose to forget.
Yet I do not forget, I await the dissolution
I await December, January, February
And the agony they bring
And the chasm they pose for all sentient life

I call writing poetry when you couldn’t care less what people think of it, and yet you care intensely about what is being written. Man is startled by the years because he does penetrate the cycle, his memory takes note. Because of this he bears the burden of past and future, yet knowing, when he thinks, they have no separate existence.

The lines continue:

My desires are temperate my friend
Excess of life startles me; I do not wish
To glimpse beneath the panoply
Nor linger at the hot-dog stall in the Strand
Or warm my hands over roasted chestnuts
Along the precincts of Shaftsbury Avenue.
That world is dead: Its figures
Its inhabitants, its conversations consumed;
Once touched by the flame of existence,
Flourished, then obediently awaited their dissolution
There are also seasons in the world of man.


November is the magic month
It conjures itself out of the dark
Carves a myth in the dank moonlight
And post Octumbral mists that scan sweetly
The Downs and the Stoke Newington evening air.
I await November, I am always awaiting her
For in November I feel the soft smoky tresses of her hair
I await the autumnal fires that flicker in her
November eyes, and I will always taste November
In my evening soul.

What these words say I both know and do not want to know because the is pain in them. The word octumbral does not exist at least not in English - I made it up - but it means ‘something-to-do-with-October'.

You cannot chastise a poem for not saying what you want it to say.


Last edited by Peter Blumsom on Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There’s is a question about the awareness. One might live in a poem, in ‘Being’s poem,’ as Heidegger puts it, but not know it. It is inadequate to live in a poem and not know it.

Perhaps a poem from Dostoevsky can tease out the place from which we might be able to ask about this matter:

1. ‘They're bad because they don't know they're good. When they find out, they won't rape little girls. They have to find out that they're good, and they'll all become good....’

2. "If you were to find out that you believe in God, then you'd believe in
Him; but since you don't know that you believe in Him, then you don't
believe in Him," laughed Nikolay Vsyevolodovitch.

It’s important to note the second statement is made by a nihilist, if he is mocking then it perhaps shows that he could at least bring himself to despise. Yet as nihilist he must advance the view of indifference. That shows he is not simply, naively, for maintaining the view that there is no god. The situation comes to him as a preference, out of a deliberate observation of the matter. In other words, for him, it was possible to take up another stance.

It is not always possible to take up 'another stance.'

Example: Someone is standing behind a first-rate cabinet maker, speaking to that person, as they work cutting a hinge, that person moves away, another comes in, the cabinet maker turns and thinks that he sees the first person (now he is for maintaining that he is with person a, naively, that person looks like a, and so is a), the one with which he was just talking, then he hears this second person speak, all at once he knows that he has made a mistake and so no longer sees person a.

The coming into awareness here signals the collapse of the poem, so, I was living in a poem?, I thought person a was there beside me, but it was person b, but all the time I thought that I was not really aware that I was in a poem, dreaming being. But there is no judgment, the mistake is seen to be a mistake, and the new view comes in.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why should the poem collapse? What you are saying needs a bit more saying. As it is it doesn’t stack up. You give no reason why you describe him as a first rate cabinet maker. Is that relevant? Would your metaphor have worked if he had been a lousy carpenter? Perhaps you are not really talking about poetry per se. I suspect there is a revisiting of Wongkew and the Goblin about this. The THEAETETUS problem of perception. Perhaps I’m wrong but to me this continues to be the May-pole you are gathering your knots around.

1
Quote:
. ‘They're bad because they don't know they're good. When they find out, they won't rape little girls. They have to find out that they're good, and they'll all become good....’

2. "If you were to find out that you believe in God, then you'd believe in
Him; but since you don't know that you believe in Him, then you don't
believe in Him," laughed Nikolay Vsyevolodovitch.


I'm hopefully missing something here for I fail to be startled by these words. Probably because from an early age I was impressed by Gurdjieff’s “Man is legion.” The man who makes a vow on Sunday night is not the same man who wakes up into Monday morning. That is, unless he knows himself. If this is our hypothesis there is no problem with a man both knowing and not knowing. Which Socrates was comfortable with but the excellent geometer wasn’t, it seems, ready to see the implications of all this.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The words show what is to happen in the example. To be ‘startled’ you must actually think through the example. The example is about transformation. So if a man can be another randomly, just by sleeping, we must find out if he can do that by habit. Or if he can master that art, that of changing being.

You treat the material like a fool. You ask only, is that in words a problem? Think, rather, what it means in life. Try to find out what it is to wake up and see your wife is another. You are treating the material like an old fool puffing his pipe for emphasis with every idiocy that comes out of your mouth. Wake up.

I know all about this transformational fellow; that is obvious to me. Rest assured that is already thought through.

The question here is not about ‘knowing and not knowing’ it’s about the difference between having a preference, because I want to persuade you, and simply affirming what is as a fact (because I see it so seriously and genuinely. That is called here being, not knowledge; knowledge I will reserve for theory; as it is used in the sciences.) What one truly inquires about as always being there in what one inquires about directly, without possibility of changing. Thus, the moon and the sun are there, the ocean is dark like the night, and the earth is under foot. for the Greeks, at Athens, these things make up the One of Parmenides when they come as generalizations into the universal understanding of what all see: they argue and try to convince themselves beside the law courts about what all come to agree upon, as one world.

I find those things such, more or less. So does another, more or less. I do not come to this or that opinion about them being there every morning. Another understands me when I name those things, I say something, I don't talk mere nonsense. The name is there with what is truly before me, as the universal understanding, the form. The Greeks knew there were many opinions about the kind of things that you speak of, that is obvious. If a man is different everyday that is the same as saying there are a plethora of opinions about those things about which one can deliberate, what your not seeing is the level of the iffrence here spoken, your blind to that, it means opinions about justice about beauty and not those things that simply are, the stone, mud, hair, that was what lead to scepticism (the confusions about high theory); the multiplicity of views about the proper and improper understanding of what could be changed; nomos, normative, normality. It is in the first lines of Odyssey, Odysseus saw many peoples and many minds (nous). But that I see a face there does not change, it is a face, that is somthing generaly understood. And it does not depend on the word of another. That is what changes in the example. What is there as what only a fool tries to persuade others about. ‘Only a fool’, is important for the Greeks, because man is rational animal. Only a fool means when one wishes or insists on what is impossible.

Hannah Arendt tells us what Nietzsche meant by superman when she says that when she understood together with another she found an equal standing there. Is that not pleasurable? To fill one’s own plate with the life of another. We have a question about what happened in 1933, we sort through it, was that due to the spirit that rejected the ‘revolt of the masses’, or to some American thesis about corporations and big business?, was that latter notion perhaps the sheer passing off of one’s own sins as those of another? In asking this question together like this we might submit to this way of asking the problem as a premise, already we have understood and come to the same ground in so far as we are seriously moving in the region of the same problematic. If I say come let us understand together then I mean bend your will to the common weal. Because if we are to acknowledge the understanding of what is said we must go from what is there for me, to what is more or less in my grasp. If you read what I say, and then nod, you more or less compromise yourself. That is Nietzsche's point [cf. Max Stirner].


The example is basically arbitrary, but one might find a higher concentration in the first-rate cabinet maker. That is important, because in what we do as a drilled action, learned by rote, we do without conscious deliberation. That means the there is something like a captivation involved. We don’t think about the swing of the bat, but already before the pitcher releases the ball we have determined what we are going to find there. Yet, a good cabinet maker should be able to tell you everything, in principle, about what he is doing there. Why that wood, why hinges like that, and so on. Thus one can have knowledge about a thing that is decided ahead of time.

The moment when this artisan believed that there was person a behind them, when it was person b, was a moment of captivation. Yet he could have told us a great deal about person a that was true. The only thing that he didn’t do was challenge the fact of a being there, that he could not do; it was too obvious. He has an understanding, that person is there, he has knowledge, this or that fact about the person, more than that he feels that person there. The poem is in the realm of the mood, that is where he might have found out, in a way, without sudden collapse, what was going on there.

There is a profound ambiguity in the knowledge that comes from the poem. We might see how far that stretches by thinking through the higher ambiguity found in Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov: in the attempted imputation of moral opprobrium, through complicity, upon Ivan, in the conversation with Smerdyakov, namely, ‘You see ... I am going to Tchermashnya,’ (this meant the fellow went to a city closer than Moscow, so as to return faster after the murder of his father; Smerdyakov willed that action to be understood thusly and in no other way; that is how being works, how it forms and becomes authority about what did happen). But that was not Ivan’s explicit reason (though he sensed it in poem, which unwritten is the all pervading mood) for assenting to go to Tchermashnya; he didn’t know all that. In fact, still without seizing on the reason he went to Moscow, thus rejecting the compact. Indeed, there is the possibility in discourse to assent without being aware, and to slip away without knowing it, we do that all the time, but in this case we come upon the profound ambiguity of what is not quite known, what is not quite assented to, but what lingers in a fiery cloud, betwixt and over conscious deliberation. That is the realm of the ‘daimon thing.’

Don’t pervert the examples and call them literally, but take them and find what they point to in everyday life. By about what is named therein. The obstinacy of what remains misshapen in our understanding my hang on the wrong understanding of the things closest and most reflexive.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The question here is not about ‘knowing and not knowing’ it’s about the difference between having a preference, because I want to persuade you, and simply affirming what is as a fact (because I see it so seriously and genuinely. That is called here being, not knowledge; knowledge I will reserve for theory; as it is used in the sciences.)


What I do wish to know is what is it you are ‘affirming as a fact’ regarding your example of the cabinet-maker and the watchers behind him? And please stick to the point.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

--

In thinking it over, I must admit, it is only true tongue-and-cheek that those examples are poems. They are rather poems only in the context of the novel as a whole. That was an act of levity on my part. But, there (above) they serve as formal guidance (as if to say, almost as mathematical expressions) about the proper understanding of the use of the example about the cabinet maker.



Quote:
The question here is not about ‘knowing and not knowing’ it’s about the difference between having a preference, because I want to persuade you, and simply affirming what is as a fact (because I see it so seriously and genuinely. That is called here being, not knowledge; knowledge I will reserve for theory; as it is used in the sciences.) ”

What I do wish to know is what is it you are ‘affirming as a fact’ regarding your example of the cabinet-maker and the watchers behind him? And please stick to the point.


I understand inquiring about what is there, the fact as we call it, before me, as being in the Greek mind at Athens before the Areios Pagos as being opposed to deliberating about some matter. The former is history and the later science.

If this thing here, the stone, is hard, I know that. Only a fool will say I wish that the stone were soft, that is impossible. Only a fool will say I prefer to find the stone soft. That is at best a road that leads to a discussion about binarity or some such modern imbecility that is a raft of medieval perversions carried over into ourselves.

What is hardness without softness?, what is the idea of softness?, the abstract quality? Those are perhaps genuinely Greek problems, everybody has legitimately different views, they are not simply imbeciles there, not simply for the impossible (or simply huberistic and therefor inadmissible), we are familiar with such discussions in Plato, it is not here a question about the fact that the stone is hard. That is an epistemological discussion about the character of the knowledge about the stone.

The premise is this, history is sure, it means what is there before me genuinely, but in regard to the non-bodily things there is a question. I.e., what does it mean that I have a right to water my goats in the field with the tall grass by the river. What is that right? the war about knowledge for the Greeks is about those abstract things. They never considered that the world as such could come into question as world.

What is below goes to circumnavigate the issue, because we need the right orientation towards it in order to take it up seriously within ourselves as something we understand. I will point you to this 'encyclopedia entry' bellow, perhaps you will undertake to look around the material here, to go towards a place where the engagement with the problem will become possible.


---

We can also add this entry to the encyclopedia (read as desired): a concern with what was and what was not known to the Greeks at Athens; in the light of what is and is not, not to non-historically savvy persons in the medieval periods, ('medieval' thought according to their determination by philosophical and not political or academic disciplinary standards), and what is known in the present age by those who have not gone far with their studies, but remained within experience, thought as historical experience with all its attendant determinations:

In the Meno, by example, Socrates is asked by the vicious fellow, Meno, about virtue, apparently to the end that Meno thinks if virtue is useful, and can be taught, he should like to gather its advantages to himself.

Socrates says, after the stock oaf, the eiron, I know not even what virtue is, so how can I presume to take up the lectern, producing in students sure knowledge about the matter?

This rude stance, will you admit its content?, means: I have weighed it deeply, but the end of my thought is in not finding the end of my thinking over the issue of virtue. However, what’s important for us here, is that Socrates does know what virtue is, he understands what it is in simple life. I.e., it is that that he can identify in certain concrete acts, as virtuous.

The medieval problem of universals means: those acts are virtue or virtue is some occulted thing beside from those concrete instances. I am either nominalist, I say they are only those instantiations, or realist, I say there is virtue as such.

The view I wish to examine starts with the presupposition that for Plato and Aristotle this is not in question: the idea is certainly real, it is what allows me to discuss what is generally known with another, but does it sit alongside the bodily things, or does it dwell far off in the heavens? that is the dispute between Plato and Aristotle. Aristotle, of course, takes up the latter view. However neither of these men broke with Socrates’ word, concerning the mud, the hair and the stone. Those things are not worthy of ideas. Neither moon nor sun, nor sea, nor earth. Those things make up the composite world that always is, the dispute about the ideas concerns only that which comes up at the rock of Ares, at the law court. Concerns about what is proper and improper, what is good (dikē) and what is hubristic in the city; in the life of the city that can be changed and is at issue.

Socrates never read Gurdjieff. Do you dispute it? It’s nice that Gurdjieff lived in a time when German Historicism had long since produced the theory of the transformation of the world as world. Not view about the world, but the world. Not man in a world, man as world. (By the way, since we are pointing to authority, I myself am using the word ‘man’ to mean human beings and to mean individuals after the usage of Lebbeus Woods. The pronoun retains its historical link, but now it is to be thought inclusively in the way appropriate to our usage, this ‘our’ is obscure in its reach, to the view one takes according to what now prevails, to what obstinately is and what will thus always have been for those that do not look at history).




Tacitly we think if some Gurdjieff, passing himself off as having spiritual insight, says one changes, that that could have always been so. Yet what matter if he did or did not have some spiritual insight? Language communicates that to everyone, it was already there as a possibility of language. Someone that fits the part steps in as an authority, that is trivial. I am not against citing authority, nor against your bringing mention to Gurdjieff, however, if you ask me, it is the awareness of language that we should get a firm purchase on here.

The issue is whether one wakes up to find oneself a bug, or to find one’s coffee table a lion, or to find one’s hands made of glass. That is not usual, if it happens we call it madness. If that is a possibility we must then ask is it merely psychological. No. Then we must ask about that, to ask about it we need to firmly locate it. To locate it we need to speak of it. It only became possible to speak of around the year 1800. For Socrates there was no language to describe what he found out. That was a aporia, blockage.

Of course everywhere one finds vile people who discover in antiquity what only became possible later. That is mostly due to ignorance of the historical conditions. Here it is easier, provided we know that Gurdjieff did not live in the time of Socrates, and he did not have the language available to describe his so-called spiritual experiences. It is language that is spiritual in this case. One gains access to it, and it tells of what is out of itself to all. .
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This text is in some ways muddled, but I find it not utterly so. In fact it is more open than all but a few. However this is a long addition, without breath for reading even what is already put down, it is fraught with difficult sections, some needlessly so, I can only say that in a way I can’t help this, I think this text is not without value.

In regard to the ‘fact’ I think one can be more precise, so I have made another stab (these remarks are for whomsoever shall find it of interest):

The thing that is ‘always’ there means the thing that is primarily there, which is to say, simply there in Aristotelian terms, as the thing that is exhibited in unconcealment. In order to study what that is properly I find it is necessary to get a familiarity with unconcealment.

In order to bring out my own view I want to mention something that has been pointed out to me in the analysis of Heidegger found in Derrida’s book about the animal. My intention is to bring out my own view by saying what it is not; through juxtaposition. Unfortunately, I do not have the book here, so I will have to rely on memory as I can not find the whole text online. Simply, my intention is to display the best view, I call the best view (by presupposition its orientation is determined by being) the one that makes sense so as to produce genuinely fruitful understanding (remembering [let this part, this parenthetic annotation, stand as apodictic and only for those who understand it for the moment] that the concept itself, that of simple understanding, is thought as the primordial concept, in so far as its exhibition to reason is inviolate and simple, which means, it has no so-called ‘as such’ structure proper [i.e., there is no something there called a genuine definition of the concept beside a more-or-less form open to negotiation]), this means in a way that one will inevitably disparage other views, which are in themselves more or less competent (the test of this ‘bestness’ is thus not philological, one does not say, this view is more like what, e.g., Heidegger, has intended, not at all! the determining factor is the concept as concept in its primordial character, and thus in the way it structures reason, in so far as reason keeps to the presupposition that it stands on its own feet. Reason here means nothing less than negotiation [one could add absurdly, negotiation concerning being-- what else?) In this book we find, on the final pages, a peculiar thing. We are told the animal only understands the utility of things. The justification for this view is not given. We are told only that the animal can not ‘let be.’

Letting things be, having the ‘austerity’ to do so, is what Heidegger calls poetry. Poetry, Derrida believes, this I infer, he does not say so explicitly so far as I know, has to do with the ‘as such’, whatever he may take that to be (I do not intend utterly to proscribe abstract language, it is simply my intention to point to the excessive use of it in this text of the commentator above mentioned). Instead of using the abstract language we shall here attempt to exhibit to ourselves what is, indeed, spoken of. Here the issue is that beside from what is available as the moment [a moment which is not properly ‘lit’ with being so as to have no true differentiation, a moment, yes, but ‘a moment alone’], as a moment, as the moment of a world, there is a learning about what is to be done there. That learning is not yet a concept (or ‘vivified’ form) in the Kantian sense. A concept means that which can be unconcealed. There is not, it is not merely a thesis, unconcealment for the animal. I say it is not merely a thesis and I mean I will attempt to demonstrate it presently [and at the same time, that it seems to me that it is demonstrable, that is, to my own satisfaction.]

Derrida has not been able to understand just why the ‘as such’ as he calls it, does not rely on the logos (in the section where he mentions the fundamental possibility of deception as essential characteristic of the logos [this is closely related to the matter that one must say the thing that is not: the theme of Socrates proper], and where he mentions at the same time Lacan). ‘As such’ means that when I see that which has the look of a garbage can, I see a garbage can. Notice here the doubling. It means the something there is a garbage can. It means the something there, that is there, is also more or less the general form called garbage can. It means the something there is also what I can negotiate about with others. That I can negotiate means that the thing has come into sight, is not wholly concealed.

This ‘as such’ means as much as being in its character of what is gathered. Gathering means that we have an articulation of concepts that are exhibited in the logos. In preparation for what follows immediately, consider what it is to walk in the early morning, when no one is about. And then to be ‘called into being’ by a voice.

To understand what this exhibiting amounts to consider the following: Will I feel exposed among speakers of a foreign language, among foreigners? Foreign language speakers make one feel more ‘concealed’ than would speakers of our own kind. Does he dare to speak here of ‘kinds?’ It is as if we must find a greater typological distinction than that of mere scientific taxonomization. They don’t ‘get it.’ They do not quite understand what ‘it’ is doing. That means our world is in a way hidden, what we say means something in our language, and to us, about this ‘as such.’ What we say means what it does in our language. In the concept I remain partly hidden from the foreigner. I am thus relieved of the necessity to negotiate in the way I would with someone of my own language group. There a kind of slackening, a kind of friendship of misshapen creatures, of weaklings, is produced, oh, so you don’t get it?, let me help you. It is not possible for them to find me wholly naked, they can not humiliate me as my ‘own’ can. In this precise respect, that nothing of the concept of the animal is exhibited, the animal is totally concealed. Thus the animal, properly speaking has no concept. There is rather a learning about the something that is there, as a performativity of kinds, that can not be negotiated in the logos. The animal remains solitary in this respect. That is the main meaning of the word of Eckhart, that one is homesick, to be homesick is in its basic meaning to wish(?), but what word shall one use here?, to be concealed, to be oneself by oneself.

In this we have not shown why the so-called ‘as such’ to repeat an abstract phrase, does not rely on the logos. The question here is a simple ambiguity, Heidegger speaks of reliance and he means that the logos is that through which it happens, but not that upon which it relies. Thus as in classical philosophy beauty names the ordering principle, the good names that upon which everything relies. The logos itself relies on thinking. Thinking here means that which the gathering as the articulation of being relies, in so far as it is ‘steered’. the point is simple enough, we have what Kant calls an intuition, that is a moment, we have a moment, that is what the animal has, if in that moment there is a division of forms, there is a something there and a being that is general that has an ‘as such’ structure. Again, I see there something with the look of a garbage can, it is also more-or-less [as such it is] that garbage can about which I can negotiate about with others.

Here there is a genuine ambiguity. That is, ambiguity about the way we are to think the transiting from the intuition, which is life as such, the having of a moment (not being in a moment as if it could be divided), an unarticulated moment without exhibition, which also means, having a world (which the animal does indeed have), to the so-called about-structure. This we have discussed above. About means the same as, I speak about something and not about simple ‘talking nonsense’ as Achilles imputation of Agamemnon had it. Talking about means the same as, what I say has also entities of which I name in the saying. However, here, already, the nonsense implies not the mere having-a-moment of the animal world, but the privative state of exhibition.

The peculiar remark of Derrida, in the final page or two, concerning the animal as utilitarian is wholly unjustified. That the animal can not ‘let be’, and thus is no poet, means simply that the animal does not exhibit, does not speak. The question here is about the movement, we see this in several of Heidegger's works, from the ‘cave’ to the ‘sun’ and back, Heidegger's addition is the ‘and back’, the animal is unable to get to the sun: the sun is the awareness of the poem in its making known of the whole. That is the simple point. Here, in the talk about ‘cave’ and the ‘and back’, we are speaking metaphorically and dogmatically, in so far as we do not explicitly give understanding the chance to apprehend what is said. In the hunting of what is said merely in the speaking one might awaken more than one would otherwise provided one is somehow inspired in that.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing here that seems to need response, or indeed could be be responded to. One looks at a painting on the wall in a gallery and thinks, there are many fine brushstrokes here, but little is clear. Your ideas in my opinion seem impossible to clarify, by me and, apparently, by you, so at this point I will cut my losses (in time spent) and throw in my hand.

I hope you find an interlocutor of your own stature.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing of a ‘painting’ in what was said. It is directly accessible to ordinary readers.

A man comes out of prison after many years and is handed a box with symbols on it.

Do you find that sentence, the one immediately above, a ‘painting’, or can you understand it? Do you see what I am indicating by 'understanding' in this case? In an ancient Greek context we could call this nous, and oppose it to epistemology (histēmi).

PS

It seems hard to even imagine anything at all that you won't find a 'poem' or a 'painting.' Has anyone ever devised anything of that kind?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see now that we have to make our steps, and that we can not rush through. Thus a provisional discussion is in order.

I wish to let Plato speak to us here. But will you allow that Plato will not show himself, because words are not pictures? We may listen, and even speak to Plato. It is possible that he will point us to something, but he will not picture it, that we must do ourselves. Perhaps you will grant me that?

the Laws, circa [888e]
Athenian Stranger:
It is stated by some that all things which are coming into existence, or have or will come into existence, do so partly by nature (φύσει), partly by art (τέχνη), and partly διὰ chance (τύχην).

I purpose to understand these three as follows: growth, skill, and luck. I say luck because chance seems to have a neutral connotation which is unknown to the Greeks. Neutrality is at best the province of art for the Greeks, if we think of the legislator, who deliberates without interest we might see something of that. But would that be neutrality; a lack of elan?, or the zealous prosecution of the duty of the legislator in accord with what is best. Thus there is no randomness or chance for the Greeks, there is luck and perhaps serendipity.

You, who have some skill in the treating with this text, the Laws, might bring us into a felicitous familiarity with the three terms named by the stranger. My wish is to prepare for the possibility of understanding what I have said above through these three expressions. If these are expressions that can lead us to what they name, we will ourselves be ready to put them to work.

---
Let us not discuss this now, that would require a seminar, I only want to bring it to our peripheral attention:

So, in passing I note the question I aim to bring us beyond, we ourselves, and not the Western tradition, or some abstract person. It is as well, at this point, to move according to a goal. Later we could forget this.

the Stranger says [890a]:
“according to nature,” which consists in being master over the rest in reality, instead of being a slave to others according to legal convention.

Experience is scientifically placed prior to theory. That means the observation of ‘Fire and water and earth and air’ are thought as non-dogmatic. Pure description is tacitly presupposed here. Thus we find that generalities are the mere product of observation.

We can remind ourselves of the whole history of the world, so far as it concerns us as serious thinkers, by hearing Nietzsche:

In what follows ‘blood’ means life or experience or observation and ‘spirit’ means theory or dogma or interpretation:

‘Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.’ this interpretation of Hegel, of his comprehensive science, that of human beings tout court, is the concluding word on the subject. One can no longer say more. Since one can say no more we become silent [here we remember Hobbes whose analysis ‘And words whereby we conceive nothing but the sound are those we call absurd, insignificant, and nonsense. And therefore if a man should talk to me of a round quadrangle; or accidents of bread in cheese; or immaterial substances; or of a free subject; a free will; or any free but free from being hindered by opposition; I should not say he were in an error, but that his words were without meaning; that is to say, absurd.’was brought to its consummate form by Wittgenstein], but this silence is a kind of resolve. The resolve is a kind of reason, and not a willing at all (even less is it a theory). Reason has not yet been activated at all.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
<<I purpose to understand these three as follows: growth, skill, and luck. I say luck because chance seems to have a neutral connotation which is unknown to the Greeks. Neutrality is at best the province of art for the Greeks, if we think of the legislator, who deliberates without interest we might see something of that. But would that be neutrality; a lack of elan?, or the zealous prosecution of the duty of the legislator in accord with what is best. Thus there is no randomness or chance for the Greeks, there is luck and perhaps serendipity.>>

In this passage in Book Two of Odyssey we have a scene set out for us. You’ll know it with your love of Homer so I won’t go into the details except we are at an extraordinary meeting of the Ithakan ekkleisia called to discuss among other things the behaviour of Penelope’s unwanted suitors.

Telemachus in frustration calls on Zeus to free him of these thugs.

“Now Zeus who views the whole wide world sent a sign to him,
launching a pair of eagles from a mountain crest
in gliding flight down the soft blowing air
wing tip to wing tip quivering taut, companions,
till high above the assembly of many voices
they wheeled, their dense wings beating, and in havoc
dropped on the heads of the crowd a deathly omen
wielding their talons, tearing cheeks and throats;
then veered away on the right hand through the city”

Well, maybe this was just a couple of birds, perhaps no more than unheroic gulls diving and scuffing the crowd, a random act without meaning - it happens, it has to me. A chance event.

But Homer has already set the wheels in motion to make a significant statement. This event seems to have started with Telemachus, but, not so for there has been (if you remember) a goddess present - though in disguise. It was begun in heaven, and no one would have known its significance except there was this old man present among the onlookers, a Lord Halitherses by name “keenest among the old at reading birdflight into accurate speech”. He tells all present that Odysseus will return soon after nineteen years away from home, and that the suitors had better drop their suits immediately. “I know a sign when I see one. I see all this fulfilled."

This is an extraordinary passage, because the Odyssey is not a fairytale. It connects us to a real world where people have real, and sometimes unexplained, emotions. There is both randomness and order, unlike in a story told by someone with his own agenda. I disagree with you on one important point, the Greeks knew about both meanings of τύχην: random chance and luck in the forms of both good and bad omens, and linked of course to Zeus through Apollo. Listen to the reaction of the suitors to this event.

“But Eurymakhos retorted:
‘Old man, go tell the omens for your children
at home, and try to keep them out of trouble.
I am more fit to interpret this than you are.
But life aplenty is found in the sunny air,
Not all of it significant.”

The suitors view is not much different to modern man. In this respect Homer shows he understand the modern world as keenly as the ancient. I wonder if you agree that this passage reveals Homer's universality.

Quote:

<<…it is not here a question about the fact that the stone is hard. That is an epistemological discussion about the character of the knowledge about the stone.>>


There are things to be said about quality toios. I already have shown how Ficino saw it. Toios is ever dyadic in nature. We can conceive of temperature as being all states of hotness and coldness, but no one ever felt temperature except as those other two – and they show not as themselves but in a body, and in that body, inanimate or animate, as gathered towards that which is percipient. These are facts beyond the accidental fact of whether a stone is ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ to some or other person; and even further beyond ‘preferences’ (I need guidance, by the way, as to why that word is relevant). So wherever there is twoness in the form of a quality it craves threeness in the form of that which receives the quality. In other words it craves completion. I use the word ‘crave’ in the same way that Ficino poetically describes quality in his Platonic Theology, which I have already quoted on the Gorgias thread. You are right, there is poetry in many things.


Last edited by Peter Blumsom on Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant to write more on luck/chance but was tired. Here is something from Ficino via Michael J. B. Allen’s Book, Nuptial Arithmetic. You may not agree with it but at least we can discuss it.

‘In a moral essay entitled “How False Is Human Prosperity” again in the third book of his Epistulae Ficino addresses Bernardo Bembo, the Venetian Ambassador, and outlines what he calls the four universal causes of the transiency of earthly happiness as designated by the philosophers: [1] divine providence; [2] “the fateful law of heavenly bodies” which is tempered by divine providence; [3] the “natural order” which arranges the elements under the heavens and their fateful law; and [4] the “human” cause in its degenerate form as free licence, arrogance and insolence. It is clear from this, and from similar passages, that Ficino views all events involving man as a result of these four causes working.”

I should imagine that he would include Homer as one of the philosophers, for all four causes were at work in the short passage I sent last night. But Ficino would argue, and I think I would agree, that they are working all the time in all situations. That is why chance, luck, fortune, providence are the same thing. The suitors are not able to see beyond their own licentious concerns and are pinioned to 'chance'; and nature, doing its own thing, still coincides with higher concerns. Zeus, according to Ficino, dispenses his fateful judgments while Kronos, banished to the outer parts of the Kosmos, is the least ‘wandering’ of the planetary gods and the nearest to heavenly Ouranous. He deliberates and the fruits of his studies filters through the Zeus and tempers Fate. This is a cunning interpretation of the myth in Statesman, and fruitful for thought, however unlikely 21st century thinking might deem it.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chewing over the beginning of your first post again.

The problem is possibly Aristotle’s and the ambiguity that is sown into his system. I’m trying to think if Plato ever organized his eide as Aristotle did his species and genus’. He was not an inveterate classifier as was Aristotle whose ambiguity is simply that his universals, which are quite different in my opinion to Plato’s Forms, are simply abstractions. As such, they travel away from ousia's primordial being. That is why the grammarian exults in the genus but the poet knows the species is nearest to him and far more easy to ‘touch’. The cat in our sight, the particular Felix, is most real for the one who begins in the senses, and who doesn’t? It is quite natural for the mind to delight in the link from Felix to the nature of cats, their quirkiness, stand offishness, their extreme violent playfulness as they toy with their prey. None of this is present in ‘mammal’ and even less so in organic life as both lack differentiae. You may see a cat strolling across the lawn but no one ever saw an ‘animal’ do anything, for it is a non specific term. As such, it inspires very little in the poet. Even if he/she should use the term 'animal passion' the poet will have a particular species in mind. Of course, Felix, in Aristotelian terms, is a bone fide ousia and as such, Felix demands to be the subject of a definition, never the predicate: “Felix is a cat’ but never “? is a Felix’.

I don’t know if this is related in any way to what you say here:

<<What does it mean to go beyond what is immediately intelligible without doing so: to go beyond the penultimate (the genus) which is vague, to the true definition (the specific difference) and then on to poetry. It means growing awareness.>>

The poets have it, but do they know they have it? Some do, and are able to ascend beyond particular concerns and touch the aporia of all men and women.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
“I don’t know if this is related in any way to what you say here:”


What I mean is that the sphere of existence coincides with what one negotiates about, at the lowest level this names the fact, then the wish and the impulse, up to the systematic. The poetic which is there at the same time doesn't show up, but the consummation of the systematic understanding somehow prepares it.

Quote:
The problem is possibly Aristotle’s and the ambiguity that is sown into his system. I’m trying to think if Plato ever organized his eide as Aristotle did his species and genus’.


Quote:
He was not an inveterate classifier as was Aristotle whose ambiguity is simply that his universals, which are quite different in my opinion to Plato’s Forms, are simply abstractions.


That’s to understand Aristotle as the churchmen did. To make logic into something abstract (i.e., formal logic). [the view is this, Aristotle has a better hold on the technical apparatus than did Plato, he can define better, but that means only that he can heighten the awareness with greater reliability. Aristotle is very tied to common doxa, it is important to keep that in mind. There you see the uncrossable abyss between science and Greek thought. Aristotle has no commerce with physics in the modern sense.]

Consider this, in Aristotle’s logic—Heidegger says it is only with Kant that logic again becomes vital as it was with Aristotle—there is never the case in all of his writing of a formally correct but substantially false syllogism. That is no accident.

Think again of the example of a person, walking about, in the wee hours. And then being startled by a voice. A voice means language, this awareness is different from that of simple being among what is as an animal.

The great problematic is to be discovered in the circulation of the, very crudely I’ll say, spheres of awareness. This is all that is new for us, crudely and speaking by analogy, for Plato the ascent is what mattered.

---

A technical provisionary addendum:

The wholeness of the poet is not found in the problematic of the one and the many. But, on this view, in a third category: if you prefer to find in chance (τύχην), fortune, rather than luck. I now prefer that term myself. Quoting from my own text below: “The laws of freedom are determined by the laws of growth. The will itself is renouncing in clear-eyed rationality of the ought. That is to say, in theoretical terms, the structure determines the agential art in toto.

Yet, is not the causal structure itself moved as a whole?”

I wish to propose to you to question, through moving towards a thinking about the expression, fortune (τύχην) as we find it in Plato, and the other two terms named. Can you help us here, with your knowledge of Plato? This we moderns call history. I.e., Van Gogh was before his time (being only a distant relation of his historical time), and thus not understood.

--

P.S.

Quote:
‘You may see a cat strolling across the lawn but no one ever saw an ‘animal’ do anything, for it is a non specific term.’


Isn’t ‘cat,’ like every word, also a general term? I say cat and in a way I name all cats, and also I name the curious possibility of saying the thing that is not, i.e., there is there, not a cat. No cats at all.

“The poets have it, but do they know they have it? Some do, and are able to ascend beyond particular concerns and touch the aporia of all men and women.”

Dogmatically put (without walking through why it is said): the view is that the poet who does not have a mind of their own (as the rhapsodic singer in Plato) comes to that mind in thinking. Thus the question of Heidegger: Was heisst Denken? What do we name thinking? (the question is asked as in a diologic treatment, e.g., what do we call justice? in Plato)

Thinking is a ‘letting be’ that also guides, it does no violence in presence, in existence.

-----

Tacit addendum; for those who have eyes and thus-far seasoned thought:

Another road to History (thought as truth as wholeness; cf. Goethe): thus we can see the importance of poetry in the most forcible thinker of truth (in the sense of the non-perspectival or ontological [and not ontic or POV dependant] ‘modalities’ of being) hitherto, Heidegger. Can the unknowable thing be avoided when it is left gazing, as if like a low floating cloud mass, over the land and humans in toto? Thus it must come into itself by the restless consummation of human history which being bored with itself and incapable of turning (as cyclically through the three ‘truths’ or dimensions [or radically different spheres] of being in the consummate cave analogy where the return to the cave features), must thus float above itself.

The laws of freedom are determined by the laws of growth. The will itself is renouncing in clear-eyed rationality of the ought. That is to say, in theoretical terms, the structure determines the agential art in toto.

Yet, is not the causal structure itself moved as a whole? The agential art has the look of a whole just as does its subject matter: the causal structure.

The problem of the One (the hen) and the many ( the panata) in Nietsche:
Zarathustra in which we find the rejection of nirvana in the Brahminization of the clever animal, over and above the samsara seeking coarseness of many of her contemporaries. (It has come to us as a tradition that Nietzsche might also be understood as a woman, that in passing.)

The agential art is itself a law of growth, yet one that produces (through its art) the whole. The observation (by the agential art) of the whole as nature (the law of it true growth as correct causal knowledge) can not be subtracted from the agential production. If the agential structure becomes identical to the whole being itself must gaze upon the two. Since now there is rest from the wearisome clash of the former dimensions. (this must come to us in contradistinction, or rather, precisely and necessarily in going through the Nietzschean apocalypse: the collapse of truth and appearance into chaos or nirvana as grasped by the one who will not ‘let be’(cf. the poem or poetry as ‘letting be’): the creator, ‘incipit Zarathustra’ (the pun: insipid Zarathustra is in bad taste, yet it says it, for what is constructed as answer to the cows that merely lie there in the field happily because their bellies are full, is the hen, the One, of the lower creature, that is in contrasting binarity supporting its mountain clambering glory.)

If I remove one after another the components of a Starbucks, the chairs, the customers, the coffee beans etc, I do not therefore remove the Starbucks—even when nothing at all is there. Thus the denial of the naught in the talking about, as bringing into awareness, of what is unrevealed.

If I remove all things by that means I do not remove gravity. I do not by annihilating all things remove the causal structure in its possibility, although in the sense of the barren ground of the empty-Starbucks I do annihilate.

The world thus has a cause if the ultimate cause is found in the causal laws, but if we suppose that they must be (not in their formulation, but in their possibility), we suppose necessarily the eternality of the agential production in their everlasting possibility as linked causally to their productive fecundity.

There is no difficulty in asserting the moral agent is wholly the plaything of the causal chain. The obviation of the moral agent as choice-maker does not bring us to chaos. There is still the one who watches what happens, if in the utter inefficacious position of sheer sight. In the ‘letting be’ of sheer sight the third ground of being, truth as wholeness, comes to supersede, historically (which is to say by its own measure), the unconcealing of being and the correctness of the causality of things. Now we are at last prepared to dart a glance at Heidegger with the ambition of preparing ourselves to move into the sphere of that thinker.

---

Anticipatory remark:

Thus ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’ means, the formation of the ergon or work in the unconcealment, the lighting of presence through the logos (one dwells in the ‘house of being’), and the way the gleam of the lightning finds the whole in the non-coercive [non-artful] thinking that ‘lets be.’ These name the three ‘modes’ of being. Thus the fourfold, with some audacity, names also what can not be adequately spoken (thus in Derrida one writes by crossing out, sans erasure, but one at once speaks of the impossible in the mode of the one who is steadfastly determined in accordance with the saying of Wittgenstein about silence).
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