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The Greek Designation of the Animal, or Life Simply.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How far do you consider onoma and logos extend regarding the three terms at LAWS 895? And in relation to this, what is the limit of logos itself? For example, can logos ever give an account of ousia that does not self-reference - eg. "ousia is that which is."?

This might stabilise the platform of our discourse.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t know what you mean by ‘onoma.’ You mean to ask about the relation between logos and particular manifestations of say, spoken words and written words?

And so we come close to the question about the ontological and the ontic? Here there is no ‘self-referencing.’ Logos is that which first lets be for (I will not use the term men, but rather) anthropoi (ἀνθρώπῳ), it is through logos that there is exhibitng of a being at all (that there is a being that has for an activity the exhibiting of being). That we have a world. Here there is a technical distinction expressed by the word ‘have a world’ (animals and anthropoi have a world, but not stones), as differing from the phrase being in a world (the ontic or POV formulation which concerns the 'resetting of the prosaic' and such problems.)

This is why it is crucial to let logos be thoughtful, since it stands closer to thinking, and we ourselves in the world, can not find more about how we have a world without that.

Just give the standard understanding of those three terms please or your own understanding would be better, as we wish to have it thought new right now by someone who is thinking it, so far as you make it clear how you move in regard to the stale standard view. But, it is possible you agree very closely with the standard view, and that is quite fine, so long as you think it fresh here and now.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<Just give the standard understanding of those three terms please or your own understanding would be better, as we wish to have it thought new right now by someone who is thinking it, so far as you make it clear how you move in regard to the stale standard view. But, it is possible you agree very closely with the standard view, and that is quite fine, so long as you think it fresh here and now.>>

I'm agog here at your persistence on this subject. Please tell me how you understand it. I'm not being ironic when I ask you to no longer keep your readers in suspense.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to Plato that all vessels, whether ensouled or without soul are similar in that they can be laid down conventionally by a kind of double ‘threefold’ entrapment - one at LAWS 894 the other at 896. Plato’s dialectic is not remotely concerned here with ousia, nor has logos any active entrance into the general debate the Stranger is conducting with his worthy but rather slow interlocutors, but only in the Being's ontic translation as an image in the receptacle. To see ousia and logos active in every debate obscures the whole theoria Plato is presenting as a show or mime.

He is at odds to mark a division between an object and a living object but not quite, at this juncture, a living object that knows it lives. It is surely in bad taste philosophically to always live at the twin peaks of Logos and Ousia with them just barking at each other and never look down, especially when there are important points to be cleared up in the foothills as it were. It is also in good taste to give examples and references so that readers know exactly what is being said. Too much ambiguity falls in on itself rather as syncopation in music only is effective when it evades the regular beat.

It is not immediately obvious but what is being examined in this tenth book of LAWS has relevance to earlier passages in REPUBLIC and GORGIAS and elsewhere when Socrates was confronting a certain point of view.

When Thrasymachus tells Socrates that ‘justice is always in the interest of the stronger party’ (REP. 338c,339a) and when Polus in GORGIAS ironically relates the grisly tale of Archelaus or when he asked Socrates whether he would not envy the man who had the power to sentence another to death, as if that power itself were to be reveled in (468e) and most clearly of all when, in the same dialogue Callicles insists:

“…but nature, in my opinion, herself proclaims the fact that it is right for the better to have advantage of the worse, and the abler of the feebler. It is obvious in many cases that this is so, not only in the animal world, but in the states and races, collectively, of men—that right has been decided to consist in the sway and advantage of the stronger over the weaker. For by what manner of right did Xerxes [483e] march against Greece, or his father against Scythia? Or take the countless other cases of the sort that one might mention. Why, surely these men follow nature—the nature of right—in acting thus; yes, on my soul, and follow the law of nature—though not that, I dare say, which is made by us; we mold the best and strongest amongst us, taking them from their infancy like young lions, and utterly enthral them by our spells and witchcraft, telling them the while that they must have but their equal share, and that this is what is fair and just. But, I fancy, when some man arises with a nature of sufficient force, he shakes off all that we have taught him, bursts his bonds, and breaks free; he tramples underfoot our codes and juggleries, our charms and “laws,” which are all against nature; our slave rises in revolt and shows himself our master, and there dawns the full light of natural justice.” GORGIAS 483d

they are only rehearsing an old and discordant song which is described in great detail in Book Ten of LAWS. Of course Socrates deals with them in the way that they deserve but doesn’t give the background to his thought. Plato allows that background a voice here:

“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, partly by art, and partly owing to chance…
It is evident, they assert, that the greatest and most beautiful things are the work of nature and of chance, and the lesser things that of art,—for art receives from nature the great and primary products as existing, and itself molds and shapes all the smaller ones, which we commonly call “artificial.”…I will explain it more clearly. Fire and water and earth and air, they say, all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art; and by means of these, which are wholly inanimate, the bodies which come next—those, namely, of the earth, sun, moon and stars—have been brought into existence. It is by chance all these elements move, by the interplay of their respective forces, and according as they meet together and combine fittingly,—hot with cold, dry with moist, soft with hard, and all such necessary mixtures as result from the chance combination of these opposites,—in this way and by those means they have brought into being the whole Heaven and all that is in the Heaven, and all animals, too, and plants—after that all the seasons had arisen from these elements; and all this, as they assert, not owing to reason, nor to any god or art, but owing, as we have said, to nature and chance.1 As a later product of these, art comes later; and it, being mortal itself and of mortal birth, begets later playthings [889d] which share but little in truth, being images of a sort akin to the arts themselves—images such as painting begets, and music, and the arts which accompany these. Those arts which really produce something serious are such as share their effect with nature,—like medicine, agriculture, and gymnastic. Politics too, as they say, shares to a small extent in nature, but mostly in art; and in like manner all legislation which is based on untrue assumptions is due, not to nature, but to art.
The first statement, my dear sir, which these people make about the gods is that they exist by art and not by nature,—by certain legal conventions which differ from place to place, according as each tribe agreed when forming their laws. They assert, moreover, that there is one class of things beautiful by nature, and another class beautiful by convention3; while as to things just, they do not exist at all by nature, but men are constantly in dispute about them and continually altering them, and whatever alteration they make at any time is at that time authoritative, though it owes its existence to art and the laws, and not in any way to nature. All these, my friends, are views which young people imbibe from men of science, both prose-writers and poets, who maintain that the height of justice is to succeed by force;
Come now, Clinias, do you also answer me again, [891c] for you too must take a hand in the argument: it appears that the person who makes these statements holds fire, water, earth and air to be the first of all things, and that it is precisely to these things that he gives the name of “nature,” while soul he asserts to be a later product therefrom. Probably, indeed, he does not merely “appear” to do this, but actually makes it clear to us in his account." LAWS


All this takes place near the beginning of book ten and sets the course of the whole book, which is to prove that Soul precedes in Being what the atomists call ‘nature’. That is why, my friend, I stated that I am agog at the way you have latched on to this passage concerning what you call ‘the three terms’, as if you want to wrench it from the plot and perform some kind of divine autopsy upon it. Plato here is more moderate in his aims than when he touches on a similar but vastly more encompassing passage in The Seventh Epistle, on which I have nothing to add having given a reasonable and 'unconventional'account of in our last thread.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We shall all be deeply indebted to you for this exposition, and we must look closely at it. However, terseness is best. Seeds are small, and once spread they work in salubrious minds.

“Fire and water and earth and air, they say, all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art”

Does not earth name a soul of kinds? Namely the soul that wishes to fall, as in the stone. The stone is of the element of earth, and can not learn. No matter how often it is tossed up.

Empedocles (who informs Plato, I think) also speaks of the fifth element, ether, the bright light, the heavens, where the orbits spin like circles. You yourself intimate to us, above, that Plato meant something by naming the circle in his luckiest of letters. Thus, does not soul mean that which is also by nature and chance? Is not this that Socrates names the fifth element? The nature of man, the soul of anthropoi?

For the Greeks there is no subject and object, there is thus a soul of one kind or other. The nature of what one does. Even if that is dialectic. Socrates says, thus (in the Apology): the unsearching life is no human life. This ether is of searching.

Now, more important is this: is it not that the letter, to which you bring us, says that it is by talking together that this knowledge is first gleamed? And thus, what you claim in regard to logos is not right, for, indeed, Plato himself says that through the logos the rest is exhibited.

The logos then shines forth, like a lighting. Yet, already there is being, it is simply unconcealed by logos. Yet, this simplicity is not simple, but multiple, like the prosaic of which you speak (in regard to its resetting).


--]

In passing I add also this commentary:

‘wrench it from the plot and perform some kind of divine autopsy upon it’

Yes, but even if that were so we must even wrench Plato from his age; and that should not come as the worst or the most intense violence that will come of our actions. We must go a little out of this world too, by the end of this.

More must be said:

‘Socrates was confronting a certain point of view.’ This POV, the Greek ‘art’, is not the same as that which captures the ‘resetting of the prosaic,’ as with the example about someone who comes from a remote bend of the Amazon, and wonders into the local Starbucks; they see everything in action as we residents of the ‘first world’, but they have a different concept, they don't see what to do there. This POV, you name here, is proper to the division first discovered by the early Greek philosophers, in which opinion is exhibited as questionable, yet tacitly the issue of a subjective (a conceptual shift or resetting of the prosaic) world is not seen, not noticed at all. There is no subject here, but everyone, having the same world, shares disagreements about changeable things, debate-worthy questions.

Are we not, already with this revelation, that of the truth of the resetting of the prosaic in the concept — a tangible experience of history — justified in not staying with Plato as faithful readers? However, to be sure there are more thrilling discoveries we must make clear if we are to follow the threads to the proper understanding of logos and being.

Quote:
To see ousia and logos active in every debate obscures the whole theoria Plato is presenting as a show or mime.


Indeed, Plato does not even yet see the concept in full. We must catch him in the process of archaic reasoning. The skillful exhibiting of naive ousia. Yet: ‘show of mime’ seems to bring us in analogical connection with the understanding of the ontic ontological, at least by a primitive connection with the logos, which works us to the ideas, as that by which for Plato come the appearances. For Plato, however, the genesis of the ideas, speaks the question about the good.

We are, of course, not interested in adding to the discipline of philology or in conservatorship over ancient texts. Our interest is not in old stories, we must prosecute our own aims. But we can learn a lot form rereading Plato with what we now know. Our aims have to do with our current situation; a strange world to Plato, totally unguessed at. If some outsider, failing to grasp our purpose, were to accuse us of making an anachronistic reading or of reading something into Plato, they should have, in that, not understood us at all.

Ousia for Plato, I take to mean the same as the world of the Greeks, it is the exhibiting of the concept that comes through the searching dialectic as in Socrates’ discussions.

Plato does not engage with our problem explicitly, more of what we wish, presumably, will come through in looking at the intervisibility of Plato, and, for instance, Empedocles’ expressions about fire, water, air and earth, in connection with the soul and nature.

Here, ‘expression’ is part of our carefully constructed technical apparatus. It refers to words, mostly pre-Socratic, that come prior to the assumption about an innerly fixed doxa, as with, for example, the insistence of the views of Polus against those of Socrates. An expression does not exhibit, for it is naive of the need to make theoretically powerful arguments that can be spread without regard to who says them, it speaks simply out of the state of affairs.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< Does not earth name a soul of kinds? Namely the soul that wishes to fall, as in the stone. The stone is of the element of earth, and can not learn. No matter how often it is tossed up>>

and it falls, unless prevented, to the centre of earth, for that is its nature, as it is for fire to rise to the perimeter of heaven. So it goes, for all things possess a nature. In THETA 2 Aristotle I notice is careful to say that fire is of the un-souled. He says it burns but cannot cool, and therefore is not capable of opposite motion on its own account. I only say this as a footnote, for the accuracy of a testified Greek view, and do not really argue because we can ‘deify’ anything - as Whitman says “patient as the earth”, thus ensouling earth, and Eliot’s “I think that the river
 is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable” deifying water. No one really argues because they know the poetic upward aim is a different ascent to the same summit. If we see any being, generic or individual, with regard to ousia and the One we surely see all levels in that look, as the Hindu’s saw Brahman in the form of an elephant, etc. Another aim of philosophy however is to see things as they relate to each other, or as parts of a whole - remember the ancient meaning of logos is as a gatherer and relater of beings. In this sense we search out eteros (distinction) and in this regard we can say that here is a distinct difference between Plato’s view of the elements compared with Empedocles, who saw them as irreducible roots (storcheia). Plato famously said they were transformable by way of subjection to triangular geometry.

There are other things here which I’ll comment on when time allows.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am obliged to write this tedious post, for I have the duty to try. So you must forgive me. Perhaps there will be one glimmer of light; that is all I can wish for.

Quote:
Aristotle I notice is careful to say that fire is of the un-souled.


Yea, but that is a simple confusion of ambiguity. Aristotle is speaking about ontic fire there. Fire as alongside water and earth, as seen by the eyes. Whereas fire as a ‘soul’ (I have used this term very loosely, you realize) is not the entity seen by the eyes. It simply expresses the way of being of something, a balloon could have much of the fire element for example. Think of the old system of humors in regard to medicine, that is somewhat closer to what we have in mind here.

For Aristotle physics was by soul. I mean that is what teleological cause means. A stone wants to follow a certain movement (rather than being simply pushed as in Newtonian and later physics [so-called efficient cause]). That is all I mean here. I mean the same as the basic break from Aristotelian physics to modern physics.

It is very obvious that we are not here ‘deifying’, nor speaking of fire as that thing there. But rather of an element, as a law of being. By analogy, it is a bit like speaking, say, in Aristotle, of growth.

Socrates says that he can not do other than he does, since he has the bios that is a searching bios, that of a human. That is very clear form the context of the Apology where he speaks of the unsearching life as being no human life. One who does dialectics as described in the Platonic dialogues has that kind of bios, the human bios. Just as the balloon has the fire element. And the stone much of the element of earth.

When Aristotle says fire has no soul he means it has no bios (psukhê means in a way essence of life), it can not learn. It has not a world.

This level of thought does not concern objects or subjects, whether understood in the medieval way, or in their reversal as in our day. Here we are concerned with exhibiting our impressions through the refining of the simple expression of a human being through the logos. It is through the logos that we begin to express the world that we are about.

Our basic hold on this view is still not made clear in this discussion. And so we have only glop.

--


Now, here, we don't speak out of a theoretical preoccupation, that ends in the situation where a science that does not deal with meaning claims, basically, that there is no human being, that is untenable, science does not deal with consciousness (I can not be more precise here, but, of course, here I do not mean psychological consciousness, but rather, that which reaches towards through meaning; a dark awareness) in so much as it does not deal with teleology. That is the current situation of the ‘subject’ as an illusion upon which an ‘object’ is thrown.

There, formal logical questions, completely abstracted from the human problems hold sway. That is the main sense of German Historicism in its move away from theoretical reason, and so too with the second wave of Historicism, existentialism and so with Heidegger et al. Thus, with ordinary reason we assume that there is, for instance, free will (Heidegger, for example, calls that authenticity, following Kant who spoke of autonomy, that is the same issue), and many other things even aboutness, as of a world. This stagnant objection, for instance, so ‘obvious’ today, that you raised before, of ‘self reference’ belongs to a tendentious and really a very strange and utterly abstracted view.

So far you have learned nothing, but remained in your view from the beginning. To study, for instance, Heidegger, you need some sense of the development of philosophy as a whole, the way he understood it, and all the German universities. Ruffly from the presocratics to the year 1900. That is necessary. But you can get some reasonable idea if you begin to focus more on the historical transformation of thought. That is all important here.

Realistically you have no access to this thought yet, so far as I can see. I mean, neither do many philosophers that are quite prominent, I noticed a completely absurd word by Searle for instance, who seems to know even nothing of the thought from Vico to Heidegger. Simply nothing (I mean he may have read some of it, but that is not the same as understanding it, a book that can not be understood contains simply nothing). That is amazing, so you can quickly pass him if you spell out to yourself even the most basic ideas of Historicist thought. Otherwise we make no progress here, and there is no awareness and no discussion properly.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<Realistically you have no access to this thought yet, so far as I can see.>>

Yes, it is a shame that those who you deeply admire (I wouldn’t go as far as to say worship) and whose philosophy you so inadequately advocate mean very little to me, who has no particular interest in German philosophy. It doesn’t tackle the deeper issues brought up by Plato though not very well understood by Aristotle. The waters have become increasingly muddied ever since, except for a few examples - Plotinus and Ficino being two. I can’t imagine you getting on with either of these. I look on myself as talking of Plato on a Plato Forum, and perhaps teasing out strands of his philosophy which have become tangled, first by Aristotle then by his followers. Perhaps he felt excluded by the neo Pythagorean tendency in the Academy, or, more likely, he felt he could use those parts of Plato’s ideas that furthered his own philosophy and dump the rest.

You yourself have become a victim it seems of powerful movements. If you are truly interested in Platonic philosophy you should confront some of the real issues, for example, the distinction between logistike and arithmetike, the second of which, according to Socrates:

"is one of those studies which we are seeking that naturally conduce to the awakening of thought, but that no one makes the right use of it, though it really does tend to draw the mind to essence and reality.” REP 323A

One ever hopes, but it seems you are unable to hold your mind still in these areas and continually rush around tilting at windmills. What a shame. We are doomed to be ships passing in the night, each thinking it is the other that is on the wrong course.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘For the truths are obscure, the ends hidden, the minds turbid, the reasonings various, the premises are gleaned from the senses..’

I can’t do justice to what you say, since I must be ashamed at my foolishness, as I should like to go on benefiting form learned friends, I now merely ask about what I have become intrigued with:

How do you, yourself, understand the distinction that you thus bring? Whatever thought is winged for those far targets, then, must with recurring loyalty hear a Greek voice.

---

Between the bodily or experiential knowledge, on the one hand, and the eternal on the other? A specific modification thereof would then be practical reason as opposed to intellect.

Thus something like what Kant says when he speaks of the synthetic and the, I’ll call it, ex ante, understanding?

Somewhat earlier we have the inception of the controversy which culminated in Nietzsche convulsing all thinking people with the work that began, to take one road, with the thought exemplified by Leibnitz’ word, that all things in the mind were first in the senses. Thus the reversal of the thought of Plato. And the opening of the question of being, which is a colour and a richness, a golden mean if you like, not found in the two terms of Plato nor of Nietzsche.

--

When, with Derrida, we ask about hospitality, we ask at the same time about what the philosopher of Messkirch called inauthenticity. In so much as we enter into quixotic ground, we are becoming ready to think beyond propositional knowledge. This movement, however, is prepared by thinking through, and not by rejecting, all that is dear to Western European scientific thought. Let it remain obscure for the moment.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're probably right. Sounds like my ear infection was getting to me when I wrote that last mail. Obscurity is better than a false light that can do nothing but disbelieve.

Tell me, do you think that 'nature' is the centre of Aristotle's universe? And perhaps man's place is in nature? I don't know why I ask this except that it keeps coming to me that way as I read him.

Something else occurred. What is the status of a being when it is not 'being' employed? Heidegger talks about art works taken out of context. The employment gives the being Act doesn't it? Think of a tool. Part of its activity is being cared for, a kind of passive power. A tool may 'ask' to be cleaned. But this presupposes that a man can 'listen'. Caring includes cleaning and oiling with the correct oils and, most importantly a place to rest, so that it may be approached by a free mind and come to hand without thought. If a being is carelessly handled, not looked after and not put to rest after it as been 'de-activated' then does it then become a mere object? This would explain the delight in correcting those defects, a natural delight to man - to bring order to disorder. I am in wonder at the way Homer talks about artefacts.

The thing is, so little is understood about a) beings and b) a commission to employ beings to complete a task.

For me these are questions worth pondering.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Tell me, do you think that 'nature' is the centre of Aristotle's universe? And perhaps man's place is in nature? I don't know why I ask this except that it keeps coming to me that way as I read him.


Some distinctions, for the Greeks had not yet reached their full profile, nature was not yet thought to its most iron end. It seems for science still dull, not yet sharp. For the Greeks it is, however, the degeneration, the supreme fall. However, for us, who see both thoughts, it is again another matter, the basis of that we will come to in time.

Answering in the vernacular, saying what I candidly think in a lonely way, if you wish, and so to speak, not making argument:

(Presupposition: The ‘why’ in the greatest sense here is beyond what one can say, ie, why did this or that thinker have this or that character of the kind that drew towards this or that position.)

Nature, what is that? I take it that there was no such term in Biblical Hebrew, nor in the Athenian mind. There was generation, as of men. The generations of human beings. There was origin among the appearances, as birth, thus genesis in the Greek. Nature is radically alien to the ancient mind, for it means a thing pushed along blindly by forces (for the Greeks that could only mean wasteland, trash, as distinguished form being, thus, from household [for the word ousia is related to the word household, and so to eco, thus the talk of ‘shelved’ things in the technological time). If one speaks of ‘atoms in a void’ that is wholly misleading.

The center you speak of we can call matter, if it means material cause. The stone falls towards the earth, which stand under the void, and above Hades. In the center, a round disk. One cause alongside the other three. Material cause means when we find, say, the best polis, we need also the right, if you like, random distribution of ingredients. If we don’t get them, we give up the best menu and make some other second best poils, i.e., from out of the humans and territorial features, and all kinds of things, the kind of stuff we have, as we find it. That is the primary sense of matter in Aristotle, taken from a bird’s-eye view.

It seems, to say, at bottom, there is some luck in life. Aristotle does not, on that basis deny the species, the ideas, the forms: rather he says, the highest thing is contemplation of the forms or ideas or species (eidon), the same as Plato says. (Amusingly, it has been pointed out to me that Darwin’s title, translated into Greek reads Genesis ton Eidon, thus, genesis of the ideas.)

One might ask, whether, the ‘sense’, of the importance of that feature is due to some secondary cause. E.g., a translator’s prejudice, since, indeed, seasoned readers can easily discern so-called medieval (to use the old term indiscriminately) understandings of Aristotle from ancient and modern understandings.

Or is the ‘sense’ of this importance due to Aristotle, that he knew he was countering Plato’s schema, that
our senses report from out of the idea, and saying instead they have their ground in this random matter. One must remember that in this case, which is surely partly true, that it is we who mistakenly ignore the conclusion of the Nicomachean Ethics, the teleological cause, as the understanding of the nature of the world (not the natural world) it is obvious there that the ideas are the place of most concern to the human as human, that is the specific difference of man as man. That is the opening to the whole, the heart, available only to man. And so with Aristotle being as being is the highest sense of being, the subject of metaphysics proper, not being in the sense of matter.

This ‘sense’ relates then, if we ask Heidegger, to the charging up of the history, if there is history, of the process of the periods of truth, from the Greeks to the christianized Greeks (i.e., the Romans) to the break with the Aristotle of the christianized Germans. This is all vague, the place of the radical break, and the movement of the flux of history in its radical transformations. Thus Aristotle brings the concept, the thinking of the exhibiting, to a high proficiency and prepares the logic of the Churchmen, as formal logic. Thus the place of the explosion of being, as the many senses of being, expressed more clearly in Aristotle than by anyone else, supports the final destruction of being after the end of metaphysics as possibility. Thus, amidst the galaxy of thinkers, one goes to Aristotle. For that is a major sight of the inception of the way of thinking of time, as a being of the is.

The idea, of nature, found in modern thought, is one element of Aristotle, thus, efficient cause as the governance of material cause is abstracted and turned inside out, so that the fundamental cognitive structure of our minds are changed; alien to the Greek form. We’re pointed differently, prejudiced differently; thus pre-senced differently.

Nature, means, in a loose sense, for Aristotle habit, but that is nothing to do with what we mean by natural science. It is very telling to notice that one speaks of natural science, and not as in Newton's time, of the science of nature. To understand the meaning of that, I would say that it is wise to read Spinoza. If this tax is too severe an inquisition, we might take up the more simple tyranny of Descartes, who says about the same, at bottom, in his distinction of substances.

--


Quote:
The thing is, so little is understood about a) beings and b) a commission to employ beings to complete a task.


For Heidegger these things are the subject matters of the sciences, under metaphysics, and they are answered by science (metaphysics being, however, only the fundamental science that opens out on the hen of the good, and so is in a sense no science, as it deals not with generality). We must not invade ourselves with false topographies, for if the simple path is missplotted we will go into truly wrongheaded thought. With the careers of the German thinkers we must assume the science, the science of eg Bacon and Newton, is fundamental, is canonical. Such is the great power of this thought for the German, what else is the meaning of the ‘dogmatic slumber?’ Thus, Kant is first a man like Dawkins, though with the excuse that he has come somewhat earlier, and is after all a man of vastly higher caliber, but that can still be thought as a sign post, the stupid, indeed, imbecilic dogma of the atheist is the root of Kant, of Nietzsche, of Heidegger, this is the start point. The nature of the thought called metaphysical. Thought it set out to tread a way untrought. The thinker who is a Columbus, will discover anew the pre-Greek. What was of the gods, is anticipated as being according to the absolute claim of Heidegger, the claim to understand Hericlitus better than did Hericlitus himself — a peculair claim! Nicht?

Thus we, in the end of metaphysics, therefore are fundamentally scientific, or, technological. The form is like this: I am in a mirthful mood, I am mirthful. I am in a natural world, I am scientific.

Thus, technological. Heidegger takes these problems as complete. The beings, for Heidegger, are driven towards their end by pre-sense, thus determined genetically (as pavlovian response if you like). Thus driven, one can speak here of Freud, thus not of free will (in the sense of pure reason), but of drive (as of the image of the fathers, long instilled).

In all this he is the same, you know, as someone as dull as Dennett. His problem is about the way the ready-to-hand stands in relation to the present-to-hand. This is the place of what he calls the ontological, as fundamental. It is in this problematic that he goes prior to the dawn of the sicences, to, eg, Hericlitus for routs, for ways, for thinkings as the thoughtfulness of language, and not of logos (i.e., of assertions). For the thinking of the being of beings is a specific thinking, a ‘project of the Greeks,’ to use a phrase, somewhat anachronistic.

This is obvious when one points out that logic was invented (or if you wish discovered) by Aristotle. However, that aorist tense in Greek, led organically to this is richly telling, thus, though this is not the main reason, we see here, in that tense, a fine sign of the connection between thinking (ratio) and speaking (logos).


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Quote:
The employment gives the being Act doesn't it?


No, I would not say so. To say chair is enough, one need not take up the use of the chair for it to be already a chair. However, there is something in what you say, and it reminds me richly of what Joseph Beuys said when he spoke of the warmth of the beehive. There has thus, in this regard, been a massive cooling off with the moderns and their cold aesthetics of the ugly (as with Sartre, who Heidegger vividly loathed). However, the rebukes of the dead are permanent, though we live on.

The talk of the artwork-out-of-context is connected to the modern understanding, the British empiricist understanding, of aesthetics. Of course, there is no artwork for Heidegger, with the Greeks, in the sense of fine arts.

Quote:
I am in wonder at the way Homer talks about artefacts.


How does he speak of artifacts, where do you point to?

We can not, of course, placate the Homeric gods (after the terrible event of their overthrow with the Athenians, so shocking and determining), but we can hear them speak, as we go in this way pointedly towards wholly dark territories.
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Peter Blumsom



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: Wembley, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<No, I would not say so. To say chair is enough, one need not take up the use of the chair for it to be already a chair.>>

Even the ornate chairs of Botticelli are sat upon by Madonnas. I doubt if I agree with you on this. A hammer has no meaning per se even though we may quibble over cause and effect. Dikaia is not employed, a hammer is.

<<Of course, there is no artwork for Heidegger, with the Greeks, in the sense of fine arts.>>

As Heidegger discusses in “The Origin of the work of Art”. I am not talking of fine art, even less about aesthetics. He seems in opposition to Malraux’s The Voices of Silence, where transplanted artworks become a new vision of art. My own view is in the middle of these. Although I understand what Heidegger is saying, there can be something startling on encountering a sphinx in the Louvre. Good art should travel, and ‘pay its way’ in a change of circumstance. My remarks are an attempt to open you up on this subject, on which your words say nothing to me.

<<How does he speak of artifacts, where do you point to?>>

artefact

1. something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest
2. anything man-made, such as a spurious experimental result
3. (Biology) cytology a structure seen in tissue after death, fixation, staining, etc, that is not normally present in the living tissue

Examples are legion - open any page of Homer - especially in his carefully prpared 'lists'. Homer intimately understands what I am talking about regarding ‘employment’. Everything seems to be in employment in Homer. Perhaps that is why these artifacts seem so alive, when they needn’t be.

I’ll look at the more opaque sections of you post a little longer to see if they can be fruitfully commented upon. I was disappointed that you could not seem to run with the ball on what I said about nature. I was meaning it in the sense of Aristotle’s view of Nature, not ‘blind and red in tooth and claw’ to which you downgraded my remarks.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find your talk of nature wrongheaded to a remarkable degree, you never say that you have the slightest sense of the transformation of that concept, from Hericlitus to Deascartes, and thus mathamatical physics. Yet, one may learn something from such encounters with obstance. However, I focus on action to get at nature (bellow). Therein we will not spangle our language too liberally, and try to remain loyal to clarity.

I hope we will not appear to travel 'tooth-and-claw' mindlessly.

I am reassured that we are recording our own self education, to begin, I had some reflections which in après-coup I found necessary to make most clear, then I shall look at what you have said in detail. We can not talk of modernity in Aristotle, but must talk of Aristotle in modernity. That is a difficulty, but also our great advantage.

Addendum (in thought of the remark ‘The employment gives the being Act doesn't it?’:

Treatise on the dynamic or active in Aristotle

dianoias
dynamei

energeia, to act, work (thus ‘employment’), gathering, the actual (a verb having to do with motion)

Prelude:
The night is swiftly gathering. Thus the employment of the night is nearly at end. Its realization, from out of dynamic potential, is not of the fall of the day, there is not a day and a night simply, nor a thinking of a binary relation that levels the two, homogeneity is not thought at all, but the pinnacle of the night and that of the day remain genuine. There gathering is not only from out of the other.

Note on the procedure of Aristotle:
Aristotle moves by a procedure informed by the procedure of the mathematicians. They invent terms almost always, Aristotle, in the light of this, uses ordinary language, mostly.

His procedure is to take ordinary terms and give them through inductive exampling a place in his teaching. Aristotle never defines what is basic, he exhibits what is basic, he gives examples of what is in its primary vagueness, or genuine ambiguity. This is true of actuality and dynamic potential which is called, in the translation, activity.

Action is said in many ways.

Intentions:
What is to be demonstrated: ‘action’ as in ‘the excellent activity of the soul’ (happiness) is not literally to be taken as a metaphor of action, action, eg, one who breaks a vessel into fragments with their fist has completed, a petty, action. (note, for Aristotle, petty is integral, there is no simply cool mathamatical description of actual things, all are appraised in some way as from inside the world according to their relation to what is best by teleology (but not morally) [no Descartes, no modern physics, no grid, no object])

Aristotle says of the mathematical expression that it is dynamic by metaphor, 2squared has the dynamic potential to realize its teleology, to be(come) 4. That by metaphor. There is no actual action in the case of math, thus math is not limited by the manifold and various chance of matter. Matter in the sense of the principle of chance, and what is unlimited in the sense of mathamatical eternity, have for their mean knowing, as what is the opening of the hen, the human specific difference.

The question about the whole is always dynamically invited in a way, by the accidental truth of what has been asserted by langauge, into which one is first oneself.

On says, the night is swiftly falling. I.e, gathering.

The vessel is by dynamic potential, able to gather into a heap of shards. True action. Thus action requiring material. Material here means the vessel and the one who breaks it and the other conspiring elements of chance. They are material in so far as they gather towards the complete action of the broken vessel, the work of the heap.

The action of knowing the actual is of the human, specificly human. This action is metaphorically a metaphor, thus, it is not literally a metaphor of action.

This action is understood as different from that of the nutrient seeking plant and that of the animal. Aristotle says the action of a tyrant or of the one who breaks the vessel is a the action of the child, thus not enviable. The action of the human being, as human being, is the action of knowing, thus of contemplation. In this he says the same as Plato, contemplation is best, and what is most god-like in the human being.

That we call this action (Eudaemonia) is not to be taken in the way we speak of action in any other context.

This action in regard to happiness is analogous to the dynamic potential of the builder, the one capable of building, but not currently building.

The action, however, of the human as human, in contemplation, is not the same. Someone who has the dynamic possibility to see, who is sighted, but has their eyes closed, when they open their eyes, actualize their potential for sight by seeing, eg, a cup. That is dependent on the material chance, that everything be available, the eyes, the world, the cup, etc. This is a psychological cognition, an empirical knowing or act.

When a human being, who has the potential to actually know of a cup, actually knows of a cup, that does not require, in an immediate sense, material chance. But it is not metaphorical either, except, perhaps, by metaphor.

I assert what is true, thus the truth is a speaking. A saying of what is. The true and false are spoken only, says Aristotle: they are asserted, as of propositional knowledge. Language is not logos, thus not blather and mere talk, but the thing closest to the action that is herein sought.

Knowing at all is not like the other kinds of knowing, it means being open to the hen, the hen is the nature of a world, knowing and its action is said in a very dark way, its dynamism as potential is supremely obscure.

The way knowing stand towards the nature of the world is the historical. The grasp of this towards is the claim of any thinker that would claim the absolute claim, in so far as it claims not that all thinking is historical, which would be itself an impossible claim, speaking to infinity (saying more than what can be said), but rather that for the first time, here, the historical thinking was taken into account and that this accounting marks the absolute stage of history, and thus that the thinker of the historical sees more than the earlier ones.

--

Quote:
Good art should travel, and ‘pay its way’ in a change of circumstance.


I’m not sure why you link that to Heidegger, perhaps you can give a short passage. Heidegger speaks of a gathering world. The British speak of emotion. I think you are describing something like what Deleuze called deterritorialization, which postulates, by proxy, the business about ‘resetting the mundane.’

I mean, Heidegger knows quite well about the Freudian idea of uncanniness. It is not as if he missed that. Freud is no philosopher, but a positivist. It's truly strange that he is used so much by folks that think they are radical. They are (radical), for the radical is simply the systematic destruction of the positivistic world, as in Zen. Thus, the sigh of fatted self-satisfaction of the step-childhood of the times, as in Nietzsche.

I mean, if that is very central to one, that is very fine, but it can hardly interest us if we wish to be thoughtful.

Quote:
‘Dikaia is not employed, a hammer is.’


That’s just simple confusion. A hammer is both eidos and that in the senses.

Quote:
open any page of Homer


Give us a flavour of this imaginative wight, a passage. I believe there is something in what you say that is a stimulant to thought. We should duly raise up more of that. The talk of the scepter ‘its power never dies’ was at one time subject of my own study. And so I hear something of this, such collecting of the ability to wander into localities that are distant in this case is, if you ask me, right.
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Richard Wongkew
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Additional reflection:

What I had in mind was that one who doesn't read finds no words. The same with one who doesn't know what to do with chairs. Go to Afghanistan and you will indeed meet such people, that is still possible today. There is something there, in a way, but no chair.

What you mean by nature remains totally opaque to me. Trees and wilderness?
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Peter Blumsom



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: Wembley, London, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<Give us a flavour of this imaginative wight, a passage. I believe there is something in what you say that is a stimulant to thought. We should duly raise up more of that. The talk of the scepter ‘its power never dies’ was at one time subject of my own study. And so I hear something of this, such collecting of the ability to wander into localities that are distant in this case is, if you ask me, right.>>

As often is the case I don't quite know what you mean but I can give countless examples of what I mean re the vivification with which psuche embues 'beings'.

“As he [Pandarus] drew the bow, clutching at once the notched arrow and the string of ox's sinew: the string he brought to his breast and to the bow the iron arrow-head. But when he had drawn the great bow into a round, the bow twanged and the string sang aloud, and the keen arrow lept” ILIAD IV 122

Completed action: a series of motions in concerted direction, commencement to fulfillment, and while all the ‘important things’ are going on, the heroes parading and vaunting themselves ‘in their youthful sap’, unnoticed, there is silent commerce between the worlds, and in this commerce the true gods live. Their decree - that the arrow should miss its mark and Menelaus should live. But had their decree been different not all the reputation in the world would have saved him in that moment. This is the true situation of our lives, even us as the Ancient Greeks.

That is what I mean by employment of beings. Yet it could just as well be plastering a wall
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