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A Change of Timaeus
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redundant fallibility

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All classical Indian thought presupposes karma. One should be impressed by that. A mere schematic suggestion of a world. All classical Greek thought presupposes the opposition of necessity and logos. The character of our own thought is not now clear. Perhaps it lies in the tendentious distinction, in basic knowing of things, of the animate and the inanimate things. But such ways of knowing the things have no end.

‘Besides, stones, mud, sticks, or whatever else you think of, is not the same for anybody, anywhere, or anytime. We process mud as a sensation; these sensations are registered through our bodies, mind, and soul and give rise to experiences. Everyone’s experiences are different or processed differently according to the individual. But this is only one way of viewing things.’

You constantly plunge into a tangle without being impressed by your own confusion. What is supposed to remain when the different experiences are removed? Only the math, as the thing-in-itself. But that is another ‘different’ use of the thing.

Most of what you say is extremely frivolous. You say you know nothing about philosophy, but claim knowledge of everything difficult. You've reached an incredible degree of conceit over rehearsing the same things everyone says daily in the streets. The inherited praise of Indian things based on the disenchantment with European culture arrived at in the nineteenth century from which Nazism got a great vital thrust, the belief in the undying mathematical objects, the presumption one can simply read ancient texts as if one were oneself an ancient. It would be a great loss to you to remain imperturbably self satisfied at that astoundingly naive level.
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redundant fallibility

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After Thoughts

We are told that knowledge of the customary interpretations, which, incidentally, I myself have know for more than twenty years, are a sign of deep study of Plato. In fact, the opposite is the case. This is merely informational knowledge. It is insisted that naive readings are original, in fact in all honesty there is nothing here that I haven't heard from a dozen others. Of course certain sentences differ, but in their chief themes they are quite typical rehearsals of the customary views.

Now, one is inclined to suspect bad faith. For the reason people don’t like to be accused of having made an error, or of being ill-informed. On the other hand, in several cases the mechanical remarks about word games seem to take on another register. That of the possibly genuine concern or accusation of arbitrariness.

I find all technical discussion of a higher kind is useless in this discussion, and so will give as much as possible a plain English account of what I intend to suggest by the use of the phrase interpretation. Taking this term as one example of the things which have been capriciously misused here in this discussion.

By interpretation I don’t intend to introduce a synonym for wanton blather. It doesn't mean ‘anything goes’. Most of all it does not mean simply reading something and making a report about one’s opinions on the matters discovered in the reading [I don't speak here of a so-called 'close reading', which might be called a proper interpretation in certain cases although not chiefly because it treats the matters forensically]. A ‘reading’, is not an interpretation (parenthetically, to add one technical point, neither is it a hermeneutical act in the sense connected to the History of Being).

I mean precisely what is found in the case of the phenomenon that in some African countries is called ‘getting a haircut’. One Western interpretation of the matter goes under the name Female Genital Mutilation, another is Female Circumcision. These I call proper interpretations, they both have a certain ground, they are not mere capricious appraisals of the matter in hand. One can see that the one demands a certain attitude towards the phenomenon whilst the other takes a more neutral stance. In addition one can say safely that those who maintain these views, by in large, there may be some exceptions, honestly hold that the thing named is what they say it is. And they do this performatively, i.e., as a living attitude and not only as an abstraction. It is not mere arbitrariness that the term names. The interpretation in this sense relies on the sensorium, one sees a certain matter and clarifies it to oneself in speech. One says, for example, there is the Earth, and means, when they elaborate the matter to themselves, a globe, a planet amongst others, a sphere. Surely, e.g., Plato saw no planet amongst others, and no sphere when he saw the earth. It might always be that someone would say, I think the earth is a sphere, but that is quite different form saying, ‘grab me that chair and that stone please’ and knowing that that thing there is a chair and that thing a paper weight. The interpretation must have a basic cogency for the one doing the thinking, and by thinking I mean the activity of the sensorium explained with language. As opposed to intelection which is the way we think over things apart from direct sensing or intuition. The texts one reads point to many things that are directly available to our sensorium, and then to others that are abstruse and require intellectual understanding. It does seem there is a basic sense of cogency in the intellectual things like that of the direct things, which makes us say, this and this make sense, this and this don't make sense. And that this atmosphere is in a flux both personally and culturally, and ultimately throughout the ages.
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