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Thoughts on how Heidegger stands with respect to Husserl
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:05 am    Post subject: Thoughts on how Heidegger stands with respect to Husserl Reply with quote

Is Thinking Phenomenology?

The phenomena are the things that shine forth.

Thinking by contrast with philosophy is narrow, and has its nose in everything close by. The political philosopher, e.g., seeks truth, but the political thinker is satisfied to get a hold on the current trend. He looks to what is close by and still visible. The statesman has his eye on the commonwealth, and the weal of all, whereas the politician only looks to the next election.

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For Husserl, the phenomenological reduction is the method of leading phenomenological vision from the natural attitude of the human being whose life is involved in the world of things and persons back to the transcendental life of consciousness and its noetic-noematic experiences, in which objects are constituted as correlates of consciousness. For us, phenomenological reduction means leading phenomenological vision back from the apprehension of a being, whatever may be the character of that apprehension, to the understanding of the Being of this being (projecting upon the way it is unconcealed).
Heidegger, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology


Heidegger says that it was Husserl who first put philosophy on ‘concrete’ footing. Phenomenological facts are sovereign for the thinker.

“Contrary to the imprecise terminology that is found in popular literature, a borderline concept is not a vague concept, but one pertaining to the outermost sphere.” Carl Schmitt

The things that show themselves are the “outermost sphere” for whoever comes to the conviction that philosophy is over. Thus it describes, it delineates, the completion of philosophy. Thinking is consciousness of the concrete things that show themselves.

Phenomenology permits the ‘earth to stand solidly under foot.’ We can observe that it does, and not say that it appears to. We do not need to bring our educated sentiments into it!

The observation of what shows itself is supposed to tear us away from all theory. For Hegel the earth is there, it stands there, and it is solid. But for Husserl the earth stands solidly under foot. The there indicates something I always bring with me, and Husserl says of it that it is a category. The categories are not necessary for the individual phenomenological observations. For Hegel, by contrast, the there is always something any subject has. For Husserl it is roughly like that in the expectation, it is what one roughly expects. But the rough expectation is itself a phenomenological observation of what we expect. It is only an observation. The ‘pure’ phenomenological attitude can hold it in abeyance, it is not something that must be, but we say, I think it is so, it could be other then what I think.

For Husserl this doubt does not assure that there ever will be a not there, but only suggests that there might be a not there. This attitude is characteristic of Husserl's comparative conservatism.

By parallel Husserl does not say, if I observe basic changes in the facts, I can infer from that a Greek world, and a Medieval world. Whereas Heidegger insists on it. If one takes for granted the other worlds, a wholly different attitude towards the present phenomenon follows. One can observe the basic expression of the things, their showing themselves, transfiguring, but not go beyond what is seen.

It is supposed, for instance, that one man sees an obstacle of a certain kind, whilst another finds there a lectern. One must notice that what we are most apt to do is to assume an increase, that the lectern is something more. But this is not at all Heidegger’s intent. Dasein is Dasein. It is not a matter of something more or something less. The way the object protrudes, as obstacle, is as unavailable to the man who sees the lectern, as is the lectern to the other. The talk of the “obstacle”, however, is an external phenomenological observation about the man who is supposed to see the mere obstacle, by the one who sees the lectern. It is not an observation of an obstacle.

It is, stricto sensu, necessary to posit the other worlds.

A false example is given in the Dreyfus' literature. About The film The Gods Must be Crazy. Here, a fantastical account of a ‘break’ in a world is given. Properly the bottle would be taken up as something already available in that world. Meaning that, for example, certain totem objects already were part of that world. Mystery was already known in that world, and so on. Nothing comes from the “outside.” What protrudes and calls forth in a world is of that world and is for that world.

The sense of the resoluteness in Heidegger is a scene of greatest moment for his entire thought. It is through the resoluteness that the coursing forth of the world can be guided. Insofar as it can be guided within a world, it is like Nietzsche's will to will, it is not a cause that brings some effect, but it is rather a standing in the resolute. But, if unlike Nietzsche, Heidegger would have this resoluteness come to a leap, there must be other worlds. The will to will has this character that it is supposed to be in all the worlds, resoluteness does not (because it is an absolute, Heidegger says, I bow before one who will come in a hundred years, i.e., to the same absolute).

One can not take what is said here to speak about the fundamental issue in Heidegger, the question of being. Rather, it speaks of a constant strain in his thinking, which in its weakest moments calls man to value and break from the technological essence. Heidegger has an accidental character which comes to the bound of the political. When his faculties are no longer operating at their height, he no longer has the power to force things back to the phenomena. He loses the thread that is most worthy. What is most worthy in Heidegger, therefore, must not be mistaken for what is lesser and not essential.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you say something about the beef Heidegger had with Husserl? It wasn't a smooth succession was it?

And also perhaps give us an indication of the splendour of the phainomena that so shine forth? Terminology can have a tendency to eat itself up. Socrates was charmingly refreshing in that he embodied conversation, and that conversation tended to be straightforward even though the ideas being dealt with were anything but. So we (of any era) are enticed to read on.

I do so agree with you here:

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The statesman has his eye on the commonwealth, and the weal of all, whereas the politician only looks to the next election.


Do any modern statesmen/women fulfil this role?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Can you say something about the beef Heidegger had with Husserl? It wasn't a smooth succession was it?


It it an extra-theoretical question? (I use ‘theoretical’ in the ordinary sense, to mean: do you ask about the political and personal “beef?” or the serious work?) I think what belongs to the work is indicated by what I have partly sketched above.

If someone says, did someone fail to invite someone else to dinner, and as a result did the other claim to find the work of the former lacking in some way? I think that is not the kind of thing that we can expect to find in this case. What would the connection between the personal antagonisms and the work be? How would it show itself? In what way should one seek it?

small addendum, supposing the existence of some occasional auditor of these pages who would shudder disdainfully at the eschewal of the Nazi question: If one asks, what is there in Historicity that is Nazi-like? If such a blunt question is asked, then certain things can be said. Is there, for instance, a diremption between traditional values and Hitler science (taken as a particular modification of social Darwinism, the 'talented tenth' being another such modification.) It is my conviction that that is not relevant to the essence of this work. However one could ask that, but it takes a general shape that would very soon show us a question far larger than Husserl or Heidegger, at the very least one would be compelled to speak of the Enlightenment. I take for granted the connection between Enlightenment and Historicity, for the former brings us the modern fact, and the latter upsets the distinction between it and the empty 'value.' Nothing of the tradition can stand up to so overpowering and so preeminent a movement. The tradition looses all dignity. Where do we find ethics departments? Perhaps in some side area of business ethics. Justice looses all rank in the scheme of life under Enlightenment. It becomes mere gabble about schema.

Quote:

“And also perhaps give us an indication of the splendour of the phainomena that so shine forth?”


Phenomenon means what we say when we ‘see something.’ The something ‘shines forth;’ a stone in the dirt, a person jogging, a museum, it is not the faculty of sight that creates the things. They show themselves. The things that show themselves are the phenomena. In this we say nothing. Ordinary common sense despises us for making a circle. We say nothing, we are as yet vegetative, but if we do not have this much we can not begin.

Phenomenal sight distinguishes itself from everyday sight because it deals with what is there and not what appears to be there. The earth disappears into the horizon, it doesn't appear to.

The question of ‘splendour,’ if one takes that up as a general theme, about the Greek world, about the ‘light of the sun,’ says that a ‘media’ has come between us and the phenomena, i.e., theory. So that a deposit of soot stands between us and the things. To see them afresh requires an attitude of openness to the phenomena.

For possible example: The ‘vault of the heavens’ is a kind of ceiling, it is a container as we learn form the Timaeus’ myth. But, through telescopic sight we assure ourselves of what is not there in the phenomena, of the bottomless depth of space. We carry back what we learn, with the astronomer’s tubes and starlight pictures, to ordinary sight. We distort. This is a barrier which causes one to become consumed by theoretical talk, even when one claims to describe what is showing itself. What one sees is disclosed, through the description, artificially. One says “vault” not poetically, but because if one looks, there seems to be there a kind of roof, and not an endless pit.

Finding interesting cases of this is not at issue here. What one attempts is to stay with the thinking, that is where the work has its simple essence. Such work is only for philosophers, only for the very few, if the word philosophers can be taken in the idiomatic and non-technical sense.

Phenomenology is an attitude. Thus the attitude of Husserl is not that of Heidegger. The other worlds mark a division of the attitudinal stands.


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Do any modern statesmen/women fulfil this role?


We would have to ask if the eternal form of statesmen fits the modern situation in any serious way (or even if it exists; such is the modern atmosphere). The polis is not the modern country. Even a universally respected and just man may have nothing to do with the aims of modern life. The good social engineer may be better suited to nudging men to higher productivity in the sphere of ‘well being.’ We would have to compare the ends of the polis to those of modern man. These two may ask after wholly different ends. For a very crude and inadequate example: The goal of gaining scientific knowledge may turn out to be hindered by human justice. It could be, for instance, that there are no serious advantages to research productivity to be got from it.

Also, does the polis, as a form, have anything to do with modern political formations? Strauss says, even Cicero, already had to go to great lengths to harmonise Roman-political forms with the polis. And Strauss struggled against the dissolve of the eternal forms, but through probity he was compelled to analysis this difficulty.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“They show themselves” - This could be thought of as extraordinary, for don’t we look at ‘them’ or grasp them through the senses? Or are we to take it seriously that eidos is ‘a look’. I wonder if you have thought of linking this to Aristotle’s theories of how we perceive in de anima and prepared for in Metaphysics Theta, and its implications – bringing it back to the Greeks, therefore in line with the Forum subject (not that I mind the occasional trip abroad)?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, this is very compressed. I'll try to do an easier version tomorrow.

The 'actualisation' (energeia)at the end of my garden of the 'potential' oak (a combination of acorn and earth etc.) gives rise to what’s ‘there’. But when he gets to his theory of perception in De Anima (On The Soul) Aristotle is forced to shuffle things around. After all, soul has the ability to perceive, hasn’t it? To get this theory to work he is minded to call the venerable oak standing ‘there’ merely a ‘first level’ actuality.

Perception is a game changer. It doesn’t come into Physics as a distinct entity because Physics is about the nature of change that natural organisms have within themselves. (The artist kind of mimics nature in the way that she operates within the fields of nature – the luthier selects her woods from the seasoned products of previously ‘self propelled’ natural products.)

In this new situation the actuality of the oak tree becomes a first level actuality, but a second level potentiality – the forming of the tree from acorn is now looked back upon as a first level potentiality.

This second level potentiality of the tree has the capacity (another word oft used for potentiality) to cause perceptual awareness in a suitably placed perceiver. But, for Aristotle’s system to work there has to be another potentiality present, the sense faculty (in this case the faculty of the eye).

So when the seeing takes place these two potentialities become one in a single perception - a single act.

Here Aristotle has found a way to ‘elevate’ the system forged in his work, Physics, where two forces act one on another to bring about a third thing. Of course in Physics he is talking of change (metaboles) in the form of some kind of movement (kinesis). This new use of potentiality has no kinesis as such but is what we might call ‘meta’ physics.

This ‘seeing’ of the tree is a second level actuality.

In all this I rely heavily on the interpretation of Jonathan Lear.

You probably know, O Third Man, but I say it for others, that in all his philosophy of being, Aristotle privileges actualisation, that is, and it’s worth spending a moment or two on this, what is top of his charts is the particular item. This is favoured even over eidos – Form, because eidos is merely a species to him, as a cat is a species but Fido, the mog that can be predicated of nothing, is an actualisation. This is something a form can never be, can only aspire to. It comes out of retirement as a potency and combines, in the case of Fido, with physical matter, or in the case of me seeing Fido, with the finer matter - the hule of perception.

So me seeing Fido stealthily walking across the lawn is for Aristotle the second level actualisation of the second level potency talked of above. (If I turn away, I am protected from Bishop Berkeley’s question of whether Fido is there at all by Aristotle’s contention that it does remain 'there' a first level actuality. There is still a ‘there’ even though nobody sees the ‘there’. And in a particular ‘there’ there is Fido.)

Here is a problem for those who also admire Plato; for Aristotle’s system has relegated the most elevated objects of the Plato paradigm to a mere potency. We have Aristotle’s own words for this:

“Thus if there are any natures or ousiai such as are claimed in various accounts and claimed to be ‘Ideas”, then there will be something with much more knowledge than “Knowledge Itself” and something with much more motion than “Motion Itself”. For they [i.e. what has more knowledge than Knowledge Itself and more motion than Motion Itself] will be in a more primary sense actuality while those things [Knowledge Itself and Motion Itself] will turn out to be but potencies. Thus it is evident that actuality is prior.” [Metaphysics Theta 1050b 35] with thanks to John McGinley for the inserts.

So Aristotle compares these phainomena, self shining and resplendent, to watered down ta katholika universals and less in being than young Fido as he lopes towards his watering place near the creosote fence at the back of the garden.... Really??
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ἐνέργεια
activity, operation

Actuality does not mean, e.g., the Oak tree. It means the activity of the power of the manner of being (of, e.g., an Oak). The Oak, its being there, is the ergon, the accomplished work. If a shoemaker who has the power of making shoes is engaged in the activity of plying his craft, that activity is not a shoe.

The soul has the power of sight, the dynamis or dynamic potential, the faculty, the ability. The actualizing, the actual, the adjectival form of act, is the activity of the power. Seeing is the actuality of the ability to see. The ability to see sees and it sees something.

Motion is a special case because for Aristotle it is the power of nature. He speaks not of a thing moving but of the power of motion. The soul has the power of sight, the world has the power of motion. (Would it not be absurd if someone were to say that, e.g., the power of sight, were more seeing-like than seeing [the activity]?)

Actually there is something hilarious that occurs to me here. In connection to your citation from the Metaphysics. Could there be a being that didn't know how to move, and so went to a classroom to learn how to move simply? Not how to dance, but to move at all? It is not something one gets equipped with some time or other!

Motion like sight is a basic category. One can learn, say, to play tennis form a teacher. And there is better and worse tennis playing. But movement and sight are not matters of better and worse. In the Meno the question is, is justice teachable?. Movement is surely not teachable!

Your authority is dysfunctional because for him reflection is utterly alien, he knows only the technological essence, i.e., for your authority all thinking is mercenary. [He supposes that Aristotle is supplying theory for a future practical activity! The reverse supposition would take us far closer to what he is doing.] It seeks (the mercenary thinking seeks). Even Aristotle's physics do not supply instructions on how to build, e.g., an eye. They are metaphysics by the modern standard. For Aristotle, like his teacher, reflection is not a high activity, it is the activity of man alone. It is the highest activity. It has all dignity. For the modern it not only has no dignity, it is even not there. In the arts thinking asks to be paid in the form of social change, in the sciences one must at least discover something theoretically substantive, or that supplies instructions on building things.

Does it even resemble a possibility that in the time of one generation in the city of Athena, Athens, a teacher of the doctrine of the full importance of reflection could spawn a modern homo faber (of course, originally this term meant something quite different), a teacher of fabrication? Your authority is unqualifiedly incompetent. Even George Berkley is not at all understood, after so short a time. His doctrine is that the senses open on the beings, and that the intellect, exemplified by Newton, can not see more than they do through pure abstraction. Berkeley is saying that the essences are intuited. One, e.g., sees a mountain, not the reality behind it, not philosophic matter, not the strings or the so-called forces which are the matter of physics.

If I see, e.g., something with the look of Styrofoam, I see Styrofoam. I know, also, that it has a certain pliancy, at once. Just as I know what it is at once. I know what it is, emptily, and I know about it. It’s not as if I stop and begin recollecting, and keep seeking knowledge of the thing, and finally remember it. I know what it is like on sight. I intuit the essence. Intuiting the essence is also called divining the being.

If “perception” means the same thing as discrimination it is a thinking, and not the operation of the eye. We know the difference between dirt and sidewalk. They have different ‘looks.’ We also have perception of the proper and the improper. We discriminate.

One does not see even red, a special and basic sense connected with the eyes, without knowing it. And without also seeing its genus, which is the what-to-do-with-it instruction, as it were. Somehow, nothing at all shows itself, strikes us, without some content. Otherwise, as Searle says, we would be in a Chinese Room (naturally, due to his lack of any serious training, Searle does not properly appreciate his own observations). There is no bare mechanical perception for living beings. [ Q:“for don’t we look at ‘them’ or grasp them through the senses?” A: And through thinking.]



--

Now, on the other hand, I believe there is a mistake that is peculiar to yourself, which even our modern professors do not make. I think what you mean by ‘Fido’ Aristotle calls primary substance. “This one!” And you point. It’s Keiko or Yukio, and not some particular Japanese. What he’s doing is saying the philosopher needs to give content to ‘this one’ in order to bring it to the level of discussion. Socrates does exactly the same thing. This is what one means when one says, you have not given us enough to argue with. Simply to say ‘this one’ and point is vegetative. To give an account: here is the talking animal, the calculative beast, man!, is to be political. That is an animal or mortal level of speech. To reflect upon the beings is divine.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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This is what one means when one says, you have not given us enough to argue with. Simply to say ‘this one’ and point is vegetative. To give an account: here is the talking animal, the calculative beast, man!, is to be political. That is an animal or mortal level of speech.

Good! But are you sure about this? Are you not jumping from the particular being to the species? To say "Jack is a man" is already moving away from the particular. Isn't the reason why Aristotle says that there is no knowledge in the particular being simply that one can't say "Something is a Jack"? That is, Jack can be predicated of nothing. The buck ends there, as it were. We can say "Jack is a talking animal" for here Jack is being connected to something more universal (katholou), something that holds more knowledge but less being. And that is the paradox that lies beneath Aristotle's system.

Please don't go all Heideggerian on me. That is a different subject. Heidegger speaks for himself not Aristotle, and even less for Plato.

If we can concentrate on Aristotle alone, as far as possible, we might get somewhere. There is such a lot we can glean from comparative translations of De Anima, Metaphysics Theta, and On Generation and Corruption. We could investigate together instead of telling each other how incompetent the other is.

Of course, you probably know that I don't think too much of Aristotle. He has no 'Pythagorean' instinct and is laughably clumsy in that area, and hard to trust. But perhaps it is that I have little Aristotelian instinct. So mebbe we could help each other.

Let me go back to my original beef:

Why would Aristotle have to say "Socrates is a man" if Socrates is greater in being than man. Man is, as a species, a potency. Socrates as a primary being is energeia - eidos at work (ergon).

Your thoughts, O Third Man, would be greatly appreciated.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Why would Aristotle have to say "Socrates is a man" if Socrates is greater in being than man. Man is, as a species, a potency. Socrates as a primary being is energeia - eidos at work (ergon).”

First for Aristotle is the world, nature, as change or movement. Then the soul, which means the same thing as the power of life, or the faculty of life. Where, of course, soul does not mean mind or brain or consciousness or unconsciousness. Socrates is the name of a particular with respect to life or soul. But not in the sense you mean.

Look at a long prevalent view about animals. Which, these days, is no longer so popular but I think we can still understand it. That view says that they have no ‘soul.’ That they are not individuals, but representatives of their kind alone. What does that mean? No primary substance, i.e., animals are supposed to be only the particular of their race. Same for the ‘Souls of Black Folks’, under antebellum Aristotelian-derived thought. The literature usually speaks here of the individual or singular, one is likely to confuse that with the particular due to the laxness of ordinary speach. This objection of yours is misguided. You need only pick up any textbook.


The question Aristotle asks is what is the essence of change or movement. I.e., what we all can grasp from ordinary life. For example, think of an amoeba. The amoeba is appetitive, it requires food. But surely it does not see its food ‘as’ food. Yet it seeks food, but vegetatively. Hypnosis in the face of the Protean is thought to stand behind the squirrel's properly animal activity, when it too, finds its sustaining nutrients. We can see that this vegetative life of the amoeba is something like the life of Socrates, it too has appetite. Yet its energia is different form that of men, its activity does not proceed by understanding. Man knows food ‘as’ food. His activity is purposive and considered. (Although, true, much is made of the fact that man too acts on reflex in some cases. The sight of this, even in thought, spurs the so-called scientific dreams that man is a machine.)

In saying that the energia of human life is considered, that it grasps its objects, we do not make an objective or behaviorist point. We are attempting to consider the sense of motion now in play. Because change strictly speaking is nothing. It is just what happens. We try to raise the character of the change to our thought. The ergon does not speak of some thing, but of the principle of the movement itself that is in play, e.g., in the soul of Socrates.

Unfortunately there is no critical edition of On the Soul available on Tufts or the other serious sights. Otherwise one should want to adduce something.


---

Quote:
"Jack is a man" is already moving away from the particular. Isn't the reason why Aristotle says that there is no knowledge in the particular being simply that one can't say "Something is a Jack"?


Jack is what one points to. It’s usually called the individual in the literature. One is always likely to confuse it with the particular, and otherwise sensible people have often done that.

What Aristotle means is that the principle of contradiction does not have any power with a unique term. The same, he asserts, is the case if the term has infinite definitions. If Jack is a name for the pointing activity, a synonym for ‘I point’ (at Jack), rather than the definition, he can’t deal with it logically. His point is that logic, calculative thought, what Socrates does when he fixes ‘strict’ speech and account, underlies all philosophical activity as a school discipline. It is the ‘seventh’ discipline that stands under the theoretical and the practical disciplines as the ground of philosophy as the seeking after the essences of all things (which is how Aristotle understands philosophy).

Aristotle never thinks the talk about the things in the way Heidegger does (in place of this he defines man as the talking animal, but through the nurturing of the Polis, thus Aristotle presupposes a state prior to that of man as man, which Heidegger does not). For Aristotle the account is just account. I think your view attributes a Heideggerianism to Aristotle who doesn't think the disclosing through speech as inseparable from what the speech brings to disclosure. The necessary condition of bringing something into the school is the logos, but not of the thing being.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, O Third Man, this does not address my points at all. To speak generally and in essay fashion, is merely entertaining. To address precisely as possible what I am saying you need to give me references which apply exactly and show me that you are not simply flying by the seat of your pants. Your mini-essay about souls of animals etc. though interesting, I have no opinions on at all.

There are two points I would like you to address, so that I may know more about the philosopher I have grave misgivings about.

1)
Quote:
Socrates is the name of a particular with respect to life or soul. But not in the sense you mean.


What do you think is the sense I mean? Then we will have a firm basis for discussion.

2) What do you say that Aristotle means in the below passage already cited? McGinley’s inserts I do not believe alter but clarify the translation, (probably Loeb) but if you wish you can omit them.

“Thus if there are any natures or ousiai such as are claimed in various accounts and claimed to be ‘Ideas”, then there will be something with much more knowledge than “Knowledge Itself” and something with much more motion than “Motion Itself”. For they [i.e. what has more knowledge than Knowledge Itself and more motion than Motion Itself] will be in a more primary sense actuality while those things [Knowledge Itself and Motion Itself] will turn out to be but potencies. Thus it is evident that actuality is prior.” [Metaphysics Theta 1050b 35]


I see this passage linked to certain others as key in understanding where Aristotle and Plato part company. It also slanders Plato’s theory of forms.

I’m not looking for πολεμος here, O Third Man, merely good conversation and clarity.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I answered this above:
Quote:
(Would it not be absurd if someone were to say that, e.g., the power of sight, were more seeing-like than seeing [the activity]?)


Of course if we want to treat that passage more seriously we might, and we would need the Greek. But you don't even look at the answers so what is the point? You are incapable of being impressed by good sense. Only authority impresses you. You are astoundingly thoughtless.

The answers given were specific, but because you have no knowledge of Aristotle some comprehensive comments must be made. You have a Medieval interpretation that you're stuck on through your harmful Authority or professor. But that was made more than a thousand years after Aristotle's death, concerning modalities and such things.

These interpretations that have seduced you are no longer attempting to contemplate Aristotle at all, they are modifications on top of modifications.

--

One can consider another case. Think if we all were like you, and believed every authority, would it not lead to a false handling of the material? Say I take Dawkins, who knows nothing of Theology, as my authority. What will I believe? That the technical term in Thomistic thought, omnipotence, says, God is such as to make a thing more powerful than he himself can lift. Manifest nonsense. Thus, religion is refuted. Granted your idiot authorities are somewhat more intelligent than this, it is in principle the same sort of idiocy.

Now, as you like to speak in Latin, about potencies, let us look. Omni-potent. What does it say? Everywhere there is a cause the power behind it, the potency, is god. Thomas was censored for this, for he limits, following Aristotle, god, to what is. Everywhere there is some thing done, it is through god. But, god can not perform absurdities. Nor just any old thing. This is a modification of genuine Aristotelian thought. However, that thought has a manifestly different character than the Christian thinker brings to it.

You childishly say go to Aristotle, and then at once speak in Latin. Potency (capacity). Potentia, actus. Scholastic fabrications.

One has to see the general situation. There is simple idiocy reigning, people who have not the slightest philosophical sense are called everywhere philosophers in the Universities. They are merely contemporary pushers of present day ideas. One must see what has happened in a wide sense, prior to looking at any particular passage. You take your childish authorities as scripture, and then you express a sort of Racism against Aristotle, whereby if Socrates or Plato say exactly the same thing, you find something to disdain if it comes from Aristotle. It is a simple and amazing idiocy.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must proceed somewhat clumsily, due to the limitations of available resources. However, a loose treatment of the material for the sake of a general surveying with an eye towards reaching an orientation amidst these dark issues follows:

--

τοιαῦται ἢ οὐσίαι οἵας λέγουσιν οἱ ἐν τοῖς λόγοις τὰς ἰδέας, πολὺ μᾶλλον ἐπιστῆμον ἄν τι εἴη ἢ αὐτὸ ἐπιστήμη καὶ κινούμενον ἢ κίνησις ταῦτα γὰρ ἐνέργειαι μᾶλλον, ἐκεῖναι δὲ δυνάμεις τούτων. ὅτι μὲν οὖν πρότερον ἡ ἐνέργεια καὶ δυνάμεως καὶ πάσης ἀρχῆς μεταβλητικῆς, φανερόν.

http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/citequery3.pl?dbname=GreekFeb2011&getid=0&query=Arist.%20Metaph.%201050b

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Thus if there are any entities [τοιοῦτος, ‘thing like this’] or substances [οὐσία, things spoken about] such as the dialecticians [? Socrates Plato and their epigones] describe the Ideas to be, there must be something which has much more knowledge [ἐπιστῆμον, secured reliance] than absolute knowledge [αὐτὸ ἐπιστήμη, self-knowledge], and much more mobility [κινούμενον, set to motion] than motion [κίνησις]; for they will be in a truer [proper, individual] sense actualities [ἐνέργειαι, activities], whereas knowledge and motion will be their potentialities [δυνάμεως, forces or powers].1 Thus it is obvious [surely secure] that actuality [ἐνέργεια, activity] is prior both to potentiality [force] and to every principle [ἀρχῆς, genetic ] of change [φανερόν visible, manifest].



--

Properly (if inelegantly) translated:

If there are any things like the things they call ideas, then something must be more secured than self-knowledge [i.e., in the stars there is more than what is known to the self-knower or the wise], more brought into motion, than motion; activities in the proper sense having a secured Pistis and activity for faculties. Surely it is secure, activity comes before force and genetic manifestation.


---

Interpretation of the passage:

Ideas are not things. Or ousia, beings. Else they would be ‘more.’ If they were more, it would indicate they were not what Plato speaks of in the Seventh Letter. For they would stand as ‘more.’ They would be a thing spoken of as more or greater. That can not be.

--

Clarification of the passage's meaning within the whole work of Aristotle:

Aristotle continues: The terms "being" and "not-being" are used not only with reference to the types of predication, and to the potentiality or actuality, or non-potentiality and non-actuality, of these types, but also in the strictest sense to denote truth and falsity.

Ergo, truth and falsity refer to the defender in the marketplace of ideas who must keep the wolves from the door. But not to the object of reflection spoken of in the letter. I.e., to him who would be defenseless against the wolves. [c.f., the Nicomachean Ethics]
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, at last. Hopefully, as this is what I have been waiting for, my aporia regarding Aristotle will be removed; at least there is now something to respond to directly
I am tied up until Sunday. But after that I would like to continue on this investigation knowing that we are at least facing each other.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


“Thus if there are any entities or substances such as the dialecticians describe the Ideas to be, there must be something which has much more knowledge itself”
- that’s all we need.
I take it that ‘Knowledge itself’ pertains to the Platonic Idea (as per the 7th letter). Any argument here? And this is a direct criticism of Plato? Yes, I believe it is.

This is, and there is no polite way of saying this, Aristotle the wild bull stomping and pawing the ground to ensure his own philosophical genes dominate (in the very best possible taste, of course, for Plato was his ‘friend’). He is not desecrating the term eidos which he has taken from Plato, only the Platonic eidos.

His own version, energeia or even the even wispier entelecheia is alive and well in his own eyes. After all his own forms are ‘at-work’; they are activities - even though there is no evidence that they ‘act’. You can see what has happened here. Plato’s form has been quietly squashed into the dunamis for it’s true that the productive force (agent) is thought by Aristotle to carry the eidos as a potentiality. Not potentiality itself but carried within potentiality. This seems a loose end to me but I rely on you to tie a ribbon around it.

What you say generally blithely ignores all the problems in Aristotle's view. You appear to want to fuse together two clear distinctions immanentist and transcendentalist. Nothing new about this, his understanding of Pythagoreanism was even more wide of the mark.

There are many examples in Aristotle to support my view, and it would be interesting to put them to the test. As you know, I am not fussed one way or the other. My instinct that the immanentist approach is basically pseudos.
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redundant fallibility
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there are any things like the things they call ideas, then something must be more secured than self-knowledge.

In the Seventh letter Plato tells us that the knowledge in not the eidos. Though, surely it is “imminent,” to use your silly modern jargon. Plato and Socrates insist on that often. It is, of course, a matter of grasping the fact that they are there which Plato concerns himself with.

Peter has no ability to think, and so falls back on repeating nonsense taken from authority. Aristotle didn’t speak English, and no one grew up with him at Athens that is still with us. One translates differently in each generation, even between generations. You need only look at the distinctively Elizabethan Aristotle, which has the merit of being written in English. He has answered nothing put forward, not confronted it at all. His script is almost entirely useless, except that it brings our attention to the rarity of serious thought and the so preeminent “imminence” of authority.


“If, therefore, it is impossible to possess these arts without learning them at some time and having grasped them, and impossible not to possess them without having lost them at some time (through forgetfulness or some affection or the lapse of time; not, of course, through the destruction of the object of the art,1 because it exists always), when the artist ceases to practice his art, he will not possess it;and if he immediately starts building again, how will he have re-acquired the art?” [1047a]

Taken loosely, in an updated Tredennick translation, we have the phrase ‘it always exists.’ The knowledge. Can Peter tell us what word is translated as ‘object’ in this case? Or tell us anything helpful? Certainly not. He will simply play his tape recorded message.

Also, why does Aristotle say that the planets are eternal? And unlike the changing things down here. Surely, Aristotle admits the eternal. So then how can he not wish to contemplate what is eternal? What other possibility does man as man have for the Greeks?

Peter’s faith in his authorities’ translation and interpretation is not philosophical. To reiterate: It’s the same thing as saying, e.g., that “omnipotence” means whatever folks now say it does, and then proceeding to trounce Aquinas. Or in understanding Polis to mean city. Or, hoplite to say stormtrooper. Peter never even dreams of approaching Aristotle. For he is amazingly thoughtless.

However, why should one approach Aristotle, one should begin to think seriously here.

I have no tranquility and time to pursue my original topic, so marred by the brainless interject, but shall do so when possible.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s interesting that Aristotle chooses ‘motion itself’ and ‘knowledge itself’ as his two examples of ‘potentiality’ mascarading in Forms clothes. I believe motion is not a form according to Aristotle, but you’ll know better. Knowledge itself is the form or are we to allow a circle a form and not knowledge itself? Knowing about such self-knowledge is nearest but not the same. When Sankara composes the Atma Bodha (Self knowledge) he composes many lines of knowledge that leads to this supreme knowledge.

You are being slippery here, but no matter. Because in the point you raise here (sophistically) we should be clear that the knowledge talked of in the Seventh Letter ( as 4th of 5) is “knowledge and intelligence and true opinion regarding these objects”

Now if you were being honest in your dealings, and not trying to mask your own shortcomings with rather nasty kinds of abuse, you would agree that this knowledge that is talked of as knowledge in the Epistle is the same knowledge that Socrates uses as a defunct example while pursuing the real thing in Theaetetus. Or if you did not agree, you would put your disagreement courteously. Here is the sort of thing I mean. Socrates has asked the geometrician what knowledge is:

Theaetetus
Well then, I think the things one might learn from Theodorus are knowledge—geometry and all the things you spoke of just now—and also cobblery and the other craftsmen's arts; each and all of these are nothing else but knowledge.

Socrates
You are noble and generous, my friend, for when you are asked for one thing you give many, and a variety of things instead of a simple answer.

Theaetetus
What do you mean by that, Socrates?

Socrates
Nothing, perhaps; but I will tell you what I think I mean. When you say “cobblery” you speak of nothing else than the art of making shoes, do you?

Theaetetus
Nothing else.

Socrates
And when you say “carpentry”? Do you mean anything else than the art of making wooden furnishings?

Theaetetus
Nothing else by that, either.

Socrates
Then in both cases you define that to which each form of knowledge belongs?

Theaetetus
Yes.

Socrates
But the question, Theaetetus, was not to what knowledge belongs, nor how many the forms of knowledge are; for we did not wish to number them, but to find out what knowledge itself really is. Or is there nothing in what I say?

Theaetetus
Nay, you are quite right.

[THEAETETUS 146C]

I hope you take my fundamental point here for what it is, and do not try to hide it among the clutter of your lesser points.

What Aristotle is talking of in the passage from Metaphysics Theta Nine is no less than what we call the Platonic eidos. He, to my simple reading, is saying that such a view of eidos is inferior to his own which is eidos-at-work, is he not? In Theaetetus Socrates ‘struggles’ to keep our sights on knowledge-itself amidst a veritable forest of ‘knowledge ofs’ (though for his own purposes Plato won’t allow him to use the word eidos in this Dialogue).

PS. I am sorry that you take exception to that simple term immanent. I don’t normally like jargon but as you, O Third Man, use it so often I thought it might make you feel more at home in a conversation that appears so irksome to you. But I believe that your original ‘professorial’ post has shape-shifted through its subsequents into something quite amenable to a Plato forum.
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