Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Morbid Question about Various Difficulties of a Disgusting Kind (taken up briskly and without the pretension of more than simple sketching) 

The word antisemitism is perhaps generally used to mean, are you stupid? I.e., it is less a request for an explanation about a holding or practical action than it is a rebuke. If the Dreyfus Affair indicates a certain political form of what, after the biological-scientific term is supposed to be anti-semitism, a confused term that is mostly to be understood as a species, alongside anti-judaism, a kind of antichrist activity, devoid of viciousness only as anticristianos, but not devoid of viciousness in its general history as a type of attack on Jews as such, we must ask if it also infects philosophy or if it is limited to politics.

The difficulty is that one does not know what the region is in which its essence would be located, and therefore what would stand outside. If it is permissible to be against an activity, why not the destiny of a people? It stands this way, there is a primacy of certain tendencies and ideas, intimate to groups. Then can they be legitimately opposed? Explicitly this: According to historicism the Greek logic understands techne and phronesis as diametrically opposed [sic]. Despite what is usually said those who have knowledge of this must see what Historicism has in mind, it is this: techne has no memory. The object at the peak of the growth of the logoi as phronesis becomes the mass production. The machine has no memory as such. The origin and destiny of phronesis, of the active normative making principle, is memory as conscience. 

Thus the question, if the preliminary can be adequately bypassed, leads to a fundamental thesis, these both are to be left aside in the work of Husserl. Let it stand as a threadbare, but as possible typic, or exemplare of the “race”. Judith Butler quotes Benjamin to say, “I rather prefer remembrance”. These days, against for instance the instinct of someone like Feynman, who rejected such agglomerations, it is still common and inevitably acceptable to speak of Jewish intellectuals, and to cluster this thought as though it were a school. A school of intellectuals. If this has a certain practical reality, I say if, then does it not follow that a rejection of the Jews, as such, is not vicious but a matter of philosophic content? I.e., that is, that it could be thought so? If the motives propounded by the existence of the Dreyfus Affair are other than those of Husserl and his student, then is one compelled, by conscience, here there is not irony but difficulty, to challenge the thought? If the thought is held, if it is reached, if it is the thought of those thinkers, can they be made to give way to conscience, to the apprehensive attitude in the face of blood and danger.

It becomes ever more necessary to understand that there is a question. Why does Strauss write his essay on the continuance of Judaism, “Why We Remain Jews?” It is because the question of what is adequate in the core of the being of a people is not supplied by the culture concept, but by G-d only. But then if the meaning is reduced to race, to biological race, to base political calculation, the matter can no longer stand among the highest concerns and falls in the face of an inkling of the Historicism that becomes more essential than what is essential. Then it must be understood that the charge, antisemitism, must say Husserl and his student were not serious men. They did not wish to learn. They lied. Taken strictly, if religion is not reduced to a concept (to "routinization" as Strauss calls it), if there is no “religion”, no general notion, but rather there is G-d, and one can not even say it as Rabbi Heschel did (with expansion of the human wrestling and “ ecumenicalism”), but must find only the utter people, one must rebuke those who have “taken the wrong path”. The wrong way. 

Therefore, whoever launches such accusations is outside the realm of “religion” and philosophy, but they must grant a certain secular consideration guides them, and a trepidatious activity proper to the secular reigns here. But whoever has the weight of their being placed in thought can not take such a view, because then they must see the primary demand that guided Husserl and  his student as the overpassing of the conscience-normative and the technological. As a matter of the highest things, where a little knowledge is of more worth than knowing all of the lower. What guides even a prohibition of murder, if G-d is not utterly the highest reality that makes the people? Then , as Strauss insists, the considerations of Gershom Scholem come in, with respect to the searching of the mystics who are to answer the questions of the secular mob. If all this is insufficient, than Husserl and his student must not be disturbed in their activity, as the disturbance is lower, and less serious, than the peerless work. 

These reflections are not adequate but I believe they give some considerations an opening, thus to be more thoroughly examined.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Short Word on the Difficulty of Finding the Concept of the Human in the Face of the Radical Beauty of the Eros of Being 

Before and nearby the turn of the 20th century the question about the human being was asked decisively in such a way that it made itself inadequately answerable to its own essential questioning. The question asked could no longer give what was necessary, whereas before, the answer was sufficient. When the Evolutionary view and the Christian view of the essence of the human being in connection with the Philosophic view were raised, necessity for an answer that would relieve thought of its difficulties positioned itself in the work we call Heidegger. In all such matters the rubric under which the question is elaborated and asked is not decisive, but the best expressions of a perilous reality jell under a few titles which are then regarded as the names of the great philosophers.  

The Beautiful is not the Good (cf. Plato’s Banquet or Symposium). The most beautiful attempt to come to a confrontation with the question of the human being as yet known is that of Heidegger. The Beautiful is the thing which is determined by the greatness of the task (cf. Nietzsche). The tasks set by the one who performs the deeds drawn to what is its eros is the noble task. The eros condescends only to be the matter that is already before the seeker. Heidegger is the text that concerns the thinking of the human being as Being.  

The human being when thought of as natural being is the subject of the forces of nature and of death. When the human being becomes confusing it does not know if it is the spirit of its own concept, the perimetric ‘nature’ invented in the metaphysics of the 17th century, as the subject of modern science, or if it has some other place. The idea of Freedom becomes confused or mixed in a muddled way with the human being. The border ground of what the human being is becomes a fierce chasm that stretches out and swallows the sensitive and the thoughtful who with strange peculiarity notice the perilous necessity and are drawn towards its Element. What is the Element? What is the ground of the order of all things when the Element ceases to give the ego or the body any due? If ego and body are general concepts, devoid of necessary essentiality, and come before the mind as manners of intelligibility, the ridiculous softness of the thinking, constantly unable to reach concrete relief bestows a hallowed danger on itself. It is without justification, and no science can snatch it from the grip of perilous fancy, only whoever is called then can from its grip bother with it. (Parenthetically, one recalls, in lighter tones, the fable Hannah Arendt wrote concerning Heidegger.)

If this approach begins to understand Heidegger better than he himself, should it wish to become serious, it must first confront Heidegger under this understanding. And only then would the thought of the Good with respect to this which is between whoever can think it and the ground of the thinking where it survives, come to the question of what the human is.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

An High-Altitude Comment and a Low Blow 

ROOM, 2014

Man is the measure of all things says that apprehension is higher than comprehension. Comprehension belongs, too, to the order of the things that exist. The absolute spirit is supposed to say: I undergo what brings comprehension to the place of apprehension. Thus comprehension is to become golden through undergoing experiences. In Husserl too, the measure of what undergoes much is the chief matter. But how can one say it reaches its absolute? One can only watch the obvious in a questioning attitude of attentive circumspection. The obvious, when we undergo the experiences of being, becomes the comprehending of the world. The world that comprehends its own ground is the Element. Heidegger says, if we leave it at that, we never can get to the bottom of it all. Thus one must take a leap, a chance, and fix the direction of the inquiry in advance.  In thinking each other world as what this (one’s own) world is, in the manner of time, there is a suggestion that the Element itself is doing something, as it were.  

Of course, Husserl too knows that the Element does something, but he limits himself to recording the movement. Anyone who does not understand these matters, but who instead sees a political reflection at work, really can not see this work as the deed that it is, but loses himself in their own dreams and criticism. Jung’s critique can be taken seriously, and this is an excellent way to gather a sense of what the discussion is about. Because although Jung has no philosophic prowess, his solid certitude as an observer of what happens in life is great. His objections can not be taken seriously enough if they are considered alongside those of Strauss and his philisophic excellence. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Can One Draw Near Being Through Thinking the Sublime and the Christian Aspect of Philosophy as Terminated in the Thinking of Kant?

The sublime is thought generically, that is formulaically and conceptually, in connection to the infinite. The concept thereby reached is not empty but stands in rich connection to the thinking of the concrete finite, of the things of daily life. But Kant never deals with daily life in connection to the finite, since he begins with Newton, and by limiting experience to the representable. This which is something is a representation and it is made true in its symbols and predication, which is to say, through words or signs or, what is the same, sentences. The sublime in Kant is the full, it is the untucked human spirit, whereas what is represented is the finite and the self interested. The sublime is evinced concretely in several examples, both the mathematical and the dynamical and the aesthetic.

Heidegger says rightly that the notion of the (Kantian) aesthetic as the disinterested as discovered by Nietzsche through Schopenhauer is flatly erroneous. It brings one to the very brink of English fine art, and is in Nietzsche the “moon-eyed” nobility, with eyes fixed on a place beyond the stars, in unworthy passivity. The Schoolmen understood ‘indifference’ to mean, not finite, i.e., that which directs itself to the uncabined sway of what holds extraordinarily. Kant followed the schoolmen in his understanding of the beautiful, as what, in ‘indifference’ to what is overcome, to hostile pathe, to the pathological, to the heterogeneous as Kant called it, opens in itself, and shows what is most its own, in the sublime. Heidegger calls the heterogenous the inauthentic, and the autonomous the authentic. This is not, however a mere change of terms, but the specific modification is also a change in the direction of thought, which should be thought in its movement, i.e., from Kant to Heidegger. And, though it goes beyond the scope of this post, from the Greek beginning in pathos, as over and against the essence of man as man. 

We must consider if Strauss, in his project, moves in thought in a way that does not neglect the inner reality of the world, which is to say that Strauss when he asks if the basic evidence, the primary phenomena, still licence the thoughtful question about the Just and the Good, does he fall into reactionaryism, seeking vane overthrow of the necessary and real, or does he, in a second possibility, within the new times, restore a project, different than that of that raised by Socrates, but still vital, or does he, in a third possibility, by not thinking through to its conclusion in the same degree and with the same probity as Husserl and Heidegger bring unhappy failure to his teaching, i.e., self deception and a project of worthless fancy. 

In order to think through this we must ask what has happened. Strauss is most guided by the fact value distinction, and the possibility of assaulting it and showing its inadequacy, that it is not impregnable to thought. What is great in Strauss is the simplicity of his language, and, a fortiori, the awesome greatness of powerfully holding to the simplicity of his objections. Today, no one dreams of such power of thought. Strauss says, thusly, because the Just and the Good have not been shown hitherto, it is no argument against them being found. He says, of the fact value distinction, is it fact or value? The second objection is so simple that it can scarcely be grasped. Yet, is the fact value distinction at all the core of the inner change visible to Husserl, as the tide of the obvious, as the swell of the tide of the rivers that are fed by an unknown rain, fallen from unthought clouds? 

The origin of the fact value distinction is seen simply in the “experiential sciences”, the phrase belongs to Kant, and most of all to his First Critique. It is Newton as over and against the Freedom of the autonomous (thus the moral and the good as reached in the ‘indifference’). But this juxtaposition of the phenomenal, as what can be represented and symbolized logically, and the inner spirit of man as man, is overcome in Nietzsche & Kierkegaard. Naturally, Strauss is possessed of a thorough-going knowledge of Nietzsche, and so one can not say, he merely had the derivative formula which shows itself in so many practical matters, most of all the legal world, “fact and value”. True, the formula is not heard so much these days in public or private life, but it yet prevails. It has become the question of freewill over and against mathematical determination. It has become consciousness over and against the “natural world”. To be sure Strauss is no naive thinker who is deceived by the fog and lights of the modern university: sociology, the philosophy department that prescribes rules of thought, the modern sciences.    

Since the ground of “vague fact”, of the, to use Strauss's formulation, “the citizen’s understanding”, or, in another saying, the ordinary-life understanding, the everyday, the common-sense-bound thought, the folk thinking, etc. is not the thing subject to “possibilities of experience”, not the thing measured by the possibilities of logical representation, first in Newton, but of course later in n number of subsequent theories and models, the fact value distinction becomes opaque and sinks into arbitrary blather. Because it is not founded in the ground of basic experience, but on the condition of logical expression or record, inter-subjectivity, secure showing-to-be-so as objectivity. 

How does the sublime look when it does not find its border in the Kantian “representation”? The dreamer and the vague experiencer do not bind themselves to rationality (as something under the principles of thought). But let us give a more decisive example. The law of contradiction repudiates absence, it states that “No A is not -A”, thus the deprivation of the privative is not a subject of the potency of the formal logic. But it is evident and clearly demonstrated to all, and prior to teaching or school. Strauss too, of course, prefers the “citizen’s understanding” to that of the bookish and the abstracted in so far as he affirms that it comes prior to the latter (as is patently obvious). What is struck down most obviously is the Christian doctrine of the transcendent morality, but the Eudaimonism is not a transcendent doctrine. Yet, how does Strauss answer the question, of which he is well aware, what if the truth is evil? I.e., what if what man as man tends towards, through innermost necessity, is terrible, and not beneficial? Being thrown back from the Christian ground, not utterly, but in so far as the inter-subjective, i.e., the political is concerned, through the finding that the moral can not be made secure and objective, the search of the ancients still has the same “primary evidence”. But, is that quite true? 

Eudaimonism is viewed in Nietzsche as der Rausch, as Macht, Power. This however, is a “false” conclusion, since it is “life-giving lie”. But, what is sure is that Nietzsche holds that there is no one true and solid Good, but many, infinitely many errors… If they glitter from within their darkness it may be “all the better”, but they are no more true for the fact they are kalon, beautiful, noble. For Nietzsche the beautiful is the besotting, the intoxicating, the vital and the evil. It is evil because in the question, is there mere sustaining of life, homostasis, or must all self-regulating life grow and go beyond itself or decay and be guided by decay, he answers, clearly, the former is the case. Thus, God, Rausch itself His essence, is Evil. This evil, this harm, is beyond good and evil, but it is still evil. 

How does it stand with Husserl and Heidegger? They see in the Element the “objective subjective”, i.e., there is something neither Free, which is to say, like the autonomous and the innermost freewill, and the rational, nor, on the other hand, like the pathological (i.e., the emotional and the passionate), the vice ridden and the uncontrollable, the heteronomous, or the determined and the appetitive. This ground is like the sublime, and like the infinite, but it is not infinite, and it is not transcendent. It is derived both theoretically as an orientation, but more so from experience, but in both ways it does not reach its most fruitful exposition. But what is most clear to Heidegger is that nothing could come along, like a tablet, that would make the thing secure that is now holding sway. Is the primary evidence the same or has the world essence changed? In one sense, of course there is more prattle, and so it seems different, but that is not the main thing. In another sense the “primary evidence”, the very argument, that each has with themselves and one another, over the Just and the Good, is found as it was in venerable antiquity. But is it at all evident that the keenest intellects think the past in plain truth? Still, that objection is not decisive, it does seem in some way that the “primary evidence” for the project of philosophy still stands in the force of an inner mission. 

It is possible to reach a thought upon Being formulaically, though not wrongly, simply inadequately, through this reflection: Eudaimonism thought through to transcendent Christian Good, to the fall of the same in the sound end of Kant. If the ground, that is thought not to support values becomes confused in a density of opacity, it still indicates something. It brings the thinking of telos, as rationality coming to its good, or Freedom to its Pacific God, or chaos to its Rausch, into a thinking, that being thought through changes the Being of thought, the end of knowledge worship, the weak attempt to embrace “creativity” in the existential, and the forcible necessity of reaching a view of the movement of thought adequate to Being. Thus, on first glance, it seems to me that the way the political project stands, is not to be thought as ‘the same’ as it always was. The political is vanquished in the fact that the human soul is not a Freedom towards completion and perfection or fullness. However I do not feel this conclusion is soundly reached, and so it must be more diligently thought through.    


One could readily devi
se sophistic reasons and explications, but restrains oneself to noting the fact  of a seemingly-vexed Heidegger in the double attitude towards the alleged oxymoron “Christian Philosophy”, given the problem that, clearly, this period of philosophy is part of its history but not so comprehensive as the open question of the Being of beings, due to the qualification imposed by the “breaking the sphere” to reach god, in faith and divine vision.