Archive | July, 2010

Friedrich Nietzsche The AntiChrist: II – VI

29 Jul

I have previously neglected to read and think about Nietzsche’s philosophy because of his blatant, and criticizing of Christians and the Christian faith. I was recently told by an uncle of mine, that if I am to teach philosophy in the future (which that is the plan), I need to be able to teach both sides. Hearing this, and realizing my unreasonable bias against this atheist philosophy, I understood it was wrong of me to condemn all Nietzschean philosophy, and I started to read the AntiChrist because it addresses my issues with Nietzsche’s philosophy. Forgive me if my opinions further show my adamant bias against atheism. Here are the AntiChrist propositions 2 through 6 (omitting 4)

II

Nietzsche defines the good: everything that increases the feeling of power, the will to power, and power itself in men.  Evil: everything that is based in weakness. Joy: emotion of power increasing, of a resistance overcome. Using these definitions he claims that men are not content in their amount of power, but they have joy and good in claim to more power, and waging war for more power. He claims that people without power are condemned and cast out. He carves out from those without power as the weak and misbegotten leading to the slogan: they should be helped to sink. He lays out all these definitions to carve out the weak as Christianity: “What is the most harmful vice? – pity shown to the misbegotten and the feeble- Christianity” (Nietzsche).  Because he notes evil to be those based in the weak, and he also notes Christianity to be the misbegotten and the feeble so we are able to make the connection that Christianity to him is evil. Before going into my dislike for Nietzsche’s philosophy against Christianity, I want to note upon his definition of the good. The good involves to a smaller extent things based in power, and more on things based in goodness towards others and ourselves, which power more often than not does not correlate with. When one thinks of the good,  power is not what immediately comes to mind. I think of good as Plato thought of it: knowledge, good to others and ourselves (often love). The good is what God wants us to take upon ourselves to benefit all within and around us. Good’s definition is understood as what most everyone else thinks of it as, usually not of power. I can understand that he thinks of Christianity as misbegotten and feeble because little hard evidence endorses it, but faith does, which is something he lacks the intelligence to have. Finally, Christianity is not something that sees or takes pity anyway, so his greatest vice is not one that matters. I totally disagree with his second proposition.

III

The third proposition again slams Christianity when he concerns the form of man that will evolve and rule many of the people. The man he concerns to evolve is the one that: “shall be evolved, shall be willed as having the highest value, as being the most worthy to live and the best guarantor of the future…”(Nietzsche). He concerns what type of man will change into the kind that rules by government and by influence for the future, to hopefully be better. He states that he has seen a similar kind of man to his qualifications, that has faded in and out, and has become high in recgonizance by luck and not by his own choice. Nietzsche states that this man is feared from terror, and aims for man to evolve towards a higher form. He labels this feared man doomed to fail as the Christ type. I understand his conclusion and the connection between the terror instilling/ feared man  and the Christ type because some who label themselves as Christians do not live their lives as so. These hypocritical Christians are hypocritical because they wrongly exercise power, and do things righteous Christians would not do. These hypocrites give Christianity a bad vibe because these are the Christians seen by the mass public, making all Christians look like this hypocrite model of terror. I agree with Nietzsche that the man that emerges out of luck this way and assumes power and instills terror that labels himself with the Christian name  is one that is bad for everyone. Nietzsche makes the connection that because these people that label themselves as Christians probably means that all Christians are like this (power hungry, terror instilling, feared). If Nietzsche really knew the real Christian he would not think this way, and he would know how good real Christians are (and I DON’T mean Nietzsche’s definition of good). I even hate to talk this way because by saying this I say that I do not sin, when really I sin also, just like the power hungry hypocritical Christian Nietzsche talks about. I therefore equalize myself and all other real Christians with this hypocrite and all people in general because in God’s eyes, all sins are equal (and can all be forgiven equally). But the sins of the Christian Nietzsche exemplifies make Christianity look differently from what it really is, making Christianity look bad, leading to Nietzsche’s philosophy in the AntiChrist.

IV (omitted)

V

This higher stronger man taken to his position by will is something Nietzsche wants to occur, but he states that Christianity goes against this strong man, and aims to destroy it. He claims that Christianity employs evil upon everything (evil meaning weakness, and misbegottenness). The biggest and most interesting point in V is when Nietzsche says that Christianity takes sides with the good/weak and feeble by telling people to go against their better instincts, and it eats through reasoning and instincts. The main thing I get from V is that  Christianity telling people to go against their better instincts prevents the rising of a strong man that comes to power by will that evolved into a better man above the rest. First, I do not think throughout these propositions that Nietzsche’s evolved man coming to power through will (the strong man) would be any better in tyranny and terror than the hypocritical Christians. Also, I do not think that a person should come to power by will, because this would lead to tyranny and terror. I just do not see Nietzsche’s picture of the perfect ruling strong man to be any better than the rest simply because being a strong man, he would have the same or even more faults just like everyone else. If he could have given a better definition of this strong man, and explained why he would do better than anyone else, I would find his philosophy about this evolved man better. Second, Christianity causes men to go against their better instincts, this I agree with. The part I do not agree with is Nietzsche’s opinion that men going against their better instinct is bad. We are supposed to have faith enough in God to trust that He knows better about ourselves than we do. He is infinitely bigger than us, as we are infinitely smaller than He. Because of this, going against our better instincts is the best thing to do, as our better instincts are faulty and will more often than not lead us astray. For instance, the Bible tells us to go against our better instincts when it tells us to turn the other  cheek against our enemies. No man in his better instincts would do that, but it always works better for us when we turn the other cheek. Going further in this biblical example, if we turn the other cheek, the enemy declines to attack us further, but if we retaliate against the enemy by striking back, the enemy stricks again back at us, and the conflict does not end, leading to dismal results. Here, going against our better instincts is best, and in instances where we cannot find a reason to do what God says, we have to have faith enough to know that it will work out if we obey God. These beliefs in obeyance of God would seem stupid to Nietzsche but again he was too ignorant and instinct based to understand any of this.

VI

“It is a distressing, a painful spectacle that appears before me: I have drawn back the curtain which conceals the putrescence of mankind” (Nietzsche). By putrescence he means that mankind is putrid because of its decadence, by decadence he means decrease of the mental state specifically by losing the use/the having of instincts.

“I define an animal, a species or an individual as decadent when it loses its instincts; when it adopts and when it even prefers what is injurious to itself” (Nietzsche). Decadent= loss of instincts. Instincts to Nietzsche are what promote survival, good (powerful) things, and other things promoting the wellness of the being. The importance of instincts promote power of an organization for Nietzsche, and the tight organization of that group. Instincts for Nietzsche promote wellness as a being and as any grouped organization.

My opinion is against the importance of instincts. Instincts are what are small unknowing brain tells us what we should do when its knowledge is small in nature and is nothing to be relied on. If we rely on anything it should be God, and we should have faith and trust in Him if we want to preserve ourselves and our eternal destiny. We never lose instinct, but when we stop relying on it, and turn to God is when we actually preserve ourselves. Instinct means nothing for our preservation and wellness.

Thanks again for the support. @reply on Twitter, comment below, or email at cosmosuniversez@yahoo.com to correct me if I thought something wrong, or if you have any opinions.

Slavoj Žižek Plague of Fantasies: The 7 Veils

29 Jul

The Plague of Fantasies is a popular book by Zizek that begins with a part called the 7 Veils of Fantasy. He states in this part basically that the veils disguise things from the way they really are causing some degree of problems for us. Each sub part of the 7 Veils is difficult for me to understand so I am deciding to make this a longer post documenting what each part says and what Zizek aims to state. Like Deleuze, Zizek is difficult for me to understand and hopefully through writing about it I can come to understand him. If I am lead to think wrongly about his philosophy, please @reply me on Twitter (About CosmosZ page) or comment below, or email me at cosmosuniversez@yahoo.com  I am going to make this a longer post, because I want to write through this and hope to understand it as best as possible. Hopefully this will turn into a guide for the first part of the Plague of Fantasies.

The Truth is Out There

Zizek uses this slogan ‘the truth is out there’ used by the X Files, an old 90’s show, but by using it he really means something philosophically, and just in common observation of things. This part is a prelude to the 7 veils,  and is not a veil itself but is helpful to the succeeding 7 veils. By saying that the truth is out there he means that in every scenario, issue, or situation has its problems and dilemmas, but in all possible ways, the truth can possibly be found. Zizek uses numerous examples to show this, including the answer to Michael Jackson’s molestation cases, worldwide excretion, and the way females around the world shave the vagina. He uses Jackson as an example by explaining how people are so perplexed about whether or not Jackson molested a little boy, when Zizek says that the truth can easily be found from what is presented. Jackson has a ranch equal to an amusement park any boy would want. He has no evidence of ever having a true woman lover. He was found with a boy in his bed, et cetera. From these obvious things, Zizek says that the truth is out there because from these facts, it can be inferred that Jackson most likely molests young boys. The examples he uses about the human excrement removal, and the female shaving of the vagina are examples I wish not to talk about here, but from reading it, you get the idea of what Zizek tries to say. From any situation, the truth can be found. I totally agree with this, even when in all situations, the truth cannot be 100% inferred, but more like 99% because some observations can be made to convey the wrong image.

1st Veil: Fantasy’s Transcendental Schematism

This veil is seen in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, but Zizek applies it to how fantasy teaches us what to desire. The transcendental schematism is in fantasy and is what causes fantasy to create images that are directly parallel to what we want. The transcendental schematism (going to call it TS so I don’t have to type the whole thing) recognizes what we as people individually want, and fantasy uses it to create images of our wants. Regardless of whether or not the image constitutes the actual thing we get, fantasy creates the image to create the desire. This part of fantasy is a veil because the image created from the TS is way too far fetched from what we can actually get, and it distorts our desire away from desiring what we can actually get. This makes the TS a huge veil that fantasy uses. Zizek states that fantasy constitutes our desire. He exemplifies this by a Slovenian suntan lotion ad showing women in a certain way making women want to look a certain way along with other desires. By showing us things we are designed to want, we automatically want those things. I like that this is a veil because the images that make us want what we are designed to want are unreachable and often impossible, making us ‘screwed’ so to speak because we cannot get what we are told to want. If I understand this in the wrong way, again please say so.

2nd Veil: Intersubjectivity

Intersubjectivity is where something is experienced by more than one thing. In this case, the phenomena is desire. Transcendental schematism is a fantasy veil where we are tricked into wanting things for ourselves, but intersubjectivity is a veil where we are tricked into wanting things for other than ourselves. Zizek exemplifies this by a girl eating a strawberry cake, where she does not eat it mostly because she wants to, but because she gets the impression that her parents want to see her enjoying it. Therefore, she eats it and intentionally looks as happy as possible for their purposes. The catch for her dilemma is that it is not definite on whether or not her parents specifically have the desire to see her enjoying the cake. If it is the case that her parents do not care if she enjoys the cake, her purposes are null, and the fantasy veil has taken advantage of her. Its probably bad that I watch old sitcom show Three’s Company, but I watched it one time, and the episode was where Jack was crabby for some reason, and Janet and Terry got the impression he was tired and deserved some extra attention from the girls. The girls getting this impression, gave him some extra attention, leading him to think they wanted to have sex with him. Jack thinking this, he took both of them to his friend’s lake house, so he could give the girls what they wanted (also for his benefit, therefore Jack got bit by fantasy’s TS and the intersubjectivity). When he made the move, he figured out that sex was not what they wanted. Jack was made to look foolish because of the intersubjective fantasy veil. I may have mixed two Threes Company episodes together, but the scenario worked out. This fantasy makes us think that others want certain things, causing us to take foolish action, ending with dismal results.

3rd Veil: The Narrative Occlusion of Antagonism

This veil is difficult for me to understand why, and how, but I got down to the what. I understand now that occlusion means the blocking of something, so the narrative occludes antagonism. Zizek exemplifies the paradoxical narrative by using  the person who works hard, and who also is lazy and free spending. I have a hard time understanding this, but I get from this that there is a paradox with the narrative that conveys the image that little antagonism exists in a situation where there is an issue of it. If the narrative shows the protagonistic, it also shows antagonistic both together causing confused image. This confused image is because of the protagonistic being the only thing visible to the one tricked by fantasy. If both protagonism and antagonism pardoxically coincide, narrative fantasy causes the protagonistic to be all that is visible, occluding the antagonistic creating a fantasy image where there is little issue with antagonism. If no antagonistic issue is visible, one is lead to think there is no issue, causing one again to be ‘screwed’ so to speak because there is really an antagonistic aspect existing paradoxically with the protagonistic. This proves to be an issue with fantasy because of the narrative. Zizek putting this in perspective by saying “emergence coincides with loss” makes me think of Deleuze’s paradox of pure becoming in that, becoming one thing coincides not simultaneously with not becoming. With the narrative it is an issue because of how fantasy causes it and that one of them is the only one seen.  This was hard for me to even grasp, so if I understand this wrong, please say so, and be gentle given that I am a clear novice in Zizekian philosophy.

4th Veil: Problematic of the Fall

This is another one I had a hard time understanding. The first two were easy, but proceeding further is difficult. Basically what the fantasy does is makes the subject, subject to the fall. Zizek allows the reader to understand his point by talking about Adam and Eve (In Mill’s Paradise Lost) and how Adam was subject to the fall by doing something that he thought would give him what he wanted. This is best understood when one knows what ‘jouissance’ is being used as here: pleasure, happiness, often sexual. In this case, Zizek means jouissance as sexual pleasure being had and attempted to be maintained by Adam. Jouissance is here understood as sex between Adam and Eve as being infinitely better than sex is for everyone today, and Adam wanted to maintain that. In life, there are often things that lead to failure and falls that we are advised to avoid, but fantasy disguises these falls to look like good areas for us to pursue. Adam’s main concern was to keep Eve happy, and if he kept Eve happy, he keeps jouissance. When Eve was lead astray by the Serpent to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, she ate of it, and wanted Adam to eat of it too because she ate of it. Adam wanting to keep jouissance by keeping Eve happy, also eats of the tree, and loses jouissance because he broke God’s only rule, and by breaking that rule God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Being removed from the Garden of Eden removed jouissance along with other things. So Adam seeing the necessary opportunity to keep jouissance, and taking that opportunity because he was led to by fantasy, lost jouissance for doing just that.  Fantasy again leads man astray by disguising things that show us what we should do to maintain our good life situations. Fantasy made it look like eating of the tree would keep Eve happy and therefore keep jouissance, when really under the fantasy doing that thing makes things worse.

5th Veil: The Impossible Gaze

Zizek exemplifies this with an anti-abortion fairy tale, and Bosnia/Herzegovina war general efforts. Fantasy employs an impossible gaze when it shows an action or event (or another phenomenon I guess) to have a purpose or meaning as one thing, when it is really for another. The gaze is impossible because it can be seen both ways, even the way that fantasy tries to disguise it, but when finally seen both ways it is impossible to see it both ways. The gaze is impossible because the person/phenomena creating this gaze could not have possibly employed both purposes at all. The anti-abortion fairy tale shows aborted babies living in peace on an island together looking back on how their parents betrayed them, when at the same time they were aborted yet were born into a parallel universe on this island and again at the same time, they know about their parents and that they betrayed them. So the fairy tale is fantasy’s impossible gaze by employing two ideas: 1) the aborted babies are moved in a different universe to live in peace, and 2) the aborted babies are born (contradiction, I know) to the universe on the island and look back on their parents’ betrayal. The fairy tale was told to go against abortion, when at the same time it shows that aborted babies do not know what happened to them and cannot know of their parents’ betrayal. Zizek’s other example where General Michael Rose had a course of action to make peace and end war in Bosnia, and to convey a message that no one is to blame, and everyone can be at peace with each other in their living space of Bosnia. When really, at the same time Rose’s secret course of action was to place blame on the Croat ethnicity for the war in Bosnia. This another example of fantasy’s impossible gaze because one cannot possibly convey an image that no one is to blame for war in Bosnia and at the same time blame the Croats. In the impossible gaze, fantasy convey’s one image and covers another to prevent acknowledgement of paradox of the image. The image fantasy covers is yet able to be found creating the impossibility of the gaze.

6th Veil: The Inherent Transgression

This fantasy veil is seen directly in art, culture, and media, and because of this fact, it is obvious in many things. Again, the truth is out there. Zizek states that there exists an inherent transgression between “explicit symbolic texture and its phantasmic background.” By inherent transgression is meant that the phantasmic background is something that becomes incredibly different and misrepresented in the symbolic texture. Its like when a bunch of kids do the pass it on activity, where one kid says one thing and by the time its at the final kid, its totally different from where it started. Fantasy creates the veil with symbolic texture by making the symbolic texture totally different and misrepresentative from the truth. Zizek exemplifies this transgression with Edith Wharton’s story Beatrice Palmato where she describes father daughter incest with in depth descriptions. It is difficult here to know what is the symbolic texture and what is the phantasmic background. Either the symbolic texture is her voluntary participation in the incest, inspired by the phantasmic background of frightening involuntary rape of her by her father, or vice versa. It is thought that the symbolic texture is her voluntary participation in the incest, but inherent transgression makes the distinction incredibly unclear, and difficult to pick out. This shows inherent transgression because, if it were the case that the symbolic texture was her voluntary participation in the incest, and the phantasmic background the frightening rape by her father, the phantasmic background is entirely misrepresented and different from what is presented in the symbolic texture of her voluntary incest.  Regardless of what the symbolic texture and the phantasmic background are, the phantasmic background is changed when it goes across the void into becoming symbolic texture. This symbolic texture has the potential to be seen by many and the phantasmic background is seen by little. So this is the veil of fantasy because the community sees the version that is the veil and the version that misrepresents everything. So again, the person involved in this situation is ‘screwed’ so to speak when endorsing the symbolic texture.

7th veil: The Empty Gesture

This directly relates to the debate between free will and otherwise. The empty gesture is the notion that we all have the will to chose what we want with our lives, when most of the things we have to choose from are of the impossible. This correlates directly with the 6th veil in that there is a symbolic texture and a phantasmic background. The symbolic texture is that we have the freedom to choose what we do in this world, when this texture is transformed and misrepresented (transgressed within the void) that its true that the choices we have are of impossible things removing the purpose of free will. This is give to the title of the empty gesture. This is fantasy in that it is a veil that makes it look like we have the freedom to choose our life’s actions, but the fantasy removed leaves the empty gesture.

After Zizek explains the 7 veils he explains that there is always a drive towards the same desires and therefore the same fantasies. From these 7 veils it is easily understood that fantasy makes things look distorted and to create and be tailored to our desires. I agree that all of these veils are active in today’s society. I do not want to go in the many examples that occur and parallel these veils today, but these fantasy veils run rampant.

I would talk more about the veils and how they are current in all forms, but this is already long and detailed

Comment below on whether or not I am correct, and how you see these veils running rampant today.

Thanks for the support

Jean Baudrillard The Intelligence of Evil: Integral Reality

27 Jul

In the beginning of the Intelligence of Evil and the Lucidity Pact, Baudrillard explains that integral reality is the only reality that is true enough to be referred upon. He states that integral reality is inferred from objective reality. He also talks about faith in God and other things without the ability to see them causing their own disappearance in reality. The claim to integral reality is done so because of the metaphysical disappearance of the concept of reality because of the unknowns causing the people to rely on faith to understand things around them.  Baudrillard begins his book by explaining what reality is understood as.

“Objective reality- reality related to meaning and representation- gives way to integral reality, a reality without limits in which everything is realized and technically materialized without reference to any principle or final purpose whatever” (Baudrillard).

Integral reality is derived from objective reality in that the reality is understood from all things that we understand and perceive. Integral reality eludes faith, ambiguity. Looking back on Wittgenstein, he would endorse integral reality because of how it only recognizes things we see and understand, especially because he did not believe in having faith in something we cannot see or understand.

I find integral reality interesting because of how it (along with many other philosophies) only endorses things we see and understand. Having faith in things we do not understand or perceive goes against integral reality. Baudrillard does well to state faiths in these things as to say that the technical integral reality disappears when we have faith in things that may or may not exist. There is no place in integral assured reality for faith because of how faith leads to ambiguity of the entire reality, defeating the purpose of the roots of integral reality: objective reality, all the way up to the realization of integral reality.

I find also interesting that Baudrillard brings forth this integral reality, not only to come from objective reality, but to not involve the imaginary. The removal of the imaginary from this reality removes the possibility of seeing anything and understanding anything other than what we see and understand.  The removal of faith in things, and the removal of the imaginary along with the required understanding and seeing only of our own perceptions creates the integral reality that is stated by Baudrillard to be the only thing we can rely upon.

I disagree with Baudrillard’s inference to integral reality because of the fact that there is more to be understood than one can understand at one infinitesimal moment. I disagree with the removal of ambiguous faiths, and the imaginary as well, further supporting my disagreement with integral reality.

First, Baudrillard’s elimination of faiths (mostly in God) from reality is wrong because of the fact that a possible existence of a God cannot be ruled out. The elimination of faiths  is impended on integral reality because the reality wouldn’t be integral if we had to rely on faiths to understand  and see things. Integral reality is reality that is for sure to exist because of how we perceive and understand it. Reality would not be like this if we had faiths. A faith in God within integral reality makes the concept disappear because of how the faith defeats the purpose of reality being integral. My main point to make is that an integral reality is not possible to declare, but first I want to say why removal of faiths is not logical. When I talk about faith, not only do I mean faith in God, but I want to attempt at meaning a faith in anything. My faith is in God, but many other faiths exist. I state that faith is not logically removed because we are here now, and we cannot understand how the world came to be. If we were around when it was created, and saw it, faiths could probably be eliminated, but we are here now. Because we are here now, we have to have hypotheses based on faith on how the world came to be, and how we came to exist here. No scientific or cosmological data can be established to affirm the method of creation, so we have to rely on some faith or another. Hypotheses about creation may lead one to believe that the Big Bang Theory is how the world and us came to exist, but because the person endorsing it cannot know it for sure based on perceptions, a faith is naturally present. The same goes for one believing in Genesis creation by God. Because of this creation leading to hypotheses, faiths cannot be eliminated because none of us were there for the creation.

Second, the imaginary cannot be eliminated from any reality. We see and perceive things on a daily basis, creating our understanding, but because we have this understanding does not mean that our brains are not capable of brain storming outside it. Even when we have involuntary dreams while sleeping, some of the dreams are so incredibly weird and far fetched that it cannot possibly conform or even be compared to the way things are in common reality. The imaginary can usually be repeated in reality regardless of how weird the imagination is. Just because our brains can conceive so much more than what is perceived in reality, the imaginary cannot be eliminated from any reality.

I state why Baudrillard is false in removing the imaginary and the faiths because they are rooted in why declaration of an integral reality is wrong. Integral reality is wrong for the same reason that solipsism is wrong. Reality and understanding cannot be stated to be based upon perceptions and what we see and therefore understand. There are many things beyond our perception and understanding that we cannot at first even pick up, but because of this, it does not mean that we should just resort to saying that reality is only what we see. There is a void of things we cannot even perceive or conceive of, but because of that we have the imaginary, and we have faith about hypotheses in things that we find ambiguous. Because we cannot immediately define the existence of every exact thing does not mean we should eliminate the faith in things, or the imaginary. Without faiths, there would be no progressive hypotheses progressing to prove the things we have faith in. If there was no faith in the existence of God, there would have never been a forever long debate between philosophers about proving the existence of God by theodicies. Faiths help us progress to understanding the world around us, and to sift through what is truth and falsity. The imaginary not being available to the human would prevent the creation of ideas, inventions, and anything else that helps and progresses the state of the world. Imaginary not being around would prevent a lot of the progression of society and the world because we would not have the visions to create or the ideas to make real. It is my opinion that faiths and the imaginary cannot be removed from any conception of reality.

Restricting reality to just  what we perceive and understand defeats the purpose of defining reality. We cannot deny that we have imaginary constantly, and that our hypotheses about the ambiguous lends the existence of faiths. The impossible denial of these things makes integral reality false and also makes Baudrillard’s definition not able to be classified as reality of any kind. Baudrillard stated the elimination of the imaginary and of faiths because of how they may be thought of as to defeat the purpose of a reality. It is truthful, in my opinion, that some of reality is not instantaneously real. This non-instantaneously real reality falsely lead Baudrillard into defining the false integral reality. Integral reality is the reality we perceive and understand when most of the reality in the world is beyond what one person, and even all people understand and perceive, therefore making integral reality a false entity.

After having just recently written a symposium paper for Prolegomena Journal about Wittgenstein’s solipsism and neutral monism, I think that Baudrillard’s integral reality coincides directly with Wittgenstein’s solipsism. Both integral reality and solipsism limit reality to what one person perceives and understand, and it denies the existence of things a person cannot immediately grasp. I find that very interesting how two philosophers that are basically unrelated can come together based on their concepts.

Comment below on how credible you think integral reality is, and how reality should be limited and reduced.

Gilles Deleuze Logic of Sense: The Proposition

26 Jul

In Deleuze’s Logic of Sense, many arguable and intriguing things are brought to the table. I am only on the third series out of many series in the book (series here are like chapters). Only being at the third series, this is my second writing about the book.

In the third series, Deleuze begins to talk about what a proposition is created of, and how it comes to be. He divides the proposition between relations that are within it. These relations relate the proposition to its source, and influences that make it as it is so. Deleuze opposes the reliance of the proposition on signification because of the fact that universal propositions do not precede over as much as one may think. I think that the proposition relies mostly on denotation and manifestation because of the fact that propositions relate to specific unique states of affairs that we have questions about, and I also think that the person discussing the proposition has opinions and beliefs that direly affect that nature of the proposition itself.

We have questions about the world around us because of the fact that those things are specific in nature, and so specific that it is difficult to find truth about them. A preceding proposition having been validated has little grounds in the next proposition because of how this next proposition is as specific and unique as the one before. Because of these questions we have generating propositions to be validated, each proposition is extremely unique between it and the next one.

First, Deleuze states that one of the relations propositions have is denotation. This denotation is the relation to an outer state of affairs (correlating to Wittgenstein’s definition of state of affairs). States of affairs are single bodies, mixed bodies, grouped bodies, and the qualities and quantities thereof. Denotation is not to be confused with things related to propositions that are universal and widespread in nature. Denotation involves states of affairs that are singular and have a distinct when, where, and what about them. Deleuze exemplifies the uniqueness of each state of affairs within a denotation by saying how Benveniste  called the state of affairs indexicals. A proposition relying mostly on denotation and that denotation containing false states of affairs, makes that proposition false and likewise for truth. These indexicals of the denotation make the diversity of the world, causing issues to be discussed by use of proposition. These denotations make propositions what they really are.

The second kind of relation that propositions have to things outside it is the manifestation. The manifestation is the relation to the proposition of the  person advocating/opposing the discussed. A person with opinions putting forth a proposition about something, has his emotions, opinions, and beliefs. The proposition is made up by what the person discussing thinks.

Signification is the relation of the proposition to things that are universal and general in nature. Precedented propositions that are universal, and relating to a present argument is the relation of signification. Many things discussed are related to things that are precedented propositions because of their universality, and generality.

Sense being the fourth relational part of the proposition, is the relation of the proposition to sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Propositions being argued by people have root in the senses especially metaphysically.

I choose to explain these 4 relations in a proposition as stated by Deleuze because 2 of which I feel are more involved in the proposition than the others. Denotation and manifestation, in my opinion, are the best propositional relations, and signification and sense are relations that make propositions difficult and hard to understand.

Sense does well to distort the proposition because of how our perceptive senses are not often accurate or even correct. The sense shows things how we are able to see them, regardless of how correct those perceptions are. Because of how the sense has the commonality to convey inaccurate images, the direct use of the sense as a relation within a proposition is going backward. The proposition only goes backward if the sense is used directly as a relation. If the sense was not used at all in relations of a proposition, there would also be issues. Manifestation would not exist if there was no sense. Manifestation comes from the sense because of how our perceptions from the senses create our collective opinions and beliefs that become ingrained in our personalities. The sense’s indirect use with manifestation is helpful to the proposition, but its direct use does not help in forming or answering of the proposition.

Signification along with sense, is a propositional relation that also leads to difficulty and faults. Signification being relations within the proposition to universal/general concepts (Deleuze). Through denotation, the proposition will relate to universal concepts. Denotation (relation to specific states of affairs) will indirectly relate to certain universal concepts, without the direct relation of signification. Propositions are created because people have questions about the world around them that universal concepts already established cannot answer. The proposition is made because of how the question cannot be answered. The little relation to universal concepts the proposition has, in my opinion, is contained with denotation. The relation of signification is not necessary to state the relation to universal concepts.

2 of the 4 propositional relations that Deleuze states to exist I believe are truthful and not problematic. The problematic propositional relations are indirect relational parts of the other correct relation. For example,  I do not choose to advocate the use of signification, however, signification is a part of denotation. Signification is a part of denotation because of how specific states of affairs have some connection to universal concepts. Also, I do not advocate the use of sense in propositions, but manifestation has some relation to sense because of how our beliefs, opinions and thoughts are rooted in what we perceive. The 2 wrong propositional relations have small indirect foothold in the other 2 that are best to be used.

Denotation is a good propositional relation to use because of how it is the relation concerning specific states of affairs (groups of bodies). Propositions are created because we have questions about the world around, us and denotation being specific in nature is a relation that helps a lot in the creating and answering of the proposition. Denotation is one of the biggest things that make up a proposition because of how every question is specific in nature.

Manifestation is the second good propositional relation because of how the person creating the proposition is key in how it is the way it is. The beliefs, opinions, emotions, and thoughts of the person creating the proposition is the root of the proposition. If an atheist states “people are stupid to believe in a supreme deity”, the proposition says what it does because of the beliefs, personality, and emotion that the atheist has. Manifestation  along with denotation is one of the  only accurate relations that make up a proposition into what it is.

To sum up, Deleuze’s propositional relations all have roots in what makes up the proposition, but it is my opinion that sense is seen indirectly in the relation of manifestation, and signification is seen indirectly in the relation of denotation. The entities of sense and signification as single relations is not necessary because of how they bring inaccuracy by themselves.

Comment below, or @ reply on Twitter to talk about what propositional relations are accurate and should be recognized.

Gilles Deleuze Logic of Sense: Pure Becoming

21 Jul

In Deleuze’s book the Logic of Sense, there are 3 series in the book that discuss paradoxes. The first one discusses the paradox about pure becoming.

First Series of Paradoxes of Pure Becoming

The first one is the First Series of Paradoxes of Pure Becoming. I love how Deleuze uses in this book (and other writings too) the story of Alice in Wonderland. Especially the scene where she gets huge, and incredibly small to fit through the doors. After reading a few blogs about Deleuze, and reading his actual work, and finally writing about it, I feel a little cautious because of the fact that I do not feel able to understand his philosophy to the fullest degree. I feel like the First Series of the Logic of Sense is easy for me to understand, but the other 2 series I want to talk about, I worry about. If anything I say, and if I misconstrue Deleuze’s philosophy, go easy on me, and correct me, because I really want to grow to learn and understand his philosophy.  I feel I can understand this first series because of having seen and read Alice in Wonderland many times. Deleuze also explains well his meaning. Again, if I misconstrue, and misunderstand Deleuze’s meanings in any way, please say so (comment below, @reply on twitter, or email at cosmosuniversez@yahoo.com).

Deleuze uses Alice to proceed into Plato’s distinction between things that are measured and limited in what they become, and things that are of pure becoming. Pure becoming is what he wished to expound upon and explain. Before going into the issue of pure becoming, he does very well in defining the nature of paradox:

“…paradox is the affirmation of both senses or directions at the same time” (Deleuze).

The affirmation of both senses/directions at the same time, he explains, is not meaning that both occur simultaneously. When Alice grew she got larger than she was, and at the same time was smaller than she became (Deleuze). He explains that things that are of pure becoming go in both directions at the same time, and avoids the present. If something is of pure becoming, the present is avoided, because if something of pure becoming becomes something in its entirety, it stops becoming. The only things that end up becoming something are not things of pure becoming. The things not of pure becoming are finite in their nature. Things of pure becoming are infinite in their nature because they are always becoming something at all times in one direction or the other. Pure becoming avoids the present. Deleuze further explains the different between the limited becoming things, and the pure becoming when he introduces the model, copy, and the simulacrum. Simulacrum is the being of copies of copies. The copy is created after the model, and the simulacrum are created from the copy. The things of limited becoming are referred to as the copy because they stop becoming at a certain point and remain with a stagnant existence. The simulacrum is referred to as the pure becoming because of the fact that the pure becoming evades the present, and makes different versions of the copy at non-simultaneous existences. The pure becoming and the simulacrum have infinite identities.

Thinking about this pure becoming is a difficult thing (especially for me) to understand, but Deleuze does well to explain it when he says that “one becomes larger than one was, and smaller than one becomes.” This shows the non simultaneous eluding of the present. This is very paradoxical in its nature but, the paradox of the pure becoming is very true. Many things in the world are of pure becoming in one way, and not so in the other. My opinion about things of pure becoming is complex in a way.

Before explaining what I think is of pure becoming, and what is not, I want to make the distinction within the creatum between physical tangible things, and things of spirit. The physical tangible things I mean to explain as the earth, things humans have created from the earth, suspended particles, human/animal bodies, extra-planetary physical things etc. Things we can see, touch, feel, taste, hear, smell etc. While on earth, everything we perceive is of physical and tangible nature. These physical and tangible things in the world are all of pure becoming. Our bodies, buildings, appliances, plants, animals, and human bodies are all becoming in both directions at all times. They all elude the present because each thing is of pure becoming infinitely.

For example, a man eats food grown in the ground, allowing him to be healthy enough for sexual activity and maintain sperm, and engages as such. A baby conceived in a womans womb starts as a sperm from the man entering the egg. The fetus grows within 9 months. The fetus grows larger than it was before, and was smaller than it is at the spontaneous moment. The baby born into the world ages and grows larger, and ends up being smaller than before in all instances. At age 75, the body decays, and becomes lesser than it was before, and was larger and more complex than it is at a specific instance. When the soul leaves the body, no life is left, and the body is left to decompose into the ground. The body being more decomposed, is more decomposed than before, and was more complex and not decomposed at a specific instance before. The soul having left this body, allows the body to decompose altogether into humus in the soil. As the decomposed body becomes a part of the ground as collective hummus, is at a later date used in a garden, where a sundry of vegetables and fruit are grown such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, watermelon, rhubarb, etc. The person growing the garden harvests the crop, and eats the food allowing him to have more maintenance of sperm from nutrition, and engages in sexual activity with another woman, the sperm entering the egg, conceiving another fetus, to be born, grow old, die, and decompose in the soil for the cycle to occur again. All of the things except for the people’s souls are of physical tangible nature, and therefore, of pure becoming. The physically tangible particles of the creatum are always becoming both ways without simultaneity. This long repetitive (although grossly disgusting) cycle shows why physical and tangible particles of the creatum are of pure becoming.

Likewise, soil and rocks in the ground and seas gather together as sediments, and sedimentarily form together as one rock to be deposited as strata in the ground. Humans finding this sedimentary rock, cut it from the ground, and use it to form bricks (not all that sure how bricks are formed however). These bricks are used to create buildings for us to live, work, and be educated in. The building going through long periods of time, either is abandoned, imploded, naturally decays from weathering and erosion, or something else happens taking the building down, making it subject to the soil it falls upon. The ruins of the building (maybe relocated) lay upon the soil, as further weathering and erosion decay it to silt and therefore hummus. The sediment and soil used to make the building is now back where it started, and there to become something else by means of pure becoming because sediment and soil is of physical and tangible creatum.

Hopefully these two examples explain why physical and tangible things are of pure becoming, and are always becoming something and eluding the present. If you may think what these physical and tangible things will be of when Satan rises to the earth in the Revelation, the earth and its tangible beings will all still be here, and the processes they go through will most likely keep them of pure becoming. If Satan’s rise to the earth will end the pure becoming of the physical and tangible beings, that is not able to be seen at this point, and the truth of this possible action cannot falsify the state of pure becoming of these physical and tangible beings.

I believe that the things of spirit are not of pure becoming because of the fact that their state of becoming ends at a point. The soul of a person has a finite time of becoming because the soul is born when it is born inside a tangible body on earth, and soon later that physical tangible body dies, and that soul either goes to Heaven or Hell. When that soul goes to Heaven or Hell, the time of becoming ends. This falsifies the possibility of pure becoming in spiritual beings. Note that the physical tangible body is totally separate from the spiritual soul. The body is only a place for the soul to exist during the short duration of life on the tangible earth. When the soul goes to Heaven or Hell, the soul stays there fore eternity, and nothing else changes possibly putting that soul into becoming.

God, is also not a being of pure becoming because He has always existed , and always will exist. This calls for a new category of becoming: non-becoming. God is incredibly holy, and perfect, and His existence in the universe is never having the necessity to become anything.

This distinction between pure becoming, and finite becoming shows by my understanding the separation there is between the physical body, and the spiritual soul. This does so because of the fact that physical and tangible bodies are of pure becoming, and that spiritual bodies are of finite bodies. Not only are they both separated, but the soul is the only thing that really exists that is a part of the soul. This advocated Spinoza’s substance monism.

Again, if anything I talked about was misinterpreted from Deleuze’s text please say so.

Philosophy of the Philosopher (A Metaphilosophy #1)

20 Jul

I had just started reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, and after the second proposition, I have been sent into thought. I do not want to talk about Nietzsche’s preliminary prefatory propositions in his text, but the fact that he was talking about what the common philosopher looks for, is what makes me think.

After much thought, I am writing because I want to think about while writing: 1) what the philosopher seeks, and 2)what the philosopher’s psychological characteristics are to make him think in such a way.

First, what does a person have to be like, and what must his/her personality be to be a philosopher? A regular person that does regular activities has the ability to think logically. Most people have common sense and are able to think logically. Logic is not what makes the philosopher unique. I hate to use this cliche, but philosophers “Think outside the box.” By the box, I mean the means of thought that everyone else uses to find truth and the answers to problems. The box includes mostly logic and common sense that everyone else uses (logic is used even when people do not know it). The box also is the group of things that the regular person thinks of every day (sex, food, money, controlled substances, entertainment etc.).  The box varies from person to person, but excluding philosophers, this box is the regular, run of the mill, almost cliched things that everyone else thinks about on a daily basis.

The philosopher’s brain is occupied with epistemological, metaphysical, advanced logical, cosmological etc. things that most people do not think about daily. Usually the person either has the answer to “why are we here?”, or they could care less. Regular life on earth causes a seclusion of our lives here, where outside matters are often overlooked. Philosophers do not overlook the slightest matter that is outside of this regular human life seclusion. If the philosopher overlooks anything, he overlooks what goes on between humans inside this human seclusion of a world. Kant would have never written Critique of Pure Reason if he did not think outside the box, Plato would not have written the Republic if he did not think outside Athenian life in the polis, as well as Zizek would have never written Plague of Fantasies if he did not think differently from the advances of everyone else. One has to think outside the box to even care about anything besides interhuman matters. People cannot understand why philosophers think about the things philosophers think about, just as philosophers cannot understand how everyone else can overlook such things. So, in essence, philosophers think about things totally different from what everyone else thinks about. This leads me to the long heard saying: “Everyone has a philosophy, but not everyone is a philosopher.” I state this as my points being driven home because everyone has an opinion that can be considered a philosophy, but all of these ‘philosophies’ are not the philosophies that famous published philosophers have. Philosophers’ philosophies are different from the ‘philosophies’ of everyone else because of what the philosopher seeks.

The philosopher looks for the unanswered. They do not necessarily look for truth, or falsity, but they look for what is desired to be answered by at least a small group of people. Philosophers find data, and prepare an opinion on that data just like any scientist or politician, but philosophers look for things that no scientist or politician would find. Philosophers look to prove truth, falsity, or indeterminacy.  Politicians or scientists do not look for indeterminacy, usually for truth or falsity. Philosophers gather information and data to get from one point to another, even if the end result might be indeterminacy. Philosophers look for indeterminacy because they are willing to accept it and find other data supporting it, and other data telling more about the indeterminate. I find this intriguing to think of philosophers this way. Many philosophers are not willing to admit to have found indeterminacy, but I am confident to say that philosophers would rather accept indeterminacy about something that is thought to be true, than falsity. Finally, I think that philosophers are unique and great in that respect because of the fact that any analogy, example, or story can be used as an example to a philosophy. Philosophy does this using the ancient skill of rhetoric, making many things a difficulty to disprove, or find truth in, or rule indeterminate.

I was just thinking about the nature of philosophers. If you think I am wrong in anything above, please @reply me on twitter (go to the About CosmosZ page on this site) with what you think, or comment below, or email me at cosmosuniversez@yahoo.com

Søren Kierkegaard Fear and Trembling: Problem 1

20 Jul

Problem 1: Is there such a thing as a teleological suspension of the ethical?

In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard presents 3 problems for discussion and explanation. I like Kierkegaard because of the way he explains things. The first problem is explained referring to Abraham and his decision to, or not to  sacrifice Isaac for God. Not only are his explanations easy to understand, but they often relate to biblical issues.

Before even explaining what he means by asking this first problem, he explains what the ethical and the teleological are. Telos is the endpoint and destination that every soul on earth is to eventually get to. Every being has telos and cannot exist without it. When one thinks the ethical, would you not think that the ethical spreads universally? Kierkegaard explains the ethical as the universal. The ethical applies to every being in the world,  therefore making it universal, and able to be used interchangeably with the word ‘universal’ by Kierkegaard. Ethical things are more than just to be explained as universal, but because of how all of the ethical things spread everywhere in the world in some way or the other, it is explained as universal.

What telos is ethical in its nature? If there is to be understood a teleological suspension of the ethical, ethical/universal telos needs to be established. The ethical is what occurs everywhere and for everyone, and because of how it spreads throughout most population, there is an ethical telos. Most people in the world do not have a faith of some sort, therefore ethical is to Kierkegaard’s problem not coherent with a person having faith. A more significant and imperative thing than all ethical having a faith that governs their life is a paradox to the ethical, and suspends the ethical because of how that things more significant than the ethical has something that most of the ethical does not. This higher more imperative and significant being having this faith is a suspension of the ethical because of how this thing is more significant and because it being so important does not adhere to the ethical. Paradox happens in the world when something particular and uniquely different becomes higher in hierarchy than all of the many things in the ethical/universal.

The faith Kierkegaard explains is uniquely different than the ethical, and changes the telos of the beings that adhere to this paradox. This being with faith is particular, and it becomes higher because of the fact that its telos is changed from the telos of the rest of the population. The telos changes to something different than the universal/ethical telos. This faith causes a different telos than the ethical and therefore the telos of the ethical is suspended. The question of Problem 1 is answered by saying that there is a teleological suspension of the ethical.

I agree with Kierkegaard’s explanation (especially when he uses Abraham to state that faith must be the ethical paradox) of Problem 1 and why there is a teleological suspension of the ethical. The ethical is all of the people who deny the existence and power of a God, and has an established telos. A faith becomes higher than this ethical because of the fact that this paradox changes the telos of a person. I totally agree with the answer to the problem and the explanation for it.

Kierkegaard being a Christian, one might think that in each statement and explanation for a problem, he would shine some light on his Christian beliefs. In the explanation of Problem 1 he uses Abraham to state that a faith must exist. However, little is done to establish why this faith changes the ethical telos. What this paradoxical faith is might be beside the problem for Kierkegaard, but I think that its extremely important to state why this faith changes the telos. The Christian including Kierkegaard, and myself, claims that the only faith that changes the telos is the Christian faith that gives their life to God, and worships Him constantly. I try to say this in a third person form, because I do not want to appear intolerant and stubborn in my religious beliefs. However stubborn and intolerant I might be, the Christian God and the worship in Him is the ONLY faith that changes the telos from the ethical. There exists many faiths in the world, almost all of which are false and do not change the telos from the rest of the ethical. The one faith that is the ethical paradox by changing the telos of the people who adhere to this faith is the faith in Christ and His Father. Kierkegaard would have done well to clearly explain this distinction. By saying that faith is the paradox and faith changes telos in a person is pretty much false, because all but one faith does nothing for the telos of a person. If an agnostic read this problem, and had no idea as to what god saves a person, they would be lead to believe that any faith would change their teleological doom.

Now, in the text Fear and Trembling: Problem 1, Kierkegaard talks a lot about God, Abraham, and the Virgin Mary, but all is used as an explanation for why there is a teleological suspension of the ethical. The fact that the only one true faith is the paradox of the ethical, and changes the telos of a person, and that that faith is the faith in Christ, should be included in the immediate logical deduction to solve the problem, and less so in just the explanation for so. Most of what I am saying is found in the text of Problem 1, I am just saying that a person looking for the answer to this problem finds it in the beginning pages of Problem 1. Kierkegaard logically answers the question to this problem in the beginning pages of the text. If someone reading Problem 1 finds what they are looking for in the beginning pages, one finds little reason to read further, especially since it is so well explained and solved in the first few pages. Pages 64-77 in my text of Fear and Trembling is of Problem 1. One seeking the answer to this problem would most likely not read to 77 because of how the answer is found in 65-66. I go as far as to say this because, the included information about Abraham, God, and the Virgin Mary take a back seat to the immediate solving of the problem, and the establishment of what that paradoxical faith really is, is not really a part of the answer, as it was answered by Soren Kierkegaard. Because of this, I want to state that this paradoxical faith that changes the telos to be different from the ethical  is in fact the faith in Jesus Christ in the purest biblical non denominational Christian way. Only Christ can give someone salvation and therefore change the telos of a person. Only faith in Christ is the faith that makes the possibility of a teleological suspension of the ethical.

Secondly, and finally, Kierkegaard does not establish what the telos of people in the ethical, and people in the paradoxical faith are. Establishment of what the telos of certain people specifically is, is not altogether necessary for Kierkegaard to prove his point that faith is the paradox that teleologically suspends itself from the ethical. It would be, however, helpful because of how the telos of the paradoxical faith (in Christ specifically) is the infinitely great telos, and that the universally ethical person’s telos is infinitely hot and painful (those believing in a false faith is only a person adhering to the universally ethical teleology). The people who believe in the paradoxical faith (in Christ), suspend themselves from the ethical teleology, and their telos becomes infinitely better. The telos of the people believing in the paradoxical faith ultimately is Heaven. Heaven is the place above the earth where God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ live. Those entering heaven gained salvation in God, and suspended themselves from the ethical teleology. Because they gained the paradoxical faith, they get into Heaven. Heaven is so amazingly and lovingly great because those entering Heaven get to be close and near to God for all of eternity. Closeness to God is the ultimate goal, because when we are on this earth, and we pray to Him, and he answers, life gets better because he is closer to us because of how we needed Him. The closer we get to God, the better our lives get. Heaven is the ultimate desired destination because we are closest to God there. Those believing in the paradoxical faith change their telos: to leaving the earth and going up to Heaven to be close to God, and to bask in His glory for eternity.

It may or may not be known by those of the universal, but their telos is a bit different than those of the paradoxical faith. Faith in Christ is paradoxical to the ethical/universal because of how it becomes higher than the ethical because of how it changes the person’s telos from that of the rest of the people in the ethical. Every person not believing in the paradoxical faith, is a part of the universal/ethical, and their telos is the telos of everyone else. And this telos is the destination that no one wants. The ethical/universal telos (Kierkegaardian) is the destination to Hell. In life, one sees the option to follow Christ’s faith. But, because of its implications and paradoxical characteristics, people decide not to follow it. Those deciding not to follow this faith make up the universal/ethical. The large group of the ethical have a large impending doom. This doom is the telos that ultimately destines them for eternal Hellfire. Hell is so terrible because those living there are close to Satan. Hell is so horrible because those living there are so infinitely and incredibly far from God that they thirst so bad for water, and they burn so badly that they only look up to Heaven for help. Either telos beings one ultimate destiny, those with the same telos tend to group together.

I feel that Kierkegaard should have stated more about what each group’s telos is. If the paradoxical faith people’s telos was stated, it would look so much more appealing, and its paradox would not look so conflicting. If the telos of the ethical/universal was stated, it would be more understood why the ethical is doomed for such a destination.

For the most part, Kierkegaard does well to explain why there is a teleological suspension of the ethical, these things i have said to be helpful to his argument, are not needed. However, I think they would further support his argument. Every time I begin to think that these 2 things would further support Kierkegaard’s argument, I think again how unnecessary it is because of the fact that he only wanted to answer whether or not there was a teleological suspension of the ethical. The paradoxical faith teleologically suspends the ethical.