What is Husserlian Phenomenology?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Kyklos, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 217: The Anti-Marcusean Script in a Can
    #Post 222: How to eat a bowl of thumbtacks
    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.



    MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”


    MacIntyre has many major and minor counter-arguments against Marcuse. In the interest of brevity, I cannot swat all the flies in the marketplace of ideas, so I will just single out the biggest ones. He starts out with a concise summary on Marcuse’s viewpoint on tolerance (all MEP quotes are in italics): "In his essay on ‘Repressive Tolerance’2 Marcuse argues that the tolerance of the advanced industrial democracies is a deceit. The expression of minority views is allowed just because it cannot be effective; indeed the only types of expression it can have render it ineffective. The major premise of his whole argument is once again that the majority are effectively controlled by the system and so molded that they cannot hear or understand radical criticism. It follows that the people have no voice and the alternatives are not between genuine democracy and the rule of an elite, but between rival elites, the repressive elite of the present and the liberating elite of the Marcusean future. Freedom of speech is not an overriding good, for to allow freedom of speech in the present society is to assist in the propagation of error, and “the telos of tolerance is truth (MEP, p. 100)."

    There is a subtle shift in the first sentence summary exposition of the perverted tolerance thesis and then in the same paragraph ignored the thesis he just explicated to describe Marcuse as an elitist wanting to abolish free speech so the “woke” Marcuseans can dominate society. The elitist trope is built on the equivocation of the meanings of “democratic tolerance” and “perverted tolerance” that create an imbalance of power. Marcuse wanted to restore balance in public debate. The casual reader would miss this shift in meaning and then fall into the next trope on elitism:

    “The truth is carried by the revolutionary minorities and their intellectual spokesmen, such as Marcuse, and the majority have to be liberated by being reeducated into the truth by this minority, who are entitled to suppress rival and harmful opinions. This is perhaps the most dangerous of all Marcuse’s doctrines, for not only is what he asserts false, but his is a doctrine which if it were widely held would be an effective barrier to any rational progress and liberation (Ibid., p. 100)."

    Initially, this paragraph is exposition, and then the elitist argument is presented. Any worldview that claims insight could by definition be called "elitist," including empirical-positivistic science, and Christian Aristotelian-Thomist Realism. MacIntyre’s reasoning is not unlike an Academic Skeptic arguing that knowledge is impossible to only then advance the thesis that knowledge is possible—that of academic skepticism. All theories of salvation are elitist. The elitist argument is a red herring: the scent that throws the hunter’s dogs off the fox’s scent.

    “Give me back my broken night; my mirrored room; my secret life,
    it's lonely here…
    there's no one left to torture.”

    -Leonard Cohen, lyrics of “The Future,” (1992)

    Marcuse believed there could be no real social change until there is a new human sensibility. We have to liberate ourselves from ourselves before we can liberate ourselves from repressive administrative institutions. The person of absolute refusal is one having new sensibilities that brings about a total break with repressive-conformist society and its misanthropic values to achieve a “transvaluation” of values, "for the abolition of a society which condemns the vast majority of its members to live their lives as a means for earning a living rather than as an end in itself." Ideological norms of a fundamentally repressive production society will become de-legitimized. This transvaluation discards the ‘Performance Principle’ that according to which “everyone has to earn his living in alienating but socially necessary performances, and one's reward, one's status in society will be determined by this performance (the work-income relation)." Only a new sensibility based on universal human needs can supersede the ideology of repressive self-sacrifice, and the domination of technical instrumental-rationality through the bureaucratic-administrative state, which legitimizes the status quo of social reality.

    The term “one-dimensional man” implies there are other dimensions to human being. Such a new human being is one,“...who rejects the performance principles governing the established societies; a type of man who has rid himself of the aggressiveness and brutality that are inherent in the organization of established society, and in their hypocritical, puritan morality; a type of man who is biologically incapable of fighting wars and creating suffering; a type of man who has a good conscience of joy and pleasure, and who works collectively and individually for a social and natural environment in which such an existence becomes possible (see quotes: Liberation from the Affluent Society).”

    Marcuse claims this viewpoint is not existentialism: “It is something more vital and more desperate: the effort to contradict a reality in which all logic and all speech are false to the extent that they are a part of the mutilated whole….the dialectical contradiction [against the status quo] is distinguished from all pseudo- and crackpot opposition, beatnik and hipsterism (RR, p. xi; bracketed text added).”

    Professor MacIntyre warns of Marcuse’s hatred of free speech tolerance and is a danger to academic freedom: "These assaults upon rational inquiry in the interests of the established social order have to be resisted. The new Marcusean radical case against tolerance makes those radicals who espouse it allies in this respect of the very forces which they claim to attack, and this is a matter not just of their theory but also of their practice. The defense of the authority of the university to teach and to research as it will is in more danger immediately from Marcuse’s student allies than from any other quarter— even although Marcuse himself has on occasion exempted the university from his critique. (MEP, p. 104).”

    The professor’s criticism claims Marcuse’s radicalism will destroy free inquiry in education. Fifty-two years have passed since HEP was written. Does this mean we can blame Marcuse for Neo-liberal economist Dr. Larry “Still-not-in-prison” Summers, and former President of Harvard for the monetization and ongoing privatization of public education in America and even around the world? Does the professor mean that Marcuse is the blame for that grunting, wheezing, farting, galoot, William Bennett, the acting Secretary of Education (when he’s not screwing in Las Vegas) for Ronald Ray-Gun? I think not. Let us hear the opinion of the President of Ireland, Dr. Michael D. Higgins, on the state of university education in Europe and around the world in a call for a new paradigm shift in education. Dr. Higgins mentions in his speech Adorno, and Marcuse! Noam Chomsky is a conference participant: "On Academic Freedom" - President of Ireland Dr. Michael D. Higgins' Address to the Scholars at Risk Ireland/All European Academies Conference.

    Professor MacIntyre continues to deny the perverted tolerance thesis and attempts to categorize Marcuse as a dogmatic Soviet Marxist (Stalinist) since he wrote a book on the Soviet Union: "The use of state power to defend Marxism as the one set of true beliefs in the Soviet Union produced the atrophy of Marxism and the irrationality of Soviet Marxism (MEP, p. 105)." MacIntyre does not mention Marcuse’s prediction of the collapse of the Soviet Union calling it a third rate welfare state. "The majority was in the Soviet Union the passive object of re-education in the interests of its own liberation. What Marcuse invites us to repeat is part of the experience of Stalinism (MEP, p. 105)." A lot of anti-Marcusean propaganda is built on denying the perverted tolerance thesis.

    Earlier in MacIntyre’s polemic he accuses Marcuse of being an inferior “pre-Marxist” based on the unspoken false assumption that Marxism is a single intractable static monolithic ideology existing somewhere floating between the sun and moon among the Platonic forms. The disjunctive argument assumes that Marcuse is either a fraud, or a Stalinist while ignoring the numerous other studied schools of Marxism such as Gramsci, Luckacs, Lenin, Della Volpe, Colletti, Althusser, Trotsky, Mao, and Sartre (to name a few). For MacIntyre there is only one sect of Marxism just like there is only one sect of Christianity—this is hardcore Cold War propaganda being served to the reader. The truth is Soviet Russia was no more Marxist than America is Christian.

    MacIntyre ends his last chapter characterizing the Frankfurt School scholar as a crackpot: “The philosophy of the Young Hegelians, fragments of Marxism, and revised chunks of Freud’s meta-psychology— out of these materials Marcuse has produced a theory that, like so many of its predecessors, invokes the great names of freedom and reason while betraying their substance at every important point (MEP, p. 106)."

    MacIntyre counter-argues with his corrupted freedom and reason thesis by rejecting any synthesis of Marxist critique of political economy with the proven insights of Freudian psychology (Bernays) to create a phenomenology of repression. What terrorizes the anti-Marcusean critics is the construction of a new phenomenological-existential-Marxist paradigm. Disturbingly, the doctrinaire scholastic professor rejects any effort of theoretical paradigm induction, or cross-disciplinary academic interactions Marcuse attempts.

    Marcuse commented in October 1968 to a BBC audience on the Pure Tolerance controversy: “I believe that we have discriminating tolerance here already, and what I want to do is redress the balance (Katz, p. 172).”
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
  2. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms



    MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms


    "Marcuse’s position in the attempts of radical intellectuals to expand and strengthen the Marxian theory is interesting…he was one of the first to call attention to the writings of the early Marx as a source of the basic presuppositions of Marxism, but he seemed to think…that it needed a phenomenological-existential foundation which he believed Heidegger could provide.”
    --D. Kellner (Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism, p. 59 (pdf.).”


    MacIntyre tells us that although Marcuse did not choose the status of a prophet, he did choose to be a “persistent critic of modern thought and of its relation to modern society.” Eleven years later MacIntyre published his famous work, “After Virtue” in 1981 which is a critique of “modernism,” or “postmodernism” (the two terms are used interchangeably): since then, his work has been appropriated by other authors who spun-off a collection of particularly stupid and deviant narratives of postmodernism. Marcuse was ahead of his time, while MacIntyre will ask repeatedly how does Marcuse know what is truth, and all the derivative questions on methodology. And then, shockingly, he states, “It will be my crucial contention in this book that almost all of Marcuse's key positions are false (MEP, p. 2).” As discussed in part I, Marcuse employs a number of logics and methodologies that make no sense unless the reader has a basic grasp of the various schools of epistemological paradigms and versions of historicism. MacIntyre asks the reader a simple question concerning truth, not for the student’s edification, but to bog them down: “But if truth is relative to time and place, how can we judge between theories which belong to different times and places? The need for an impersonal, nonrelative concept of truth is clear (HEP, p. 15).” MacIntyre leads the reader into thinking Marcuse and Hegel are “relative idealists,” instead of absolute idealists who believe there is only one reality, because there is only one universal Geist (Mind, or Spirit), or Reason.

    There are at least three paradigms of truth, and three paradigms of logic. Epistemology can be categorized into two general schools of thought: Realism and Anti-Realism. And there are at least seven different schools of historicism ( ie., is history teleological?). These “drive by questions” could be used as distractions, or even be legitimate questions, but most readers move on. Within symbolic logic “truth” is only a principle for organization (for consistency) such as exemplified in Wittgenstein’s truth-tables: “T” is for true, and “F” is for false. However, we could also use machine language such as the symbol “1” for “T” and “0” for “F”. And what of dialectical truth and falsity?

    “The bud disappears in the bursting-forth of the blossom, and one might say that the former is refuted by the latter; similarly, when the fruit appears, the blossom is shown up in its turn as a false manifestation of the plant, and the fruit emerges as the truth of it instead.”- (Phenomenology, para. 2).

    In MacIntyre’s case the questions are ambiguous. He wrote (All of MEP quotes are in italics): “I am under an exceptional obligation to portray what Marcuse says faithfully. I have therefore tried to separate out sections of exposition from sections of criticism. In distinguishing Marcuse's thought chronologically I have followed Marcuse himself; excepting only for his early doctoral work on Hegel and his contemporaneous writing on Marx, which I have not noticed separately from his later expositions. Marcuse as a young academic was very much a product of the German academic and philosophical tradition, admiring and learning from, for example, Heidegger at Freiburg. How could it have been otherwise? But Marcuse acquired his own specific doctrine precisely as and because he turned away from and against that tradition of thought…(MEP, p. 2; bold added)."

    During 1919-1920 Marcuse had many friends who were avant-garde literary figures: Walter Benjamin, playwright Walter Hasenclaver, poet Adrian Turel, and philosopher Georg Lukacs while he was writing History and Class Consciousness (see, Katz, p. 33). But doesn’t Marcuse’s work also reflect the many other themes and methods of the Frankfurt School of Social Research so that Marcuse isn’t really a lone wolf? Later on page 75 MacIntyre accuses Marcuse of being a conformist.

    MacIntyre noted that he followed Marcuse’s work chronologically “excepting only his early doctoral work on Hegel and his contemporaneous writing on Marx.” This is because “Reason and Revolution”(1941)(pdf.)(here after RR) is a foundational work for all other writings and interpretation by Marcuse of Hegel and Marx. MEP only mentions RR four times. MacIntyre is asking methodological questions the answer of which are in his own expositions of Marcuse and Hegel. While good on expositions in general, he is lost on Marcuse’s interpretation of Hegel. For example, take that slippery term “negative” we discussed in the Hegelian sense of “negation,” but in Marcuse’s RR it means possibility in opposition to actuality—the fulcrum of Marcusean criticism of a false condition. MacIntyre only uses this term five times in his polemic: as “negative feelings,” “Soviet negative aspects,” “pessimism,” and only once as “creativity.” RR shows that Marcuse’s understanding of Hegel is based on this key notion of negativity. Consequently, some critics have huge blind spots of Marcuse’s treatment of Hegel and Marx for this reason. Reason and Revolution is the code--the Rosetta Stone--for interpreting Marcuse.

    The introductory text continues: “The phenomenologist's account of possibility was, in Marcuse's view, necessarily a mere reproduction at another level of a world of actuality presupposed by his whole mode of operation. Husserl claimed it as a merit for phenomenology that it aimed to be descriptive in its method. Marcuse saw it as condemned to being merely descriptive. While maintaining the distinction between essence and existence, phenomenology had in fact deprived this distinction of its most important function…If phenomenology was thus written off, positivism received even shorter shrift. In Husserl's claim to be descriptive, Marcuse saw the baneful influence of positivism on phenomenology, for he took it to be positivist (MEP, p.7; bold added)."

    That last sentence is difficult to read, but there were some good points in the paragraph such as Marcuse’s criticism of Husserlian phenomenology as a failed “escape into a mirror “ turning Husserlian phenomenology into what Adorno called the “empiricism of the Platonic forms”—a neutered ahistorical positivistic quietism that strips concepts of their historical meanings for pure logical form (for details see, “Adorno’s Critique of Husserlian Phenomenology”). This is not Marcuse’s mug of beer! MacIntyre just mentioned “negative” philosophy, but is now puzzled why Marcuse would write off positivism. Do you see the disconnection? The polemic fails to live up to it’s own exposition. This happens repeatedly. Marcuse’s distinction between the potential and actual is not an occult doctrine, but fundamentally Aristotelian presented by MacIntyre so vaguely the reader might think Marcuse was a other worldly utopian Platonic objective realist—the worst possible interpretation of Marcuse. Of course, Marcuse didn’t embrace positivism because he viewed it as a methodology used to “vitiate” negative thinking--to neutralize the capacity to imagine an alternative organized social life in an ideologically constructed one-dimensional paradigm. MacIntyre holds pieces of the puzzle, but will not put them all together: he provides some missing pieces of the puzzle at some points in his critique for completeness while strategically withholding other pieces that might support Marcuse.

    MacIntyre is handing out paper-thin slices of Marcuse’s phenomenology of repression. I wrote the following paragraph on this topic in another past essay to provide a contrast:

    “But does Husserl’s new way of thinking--intuition of essences—achieve what Adorno calls the ‘breakout’ from natural-scientific reductionism by using conceptual classification to discover essences? Adorno’s judgment is Husserl’s ‘breakout’ attempt is a failure. Foster summarizes Adorno’s reasoning as ‘Husserl’s failure to overcome the natural-scientific reduction: ideal objects [abstracted essences] turn out to be the same brute facts shorn of their experiential significance (Roger Foster, p. 99; brackets added).’ Adorno therefore considers these essences as ‘empty abstractions.’ Husserl’s essences ‘will simply replicate the ossified, isolated facts that pass for genuine experience in empiricist naturalism (Ibid., p.104).’ Husserlian phenomenology failed because it ‘used concepts to unseal the non-conceptual with concepts.’ Adorno described Husserl’s failure as an ‘escape into the mirror’ (Negative Dialectics, Adorno, p. 51).’ Later, Adorno claims Heidegger makes this same error of escaping into the mirror with phenomenological fundamental ontology, but with less success in Roger Foster’s reasoned analysis….(see, “Adorno: The Recovery of Experience,” by Roger Foster).”

    On pages 6-7 of MEP there is some excellent expositions of Marcuse’s criticism of Husserlian phenomenology and its weaknesses; however, his opening criticism is presented within a confused meaningless context so the reader is unlikely to detect his biased incomplete narrative. The fog machine will indeed give the general idea of some kind of destructive schism with other thinkers MacIntyre strongly disagrees—when your opponents are engaged in a suicidal schism don’t interfere! Marcuse, Husserl, Adorno, and even Heidegger together agree more than MacIntyre is attempting to portray. There are other examples, and a reason for this kind of interpretation of Marcuse.

    next…The Hatch Job
     
  3. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch-Job



    The Dull Hatch-Job

    Phaedrus: "And what is the other principle, Socrates?
    Socrates: That of dividing things again by classes, where
    the natural joints are, and not trying to break any part,
    after the manner of a bad carver
    ."--Phaedrus 265e


    Are we being too severe with MacIntyre’s polemic? It turns out my criticisms are milder, but consistent with other reviewers of MEP. Professor Douglas Kellner is the author of “Herbert Marcuse And the Crisis of Marxism (pdf.)(Here on CM) wrote in a short footnote the following summary of MacIntyre’s “hatch-job” on Marcuse:

    “MacIntyre totally ignores Marcuse’s early writings and deep immersion in Marx during his formative period, emphasizing instead his study with Heidegger (for whom, he falsely claims, Marcuse wrote his doctoral dissertation). MacIntyre’s account of critical theory is extremely superficial, and his ‘summaries’ of Marcuse’s books are simple-minded, reductionistic and uniformed. Most of the book is an attempted hatchet-job on Marcuse, and whatever valid criticisms MacIntyre may have are lost in hyperbole (‘almost all of Marcuse’s key positions are false’, p. 7), supercilious attacks on Marcuse (see, for example, p. 61, where he claims that Marcuse’s critique of Soviet Marxism is ‘senile’), or idiotic counter-examples (see his astounding attempt to ‘refute’ Marcuse’s theses on technological rationality by citing the ‘accidental’ character of the Vietnam war and the ‘myth of American imperialism’, pp. 70ff). Throughout his ‘faithful... exposition’ (?!) (p. 7), MacIntyre obsessively remarks that Marcuse is ‘pre-Marxist’ (pp. 22, 40, 54, 61). I [Kellner writes] hope that my study discloses the perverseness of MacIntyre’s ‘interpretation’, which shares the worst features of Soviet tirades against Marcuse’s ‘non-Marxism’. For a sharp attack on MacIntyre’s book, see Robin Blackburn’s review in Telos, 6 (Fall 1970) pp. 348-51 (see Douglas Kellner, “Herbert Marcuse And the Crisis of Marxism"(1984)(pdf.); p. 445; bracket & bold added)."

    Christian socialist theologian Paul Tillich (he’s everywhere!) wrote his surmise of Marcuse’s book, Reason and Revolution: “ ‘This book is an extremely valuable interpretation of Hegel’s philosophy in its social and political significance and consequences, and constitutes a monumental introduction to the method of socio-historical criticism, to the method of ‘critical theory” as developed by Max Horkheimer and the Institute of Social Research’, Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, vol. IX, no. 3 (1941) pp. 476-8. Tillich presents a sympathetic account of the book and regrets only that R&R does not contain a fuller account of Hegel’s philosophy of religion and aesthetics, claiming that ‘Even a critical social theory cannot avoid an ‘ultimate’ in which its criticism is rooted because reason itself is rooted therein’ (p. 478 ). Tillich also raises the provocative question, ‘Is positivism as such or only a special type of positivism reactionary?’(p. 478 )(CM, p. 418 )."

    Resources for Reading Marcuse


    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.”—Abraham Lincoln

    {(∃x)[Px * (∀y)(Ty ⊃ Fxy)] * (∃y)[Ty * (∀x)(Px ⊃ Fxy)]} * (∃y)( ∃x)[Ty * Px * ~Fxy]

    Symbols:
    Px = ‘x is a person’
    Tx = ‘x is a time’
    Fxy= ‘you can fool x at time y’
    (∀x) = ‘for all variables x’
    (∃x) = 'for at least one variable x'
    ⊃ = Logical operator for conditional: If, then.
    * = Conjunction ‘and’
    ~ = Negation, 'not'


    I remember first reading Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, and Lukacs’ History and Class Consciousness in the late seventies, and not understanding most of what they wrote; one major reason is that I never read Hegel. Hegel is a famous German absolute idealist, but he was also a philosophical theologian and this mixture of thinking captured my interest. An understanding of Hegel also helps reading Marx, and Kierkegaard. I do not want to rule out any other good books about Marcuse, but here are some very readable secondary resources that reinforce one another in helping to get a clearer understanding of Marcuse’s overall philosophy and primary texts:

    “The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923 to 1950 “by Martin Jay (1973)(pdf.) is a complete historical overview of the famous members of the institute such as Marcuse, Fromm, Horkheimer, Adorno and many others. Martin’s expositions on the Frankfurt School have great summarizing insights into the many interconnecting philosophical topics in their historical context.

    Herbert Marcuse and the Art of Liberation,” by Barry Katz (1982) is a biography of Marcuse and goes into depth recounting his life struggles in Germany and America including his early intellectual influences that shaped his political and philosophical evolution, which surprisingly emerged from a love of aesthetics and in an effort to negate the diremption between politics and art.

    Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism,” by Douglas Kellner (1984)(pdf.)(CM) is a 500 page deep philosophical dive into Marcuse’s interpretation of Hegel and Marx with critical reviews of such topics as (but not limited to) Phenomenological Marxism, critique of bureaucratic-communist ideology; critique of science and technology in capitalism; historicity and dialectic methodology; and Marcusean aesthetics.

    Reason and Revolution,” is a good text to learn critical theory and his own interpretations of Hegel, Marx, and Kierkegaard. Also, there are additional coherent criticisms than we have covered of Marcuse’s interpretation of Hegel discussed in Kellner’s fifth chapter of CM. Another valuable resource for an introduction to Hegel is Frederick Copleston’s, S.J. History of Philosophy, Vol. 7; Modern Philosophy: from the Post-Kantian Idealism to Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche (pdf.)(original pagination p.159; or, pdf. pagination is p. 646). The separate volumes in that pdf are difficult to find (volumes 1,4,5,6 are missing) so here are the pdf page numbers for volumes 2,3,7,8,9:

    · A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY VOLUME II: Medieval Philosophy (pdf. p. 2)
    · VOLUME III Late Medieval & Renaissance Philosophy (pdf. p. 315)
    · VOLUME VII: Modern Philosophy: From the Post-Kantian Idealists: Marx, Kierkegaard (pdf. 734) & Nietzsche (pdf. p.561)
    · VOLUME VIII: Modern Philosophy: Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragmatism in Britain and America. (pdf. p. 817).
    · VOLUME IX: Modern Philosophy: From the French Revolution to Sartre, Camus, and Levi-Strauss (pdf. p. 1112)


    Also, see philosophy professor Dr. Gregory B. Sadler progress into his mind-boggling eight-year marathon video lecture series on all eight hundred and one paragraphs of Hegel’s “Phenomenology of Spirit,” and nailing every one down with concise analysis and insightful commentary. I’m all caught up on his Hegel lectures! Also, Dr. Sadler has a massive video library including his series of Philosophy Core Concepts that can provide a strong foundation for further study of the literary cannon of Western philosophy.

    Next… MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
  4. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    With all due respect, I find it may be instructive here to remember that using big words doesn't preclude one from making word salad.

    Without referring us to anyone else can you state what you want to say in a few simple sentences? If you can't I've always been told that's a good indication you need to understand it better yourself
     
  5. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    Without even beginning to understand (or even read) Marcuse; I was always told that he was the death-knell of socialism since he seemed to be saying that Capitalism was undercutting its revolutionary fervor by giving the socialists everything they were asking for, in which case why did you need a Revolution anyway?
     
  6. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well, I see you are not putting much effort into your reading. I didn't know this thread would be 250,000 words with only 15 minutes to edit each post so I have a backup website where I can edit and present these essays in one whole piece.

    I tend to be skeptical of what other people tell me and repeat to strangers. And if you "Without even beginning to understand (or even read) Marcuse..." then how can you judge?
     
  7. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    I would be glad to discuss after you show evidence of the minimum level of honesty for discourse and authentic curiosity for the subject matter.
    I do not think anyone believes that "socialists" got everything they wanted....if we can define what a socialist might be...because I don't listen to what 'I was always told..." Revolution is restructured Reason and one should keep in mind to not believe everything people tell you! I think was are witnessing the "death-knell" of Neo-Liberalism.

    Meanwhile, you are put on "ignore."
     
  8. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    So are you.
     
  9. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions



    MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions for Marcuse


    "I shall raise four initial questions. The first arises from the issue which I have just raised. Marcuse at various points both in his early and later writings refers to criteria of truth which he rejects. What is Marcuse’s own view of truth? (MEP, p. 14)." MacIntyre raised the question of truth earlier and I provided links to other essays describing the different schools of thought. Marcuse would begin his lectures with the statement “Political economy is assumed!” In other words, Marcuse is concerned with how capitalism has learned to prevent social change, but doesn’t question Marx’s fundamental analysis of how capitalism works, or that it is destructive to rational human beings any more than professor MacIntyre would question the fundamentals of Aristotelian virtue ethics while addressing ethical questions. We discussed the three different logic(s) applied in his critical philosophy: Aristotelian logic, dialectical logic, and the logic of the universal and the particular. And again MacIntyre fails to associate the notion of negativity with positivism when he asked for a definition of truth. Marcuse accepts the dichotomy between the subject and object; facts and meaning; being and thought.

    I have good news! MacIntyre has since 1970 embraced Kantian categories when he wrote: “What I learned from [Alfred] Kuhn, or rather from Kuhn and Lakatos read together, was the need first to identify and then to break free from that framework and to inquire whether the various problems on which I had made so little progress….”--Alasdair MacIntyre (pdf.) 2006. But then philosopher Peter Lipton wrote, “Kuhn, however, is Kant on wheels (pdf.).” Hopefully, MacIntyre has not become a Neo-Kantian backslider!

    The question directed toward Marcuse’s expositions is “What is true (for Marcuse)?” The truth is the whole. Marcusean phenomenology of repression and the critique of a false condition are describing a particular shape (Gestalt) of distorted historical consciousness in modern industrial capitalism. The “facts” are only pseudo-facts because facts are not the only issue: we must also ask, “What is the order of facts?” Kant wrote: “Concepts without content are void, intuitions (sense-perception) without conceptions are blind.” Marcuse applies the most extreme version of scientific empiricism to his dialectical historical analysis: Hegel’s method—phenomenology! And like Hegel, Marcuse describes a specific epochal mode of consciousness letting the critical reader follow along, and hopefully grasp the logico-historical paradigmatic development of a concept, or notion such as Freedom, Truth, and Justice. Analysis and commentator of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (pdf.), J.N. Findlay, writes of this literary “Phenomenological ‘We’ ” in the forward of the Phenomenology: "It is we, the phenomenological students of the shapes of Spirit, who see the logical connections between them, and therefore also for phenomenological purposes the order in which they must be arranged (Ibid., p. viii).”

    Thus, the first question concerning truth is related to MacIntyre’s second question: "My second critical question is: how does Marcuse justify his highly selective version of the history of culture? This question can be broken down into parts. First, how does Marcuse justify his highly selective version of the history of philosophy?…[Secondly] his general history of culture is even more so (MEP, p. 15).”

    Marcuse tells his students: “The teleological character of history (if indeed history has such) can only be a conclusion from an empirical study of history and cannot be assumed a priori…We must proceed historically empirically---an odd approach for an idealistic philosophy of history (RR, p. 225)." Neither Marcuse, nor Hegel are anti-empiricist: both adopted the phenomenological description of appearances as their methodology. Marcuse, like Hegel, allows the reader to judge the truth of his historical analysis: "The laws of history have to be demonstrated in and from the facts thus far, Hegel's is the empirical method. But these laws cannot be known unless the investigation first has the guidance of proper theory. Facts of themselves disclose nothing; they only answer adequate theoretical questions. True scientific objectivity requires the application of sound categories that organize data in their actual significance, and not a passive reception of given facts. 'Even the ordinary, the ‘impartial’ historiographer, who believes and professes that he maintains a simply receptive attitude, surrendering himself only to the data supplied him is by no means passive as regards the exercise of his thinking powers. He brings his categories with him, and sees the phenomena . . . exclusively through these media.' 5 But how does one recognize the sound categories and the proper theory? Philosophy decides (RR, p. 225)." Marcuse is very Neo-Kantian in his analysis of modern capitalism; however, it is Hegelian phenomenology that provides empirical content so that his concepts are not empty.

    "In Reason and Revolution Marcuse stresses the relation of Hegel to Marx and the importance of the Hegelian concepts of freedom, reason and critical dialectics, while in Hegel’s Ontology he is interested in the ontological features of Hegel’s philosophy and totally excludes the historical-political dimension that plays such an important role in his later interpretation of Hegel.”--(CM, p.76)

    During the 1970s at this stage of his philosophical development MacIntyre would not acknowledge the Neo-Kantian concept of relative categories, or “paradigms” (he claimed to have embraced Kuhnian paradigms decades later); otherwise, he could not play the part of the blind vulgar empiricist while Marcuse is viewing society through an alternative paradigm which may give rise to dangerous insights. “Dialectical logic is critical logic: it reveals modes and contents of thought which transcends the codified pattern of use and validation (RR, p. xii).” It is the negative logic of imagination that MacIntyre’s convenient faux positivism is attempting to defeat.

    MacIntyre complains that Marcuse’s historicism is biased and incomplete: “The omissions are evident. Locke and Berkeley, Diderot, Helvétius, and d'Alembert never appear, Hume scarcely ever; Spinoza and Leibnitz get very short shrift; Nietzsche is in, but not Schopenhauer; Schlick but not Mach. Why is this important? The answer is that by omitting so much and by giving a one-sided interpretation of those authors whom he does invoke, Marcuse is enabled to exaggerate, and in some instances to exaggerate grossly, the homogeneity of the philosophical thought of a given age. (MEP, p. 15)."

    Marcuse is not addressing some of the alleged missing philosophers directly, or individually by name (the “miscellany of historical facts”), but as representational epochal paradigms that comprise certain historical eras such as Kantian Transcendental Idealism incorporating and moving beyond the epistemologies of the empiricists and the rationalists (i.e, Locke, Hume, Descartes). Marcuse teaches historical materialism by demonstration. For example, see in Reason and Revolution the section titled, “Philosophy of History,” pp. 225-248 (pdf.); also, (“The Foundations of the Dialectical Theory of Society,” p. 258 ). For comparison, see Marcuse on “Kierkegaard” on pp. 262-267. Marcuse’s exposition on Kierkegaard shows his philosophical distance from MacIntyre who misreads Kierkegaard (see my comments: “The Straw Man Critique of Kierkegaardian Subjectivity”). Marcuse’s Neo-Marxist-Neo-Hegelian methodology requires both the form of Reason (logic) and the empirical content of history (phenomena). Marcuse writes: “The Logic [Hegel’s] had demonstrated the structure of reason; the Philosophy of History expounds the historical content of reason. Or, we may say, the content of reason here is the same as the content of history, although by content we refer not to the miscellany of historical facts, but to what makes history a rational whole, the laws and tendencies to which the facts point and from which they receive their meaning (RR, p. 239; bold italics and brackets added).” Hegel indirectly described some of the very same listed philosophers as representing modes of consciousness such as sense certainty (empiricism), or force and understanding (rationalism) in his Phenomenology without mentioning their names. Both Hegel and Marcuse think in paradigms.

    ...please continue below to #post 235.
     
  10. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions



    “Nature, has a history, but is not history."
    Professor Martin Jay in The Dialectical Imagination,” (1973)(pdf.)(DI, pdf. p. 54).

    MacIntyre continues: “My third critical question concerns Marcuse's correlation of philosophical doctrines with political and social commitments: how is this correlation established? Certainly not by any actual correlation between a philosopher's doctrines and his commitments on such matters. Marcuse sees phenomenology and empiricism as doctrines characteristic of a world passing into totalitarianism, and in his early writings what Marcuse means by totalitarianism is the authoritarianism of Fascism and Nazism. But in fact the philosophers of the Vienna Circle were radicals and socialists, anti-Nazi to a man, and the political record of the phenomenologists was also good. (Edith Stein, Husserl's secretary, became a nun and died in a concentration camp.) Heidegger and Gentile were, in fact, highly exceptional figures. How, then, is Marcuse justified in treating them as representative ones (MEP, p.16)?"

    MacIntyre must be referring to the classical Marxist view that the proletariat would be the political catalyst for socio-economic transformation. In his later development Marcuse became suspicious of methodological phenomenology and empiricism due to their central notions of sense-certainty (positivism) and eternal essences (Husserlian eidetically reduced essences) that renders them easily adaptable to totalitarian thinking. MacIntyre is not asking the correct question about the limitless number of individual personal biographies and combinations of worldviews. Such correlations would be highly personal to each individual. How could anyone predict a priori theologian Paul Tillich would become a Christian socialist? However, Marcuse did make this prediction correlating doctrine and practice: “If man has learned to see and know what really is, he will act in accordance with truth (ODM, p. 129).” If Marcuse knew the correlations between a person’s doctrines and practice, he would not needed to join the Frankfurt School to research the question of why the modern proletariat is so passively conformist. MacIntyre will not put anything of Marcuse together for the reader, and should instead consider the more relevant question Tillich asked: “Is positivism as such or only a special type of positivism reactionary?” Most likely, Heidegger and Marcuse would agree that it is not positivism (phenomenology, nor technology) in itself that is a hazard, but the socio-politico-ideological “Enframing” [paradigm] that directs the telos of modern techne (τέχνη).

    “The fourth critical question is: how does Marcuse’s view stand in relation to classical Marxism? We cannot assimilate Marcuse’s thought too easily to Marxism even at this stage of his development (MEP, p. 17).”

    The Marcusean Neo-Marxist project is to investigate the anomaly (a modern consumerist vitiated proletariat), which the classical Marxist paradigm did not anticipate. He does not accept the doctrine of historical progress a priori: he accepts the same “categories of dialectics” of Hegel and Marx; he accepts the Marxist theory of labor; his Marxist theory of revolution is taken from Hegel’s notion of Reason, and Marx’s theory of alienated labor; Marcuse accepts Marxist critique of capitalism and its collapse; but, rejects “revisionism” of Marxist materialist dialectics (see details, CM, pp. 143-44). However, Marcuse does have criticism of classical Marxism and Hegel; “I believe it is the idea of Reason itself which is the undialectical element in Hegel’s philosophy (RR, p. xii).” In fact, classical Marxist historical materialism has always been from the very beginning a critique of Hegelian idealist philosophy, just as the Christian Kierkegaard critiques the systematic Professor---Hegel. MacIntyre’s questions are framed to completely suppress this simple historical insight into the relation of Marxism to Hegelian idealism. MEP actually misinforms, and misleads the beginning reader of critical theory.

    next...
    MacIntyre’s Criticism of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
     
  11. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel



    MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel

    “Because bourgeois political economy does not have human beings and their history in its conceptual scheme, it is in the deepest sense not a ‘‘human science’’, but is a non-human science of an inhuman world of things and commodities.”

    --Marcuse in "Studies in Critical Philosophy, 1973; p. 9.


    Finally, after all that preparation MacIntyre now looks at Marcuse’s interpretation of Marx and Hegel: "Hegel began by accepting from Kant this central insight—that we take the world to be as it is because the structure of thought imposes a structure on it—but then he wished to quarrel with the Kantian position in two respects. For Kant, there was a distinction to be made between reality-as-we-apprehend-it and reality-as-it-is, between things-as-perceived and things-in-themselves. The latter are and will be unknowable. But, argued Hegel, if they are unknowable we cannot know of them and we cannot know that they are; hence we must conclude that reality simply is reality-as-we-apprehend-it. There is nothing beyond and outside experience. But Hegel did not further conclude that claims which have hitherto been understood to concern realities that cannot be experienced—God, the minds of others—are all false; rather we must understand these claims instead as claims about the character of certain features of the world as we experience it (MEP, p.23)."

    MacIntyre has introduced into his polemic the Kantian notion of the noumenal, which I discussed in the essay, “Is Kant’s concept of the noumena coherent and necessary for knowledge?”, and turns out that reality is not so “simple.” We cannot say anything “beyond” experience, but this does not mean Kant rejects the concepts of God, Freedom, and immortality for he wrote: “I therefore had to annul [aufheben] knowledge in order to make room for faith. And the true source of all the lack of faith which conflicts with morality-and is always highly dogmatic-is dogmatism in metaphysics, i.e., the prejudice according to which we can make progress in metaphysics without a [prior] critique of pure reason (Critique of Pure Reason, trans. W.S. Pluhar, 1996; p. 31; pdf. p. 91; second bracket added)(pdf.)." In other words, Kant had to first write the Critique of Pure Reason, so that he could have the space to write Critique of Pure Practical Reason, (or, ethics).

    Hegel is a consistent anti- dualist who questioned the division of phenomena (appearance) and noumena (unreified reality). For the comparison of some philosophers and their differing views of noumenality between antirealist epistemologies and realism see the essay “Realism/Antirealism Scheme in “A Thing of This World” (2007) by Dr. Lee Braver.” We can classify as antirealist the philosophers Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and most modern epistemologists—even some of those who object to antirealism. I argue that although some philosophers many deny noumenality they continue to embrace its paradigmatic function as the concepts of limitation and existential possibility. MacIntyre has thrown these difficult epistemological questions at the reader like a plate of spaghetti leaving them to untangle and clean up the mess.

    The polemic then alternates back to exposition: "The Phenomenology of Mind is many things. It is a history of philosophy in which Hegel not only reviews the main philosophical positions of the past but attempts to depict exhaustively the range of philosophical positions which are possible. (And how extraordinarily impressive his attempt to carry out this impossible task is, is shown by the way he anticipates philosophical positions which were only to be worked out in the future by his successors and critics. There are, for example, recognizable sketches of Kierkegaard's existentialism and Russell's logical atomism, and refutations of them too.) But since for Hegel the thought-forms which the philosopher discerns are those which inform civilization and not merely philosophical theorizing, the Phenomenology situates the history of philosophy within a history of the human spirit. Art, politics, religion all pass in review. The pattern which informs all of these is one that Hegel elaborated in the course of reflecting upon the contrast between the ancient Greek city-state and the Germany of his own age (MEP, p.24)."

    Again, MacIntyre’s exposition here is excellent! However, Marcuse is using the same phenomenological methodology as Hegel, Sartre, and Heidegger. MacIntyre presents excellent expositions of some areas of Marcuse and Hegel’s work, but he withholds applying Hegelian concepts to Marcuse’s critique of capitalism that results in a dyslexic interpretation of Marcuse. Many of the questions directed toward Marcuse can be found in MacIntyre’s own exposition of Hegel, Husserl, and Kant. The reason for this is these philosophers, and others are simply being used as a truncheon against Marcuse thereby missing important methodological understanding.

    Marcuse’s own exposition of Hegel reads: “The Phenomenology of Mind in this way leads up to the Logic. The latter unfolds the structure of the universe, not in the changing forms that it has for knowledge that is not yet absolute, but in its true essence. It presents 'the truth in its true form.’3 Just as the experience with which the Phenomenology began was not everyday experience, the knowledge with which it ends is not traditional philosophy, but a philosophy that has absorbed the truth of all previous philosophies and with it all the experience mankind has accumulated during its long trek to freedom. It is a philosophy of a self-conscious humanity that lays claim to a mastery of men and things and to its right to shape the world accordingly, a philosophy that enunciates the highest ideals of modern individualist society (RR, p. 97).” The Phenomenology is the history of this long trek to freedom; it is the story of the road to experience…”to Calvary,” as Hegel once said.

    MacIntyre continues: “But if Marcuse carries over into his analysis of Marx's mature writings Hegelian ideas that do not properly belong there (some Hegelian ideas do properly belong there; Marx did retain, even if he also modified, the notion of alienation, contrary to the view of such interpreters as Lewis Feuer), he at the same time oddly ascribes to Marx a break with Hegel that Marx did not make (MEP, p. 36)."

    This paragraph is a setup by MacIntyre to begin another parallel effort not for the search for truth, but to introduce schisms, real or invented, into Marcusean Marxism. Whenever one objection (misinterpreting Marx) is addressed, another argument, like overlapping roof tiles, is introduced. In this case, the overlapping criticism is Marcuse including a Freudian psychoanalytical paradigm for interpreting the young early Marx. (Note: Skinnerian Operant Behaviorism was the dominant school of psychology in the US during the 60s, and 70s with Freudian psychology being nearly universally rejected by academia).

    “Marcuse was far more receptive to twentieth-century philosophy than were the [Frankfurt] Institut's other philosophical thinkers.”
    --Martin Jay, DI, pdf. p. 54.

    Kellner writes of how Marcuse understands his own academic work: "...this project took the form of work on the foundation of the Hegelian-Marxian philosophies and dialectical method, and criticisms of current forms of social theory and philosophy from a Hegelian standpoint. Many of the thirteen essays published between 1928 and 1933 criticize contemporary interpretations of Marxism which Marcuse believes deflect it from its revolutionary goals and undermine its philosophical foundation (CM, p.72)."

    The Neo-Marxist Marcuse saw that classical Marxist scholarship, which focused on Capital, lacked the individual subjectivity found in Marx‘s early humanist writing, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (pdf.). These early undiscovered manuscripts by Marx were first published in 1932 by magazine contributors J. P. Mayer and Sieffried Landshut by a philosophical magazine Neue Blatter [New Page] started by theologian Paul Tillich [There he is again!] in 1930 who already suspected the vulgar “materialist” interpretation of Marx may not be wholly accurate. The Nazis shutdown the journal numerous times, and closed permanently it in 1933. Marx’s 1844 manuscripts were not published into English until 1956 when Cold War propaganda already stereotyped Marxism as vulgar materialism and this continues even today. Both Marcuse and Tillich believed it was a mistake not to assimilate existentialism into modern interpretations of Marxism. Marcuse is attempting to break that Cold War stereotype by reintroducing existentialism back into the so-called materialist reading of Marx along with Freud’s concept of the unconscious. Kellner writes of Marcuse’s revisionism: "Marcuse’s position in the attempts of radical intellectuals to expand and strengthen the Marxian theory is interesting. On the one hand, he was one of the first to call attention to the writings of the early Marx as a source of the basic presuppositions of Marxism, but he seemed to think, on the other hand, that it needed a phenomenological-existential foundation which he believed Heidegger could provide (CM, p. 59; brackets added).”

    Next…
    What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre absolutely rejects?
     
  12. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237:What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?



    What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre absolutely rejects?


    “I have already noticed that Marcuse connects freedom and happiness intimately. He argues that the Hegelian progress of reason is not a progress to happiness and says, obviously correctly, that Marx took human needs far more seriously than Hegel did. But he then passes from asserting that for Marx a truly human and free society would be one in which each would have the possibility of realizing his potentialities (and that this is what Marx means by freedom) to asserting that ‘mankind becomes free only when the material perpetuation of life is a function of the abilities and happiness of associated individuals."2 And he characterizes part of the difference between Hegel and Marx by saying that 'the idea of reason has been superseded by the idea of happiness' (MEP, p.36)."

    Marcuse introducing subjectivity (i.e., happiness, unconsciousness, existential alienation) into Marxism is the theoretical change that MacIntyre wants to confuse the read about. Any interpretive breaks with Hegel and Marx are to be expected by a Neo-Marxist just as the young Marx reinterpreted and moved beyond the Hegelian system. Anyone who studies and embraces Hegelianism could also be categorized as “pre-Marxist”—including the early young Marx himself! See how absurd MacIntyre’s criticism is? His polemic could be directed at any theorist whose mission is to critically revise a theoretical paradigm. One horn of MacIntyre’s dilemma is formed by defining Marcuse as “pre-Marxist” for making revisions that deviate from contemporary orthodox interpretations of Marx and Hegel; the second horn is Marcuse accused of being sympathetic to totalitarian Stalinism. Must there be only one school of Marxist interpretation so that anyone can be deemed either a heretic or dogmatist? Marcuse is indeed formulating a revised Hegelian Marxism. The ultimate epistemological problem is not that we don’t know reality; but rather, we can know reality in so many different ways. A systematic science does not just need logic and methodology: a scientific discipline needs multiple logics and methodologies. MacIntyre is extremely resistant, intolerant, and dogmatic to any alternative interpretations, or expositions of classical Marxism.

    “The whole is the truth, and the whole is false.”
    --Marcuse (RR, p. xiv)

    "This summary outline of Hegelianism enables us to inquire into Marcuse's interpretation of Hegel. Marcuse becomes critical in other than the most marginal way only when he turns from Hegel's Logic to his political philosophy. He sees the root of Hegel's error in his political acquiescence in the existing order after 1815; he sees not the content of Hegelian theory but its application to political life as being at fault. We may observe at once that this is very much what some of the Left Hegelians held at one stage. But the question that has to be raised sharply is whether in fact the content of the Hegelian philosophy—and that content which Marcuse on the whole refrains from criticizing—does not lend itself to political aberration (MEP, p.30)."

    Is Marcuse still a “pre-Marxist” if he disagrees with Hegel? Hegel--desperate for some kind of legislating body to protect “human freedom of property, freedom of the person, freedom of trade and profession, free admission to all offices of state, and equality before the law”--initially had hope for the French Revolution, but was disillusioned with the “Reign of terror,” and Napoleon’s eventual fall from power (see, Hegel and the French Revolution). Hegel wrote to a friend about his feelings toward contemporary politics of his day saying, “Pray and curse!” Some readers of Hegel today can identify with his despair. Marcuse in general accepts the majority of Hegel’s philosophical system to modernize its categories, but criticized Hegel’s politics as contradictory, and a “betrayal” of Hegelian “categories of emancipation” (see, CM, p. 144). Kellner acknowledges there are problems with Hegel’s later political philosophy, and believes Marcuse was too uncritical of both Hegel, and Heidegger (see details CM, p. 144-45). Regardless, Kellner still considers Marcusean phenomenological existential Marxism as philosophically very close to classical Marxism. Kellner has listed an number of coherent and substantial criticisms of Marcuse’s interpretation of Hegel and Marx, but none can be categorized as a fatal error in my view (see MC, p. 142-48 ).

    ....continues below to post #238.
     
  13. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237:What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?
    #Post 238: Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation



    Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation

    "By virtue of the factual repression, the experienced world is the result of a restricted experience, and the positivist cleaning of the mind brings the mind in line with the restricted experience.”
    – Marcuse (ODM, p. 187)


    MacIntyre wrote the following criticism of Marcuse synthesizing Freudian and Hegelian-Marxist theories: "I have in the course of the preceding argument picked out certain positions which distinguish Marcuse from other writers in the Hegelian and Marxist traditions to which he owes so much. More especially I have suggested that in making "man" rather than "men" the subject of history he is at odds with Marx, and that in making "happiness" a central goal of man's striving he is at odds not only with Hegel, as Marcuse himself recognizes, but also once more with Marx…Not all, of course; Trotsky was profoundly interested in psychoanalysis, but what seems to have engaged his interest was primarily psychoanalysis as a method of therapy rather than Freud's metapsychological theory. For Marcuse it is all too characteristically the other way round… in the end the evidence for the truth or the falsity of psychoanalytic claims must be found. Marcuse is as impatient of the empirical here as he is elsewhere (HEP, p. 44)."

    MacIntyre is critical of Marcuse for not having an ideological czar. Yet, if Marcuse never deviated from Marx, or Hegel he would be deemed a cult disciple: it's a cheap argument which can only be made by removing the context, and purpose of Marcuse’s studies of Freudian psychoanalysis. Remember, during the 60s and 70s Skinnerian Operant Behaviorism dominated American psychology university departments because it was considered more “empirical,” and not completely “subjective” such as the Freudian psychoanalysis was thought to be. MacIntyre is jumping on the empiricist bandwagon in the same way decades later he jumped on the Kuhnian bandwagon. Again, Marcuse like any critical thinker does not have to mimic the philosopher they are studying—the assumption that one must is disturbingly narrow-minded. Marcuse’s contribution to the Frankfurt School was to develop a Hegelian-Marxism that was not solely centered on the empirical (positivistic) proletariat of reified consciousness, but also applied Kantian criticism (although through a Hegelian lens) that focused on a negative critique of possibility (or transcendence) and the reality changing logic of domination in the false paradigm of a totalitarian universe.

    "Of the major figures connected with the Institut, only Marcuse attempted to articulate a positive [empirical] anthropology at any time in his career...Critical Theory consistently resisted the temptation to describe ‘the realm of freedom’ from the vantage point of the ‘realm of necessity.’ “--(DI, pdf. p. 49; brackets added).

    Speaking of truth: the subject is not an object. Understanding human being is not the same as studying inanimate objects; consequently, methodologies and criteria of truth must be applied differently with other systematic disciplines. Philosopher Michael Foucault illustrated this point by deliberately selecting for research the history of mental illness, and sexuality precisely because these are not objects. Yet, MacIntyre demands empirical evidence from Marcuse as if he is fixing bicycles and toasters. Marcuse already had his empirical proof of the effectiveness of Freudian psychology when he observed its applied principles with the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany, and in the form of propaganda broadcasted by the new medias of radio and film. Freudian psychoanalyst Edward Bernays, a cousin of Sigmund Freud, produced propaganda for the US to recover from a worldwide economic depression; to mobilize for war against the Axis Powers; and then the post-war development of scientific consumer marketing techniques based on the same psychoanalytic principles with mind-boggling success.

    Psychoanalysis is the subversive psychology that American ideologists did not want to be general knowledge of the public. Psychologist B.F. Skinner was much better for American academia for research into stimulus-response training of pigeons to guide missiles used in the Vietnam War to bomb half-naked barefooted rice farmers. Marcuse knew Freudian principles were real, that is, they worked: however, he wanted to know how they worked. MacIntyre doesn’t supply any larger historical context with his anti-Marcusean polemic; otherwise, his objections would sound nonsensical. The Frankfurt School is mentioned only as a curriculum vitae entry three times within the whole of MEP! Instead, he focuses his ad hominem on Marcuse himself as a German Marxist immigrant who was an OSS official in the de-Nazification of post-war Germany (see CM, p. 149).

    “…neither his desires nor his alteration of reality are henceforth his own: they are now ‘organized’ by his society. And this ‘organization’ represses and trans-substantiates his original instinctual needs.”
    --Marcuse, Eros and Civilization, pp. 14-15 (pdf.).

    As an expert on the Hegelian dialectical method, all Marcuse really needed from Freud’s “thermodynamic, hydraulic” model of instinctual energy was a revisionist concept of the repressed (sublimated) consciousness, and then he could formulate on his own the remainder of a new anthropology of liberation. Marcuse wasn’t just sitting around smoking a cigar and pulled Freud (there are many Freuds) out from his…back pocket. Marcuse was not a lone wolf. Other philosophers were studying Freudo-Marxism like French thinkers Baudrillard, Deleuze, Guttari, and Lyotard. Kellner reports that Adorno and Horkheimer were not as interested in socialism as Marcuse and were not a great help to Marcuse (CM, p. 425). Marcuse had attended Marx-Freudian debates in 1920 and later read Wilhelm Reich’s work Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933).” (For expositions and criticisim on the French Freudo-Marxists see Dr. Michael Pelias’ lectures to his students and clinical psychologists: “Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus - Part 1).

    Since Classical Marxism lacked a systematically defined philosophical anthropology of human subjectivity, a new Freudian-Marxist synthesis could provide the basis for a Marcusean anthropology of liberation. There were some elements of Freudian psychology that needed to be rejected such as the belief repression is necessary for human civilization to exist. Also, Marcuse embraced Freud’s understanding of the link between repression of memories and of neurosis which on “… weakening the life instincts would increase aggression and violence.” (see, Chris Hedges interview of author Eurydice of “Satyricon USA” for a possible Marcusean interpretation of sexual sublimation-desublimation). Emerging out of new forms of administrative domination is an ersatz consciousness of a false social condition.

    There are many other minor arguments in MacIntyre’s polemic against Marcuse’s Freudian Marxist synthesis, but they can be reduced to the counter-argument line of the polemist’s unwillingness to accept any theses of the Frankfurt school and choose instead to focus on the straw man arguments of whether Neo-Marxist Marcuse is strictly faithful to Hegel and Marx. Of course a Neo-Marxists varies from classical Marxist philosophy by definition! MacIntyre is arguing a tautology: orthodoxy is not heterodoxy.

    Next….
    Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination
     
  14. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237:What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?
    #Post 238: Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation
    #Post 239-240: Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination



    Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination


    "...what they mean cannot be taken at face value--not because they lie, but because the universe of thought and practice in which they live is a universe of manipulated contradictions."
    --(ODM, p. 91)

    "Marcuse’s version of Marxism is false to Marx not only in its content but in its whole treatment of the relationship between Marxism and social reality. When Marcuse indicts Soviet Marxism for its disagreement with what he takes to be Marxism, he supposes that the history of the Soviet Union in its negative aspects is to be explained without reference to Marxism. Marxism remains as a theory pure and uncontaminated, providing a standard by which Soviet reality can be judged. Marcuse’s account of the Soviet Union is thus at the opposite pole from the views of those who suppose that it is from Marxism that all the evils of Soviet reality spring and who see in the transition from Marx through Lenin to Stalin an entirely unproblematic development. But if this latter view is clearly absurd— Marx was throughout his career a radical democrat, who believed that all that was wrong with the liberties of bourgeois parliamentary regimes was that their enjoyment was effectively restricted to a minority— it will not do to treat Marxism as a theory that can be evaluated apart from its historical fate. To do so would in any case be completely contrary to Marxism (MEP, p. 64; bold added)."

    The “No True Marxist Would” Argument

    This is MacIntyre’s weakest chapter. He scatters epistemological questions concerning historicism and Marcuse’s interpretation of Marx throughout this chapter: the answers he seeks can be found in Reason and Revolution. I seriously doubt MacIntyre even read RR, and is instead relying on his interpretations of Hegel and Marx to critique Marcuse—it could be done without reading RR, but not well at this granular level of analysis. Again, MacIntyre pushes his “no true Marxist would” argument hard in this chapter about Soviet Marxism by dogmatically assuming that any deviations from Marx or Hegel are serious errors that define Marcuse a “pre-Marxist,” and his analysis completely derelict: otherwise, Marcuse is a fraud. Actually, more substantial criticisms of Marxist philosophy originate from Marxists theorists themselves on such topics as historical materialism, historical teleology, alienation, Freudian psychoanalysis, and even critical theory itself. Rather than responding to each of MacIntyre’s criticisms, I want to offer some counter-arguments to MacIntyre’s critique of Soviet Marxism (1958 )(pdf.)(here on, SM) authored by Marcuse commissioned by the United States OSS, and later the US State Department. As a critical theorist, Marcuse, is often accused of being both a heterodoxical revisionist, and an orthodox doctrinaire on the same issues! This is especially true of his research on the Soviet Union’s political and ethical tenants that angered the Pope, Pravda, and acting Provost of the University of California.

    "Disenchantment of the concept is the antidote of philosophy.
    It keeps it from growing rampant and becoming an absolute to itself."

    --Adorno, Negative Dialectics, p. 13 (pdf.).

    From 1948 to 1951 (during the time Joseph McCarthy was investigating Americans with demonic enthusiasm for merely saying the word communism), Marcuse—a real Marxist by Republican Joseph McCarthy’s (Fascist-WI) standard—was promoted in the Intelligence Research of the State Department as Acting Chief of the Central European Branch. Marcuse wrote a 532-page analysis in 1958 of the Soviet Union for the Division of International and Functional Intelligence entitled “The Potentials of World Communism,” and later declassified in May 1978.

    The focus for Marcuse’s research of the Soviet Russian State was the “Bureaucratic-Administrative” character, and practices of Soviet Marxism. And the funny thing is, Marcuse later applied the same methodological categories of Marx and Hegel to American capitalism as with the Soviet Union. His critique of Soviet Marxism turned out not to be too dissimilar from his critique of American Capitalism. Marcuse’s critics always try to bury the led; especially when it suggests that the Soviet bureaucratic-administrative state is in many ways structurally indistinguishable from the American bureaucratic state of total administration. Marcuse concluded the Soviet Union’s “bureaucratic communism” was merely a corrupt third-rate welfare state that would collapse in forty years: the fall of the Soviet Union is usually dated around 1988. The American military-congressional industrial complex eager to profit from the Cold War military build-up around the world wanted to hear a scarier narrative about the threat of a world dominating communist state: that the Stalinist Soviet Union was a massive military leviathan that threatened world domination. This impression of Russia still exists today. The Russian economy is about half a trillion dollars smaller than Italy’s. Marcuse’s report was promptly ignored and was among the first Marxist philosophers (Karl Korsch in 1920s was an earlier) to criticize Soviet Marxism (for details see, “Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism” by Douglas Kellner, Chapter 7; pp. 197-275)(pdf.).

    “It follows that, by the present time, to be faithful to Marxism we must cease to be Marxists; and whoever now remains a Marxist has thereby discarded Marxism…It follows further that there are no neo-Marxists—whatever men may think themselves.”–MacIntyre (HEP, p. 66)."

    “I am not a Marxist.”
    -Karl Marx in a letter to French Marxists Paul Lafargue and Jules Guesde in 1883.

    The one issue that most out raged Marcuse’s critics--once they figured it out--is his criticisms of Soviet Marxism applied equally as well to American capitalism, or what is known as “post-industrial convergence theory”: "SM is also important for interpreting Marcuse’s thought because it reveals parallels between his theories and critiques of the Soviet Union and advanced capitalist societies. These similarities raise the question of the extent to which Marcuse’s theory of ‘advanced industrial society’ and ‘one-dimensional society’ are versions of ‘post-industrial convergence theory’, which maintains similarities between capitalist and Communist societies by virtue of a similar technological base and a similar mode of social organization and control (CM, p. 199).” Long before Howard Beale, Marcuse saw the face of God.

    "Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves."--(ODM, p. 10)

    But later, Marcuse seemingly backed away from the convergence theory and wrote: "It remains to clarify a point that has caused much misunderstanding, due, in fact, to my inadequate treatment. The book recurrently stresses certain tendencies that make for assimilation, and perhaps even convergence of Western and Soviet society ... I would like to dissociate myself from this position, while maintaining my emphasis on the all-embracing political character of the machine process in advanced industrial society. It is precisely this ‘total’ character of the machine process, which limits the tendencies towards assimilation and convergence between Western and Soviet society (in terms of time as well as structure) and generates very different potentialities of development…(CM, p. 205).”

    "From the standpoint of the employee, it is coming to make less and less practical difference to him what his country’s official ideology is and whether he happens to be employed by a government or commercial corporation….”
    Arnold J. Toynbee, Harvard Business Review, September-October 1958

    I do not believe Marcuse’s misunderstanding excuse, but I do believe that his treatment of convergence theory was deliberately incomplete—a proto-critique—since his goal is to apply the same kind of analysis of modern American capitalism which he would later title, “One-Dimensional Man." These “machine processes” shape culture as the economic base is reflected into the superstructure (what is produced by the base) of society. The convergence meme between the USSR and the US really needed further examination by an economist. I think Marcuse left the convergence meme for others to develop—which is what actually happened. Keynesian economist John Kenneth Galbraith authored The New Industrial State (1967)(pdf.); Chapter 9: “A Digression on the Firm under Socialism.” Galbraith later incorporated the convergence theory in the video series, “The Age of Uncertainty”(1977)(pdf.) in Chapter 9: “The Big Corporation (video) discussing the similarities of the highly planned modern collectivist hierarchical bureaucratic stock-selling public corporation, and models of some kinds of socialist collectivist production.

    ...Please continue below to post 240.
     
  15. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237:What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?
    #Post 238: Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation
    #Post 239-240: Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination



    “…behind the back of consciousness.”
    --Hegel (Phenomenology, para. 87)

    The key point of the convergence thesis asserts instrumental rationality common to both socialist and capitalist cultures organizes society according to the needs of the machine subordinating--and even determining--human needs: "Domination in Soviet Communist society is constituted both by what Marcuse calls ‘the new rationality’ and by the Soviet bureaucracy.’ The ‘new rationality’ utilizes technological rationality to organize both industry and society. The rationality of modern machine industry demands ‘attitudes of standardized conformity and precise submission to the machine which requires adjustment and reaction rather than autonomy and spontaneity’…If nationalization and centralization are coordinated so as to erect a gigantic apparatus that dictates to and controls its citizens and workers in all spheres of life…(CM, p. 202; bold added)." The French critical theorists use the term “apparatus” in the same sense as “paradigm,” or “Enframing,” (Dr. Pelias’ insight). The new technological rationality is the justification that maintains what Heidegger called the “standing reserve,” that includes all produced commodities, but also non-material (spiritual) resources such as the trans-epochal cultural stock of knowledge. By reason of how industry technologically organizes and reproduces itself, the entire culture comes under domination by a new paradigm of machine efficiency that encompasses human consciousness with the values of individual standardization and total conformity: “Through the means of mass communication, they transmit the objectives of the administration, and the underlying population responds with the expected behaviour (SM, p. 92)." It is easy to forget that Marcuse is describing Soviet Socialist society. Marcuse describes a political economic paradigm that is rationally organized, but missing the categories of human emancipation as “the whole is the truth, and the whole is false.” There is nothing outside the paradigm even if the paradigm is false.

    Highly efficient systems have no resiliency, and are subject to systemic collapse (Dr. J. Vervaeke). Within Soviet Communism exploitation is “streamlined,” which is one of Marcuse’s favorite terms such as in “streamlining domination.” Marcuse writes:

    “The fundamental difference between Western and Soviet society is paralleled by a strong trend toward assimilation. Both systems show the common features of late industrial civilization—centralization and regimentation supersede individual enterprise and autonomy; competition is organized and "rationalized"; there is joint rule of economic and political bureaucracies; the people are coordinated through the "mass media" of communication, entertainment industry, education. If these devices prove to be effective, democratic rights and institutions might be granted by the constitution and maintained without the danger of their abuse in opposition to the system. Nationalization, the abolition of private property in the means of production, does not, by itself, constitute an essential distinction as long as production is centralized and controlled over and above the population (SM, p. 81; bold added).” In both Soviet Communism and American capitalism no person has political rights---only administrative permissions granted by bureaucratic necessity to achieve greater efficient exploitation, or just by mere caprice. In One-Dimensional Man, Marcuse used the term “streamlining” three times (p. 42, 52, 257; in pdf. pagination). Anti-Communist Cold War Warriors loved Marcuse’s preaching about the faults of Soviet Communism until they realized the communist shoe also fit the capitalist’s foot—now, Marcuse’s criticism of Soviet Marxism became too inter-meddling.


    Next… MacIntyre’s Criticism of “One-Dimensional Man.”
     
  16. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237:What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?
    #Post 238: Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation
    #Post 239-240: Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination
    #Post 241: MacIntyre’s Criticism of One-Dimensional Man



    MacIntyre’s Criticism of One-Dimensional Man


    "One-Dimensional Man [1964] marks a sharp break in Marcuse’s thought, even though the substance of his thesis about Western industrial society is already to be found in Eros and Civilization [1955], and that about Soviet society in Soviet Marxism [1958]. What is new is twofold: his virtual relinquishing of any distinctively Marxist— as against Hegelian— categories, and his pessimism (HEP, p. 69; brackets added).”

    There is a lot packed in that one sentence. ODM was not a sharp break in Marcuse’s thought: it is the culmination of his life’s philosophical work—everything else is just theoretical detail. I provided the publication dates of the three books listed: ODM was the last book Marcuse wrote which incorporated the analyses of the other two studies. The pre-Hegelian trope is repeated along with equivocations on the word “pessimism,” which can mean “negative,” or “fatalistic.” Marcuse means “negative” (ideal possibility) as the antithesis of “positivism” (actuality): “The progress of cognition from common sense to knowledge arrives at a world which is negative in its very structure because that which is real opposes and denies the potentialities inherent in itself—potentialities which themselves strive for realization. Reason is the negation of the negative (RR, p. x).” Don’t personally blame Marcuse for dialectical language—blame German Idealism!

    Critical “negation” is a much richer concept than is being portrayed: it is the basis of his liberation theory. Marcuse wrote: “Dialectical thought does not invent these contents; they have accrued to the notions in the long tradition of thought and action. Dialectical analysis merely assembles and reactivates them; it recovers tabooed meanings and thus appears almost as a return, or rather a conscious liberation, of the repressed! Since the established universe of discourse is that of an unfree world, dialectical thought is necessarily destructive, and whatever liberation it may bring is a liberation in thought, in theory. However, the divorce of thought from action, of theory from practice, is itself part of the unfree world. No thought and no theory can undo it; but theory may help to prepare the ground for their possible reunion, and the ability of thought to develop a logic and language of contradiction is a prerequisite for this task (RR, p. xii)."

    Also, Marcuse clearly rejects Freudian pessimism that asserts repression is necessary for civilization: ”To counter Freud, Marcuse argues that Freud’s own theory shows that socialization and repression are historically specific and subject to social formation (CM, p. 157).” Kellner described MacIntyre’s polemic as a hatch-job: it would be very difficult to understand Marcuse after reading this “exposition” written by a highly educated and intelligent American scholar.

    “Of all the Institut's members, Marcuse was perhaps most drawn to the classical notion of reason.”
    --(DI, pdf. p. 50).

    For Marcuse, Marxism has in common the same ontological categories (i.e., Freedom) as Hegel's emanationist (“to flow from”) ontology of the idea manifested as Reason, Spirit, and human history descending from heaven to earth; for Marx (and Marcuse), the idea emerges (to rise up from) earth and ascends to heaven, writing, “In direct contrast to German philosophy which descends from heaven to earth, here we ascend from earth to heaven (Karl Marx, The German Ideology,1845).” Marcuse tells us “Since we no longer have that fluent access to these concepts which the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries still had, I shall try to sketch Hegel’s conception in more familiar terms (RR, p. viii).” Here I must make the same point again that Marcuse is a neo-Marxist translating—not relinquishing--these categories to critique the one-dimensional, life denying, conformist logic of a repressive administration. MacIntyre continues:

    "He says that ‘the most telling evidence’ for his view can be obtained by simply looking at television or listening to AM radio for one consecutive hour for a couple of days, and refers to a range of authors from Congressional committees to Vance Packard. But there is no attempt to use evidence in a rigorous way, and perhaps this is scarcely surprising, since in the 1960 preface to Reason and Revolution Marcuse wrote of what he called ‘the power of the given facts’ that ‘this power is an oppressive power.’ But the given facts still have to be described correctly. Does Marcuse do this? (MEP, p. 71).”

    "This intellectual dissolution and even subversion of the given facts is the historical task of philosophy and the philosophic dimension. Scientific method, too, goes beyond the facts and even against the facts of immediate experience.”--Marcuse (ODM, p. 190)

    Again, the Hegelian concept of negativity is being ignored. Notice MacIntyre’s tunnel vision directed solely at Marcuse giving the false impression Marcuse is lone wolf, out of the Marxist pack, a loose cannon, got weird views: "He asserts...he is concerned...he says...he calls…." The narrative here is all about Marcuse's craziness--and nobody else. MacIntyre is always looking for a schism whether existing or illusory. For example he writes, "He [Marcuse] argues that the Hegelian progress of reason is not a progress to happiness and says, obviously correctly, that Marx took human needs far more seriously than Hegel did (MEP, p. 36; italics added)." The Frankfurt School (Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin) rejected the Enlightenment concept of historical teleological progress in this age “after Auschwitz.” Professor of History, Martin Jay, noted, "Marcuse also shared Horkheimer's and Adorno's rejection of the assumption that socialism was a necessary outgrowth of capitalism. Like them, he sounded a note of skepticism about the connection between human emancipation and the progress of technology and instrumental rationalism (“The Dialectical Imagination,” Martin Jay, 1973; p. 57)(pdf.)."

    …next, Five Really Dumb Arguments
     
  17. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237:What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?
    #Post 238: Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation
    #Post 239-240: Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination
    #Post 241: MacIntyre’s Criticism of One-Dimensional Man
    #Post 242: Five Really Dumb Arguments


    Five Really Dumb Arguments

    Notice that we really have not dived into ODM in great detail because the methodological questions that MacIntyre is keeping alive acts as a fog machine to postpone closer examination. Professor Noam Chomsky speaks of just this kind of “censorship by concision,” that prevents giving background information for critical thought so that the main stream media only wants conformist ideas: “ You don’t want people who have to give background because that would allow critical thought. What you want is completely conformist ideas, You want just repetition of the propaganda line, the party line. For that you need ‘concision’ (“Chronicles of Dissent,” by D. Barsamian interviewing, 1992, p. 245) (pdf.).” This is the problem with Marcusean dialectics: it cannot be summarize in a few sentences.

    MacIntyre closes his polemic on ODM’s critique of contemporary society with five really weird agnostic (but vaguely familiar) arguments concerning American society mentioning totalitarianism, the threat of Nazism, government welfare, education, and the Vietnam War. MacIntyre is slipping us a Mickey better known as Austrian Macroeconomic Agnosticism and the thesis is the free market is too complex for government to interfere or regulate. Secular agnosticism is a convenient secular metaphysical justification that requires citizens to not have empathy for other human beings--in other words, do nothing for the public welfare. Wapshott writes of this quietest duty to do nothing: “Keynes believed it was a government’s duty to do what it could to make life easier, particularly for the unemployed. Hayek believed it was futile for governments to interfere with forces that were, in their own way, as immutable as natural forces…Hayek eventually came to the conclusion that knowledge about how exactly an economy worked was difficult if not impossible to discover and that attempts to form economic policy based on such evidence were, like a barber practicing primitive surgery, likely to do more harm than good (Wapshott, Nicholas, “Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics,” 2011, Norton. pp. 43-44)(pdf.).”

    For example 1: “In his writings of 1934 Marcuse argued that liberalism had as its natural successor totalitarianism. In 1960 he took the prevailing social order of the advanced countries to embody just such a totalitarianism. He was thus prepared to characterize in the same terms Hitler’s Germany and the United States of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon— or at the very least he was committed to hold that there were strong and growing tendencies in the United States which may be characterized in key respects as resembling Nazism. But the totalitarianism of the present is expressed not in political dictatorship but above all in the elimination of a culture which embodies ideals subversive of and alternative to the status quo (MEP, p. 76)."

    President John F. Kennedy was shot down in the streets of Dallas like a dog. No correct answers were ever given by the US Government to the American people on this murder that involved the CIA working with US and Cuban mafia figures. The Warren Commission reported that the assassin was a “Marxist” thereby throwing suspicion on American progressives and leftists as disloyal. The American Oligarchy’s long history of utter contempt of American citizens, and truth itself, is staggering. Richard Nixon was involved with the mafia since he managed crap games at carnivals as a youth, and then eventually became an attorney for the Cuban mafia. President Johnson murdered millions of Vietnamese rice farmers, and American soldiers in a completely voluntary war. When asked by a journalist why America was bombing Vietnam, and Cambodia beyond the scale of even WWII, President Lyndon Baines Johnson of the United States of America pulled out his penis and said, “That’s why!”

    2. The Professor wrote: "In assimilating Nazi Germany to such societies as those of North America and Britain today, Marcuse can only assist in obscuring the small but genuine threat from the neo-Fascist right that does exist in those societies (MEP, p. 77)."


    3. On education and the economy: “Followers of Marcuse often claim, for example, that the higher educational system has the function of producing and processing those whom the economy needs. Nothing could be further from the truth. In every advanced industrial society higher education has been expanded and the job structure enlarged and changed; but the relation between the two has been weakened, not strengthened, for the two expansions have simply not stood in any determinate relationship (MEP, p. 79)."

    In 1972 when the mafia lawyer, President Richard Nixon, met with the RED CHINESE COMMUNIST CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG to ship the entire American industrial manufacturing base to Communist China in a massive corporate scheme to laundry their profits through proxies to avoid paying American taxes. The American Oligarchy and what is left of the conservative middle-class cheered the trade agreement! It is no wonder the relation between higher education and job structure has weakened. And once again Marcuse was right about the possible assimilation and convergence of two economic systems into a hybrid of centralized economic and political bureaucracies…Mr. Beale! Unlike many American government politicians, the very successful Wall Street Socialists are very serious students and listen carefully to Marxist economists.

    4. “But the degrees to which different sectors are affected, the rates at which they expand, and the directions in which they expand are quite different. The result is not the highly integrated and well-coordinated system portrayed by Marcuse, but rather a situation in which there is less and less coordination between different sector (MEP, p. 79)."

    This is MacIntyre’s apologetic for Friedrich von Hayek’s Laissez-Faire market selective agnosticism and it really took off in the 1970s as American oligarchs secretly embraced fascist Neo-Liberalism and de-industrialized America. It is persons in authority and held in high esteem that helped make corporatism the economic reality of today in America: recessions, inflation, unemployment, massive financial fraud, chronic long-term homelessness, unnecessary austerity imposed on the poor, and massive wealth hoarded by the billionaire class. Who could of known?

    5. Curveball writes: “The paradigmatic example of political accident is the Vietnam war. The myth of American imperialism in Vietnam is the product of a collaboration between the sternest critics of the war and its sternest supporters. (MEP, p. 80)."

    The Vietnam War was based on lies of an attack on an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. American oligarchs wanted control of the colonial slaves the French once exploited and it took millions of dollars, thousands of man-hours of planning, murder, torture clouded by a tsunami of sophisticated crafted propaganda still believed day.

    Noticed what has occurred once again in all the chapters we have covered so far: in each case MacIntyre’s polemic stays focused on the broadest epistemological-methodological questions so that rarely does a discussion about Marcuse actually get down to the text itself. This is one reason Marcuse is not well known, and is instead a target of endless tropes. The core insight of One-Dimensional Man is really in the first main division titled “One-Dimensional Society” pages 19-123; give special attention to the subdivisions “The Closing of the Political Universe,” pages 19-56 and “The Closing of the Universe of Discourse,” pages 84-123.”

    So far I have commented on all eight chapters of MacIntyre’s polemic except for MEP, chapter seven, “One-Dimensional Man: The Critique of Modern Philosophy that is meant to address ODM section “7. The Triumph of Positive Thinking: One-Dimensional Philosophy.” Once again MacIntyre heads to the hills of epistemological and methodological questions; however, this time his strategy goes horribly wrong even though the questions are indeed about epistemology, language, and logic. In the next section, we will discuss meta-logic.

    …next, MacIntyre’s Criticism of Marcuse on the Paralysis of “One-Dimensional Thought.”
     
  18. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237:What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?
    #Post 238: Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation
    #Post 239-240: Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination
    #Post 241: MacIntyre’s Criticism of One-Dimensional Man
    #Post 242: Five Really Dumb Arguments
    #Post 243: MacIntyre’s Criticism of Marcuse on the Paralysis of “One-Dimensional Thought



    MacIntyre’s Criticism of Marcuse on the Paralysis of “One-Dimensional Thought.”


    “The suspicion is thus engendered that not only Marcuse but also Adorno and Horkheimer actually do not know any logic, and it is certainly the case that, if they do know any, all three have taken some pains to conceal their knowledge of the subject which they are professedly criticizing.”
    —MacIntyre, MEP, p. 88

    Frege’s…discovery of quantification, the deepest single technical advance ever made in logic….”

    —Michael Dummett, Professor of Logic, University of Oxford


    "There are three foci for Marcuse's discontent with recent philosophy: its uses of formal logic, its preoccupation with language and above all with ordinary language, and its philosophy of science (MEP, p. 85)." This is an accurate summary of Marcuse’s criticism of contemporary philosophy. However, I will let MacIntyre dig a deeper hole for his polemic before presenting my counter-arguments.

    MacIntyre objects to Marcuse’s view of logic: “…Marcuse's treatment of logic thus rests upon two closely linked ideas, that there was a point in human history at which thought was subordinated to and organized by the laws of logic, and that we can contrast thought prior to such subordination and organization with thought subjected to this control. Both these ideas are mistaken (MEP, p. 85; brackets added)."

    This is a straw man version of Marcuse’s position on epistemology. Like Husserl, Marcuse rejects logico-mathematical psychologism. MacIntyre is mistakenly assuming that logic has an essence that only needs to be empirically discovered, like the 49er Miners searching for gold.

    “What logic does is to articulate and to make explicit those rules which are in fact embodied in actual discourse and which, being so embodied, enable men both to construct valid arguments and to avoid the penalties of inconsistencyif it is true that either James did come home or John went to the cinema, and that James did not come home, then it is true that John went to the cinema... For the laws of logic are rules accord with which is necessary if consistency is to be preserved and contradiction to be avoided. Marcuse takes it to be some kind of special doctrine of formal logic that “contradictions are the fault of incorrect thinking. It is perhaps the case that we owe it to formal logicians that we are as well-informed as we are about the nature of and the penalties to be paid for contradiction (MEP, p. 86; bold text added)."

    MacIntyre is teaching basic deductive reasoning to impress the reader, which I attempt to do sometimes. Here is his example argument in symbolic form:

    [(H v C) * ~H] ⊃ C

    1. H v C
    2. ~H _____________________
    /:: C
    1, 2 Disjunctive Syllogism

    H = James did come home
    C = James when to the cinema
    v = either, or
    ⊃ = If, then
    ~= Not
    /:: = Therefore


    The Metalogic of Contradiction

    "Your neural pathways end up being reshaped by the paradigm that you live inside...."
    --Economist Steve Keen in interview.

    However, there is a contradiction even in categorical predicate logic itself that MacIntyre seems to have forgotten because we are only speaking of “things,” or the arithmetic of cookies and pebbles. What will happen if we apply symbolic categorical predicate logic to “non-objects” or abstract hyper-objects that are not simply things, but are attributes of attributes? Professor of Economics, Dr. Steve Keen has studied in depth this relationship of abstract attributes to abstract attributes in Neo-Classical economics that attempts to treat macroeconomics as “applied microeconomics.” The false assumption is that the lower level (micro) can rebuild the higher level (macro) because, “The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe…Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors (Anderson 1972, p. 393 quoted by Dr. Keen; bold added).” Professor Keen gives a fascinating lecture on this epistemological reconstruction fallacy, and a chance to witness some pretty impressive symbolic logic in the process: see the beginning of lecture Macroeconomic Dynamics and Energy In Minsky Poznan Summer School 2022 for the above details mentioned.
    “[Logic]…the arithmetic of cookies and pebbles.”—Gottlob Frege

    The following proof is known as “Russell’s Paradox” after Bertrand Russell’s discovery of a contradiction in quantification predicate logic that he, Frege, and Wittgenstein helped formulate. There are numerous complex versions of Russell’s Paradox (in this context “paradox’ is a euphemism for “contradiction”), but the following example is the version easiest to grasp in my opinion. The symbolism scheme can be found in Irving Copi’s textbook “Symbolic logic” fifth edition, 1979; p. 153 (pdf.). Copi provides a minimum of symbols so the reader is left to figure out how they fit together and translate into ordinary language. This is the way the logical sausage is made (For fuller details, and my conclusions see Bertrand Russell's Critique of Fregean Logico-Mathematical Objects.).

    Definitions:
    ‘s’ = Socrates
    ~ = negation
    ≡ Equivalent truth-value of proposition.
    F = Predicate variable for the concept of an “attribute”
    (F) = “all attributes.”
    FF = Predicable class attributes**
    I = Impredicable variable class attribute *
    IF = Impredicable class attributes
    II = Impredicable class attributes
    (∃F) = This is a special symbol to mean “At least one attribute.”
    (∃F)Fs means, “some attribute” as in writing, “Socrates has some attribute.”


    *We need a symbol for this proof to represent “impredicable attributes” of classes. For example, the class of pebbles is not itself a pebble. The class of pebbles does not share any attribute of any of its members (pebbles) so the class is defined as “impredicable” represented by the symbol “II”. Impredicable class attributes are ordinary classes.

    **On the other hand, there are some unordinary classes that share predicable attributes the same as its members such as the class of all abstract ideas, which is in itself abstract. Predicable class attributes are defined as “FF”. Predicable class attributes are abstract attributes of attributes.

    Russell’s Paradox is the following:

    1.) IF ≡ df ~FF
    Impredicable class attributes are now defined (≡ df) as non-predicable class attributes.

    2.) (F)(IF ≡ ~FF)
    All impredicable class attributes (ordinary classes) are defined as non-predicable class attributes.
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    /:: Therefore: II ≡ ~II
    Impredicable class attributes are not impredicable class attributes.
    Universal Instantiation, applied to premise 2. By replacing all “F” with “I” in premise 2 resulting in a contradictory conclusion.


    …next, continuing the metalogic of contradiction.
     
  19. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 223: Part II, Anti-Marcusean Script II
    #Post 226: MacIntyre’s Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Tolerance.”
    #Post 227: MacIntyre’s Opening Criticisms
    #Post 228: The Dull Hatch Job
    #Post 234-235: MacIntyre’s Four Critical Questions
    #Post 236: MacIntyre’s Review of Marcusean Interpretations of Marx and Hegel
    #Post 237: What is Marcuse’s “break” between Marx and Hegel that MacIntyre rejects?
    #Post 238: Marcusean Freudo-Marxist Anthropology of Liberation
    #Post 239-240: Marcusean Proto-Critique of Soviet Marxism and the New Forms of Domination
    #Post 241: MacIntyre’s Criticism of One-Dimensional Man
    #Post 242: Five Really Dumb Arguments
    #Post 243-244: MacIntyre’s Criticism of Marcuse on the Paralysis of “One-Dimensional Thought



    "For the laws of logic are rules accord with which is necessary if consistency is to be preserved and contradiction to be avoided.”-- MacIntyre (MEP, p. 96).

    “Alas, arithmetic totters.”
    --Gottlieb Frege


    The point of Russell’s Paradox is a contradiction will sometimes appear when we treat deductively abstract ideas that are “attributes of attributes” as if they were objects (cookies and pebbles). The contradiction emerges because some abstracted attributes (ϕx) contain other nested internal attributes that improperly reference functions (‘all’, ‘some,’ or, ‘not’) that are not of the same type (`ϕx). Ordinary language refers to functions f(x) and classes (∪β) differently. One suggested solution was to eliminate all abstract ideas, which is what some logical positivists attempted to do! Abstract ideas cannot be eliminated, however. Maybe epistemological positivism, which only accepts the object, “what is,” as true explains the one-dimensionality of American academia. Russell’s solution was to symbolically manage differing hierarchies of attributes, and orders by the Theory of Types, but had little success do to its overwhelming complexity. Abstract ideas, or hyper-objects such as the concepts of society, political parties, historical epochs, and economic production require additional methodologies other than deductive symbolic logic. To avoid the price of contradiction, we must include the logics of inductive reasoning; Bayesian logic; Kantian transcendental criticism; phenomenological existentialism; dialectical reasoning; analogical reasoning; along with reasoning of the parts and the whole (Universals).

    "A pupil of Duns Scotus demonstrated that—without, incidentally, making use of a formal calculus— and C. I. Lewis followed him in demonstrating that from a contradiction any statement whatsoever can be validly derived (MEP, p. 87)."

    Another proof was shown earlier of this very principle regarding Matt’s earlier proposition “ethics is not ethical.” I did not know the proof’s history, but only learned it symbolically, or formally as a rule of organization. But wait! Notice that MacIntyre is giving a historical account of logical contradiction (MacIntyre is not making an argument for psychologism: that would be a straw man mischaracterization). Marcuse would agree, but MacIntyre wrote in criticism of him “…that there was a point in human history at which thought was subordinated to and organized by the laws of logic, and that we can contrast thought prior to such subordination and organization with thought subjected to this control. Both these ideas are mistaken (MEP, p. 85). MacIntyre points to a historical fact about logic; yet, he accuses Marcuse of relativism for linking history and logic. Both MacIntyre and Marcuse reject relativistic psychologism, and both see the value of understanding historical influences on logical development.

    The Frankfurt School did not view Reason as immune to historical development. Marcuse has a richer ontological conception of Reason as all the German Idealists: “Reason comprehends everything and ultimately absolves everything, because it has its place and function in the whole, and the whole is beyond good and evil, truth and falsehood. It may even be justifiable, logically as well as historically, to define Reason in terms which include slavery, the Inquisition, child labor, concentration camps, gas chambers, and nuclear preparedness. These may well have been integral parts of that rationality which has governed the recorded history of mankind. If so, the idea of Reason itself is at stake; it reveals itself as a part rather than as the whole. This does not mean that reason abdicates its claim to confront reality with the truth about reality. On the contrary, when Marxian theory takes shape as a critique of Hegel’s philosophy, it does so in the name of Reason (RR, p. xii).”

    Remember that MacIntyre is writing without taking into account Russell’s Paradox and continues to dig a deeper hole for his polemic: "This entails the falsity of Marcuse’s view of logic. For the distinction between thought which accords with and thought which does not accord with the laws of logic is obliterated… There could not, moreover, be any point in the history of thought at which thought was subordinated to, organized by, or made subject to the control of formal logic. The whole metaphor of control is thus out of place, for it depends for its cogency on just that contrast between thought as yet uninformed by the rules of logic and thought so informed which the preceding arguments show to be mistaken (MEP, p. 88 )."

    The “laws of logic” are not discovered--they are invented. A single mathematician did not discover the number one, and another discovered years later the number ten, then number seventeen and so on. Mathematicians are inventors of an infinite series of numbers (n + 1). New mathematical objects appeared with “imaginary numbers” a term coined by Descartes, and later conceptually developed by Augustin-Louis Cauchy. Take for example, the invention of the new number known as the fraction (X/Y) was initially viewed as an occult mathematical concept: “In general we find that every new mode of number which mathematical thinking is impelled to form, can always by defined in terms of a numerical system of an earlier kind and replaced in its application by this system.48 This is apparent even in the introduction of fractions, for the fraction—as J. Tannery has stressed--cannot be explained as a union of equal parts of the unit, since the numerical unit as such admits of no division and fragmentation; it must rather be taken as an aggregate (ensemble) of two whole numbers which stand in a determinate relation to each other. Such aggregates then form a new kind of mathematical object, for which equality, the greater or lesser, and the various arithmetical operations of addition, subtraction, etc. can de defined.48 ("The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms Vol. 3: The Phenomenology of Knowledge," E. Cassirer, 1957; p. 396; bold added )(pdf.).”

    “Marcuse says that ‘the sterility of Aristotelian formal logic has often been noted. Philosophic thought developed alongside and even outside this logic.’ But such accusations have been characteristically made in periods when formal logic had degenerated or disappeared (MEP, p. 88 ).”

    In another example, Aristotelian logic itself is flawed from an overlooked fine distinction called the Existential Fallacy. This fallacy is committed when one makes a universal generalization, “All trespassers on my property will be prosecuted; therefore, at least one trespasser has been prosecuted.” The premise can be true, but the conclusion could still be false since no one may have trespassed. In other words, the inference is invalid by presupposing existential import—i.e., someone actually trespassed:

    1.) (x)(Tx ⊃ Px)
    All trespassers will be prosecuted.
    ______________________________
    /:: (∃x)(Tx * Px)
    Therefore, some of those prosecuted will have trespassed.

    Modern quantification predicate logic has Boolean rules to prevent this fallacious inference, and this system of symbolization is much more powerful than the old Venn Diagram scheme. Logic is created, not discovered. Logician, I.M Copi, commented on this issue in his textbook, “Introduction To Logic,” Seventh edition (pdf.) Macmillan, 1986; pp. 191-92, 341: "On the basis of such objections as these, modern logicians decline to make this blanket existential presupposition, even though their decision forces them to give up some of the traditional Aristotelian logic. In contrast to the traditional or Aristotelian interpretation, the modern treatment of standard-form categorical propositions is called Boolean,3 after the English mathematician and logician George Boole (1815—1864), one of the founders of modern symbolic logic (Copi; seventh, p. 192)."


    …next is the last subsection;
    MacIntyre and the “Two Wittgensteins” Problem
     
  20. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 242: Five Really Dumb Arguments
    #Post 243-244: MacIntyre’s Criticism of Marcuse on the Paralysis of “One-Dimensional Thought
    #Post 245-246: MacIntyre and the
    Two Wittgensteins Problem


    MacIntyre and the Two Wittgensteins Problem

    “Is positivism as such or only a special type of positivism reactionary?”
    --Paul Tillich in review of “Reason and Revolution”


    Toward the end of chapter eight, MacIntyre turns to Marcuse’s criticism of philosophy as taught in American and European academia which means we must briefly examine logical positivism, analytic philosophy, and ordinary language philosophy with special attention given to Ludwig Wittgenstein. I will use the same strategy as before and let MacIntyre dig another hole for his polemic. MacIntyre harshly criticizes Marcuse for his inability to think logically, and invokes his own version of Wittgenstein’s logic as his paradigm. I do not believe either Marcuse, nor MacIntyre understood fully the difference between the early Wittgenstein of the Tractatus, (1921) and later, of the Philosophical Investigations (1953) published posthumously.

    “Since it is the irrationalism of modern society which Marcuse wishes to unmesh and whose sources he wishes to identify, his failure to understand the role of logic in intellectual matters is a symptom of the failure of his whole inquiry.”--MacIntyre (MEP, p. 90)

    While scolding Marcuse, MacIntyre implies logic has an essence (i.e., that logic is an unexpressed latent calculus hidden within ordinary language) that only needs to be discovered (the early Wittgensteinian view). Yet, MacIntyre embraces the very different anthropological view of language as “meaning is use,” within a form of life (the later Wittgenstein). All of this makes no difference to Marcuse’s criticism of academic philosophy for his complaint concerns how philosophy is taught in the university system. The Wittgenstein that Marcuse attacks is the early Wittgenstein associated with the Vienna Circle of logical positivism and is the typical interpretation taught by and large. Like a boxer, MacIntyre has a right-handed glove (early positivist Wittgenstein) and a left-handed glove (later post-positivist Wittgenstein) to criticize Marcuse, but as theories of language both paradigms are incompatible even for Wittgenstein. One Wittgenstein is a positivist, and the other is a mystic of the ordinary.

    “The Tractatus was not like a bag of junk professing to be a clock, but like a clock that did not tell you the right time.”
    --Wittgenstein
    ("An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus," G.E.M. Anscombe, 1963, 2nd ed., p. 78 )

    Wittgenstein’s mysticism of the ordinary is completely missing from his philosophy of logic as it is typically taught in English speaking universities. The reader does not have to agree with just my viewpoint. Referencing the same encyclopedia that I read my first article by professor MacIntyre (he has written many articles in that particular edition), but fortunately he did not author this one on Wittgenstein. Instead, a former student of Wittgenstein’s, Norman Malcolm, wrote the article and made the following complaint: “The Tractatus does not contain, therefore, an empiricist theory of meaning. What it holds is that to understand any sentence one must know the references of the names that compose it; that is all…the picture theory is not a verification theory of meaning. It is ironical that the role of verification in meaning, and understanding receives much attention in Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, which obviously is not positivistic, but none at all in the reputedly positivistic Tractatus (Encycl., 1967 ed., Macmillan & Free Press, Vols. 7 & 8; p. 334).” It’s a strange dance.

    “Consequently, positivism is a struggle against all metaphysics, transcendentalisms, and idealisms as obscurantist and regressive modes of thought.”
    --Marcuse (ODM, p. 176)

    My experience in academia supports Malcolm’s description. Within academia only the positivistic Wittgenstein is taught which MacIntyre then incorporates as a Straw man into his criticism of Marcuse for misunderstanding analytic philosophy. In one philosophy class, I had an analytic language professor cancel a course on Wittgenstein because some students were interested in Wittgenstein’s mysticism. They walked out of the classroom when he said the topic would not be covered. I should have followed them out. The first I ever encountered Wittgenstein was through reading Marcuse, and I naturally thought Wittgenstein was a Vienna Circle logical positivist, but later I was shocked (as the Vienna positivists were) to discover that Wittgenstein was a radical mystic! I had always been critical of logical positivism; however, Wittgenstein is no analytic philosopher like A.J. Ayer. I totally misread Wittgenstein based on Marcuse’s critique of logical positivism.

    I fault Marcuse of not clearly answering Tillich’s question of whether positivism is inherently reactionary, and for not distinguishing between positivism of the early Wittgenstein and his later anthropological materialist approach to philosophy of language. Actually, Marcuse is philosophically closer to the later Wittgenstein’s anthropological view of language than MacIntyre! As I noted earlier, journalist Matt Taibbi is not the first person to misread a philosopher. However, MacIntyre is another case for he is a product of the contemporary philosophical academy. This is the context to keep in mind while reading his anti-Marcusean polemic. Wittgenstein always complained about Russell, G.E. Moore, and the Vienna Circle misunderstanding his philosophy of language and logic. He sometimes seemed arrogant, but it turns out he is right.

    “To be sure, the talk of x and y is perfectly understandable, and the linguistic analyst appeals righteously to the normal understanding of ordinary people. But in reality, we understand each other only through whole areas of misunderstanding and contradiction.”
    --A very Wittgensteinian quote by Marcuse (ODM, p. 203)

    "Marcuse believes that formal logic is the logic of the "given reality” or "established reality,” whereas dialectical logic is committed to opposition to established reality (MEP, p. 89)." Dialectical logic involves any two antipodal forces interacting against the other such as being and thought; appearance and reality; empiricism and rationalism; sacred and secular; infinite and finite—and yes, the actual and the potential.

    He continues: "Marcuse’s criticism of "linguistic philosophy” is not unaffected by his misunderstandings of logic. He also makes his own task unnecessarily difficult (and yet of course much easier) by lumping together the in fact very different views of Wittgenstein, Ryle, and Austin. A consequence of these two features of his thought is that he does not notice how the kind of concern which perhaps does underlie his worries about logic was in fact formulated very clearly by Wittgenstein. The whole drive of Wittgenstein’s concern in the Philosophical Investigations is directed to showing that the structure of a language is very different from that of a calculus. A calculus may be consistent or inconsistent, complete or incomplete; a language cannot be any of these things. It is we who are on occasion inconsistent, not the language, or language. It follows that the rules of a language and what it is to follow the rules of a language are quite different from the rules of a calculus and what it is to follow the rules of a calculus (MEP, p. 90; bold added)."

    Macintyre does understand the later Wittgenstein as rejecting the essence theory of logic, but for Marcuse language can be inconsistent, incomplete, and still be meaningful in the realms of art, religion, and ethics for example. Interestingly, Wittgenstein dedicated Philosophical Investigations to the Italian Marxist economist, Piero Straffa, who supplied the communist leader Antonio Gramsci with the supplies he needed to write, “The Prison Notebooks,” while jailed for criticizing Mussolini’s fascist policies. Wittgenstein said Straffa is the person who most influenced him to brake away from the Tractatus essentialist view of logic to a new “anthropological” approach (see details, “Ludwig Wittgenstein: Duty of Genius,” by Ray Monk, 1990; p. 260-61)(pdf.). I believe anthropologists know all the answers!

    ...please continue below to post 246.
     
  21. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    #Post 242: Five Really Dumb Arguments
    #Post 243-244: MacIntyre’s Criticism of Marcuse on the Paralysis of “One-Dimensional Thought
    #Post 245-246: MacIntyre and the Two Wittgensteins Problem



    “Thus the poetic language speaks of that which is of this world, which is visible, tangible, audible in man and nature--and of that which is not seen, not touched, not heard.” *
    --(ODM, p. 70)
    *(I know what they told you about Marxists—but they are untruthful!)
    "Wittgenstein did not believe, that is, that philosophy is to be used as an instrument for changing language; philosophy’s task is clarificatory. Once again it is clear that Marcuse’s criticism of philosophy rests on his Young Hegelian inflation of the claims of philosophy. Marcuse tries to make the specific criticism of specific social orders and an understanding of the task of changing them all part of the content of philosophy. But in exaggerating philosophy’s claims, he misses what philosophy can achieve. On this topic too he misunderstands and misrepresents Wittgenstein (MEP, p. 93)."

    MacIntyre repeats himself constantly with interlocking memes. What is the consequence of his criticism if categorical logic itself contains a contradiction? Actual use of language is an invention and so is symbolic logic. MacIntyre acknowledges in his expositions of the two Wittgensteins of the Tractatus, (formal logic) and the Philosophical Investigations (ordinary Language), but by philosophical predisposition falls back to into positivism. However, even in the Tractatus there is a “loophole,” (poetry, art, spirituality, and philosophy) to say the unsayable. The cartoon version of Wittgenstein is better suited for MacIntyre’s anti-Marcusean criticism. Some positivists are too reductionist, oversimplifying, dogmatic, and even mock Wittgenstein’s mysticism.

    "...the verification principle formulated by members of the Vienna Circle, according to which the meaning of a statement is the method of its verification. Objections both to operationalism and to verificationism have been framed which are far more cogent than any suggested by Marcuse; but such objections are disregarded by him, perhaps because his fundamental objection to positivism is such that it could hold against any philosophy of science, especially if it has implications for the philosophy of meaning (MEP, p. 93)."

    Verificationism is a dead philosophy because it could not verify itself by its own criterion. The Vienna School of logical positivism forced a strictly positivist interpretation of Wittgenstein who was a mystic. Eventually, the Vienna School closed. Some universities would rather teach a dead philosophy to reinforce the status quo than one that enhances actualization of human potentiality and the polis. In fact, the modern American university system in cooperation with the Wall Street Socialist banks gleefully put multiple generations of student loan borrowers into permanent debt servitude—on the road to serfdom.

    The last few paragraphs of MacIntyre’s polemic end in ad hominem.


    END



    “...the body without organs.”
    --French writer, Antonin Artaud

    “Like a soul without a mind, in a body without a heart, I’m missing every part.”

    Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
     
  22. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    I believed the defense of Marcuse would only be about six thousands words, and part one was just that count. That is until a stumbled across MacIntyre’s one hundred-page polemic, then the review inflated to nineteen thousand more words for a total of twenty-five thousand-word text, or about thirty seven pages. Marcuse’s defense was much easier to write than my first critique on After-Virtue. I kept watch on the word count because this long essay on Marcuse had to be divided into 1,600 maximum worded posts with an index to keep track.

    “Marcusean Dialectics on the Ontology of a False Condition” has been transferred without the post divisions onto my editable backup website page “Strange Phenomenon” with corrections that are mainly of punctuation and formatting.

    Also, the introductory essay is updated now for the constellation of seventy-seven essays now completed: A Theory of Spiritual Experience.

    Most of the pdf. links provided in these essays are downloadable, but some pdfs can only be checked out an hour at a time. Archive.org is my favorite website: I donate to them regularly. When I am too tried to read, I use the read aloud feature.
     
  23. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    Comments on Dr. John Vervaeke's Good Book Recommendation,
    “Plato's Critique of Impure Reason: On Goodness and Truth in the Republic," by D.C. Schindler

    I thought I was doing pretty well with the first two questions on teleology,and noumena after finishing those essays (see links for these completed essays), but then got stuck on question three concerning Platonic Objective Realism and nominalism. I just ran into one aporia [no way out] after another. The third question on nominalism was difficult to phrase and I had not come to a definite conclusion for an essay. In the past, I have always rejected nominalism for Neo-Platonism, but could not accept Platonic Objective Realism (i.e, that the forms exist objectively in space and time) either. In my opinion, the Platonic forms only exist in thought and language. I have in the past rejected operationalism, but I seemed to have walked into some version of that theory of language backwards. So I needed to tailor some form of Neo-Platonism, nominalism, and operationalism that avoid the problems of positing metaphysical absurdities that renders language, logic, and all symbolization ultimately meaningless. All of my false starts were from these inconsistencies and their relationship to a matrix of other viewpoints on ontology and language. I had too many blind spots in my understanding that need further research to clear away (see post #213).

    I temporarily set aside all these problems to write a sorely needed defense of Herbert Marcuse against Matt Taibbi’s recent critique of Herbert Marcuse, and while writing it stumbled across a second polemic written by Professor Alistair McIntyre in 1971 directed against Marcuse’s view on perverted tolerance, Hegel, and Marx. See, “Marcusean Dialectics on the Ontology of a False Condition: Part I: A review of Matthew Taibbi’s critique of Marcuse and Part II: A review of Professor Alasdair MacIntyre's Anti-Marcusean Polemic.” Or see this blog thread.

    I returned to the nominalism problem to do further research and found that in Dr. John Vervaeke’s research in cognitive science, he recommended at least three times in his video lectures the book titled, “Plato's Critique of Impure Reason: On Goodness and Truth in the Republic," by D.C. Schindler (Oct. 2008, 358 pages) by Catholic University of America Press.” The book seemed to be relevant to my studies and encouraged by Schindler mentioning “false starts,” and aporias (p. 81) found in Plato’s on Republic.

    In the past I followed up on Vervaeke’s other book recommendations such as Paul Tyson’s “Returning to Reality: Christian Platonism for Our Times (2014)” that was very helpful in writing the essay, “Postmodern Socrates on Virtue”, regarding some sects of postmodernism today.

    I just finished reading D.C. Schindler’s book this week and found that he answers all my questions and offers a way of resolving the consistency problems I was dealing with regarding nominalism. Schindler's book shows that opinions do very in Catholic scholarship. Schindler is a profoundly good scholar of Ancient Greek philosophy, and an exceptionally clear writer.

    The high points in my opinion are Chapter Five: “The Truth is Defenseless” with the best section of the book in my opinion. Also, Schindler’s last chapter, “Coda: Restoring the Appearances,” reminds me of Owen Barfield’s “Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry,” (1947). Schindler’s Chapter Three, “Breaking In: Reversal and Reality” has a subheading “The Dramatic Structure of Knowledge” on page 171, and is a profound exposition of Socratic existentialism in my opinion. I still need to do more study on this issue, but Schindler's book shows the right path with his analysis of Plato's Republic. Nothing I have written on Plato's Socrates contradicts Schindler's studied interpretations.

    Schindler's footnotes are an insightful book in themselves summarizing past and contemporary interpretations of other Classical scholars on the Republic. His footnotes identifies conflicting interpretations of Plato, and defends his position beautifully. Also, he doesn't only stay with the Republic's text, but references at least twenty three other Platonic dialogues to build his interpretation of the Platonic Socrates. I got a lot out of this book.

    Also, Schindler’s book provides an excellent excuse to brush up on ancient Greek. He gives a philosophically useful vocabulary and passages of Greek terms. Although, I have a minor complaint about the Greek font used in the book. The small letter ‘k’ kappa in the book looks like the small letter ‘x’ or chi. This would really be a problem for a student new to ancient Greek.

    So if you look up καταβαίνω (come down) in the book, it looks like “xαταβαίνω” (page 42) which in not in any Greek dictionary. Knowing that “κατά” is a common Greek prefix, I was able find the word in my Greek Lexicons. I think it is not a misspelling; just a bad font set, or mixed font set where the ‘k’ looks like a ‘x’. Here are some other examples:

    ἱκανῶς: "sufficient" verb 2nd sg pres ind (page 55 it looks like ἱxανῶς).

    κρείττων: "stronger" adj sg masc nom (p. 61).

    ἀκριβῆ: "exact" adj sg masc acc (p. 70).

    κρίσις: "crisis, judgment" noun sg fem nom (p. 75).
     
  24. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    Oh! Great! And here is Dr. D.C. Schindler in a first of two interviews with the Good Professor John Vervaeke, and Ken Lowry.

    The leaps of reason, love and faith w/ D.C. Schindler and Ken Lowry
     
  25. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    Here is a great video on the history of Logical Positivism which I have written a lot about in this thread in regard to Wittgenstein.
    Logical Positivism and the Vienna Circle

    Also, I have written two essays discussing the famous "Russell's Paradox" and the limits of symbolic logic.
    Russell's Paradox - A Ripple in the Foundations of Mathematics
     

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