What is Husserlian Phenomenology?

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

  1. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Post 274: Part I: Tillich's Critique of Hegelian Idealism: the demonry of abstraction
    Post 275: Part II: Feuerbach's Critique of Hegelian Absolute Idealism
    Post 276: Part III: Marx's Feuerbachian Critique of Hegelian Absolute Idealism




    Marx's Feuerbachian Critique of Hegelian Absolute Idealism


    Feuerbach is the only one who has a serious, critical attitude to the Hegelian dialectic and who has made
    genuine discoveries in this field. He is in fact the true conqueror of the old philosophy. The extent of his
    achievement, and the unpretentious simplicity with which he, Feuerbach, gives it to the world,
    stand in striking contrast to the opposite attitude [of the others].

    --1844 Manuscripts, Marx, p. 135 (pdf.)


    Marx's view of religion is that of Feuerbach, but critics would rather select Marx as the target for slander to perpetuate Cold War propaganda. Like Feuerbach, Marx uses the term “abstract” and its other forms at least one hundred and sixty-seven times in the 1844 Paris Manuscripts, and at least ninety-seven times in the single chapter titled, "Critique of the Hegelian Dialectic and Philosophy as a Whole,” (Struik edition, pp. 170-193). Struik defines Marx's critical definition of “abstract” in the following way:

    “To abstract means to place the essence of nature outside of nature, the essence of man outside of man, the essence of thought outside of the art of thinking. Hegel's philosophy has alienated man from himself, since his total system is based on these acts of abstraction. True, it identifies again what it separates but only in a manner which itself is again separable, mediate. Hegel's philosophy lack in immediate unity, immediate certainty, immediate truth19 (The Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Marx, Introduction by Dirk J. Struik, International Publishers, 1964, p. 39; quoting Feuerbach in Vorläufige Thesen, Werke, F. Jodl, ed. II, 1904).”

    Marx's understanding of religion characterized abstraction as a strategy sensuous human beings use as a defense against suffering. He is not the foaming-at-the-mouth hater of all spiritual traditions that academic brainwashing propagates.

    “But it is equally clear that a self-consciousness by its alienation can posit only thinghood, i.e., only an abstract thing, a thing of abstraction and not a real thing. It is || XXVI |50 clear, further, that thinghood is therefore utterly without any independence, any essentiality vis-a-vis self-consciousness; that on the contrary it is a mere creature—something posited by self-consciousness. And what is posited, instead of confirming itself, is but confirmation of the act of positing which for a moment fixes its energy as the product and gives it the semblance—but only for a moment—of an independent, real substance....As soon as I have an object, this object has me for an object. But a non-objective being is an unreal, non-sensuous thing—a product of mere thought (i.e., of mere imagination)—an abstraction. To be sensuous, that is, to be really existing, means to be an object of sense, to be a sensuous object, and thus to have sensuous objects outside oneself—objects of one’s sensuousness. To be sensuous is to suffer 24 (1844 Manuscripts, Marx, p. 146)(pdf.).”

    Interestingly, Marx was surrounded by persons with deep religious backgrounds who were also his close friends such as theologian Bruno Bauer (1809-82) who cost him dearly for writing in academic periodicals the gospels were not historical, but a mixture of Greek, Jewish, and Roman theological folk-stories. Consequently, Bauer was fired from the university of Bonn where Marx had hoped to join him as a professor. Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) was strictly raised as a Pietist Protestant and trained in biblical scholarship, once writing that modern communism was not unlike primitive Christianity. Socialist Moses Hess (1812-75) had some influence on Marx and Engels while working on a radical liberal newspaper. Hess, Marx, and Engels all lived on the same street in Brussels, Belgium. Please inform your professors that Marx did not just fall out of the sky from some place between the earth and moon. (For greater details see Struik's introduction, pp. 14-17).

    Not only religion, but also logic mirrors alienated thinking by reductionist abstraction of nature and society; “Logic—mind’s coin of the realm, the speculative or mental value of man and nature—its essence which has grown totally indifferent to all real determinateness, and hence unreal—is alienated thinking, and therefore thinking [p. 137] which abstracts from nature and from real man: abstract thinking (1844 Manuscripts, Marx, p. 137-8 )(pdf.).” Χωρισμός is the ancient Greek term for “separation,” “abstraction,” and is used to describe the “secretion of sap.” Speculative reductionist abstractions gathers the sap, but discards the tree source.

    I further discuss abstract objects and contradiction in the essay, “Bertrand Russell's Critique of Fregean Logico-Mathematical Objects” and in the subheading near the end of the essay, “Marcusean Dialectics on the Ontology of a False Condition,” see, “The Metalogic of Contradiction.

    Marx knows Hegel is obscure and attempts to clarify his point that thinking produces its own tautologous circular paradigms: “...to talk in human language, the abstract thinker learns in his intuition of nature that the entities which he thought to create from nothing, from pure abstraction—the entities he believed he was producing in the divine dialectic as pure products of the labour of thought, forever shuttling back and forth in itself and never looking outward into reality—are nothing else but abstractions from characteristics of nature. To him, therefore, the whole of nature merely repeats the logical abstractions in a sensuous, external form. He once more resolves nature into these abstractions (1844 Manuscripts, Marx, p. 156)(pdf.).” Marx is identifying the same alienating consequences of abstraction that Zerzan described as the inherent dominating effects of using abstract symbolic language.

    "When atoms move straight down through the void by their own weight, they deflect a bit in space at a quite
    uncertain time and in uncertain places... if they were not in the habit of swerving, nature would never have produced anything."

    --Lucretius (died 270 BC)

    I have one last meme to grind that claims Marx embraces a nihilistic materialist ontology that is responsible for the post-Modernist crisis of existential meaning and ethics, including God. This is a popular right-wing Cold War meme. First, Marx focused on the materialist base of history in reaction to old Hegelian Idealism which was the dominate ideology during his era so that materialism was a theoretically corrective counter-position. Secondly, Marx never used the term “dialectical materialism” in any of his writings. Thirdly, Marx named his theory “historical materialism” which is not a reductionist “crude mechanical materialism,” but a dialectical feedback-loop developing from a material base that also shapes human consciousness and the institutions it creates in a teleological historical process. Engels writes about crude materialism in a letter to J. Bloch during 1890:

    “According to the Materialist Conception of History, the factor which is in the last instance decisive in history is the production and reproduction of actual life. More than this neither Marx nor myself ever claimed. If now someone has distorted the meaning in such a way that the economic factor is the only decisive one, this man has changed the above proposition into an abstract, absurd phrase which says nothing. The economic situation is the base, but the different parts of the structure--the political forms of the class struggle and its results, the constitutions established by the victorious class after the battle is won, forms of law and even the reflections of all these real struggles in the brains of the participants, political theories, juridical, philosophical, religious opinions, and their further development into dogmatic systems--all this exercises also its influence on the development of the historical struggles and in cases determines their form... That the young people give to the economic factor more importance than belongs to it is in part the fault of Marx and myself. Facing our adversaries we had to lay especial stress on the essential principle denied by them, and, besides, we had not always the time, place, or occasion to assign to the other factors which participate in producing the reciprocal effect, the part which belongs to them. But scarcely has one come to the representation of a particular historical period, that is, to a practical application of the theory, when things changed their aspect, and such an error was no longer permissible. It happens too often that one believes he has perfectly understood a new theory, and is able to manage it without any aid, when he has scarcely learned the first principles, and not even those correctly. This reproof I cannot spare to some of our new Marxists; and in truth it has been written by the wearer of the marvellous robe himself. [That is, by Marx. – Editor.] (Engels' Letter to J. Bloch in Konigsberg, London, September 21 [-22], 1890).”


    And Then So Clear



    And then so clear to wonder
    To wake with open eyes
    As the snow across the tundra
    And the rain across the skies
    And the rain across the skies

    So much again and weightless
    In the motherworld of space
    We fail to form to come to
    And the razor mountains fade
    And the day is cursed in shame

    In these the world we open
    So much to lose to save
    To light the highest beacons
    And the rose of love will bleed
    And the rose of love will bleed

    In these the world we open
    So much to lose and save
    To light the brightest beacon
    And the rose of love will bleed
    And the razor mountains fade
    And the day is cursed in shame
     
  2. DennisTate

    DennisTate Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    32,037
    Likes Received:
    2,662
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Interesting....
    thank you for introducing me to this word that I certainly did not understand at all until now.......

    Very interesting indeed......

    I think that a Phenomenologist might rather like the following theory....
    especially within the context of our very dark and gloomy set of circumstances.....
    now in 2023.....


    http://www.politicalforum.com/index...native-universe.610709/page-2#post-1074554712



    [/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2023
  3. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Theologian Paul Tillich on Ontological Realism

    The polarity of individualization and participation solves the problem
    of nominalism and realism which has shaken and almost disrupted Western civilization.”

    --Tillich (Systematic Theology, Vol. I; p. 177)


    Ontological realism is the study of the “really real.” Tillich is critical of ψευδές (pseudo: false, untrue, or deceptive) θεωρία (theoria: a looking at, viewing, beholding) of abstractions that conceal, or distort rationality. And Tillich has a method for critiquing ontologies such as positivism, pragmatism, empiricism, idealism, technological realism, nominalist ontology, subjectivism, romanticism, existentialism, mystical realism, supra-naturalism, biblical realism, and atheism.* The first two syllables of “Ontology” (ὄντος: ontos) is the singular present active neuter genitive participle of εἰμί (I am) meaning “to be, exist, appearing to be--of things.” Ontology is the study of being. He groups these schools of thought into categories describing their similarities, contrasts, and changes of meanings between them during different historical eras such as the Middle Ages, and the 19th century. He writes about these same ontologies scattered in other books and articles he authored. Tillich is a dialectical realist choosing the dialectical method for its ability to “...move through 'yes' and 'no' and 'yes' again. It is always a dialogue, whether this proceeds between different subjects or in one subject. But the dialectical method goes beyond this. It presupposes that reality itself moves through 'yes' and 'no,' through positive, negative, and positive again. The dialectical method attempts to mirror the movement of reality (ST, Vol. I; p. 234).” He identifies some ontologies as false, but oftentimes his analysis concludes that a particular ontology, positivism for example, is too epistemologically strict, or applied inappropriately to things, or a dimension of existence. Tillich described himself as in a human boundary-situation wherein we reach our limit, when threatened, or in existential despair and this is where he attempts to find balance using the dialectical method--on the boundaries (“The Protestant Era,” Tillich, 1948; p. 195) (pdf.) (abbreviated, PE). Equipoise is a noun or verb that means a state of balance or counterbalance. One pole of a dialectical opposition can be religion with the opposing element, or antipole, being society. Other dialectical oppositions Tillich investigates are theology and philosophy, idealism and Marxism, and religion opposed to culture.

    +Pole <– Equipoise –> -Antipole

    By employing dialectical analysis Tillich builds a coherent vocabulary to systematically think, speak, or understand these difficult philosophical issues because without words one cannot reflect and evaluate. “Language is the house of being” as Heidegger wrote in “Letter on Humanism,” (1947).
    *(For short summaries of some of these “isms” see my essay, “Bertrand Russell's Critique of Fregean Logico-Mathematical Objects” under the subheading, "Part I: Paradigms of Truth and Logic").

    Grammarization is a war waged on spirits.”
    --Attributed to Bernard Stiegler on “symbolic misery.”

    Volume one of “Systematic Theology” (University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963; abbreviated, “ST”) concludes these ontologies whether religious or secular as lacking individual participation that in the end reduces ontologies to labels, or ideologies which alienates the knower (subject) from the known (object):

    “According to nominalism, only the individual has ontological reality; universals are verbal signs point to similarities between individual things. Knowledge, therefore, is not participation. It is an external act of grasping and controlling things. Controlling knowledge is the epistemological expression of a nominalistic ontology; empiricism and positivism are its logical consequences. But pure nominalism is untenable....And this structure includes by definition a mutual participation of the knower and the known. Radical nominalism is unable to make the process of knowledge understandable....The word indicates that the universals, the essential structures of things, are the really real in them.2 'Mystical realism' emphasizes participation over individualization, the participation of the individual in the universal and the participation of the knower in the known. In this respect realism is correct and able to make knowledge understandable. But it is wrong if it establishes a second reality behind empirical reality and makes of the structure of participation a level of being in which individuality and personality disappear....*[Footnote 2] The word 'realism' means today almost what “nominalism” meant in the Middle Ages, while the 'realism' of the Middle Ages expresses almost exactly what we call 'idealism' today. It might be suggested that, wherever one speaks of classical realism, one should call it 'mystical realism' (ST, Vol. I; p. 177-8 ).“


    "Karl Marx called every theory which is not based on the will to transform reality an ‘ideology,’ that is,
    an attempt to preserve existing evils by a theoretical construction which justifies them.”
    --
    Paul Tillich, ST, vol. I, p. 76.

    Dr. John Vervaeke has lectured on the four types of knowing: 1.) Participatory agent arena, deep knowing 2.) Perspectival relevance of a salience landscape 3.) Procedural controlling instrumental skills 4.) Propositional semantics/syntactical verbal signs (logic). Self-deception can exist at each level of knowing. On controlling instrumental knowledge such as nominalist ontology, empiricism, and logical positivism, both critiques of philosophers Tillich and Marcuse completely agree. Marcuse's critique of instrumental reason encompasses both the “soul and spirit of inner-man”:

    “Reason repels transcendence. At the later stage in contemporary positivism, it is no longer scientific and technical progress which motivates the repulsion; however, the contraction of thought is no less severe because it is self-imposed—philosophy’s own method. The contemporary effort to reduce the scope and the truth of philosophy is tremendous, and the philosophers themselves proclaim the modesty and inefficacy of philosophy. It leaves the established reality untouched; it abhors transgression (“One-Dimensional Man,” Marcuse, 1964, p. 177).”(pdf.)

    I witnessed this effort in analytic philosophy departments. Tillich is not exaggerating about this nihilistic reductionist push in academia, nor am I exaggerating stating once analytic philosophers join a philosophy department, they are antagonistic and militantly take over the department. English speaking university philosophy departments tend to indoctrinate logical positivism even though has been a dead philosophy since the collapse of the Vienna Circle of Logical Positivism. Analytic philosophy is like a venereal disease. It is not a philosophy of life (Lebensphilosophie) that concerns existentialist questions of purpose and values.

    Tillich describes exiguous instrumental reasoning as “One concedes to things only so much power as they should have in order to be useful. Reason becomes the means of controlling the world. The really real (ousia) of things is their calculable element, that which is determined by natural laws. Anything beyond this level is without interest and not an object of knowledge (PE; link added, p. 69-70).”

    Consequently, the disciplines of Science, Technological, Engineering, and Mathematics dominate university curriculums leaving the humanistic fields of study stigmtized as nonobjective and unverifiable arenas of scholarship.

    Also notice that Tillich draws subtle distinctions within ontologies such as between nominalism, and pure nominalism; between naturalistic pantheism and non-naturalistic pantheism (ST, Vol. I; p. 233) where his understanding is more consistent with Karl Krause's non-theistic concept of pan-en-theism. Tillich argues that “Pantheism does not mean, never has meant, and never should mean that everything that is, is God. If God is identified with nature (deus sive natura), it is not the totality of natural objects which is called God but rather the creative power and unity of nature, the absolute substance which is present in everything (ST, Vol. I; p. 232).” In another example of fine differentiations. Dr. Vervaeke makes the distinction between the romanticism of Johann Goethe and decadent romanticism such as—this is my example, the immoral libertine writer Marques DeSade. Making these fine dialectical distinctions by comparisons with different theories of being is what makes the study of ontology so difficult.

    Continuing to next post....279.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2024
  4. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Continuing from #278

    A New Realism

    Self-transcending realism is a universal attitude toward reality. It is neither a merely theoretical view of the world nor a practical
    discipline for life; it lies underneath the cleavage between theory and practice. Nor is it a special religion or a special philosophy.
    But it is a basic attitude in every realm of life, expressing itself in the shaping of every realm.”
    --Tillich, PE, p. 67.


    Comparison of ontologies using descriptive names such as “
    realism” can be hazardous since every individual may have a slightly different concept of what the really real actually means. Tillich embraces a new realism he classifies as, “self-transcending realism,” a concept that he admittedly borrowed and revised from French philosopher Henri Bergson who combines Élan vital or the universal tendency toward transcendence, and Time (ST, Vol. I; p. 181). Tillich occasionally refers to his new realism as Belief-ful realism described in James Luther Adam's words as “...a turning toward reality, a questioning of reality, a penetrating into existence, a driving to the level where reality points beyond itself to its ground and ultimate meaning. Belief-ful realism does not look 'above' reality to a transcendentalized spiritual world; it looks down into the depths of reality to its inner infinity (PE, p. 296).” Self-transcending realism is for Tillich “realism and faith in tension with one another.” Realism without transcendence is self-limiting realism such as positivism, pragmatism, and empiricism. Self-transcendence that is not realistic (utopian) but idealistic which Tillich only thinks idealizes the real instead of transcending it. Tillich's self-transcending realism also takes inspiration from Marx's famous remark, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Tillich adds that none of the above realisms are necessarily irreligious (PE, p. 67). Tillich rejects two-world ontologies saying “...spatial symbols of above and below should not be taken literally in any respect (ST, Vol. I; p. 277).” Tillich does not use the term “self-transcending realism” in his Systematic Theology, but instead writes “self-transcendence” 155 times collectively in all three volumes of ST. For Tillich, transcendence is re-interpreted as depth borrowing a concept from the field of Depth Psychology.

    The fate of our culture is, in the long run, bound up with this conflict and with our ability to go forward to a new kind of realism.”
    --Tillich, PE, p. 71

    But are all these distinctions Tillich is making themselves highly abstract? And if language is corrupting how could one think without words? We must use images and signs to communicate so that our reasoning is necessarily impure. Dr. D.C. Schindler's book helped me to better understand this problem in his well-researched and insightful book "Plato's Critique of Impure Reason: On Goodness and Truth in the Republic," (2008 ). For Plato, "Pure reason," is knowledge of the forms; on the other hand, "impure reason" is the logic of the cave--of appearances. This distinction between the pure reason (Logos) and impure reason (Mythos, or picture-thinking) explains Socrates' ambivalence toward appearances and images (sights and sounds, or εἰκών, image). The higher levels of knowledge, Plato thinks, include mathematics (μαθηματικά, method) and the highest level of knowledge is of the Forms (ἀρχή, archetype). Only in the state of mind of Noesis (νόησις) meaning “understanding, concept, or notion” is there intelligibility of the invisible (Forms) as opposed to opinion Doxia (δόξα) “belief” as in ortho-doxy, and belief based on empirical images.

    At first Socrates banishes the poets (creators of images, or propaganda) from the polis, but then allows them to return because dialogue requires images, signs, and words. The ancient Greeks had no word for language. The very first sentence of Plato's dialogue “The Republic” begins by Socrates saying, “I went down [κατέβην, aorist2 past tense] yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon...” Schindler writes, "The banishment and return is an image of the ascent and reversal (Shindler, p. 316)” or returning to the cave of images because the absolute needs the relative in order to "save the appearances," giving a whole new meaning to the shadows within the Cave. When Tillich, Feuerbach, and Marx critique abstractions they are really criticizing the reification of abstractions—to make into a thing. The Platonic ideal forms only exist in the realm of language so there is a tiny grain of truth even for radical nominalism.


    Historical Realism

    ...self-transcendence on the subhuman level is limited by a constellation of conditions, while self-transcendence on the
    human level is limited only by the structure which makes man what he is---a complete self which has a world.
    -- Tillich, ST, Vol. I; p. 181

    Tillich embraces dialectical realism, a new self-transcending realism, and historical realism. Historical realism is described as “consciousness of the 'here and now' that allows the real structures of the historical process to appear.” For Tillich history can only be interpreted through “active participation.” Technological realism of the positivistic sciences view its object only for “calculation and control” sacrificing active participation for “detached observation.” Self-transcending realism, says Tillich, is the “religious depth” of historical realism that allows us to see the really real through a new paradigm of realism just, “...as in a thunderstorm at night, when the lightning throws a blinding clarity over all things, leaving them in complete darkness the next moment. When reality is seen in this way with the eye of a self-transcending realism, it has become something new (PE, p. 78 ).”

    Tillich is highly critical of mysticism if it creates a reified two-world ontology, but also views mystical self-transcendence as essential to faith. He writes, “ 'Mystical realism' emphasizes participation over against individualization, the participation of the individual in the universal and the participation of the knower in the known. In this respect realism is correct and able to make knowledge understandable. But it is wrong if it establishes a second reality behind empirical reality and makes of the structure of participation a level of being in which individuality and personality disappear (ST, Vol. I; p. 178 ).” He is always relevant to his time and this may have been his critique also of many mystical cults of the1960s in America. (see, Bertrand Russell's essay, “Mysticism and Logic”).

    continuing to post #280.
     
  5. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    continuing from post #279

    The Ontologies of Theism, Non-theism, and Atheism

    Not he who rejects the gods of the crowd is impious, but he who embraces the crowd’s opinion of the gods.”
    (From Epicurcus’s letter (341–270 BC) to Menokeus on the tenth book of Diogenses Laertitus)


    Tillich does not want to de-mythologize Christian theology for these myths contain powerful religious symbols purchased by the suffering of a billion human lifetimes. I would categorize Tillich's view of divinity as “non-theistic” that is not personal, but encompasses the personal. He deliberately wrote his systematic theology to deliteralize Christian categories (to remove literalistic distortions of symbols and myths) by translation into an existential hermeneutical phenomenology motivated by his belief that “...existentialism is a natural ally of Christianity. Immanuel Kant once said that mathematics is the good luck of human reason. In the same way, one could say that existentialism is the good luck of Christian Theology (ST, vol. 1, p. 27).” Take for example, Tillich’s rejection of biblical literalism that defends the cosmological argument’s conclusion that God is the Creator, and First Cause because rationalistic theism is based on the category of causality: "...the category of causality cannot 'fill the bill’...In order to disengage the divine cause from the series of causes and effects, it is called the first cause, the absolute beginning. What this means is that the category of causality is being denied while it is being used. In other words, causality is being used not as a category but as a symbol (ST, vol. I, p. 238; italics added).” Tillich’s polemic in opposition to biblical literalism is based on his notion of the unconditional: “…the gods are not objects within the context of the universe…Ultimacy stands against everything which can be derived from mere subjectivity, nor can the unconditional be found within the entire catalogue of finite objects which are conditioned by each other (ST, vol. 1, p. 214).”

    Anything that claims to be sacred and that does not recognize the demand of the Unconditional is demonic.”
    Paul Tillich in “Political Expectation,” (1971)(pdf.) p.31.

    Tillich draws the distinction between ontological and technical concepts of reason. In summary, he argues the conceptions of ontological reason are represented by philosophers from Promenades to Hegel including Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and Aquinas. Classical Reason is that of the logos of being, which includes cognitive, aesthetic, practical, and technical functions of the human mind. The technical concept of reason is the capacity of reason reduced to the capacity to calculate. (Tillich’s distinction parallels Heidegger’s calculative vs. meditative thinking). The “depth of reason” is not another field of reason, but rather is the structure preceding (metaphorically speaking) all rational thought which is manifested in the creative logos of being (see, ST, vol. I, p. 79). Logos determines the ends, while technical reason determines the means. Tillich warns if these two capacities of reasoning become separated and technical calculative reason overshadows the logos as it has since the middle of the nineteenth century, "The consequence is that the ends are provided by nonrational forces, either by positive tradition or by arbitrary decision serving the will to power (ST, vol. I, p. 72-3)." Logical positivism is given particular criticism of its refusal to recognize as relevant anything that is not empirically verifiable (irrelevant subjectivity) in the object-realm of technical reason. Tillich directs the reader to Max Horkheimer’s famous book, “The Eclipse of Reason (1947)(pdf.).”

    The unconditional transcends the distinction between subject and object. To forget this is to make atheism inevitable.
    Atheism is thoroughly justified in protesting against the extrapolation of a transcendent world behind the existing world.
    --James Luther Adams, PE, p. 300

    Tillich specifically warns of the objectification of Dasein (human sense of being-ness) as dangerous to self-identity and human existence. Another existential hazard is falling into a mode of alienated being having lost a sense of noumenality, the unconditional, or the infinite—in short, the loss of existential meaning:

    "The basic structure of being and all its elements and the conditions of existence lose their meaning and their truth if they are seen as objects among objects. If the self is considered to be a thing among things, its existence is questionable; if freedom is thought to be a thing among things, its existence is questionable; if freedom is thought to be a quality of will, it loses out to necessity; if finitude is understood in terms of measurement, it has no relation to the infinite. The truth of all ontological concepts is their power of expressing that which makes the subject-object structure possible. They constitute this structure; they are not controlled by it (ST, vol. I, p. 168; italics added)."

    Tillich believed Hegel “deified reason” which later opened the way for the domination of cognitive-technical-instrumentalist reason of the modern era forgetting Kant’s greater sense of ontological reason that “…grasps the cognitive, aesthetic, practical, and technical functions of the human mind (ST, vol. I, p. 72).”

    Religious and theological words lose their genuine meaning if they are used as terms to designate
    finite objects under the control of the categories which constitute the world of objects.
    --Tillich, PE. p. 79

    Tillich is a Neo-Kantian epistemologically. Kant makes the distinction between the negative sense of noumenality which is Apophatic (ἀπόφασις; meaning ‘denial,’ or ‘negation’) and the positive meaning that speculates on the possibility of an intellectual intuition that would make transcendental “objects” intelligible in some way, or Cataphatic (κατάφασις: meaning ‘affirmative proposition’). Surprisingly, Wittgenstein could be placed with those who favor the positive meaning of noumenality since he has a loophole through the Kantian block (according to Bertrand Russell). We can include Heidegger with Wittgenstein on this point since both also viewed poetry as a loophole through which one can think the mystery of Being. Even Kant himself has a loophole to the noumenal realm by commitment to pure practical reason (or the Second Critique of the necessary conditions for the possibility of ethics). Maybe we can identify those in the positive cataphatic camp such as Wittgenstein as “quasi-negative noumenalists,” or “quasi-positive noumenalists” depending on the philosopher’s viewpoint. Adorno, and Benjamin explored the notion of authoring constellations of meanings as a way to say the unsayable. Tillich and Adorno refer to the unconditional and the nonconceptual respectively in their writings describing the loss of experience and a possible recovery of experience.

    "...I am indebted to Kantian criticism, which showed me that the question of the possibility of scientific
    knowledge cannot be answered by pointing to the realm of things."
    --Paul Tillich, Interpretations of History, p. 60 (pdf.)


    END​
     
  6. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    I have combined the following posts listed below into one complete and continuous 24-page essay at my backup website "Strange Phenomena" with the title "Tillich's Critique of Hegelian Idealism: the demonry of abstraction" with only a revised introduction, and transitions ending with the post on ontological realism.

    Post 273: John Edward Zerzan an American anarchist and primitivist author of “The Culture of Nihilism.”
    Post 274: Part I: Tillich's Critique of Hegelian Idealism: the demonry of abstraction
    Post 275: Part II: Feuerbach's Critique of Hegelian Absolute Idealism
    Post 276: Part III: Marx's Feuerbachian Critique of Hegelian Absolute Idealism
    Post 278: Theologian Paul Tillich on Ontological Realism
    Post 279: A New Realism
    Post 280: The Ontologies of Theism, Non-theism, and Atheism
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2024
  7. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Here is a well written and reasoned article about the suppression of historical memory by critical theorist, award winning author, and expert on Herbert Marcuse, Dr. Henry A. Giroux. I think Marcuse is one of Giroux's inspirations for writing this insightful analysis on how we damage ourselves by remaining ignorant of the past. If we cannot remember history and "knowledge is criminalized," how can we hope to create a future? Giroux makes some really good points in this essay.

    "Remembrance of the past may give rise to dangerous insights,
    and the established society seems to be apprehensive of the subversive contents of memory."

    --Herbert Marcuse, "One Dimensional Man," p. 101.



    By Henry A. Giroux
    TRUTHOUT is currently requesting funds for support!
    Published March 4, 2024

    Excerpt....
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2024
  8. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    I can't prove that we are living in a dream because any argument would be a circular fallacy (Descartes): argumentum petitio principii.

    I have developed a sleep disorder over the decades. Carefully read the video introduction because it is also highly contagious:

    "Penelope Braithwaite investigates the mystery of the repeating dream.

    More and more people in Reverwood Sussex are falling into a repeating dream trap.

    People fall asleep and although it appears that they wake up, they are in fact, in the same dream.

    It is thought that ley lines* in Sussex have interrupted traditional sleeping patterns.
    There are signs that the phenomenon is highly contagious."


    *Ley lines are straight alignments drawn between various historic structures, prehistoric sites, and prominent landmarks1. The concept was developed in early 20th-century Europe, with proponents arguing that these alignments were recognized by ancient societies that deliberately erected structures along them1.

    The term ‘ley line’ was coined by amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins in the 1920s 2. He noticed that ancient sites around Britain all fell into a strange alignment. Both man-made and natural monuments could be connected by perfectly straight paths3. Watkins theorized that these routes, which he called “ley lines”, were the trade routes of prehistoric man 2.
    Some people believe that ley lines carry rivers of supernatural energy and that there are pockets of concentrated energy at the places where they intersect that can be harnessed by certain individuals3. However, this idea is not universally accepted and is often attributed to coincidence3.

    It’s important to note that archaeologists and scientists regard ley lines as an example of pseudoarchaeology and pseudoscience1. There is no evidence that ley lines were a recognized phenomenon among ancient European societies1.


    Still Corners - The Dream (Official Video)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2024
  9. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    This video by Professor Johannes Niederhauser goes well with any critique of language and abstractions as discussed in the post above on language (post 274). Niederhauser presents an absolutely beautiful description of the power of poetic language in the passage below:

    "Mandelstam understands the word as a bundle of rays--not a sign. To say the word 'sun', a word we might use daily, 'When is the sunrise? When is it sunset?' which can be precalculated, and we can structure our day around it. That's not a linear process though to say the word 'sun.' There is no word-object that simply means or directly refers to some concrete object out there that is already given as that very object. To say the word 'sun,' for Mandelstam, takes us on a journey to the sun on a long yet now ordinary and concealed path and discloses the sun anew everyday through poetry. The fundamental motion is not one of correspondence, but here is exactly what one shouldn't say too much. But hear it again...to say the word 'sun' in a poetic way so that it discloses the sun to us. We are traveling to the sun. Again, we are traveling to the sun. I can't say it...even if I say... more explicitly ... it evaporates...." (@ 13:45 min.)

    Heidegger "The Danger of Language"
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2024
  10. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    How the American and Israeli Fascistd label American Students as Antisemites

    Below is a great interview by Martin Jay who is an expert on the Frankfurt School and how the Lyndon LaRouche cult, and fascists Michael Minnicino, Paul Weyrich, Williams Lind, fascist Zionist Ben Shapiro, and Netanyahu's favorite American fascist Andrew Breitbart push this toxic fascist meme that resulted in the mass murder of 69 students in Norway by Anders Breivik convicted of Van bombing (8 counts) Attempted bombing (210 counts) Murder (69 counts) Attempted murder (32 counts). None of this is by accident. President Netanyahu, and his American vice president Joe Biden has taken millions of dollars in fascist Zionist money.

    The violent assault against American University students by the Biden Administration is just another message that the American fascists do not want higher education for the vast majority of Americans. American billionaires decided in the early 1970s that only the elite are to receive higher education. This is why Biden and his fascist Republican friends decided students can go to college only after incurring massive life altering student debt. Disinformation such as Jay describes is part of the plan to keep young people out of higher education. You are being conned!

    And notice, that Lyndon LaRouche and all his fascist friends are foaming-at-the-mouth antisemites who attack the Jewish scholars of the Frankfurt School. This isn't an accident either. Fascist Zionists have infiltrated the American university system and now label those against Palestinian genocide as antisemitic--this after spreading the "cancel culture meme" claiming the progressive left are the subversive authoritarians.

    "JAY: (46:53) Well, it's a story that goes back at least to the time of Lyndon LaRouche who was a figure on the fringes of the fringe. I mean he was a character who he died a few years ago, who was somehow on the left, somehow on the right, not clear exactly what his politics really added up to. But he had a cult following and one of his targets was the Frankfurt School, which he blamed along with a number of other demonized sources of all the ills of the world. And a man named, Michael Minnicino published an article which basically connected them with something called 'Cultural Marxism' which was then the source of all the ills of political correctness.

    After the 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik, a follower of the conspiracy theory, Minnicino repudiated his own essay. Minnicino wrote, "I still like to think that some of my research was validly conducted and useful. However, I see very clearly that the whole enterprise—and especially the conclusions—were hopelessly deformed by self-censorship and the desire to in some way support Mr. LaRouche's crack-brained world-view."[14]

    I think it must in the late 90s there was an attempt on the part of the Congress for Cultural Freedom which was a right-wing organization associated with a number of fairly prominent figures. A man named 'Paul Weyrich' in particular who was the head of the Moral Majority...to create a film an hour-long documentary-- a pseudo-documentary-- in which they were once again accused in this LaRouche way, although they didn't mention his name of being the source of all the ills of political correctness, and I was asked to do an interview by them. And without realizing what their agenda was, and I've done lots of interviews on the Frankfurt School. I normally would give an hour or so answering questions, and it was edited into a long presentation which went viral and became the source of a very widespread basically conspiracy theory meme which in written and visual form has had great international resonance.

    The worst manifestation which occurred after I wrote an article about it in 2010 or 11 in the mass murder in Norway by Anders Breivik where in his manifesto he cited the Frankfurt school and actually cited, or at least told people, to read my book 'The Dialectical Imagination' to understand the Frankfurt School cited the Frankfurt School as the source of the evils that he was trying to eradicate by killing scores of people as he did. So, it became not simply, let's say an ideological problem, but a practical problem, one that really had an impact. And I wrote a piece in my 'Sal Magundi column.' I do a column for the journal Sal Magundi twice a year trying to make sense of it which also had some impact, but not enough to dissuade people from continuing to repeat it as a kind of meme that is a numbingly repetitive with all the same talking points, and it culminated in ways that showed its impact on Trump himself. There's a picture that I wanted to put in 'Splinters in Your Eye' but they decide not to use images of William Lind who is the main figure behind that film that I mentioned before giving one of his books to Donald Trump in, I think, 2015 before Trump was president, so there's a kind of direct connection between Frankfurt School demonization and the Trump White House.

    [​IMG]
    Fascists William Lind and The Orange Jesus (the idiot smiling on the right)
    Not that Trump would actually have read a book, but nonetheless one can see a kind of affiliation. There are books like 'The Devil's Pleasure Palace' and others by right-wing ideologues and various media people, Ben Shapiro for example, Andrew Breitbart who also used the Frankfurt School as a whipping boy. So in a weird way they became a kind of meme; a vulgarized version of what they had attacked in their analysis of the way in which the pathologization of politics and what folks called 'prophecies of deceit' were gaining traction in the modern world.

    It's one of the great ironies of their history that they could be usable in this rather nasty way. A lot of it--and I'll make a little footnote here and stop--was due to the antisemitism that could be mobilized by singling them out as a group of foreign Jews who would come to the United States, and it helps avert White Christian culture. And this was sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit, in the critique connecting him with figures like George Soros and others who are demonized in an antisemitic way. So it's very nefarious. They're part of this sub-world, or meme culture on the right which the internet has certainly embedded."

    In this new series Mike Watson talks to Martin Jay, Historian of philosophy and author of several books on the Frankfurt School including the Dialectical Imagination and the recent essay collection Splinters in your Eye (2020)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2024
  11. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    The Frankfurt School's Critique of the Protection Racket Model of Society

    Watching the President of the United States, crypto-fascist Joe Biden, sic state police fascist thugs on peaceful American students protesting a genocidal colonial war in Gaza is déjà vu all over again. When I was in grade school, I remember Ronald Reagan whipping up the right-wing to demonize the anti-war college students and winning the California Governorship. So, both the Republican fascists (allied with the antisemitic southern American Klu Klux Klan), and the mafia Democratic Party are competing against one another with the same old Reagan election hate strategy that worked in 1967. During that time all young people were demonized as violent, and communist.

    Remember during the Occupy Wall Street protests the Black Mascot Obama unleashed the American national police forces on American protestors while at the same time Obama warned the collapsing Ukrainian government not to use violence against the fascists as they violently overthrew the Maiden government. An alarmed President Obama warned Ukraine not to use violence against the Maidan fascist but was silent when U.S. police were beating up Occupy Wall Street protestors. I remember Nuland giving out cookies to Nazis during the Maidan riot—it was sickening. The United States assisted the Ukrainian right-wing fascists to start a violent insurrection. We see the same pattern wherever there is an American embassy, or American NGOs.

    And another point is the Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu, ordered Biden to use greater violence against the university protestors. I suspect this is not the only advice the fascist Netanyahu gave Biden such as urging him to run against Bernie Sanders to knock him out of the Democratic primaries in 2016, and 2020. So, while the Democratic party urges it members to vote against the "semi-fascist' Republicans, the Democrats are also taking money from the same Israeli lobby that created Netanyahu's favorite Breitbart fascists organization. It's a racket!

    Boss Joe Biden, and California Governor Gavin Newsom allowed the fascist Zionists to assault the peaceful pro-Palestinian students to soften them up before the state police enter the campus to beat the students. This is an old strategy of the state police. And then the next day, Joe Biden stands in front of the American people to demonize the same assaulted students at the University of Southern California as being the violent aggressors. Projectionism is the right-wing's most important strategy, since it requires no critical thinking effort; but rather simply accusing by rote any adversary of the very beliefs and actions that fascists themselves embrace.

    The "Cancel Culture" debate in the past years on the internet by the right-wing was just a demonic setup for censoring peaceful protest. And notice the manipulation of language to categorize all antiwar protest as "antisemitic" thus allowing fascist troops to suppress any dissent. This is a winning strategy that is tried and proved to be true, which is why both Biden and the fascist Republicans are banking on.

    So, the common characteristic of Biden's crypto-fascist mafia corruption and Trump's fascism is the racket model of society.

    Frankfurt School member Max Horkheimer (1895-1973) first coined the term “racket model of society.” An AI summary using the web search of the racket model reports:
    Critical theorist and scholar Martin Jay presents an even better description of the racket society and then uses Horkheimer's concept to interpret our contemporary state of affairs. I edited out the pauses in the video transcription to get a smoother narrative, but any transcription errors are mine (JAY: @ 33:24 minutes):

    Pre-Bourgeois Rule of Law

    “So, what was the racket society model? Well, basically it was one based on the notion that in pre-bourgeois times; the ways in which society was organized, and here they're really talking about the West and maybe some aspects of other societies was through the loyalty and protection of a warlord, or a figure who had some sort of coercive power which he, and it was always he, granted to his underlings in return for some sort of tribute so that it was a personal relationship, a relationship of fealty, and reciprocity which demanded loyalty, but also involved, let's say, the division of spoils which involved a kind of non-regularized abstractly legal non-theoretically uniform relationship, but one that was very much ad hoc. Now this was to a certain extent supplanted both by capitalism as a system regulating the economy through the marketplace, and through various ways in which the state regulated the marketplace. Think of lots of ways in which that occurred through taxation and currency and so forth. And also, the rule of law which involves a kind of formal equality overcomes the individual loyalty--the individual sense that will 'You help me, I'll help you' kind of personal relationship that existed prior to the full extent of bourgeois rule of law.

    Bourgeois Formal Law

    Now, their argument was that under fascism bourgeois, and even capitalist norms of abstraction and formal equality were being undermined and that we were returning to a kind of pre-bourgeois society in which this kind of protection racket was becoming the norm. Now they ultimately decide this was not really adequate as a way to explain the world they were living in even though fascism showed signs of it when it was defeated--or when you know it was almost defeated in the mid 40s. They thought now we have to go back to an understanding that stressed bureaucracy, stressed the various, let's say, both positive and negative aspects of formal law. Now what became apparent to me during the Trump administration was that their analysis--and I was not the only one who saw this--their analysis of rackets was making sense of a growing but not yet dominant aspect of our own lives, that loyalty personal loyalty, and a kind of division of spoils, and a kind of being above the law, or outside the law, was in a way that we not really expected returning with Trump and as you said maybe there are aspects of in [Mike] Johnson, maybe another Bolsonaro. There are other figures around the world who represent the same phenomenon and this model--the racket society model--gave us some sort of insight into an alternative to the administered world analysis in which bureaucratic instrumental rationality and control from above was somehow adequate to what was going on.

    Post-Neo-Liberal World

    Now, my general feeling is that it's not either, or that we see aspects of both. And the struggle has not yet ended. I mean, Trump was defeated, but we see in the way in which the Republican Party in the United States has been ugly and completely taken over by people who owe their existence really to loyalty to Trump and how he rewards his loyal followers, and how he destroys people who speak against them. And this is an extraordinary departure from the way in which normal politics, and at least the American experience, has taken place and a return to a kind of racket society quality; the fact that half of the people around him are under indictment, in jail, obviously corrupt people who are out for themselves, people who make fortunes. This guy who was just indicted for being a foreign agent for the Emirates, he was the head of his inauguration committee. I mean, it's now a daily drumbeat. We might say of a corrupt racket like gangster figures who are prominent in his world. So, it captures something that we thought had gone away but the Frankfurt school sort of understood returned with fascism and had the potential to return, as it now has in a post-neo-liberal world. I mean that's the thing to think about. I think most that neoliberalism seemed to be the dominant paradigm for a long time, we're moving beyond it with populism and with this kind of racket model in which some of the mechanisms of neoliberalism have been exposed and a right-wing as well as left-wing alternative has emerged, and the right-wing alternative emerged for example in the Brexit debate. We're in a very turbulent moment and I think the racket analysis gives us some insight, doesn't explain everything. We wouldn't assume that it does, but it gives us some purchase on what's going on.”
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2024
  12. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Here is a great lecture by Dr. Michael Pelias in a ten-week seminar at The Institute for the Radical Imagination on Sartre and Marx. In the first seminar they read from Sartre's philosophical work volume I of "Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960 Editions Gallimard, and 1976, 1st Verso edition)." Here is the same Verso pdf. version. Great insights on Sartre's dialectical analysis of Marxism of his time, and thoughtful selections of passages with commentary on Lukacs, Husserl, Hegel, existentialism, Marcuse, and other philosophers.
    SARTRE WITH MARX - Seminar 1
     
  13. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    The Hegel Bug
    I got bitten by the Hegel Bug again.

    Here is a passage by philosopher J.N. Findlay (at one time a student of logician Ludwig Wittgenstein) from his commentary on Hegel's system titled, “Hegel: A Re-examination,” (1958 ). Findlay's book is the best commentary on Hegel I have found--even better than Jean Hyppolite's famous 606 paged commentary that has no index, “Genesis and Structure of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit,” (1974). Findlay's summary of “Phenomenology of Spirit “ is particularly good (pp. 83-149). However, the section on Hegel's Science of Logic (pp. 221-267) is grueling. Findlay critically examines some of Hegel's cryptic terminology by applying disciplined Wittgensteinian language analysis to Hegel's Doctrine of Being, Becoming, and Nonbeing found in The Science of Logic (see p. 155-166). Amazingly, it is Hegel's analysis of the categories of quality and quantity in the Science of Logic applied to empirical boiling water temperature experiments that both Hegel and Marx were inspired to postulate a theory of paradigm shift, or Leaps: “Both morals and politics show a similar heaping up of quantitative changes which precipitate changes which are qualitative, a doctrine widely appealed to by Marxist philosophers (Findlay, p. 180).”

    Hegel believed in a teleological view of world-history (Time) resulting from the interactive tension between Nature (World), Spirit (Mind), and Reason (Logos). The three forms of Spirit's phenomenological expressions in history are Art Religion, Revealed Religion, and Philosophy (Unified Absolute Reason):

    “This stage of Religion Hegel identifies with Christianity. Here he deals with the ‘Kingdom' of the Father, where the persons of the Trinity are identified with the three moments of Universality, Particularity and Individuality in the Hegelian Notion, and with the Kingdoms of the Son and the Spirit, where the Creation, Fall, Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension and the Pentecostal Descent of the Spirit, are all given speculative interpretations. Thus the death of death involved in the Christian Resurrection and Ascension is held to be a representational expression of the ‘absolute negativity' of Spirit, the principle that Spirit can affirm itself only by first denying itself and then denying that denial.1 All this may sound faintly absurd, but there is nothing arbitrary and external in Hegel’s detailed exegeses. Very often they catch the very spirit and savour of the New Testament. They can only seem arid and false to those who see nothing mysterious and god-like in the facts of human thought... (Hegel: A Re-examination, by J.N. Findlay, 1958, Oxford University Press, p. 344)(pdf.).”
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2024

Share This Page