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 Theses on philosophical method.

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PostSubject: Theses on philosophical method.   Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:48 am

I want to summarize my philosophical method here and provide an example of it in action. I will do so with a series of theses.









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In wonder all philosophy began, in wonder it ends. ... But the first wonder is the offspring of ignorance, the last is the parent of adoration.
- Coleridge.



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Theses on philosophical method.





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1.

Greece- early, pre-Platonic Greece found its reason in the structure of the cosmos and of nature themselves, this structure was the logos, which was reflected in human consciousness, and drawn inward through the activity of an unreflected egoic principle to form the first great philosophical ideas. Thus philosophy always begins in a passive state of reflection or wonder for the Greeks. This process constitutes "empirical reason." Later there was proposed a transcendent, unknowable, divine order in distinction to the order of nature. The venture of this divine order corresponds with a structural incapacity in self-consciousness itself, to that unreflected, egoic principle, for in time it leads to an inseparable division in the subjective and empirical philosophical systems. Reason thereafter became the aim of resolving this problem, of extinguishing this unreflected principle by bringing it into reflected self-consciousness; its appointed task was in hypostasizing human experience and the content of subjectivity as absolute. To do this reason had to decompose the relations of the cosmic and natural orders, recomposing its object within the structure of subjectivity to realize its “idea.” This "idealism" finds its beginning in Plato, and constitutes the beginning stage of "transcendental reason." The project of denaturalizing nature and man there also began. The drawing inward of nature is the principle of the former empirical reason, the projection of the human being, in the manner of Feuerbach, of the later.

Transcendental reason is marked by three major philosophical developments: in Eriugena human nature and the nature of the divinity are equated, in Schelling the inner lack or structural incapacity of self-consciousness is itself expressed to the divinity, and the unfathomable ground of the divine is discerned as non-entity and nothingness, God himself carrying this lack in potentia and man expressing it in actuality as evil, and in Kierkegaard the structure of the divine is itself collapsed, necessitating the leap of faith in order to sustain transcendental consciousness and religious experience. Nietzsche expresses the final development in empirical reason, the idea of the world itself is, in him, finally reflected in human consciousness as the will to power- man is at last “naturalized.” The full field of discourse between these two modes of reason must be discerned, so that the valuing subject beneath and behind all philosophy and morality can itself be discerned, for it seems to me that philosophy itself, constituted by a secret canon, forms a kind of plane in which the thinking subject takes form; a plane constituted by the relation between the empirical and transcendental spheres of self-consciousness.

As it stands, these two spheres of thought have been finally separated. Empirical reason has abandoned speculative philosophy and become impotent, materialist, and empty, while transcendental reason, by way of Kierkegaard, has been annihilated in the image of the hidden God and has hypostatized mystical experience as the ultimate philosophical category: the Gods of Greece became the God of Abraham, the antagonism constitutive of the self was grasped as an abyss and inner longing for something other, for something higher than the world. This dissolution of philosophy has had the consequence of completely dissolving man's consciousness of the excess, of the unreflected principle beneath and within all thought.


From this knowledge the path to a revitalized philosophy can be discovered. Instead of beginning with identity, with ousia, with being and the question of being, as the first philosophers had done in Greece, a mistake which gave rise to the dissolution of philosophy into what I called empirical and transcendental reason, we should begin with the "excess," that which cannot be absorbed dialectically. This leads to a reversal of the ontic and epistemic spheres. The excess does not signify noumenal reality, does not signify the ontic reality, the ousia or being which cannot be comprehended by thought, but rather does the excess signify the inexhaustible mental component of the human intellect which is constitutive of that intellect and of our consciousness. This component is given precedence, rather than the ontic. In other words, the epistemic subject comes before the ontic subject. Hiedigger's project must then be abandoned, which relied on the primordiality and precedence of the ontic subject, dasein.

2.

The capacity to differentiate and articulate the excess through conceptual oppositions I have named the daemonic. These conceptual oppositions are not exclusive, and are potentially infinite. Kierkegaard's project must here be abandoned, which relied on the exhaustablity of the epistemic subject and the construction of several definite stages or conceptual oppositons and an either/or choice between them. That element of volition, of having to make a choice, a leap of faith, made the ontic subject once again the first order or primordial subject, as the will is a being and not an epistemic entity.


3.

Identities, "beings," are merely "remainders" of the excess. Contra Spinoza's determinatio est negatio. All identification here becomes differentiation, of the excess. Thought cannot therefor be "totalized," ie. constructed into an image of the world as a whole, ie. a system in the manner of Hegel or Spinoza himself. Schelling had a similar conception:


"There is an unfathomable basis of reality in things, the remaineder that cannot be contained, cannot be resolved into reason by the greatest exertion but remains in the depths. Out of that which lacks understand, true understanding is born."


The dialectic which rests at the heart of Eriugena's magnum opus, which he uses to construct a division of nature or periphyseon, recapitulates Dionysisus's Christian version of the Proclean scheme of procession, return, and remaining (prohodos, epistrophe, mone.) According to that dialectic the super-essential cause of all things (God) moves through all things as immanent to them and stands beyond them as trascendent of them. As cause, the divine is all in all- and so addressed, metaphorically, by kataphatic theology; but as super-essential, the divine is nothing in the midst of everything (a Pascalian meditation, though here applied not only to man but to the divinity itself) and so is more properly addressed by negative or apophatic theology. This dialectic of immanence and trascendence is intended to express the basic foundation of incomprehesibility which underlies the divine and all forms of mystic knowledge.

In the book of Job, God attempted to vindicate himself by listing all of his creations and the breadth of the universe; mountains, seas, stars, animals, etc. For Eriugena God is always the God of Job who reveals himself in the whirlwind of created things and realizes himself both as many and as no one in and through this. The polyonymous anonymity and nothingness of the human reflects perfectly (because it reflects abyssally) the polyonymous anonymity of the divine insofar as both the human and god would realize themselves in and through the creation.
The basic idea here is that man approaches so closely the divine, that the two become indistinguishable; the polynomous nothingness of the human reflects, abyssally, that of God himself.

We see that this unabsorbable excess does not lie in the ontic dimension, as a question of being, but rather lies immanently within the thinking subject itself, constitutive of its very subjectivity. Schelling names this excess "Will," in opposition to ousia or entity, being, nature.


"Will is primordial being, and all predicates apply to it alone- groundlessness, eternity, independence of time, self-affirmation, self creation. The old proposition is here once again in place: the original being is will, and will is not merely the beginning but also the content of the first emergent being."

You see in this passage he is articulating a very similar logic of immanence-transcendence... "not merely the beginning but content of the first emergent being."


Schelling continues: "Any philosophy which does not remain grounded in the negative but tries instead to reach what is positive immediately and without that negative foundation will inevitably die of spiritual impovershment. " This is also hinted at by Luther when he speaks of the power of God being even in the hand of a murderer. "The freedom with which the sinner operates and by which evil is perpetrated is still a divine power. Man has perverted the position of the potencies, and so god operates perversely in the perverse, he no longer acts as will but unwill." This perverting quality at the basis of man's freedom, this indwelling of the evil principle as the principle of negation, even in the profoundest desire to do right, I express in one of my own theological speculations: "By desiring something we have not fist completely emptied from out of our own heart, and repudiated from the dark and selfish principle within ourselves, which by its nature assimilates all things to itself, we destroy it. " This all points again and again to the knowledge that this evil principle indwells totally in human freedom, and engulfs even the most selfless desire to do good: it produces in those who have born its revelation what Hamann calls a "Holy Hypochondria." In short, this evil principle, the principle of negation, of the unfreedom of the will, of material, etc. is rather a positive affirmation of human freedom, not a refutation of it.

Schelling goes on to construct his own division of nature on this scheme: from the primal will or groundlessness issues first, darkness, suffering, irrationality, evil; the whole material and created world of forces and chaos. He speaks of it in this passage "For it was the teaching of all peoples who counted time by nights that the night is the most primordial of things. But what is the essence of night, if not lack, need, and longing? For this night is the nature looking forward to the light, the night longing for it, eagre to receive it. Another image of that first nature, whose whole essence is desire and passion, appears in the consuming fire which so to speak is itself nothing, is in essence only a hunger drawing everything into itself."

He goes on next to assert that the second "potency" as he calls it, or thing issued from out of the primordial ground, is light; that is, rationality, goodness, the other side of human freedom. His third potency he calls love, it is the realization of human freedom as including both this dark and light principle, evil and goodness; freedom as this double movement itself which is accomplished as love.

But compare Eriugena's dialectic with this three-fold potency. I interpret these potencies with this dialectic; the darkness and evil of the suffering, material universe, as the principle of all negation, issues from the primordial ground (the super-essential cause) but the light, goodness, rationality of human subjectivity, and freedom- that element of positivity, returns to this primordial ground through the process of thought and philosophy, submerging itself within it, and finally we have mone or the remaining, what remains unincorporated into this dialectical process and cannot be annihilated in the primordial ground.


Schelling's Naturphilosophie stood as a great testament to the depth of the transcendental mode of reason, but was never completely developed, owing to its insurmountable philosophical inadequacies. Yet the philosophical concept of the excess can find great material for its articulation in Schelling, as it can in Eriugena and Kierkegaard.


4.

Identities can be rigidly defined without solidifying a single conceptual opposition, insofar as the logic of the daemonic is upheld, that is to say, insofar as precedence is granted to the epistemic rather than ontic subject, in line with the first thesis. This gives us the possibility of ontology without metaphysic, that is, a philosophy in which the epistemic subject is wholly developed through continuous differentiation of the excess, resulting in the production of identities (ontologies) which do not require any antithesis for their definition. They stand in and of themselves as identities and are pure affirmations rather than negations. In all philosophy to define, as Spinoza said, was to negate: to say that something was an angel meant it was not a man. But in my philosophy, identities are what is left over after the excess is differentiated within a conceptual opposition: they are ontic realities produced by the philosophical elaboration of the epistemic subject. In other words, and to use the simple example again, in my philosophy "angel" and "man" would both be self-sufficient realities and parts of a conceptual opposition within which the excess is differentiated. Once that excess is differentiated as one or the other, say a man, this leads to the breaking through to simply a new series of conceptual oppositions, perhaps man and beast, within which the excess is differentiated again. Because identities do not require negation in order to be defined, the ontology constructed with my method cannot devolve into metaphysics. The formula would here be antithesis-thesis-thesis, ie. conceptual opposition- differentiation- excess. This is obviously very different than a dialectic and the thesis-antithesis-synthesis formula. Here I am revising and appropriating things I gathered from Eriugena and Proclus:


" ... Presentiments of a philosophical category which could represent these relations between real and ideal ego, along with this moral potency; which could represent a kind of relationship which stands beyond all dialectic, can be found for example in the Proclean scheme of procession, return, and remaining, of prohodos, epistrophe, and mone. This dialectic demonstrates that God, conceived of as the super-essential cause of all things, moves through all things as immanent to them and stands beyond them as transcendent of them. This dialectic of immanence and transcendence is intended to express the basic foundation of knowledge which cannot be grasped, that unincorporated concept which underlies the divine and all forms of mystic knowledge, of negative and apophatic theology. Moreover, this principle of the unincorporated object of thought reveals a structural relationship between the aspects of divine immanence and transcendence which it is the goal of the theologian to discover, (Eriguena made this the subject of his Periphyseon) insofar as God does not only reveal himself as something that acts upon the world, but also as something that acts within and through the world. "


Nietzsche's project must here be abandoned, which used the ontic subject (the will) to break completely past the epistemic sphere.


5.

Of even greater import than this ontology without metaphysic is the possibility of a morality without either ontology or metaphysic: ie. the philosophical and complete development/elaboration of the epistemic subject by fully following through the concept of the daemonic with reference to a concept I elaborate elsewhere, namely the transcendental good.

Phenomenology is and has always been essentially the elaboration of the relationship between the epistemic and ontic spheres, and psychology arose from it as basically the same thing but with greater emphasis on the ontic sphere, ie. greater emphasis on experience and volition. This is why Kierkegaard in my mind was the first great psychologist, not Nietzsche, since he wrote the first proper psychology by constructing the either/or which allowed the ontic subject, by way of the idea of choice, to take precedence over the epistemic subject. But my new morality would obviously be totally different from either of the two things.


The epistemic subject would be "completely developed philosophically" when the ontic and epistemic spheres of thought, the real and ideal ego, are equated. I write of that here:


" ... Let us turn to modern philosophy for a moment, with the idea of the 'unincorporated object of knowledge' in mind. The philosophy of Kant assumes that it is possible to make use of the philosophical categories to proceed with successive syntheses of the ego and non-ego all the way up to some final synthesis, that between freedom and necessity, the moral will and amoral existence, so that the self may be at last grasped in its perfection and completeness, as a concrete and unified being in that act of will which the categorical imperative necessitates. This unity is called by Kant, transcendental apperception. In truth it is through the coextension of the ego and non-ego that the 'self,' as something more than a mere principle and abstraction, but rather as a living consciousness, lives: thought, which is the form of this reconciliation, cannot complete and finally unite them, unless it aims to annihilate itself. This 'self,' the true and living being of the ego, can appear to thought only as that concept in which ego and non-ego are grasped, not in their antithetic duality, nor in their synthetic union, but in a kind of structural relation exactly the opposite of the one implied by the Kantian apperception: it can appear to thought only as a disunion within the egoic consciousness which expresses itself, not through successive syntheses of its subjective content, as though the disunion were imposed upon the consciousness by some limitation of its power, but through successive divisions of this content into objective forms, as though the disunion lived from within the consciousness itself and through its own power, divisions which render the ego and non ego, freedom and necessity, infinite and finite in a structural relationship developed within the thousand-fold forms of the human experience, be these forms aesthetic, religious, historical, psychological, philosophical, sane, or insane. "


"... Ει ουν φιλοσοφητέον είτε μη φιλοσοφητέον, φιλοσοφητέον, to speak with Athanasius. We cannot, in the manner of one of the old Greeks, name the world a cosmos and beauty until we have named our own soul a cosmos and beauty; to behold and grasp all the world in an idea we must first have come to know ourselves as one particular being and no other and have had everything good and evil rent from the trembling heart and held, not in time, which diffuses our being like colors from a ray of light, but in eternity, which concentrates it. Every man of genius has believed in the eternal, that belief is the very condition of his vitality and flourishing. Perhaps this belief serves as nothing more than an obscuration of the spirit, which man requires if he is to ascend into the highest possible regions of his genius; perhaps he must find all the earth wanting if, like Cassandra of Ilion, he is to utter things not fit for the earth, but it is always the same, and we become like that angel whose wings were set aflame when he reentered this world, if one can entertain the old Gnostic myth. We suffer upon turning back into ourselves, we suffer from the failure to seize upon that inner motion of the heart's genius, which alone could move us to acknowledge the ideal as fate; the consequence of that strange lust which compels us to embrace obscurity, darkness, and uncertainty, but moreover to prefer this benighted world of the self over that law which strikes against the heart when love, fully matured, overcomes and inspires us to act with proud indifference against the hazards of our mortality. Dei virtutem dei sapientiam, [knowledge, for god, is a virtue] or if one may reverse the old theologian's paradox: yes, and man's sin; or, to reinterpret the account of Genesis, what flowered with the greatest sweetness in heaven is reaped with the most bitterness upon the earth."


The most painful depth of daemonic existence must immediately thrust one into the heaven of heroic philosophy, and vice versa. Modern man has been prevented from attaining that depth of daemonic existence though, as a consequence of the radical divide between the languages of the empirical and transcendental, of experience and philosophy. Hence my new morality, which would aim to reinstate the continuity between these two languages, between the empirical and transcendental aspects of the self, would have as its goal the production of a new heroic philosophy, and new heroic philosophers, a new "mens heroica," to use Bruno's own term, or "heroic mind."


To equate the epistemic and ontic spheres and the ideal and real ego would essentially mean to grasp the living and experienced self, the self as an identity, as merely a differentiation of the excess, an excess which would thereby be grasped as equally the self, albeit ideally. There is a final conceptual opposition between the real ego, the experienced self, and some other thing, in which the excess must be differentiated. It must be differentiated as either the self or this other thing. To differentiate it as the self would lead to what I just described, the equating of real and ideal ego, the exhaustion of one's daemonism, the release of the self from time, etc. To differentiate the excess in this final opposition as that other thing, as not the self, would lead to the mystic experience and annihilation within the godhead- it would lead to the failure to completely develop the epistemic subject.




6.


The Greeks thought of the self as an antagonism, a contradiction, between empirical reality, time, and desire, and on the other hand form, the eternal, etc. This contradiction is Eros, love. Eros can fall into matter, sensuality, and physical beauty, but it can also ascend the ladder of being and attain to philosophy. It thus constitutes an excess, which by its very nature cannot be absorbed in a dialectical synthesis. The Greeks made the self livable by exploding it into a series of conceptual oppositions, time and eternity, form and matter, etc. Each of these oppositions provided a vantage in which the self could orient itself within its own excess, each provided a ruling passion, a new pathos, a new mode of life, a particular kind of "subjectivity."


The Judaeo-Christians had a whole new conception of the self. To them the contradiction which constituted the self signified not an excess, but a fundamental lack, an abyss. Why is man such a grotesque synthesis of conflicting powers, of the finite and the infinite? How is he even possible? It is because, all the way down, man is missing something. It is not the things of the earth he misses, for he is equally a temporal and earthly thing, nor the things of heaven, for he can indeed philosophize, practice justice, and achieve virtue.... No, no, he is missing God. Thus they psychologically figured out a way to cohere the self. Kierkegaard is all about this, for him this "God" provides the self a leap of faith by which to cohere and bring into unity its despairing relation of the temporal and the eternal, the finite and the infinite. He himself could not figure out how exactly the religious life, how God, cohered the two parts, but I have, and I just explained why it works psychologically. The reinterpretation of the excess as a lack allows the two parts to be cohered when they are brought into a unified longing and desire for this missing thing, "God."


The problem is, the Christian answer to the self leads to mystical annihilation in the Godhead and the Greeks, having never realized the full extent of the logic of the daemonic, ie. transcendental goods, annihilated themselves in mystical union with the cosmos or in abstract exaltation above the universe, like Plato, exhausted demonically but without an idea in which to repose and take cognizance of that fact. Nietzsche himself ended in annihilation like a good Greek, a will to power annihilated in the Will to Power.



7.


Each of the conceptual oppositions created daemonically constitute a different mode of life. The mode and its quality depends on the opposition, one example of a mode is the aesthetic mode of life. The number of these different modes of life that a particular individual can produce depends on the power of his daemonism. Not all individuals are capable of living the same modes of life or living the same number of modes. A transcendental good is an ideal that roots the individual in that opposition wherein his daemon comes to a rest, is exhausted. Most men are not rooted in this way, and so we have the daemonic frenzy, the repetition of the same modes of life, a kind of psychological stunting. Their self is fragmented in this way throughout the modes and they must continually re-orient themselves within the conceptual oppositions which it has created. Philosophy endows us with the concepts with which to exhaust our daemonic nature. A speculative ethics as a particular way of philosophizing would aid one in finding out the ideal by which to comprehend the final orientation of one's daemonism, namely by comparing and clearly differentiating the different modes one has lived through, becoming more conscious of them. Hence I call it the transcendental good rather than transcendental ideal: it is realized through a valuation, a speculative ethic.


8.

What we have inherited from nature is nothing but ruins. The bestial organization of our instincts has been replaced with a possible intellectual organization of experience, one of many conceivable ones. There can be no suffering beyond what is created through the conflict in man's nature, a disorganization of that nature engendered by his clumsy dealing with things, and moreover with truth. For objective truth does not place itself in opposition to lived experience, nor is subjectivity the truth itself, as Kierkegaard had said: rather is the truth that which makes experience possible, insofar as lived experience, grasped philosophically, consists in a peculiar intellectual organization, in the differentiation of the excess, in the coherence of epistemic and ontic reality, for such an organization depends upon conceptions. Truth is the concept of concepts, the one concept which the philosophers lack, namely the concept of experience, the concept of the subject.

One must be led to a Socratic conclusion: there are no true human, psychological questions, but only philosophical ones.



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With the summary of my methodology, now here is an example of the methodology in practice. To demonstrate it I will use a quote and a passage from my book.




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What is Love but Youth and Hope embracing, and so seen as one? -- Coleridge.



And this section from my book:



Youth knows neither desolation or solitude, its progress having never been encouraged by mysteries the knowledge of which it alone possesses, but rather does it usher forth emboldening the heart instead of leaving it the sullen witness to life’s disappointments and tragedies; insatiable, it wants to discover what it is within a person that makes him noble, and what lies outside of itself which could bear in its tribe; unable to be contained, it ventures ever onward in the manner of the seas until it finds a surface which arrests it, rather this is a piece of art, a beauty of nature, or a human being, a surface which forces it to return back into the depths of itself, to take the measure of its own powers and to confront itself. Yet, we have sacrificed this continuity of life for pleasures which we deem purer and more exalted, we divide the years from one another to extract the beauty of youth which, during our childhood, was neither present or conscious to us but, solely through these operations of the intellect, had been produced and imposed upon it retroactively, a beauty now indemnified by the consciousness of having possessed and lost something unutterably sacred. What we call spiritual refinement, what we call aesthetic pleasure, is only an expression of the fact that things appear beautiful to us only through those necessary operations of the intellect which distance us from them, namely comparison, analysis, and anatomy. The world ceases to speak to the poet only when he ceases to speak to it, and though the first man Adam found contentment in giving to things their names, the way inward has been barred to us, wherein the name could have been found, and in being stirred with the life of things we vainly try to teach them to enunciate, to proclaim their being.


But the most potent intellectual distance is the one imposed by the operation of time. From the element of the transitory emerges beauty in its most significant form, which must nonetheless suggest to us its very opposite, the finality of death. In this balance Hofmannsthal realized the unity of the aesthetic and the ethical.


It is this thought of the finality of death which re-enters the inarticulate dream of youth or the memory of love which we bear within us, imbuing it also, in its seeming eternity, with the coloring of the mutable, so that we cannot speak its name, and cannot live commensurately with ourselves. We have within us what we are and might be, the image of beauty and of our happiness, of our good and of our law, but it is so transformed by this thought, that it cannot be easily discerned. How rarely can man say at once that he has lived, and that he will live. The finality of man and world nonetheless occupies an ethical dimension because it therefor compels us to attempt to realize the means by which we might recover this image and secure it against the influences of time, it compels us to brand every moment with its own fire, to follow upon each one as upon the thread which would allow us to unravel the tortured confusion of human joy and sorrow, and which would grant us, perhaps not satisfaction or happiness, but at least the quiet heart in which our many longings could finally be held still in their moment of distinction, and thereby grow quiet themselves, sober, cold, and sink down into the bottom of life, to that image within us which we vainly attempt to lend a name to.


We long to say "en de phaei kai olesson," with Homer, but there is something that calls us back into the dawn's light. No one would doubt the truth of what Leopardi spoke, when he said that even the most tragic art, which offers the image of life's vanity with the greatest clarity, serves as a consolation. This is because such art gains its seductive force and beauty by making conscious to us some obscure vitality which longs to expend itself, but cannot be exhausted in the service of annihilation; this vital power, insofar as it is unconscious, the saint calls sin, through which he is at last led to heaven, the Buddhist calls desire, which gradually effaces his personality in order to grant him the vision of his Nirvana, and the philosopher calls ignorance, which leads him to knowledge. For this vitality can at first only compel a man to kindle his own hell within himself in which to dissolve the image of the world, as Amiel said, or consume him in the play of endless hopes and loves which lack any substance, by making him long to taste of life and passion merely for the sake of life and passion, an ambition which grants him only an illusory life and a kind of passion that can only end in dispirited regret. Love that has grown cold can indeed be revived, but regret cannot accomplish this; the saint can rediscover within himself the image of his God, but not through sin; the philosopher can attain to his ideal, but not through ignorance; the Buddhist can be free of himself, but not through desire. These things suggest to us only a life that has yet to be lived, and which cannot therefor be destroyed, and where great art makes us conscious of this life by taking into its service these destructive elements, as the element of time and mortality, sin and desire, ignorance and longing, it is unable to truly realize it.




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We want to differentiate, understand through difference, the excess. (Meaning the unconceived, the unreflected component of any concept.) The concept whose excess which is to be differentiated is, as it is given in the Coleridge quote, love. Love as most poets and philosophers understand it is the desire for eternity, ie. joy wants deep, deep, the eternal.

We must first identify a conceptual opposition in which it can be reified negatively, as difference. Drawing from my passage, the first term would be not youth itself but the poeticized sense of youth, which is produced by the operation of time, and death, ( again not death itself, but the intuited thought of death) which is the final operation of time and annuls the sense of youth by the very means that it is produced. As my passage says, "renters the inarticulate dream of youth..."

The excess can be then differentiated as a species of hope, the "vital power" mentioned in the last paragraph of mine, as the passivity which underlies consciousness and engenders the human agency to decompose and recompose relations within the order of time. This vital power, the underlying passivity of consciousness, is the unreflected component of love. Now instead of speaking of love we can speak of this passivity, we can submit it to this same process, and so on. Identities can be solidified philosophically, as youth and death, while at the same time keeping the circle of thought opened, for we can reproduce the excess ad infinitum in new series of conceptual oppositions. In other words an ontology can be produced, a philosophy of identities and beings, while still freeing the epistemic subject and human agent[the knowing being, me and you] from the limitations of this ontology, so that it can be reified in terminology that is not ontological, materialist, reductionist. That means a non-ontological morality is possible and a non-metaphysical ontology is possible.



This method has the power to revitalize philosophy in its entirety, both the project of being, ontology, and the project of the good, morality, while at the same time sublimating them in a new pursuit, a new branch of philosophy, the daemonic philosophy which has as its goal the equating of real and ideal ego, the differentiation of the excess underlying the ego or self itself, the complete philosophical elaboration of the human subject, and claims as its domain the transcendental good, speculative ethics, etc. My new morality concerns the self's relating to itself, but this philosophical method could be used to define a classical morality of the self's relating to others, just as well. I would like it to be utilized for all three goals, ontology, classical morality, and speculative ethics/the defining of the transcendental good.



I'll do what I can, but I cannot possibly rewrite the entire history of philosophy alone. That is why I must focus on the third goal there. But the great thing is that anyone can use this method... It is an actual pattern of thought, a thoughtform. The method itself is essentially an Anti-dialectic. I created it through examination of human psychology, which I identify as "daemonic" in nature. In my view all philosophy, by utilizing dialectics, has been in conflict with human nature and the way human consciousness itself operates, that is, daemonically. I had to create a way of thinking that was compatible with the logic of the daemonic. The self, exploded into a series of conceptional oppositions, must orient itself within them. Dialectics identifies the negative form of a conception and integrates them in a third term, supposedly a process that leads to the absolute but which really continually disorients the self: they are integrated in the third term through the mediation of the absolute within the antithetic relationship. The excess is no longer apprehended, in fact philosophers soon stopped realizing that there was in fact an unreflected, unconceived, component in every concept. The only way dialectics can work is by assuming that a concept contains what it is about, that the concept of love contains the experience of love, that there is no excess, there is no component of self-consciousness which exceeds the capacity of dialectic absorption into the absolute. Eriugena was vital to me in realizing this shortcoming of conventional philosophical reason and in seeing beyond it. As I write about him in my thread on Eriugena:

Eriugena shared a conception of God with Spinoza, God as a primordial substance with infinite attributes. For Eriugena this implied that anything that could be said about God was true, considered from different modes in which these attributes might be said to be or not be. The very fact that an idea can be clearly articulated indicates its truth. Again, only the individuating and decomposing force of the human intellect is responsible for see things in a negative designation, as non-entity, non-existence. Here we have the first glimmering of a speculative ethics. He says that the amount of interpretations of the bible is like the innumerable colors in a peacock's tail, that knowledge is infinite, and he delights in this idea. This perspective also contains the richest conception of the the inner disunion within the self, the "inner wound" within it that divides it into an ego and non-ego, a particular individual personality and the world. Eriugena transfers this disuinion of individual existence to the divine substance itself, dividing that substance into natura, through the categories of being and non-being, analgous to the finite and infinite which express themselves through man's inherent disuinion, constituting the four divisions of nature. Body and mind are not united, nor opposed, for him.... bodily existence and passion is one mode of the infinte substance, thought is another, their relation expressing at first the metaxy within the individual between the finite and infinite, mortal and immortal soul, and then the one in which the substance is expressed as natura, as nobeing and being, perishable world and imperishable God.

... For Eriugena, a passion is the finite and mutable revelation of the eternal aspect of a thought, a thought is the infinite and immutable revelation of the finite aspect of a passion. That is his concept of theophany. Goodness consists in following through the series of theophanies to the final mode of being, in completely realizing the eternal thought in the passions and the finite passion in thought, in other words, it consists in philosophy.

For Eriugena, the Absolute is an immanent reality which gives rise to the agency of human thought but which cannot be contained by that thought. In every passion and concept there is then what I call an excess: philosophy consists in the clarification of ideas, in drawing from out of them that excess, an absolute which cannot be integrated in a dialectical system via mediation.

Imagine my surprise upon finding out that all philosophical thought has been destructive, in fact in contradiction with, the actual way in which the human consciousness operates.

 

___________
A sik þau trûðu


Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Theses on philosophical method.   Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:06 pm

I have been spending a lot of time thinking on this. I am going to offer some of my own perspectives and interpretations.


Parodites wrote:
I want to summarize my philosophical method here and provide an example of it in action. I will do so with a series of theses.









----------
In wonder all philosophy began, in wonder it ends. ... But the first wonder is the offspring of ignorance, the last is the parent of adoration.
- Coleridge.



-------------------------------




Theses on philosophical method.





-------------------------------




1.

Greece- early, pre-Platonic Greece found its reason in the structure of the cosmos and of nature themselves, this structure was the logos, which was reflected in human consciousness, and drawn inward through the activity of an unreflected egoic principle to form the first great philosophical ideas. Thus philosophy always begins in a passive state of reflection or wonder for the Greeks. This process constitutes "empirical reason." Later there was proposed a transcendent, unknowable, divine order in distinction to the order of nature. The venture of this divine order corresponds with a structural incapacity in self-consciousness itself, to that unreflected, egoic principle, for in time it leads to an inseparable division in the subjective and empirical philosophical systems. Reason thereafter became the aim of resolving this problem, of extinguishing this unreflected principle by bringing it into reflected self-consciousness; its appointed task was in hypostasizing human experience and the content of subjectivity as absolute. To do this reason had to decompose the relations of the cosmic and natural orders, recomposing its object within the structure of subjectivity to realize its “idea.” This "idealism" finds its beginning in Plato, and constitutes the beginning stage of "transcendental reason." The project of denaturalizing nature and man there also began. The drawing inward of nature is the principle of the former empirical reason, the projection of the human being, in the manner of Feuerbach, of the later.

Transcendental reason is marked by three major philosophical developments: in Eriugena human nature and the nature of the divinity are equated, in Schelling the inner lack or structural incapacity of self-consciousness is itself expressed to the divinity, and the unfathomable ground of the divine is discerned as non-entity and nothingness, God himself carrying this lack in potentia and man expressing it in actuality as evil, and in Kierkegaard the structure of the divine is itself collapsed, necessitating the leap of faith in order to sustain transcendental consciousness and religious experience. Nietzsche expresses the final development in empirical reason, the idea of the world itself is, in him, finally reflected in human consciousness as the will to power- man is at last “naturalized.” The full field of discourse between these two modes of reason must be discerned, so that the valuing subject beneath and behind all philosophy and morality can itself be discerned, for it seems to me that philosophy itself, constituted by a secret canon, forms a kind of plane in which the thinking subject takes form; a plane constituted by the relation between the empirical and transcendental spheres of self-consciousness.

Yes, valuing is indeed situated astride these two 'worlds', empirical and transcendental; to the former we can attribute rote perception, relatively simple cognitions, basic logic of deduction and induction, to the latter we can attribute imagination, religiosity, art. Intentionality, or what is commonly thought of as volition would emerge from the former sphere's activity passing through the latter. Logos, like philosophical reason, sits astride these, mediating them; philosophical reason then seen as a further development of logos, or logos itself as an initial, early stage of philosophy, languages themselves then as arrested, "frozen" forms of philosophy (which is to say "inter-spheric" (of consciousness) mediation). Thus what we have also called the self-valuing subject is, for man, this being-astride two worlds, this uniting and drawing-together of the empirical and transcendental consciousness'. Or rather: The valuing subject is what arises "naturally" from the daemonic interplay of human consciousness, whereas the self-valuing subject, properly speaking, is that which arises able not only to act daemonically but to situate itself deliberately within this daemonic, to cultivate its daemonism. To re-interpret its own excess (which is the genesis for its own daemonic expression) back within this daemonism itself.

Quote :
As it stands, these two spheres of thought have been finally separated. Empirical reason has abandoned speculative philosophy and become impotent, materialist, and empty, while transcendental reason, by way of Kierkegaard, has been annihilated in the image of the hidden God and has hypostatized mystical experience as the ultimate philosophical category: the Gods of Greece became the God of Abraham, the antagonism constitutive of the self was grasped as an abyss and inner longing for something other, for something higher than the world. This dissolution of philosophy has had the consequence of completely dissolving man's consciousness of the excess, of the unreflected principle beneath and within all thought.

Yes, absolutely. We see the consequences of this everywhere, all around us and at all times. This dissolution more than anything probably defines modern man.


Quote :
From this knowledge the path to a revitalized philosophy can be discovered. Instead of beginning with identity, with ousia, with being and the question of being, as the first philosophers had done in Greece, a mistake which gave rise to the dissolution of philosophy into what I called empirical and transcendental reason, we should begin with the "excess," that which cannot be absorbed dialectically. This leads to a reversal of the ontic and epistemic spheres. The excess does not signify noumenal reality, does not signify the ontic reality, the ousia or being which cannot be comprehended by thought, but rather does the excess signify the inexhaustible mental component of the human intellect which is constitutive of that intellect and of our consciousness. This component is given precedence, rather than the ontic. In other words, the epistemic subject comes before the ontic subject. Heidegger's project must then be abandoned, which relied on the primordiality and precedence of the ontic subject, dasein.

I can see within Heidegger the possibility that such an abandonment may instead take the form of refinement: Heidegger's Dasein is, in a way, already an attempt at a reversal of the ontic and the epistemic, but in an early or simpler manner of trying to situate the empirical more accurately within the ontological. For man the ontic is always-already epistemic; this is not to say that man is not also always-already an ontological being composed of ontic "facts" or "true conditions" (of which man is often unaware), but that what is man, what it means to be man (i.e. to be a more or less self-conscious, self-valuing being) is to be epistemic "first" (this is the seat from which man's subjectivity grows) and ontological "second" (since any ontical properties are necessarily, from the perspective of man's subjectivity, always-already passed through the epistemic being).

The reversal of the ontic and epistemic serves as a useful method for philosophy, it is an improvement upon Heidegger's "chronological equating" of the two within each other: because we deliberately situate the epistemic primarily we are able to get to the level of man himself, rather than man's "being" or otherwise ontic (and thus, for man, for us, secondary or subsequent) reality. In essence, this re-orients philosophy onto man, but without displacing his position within the larger context/s of ontical reality/his 'historical world/s'.

Quote :
2.

The capacity to differentiate and articulate the excess through conceptual oppositions I have named the daemonic. These conceptual oppositions are not exclusive, and are potentially infinite. Kierkegaard's project must here be abandoned, which relied on the exhaustablity of the epistemic subject and the construction of several definite stages or conceptual oppositons and an either/or choice between them. That element of volition, of having to make a choice, a leap of faith, made the ontic subject once again the first order or primordial subject, as the will is a being and not an epistemic entity.

Interestingly it seems that this sort of faith is a necessary postulate of an assumed exhaustable subject. Rather where the subject is presumed inexhaustible this sort of faith is no longer required; instead it is almost as if the "divine" approaches man through a similar sort of "faith". I wonder if this might lead the way toward a further development of the logic of the transcendental.


Quote :
3.

Identities, "beings," are merely "remainders" of the excess. Contra Spinoza's determinatio est negatio. All identification here becomes differentiation, of the excess. Thought cannot therefor be "totalized," ie. constructed into an image of the world as a whole, ie. a system in the manner of Hegel or Spinoza himself. Schelling had a similar conception:


"There is an unfathomable basis of reality in things, the remaineder that cannot be contained, cannot be resolved into reason by the greatest exertion but remains in the depths. Out of that which lacks understand, true understanding is born."


The dialectic which rests at the heart of Eriugena's magnum opus, which he uses to construct a division of nature or periphyseon, recapitulates Dionysisus's Christian version of the Proclean scheme of procession, return, and remaining (prohodos, epistrophe, mone.) According to that dialectic the super-essential cause of all things (God) moves through all things as immanent to them and stands beyond them as trascendent of them. As cause, the divine is all in all- and so addressed, metaphorically, by kataphatic theology; but as super-essential, the divine is nothing in the midst of everything (a Pascalian meditation, though here applied not only to man but to the divinity itself) and so is more properly addressed by negative or apophatic theology. This dialectic of immanence and transcendence is intended to express the basic foundation of incomprehesibility which underlies the divine and all forms of mystic knowledge.

In the book of Job, God attempted to vindicate himself by listing all of his creations and the breadth of the universe; mountains, seas, stars, animals, etc. For Eriugena God is always the God of Job who reveals himself in the whirlwind of created things and realizes himself both as many and as no one in and through this. The polyonymous anonymity and nothingness of the human reflects perfectly (because it reflects abyssally) the polyonymous anonymity of the divine insofar as both the human and god would realize themselves in and through the creation.
The basic idea here is that man approaches so closely the divine, that the two become indistinguishable; the polynomous nothingness of the human reflects, abyssally, that of God himself.

In other words, that being for whom its own self-apprehension, its own self-being or the form of its existing-as-such is an inexhaustability, an inability to become exhausted. For "God" this would be the necessary co-occurring of God's imminence, his infinitude; for man this inexhaustability is a consequence of man's "historicity", the receding nature of being, the remainder (what you name excess, that which cannot be dialectically synthesized).

Quote :
We see that this unabsorbable excess does not lie in the ontic dimension, as a question of being, but rather lies immanently within the thinking subject itself, constitutive of its very subjectivity. Schelling names this excess "Will," in opposition to ousia or entity, being, nature.

Yes, this excess is not ousia, as you say, but is rather of man, of the inexhaustible subject (man, "Dasein") and of "God" (the presumed infinitude imminent to all finitude). Man is a being defined entirely by the fact that the form of his existence is that of an essential excess, an inescapable "remainder" or a fleeing/receding of being (man can never totally capture, comprehend, understand, unite that which is "being" for him, that from which and by which he emerges as he is).

This then entirely justifies the move to make the epistemic sphere primary to the ontic sphere. A proper ontology then is that study of being which emerges from this now re-situated relation between the epistemic and ontic.


Quote :
"Will is primordial being, and all predicates apply to it alone- groundlessness, eternity, independence of time, self-affirmation, self creation. The old proposition is here once again in place: the original being is will, and will is not merely the beginning but also the content of the first emergent being."

You see in this passage he is articulating a very similar logic of immanence-transcendence... "not merely the beginning but content of the first emergent being."

I also read this as: "will" is what we call that moment in which the inexhaustable subject is born, conceived into the world. Will signifies the difference between mere ousia and episteme, subject in the sense which we might also call a "conscious self-valuing". This is because, until this type of subject is born, being remains essentially 'exhaustable' (dialectically synthesizable) within itself.


Quote :
Schelling continues: "Any philosophy which does not remain grounded in the negative but tries instead to reach what is positive immediately and without that negative foundation will inevitably die of spiritual impovershment. " This is also hinted at by Luther when he speaks of the power of God being even in the hand of a murderer. "The freedom with which the sinner operates and by which evil is perpetrated is still a divine power. Man has perverted the position of the potencies, and so god operates perversely in the perverse, he no longer acts as will but unwill." This perverting quality at the basis of man's freedom, this indwelling of the evil principle as the principle of negation, even in the profoundest desire to do right, I express in one of my own theological speculations: "By desiring something we have not fist completely emptied from out of our own heart, and repudiated from the dark and selfish principle within ourselves, which by its nature assimilates all things to itself, we destroy it. " This all points again and again to the knowledge that this evil principle indwells totally in human freedom, and engulfs even the most selfless desire to do good: it produces in those who have born its revelation what Hamann calls a "Holy Hypochondria." In short, this evil principle, the principle of negation, of the unfreedom of the will, of material, etc. is rather a positive affirmation of human freedom, not a refutation of it.

Yes, this negative possibility is equally the possibility of (human) freedom. Much of the problems in the modern world, much of the cause of man's present despair and destitude is an implicit prioritizing of the positive expression of truth over the negative expression of it. In this preference the possibility for real (philosophic, or "spiritual") freedom is severely degraded.

Quote :
Schelling goes on to construct his own division of nature on this scheme: from the primal will or groundlessness issues first, darkness, suffering, irrationality, evil; the whole material and created world of forces and chaos. He speaks of it in this passage "For it was the teaching of all peoples who counted time by nights that the night is the most primordial of things. But what is the essence of night, if not lack, need, and longing? For this night is the nature looking forward to the light, the night longing for it, eagre to receive it. Another image of that first nature, whose whole essence is desire and passion, appears in the consuming fire which so to speak is itself nothing, is in essence only a hunger drawing everything into itself."

He goes on next to assert that the second "potency" as he calls it, or thing issued from out of the primordial ground, is light; that is, rationality, goodness, the other side of human freedom. His third potency he calls love, it is the realization of human freedom as including both this dark and light principle, evil and goodness; freedom as this double movement itself which is accomplished as love.

But compare Eriugena's dialectic with this three-fold potency. I interpret these potencies with this dialectic; the darkness and evil of the suffering, material universe, as the principle of all negation, issues from the primordial ground (the super-essential cause) but the light, goodness, rationality of human subjectivity, and freedom- that element of positivity, returns to this primordial ground through the process of thought and philosophy, submerging itself within it, and finally we have mone or the remaining, what remains unincorporated into this dialectical process and cannot be annihilated in the primordial ground.


Schelling's Naturphilosophie stood as a great testament to the depth of the transcendental mode of reason, but was never completely developed, owing to its insurmountable philosophical inadequacies. Yet the philosophical concept of the excess can find great material for its articulation in Schelling, as it can in Eriugena and Kierkegaard.

In this sense, God does not exist until man does; the excess in which God finds its meaning and truth is only made possible through the human inexhaustability which breeds its own essential excess. This is indeed an anti-dialectic method and development, one that really gathers all that is dialectical into two "meta-dialectical theses" (those of the emprical and the transcendental, finite and infinite, man and god) but only "synthesizes them" to the degree that they cannot help but remain essentially unsynthesized, incomplete within each other. The excess which results from this incompletion then is the basic or first principle upon which this entire movement rests. And of course even the supposedly dialectical theses themselves, as summational progressions, are rather composed of lesser excesses which are "rounded off" as "remainders" (as you say, identities), psychological elements.

I wonder if we are talking then about two different sort of excess, the excess of the otherwise dialectic (partial) syntheses of the empirical or transcendental spheres "themselves", the "ontological", and the excess of the daemonic subject, the epistemic sphere in which empirical and transcendental combine (again, partially, not-completely). Instead of excess, then, perhaps partiality is the theoretical primary principle at work here; maybe it is the partial, or rather the impossibility of the impartial/total that is what underlies or substantiates the excess. I suppose excess is just another word for partial, here.


Quote :
4.

Identities can be rigidly defined without solidifying a single conceptual opposition, insofar as the logic of the daemonic is upheld, that is to say, insofar as precedence is granted to the epistemic rather than ontic subject, in line with the first thesis. This gives us the possibility of ontology without metaphysic, that is, a philosophy in which the epistemic subject is wholly developed through continuous differentiation of the excess, resulting in the production of identities (ontologies) which do not require any antithesis for their definition. They stand in and of themselves as identities and are pure affirmations rather than negations. In all philosophy to define, as Spinoza said, was to negate: to say that something was an angel meant it was not a man. But in my philosophy, identities are what is left over after the excess is differentiated within a conceptual opposition: they are ontic realities produced by the philosophical elaboration of the epistemic subject. In other words, and to use the simple example again, in my philosophy "angel" and "man" would both be self-sufficient realities and parts of a conceptual opposition within which the excess is differentiated. Once that excess is differentiated as one or the other, say a man, this leads to the breaking through to simply a new series of conceptual oppositions, perhaps man and beast, within which the excess is differentiated again. Because identities do not require negation in order to be defined, the ontology constructed with my method cannot devolve into metaphysics. The formula would here be antithesis-thesis-thesis, ie. conceptual opposition- differentiation- excess. This is obviously very different than a dialectic and the thesis-antithesis-synthesis formula. Here I am revising and appropriating things I gathered from Eriugena and Proclus:


" ... Presentiments of a philosophical category which could represent these relations between real and ideal ego, along with this moral potency; which could represent a kind of relationship which stands beyond all dialectic, can be found for example in the Proclean scheme of procession, return, and remaining, of prohodos, epistrophe, and mone. This dialectic demonstrates that God, conceived of as the super-essential cause of all things, moves through all things as immanent to them and stands beyond them as transcendent of them. This dialectic of immanence and transcendence is intended to express the basic foundation of knowledge which cannot be grasped, that unincorporated concept which underlies the divine and all forms of mystic knowledge, of negative and apophatic theology. Moreover, this principle of the unincorporated object of thought reveals a structural relationship between the aspects of divine immanence and transcendence which it is the goal of the theologian to discover, (Eriguena made this the subject of his Periphyseon) insofar as God does not only reveal himself as something that acts upon the world, but also as something that acts within and through the world. "


Nietzsche's project must here be abandoned, which used the ontic subject (the will) to break completely past the epistemic sphere.

But if we understand will as simply that moment forward from which an epistemic subject is born into the world, we can re-situate Nietzsche's project (but probably not save it). Rather: this calls for what Fixed Cross and I have been trying to do by substantiating the will to power principle through valuing logic, by re-thinking the nature of will as valuing, and by re-thinking of power as effective valuing.


Your notion of pure affirmative identities, identities/beings which are not negations, these would be the products of an anti-dialectics, which is just to say the products of how consciousness in fact operates (daemonically). These identities are not necessarily, in themselves negations, but of course through various combinations, additions and subtractions under the development of a dialectical-synthetic method these identities become "stained" or colored with the negative: the negative gets bound-up within them, they become confused for their (arbitrary, subsequent) negative qualities. Thus the daemonic is also a way to free identities, beings from this falsely being bound-up within the arbitrary negative.

I'm going to stop there for now; tackling the rest of this will take time. But I would like to continue the discussion of transcendental goods, and of the possibility of a fully explicated daemonism contra "mystical transcendence" and union within the divine-ideal image (and whether the former really affords a possible escape from the dissolution of the self which is the clear effect of the latter). I.e., what would a fully explicated daemonism look like?

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful
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PostSubject: Life / Being   Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:30 pm

I want to understand this better. The writing is rich, it is in its scope and implication impossible to enclose, even after several times reading through.

But this is the point of the philosophy, to de-limit, to dis-enclose, "Aletheia" as "Entbergen", un-forget.

There are two projects on this site; value ontology and your philosophy. The both of them reveal human being in terms of its limitlessness - that is, they both clarify the fact that a proper intellectual definition of this being must and can only point to what it can not encompass by this definition. We have reversed the function of the definition. To create space for understanding, and experience, conscious being, being as consciousness, where prior to this juncture definitions have been attempts to limit man as being, to destroy mans connection with the unfinalizable.

Both our means point to the same possibility, which is only a neutralization of the stance toward being, the end to the antagonism of the intellect and its ground.

Man has sought to neutralize his being, and devised to this end the final negative consequence of his positive existence. Now we see, for the first time, this effort head on. It seems absurd, and we seem to float strangely free - no rather stand freely on ground where history floats, bound in/as a bubble, untouchable/inscrutable by virtue of its vacuity.
Even "heaviness" is redefined, meaning now not inertia as static but as but potential, the invitation to dance -
We can abandon all enmity.

A philosophical gravitation - the daemonic and value ontology insert into the human mind a center of gravity and a structural access to the potential thereof.
There has never been a center of gravity to cognition. There was only a grid, a center-less space to colonize independent territories, of no consequence but the passing of time. I don't know why this comes to pass now, but suddenly a shape is possible, a crux has been added to the playing field -
it can only be because man is become strong enough to bear the truth of his being, where before he had the narrative of his life.

Not only is consciousness reconciled with animal, but life is reconciled with being. All of this has to be done in one stroke, because otherwise, when the equation is correct but incomplete, it fails to de-limit and limits, to such notions as "God" or "Natural Law".


 

___________
" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides
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PostSubject: Re: Theses on philosophical method.   Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:15 am

Indeed, no such center of gravity has been found yet.





My philosophy is essentially concerned with fusing and reconciling "immanent" and "transcendent" ethics.


What is an immanent ethics? Think Spinoza, Schelling, Nietzsche.


As Deleuze said about Spinoza, he believed neither in courage or faith but in joy and vision. He proposed a substance with infinite attributes, an inner plane, and defined- in accordance with that, the basis of moral valuation as determining the mode in which attributes are given to this internal, infinite substance. Bad is any mode of life that would lead to an "inadequate idea."

" “What is
the mode of existence of the person who utters a given proposition?” asks Nietzsche, “What mode
of existence is needed in order to be able to utter it?
Rather than “judging” actions and thoughts
by appealing to transcendent or universal values, one “evaluates” them by determining the mode
of existence that serves as their principle. A pluralistic method of explanation by immanent modes
of existence is in this way made to replace the recourse to transcendent values: in Spinoza and
Nietzsche, the transcendent moral opposition (between Good and Evil) is replaced an immanent
ethical difference (between noble and base modes of existence, in Nietzsche; or between passive and
active affections, in Spinoza)."


Transcendent ethics? Think Kierkegaard, Eriugena, etc. An ethics that appeals to the absolute, to something that exceeds the boundary of subjective, lived existence, and makes use of transcendent conceptual oppositions- good and evil, necessity and freedom, etc.



The immanent qualities in human nature, in man himself and in his human powers, and the transcendent objects (God, eternity, etc.) toward which these powers are directed and, in being so directed, take on true shape and articulation.... these two sets have never been united. This problem is the problem of the West, it is the Occident itself. The Asiatic philosophies are all immanent moralities, there is very little transcendence in them. In the west have both practices been cultivated and their pregnant disparity finally become enunciable. I am so enunciating it. Only with such a morality can a true philosophic conception of what exactly "man" is be arrived at.


The immanent ethic originated out of what I call empirical reason, with the pre-Platonic Greeks, and the transcendent morality was fully realized with the Abrahamic religions. Nietzsche finalized the immanent morality, Kierkegaard finalized the transcendent one, and Kierk. was foreshadowed by Schelling and Eriugena. Of course there are many rungs in that ladder, but I have isolated those three main ones. I am more or less reconstructing the history of philosophy with my conception of the self as a daemonic being as a heuristic principle, and formalizing all of it in accordance to the paradigm of immanence and transcendence.

 

___________
A sik þau trûðu


Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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