'Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth.'
 
HomeCalendarFAQSearchMemberlistRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Nishida Kitaro

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Thrasymachus
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 3599
Join date : 2011-11-03
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:24 am

Kitaro was a Japanese philosopher who developed an original and new take on consciousness. He provides an idea of consciousness as fundamentally active, creative and divided within itself, and he locates this consciousness teleologically, in its own world-historical conditionality and its potency for "active self-determination" as both an expression of this world and an expression of itself. We can see how his ideas work well within both Parodites' theory of daemonic consciousness as well as within value ontology:


“I hold that the self is consciously active when it is interactive, and its interactivity is constituted in a dialectic of mutual negation and affirmation of self and other. Self and other, subject and object, are constituted in the individual acts of existential consciousness. These acts are self-originating and yet co-originating, too, as forms of dynamic, reciprocal expression. It is in this structure of biconditional, interexpressive, mutual revealment of self and other that an individual act is an individual act.”

“[The biological world] exhibits this principle of self-expression; it reflects itself within itself. I articulate this difference [between the biological and the physical worlds] by defining the biological world as a self-transforming matrix moving from the formed to the forming, through the dynamic transactions of organism and environment. The organic realm constitutes a world that exists and moves through itself in this way. It is a process of infinite transformation through the dynamic equilibrium of organism and environment—that is, contains its own self-negation and self-affirmation within itself. This self-vectorial process constitutes the direction of time . . . The biological world thus has the form of a contradictory identity, possessing its own organic centers within itself and infinitely determining itself in and through these centers.”


He divorces space from time, space being the dimension of immanence, time being the dimension of transcendence; space being the realm of simultaneous existence, time being the realm of successive existence. The physical world is essentially the spatial world, while the biological world is the temporal world. Time is reversible in the physical world, while time is irreversible in the living, biological world.


The “absolute contradictory” identity of the self involves the contradiction between “the many and the one”. The self, attempting to reconcile its biological element with its physical element (its world and socio-history) is thrown into the contradiction between the many (the physical world of reversible time and distinct entities existing in space) and the one (the biological world of irreversible time and unique self-expressing entities existing in time). Human acts express themselves, the biological self-identity from which they arose, but they also express the world, and therefore through human consciousness the world exhibits “both a spatial and a temporal character”... “As an order of simultaneous existence it appears as a form of self-negation, and yet it is infinitely occurring in its temporality. Affirming itself in its temporality, it transcends its own spatial character by being a creative transformation.” The temporal unity of the biological being across time, from the perishing of one spatial moment to the next, gives this living being its creative-transformative character; even as it is always perishing, it is also always being reborn. And it is out of these "biological centers" vectoring together through time which the conscious self emerges as the self-expression of the operations of these centers and by their continuity in the world.



This leads into a perspective that is at basic not unlike Parodites’ daemonic consciousness: “In human consciousness the world is bottomlessly self-determining and creative, a transformational process which has the form of the contradictory identity of space and time. I refer to this self-forming, creative world as the self-determination of the absolute present. I hold that it is only in this dynamic form of contradictory identity that we can truly conceive something that moves by itself and is self-conscious.” And as he continues, we can see how this also adopts and moves into a perspective along the lines of what value ontology proposes: “The dynamic reciprocity of objective and subjective dimensions comprising the act of humanly conscious expression is monadological in this existential sense. It is unintelligible as the mere action and reaction of physical objects (that is, grammatical subjects in the framework of theoretical judgment). It must be the expression of a self-determining and self-conscious act that simultaneously reflects the world as a unique perspective of the world. When I say that the conscious active individual exists in a structure of dynamic expression, I mean precisely this. That I am consciously active means that I determine myself by expressing the world in myself. I am an expressive monad of the world. I transform the world into my own subjectivity. The world that, in its objectivity, opposes me is transformed and grasped symbolically in the forms of my own subjectivity.”


We see how he arrives at what we have called self-valuing. He also situates this self-valuing within the larger “objective” world that in its physical dimension (its spatiality) both opposes and also conditions the valuing self. From the vantage of the world itself, human-like consciousness’ are created in order to give the world greater expression and depth, to (re-)interpret the world constantly in terms of a dimension which is foreign to the physical world itself, the dimension of the organic, of irreversible, unique and absolute time. The active consciousness expresses the world through itself while it is expressing itself through itself; the contradiction of the one and the many, subject and objects. Both the world and the self-consciousness take on a contradictory character: the world takes on the character of temporality, which is otherwise entirely foreign to it, while the self-consciousness takes on the form of spatiality, of simultaneous physical existence, which is foreign to the temporal condition of the self.



Kitaro grounds religion in the idea of God, God being the principle by which these two contradictions may meet each other, may enter into relation. Human experience of the eternal is grounded in our understanding of eternal death, of our eventual absolute death, and in this eternal life is also born at the same moment as this understanding.


Also, because, against Kant’s transcendental forms of the understanding, “content without form is blind, form without content is empty” he locates a principle of conscious growth and over-growing progression to higher forms and orders of experience. He grounds this in thinking. The “thinking subject” arises as a representation of the essential contradiction of the self, as that which “cannot become an object of itself”. The self makes objects of its experiences, but it cannot make object of itself, it cannot self-grasp and self-identify because its objectification and identification is situated in a reciprocal biconditional relation that can never become resolved or “grounded”; this irreconcilability, this juxtaposing into contrast of incommensurate elements of conscious experience is what we call "thinking". The absolute time of the self-determining act is also an absolutely divided moment, space which cannot be entirely moved into the dimension of temporality, time which cannot entirely be translated into the dimension of spatiality. Kitaro therefore defines the thinking subject in this negative definition, as that part of the active consciousness which is unable to be made object of by objectifying consciousness itself. But this purely negative definition does not suffice for him, and he wishes to proceed with a positive designation, wherein he finds a principle of conscious expansion: “We can say that the self exists as the point where that which cannot become an object in one dimension becomes an object in another dimension—perhaps some higher dimension”. This is indeed profound. Although he does not seem to draw the furthest implications from this, he locates a principle by which the self, trapped within its own impossibility for self-objectification and self-knowledge, is thrown at the junctures of this subjective interruption into alternate dimensions, from space to time, from time to space. From one purview within conscious expression to another, as the form of this expression shifts from one moment to the next. Where the conscious self meets an impassable wall it does not halt, but rather some aspect of its experience re-configures and escapes toward a new dimension of expression, it is thrust into itself again, endlessly, into a new avenue of its own self-expression, shifting from one dimension to another where necessary. The negative condition of the self, its irreconcilable contradiction is also therefore understood to be also the condition of this progressive expansion of consciousness, its continual transformation into what which it presently is-not. “Transpositional logic” is what Kitaro calls the logic of this contradictory consciousness existing as time within space, as space across time; objects within a subject, a subject as objects; and the thinking self which lies at the junction between the need for objectification and the threshold of impossibility of self-objectification. And all this takes place within the temporal field of meaning of human world-history which gives rise to the possible forms in which conscious acts take shape. The biological is always partially physical-spatial, but more so it is always noetic, teleological, dynamically reciprocal with its objects and cast outside of time... "Self-conscious being pertains to noetic self-determination. Our conscious being has meaning in this framework. Each conscious act appears as a self-contradictory center of the noetic field of predicates. Reflection is nothing other than the self-reflection of the noetic field within itself. Our conscious acts are grounded in such a standpoint. That is the basis on which we are self-conscious and moral."

The wider "noetic field" being that out of which individual organic self-determining centers rise and take shape, are colored with character and meaning. The irreconcilability of this self-determining active consciousness takes place within a wider noetic-teleological stage of human world-historical meaning, and is in fact, according to Kitaro, nothing but a particular manifestation of this field at a given point within it. "It is in the historical world-time of the absolute present that the monads form the individual expressions of the world. They are both self-originating and co-originating in the matrix of the absolute present. Our own activities as microcosms of the world may be thought to constitute unique events in world-time while simultaneously representing the Ideas as the world's self-negation (that is, self-expression) in world-space. Our activities thereby acquire universality and value. Conversely, the Ideas, as the world's own expressions and values, entail a negation of negation: they are affirmative, actual, self-forming, and at the very least always have moral significance. That is why our activities in the historical world are always, and in various senses, both ideal and actual. The self-conscious world of each individual human self is a self-determining monadic world; but as such, each self is a self-expression of the historical world. Therefore each self-conscious world is a momentary vector of historical world-space, which mediates its own objective self-determination within itself, and infinitely determines itself through its own process of self-expression."

Kitaro succeeds as developing a rational understanding of the basic structure of consciousness and of the structure of this consciousness' mutually-conditioning relations to the world, both to the physical world of objects as well as to the human history-world of ideas, values and meaning.



 

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

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




Last edited by Capable on Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile Online
Thrasymachus
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 3599
Join date : 2011-11-03
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:00 pm

Further to the above:

"All life arises from the fact that it transforms itself by containing its own self-expression within itself. It is first biological and instinctive in a spatially-predominant way—that is, it possesses itself as a form of self-negation. It becomes historical life as it becomes concrete in a temporal dimension—as a self-affirming form within a transforming matrix. In historical life there is always this dialectic of affirmative and negative: the former is the material world, the latter the world of consciousness, in the transpositional structure of the contradictory identity of matter and form . . . I articulate the world of consciousness, which phenomenology defines in terms of intentionality, as the self-determination of the temporal dimension of the world, having this transformative structure of the identity of contradiction. Life-structures that contain the perspectives of the world within themselves, as structures of the world's own expression, may be regarded as instinctual in the predominantly spatial sense, but as conscious acts in their temporal character. Again, they are self-conscious structures in that they are co-originating expressions of the world . . . Reason itself is nothing other than a self-determination of the temporal dimension that always has the character of being a predicate that cannot be subject. We are rational in the self-determining predicate, or universal. Reason functions intentionally, as something temporally, consciously, and immanently enfolding the grammatical subject—that is, the object—and as having its own self-immanent telos."


I am amazed I had never hard of this guy before, I just stumbled upon a little book of his yesterday in a used book store.

 

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

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz


Back to top Go down
View user profile Online
Fixed Cross
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 4153
Join date : 2011-11-09
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:13 pm

This is gold.

In itself this thinking is beyond my criticism, it is the noblest sort of philosophy, the philosophy capable of naturally coupling action to meaning. Even as a psychological tool alone, as a gateway to engage the world in the certainty of acting meaningfully, this should quickly make itself indispensable to anyone seeking his way out of nihilism. As philosophy, it is of course natural to the concept of self-disclosing Dasein in an "epoch of truth", or historical world, and its use of contradiction connects both to Parodites and to Hegel, carries an explosive meaning. And it does indeed arrive at delineating self-valuing. But what is present in these fragments does not penetrate the "form" of self valuing to arrive at its logical core. Not that this is necessary, as it arrives at the reality of it on its own terms, but placing the two logics next to each other I do arrive at a question.

The temporal character of the biological stands opposed to the reversible time of the material/spatial world -- I see this. But where does the biological take root? At which level of physics can we speak of biology, and irreversible time?

I can see that on the level of organisms, time is irreversible, and the self-valuing reaches the type of activity that literally engages values (the contradicting, arena of judgment and creation, shaped by the particular local context of the historical world, and in the degree of its locality, a self-determining, center of the world), and that in the material, spatial world, processes are interchangeable (elements, universals), and time is reversible. Please correct me if I am wrong. My question is: how would the atomic world, in reversible time, arrive at the organic world, if there was not the seed of a telos in the particular structure of the material world that leads to the eruption of life?

What I mean to indicate is that Kitaro identifies self-valuing at the most basic level of value, that is, contradiction/reflection. But is it not also the case that an atom exists within the world as its own contradiction? Does not the atom consist of the same tension between temporality and spatiality, namely as the negation of entropy, which is "the world" on a non-historical level?



 

___________
" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Thrasymachus
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 3599
Join date : 2011-11-03
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:45 pm

It may be the case that Kitaro's being unaware of quantum physics explains this. I have yet to read more of his writing, but I agree with the sense in which you frame this idea. We know from physics that matter is also wave-energy, that all particle-material is in fact a more or less localized wave-form distributed across a finite quantity of space-time. Within this quantity, energy is "non-local", outside of this quantity or wave-field the energy may behave as if it were local, as if it were a "solid lump of mass". In otherwords, Heisenberg might be the answer to your question, and perhaps modern physics contains the answer as to how the self-valuing core already exists in potentia within all matter, in the logics of the distribution of particle-energy across a finite region of "space and time", which is to say, across another dimension or matrix of energetic-physical existence.

So the question indeed remains, how does life initially arise, how does the explosion of the temporal dimension occur from the otherwise "balanced" state of atomic matter? Some sort of basic form of self-reflectivity seems to be needed, this material energy must arrange into a form which acquires memory, the ability to store past affect. This would give rise to a deepening historical record within the form, which, if the form is configured properly, which is to say into a type able to become naturally-selective, an organism may be born.

All very theoretical, of course. But you are right, physical material does indeed seem to contain this self-valuing potential, even if by self-valuing we understand what Kitaro speaks of with respect to the self-expression of the active and contradictory consciousness placed within a world-environment. This model might be "collapsed" at the level of pre-organic matter, into a basically one-dimensional expres​sion(a least-sufficiency of space-time expression) that more or less acts "atomically", linearly, or rather "reversibly" with respect to sequential existence (time). In otherwords, nothing is "stored" from past force-affect which fundamentally alters the potential of the next moment to alter, change or influence that which was previously affected. If we posit 1) that atomic, "linear" matter is a collapsed form of the temporal-expansivity exhibited by organic forms of matter, that the finite wave-field relations of this atomic matter constitutes a more or less "stable" system which nonetheless attains to its own basic and adequate expression as a space-time 'vector' engaging with/in larger and wider space-time matrices, and that 2) somehow this matter is able to accidentally configure itself into a molecular form capable of storing some degree of force-affect encountered in such a way that this storage does not destory the molecular form but does change the way in which it now interacts with all successively-encountered force-affect, we might arrive at the birth of the naturally-selective material form, the organism, the basic or smallest unit of "life". From here, evolution begins via the continual procession of natural selection of these basic forms, through random accidental change (as we know to be the case with genetic mutation), and we arrive at Darwin.

I will continue to read Kitaro and see if he has more to say on this.




 

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

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




Last edited by Capable on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile Online
Thrasymachus
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 3599
Join date : 2011-11-03
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:04 pm

So basically, maybe it is just the case of material becoming sub-divided enough, becoming subtle enough and "internally cavernous" with respect to potentiality for the absorbtion of encountered energy (this might be what takes place as matter is transformed into increasingly "heavy" molecular forms, such as occurs within stars, and then ejected out into the universe at the star's demise) so that this material is able to encounter force-affect in such a way that neither the material itself nor the encountered material/force is annihilated or totally absorbed within the other. This would be a continual refinement of the capacity for force-affective encounter within increasingly heavy, dense and molecularly complex matter.

Also, it may be the case that certain elements, such as for instance carbon, exist in such a way that they are able to contribute to this "internally cavernous" nature. A certain element, produced within a star and then released later upon the universe, may contain a form which gives rise to the possibility for these to organize together in a certain way so as to allow this organized-form to generate the possibility for this subtlety or internal-differentiation of force-affective encounter. In otherwords, the birth of the naturally-selective entity.


Edit: I agree that thus far in my reading of him Kitaro does not locate the valuing logic, the self-valuing core as we do, which is to say, existentially in addition to epistemically. His is a first-order derivation of value-logic from the most salient perspective able to observe it: our own experience of the nature and character of human consciousness.

 

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

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




Last edited by Capable on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile Online
Fixed Cross
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 4153
Join date : 2011-11-09
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:02 pm

"Internally cavernous" - exactly.
Consider the way a fertilized human cell divides itself into itself first, to form basic geometrical "archetypes", beginning with vescia piscis, which can be seen as a sort of "cavern" which the multiplies for a few phases, until the cell reaches a sufficient level of self-division (cavernous depth) and subtlety/responsiveness, for it to begin to expand outward.

Originally this sort of process must obviously have occurred for the first time, without a living parent -- this self-division while remaining self-enclosed has at one point given shape to itself, in the face of "the world" instead of as enclosed in a living structure. It's hard to grasp how this has been "institutionalized", but we might try to see how genitor and progeny have grown towards each other, from a random encounter in which a particular circumstance in the dead universe gave birth to something like a cell, which existed for a moment without procreating and died, to a condition where the generating condition is integrated/reflected in the structure of the cell to such a point that the cell becomes a phasing of its own generative condition, and we have life.

To take this internal cavernous-ness as a standard for the capacity to self-determine opens a window to see why for example psychoanalysis can work in reconditioning the self to itself, deepen it, make it more independent, and also what precisely the artist is doing when he explores his own depths. He is actualizing the conditions of his will by 'explicating his internal geometry'. In the case of a good artist, this explication also serves to actualize the will of the involved spectator.

And, to set out one more tangent, I'll recklessly state that we can perhaps observe "the threshold of impossibility of self-objectification" in combination with the activity that pushes this threshold, as the sort of limits we understand as "geometrical law", or generative necessity.



 

___________
" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides


Last edited by Fixed Cross on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Fixed Cross
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 4153
Join date : 2011-11-09
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:39 pm

Kitaro's writing here reminds me of what I have until now understood as the "zen of action" (in which in particular sitting, zazen, is considered action, active being), which my memory attributes to a Japanese thinker, Dogen. Feeling that such associations might produce useful ideas as likely as they might not, I googled this name and, reading through the first article linked, I found to my surprise that the text involves Heideggers notion of different types of time. The text here, which is about Dogen and not by him, is far less meaningful than Kitaro's text; it's not philosophical, rather mystical and chaotic and doesn't really deserve to be linked here, to except that the connection Dogen/Heidegger makes sense to me in terms of what Kitaro explains.

http://www.zenki.com/index.php?lang=en&page=Masunaga04

The central point being the nature of action, the nature of the subjects attachment to action in relation to its meaning and consequences to further subjectivty.

For good measure, here's also the entire text of Dogens most famous book, in which no doubt a couple of pearls can be found amidst the moral meandering, if one were inclined to sift through it.

http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/Shobogenzo.pdf










 

___________
" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Fixed Cross
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 4153
Join date : 2011-11-09
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:41 pm

An expansive space implodes into a cross mapping of two expansive spaces, with a dynamic threshold of their possibility, overlapping into impossibility, as their extension of their body in the 'other'. I'm freewheeling somewhat, these thresholds aren't necessarily the same as the ones Kitaro discusses, but like the word 'excess', this term irresistibly invites association with encountered forms.

We can see in the final picture that the embryo takes shape - as a self-enclosed divergence of circles, attaining to a solid, a harmony, a spatial-temporal stability, a body. This self-valuing is built, after the model of another. But how is the building done by the builder? It is not a complicated operation, at root. We can see that, since our concept of atoms already attains a circular/spherical/elliptic grammar in its most rigid, archaic form, the more 'advanced' (in emergent historical time, or time-becoming-historical), 'civilizations of particles' entertain themselves with a wider array of circular forms and intercircular consequences.

Circulation as circumference of identity, interference of circumferences resonate with identity, polarize/depolarize. Valuing is separated from self-valuing by the space between the core and the outward bound, and this space is filled in as form, life, history, language, finally philosophy where the inner circularity is completed to attain to a greater circumference and a new set of challenges. Philosophy aspires over and over to a greater epoch of truth, and when the final epoch is completed, the child is ready to be born.

The child of philosophy is the World. The World doesn't yet exist, in worldly terms - the world has to be born to itself. This means that enough men have to be born not into the world, but toward the World, as completing meaningful action equals/mirrors giving birth. More meaningful actions must be performed. And as we now know, any action becomes meaningful, when it is complete from the beginning.





 

___________
" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Thrasymachus
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 3599
Join date : 2011-11-03
Location : Will to Power

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:35 pm

Further to the above, "Reason itself is nothing other than a self-determination of the temporal dimension that always has the character of being a predicate that cannot be subject. We are rational in the self-determining predicate, or universal." and regarding the logic of the predicate:


"...the nature of the self is rational as the self-determination of the predicate plane itself. The subject's self-autonomy is then definable by Kant's formula that it follows the moral law for its own sake. I say that, however, when conceived of in these merely formal terms, the self remains the self-determination of a merely abstract universal -- the self of no person and yet the self of any person. A self that merely follows the maxim of duty for duty's sake does not possess any unique individuality or reality of its own. It would merely be an abstract being. The conscious activity of such a formal will would have no concrete meaning, for from it nothing particular or individual could emerge.

"I say, therefore, that there can be no real activity in merely transcendental terms. The moral imperative here amounts to something like thinking idealistically. There is no account of concrete decision, the form of real experience in which the conscious self negates itself, and already transcends itself. That is why I maintain that only when the self's act is seen as a vector of the creative historical world can it be real conscious activity. From this creative historical standpoint, even to think consciously is a formative vector of the world. The practical self that concretely decides is not merely rational in the transcendental sense. It exists by being able not to follow the moral law for its own sake!"


Here we see a nice augmentation of Kant. Kant's ideas serve as a ground that, when further developed as Kitaro does above, leads to a view that is very friendly with value ontology: the self is constructed out of its capacity to self-negate, which means to contain within itself its own self-negating possibilities and abilities, to "suppress" and "redirect" but also to build and create, to forge anew and to cause to perish; this capacity is not only required with respect to the "spatial" dimension, which Kitaro ties to the instinctual development within/of the world, nor only also to the temporal dimension as well, which relates to the historical content of this spatiality, its consistency across time, its "self-determination" within a historical plane, but even to the capacity of the subject to follow its own necessary moral law. The moral law as Kant identifies it is a recognition of the idea of the rational self-consistency of consciousness, what value ontology would designate as consistent self-valuing, holding oneself as a standard of value and a departure-point for valuations. But as Kitaro points out, this alone is inadequate to explain the "real activity" of conscious acts, or conscious subjects, because real actions in the real world, and not merely abstract ideas of such events, cannot ever be accounted for in entirely transcendental, "purely rational" terms. This discrepancy is why Kant's ethical ideal is often criticized as inhuman and unrealistic. But this critique does not invalidate Kant's notion rather it serves merely to point us in the direction of further developing the logic of this idea, a direction which Kitaro takes up and elaborates on.

Put again into the language of value ontology: the self-valuing entity deliberately distorts its self-valuing, causing it to remain imperfect, in order to gain a more nuanced and open, dimensional way to relate to itself, to become more dynamically capable of conceiving itself in, as and through its valuations. A early "perfect" self-valuing would consequently be highly 'linear', rigid and would probably quickly perish as soon as it encountered a minor change in its environment. But by self-distorting being gains the ability to self-value more broadly and to introduce into its valuations a depth of error that engenders a wider vantage of possibility and "softer" points of encounter with the conditions to which it is subject. This is self-valuing that self-values "better" because it self-values less "precisely"; we reach here the "necessity of error", another limit within the subject.



Conscious acts therefore, being situated in the 'real world' and unable to move from merely transcendental impulses, can never emerge from nor be explained by an appeal only to the transcendental; and yet this appeal is the rational-moral ground of the subject's own self-consciousness, it is its ethical possibility-as-such to comprehend this transcendentality of its own nature and as mandatory to/for it. The fact that subjects conceive of their own ethical possibility in purely abstract terms and yet are fated to act out this possibility within a real, non-abstract environment, an environment unable to be adequately interpreted within pure abstraction, is a deeper form of the self-negation that Kitaro speaks of. This sort of self-consciousness is only possible because it is a consciousness not only become able to formulate its own ethical (teleological, rational) possibility but also because it has to some sufficient degree become able to act without regard to this possibility, in order to sustain the possibility of acting within the world.


The proper question at this point would be: what is such an act, what is its structure, how and why does it emerge? We might start by saying that conscious acts are ethical or not only in part, and never fully, in so far as they are acted out within the "real world", which is to say through the body and rather not only through the mind. Or we could say that physical-bodily activity is inadequate to translate the essence of a purely abstract, transcendental reason and its impulse. To act ethically is impossible because the body (and world) through which we (re-)act is itself not in any way ethical. Therefore the actions of an ethical-rational consciousness are "doomed" to be merely imperfect reflections of a more perfectly ethical-rational "will" and mind/idea. To close this gap is not possible because the body and world cannot be brought into the purely abstract and rational sphere of the mind (or I would also say, to use Parodites' terms here, because the epistemic subjectivity cannot entirely draw within itself the ontic subjectivity; even if the epistemic subject succeeds in drawing fully within itself the ontological, the ontic itself remains outside and immune to a reverse operation, for it can never become rational, it can never lose its "merely arbitrary" status to become rational-conscious). Therefore two possibilities unfold: 1) We conclude that ethical activity is not possible, or that such activity is only imperfectly possible, being an incomplete expression of the actual "moral law" (Kant's term), or 2) no such moral law in itself actually exists, the idea of such a law is merely a distortion and a logical error. The law is a mental heuristic and conscious principle of necessity or development, nothing more.


I believe that value ontology can provide an answer here. Subjects self-value with respect to what they are, more or less accurately, and generate values which are reflections of their own structurality. These values compete with those of other self-valuing subjects, and eventually certain agreements are reached between subjects sufficiently similar in scope and power. To act with respect to the necessity of one's own self-valuing is the moral law of consciousness; to act with respect to the agreements between subjects is the law of consciousness governing its interactions with other subjects, i.e. holding itself in existence secondarily, socially and politically. Kitaro's "pure abstract transcendentality" which represents the activity of the conscious will's "universality" only means that such a "will" is acting to some meaningful degree without respect to particularized objects, without respect to real or actual conditions/demands of the physical world. Abstract thinking is "universal" in the sense, as Kitaro points out, that it can be applied both "to anyone and to no one", but also that it cannot be applied "in fact", for facticity here means just that transcendental abstraction has become arrested in favor of a myopic particularizing. According to value ontology, this would be an example of a self-valuing entity producing valuations that are logical reflections of the structure of its own valuing-possibility without translating these into a language of power; power here meaning with respect to (social, political) interactions, to those changes and affects one is able to produce outside of oneself and the changes and affects from outside oneself which one is able to resist. Values that are "pure universal" transcendentals are powerless in the sense of world-power, because they are not expressions of the world but are rather expressions of the negation of the world, are representative of the pure-structurality of subjects, of that from which the "self-expressions of the world" emerge vectorally. This circumscribes a limit around reason and around the world both. These values would instead be "pure self-valuations" and would remain entirely "powerless" at the level of world-influence until they have subsequently become translated into some language of world-power (and such a translation is inevitably imperfect and partial).

To expect philosophy to change the world is naive just as it is naive to expect the world to become ethical. One becomes ethical precisely at the point where one has become not-world, has become a proper negation of the world and of world-power (world-logic). Philosophy does not change the world, philosophy constructs new worlds of its own making, worlds which are reflections of itself, of the actual living, conscious being. But these philosophic worlds, in elaborating subjects and inevitably leading to many new translations of the languages of world-power, do end up exerting tremendous indirect influence on the world; whatever changes directly a subject's own subjectivity will of course eventually produce remifications and ripples of change in the worlds of which these subjects are partial constructions and creative-productive components.

This serves to better highlight the gap between the subject who is "a vector of the world's self-expression moving through the world" and the world itself, that which is moved through. This gap cannot be "bridged" and can only be expressed as a measurement, after some manner of interpretation, a translation from one side to the other (here we find Parodites' daemonic consciousness). The actual human historical world is a consequent of innumerable such partial translations, and philosophy will continue to merely indirectly and imperfectly shape the world until philosophy has succeeded in producing an entirely new subjectivity-consciousness, a new sort of people and sociality-demos, at which point we will be able to say that the old world has not changed but rather has fallen away, been replaced by a new sort of world re-made in the image of philosophy, of active-creative and lived self-consciousness (i.e. of truth).


 

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

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz


Back to top Go down
View user profile Online
Parodites
Tower
Tower
avatar

Posts : 753
Join date : 2011-12-11

PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:19 pm

He is right to identify absolute contradiction as the point of departure for a genuine theory of self-consciousness. But I see some flaws in his approach.




Contradiction refers to an excess that is already reflective, that has been delimited by thought, that has been cleaved from a kind of continuous nature, such as causality. This is the excess found in nature, or in the dividing cell: in reality there is no such division, but only a continuously encompassing entity, which we arbitrarily sub-section and conjoin. In this, we can imagine the point of generation within the cell only as the absolute which is slowly embodied by the cell through a mediation of oppositions, through affirmation and negation: apoptosis and cancer, division and fusion, inner and outer, membrane and pore, etc.

Antagony, or the Greek agon, signifies an excess that is pre-reflective, not yet reflected in an object of thought. Pascalian dis-union of the subject also comes to mind. Here the cell continuously transcends its own limit, so that the human being emerges as the fruit of a long succession of de-limitations of one basic substance. This is the old Aristotelian concept. Or, the cell may be seen to contain immanently the typus of the human being, which can only be revealed by the continuous incorporation and appropriation of new substances. This is the modern view informed by genetics. This is the immanent-transcendent conception. When these two views mutually inform one another in an indissoluble complex, we have what is called paradox.


But we still do not have in any of this an excess that is neither after reflection as a contradiction or before reflection as an agon or Nietzschean struggle-- we need an excess that, rather, serves as a category of reflection. A category in the Aristotelian sense: just as Aristotle's categories inform the horizon of being, so the categories of reflection inform the possible horizons of thought. Relevant passages on the excess as categorical thinking:






"To take what I have already said about the historical development of the self, one must admit that the "Parnasus Ad Gradum" which leads from the primitive self to the Greek self, psuche pasa, as that immortal soul which could not bear the wastes of eternity without the sensuality and beauty of a physical incarnation, which it must after all take with it into the world beyond, to the political self of Aristotle, to that self of the Augustianian confessions, is both a long and a frightening one. Originating as a way in which to correct the disintegration of man's originary nature, something that can apprehend the variances in drive and emotion, between internal states, that can comprehend them and itself as something enduring throughout them had to be produced. Two inner states were reified in an abstraction in which their discontiguity, their variance, their difference, could be comprehended. This is the beginning of the spiritualization of man and world, and the development of the "self." Those abstractions in which man grasped the transformations and difference between his emotional states, granted him more and more consciousness of his "selfhood." Self-consciousness here is seen, not as a thin growth upon the deeper subconscious, but as an instrument that is submerged in the subconscious for the purpose of its subordination and organization. Contrast is the basis of our consciousness. There is no consciousness without the separation of mental phenomena and sense impression into opposition, oppositions which must be reified in some abstraction that makes us conscious of the variance between two inner states, a condition which, grasped psycho-existentially, I call the daemonic. The derivation of self-consciousness would have been psychologically painful at first because all the drives responsible for the survival of man, as the most fundamental and apparent, had to serve as the first to be placed in opposition to one another. Death rituals that celebrated life, mass suicides, cannibalism, death orgies, pain festivals. All of this was necessary. It formed the first social connections beyond hunter-gathers, ie. religious connections, as well as helped develop self-consciousness. The failed abstractions, the values that proved suicidal or ended up leading to death, obviously we don't know of. The failed cultures to which they belonged never lived long enough to write their own history books. But there is an extensive history which we have no knowledge of which details such failed cultures, the forgotten madness of our species, and much self-imposed torture. " -- Till Hope Creates, On Greek and Christian Man.









" 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..." -- Hamartia, The Psychological Principle of the Daemonic.



" The expectant disquietude of self-consciousness articulates itself through the co-extension of these two principles, establishing first a relationship between the ego and the world, (the condition of original tragic man) then a relationship by which the ego aims to confront and affirm itself in face of the world, (which is the condition of Hamlet, of modern tragic man) then a relationship by which the ego, affirmed, grasping itself as absolute, longs for an absolute, (religious suffering) and finally the relationship between real and ideal ego, out of which philosophy is born. The life of the self is a continual ascent and descent through these different modes of existence, a continuous articulation between these two different spheres. Giordano Bruno regarded the self in this way, namely as a kind of expectant disquietude which must continuously articulate itself amidst opposing forces; between the ego and non-ego, freedom and necessity, spirit and flesh, in his concept of love. In love's attempt to spiritualize itself, to overcome finitude, the limitation of bodily existence, mortality, and necessity, it is deceived by the image of beauty and falls only into sensuousness, in which its spiritual ecstasy is annihilated. Thus love is committed to a cyclic process of ascent toward the spiritual and descent into sensuality, which Bruno calls the heroic frenzies. Through love, it is as though the seed of the eternal takes root in time, the seed of the spirit takes root in flesh; the attempt love makes to make itself spirit is not paired to a desire, for desire is already directed toward beauty, nor to a state of inebriation, but rather to the disunion within the lover himself, which expresses itself not through a synthesis of the contrary forces which war within him, but through a continual division of these forces into objective relations between freedom and necessity, truth and beauty, spirit and flesh. " -- Hamartia, The Psychological Principle of the Daemonic.




" One must distinguish the act of recollection from that of mere memory. The poetry of recollection, the genuine pleasure in it, lies in embracing ones own works and deeds, in taking responsibility for them and in recognizing the past as truly constitutive of one's personality. How is such a thing accomplished? That would be a great piece of knowledge with which to bless our youthfulness, for in this lies the passion and the beauty of old age. The man who recollects absolutely is infinitely creative; absolute recollection opens unto a future in which an endless host of eventualities, be they comic or tragic, mingle inseparably. For the man who possesses an absolute power of recollection possesses also the absolute power of synthesis, since in fact recollection is a synthesis, and is capable of bringing to light only memories that have been integrated into a totality as self-consciousness: it is itself the production of self-consciousness. Yet, the more one recollects, the more this synthesis is allowed to bring forth, the more transformations this self-consciousness undergoes, and thus the more difficult it becomes to recollect, since the self must re-orient itself within the totality. In fact, however, each of us constitutes such an impossible power, insofar as we love: hence the wisdom of the ancients, that philosophy begins in love, in Eros, and that all knowledge is recollection. Love, rather it is inspired by truth or by a woman, grants us the opportunity to bathe once again in that primevous spring, that from which the self first emerged in its paucity and which, now fully enlarged, it must return into, which is to say it invigorates the daemonic, the inner disproportion of man, to resolve itself. The man in love wants to call up from within himself his whole life, in order to relate it to the loved one, he wants to translate all of his self-consciousness into consciousness of the beloved, just as the philosopher wishes to relate all knowledge to truth, and this absolute synthesis engenders the thought of some future at once absolutely vague and absolutely distinct, in which this love is somehow consummated, or in the case of the philosopher, the thought of some truth at once absolutely distinct and absolutely indistinct, in which all ideas are conjoined in their preternatural unity, in a totality, be it in the vein of Spinoza or Hegel. But the synthesis being carried out within us, which has now become an excess, an infinitely productive power, at last rises up against to meet this future, and cannot embrace it, so that the totalizing procedure of thought becomes an operation which introduces ceaseless differentiation into the inner life. It can here do one of two things: either it rejects this future as alien and hostile to it, becomes mere vagary, uncommitted to anything but itself, and realizes itself in its sensuality and temporal aspect, or it equates itself to it, it equates itself to this vague and yet distinct hope for the eternal and the true, it becomes that hope and matures into philosophy. Sensual love is merely the negative expression of the excess, an excess that can only communicate itself destructively, because it desires to communicate the infinite root of the self and the procreative synthesis; ideal love is the positive expression of the excess, which is capable of concretizing its language because it has restricted itself to the expression of the finite dimension which it occupies in relation to the excess outside of it, the eternal. The pathos of the former is the genius of artists, sometimes called melancholy, while the pathos of the later is that of "philosophy." -- Hamartia, The Psychological Principle of the Daemonic.


" That excess which lies at the heart of the subject, as that remaining element of desire in all love which, above all, seeks to permeate time with the image of the eternal, in actuality corresponds with an excess which remains and must remain outside the subject, the beloved: the daemonic aims to draw the image of the world inward and for this reason desire, instead of being extinguished in time and reposing as mere abstraction in eternity and totality, instead remains within the order of time to take ceaseless consciousness of itself, to take ceaseless consciousness of that element of the external, limiting factor which it has succeeding in drawing inward, thereby recognizing itself as an excess. Even beginning with something as concrete as love for its point of departure, thought must awaken to an image of the world which in fact poses a limit to one's humanity, and is thoroughly unknowable, though thought may have become vigorous and living itself in the process. To this unknown order belongs every true idea: the philosophical ideas are so many symbols of human incomprehension, exiguity, and fault, and to think, which means to take living consciousness of an idea, represents of itself an atonement and confession. Protracted thought has as its end the kenotic, complete division of the inner life of the individual into respective ideas. The point of departure which genius therefor claims for itself is quite irrelevant: in actuality every passion is the prophet of a more general humanity, and thought will reach its end regardless of its beginning, so long as that beginning is firm. At bottom, both the philosopher and the poet do no more than cry out to the wilderness though, while the poet deplores the fact that the wilderness provides no answer to him, for the philosopher it is not what the wilderness says that matters, but the wilderness itself. The same vain and bestial cry then, which in the mouth of the poet becomes the accusation of temporality, death, and falsity, becomes in the mouth of the philosopher the very qualification of truth." -- Hamartia, Ethos Anthropos Daemon.

 

___________
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
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Nishida Kitaro   

Back to top Go down
 
Nishida Kitaro
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Before The Light :: Crown :: Production-
Jump to: