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PostSubject: Nagel   Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:24 pm

This guy seems to get closer than any other modern thinker. He has framed the problem but is unable to see the way forward, because he is unable to see what limits are imposed by his implicit forms of thinking and feeling; his errors too must be educated, not simply his insights, and this goes for humanity in general, of course.

Quote :

"If we could arrive at it [a new philosophy of mind], it
would render transparent the relation between mental and physical, not directly, but through the
transparency of their common relation to something that is not merely either of them. Neither
the mental nor the physical point of view will do for this purpose. The mental will not do
because it simply leaves out the physiology, and has no room for it. The physical will not do
because while it includes the behavioral and functional manifestations of the mental, this doesnt,
in view of the falsity of conceptual reductionism, enable it to reach to the mental concepts
themselves. The right point of view would be one which, contrary to present conceptual
possibilities, included both subjectivity and spatiotemporal structure from the outset, all its
descriptions implying both these things at once, so that it would describe inner states and their
functional relations to behavior and to one another from the phenomenological inside and the
physiological outside simultaneously -- not in parallel. The mental and physiological concepts
and their reference to this same inner phenomenon would then be seen as secondary and each
partial in its grasp of the phenomenon: Each would be seen as referring to something that
extends beyond its grounds of application." [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Only by grasping the basic construction of consciousness, rationally, in the concepts, which means elevating conception to a whole new level and over-flying a historical mass of erroneous half-ideas and misinformation, not only of the mind but especially of the heart too, can such a "philosophy of mind" be achieved. This would require taking cognizance of an adequate quantity of man's prior errors, his past and present illusions, and it would require a way of dealing with our experiences which, as Parodites says, speaks of the good in the same language as it speaks of the true. A new ethics is a new thought, a new philosophy. Deleuze knew not to trust the "common sense" or the "doxa" which we are presented with; every poet and every artist knows something similar if only on a pre-philosophical level. Nietzsche may not have gone as far as Deleuze but he certainly vindicated the old ideas, the old openness before the vast mystery of the self, and his attacks on Christianity may be seen in this light.

 

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"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: Re: Nagel   Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:24 pm

Quote :
But we cannot
see how a detailed account of what is going on in the brain could exhaustively explain the taste
of a cigar -- not even if we could see how it explained all the physical effects of such an
experience. So long as this explanatory gap remains, the identification of the states remains
problematic. This does seem to call for some revision in our way of conceiving of mind, or matter, or
both. The difficulty is to do this without denying what is in front of your nose. What we need is
not a reductionist or eliminative revision but an expansionist one. By this I mean a conception
that will permit subjective points of view to have an objective physical character in themselves.
The reason such an expansion does not seem to me out of the question is that it doesnt involve a
contradiction with the essential nature of subjective experience.


He identifies this crucial point here at the end only because, for whatever reason, he remains somewhat independent of the intellectual morass and depravity which is the general state of modern philosophy. He has yet to break through, to begin forming his own ideas, of constructing what for him would be the precursors to truth, to a new mode of living, to a new philosophical conception, but at least he recognizes the inadequacy of everything else thus-far created by his modern brethren. The worship of scientific method itself must fall, must be broken down in the image of greater truth, of reality, and in terms of our created human ideas, before the real work can begin.

 

___________
"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: Re: Nagel   Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:25 pm

In point of fact, this claim, "The mental will not do because it simply leaves out the physiology, and has no room for it", is false in the sense that 'the mental' is not incapable of grasping the essence and causal root of the physiological; while the physiological, the body, the instinctive necessity and accident, is indeed unable to ascend to the level of the mental, of thought, of the ideas in Plato's meaning of them, the reason ideation, or rather "subjectivity" has failed to capture the physiological is because that physiology is unnecessary for it, not because the mind is inadequate to the physical. The dualism inherent to this view that sees the mental and physical as so problematic to each other is only a partial dualism, one not properly thought through- even the dualism itself has its duality, which is rather its unity, or to be more precise, is the fact that while consciousness is the divisive, analytic act it is also the completing, synthetic one, and life itself, matter itself rather animate or not partakes of this process and dual/ singularizing nature which, after all, we have named here otherwise as self-valuing.

Once thought can be expanded and deepened to the point it may include abstractions of the logic and laws adequate to explain the modes by which the various "physical" and "non-physical" aspects of the self relate to one another, in reality and not merely in some ideal construct, philosophy will be on the right footing again. There is a latent irreversibility to consciousness of which Kitaro spoke, a partiality that biases subjectivity: the base may not ascend to that which emerges from it, in opposition to it, yet that higher element cannot help but look back upon all that had engendered it, as principle and law, as limit. This goes beyond Kitaro's revision of Kant, and is indeed why form ascends as per the Platonic ideas, to the eternal and universal, because every progressive derivation and aggregation of form is likewise a new development of limitation, delimiting substance further and further into existence, creating more and more reality.

Reason is not separate from reality, reason is a concentration of reality that captures, focuses and extends reality's effect. Reason too by knowing this, knows itself, or at least by intimating it succeeds in intimating something of itself, generating something of a time-dependent and irreversible ontic substance, a "self"; a summative perspective. "Philosophy of mind", so called, would need to begin here, with this basic insight, in order to avoid the embarrassing mistakes, crudeness and psychological distractions that currently occupy it. The philosopher must again discover that he has a soul, he must find some way to orient himself to that which is beyond himself, in thought and deed, to the end of giving birth to new, more radiant passions in which the old, tired, and erroneous substances of his nature may finally be absolved.

 

___________
"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: Re: Nagel   Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:23 am

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I've been looking forward to reading Nagel's "The View from Nowhere when I can get it.


 

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Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself.


Philosophy is the childhood of the intellect, and a culture that tries to skip it will never grow up."


"If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped."

Thomas Nagel
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