Existentialism For Dummies

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:17 pm

Stuartp523 wrote:von Rivers, I no longer consider myself an existentialist (or a nihilist by the way), but there is a difference between existentialism and being (or declaring yourself as I once did) an existentialist. As Gamer was saying there is a freedom with existentialism that is very important and I agree with him that one doesn't have to study Sartre or any existentialist author to find the philosophy necessary for that freedom. It's not as if I tripped and found myself immersed in studying Being and Nothingness for over a year, it is because I was immediately drawn to it over several other books I sampled, for the very reason that I was headed in that direction one way or another, as Gamer was. And while I'm not overly familiar with the common use of the term "induction", from what I understand obe (in his response to you) is basically giving, in part, an explanation as to how existentialism provides this freedom.


Power to you, brethren.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:51 pm

Stuartp523 wrote:von Rivers, I no longer consider myself an existentialist (or a nihilist by the way...]



Gee, I'm sorry to lose you. But I don't suppose you would call me a "serious philosopher". Why? Just lucky I guess. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Gamer » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:03 pm

Von Rivers

I think the power of existentialism is that, for me, it's very logical and also normative. I don't see why turtlenecks and cafés etc is part of the deal. It certainly isn't for me. I think that was a coincidence of fashion and culture.

Whether it's kierkegaard or wittgenstein or david wallace, we can see that many bright people have felt the pang of loneliness, and that there was something intrinsic about this loneliness, baked in to the human condition. So lonely is this situation that concepts like "human condition" fall away, and you or only left your own condition, the only one you can be somewhat sure of. To be torn from your world and furthermore shown that it never existed and to be fully alone sucks. That's why existentialism is so baller. it gives you something to do.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Gamer » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:04 pm

Double post, but will also add that I'm aware there are some other answers to this problem, having to do with language and the intertwining of the "other" and "social structures" and the thing we experience as thought, and that logically we can't have thought without society, etc.

This never really did it for me, it just seems like a parlor trick. The key is to get busy choosing things.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:31 pm

von Rivers wrote:I don't really get what the big deal about existentialism is. First of all, there's almost nothing in common amongst the thinkers who are called existentialists. If there is, it's probably summed up nicely by the line Stuart mentioned, from Sartre I think, "existence preceedes essence". But really, what does that really mean? All it really seems to mean is that the best way to philosophize is from the ground upwards, AKA "inductively", rather than deductively from abstract principles.

I thought Sartre was going further than this, more or less denying determinism. (existence, not experience) That consciousness allowed the individual to go in any direction, rather than, say, character determining Destiny - with essence as character. I thought he was positing a kind of nothingness in being - consciousness - and that this allowed for freedom. Not absolute freedom, situations do constrain (and I presume he recognized that certain options, like flying through the sun, were beyond choice) - but that within the range of possible choices we were entirely free. Genes and Environment placing certain limits, but not determining.

This ends up potentially meaning that morals are reached inductively, though not necessarily, but yes, not deductively, unless, I suppose one chose to. But it seems like he was going beyond this.

As far as I can tell the existentialists took Husserl, and focused on the suffering and what they saw as the emptiness of everyday Life and its not presenting ultimate answers.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:10 am

Stuartp523 wrote:Speaking from the perspective that I am a dummy, then it is because I choose to be a dummy (why else would I have just implied I was one
Where did you imply you were a dummy?

) and I can be a dummy how ever I want, including being a self-enfacing intellectual. Now, speaking from the perspective that others are dummies, they are simply that and if we must even grant that they make choices (solipsism is impossible, but it doesn't mean everyone must exist to you as an existential being at all times, especially when they are a dummy) and have an essence then no doubt their essence will suffer. It doesn't matter whether someone is dead or not from the second perspective, we can judge them as we wish. From the first perspective they certainly can be a dummy even though they can always change there mind later.
We can judge them, but it would seem like Sartre was saying that this would be an ontological error.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:42 am

Moreno wrote:
von Rivers wrote:..."existence preceedes essence"....All it really seems to mean is that the best way to philosophize is from the ground upwards, AKA "inductively", rather than deductively from abstract principles.

I thought Sartre was going further than this, more or less denying determinism....That consciousness allowed the individual to go in any direction, rather than, say, character determining Destiny - with essence as character. I thought he was positing a kind of nothingness in being - consciousness - and that this allowed for freedom.


Two options: (...it seems to me, for making sense of Sartre)

1. When Sartre talks about how you're "condemned to be free," and so on, it could be that what he's really just saying is that you'll have to reason inductively about what you should do, or how you should live. There's no blueprint in the form of deductive principles or whatever. (Look to existence, your experience, gather the data, arrange it in an inductive case about doing one thing or another). ---What I said initially implies this, and it could be wrong.

2. But maybe, for Sartre, existence under-determines our lives in an even deeper sense. Do you remember his example of the young man who had to choose between going to fight the war against Hitler, or else to stay home and help/protect his mother? ---I think the gist of that example was that neither one of those options has any better justification than the other. IOW, existence has under-determined the choice to such an extent that you can't even reason inductively about it---or else you arrive at an incommensurability, or a stalemate whenever you do.

If #2 is what you're getting at, then yea, I can see that what I said initially doesn't really capture Sartre.

Side point: Most philosphers have denied determinism in one way or another. Immanuel Kant did---and he did it in a way that strikes me as VERY similar to Sartre. Kant thought that your self could be non-determined by the sensory world because its origin/home was in some unknowable realm. That sounds a bit like a "nothingness" in being, if being is the sensory world. (Kant's a good example of the "essence preceeds existence" camp, I'd guess).

As far as I can tell the existentialists took Husserl, and focused on the suffering and what they saw as the emptiness of everyday Life and its not presenting ultimate answers.
Sure. --Anyone tied to induction will not have much time for foundational principles, or ultimate answers, or whatever.

I'm not sure that Husserl (I mean, just phenomenological introspection), is really an aid to anything Sartre was saying, if what he was saying was something like #2. I think some people might be able to meditate themselves into a place where the don't care about anything... but usually, if you focus on a decision you have to make... really hard... there'll be some sort of desire there, maybe cloudy or shifting or conflicted, but there's not an emptiness or a "nothingness". And if there's not a nothingness there, then I don't think the options in your existence are actually under-determined.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:59 am

von Rivers wrote:
1. When Sartre talks about how you're "condemned to be free," and so on, it could be that what he's really just saying is that you'll have to reason inductively about what you should do, or how you should live. Look to existence, your experience, gather the data, arrange it in an inductive case about doing one thing or another.
I suppose the condemned to be free is not so much ontological but that there is no expert to answer our ethical questions, or perhaps more broadly than ethical, moral and even to some degree practical questions. How should I spend my time? for example.

2. But maybe, for Sartre, existence under-determines our lives in an even deeper sense. Do you remember his example of the young man who had to choose between going to fight the war against Hitler, or else to stay home and help/protect his mother? ---I think the gist of that example was that neither one of those options has any better justification than the other. IOW, existence has under-determined the choice to such an extent that you can't even reason inductively about it---or else you arrive at a stalemate whenever you do.
Don't remember it, only the waiter. But your take on the example seems fair.

If #2 is what you're getting at, then yea, I can see that what I said initially doesn't really capture Sartre.
I took Sartre to be positing a radical freedom, an ontological one that allows us to respond in various ways to what is determined. We, not being determined. Along the lines of what you said about Kant. I Think he actually coupled the for-itself with transcendence, but how I cannot remember. I do remember finding it odd. Kind of dehumanizing. I mean, i do understand the appeal of free will and how this would seem humanizing, but these Little dots of nothingness that can do anything (within physical laws) seems sort of empty, rather Buddhist, I now realize.

Sure. --Anyone tied to induction will not have much time for foundational principles, or ultimate answers, or whatever.

I'm not sure that Husserl (I mean, just phenomenological introspection), is really an aid to anything Sartre was saying, if what he was saying was something like #2. I think some people might be able to meditate themselves into a place where the don't care about anything... but usually, if you focus on a decision you have to make... really hard... there'll be some sort of desire there, maybe cloudy or shifting or conflicted, but there's not an emptiness or a "nothingness". And if there's not a nothingness there, then I don't think the options in your existence are actually under-determined.
I was thinking of the existentialists in general in relation to Husserl. Perhaps not Merleau Ponty - he seems more neutral. But that they investigated in somewhat husserlian ways the predicament, as they saw it, of the self in the World - I suppose I could have added 'post-Nietschze' - god is dead etc. Not that Reading Husserl would help one understand, particularly, what the existentialists thought Life was like, but more that he presented a tool, or really a kind of permission to focus in a certain way, and they used it to describe and explore.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:18 am

Moreno wrote:I suppose the condemned to be free is not so much ontological but that there is no expert to answer our ethical questions, or perhaps more broadly than ethical, moral and even to some degree practical questions. How should I spend my time? for example.
If you think Sartre is doing #2, then that's probably an ontological claim. There's no expert for a reason---namely, there's nothing for him to be an expert on.

I took Sartre to be positing a radical freedom, an ontological one that allows us to respond in various ways to what is determined. We, not being determined. Along the lines of what you said about Kant.
Well... that kind of thing is the natural attitude for most people, and treated like a self-evident truth by most philosophers. Maybe that's changing, I don't know...

I Think he actually coupled the for-itself with transcendence, but how I cannot remember. I do remember finding it odd. Kind of dehumanizing. I mean, i do understand the appeal of free will and how this would seem humanizing, but these Little dots of nothingness that can do anything (within physical laws) seems sort of empty, rather Buddhist, I now realize.
If existence preceeds essence, does it mean you can't have an essence? Maybe the "nothingness" part for Sartre was a nothingless like what's on a canvas, before you paint it.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:29 am

von Rivers wrote:If you think Sartre is doing #2, then that's probably an ontological claim. There's no expert for a reason---namely, there's nothing for him to be an expert on.
Agreed.

Well... that kind of thing is the natural attitude for most people, and treated like a self-evident truth by most philosophers. Maybe that's changing, I don't know...
That's true, but it seems to me Sartre tried to describe the mechanism or lack thereof in a focused way. It was not simply assumed. Perhaps a sign that it was losing it self-evidency.

If existence preceeds essence, does it mean you can't have an essence?
I believe that each choosing makes essence. You have no character, could kick the old lady or pick her up off the street. Whatevery you do makes essence, especially if this is regular. But still, you are free, even after a pattern. Essence is almost like a reputation. It really sounds rather odd when I describe it though I Think I am being fair to him.

Maybe the "nothingness" part for Sartre was a nothingless like what's on a canvas, before you paint it.
A good analogy I Think. Though the nothingness is still, in the next instant, blank again.

i sort of imagined it like a ghost in the machine - though without that phrase in mind. The machine gets built over time as choices are made by the ghost that could have done other things and made Another machine. I can't get at what he is saying with out a dualism, even if it is nothingness and being, and perhaps he was trying to avoid dualism by positing a mere gap in being - no new substance. The former however being us and thus such an Active non-substance.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Stuart » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:42 am

Moreno wrote:
Stuartp523 wrote:Speaking from the perspective that I am a dummy, then it is because I choose to be a dummy (why else would I have just implied I was one
Where did you imply you were a dummy?


I was speaking from the (hypothetical) perspective that I was a dummy, which inherently makes the implication, though I understand how redundant I'm being, but nowhere else outside of the above quote did I imply I was a dummy.

) and I can be a dummy how ever I want, including being a self-enfacing intellectual. Now, speaking from the perspective that others are dummies, they are simply that and if we must even grant that they make choices (solipsism is impossible, but it doesn't mean everyone must exist to you as an existential being at all times, especially when they are a dummy) and have an essence then no doubt their essence will suffer. It doesn't matter whether someone is dead or not from the second perspective, we can judge them as we wish. From the first perspective they certainly can be a dummy even though they can always change there mind later.
We can judge them, but it would seem like Sartre was saying that this would be an ontological error.


How so?
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Stuart » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:50 am

To understand Sartre you need to understand how it is he wrote that book. He has a way of constantly contradicting himself, then explaining the contradiction with another contradiction and that with another, essentially making a full circle and explaining one of the contradiction with the original contradiction. That explains itself why it is that I think I can explain Sartre in only a few pages, but always fail, because to explain even a small piece of his philosophy in a few pages is to appear as if I'm making a direct non-contradictory claim, which is self-defeating. That is why his book is so long while seemingly only containing a small amount of "philosophical material". For every point he makes (whether it be about his specific use of the term 'nothingness', bad faith, authenticity, being-in-the-world, being-for-others and freedom itself) he has to use that style of contradiction.

It is necessary because his philosophy is about more than all those semi-concrete points is about, what I can for lack of better words, call a new perspective. My understanding of that perspective is always fleeting, because it isn't what I'm used to. But, perhaps to give an insight into it let me give a response to the discussion going on in this thread about determinism. In the book itself (which is all that matters) Sartre never says what his view on determinism is, what he does do is show why it doesn't matter. We are equally free whether or not determinism exists and we are equally free whether or not we believe determinism exists. To even discuss determinism one must use a perspective antithetical to the one I have so much difficulty explaining. The term 'determinism' is loaded with cultural ideas; such as the idea that there was a world with differentiated objects for billions of years before human life emerged and that all events including the emergence of human life are due to causal principals. Then from their one only needs to ask if those causal principals allow some randomness. The only reason he even needed to mention determinism is to make it clear that he wasn't even speaking in that sphere of thought and for one other reason:

Some people confuse the idea that everything may be determined with the idea that certain determined things or events can always be known. If one believes that, then they are more susceptible to making choices in bad faith - based on the idea that what others are telling him to believe must be so, because they are already determined and known. But, everything one knows, one chooses to know - if one hears someone tell them something as if it were fact they can always choose to see it as fiction.

Think of it this way, if a powerful being knew the future of Earth for the next one hundred years and was outside of Earth and any influence on Earth then we would never know of him and it would be irrelevant if he wrote or let's say "carved" a prediction of the next hundred years on a material for which the act of carving can be dated. Then one hundred years later he came to Earth and let scientists date his prediction and verify it. The knowledge of that would take nothing from our freedom. In fact if he had been exerting control in various ways without our knowledge that would have taken nothing away from our freedom, in fact isn't that example the equivalent of saying that we are governed by forces we don't understand?

Perhaps one may laugh at that idea today, because we understand the laws of physics, but before the laws of physics were formulated people were in fact governed by forces they didn’t understand. But, I'm speaking in a historical context; a modern person who simply is so under-educated to have never heard of the laws of physics is also governed by forces he doesn't understand, but that only matters to him if he should do something stupid and later realize that it could have been avoided.

The issue that I still am unfamiliar with is how much this difficult to explain perspective that Sartre is using was influenced by Husserl's phenomenology and Heidegger in general. I was reading out of order, I read Sartre without knowing the historical contexts he was speaking from - anything about his influences. So just like Gamer discovered he knew about existentialism before he knew that the term applied to his knowledge, I have to wonder how many concepts from Sartre that I attempt to explain using my terminology already have readymade terms. Perhaps this difficult to explain perspective that he speaks from is actually called the phenomenological approach. Which refers to what Moreno was saying:

Moreno wrote:Not that Reading Husserl would help one understand, particularly, what the existentialists thought Life was like, but more that he presented a tool, or really a kind of permission to focus in a certain way, and they used it to describe and explore.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby turtle » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:02 pm

human existence has no essential meaning as far as the big picture.....the only real meaning is that there is none...
very pleasant thought...from the dummy
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:46 pm

Stuartp523 wrote:
I was speaking from the (hypothetical) perspective that I was a dummy, which inherently makes the implication, though I understand how redundant I'm being, but nowhere else outside of the above quote did I imply I was a dummy.
Ah, OK, I could have known that I suppose. I asked because it seemed like either you were melacholi or I had missed some part of a dialogue between you and me.


How so?
By seeing them as essence rather than 'something' that was not at all determined by past behavior.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby phyllo » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:52 pm

turtle wrote:human existence has no essential meaning as far as the big picture.....the only real meaning is that there is none...
very pleasant thought...from the dummy
Really?

Cause your posts give the impression that such a thought upsets you. You always seem to be looking for something.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby turtle » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:55 pm

phyllo wrote:
turtle wrote:human existence has no essential meaning as far as the big picture.....the only real meaning is that there is none...
very pleasant thought...from the dummy
Really?

Cause your posts give the impression that such a thought upsets you. You always seem to be looking for something.


of course my beliefs about reality upset me....now I need to find my way in a world without meaning...very upsetting...
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby phyllo » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:13 pm

If there was meaning then you would have to find it. And you would have to find the correct meaning when presented with various meanings.

In a world without meaning, there is nothing to find. That makes life much easier.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby turtle » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:15 pm

phyllo wrote:If there was meaning then you would have to find it. And you would have to find the correct meaning when presented with various meanings.

In a world without meaning, there is nothing to find. That makes life much easier.

what do you believe
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Duality » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:25 pm

phyllo wrote:In a world without meaning, there is nothing to find. That makes life much easier.


It makes life much easier, but not necessarily more pleasant, - or pleasing.


Not by a longshot. O:)
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby phyllo » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:24 pm

It makes life much easier, but not necessarily more pleasant, - or pleasing.


Not by a longshot. O:)
You cannot know that since you either live in a world which has meaning or you live in world without meaning. You have never experienced the other state and therefore you are unable to compare.

If you are comparing, then it is a reality compared to a fantasy.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Duality » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:10 pm

phyllo wrote:
It makes life much easier, but not necessarily more pleasant, - or pleasing.


Not by a longshot. O:)
You cannot know that since you either live in a world which has meaning or you live in world without meaning. You have never experienced the other state and therefore you are unable to compare.

If you are comparing, then it is a reality compared to a fantasy.



I wasn't really trying to compare. Why does meaning even matter when trying to evaluate pleasure or pleasantness?

I was just making the point that an easier life isn't necessarily equivalent, nor should be equated with the amount of pleasure or pleasantness that it provides. O:)
"A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof;but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that that we can see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that the opposite can not possibly be true." -R.L. Dabney

"Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they ever taste of pure and abiding pleasure." -Socrates
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Stuart » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:15 pm

Moreno wrote:By seeing them as essence rather than 'something' that was not at all determined by past behavior.


Generally speaking, to act in good faith one must give others essence as they must give everything else.

There is no "blank slate" freedom from past behavior. From the specific perspective Sartre's using the issue is only that one must know their past behavior for it to be something they can try to overcome, but by knowing it one isn't free from it, and if one doesn't know their past behavior then it is nothing and one can't overcome nothing. We aren't free from anything in reality or reality itself, we are only free to choose reality. But, once again I was speaking from a specific perspective; when I, personally, observe others I see them usually ignorant of reality and the past (the reality I choose to know), but still very much subjected to it.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:16 pm

Gamer wrote:Whether it's kierkegaard or wittgenstein or david wallace, we can see that many bright people have felt the pang of loneliness, and that there was something intrinsic about this loneliness, baked in to the human condition. So lonely is this situation that concepts like "human condition" fall away, and you or only left your own condition, the only one you can be somewhat sure of. To be torn from your world and furthermore shown that it never existed and to be fully alone sucks. That's why existentialism is so baller. it gives you something to do.


For schnitzel, homey. I think the best way to tie a knot around existentialists is by their descriptive work on actual human existence. The part where we disagree is about existentialism being either (1) logical, or (2) normative. Logic works by taken-for-granted rules, or laws, where proofs and things follow deductively from them. As for the normative side of things... well, how should you live if you're a existentialist? And why?
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:53 pm

Stuartp523 wrote:
Moreno wrote:By seeing them as essence rather than 'something' that was not at all determined by past behavior.


Generally speaking, to act in good faith one must give others essence as they must give everything else.

There is no "blank slate" freedom from past behavior. From the specific perspective Sartre's using the issue is only that one must know their past behavior for it to be something they can try to overcome, but by knowing it one isn't free from it, and if one doesn't know their past behavior then it is nothing and one can't overcome nothing. We aren't free from anything in reality or reality itself, we are only free to choose reality. But, once again I was speaking from a specific perspective; when I, personally, observe others I see them usually ignorant of reality and the past (the reality I choose to know), but still very much subjected to it.

I Think I tend to agree, I am just not sure that's what Sartre thought.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Gamer » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:32 pm

The part where we disagree is about existentialism being either (1) logical, or (2) normative. Logic works by taken-for-granted rules, or laws, where proofs and things follow deductively from them. As for the normative side of things... well, how should you live if you're a existentialist? And why?


That's like asking what/how to paint if you happen to be holding a brush. The answer is: something/now.

Normative, for those who would otherwise study the brush, bristle by bristle, and forget to paint anything while there's still time. Or stand around waiting for someone to tell them what to paint, or wait for an audience to paint for...thinking that without an audience, what's the point? WHY should I paint THAT and for WHO?

How do you cash in this analogy, or how and why do you "paint" with an existentialist viewpoint? Exercise your freedom. Bind yourself to laws of your OWN making. How do you make laws? Find the natural laws within. At risk of sounding clumsy, I define it as those laws hidden in plain view in your deepest heart, woven into one's being, that which hold literary or aesthetic value, thus yielding the highest lasting positive impact when adhered to. How did it get that way? Not relevant, although it could all be Darwinian. Point is, you get to decide what has meaning, but not totally, most of that is decided for you. You get to decide whether or not you are in touch with it. Like the quote in my signature says.

Socially, we should live assuming that others have the same freedoms, and we should integrate this knowledge into our own set of laws and behaviors, to further define our laws.

In regard to logic, I see it as similar to Des Cartes. You start with the axiom "there exists" and move outward geometrically*, empirically & rationally, until you conclude, quite logically, that you are an existentialist, and that you know, more or less, how you might as well live.

Existentialism is more of a playing field itself, and the strategies on the field, and the science of game, may be better served with a Spinozan point of view. In other words, other philosophies are still worthwhile, but Existentialism is the king daddy.

*don't ask

One time on actor's studio sean penn was asked his favorite word. He said: courage.

I thought: fuckin' A.

Courage is flipping the bird at the heavens and the void inside you. We are free to rebel against the human condition. Courage is the way to do it. Courage under fire, courage unto death. Why is this a fuckin A moment for me? I don't know. But it's freeing as all hell and as pure as 2+2.
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