marți, 29 noiembrie 2011

In diesen heil’gen Mauern

What is unending in man needs spatial boundaries. So spoken Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte: ‘In diesen heil’gen Mauern, wo Mensch den Menschen libt’.

The unendingness in man makes him possesses a world, but not in the false way of claiming the property of a world compounded of things borrowed from the impersonal and common world. The sense of possessing our life by the mere fact of playing a dominant role over a series of events cannot conceal that the life is not in fact possessed, but shared with other man or things that give birth to those events.

The unendingness substitutes the wide spread of generality, that was sought in philosophy in order to advance the thought to a total comprehension of the world. What has no boundaries apprehends the whole because it does not met any individual fact able of establishing a limit for it.

At the same time, the unendigness that surpasses all the limits seems rather to be a sort of looseness. For this reason, it still needs a simile of a boundary, but not a limit derived from the opposite nature of ending and limited things.

The simile is the spatial boundary. The sacred walls sung by Sarastro as limits of an eternal love, but, in the common life, such spatial limits are constituted by our own spatial nature. An unending feeling which is not thought of as a matter to be inquired into our bodily and spatial existence remains a futile ‘spiritual’ aspiration that subsists mostly in our language. A language that cannot create a world, but only to describe one or to insert itself in other worlds.

Even the religious unending love for God has to be proved by en effort of being adopted in bodily life that is dedicated to virtue.

Note on Precision

A lack of precise knowledge or a specialized terminology does not signalize a lack of knowledge.

If knowledge means closeness, any flourishing terminology goes far away from the things that should be known.

The knower is far away from them, but contrary to his dominating position he acquires as the master of precision, his discourse becomes lifeless and, for this reason, his domination is rather the expression of his retreat from the knowledge of things.

The retreat is the witness of a defeat. Being defeated by things means to retain from their appearance only the way by which they oppose their irrationality to a rational being. Therefore, the rationality of things is terminologically recreated by the man, without being able to grasp what is thoughtful or rational in their life.

luni, 28 noiembrie 2011

Note on Moral Discussions

One of unsolved problems of morality is the difficulty of behaving in such a manner, so that no one of bad circumstances of life can affect one’s life. This problem arose first in Greek tragedies and received different and eventually useless answers in Greek philosophy.

If it is abandoned for discussing instead which are the best ethical decisions or actions, the problem persists, since the less discussed life of a man has to encounter exactly such bad and unpredicted circumstances.

The fear of living without a clear prospective of what will happen in the future disappears from the moral analyses of actions and decisions, but not in virtue of their primacy in the moral behavior, but rather because they are subject matters that can be discussed.

The passage from a day to the next unpredicted ones seems to be facilitated by the implicit expectation that all the unpredicted events will become matters that can be discussed. They will be called by their name – for instance, as one kind or another of distress, as illness, as death -, so that they seem to be still in our control. The moral discussions about decision and action strengthen the sense of mastering the future events, but they are far away from the problem of confronting the unpredicted future. The problem is only ignored.

Ignoring this problem, they place themselves on a secondary position in respect of approaching one’s life, since they appear after the linguistic way by which the man detaches from his own life. For words cannot belong only to a particular individual.

duminică, 27 noiembrie 2011

On Moral Punishment

Any moral punishment seems to come from other world, since each man’s world cannot comprehend the past in other way than as a sheer memory, which is ineffective in the present life.

The past cannot modify the present in the manner of directly implying actions according to it. The past can be invoked as a justification of our present actions, but it is used in fact the past of our memory, not that past that had power over our actions.

Thus, any moral punishment is violent, since it violates the common manner of living the past. The bodily punishment is not just a rudimentary or a primitive way of applying the punishment, but also the result of understanding that the past cannot be revived for the moral wrongdoer otherwise than by affecting his present life and the world known by him more intimately through his own body.

The humanistic plea for clemency in moral punishment is an attempt to keep the moral judgment in this world, but with the cost of renouncing to awake the past and, therefore, the profound moral sense of being responsible for other worlds than that you build for yourself in the present time. The moral of utility belongs to the present.

sâmbătă, 26 noiembrie 2011

Note on Divided Philosopher

The habit of communicating events in most of our conversations causes the habit of conceiving ourselves as messengers.

The messenger is in no way responsible for what he announces and he is privileged in mastering the power of words over others. Also, he shows more accuracy of a spoken discourse than the author of the message, since he does not confront the difficulty of judging the words he utters.

Seemingly, the norms of objectivity are closer to the rules of transmitting a message than to those that are appropriated to a discourse that is permanently doubled by the effort of thinking its words and, for this reason, hardly to be detached of any trace of subjectivity.

Moreover, the objectivity would assume the lack of responsibility. In the context of knowledge, the lack of responsibility should be understood in a literal way, namely, as a lack of answers apart from what the objective discourse itself communicates.

The possibility of giving such answers is limited as long as the matters treated by an objective discourse are conceived as outer events that can be known as any other matters to be known as objects of a message.

When philosophy is divided in different areas of competence, the philosopher himself is divided in order to be free from him as a whole for speaking only as a messenger of himself and of the reality he is supposed to describe.  He does not speak as the author of a discourse, because the effort of thinking your own words cannot be restrained to some definite areas of competence. The effort always means that are exhausted all possible means.

Note on 'Soul'

When the meaning of a world is largely accepted in spite of its vague character, it is a sign that its introduction made it so acceptable. And this is more saliently the case of ‘soul’.

That or those who introduced the meaning of ‘soul’ knew that they enter in an area of human expectations for self-understanding, where even a vague word as ‘soul’ helps.

But even if this world benefits of wide acceptance, it cannot be overlooked that this is a word that has its origins elsewhere than in the range of evident things embraced by the supposed possessors of a ‘soul’.

Therefore, self-knowledge cannot be identical with the knowledge of soul.

vineri, 25 noiembrie 2011

Note on Words

If there is expected that some words of a person to change the life of another or some to relieve one’s pain, there are not expected some precise words that would be by themselves able to solve the problem, though they do this.

They solve it as a result of the meeting of the persons involved, as well as an outcome of the fact that expectation comes together with a former life or a pain.

The meaning of the words is just secondary to all these.

The so called problems of philosophy should arise from similar conditions, if they want to be solved through words.

Facing the difficulty of being apart from the generality of the discourse adopted in philosophy, a philosophical problem should be imagined as answering to someone that expects to be saved by the words, one that put his life or a deep feeling as pain in such expectation.

It does not mean that the philosophical discourse will become a consolation, but that the problems and the words chosen for solving them will not find satisfaction in the easier success of matching meanings in propositions and arguments. The words would be used with the care of placing their meanings in the midst of what is meaningful.

miercuri, 23 noiembrie 2011

Aristotle, On Soul, III, 3: Phronein and Aisthanesthai

Aristotle, De anima, 427a21-22: ‘Indeed the ancients say that understanding (phronein) and perceiving (aisthanesthai) are the same’.

Why did anybody identify one thing to another? In normal circumstances, two things are identified for correcting the error of dividing them. It is admitted that the reason of dividing and also that of identifying them are inscribed in the things themselves. For the expression ‘the things themselves’ is a source of ambiguity caused by the fact that one thing in itself cannot become a matter of knowledge, we should say that the things come to their knower in the manner of suggesting identity or division. From this point of view, there cannot be any error in identifying things instead of dividing them. It is only the choice of one of those two aspects that come together from the things envisaged.

Could the ancients identify the perception and understanding because of the error of those who divide them? It is a lecture contrary to previous Aristotle’s statements that the same identification occurs in the common knowledge. Hence, we might concede that the old philosophers identified them since they choose that aspect of perception and understanding that suggests identification, instead of choosing the one that suggests division.

The division is suggested only when we consolidate understanding as a method of knowledge, when we find a definite language charged to signify the understanding of things, or when we assume that man himself may separate from himself the activity of thinking. It will result that the ancients used rudimentary means of knowledge. This statement is certainly true if we compare Heraclitus’ fragments with Aristotle’s scientific treatises. But it misunderstands that the identification was not the outcome of ignorance, as if it would appear from the void of ignorance, but it is the result of a deliberate choice of preferring the common aspect of understanding and perception, or we may say that the ancients keep the double meaning of aisthesis: both perception and understanding.

The choice of identification conspicuously appears in Heraclitus’ fragment 125: ‘of things which involve sight, hearing and knowledge (mathesis), these I especially respect (protimeo)’. Protimeo  is a conscientiously preference of perception, conjoined with the correspondent of Aristotelian understanding: mathesis. But mathesis is not episteme, the knowledge in its more ample form, so that it could claim the division of understanding from perception. Mathesis is the knowledge possessed by one who learns from the things and by learning he accepts leaving back the cognitive eagerness to impose himself over the things to be known.

For this reason, Aristotle designates understanding as phronein, a form of knowledge that has to do more with that knowledge placed on the level of things, waiting for their suggestions or signs, as it does phronesis as practical knowledge in Aristotelian moral treatises. On this level, Heraclitus’ protimeo finds an answer from Empedocles’ belief in the presence of things as a condition for wisdom, which is quoted by Aristotle in the next lines of the passage.

Thus, the identity between understanding and perception is a view of things and an interpretation of man’s attitude to them, not a rudimentary knowledge. Nonetheless, their division has also to give an account of these two characteristics.

Note on Moral Questions

One who prefers living without the question of morality has to watch on his life as impetuously as moral judgment and moral judges do.

The moral constraints could keep the life in the clear-cut shapes, so that it comes to appear as an understood and meaningful reality.

Excluding morality in its judgmental aspect, the life cannot be shaped up by the simple rational calculation of the benefits resulted from our actions.

The rational calculation is weaker. Moreover, it detaches the agent from his actions, since they become the objects of analysis. The rationalized actions do not substitute the need of rationalizing the agent himself in the minimal sense of being able to dominate his life in a meaningful way.

As a result, the sheer stupidity in managing your own life often arises after one implicitly prefers to be indifferent to the moral questions.

Therefore, Socratic moral questions are still a good beginning in watching on your own life; even they will not receive an answer, but only help someone to advance in what we vaguely represent as self-knowledge. 

luni, 21 noiembrie 2011

Note on Conclusions

If we admit that the premises succeed in fact the conclusion, since they are chosen according to it, then it is possible to infer that the premises and the whole argument also share the conclusiveness of the conclusion.

The conclusiveness is different from the conclusion itself and cannot be understood only as an effect of the inner constitution of an argument.

The conclusiveness is an expression of the persuasive nature of an argument and, for this reason, it precedes the argument itself. Such anteriority is detained by the arguer in respect of his decision to support the conclusion by collecting premises and enclosing them in the form of an argument.

His decision and its outcome of enclosing premises are often stronger than the ideas for which he argues. For ideas should be free from the direct and decisive influence of those who establish them.

But the freedom of ideas equates with their weakness. They cannot resist to the power of decision that is possessed by the arguer. Therefore, in the process of building arguments through gathering premises for an idea, it often has a secondary role. And the strength of an argument proves to be not the strength of an idea defended as a conclusion, but the strength of the arguer himself.

Heraclitus: Up and Down

Heraclitus, fr. 60: And the up and the down is one and the same thing

How do we know the up? We know it from the experience of the things we think of being  up. There are up because we hardly can reach them, so that the up seems to not belong to those things, but to ourselves as ones who can hardly reach them.

The same happens with the down, but with the difference that it implies our easiness of reaching the down met in things.

The hardiness and the easiness of our experience with things are the same as long as they both are our own. The roundabout experience of hardiness and easiness in one’s life makes them the same, as two ways of defining the same life. It is not exactly a definition, but rather two manners by which the life is lived and, therefore, consumed.

Questioning the reason of hardiness or easiness is just a secondary problem regarding life, and all that is secondary to life is also away from the act of living: a lifeless or tedious manner of retreating from life.

If we do not forget that the hardiness and easiness are determined by the up and down, we can classify the last ones among the lifeless things, too.

If we speak about the up and down, then we seemingly give them birth. But it is in fact the life of our language, one that can subsist only by dividing things and aspects of things. The dividing manner of speaking, showed by the very act of building sentences divided in various parts, helps us to resist to our own turbulence in dealing with life. The perpetual passage from up and down is easier carried on when we speak about things as being in definite places, up and down.

The things are not up and down. They are the same in the same life, waiting for subtler ways of being thought of. And if we invoke the thought, then it is needed a look above the prone of language to divide things. Above the division is the whole, and the whole in one’s life is the capacity of passing from a thing to another without the useless detour of speaking about reality as a clear-cut experience of things disposed in a stable frame.

duminică, 20 noiembrie 2011

Note on Deceitfulness

The falsehood does not differ from deceitfulness just because the last is carried out with a precise intention and purposed to harm some persons.

Beside these two aspects, the deceitfulness seems to share some truth, while falsehood is apparently forced by the truth to occupy a limited place as its opposite value.

The deceiver creates the appearance of the truth and wills that those he deceives to behave themselves in a true way.

Though this mechanism of creating appearances was known starting from the first Greek philosophers, its effectiveness has to be refuted each time when it is grounded a philosophical account.

The permanent renewal of such refutation is motivated by the paradoxical nature of the attempt of establishing the truth together with the accounts of reality it gives birth.

Without any contempt for the preceding ‘true’ accounts of reality, all of them may be exposed as means of deceitfulness. For nobody wants to establish a limited truth - as it is as the counterpart of the falsehood -, but rather that truth which can spread out as an image of reality and further as the reality of those who receive it. It is paradoxical because the model of such extension is borrowed from the practice of deceiving.

Therefore, the preparation for truth has to learn from the experience of deceitfulness.

Note on Truth

The difficulty in recognizing the truth is partially caused by the impossibility of naming something as totally wrong.

Even a gross error may be excused through a closer look to its causes. Causes: the state of mind of the producer of error, his bodily condition, the nature of the things about which it was produced the error, the ways by which others induced him the error, voluntary or involuntary. And doing so, we close the error to the truth, so that the truth itself cannot distinguish from its opposite.

It is tempting to say that the truth can be easier recognized by following the same trend of argumentation as that used in excusing an error. That is by a comprehensive image of all elements involved in supporting a certain truth.

In this case, truth should not be opposed to false or error. It would appear as something greater than false or error.

sâmbătă, 19 noiembrie 2011

Morality of Daily Life

Though there is commonly agreed that a moral theory or account suitable for daily life is one that appeals to moderation and to the counting of utility, the rare occasions when morality enters in one’s life do not leave time for reasoning about moderation or utility.

The elaboration of a moral account for daily life is justified by the rarity of the sudden entrance of morality in current life, but it still remains unjustified if it does not answer which is the proportion of morality and which of the simple facts of life in its analyses.

A discourse about moderation, moral reasoning and utility cannot provide a firm reason against viewing it as a simple attempt of ordering facts of life. And such ordering has not the power to really order or commend over the things approached, since there is not involved the authoritative power met in those rare occasions when morality clearly appears.

Therefore, when a moral account of daily life is adopted, the reasons rather reside in the need of individuals to decline the authority of morality on their own behalf. Without the power of commending, the force of such a moral is compounded from an aggregation of means of authority: the supposed common sense, the personal interest of those who adopt such moral explanation, the appeal to the common sense.

To become unsubdued to such morality does not mean to act against the rules of utility or moderation, but to extend the area of the things approached by it, so that it would be impossible to establish any authority over them. And such movement against morality is carried on simply by living more facts of life.

vineri, 18 noiembrie 2011

The Unlike

…in one way…a thing is affected by like, and in another by unlike; for it is the unlike which is affected, although when it has been affected is like
Aristotle, De Anima 217a20-21.

The most suitable object for exercising upon us their power of affecting would belong to what is unlike or alien to us.

The transformation from unlikeness to likeness cannot be as a total resorption of the objects that affect us into those that are affected.

‘Omoion’ (like) meant for Aristotle that two things share a common part, but do not share all properties, so that to become identical.

If we accept such analysis as regarding the formation of knowledge, then we have to question about the remaining parts after the transformation.

Do these parts constitute the rest of the knower as a possible container of other objects? Or, for the object, its parts that are apart of the process of knowledge are those that support its independent existence?

Both questions transgress the limits of epistemology for being treated in an ontological discourse.

However, we may find among the faculties supposed to contribute to the formation of knowledge, some that seem to retain from the object just those parts that do not actually affect us as much as sharing with us the attribute of likeness. And, for this reason, we may attribute to such faculties an ontological function in the minimal sense of expressing the ways we are in the nearby of other things that are.

Thus, may we classify the activity of memory as being entirely devoted to the objects we already know? If we imagine that we have a memory of a thing and only by a scrutiny of that memory we can know this thing, then we should admit that beyond the process of transformation or simply of affection, the things can arrive to us in a non-cognitive manner.

Given the independence from the relation of likeness, it is reasonable to add that the objects and their knower are both independent. Not independent for being known by other observers or for knowing other objects, but independent for being able to be closer each other than the ‘affective’ way of knowledge can do.

The movement of such independent entities for being together starts a new kind of knowledge that should be purified by every attempt of mingling the involved parts. And it is not really a ‘new’ kind of knowledge, because the feeling of being always a rest to be known persists in any act of knowledge, even in those that offer a comprehensive description of their objects. The feeling can be justified at least for the fact that the knower always remains somewhat beyond or beneath of the act of knowing.

Travelling to Others

The firmness of relations between individuals cannot be represented by family portraits. The immobility of ordering individuals together is not specific to human relations, but it is rather a feature of the space determined by humans.

The neuter space compounded by things that are indifferent to any significance becomes ‘that’ space by attributing to it the power of encompassing human individuals or activities.

By such attribution, the space is not humanized, but it is put to take on its behalf all that is non-human in human beings. Such is the human indifference to the other members of the same collectivity. Its inconvenient lack of humanity is covered by naming places of work, of dwelling, of meeting.

Different from this static conception of human relations, there is the view of men as traveling to each other. When one individual goes to another, the space he goes through is carried on and looses its neutrality to human individuals. A particular space cannot be called as ‘that’ space, but rather as one of ‘those’ spaces necessary to be passed by for coming to a certain individual.

When one individual inspires to another a repeated traveling to him, we have reasons to point to such reiterative movement as a sign of a firm relation between humans. Nonetheless, many gods and prophets require for their veneration processions and pilgrimages.

Certainly, each travel of one to another implies an unavoidable distance. 

joi, 17 noiembrie 2011

Note on Rhythm

The words that are sung cannot be evicted from a comprehensive image of language, just for the reason of breaking the condition of having an epistemological significance. For any word, even those connected in logical strings of arguments, imposes a specific rhythm, both as regards their persuasive power and their capacity of directing to the truth. Logic has the rhythm of heart beating, which can be easily ignored.

When the words are sung, they express the limits of language, but not the limits between a domain of human knowledge and another, since they do not put the bases of a new kind of science. They are rather the limits put to our expectation that the common discourse cannot impose a rhythm able to move its hearers according to it.

Beneath the problem of truth, the discourses confront the problem of the general habit of resisting to any kind of discourse which does not succeed in imposing its rhythm.

miercuri, 16 noiembrie 2011

Note on the Voice of Conscience

The voice of conscience should not utter a discourse.

If it is considered as a source of a moral discourse, it will assume a discursive nature. It never could point to the guilt in an intuitive away, since it is a recall of a past wrongdoing, hardly to be conspicuously showed in the present life of the guilty person.

Given its discursive nature, the voice of conscience does not fulfill the role of a pure condemnation, but rather has the positive import of accustoming the guilty person to the sudden interruption of her current behavior whenever she feels the past guilt.

Moreover, if it is considered that the voice of conscience is a moral discourse, then it plays the role of instilling in the guilty person the forgetting of the past guilt, since the words bring it in the present time; with the consequence of diminishing the power of the past over the present.

On Being Bad

Is it harder to be bad than to be good? An echo of one of the questions put in Plato’s Protagoras.

Seemingly, to this question cannot be answered by a comparison of the empirical endeavors of being good or bad. Not the individual facts answer to this question, but it should be addressed the whole of a person.

Can be a person completely bad or good? Again, Plato has already established that it is not the case of such completeness in the range of morality.

Hence, it seems that an answer to the first question is indifferent to the two moral values. The answer would be: it is hard to be morally qualified as a whole.

However, it remains a difference. Because of the impossibility of becoming good or bad as a whole, the completeness is reached more or less as long as the individual deeds of a person imply the configuration of some wholes of the things met in their circumstances.

As regards the good, to help a poor man changing his entire life means to attend the whole of his person. As regards the bad, the homicide is the best example of completing a bad act.

And the second case shows that is harder to be bad, at least for the reason that the completeness of a bad deed comes to become absurd, being contrary to the request of a social medium for producing moral acts.

The punishment for a person who is closer to become bad brings further such absurdity, as it frequently happened in the history of the revolts against dictators and tyrannies. No one of the sides of such an historical fact can be judged as moral or immoral, but only as outcomes of a state of irrationality.

The attendance of a state of irrationality in the personal life occurs oftener, since one’s life is not or cannot be configured on moral grounds. And it is not hard to be attended.

marți, 15 noiembrie 2011

Note on Presence and Perception

The present moment of time cannot provide an explanation of one’s life, though it is supposed to express its most actual state of being. According to its present, the life is so blatantly exposed as a life, that it cannot be discussed as a life of some kind or another.

We have the same condition as that regarding perceptions, all undoubtedly true in the moment of their activity.

In a way or another, lives and perceptions may be falsified or shadowed by something out of their presence and of their real activity in order to become subject matters of our discourses.

It would result that the moral discourse about a life cannot be thoroughly true or fitted to its object in its most actual state. Likely, the epistemological use of perception, even if it directs to some truths, starts from a state of at least a partial falsehood.

luni, 14 noiembrie 2011

Note on Immoral Facts

An immoral fact should distinguish from other facts by an incongruence with their linear course, especially with the facts that belong to a similar context. For it is supposed that immoral facts track upon them those aspect that make them salient candidates for being qualified as immoral.

But not any immoral fact proves such incongruence. Many are in fact compatible with the course of neuter facts.

For instance, the betrayal appears rather as a minor change of facts done by the betrayer. He serves one master and leaves another one, but he serves in each case.

Even the homicide can find a way of showing as a compatible fact with all those imply renouncing to a man, since it is compatible with all other neuter facts of excluding one person from your life, as that of leaving a friend, the parents, etc., in each case with no moral implications.

Seemingly, they remain immoral facts only for the persons involved or affected. Such persons are able to maintain their immoral character, just as long as they refuse to look to the course of facts. 

duminică, 13 noiembrie 2011

Needing Morality

Why is morality a matter of human queries? Or why is still such a matter, in spite of its furtive and weak appearance behind the facts of life?

The predicative function of the good, bad, right, wrong means a change of the direction in apprehending the reality. ‘The fact ‘x’ is wrong’ and ‘The person ‘x’ is bad’ do not join terms that could be apprehended in the same way, as it occurs in the proposition ‘The cat is on the roof’. The moral qualifications come after the qualified objects in the sense of being in the back of them, or after them. When someone moves behind an object, his movement is of different type than the movement or the stealthiness of the thing placed in front of him. The followed object restrains the movement to it and so it imposes to forget ourselves as being a pair of that object. For instance, if there is a house in front of our eyes, which is not our own, then it is measured, evaluated or taken as a mark of the road. It is never apprehended as if we would be its dwellers, so that we can impress on it our square movement of occupying a space. We know that measuring the distance to the house, we apprehend some of its aspects that are not proper to it as a possible home and nobody would think about himself as his proper functions on a pair with the proper function of the house as a home. Also, nobody would think that he himself is a part of the measurement.

Similarly, the moral evaluation of one object does not involve that the moral judge evaluates himself, neither that he is involved in the reality of that object.

He stays back of the reality of facts or persons, back of himself as an author of facts or as a person in its factual existence.

And why do we need a moral interpretation or why do we prefer being backward in getting in the more solid reality of the facts, except the rare situation, not entirely a moral one, when we can impose our judgment upon the facts or persons we judge?

An explanation could be the need of constraining the morally qualified objects to not escape from us. Just like the house, still not being our home, seems to be hold by the simple fact of being placed in front of us and rather measured or evaluated, so does the moral qualifications of the facts or persons.

And while those objects which are qualified as bad or wrong are in fact restituted to their real independence, but with our consent, those qualified as good or right are preserved to us with our consent, almost believing that they are our own and they enhance ourselves. Though, they are not.

sâmbătă, 12 noiembrie 2011

The Silence in Stone

The silence should be firstly sought outside and only afterward to be adopted as your own.

For harder is to become a source of silence, being rather accustomed of being an incessant spring of words.

And the silence brought from outside makes yourself to become out of you as a speaker.

From outside, the silence is dug out of minor things, too weak of becoming objects of our loud discourses, though ‘mighty is the silence in stone’ (Trakl). It shows up, not so easy, from the minor facts of life in the short time they go away and until being replaced from other minor facts. Also, from the short lives of others, so ‘the ghost of the one who died young silently appeared in the room’ (Trakl). Also, from those who are too insignificant to claim a place in the spoken story of one’s life.

All these minor things come from the unspoken world overwhelm the speaker and menace him to recognize he is in all of them, as a non-speaker.

And who could confess to himself as being a non-speaker? Even the logic opposes to this.

Again, only from outside one can be driven to view himself as a non-speaker. Then, his words are regained with the fragility and insignificance of the new born who silently partakes in the unspoken world.

vineri, 11 noiembrie 2011

Note on Memory

The wish for being in others’ memory is not the wish for remaining an image of you.

It is rather the wish for persistence as such. The persistence is generally of some object, but someone hoping or wishing to persist in memory neglects such condition, since only an image of a person could represent a real object.

The persistence without object can pretend to have the consistence of an object only by an intrusion among other objects. They are the object possessed by those who should keep the memory of someone else. There are the objects of the present thoughts that still can be put in images. Between objects can pass away everything, or rather the passage and the coming to be are really known at once with the recognition of the existence of an interval between objects. ‘Man’ and ‘death’ cannot say something about human mortality, if they would not leave between them the space for thinking of dying man and of death coming to the man, both of them without being objects.

As Socrates wished at his trial, one who wants to be present in others’ memory may hope in passing through their objects with the intensity needed for moving them further.

'Why should I fast?'

2 Samuel 12:22-23  22 David said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?'  23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."

Does the sadness need a justification for being felt?

Answering to the question, sadness or grief about something or someone has a cause in that thing that is regretted, but the cause does not function as a justification. For a justification needs not only a cause, but also an explanation of it, so that the ties between the cause and its effects could be indicated.

The duration of sadness depends on someone’s disposition of being affected by that object or person.

Such disposition is better rendered by the Greek hexis: disposition, but literally having, possession. It is the way of taking into possession a state of facts, where the affection for a thing or a person is conjoined with other thoughts, gestures and affections.

In such a hexis, the thought is merely a part of it. It has not the power of dominating other parts of the hexis and, therefore, it cannot become a justification.

The thought cannot determine the duration of a disposition, but it can, as much as other components of it, to move to another object of a disposition, and to other sides of the same thing or person.

David’s success in passing from fasting and weeping to the joy is not provided by his former question, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?', nor by the next ones: ‘But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again?’. He succeeded just for the fact that the thoughts raised by the dying child and associated with gestures of mourning could help him to come to another act of having or possession, namely, the disposition of viewing his child as an anticipation of his death. Or, of the mortal fate, and mortals eat and drink.

Thus, the consolation through thought seems not to  be by itself that wise solution to sadness or grief, but can be when it is used as a transition to something else. The association of  higher philosophical or religious thoughts with other components of a disposition can provide such a transition easier, since they are based on things that require anybody to move about them in order to be understood.

joi, 10 noiembrie 2011


Katagignoskein – (Liddell-Scott) to remark, to observe, to discover especially something to one’s prejudice, to condemn

Literally, it means to know against someone or something. The act of knowledge springs out in the case of a condemnation, while the knowledge per se is rather furtive.

The knowledge per se covers itself through the slowness of deductive procedures, through its neat organization, and also behind his alleged prestige of consolidating a particular science. It comforts itself for its reliability by appealing to the anatomical model of the brain, it itself covered in the body and able to move it. The sparkly remarks met in an act of knowledge are directed contrary to something else, as katagignoskein does, by opposing to something else the firm corpus of knowledge constituted in fact through slow steps.

In this way, knowledge per se deceives others by instilling them the belief that its sparkly remarks are the results of its constitution. In fact, they belong to a different type of knowledge, to that of katagignoskein.

In the range of knowledge as katagignoskein, there is a different status of a sparkly remark. It does not oppose to something else by a disproportionate force, since it has nothing to endorse it except the thing discovered. If it condemns someone, it does so in the name of the things discovered, not in virtue of a prestigious science. Thus, the warlike character of katagignoskein weakens till to become a play. In philosophy, it is the play of compelling the things to become known as a way of modifying their independence, though they still remain unaffected.

In the common knowledge, the place of the corpus of scientifically knowledge is occupied by the one who utters condemnations or observations directed against someone or something. As Socrates already known, it is about the self confidence in your own knowledge about unknown subject matters.

Therefore, the real katagignoskein is just simulated in the common usage of condemnations or observations. Nonetheless, the real or philosophical katagignoskein has to keep itself closer o common things than to the simple gignoskein embodied in a prestigious science.

Note on Details

Could be acquired a better knowledge of a particular man by gathering all the details of his life?

The multitude of facts would rather require to follow the alternative approach of interpreting his life by general features inferred by particular ones. In other words, it will be used the standard process of generalization as a result of the supposed bewildering confusion of facing the individual things.

But such a process of gathering never can be a pure one. For gathering details, it is needed a progressive support on some general methods of approaching them. The generality will be expressed by the general statements. Even if these general statements would be focused on some parts of one’s life, nothing stated as regards the human life can be isolated by a view of it as a whole.

As a consequence, the details do not help us for adopting a general view on their basis, but rather to confirm our general and ungrounded statements formulated on the way of gathering details.

Perhaps the same thing occurs in the case of discussing the reality, providing that the reality should be conceived with the same unity proved by human life.

And there is always difficult to speak about different realities, because it seems to ruin the very notion of reality.

miercuri, 9 noiembrie 2011

Note on Past Images

Spinoza: ‘The greater number of other images with which an image is associated, the more often springs to life. Proof: The greater number of other images with which an image is associated, the more causes there are by which it can be aroused.’

How do the things look like in the opposite case?

A few numbers of images would cause the image remain dead.

But its dead subsistence seems to be the only possibility of keeping it inalterable.

Other images and finally its causes determine us to forget it.  It will function only as a cathartic manner of setting us free to approach rational causes placed on a superior level.

From a moral point of view, it seems that the past images of one of our own actions with ethical consequences could not teach us how to manage some similar present moral issues. If it is associated with other images, they should be chosen from others’ experiences, since the personal experience is limited. If there is reported to its causes, we may expect that the influence of the past image would not be more intense than that exercised by the highest moral principle, always known and still ineffective.

Therefore, the past images do not seem to instruct as regarding a change of our behavior, but could only to suspend the activity, prolonging upon us their deadly nature. Such effect is what we call ‘regret’.

sâmbătă, 5 noiembrie 2011

Aristotle, On Soul, III, 3: Recognizing realities

427a19-21: Thinking and understanding are thought to be like a form of perceiving (for in both of these the soul judges and recognizes some existing thing).

Thinking (noein) and understanding (phronein) seem to refer to the theoretical and practical knowledge.

But this is an inappropriate distinction in the context of discussing the common beliefs, as it is the case in this passage. Even if Aristotle reads the common sense in his own terms, he could not impose to the common sense a distinction based on the philosophical inquiries into human psychology.

Phronein is practical thought as long as it provides the understanding of the pragma surrounding human life. It is not bulked together with human activities, but gives them the character of being forms of apprehending the reality. Hence, the common idea of Greek morality that to be moral means to understand your truly nature.

For ‘thinking and understanding are thought’, Greek uses the verb dokein, also translatable as to seem or to pretend. The related noun is used by Euripides for a vision, an appearance, or a phantom. Nonetheless, dokein is close to dechomai, to receive. We may take dokein used here as a mark of Aristotle’s contempt to the confusion between soul faculties. But also, we may infer that common sense refers to thought in the fashion of receiving what it happens to it, or how can impose itself to us in spite of our practice of neglecting an alien thing as it is others’ thought, or even our thought. For our thought, at least because of its different tempo than that of our actions, resists to the tendency of taking it as a simple ingredient of our activity.

They ‘appear to be like’ – dokein hosper -. If something has the power to appear, to become visible, that means that it is not entirely abstruse as one belonging to a different reality than that we commonly seize. A thing immersed in our current life becomes a strictly theoretical object only by a previous work of the theoretician to expel the ways in which life is common to anybody and incompatible, for this reason, to any pretence of pulling out the things from reality for moving them in a theoretical realm.

And Aristotle considers thinking and understanding as being like perceiving, meaning that their at hand presence in the reality of the word takes the form of perceiving, aisthanesthai. And the Greek aisthaneisthai sends us again to the domain of appearance, of seeing, of feeling, but also of understanding and learning. With these senses, aistaneisthai cannot simply means a bodily process of receiving impressions. It is rather the way by which we exercise ourselves in the reality of things as a process of learning.

The world is learned by perceiving it, implying the consequence that a thing learnt ceases to keep alive our interest in it. The interest passes from a thing perceived to another, or to different shapes or modes of existence assumed by the same thing. Maybe the thought has to fight with perception only in these respects. It has to reestablish the firmness of approaching the reality, easily disclaimed by the free exercise of perception. Otherwise, the perception is the closest way to the world, or at least was so for the early Greek philosophers.

Aristotle sees two reasons for which perception comes to be confounded with thought and understanding: by its powers of judging (krinein) and recognizing (gnorizein) some of realities (ton onton). We may ignore Aristotle’s suggestion that those realities are the sensibilia, because of its idiosyncratic character.  It is worthy to keep on the idea that perception, understanding, and thought are all forms by which human beings dominate or judge the things. It would be worthy to wonder further which of the three processes dominates the realities in the most forceful manner. Because a coercive manner narrows the possibility of knowing the realities. Contrary to Aristotle’s purposes, thought seems the best candidate for being the harsh oppressor and conqueror of realities.

Meanwhile, the perception seems as the best one in being familiar with realities, recognizing or notice (all senses of gnorizein) them, since it is always in the midst of them. Firstly, thought or understanding have to be detached from reality in order to be conceived as different from it and only afterward thought or understanding can attempt to recognize the real things left away.

Moreover, while perception is closest to the man as a body that step in the middle of things, enduring their action and conquering them, the thought and understanding need to place the man in an unaffected place and often such a place is called soul.

vineri, 4 noiembrie 2011

Più tempo non ho!

Sometimes, a memory does not die when it is forgotten, but when it is explicitly recollected and exposed into words.

For memories need to be preserved in their past. Without drawing them into the present, they still have the power to draw ourselves into their past.

The ghosts do not have much time for their presence on the earth – ‘Parlo; ascolta! Più tempo non ho!’, says The Statue in Don Giovanni. They can just to utter those words or to leave those signs that could make us to refuse the present for their past.

The doubt about the truly existence of ghosts and phantoms is partly justified by our current refusal to return to those persons in the way of refuting our present for their past.

They can merely mingle themselves with our present. However, without any chance to become our present. At best, they can spread moments of recollection in our present, still sufficient to decline the confidence that our present is entirely ours.

Aristotle, On Soul, III, 3: Soul as a Conqueror

427a17-19. There are two distinguishing characteristics by which people mainly define the soul: motion in respect of place; and thinking, understanding, and perceiving 

Why do the people find thought as also a limitation and, therefore, as a definable thing?
Not just for the order in Aristotle’s text, we should think the process of thinking as a diaphora that is conceived secondarily, being seized after the first grasp of ‘movement in respect of place’.

The secondary status implies that the thought is conceived after the model of movement. If the movement of living beings shows us that they cannot be captured as simple items of our world, so does the thought.

To observe thinking as a difference requires primarily a scrutiny of others, not a self inquiry. How do we observe others thinking? Not by their expressed thoughts, because the language is the way people present us without any sense of strangeness. We observe others thinking by the suspicion they are not entirely involved in their observable deeds or movement. Just as they escape the naming and numbering through their movement, they escape further the movement itself through something we call thinking. Hence, the thought is the remaining part of an action.

As a remaining part, the thought is concealed behind actions, and it appears most salient in the way of deceiving. The thought deceives the reality of the things and places surrounding the action. For this reason, its first appearance is in the province of falsehood, not in that of truth.

When others are conceived as thinking, understanding, and perceiving, they are conceived as having the possibility of deceiving us. They resist to our intention to reduce them to our descriptions by the power of deceiving us.

The strangeness of others as living beings independent from us involves their possible adversity to us.

Others menace our comfort in living among things of our world by their capacity of closing the world to their own lives. When they thought of the things of the world, or also understand and perceive them, they leave us with the impression that the world cannot be entirely ours.

Moreover, since the distinction of ‘thinking, understanding, and perceiving’ belongs to Aristotle, not to the common sense, what we see in others’ behavior as thinking beings is the simple movement of occupying our world.

Therefore, the self recognition of our thought does not involve the serenity of a meditative act, but the troublesome state of conquering the things of the world before others do the same on their behalf.

As a consequence, the language used for expressing our thought frequently prefer to take a normative tone, as we meet in the case of the simple designation of things by using nouns.

Thus, the soul is not that ‘self’ that undergoes the actions of things over it, but our individual being in need of conquering the things of the world.