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Poetry's Defense

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Poetry's Defense

Post by Hereandnow » September 25th, 2018, 11:36 pm

Continued from locked thread Pegagogy and Art: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15806

On Shelley:
First let me say that I like Shelley very much, though he is something of an anachronism. But his account of what a poet is possesses real insight into, for example, language as metaphor and religion as allegory. So I will start with just a few duly inspired thoughts. It is a striking observation that the poet is one who has the gift of synthesizing ideas in novel ways, and these are built up out of history's prior inherited "poetic" production. The impressive idea comes from his claim that language is inherently poetic. Given that poetry is metaphor, essentially, Shelley plays this out thusly: Poets, or, let's call them the poets of language, conceive through the imagination, novelty in relations between what is given in an age and what is possible in recombination. Poets proper are very good at this, in their discovering possibilities wrought out of metaphor. Thus the spoken word in daily living is metaphorically conceived through the seminal work of poets and their benefactors, everybody else through the ages, and the life we live is essentially poetic. The "true and the beautiful" inhere in language as such, making our most common utterances as well as our most noble, expressions of an "indestructible order" the pinnacle of which is religion, an allegory of the unseen that discloses itself, or intimates itself, to follow Wordsworth, (though W does not depend on sophisticated metaphor, but on the innocence presumably that was in place before the "copiousness of lexicography and the distinctions of grammar" evolved out the primitive "chaos" of more natural systems of thought).
The bad news is that Shelley is hopelessly obscure. The true and the beautiful as part of some indestructible order that is an integral part of language as such is a tall tale to defend. It is not that he is so impossible to reason through, it's that he really doesn't even try. this is the problem with identifying enlightenment with metaphor, like his Æolian lyre that is supposed to explain human production of the harmony that "accommodates" the world. It's not that he's is wrong, it's that he explains with language that is at least as equally mystifying as what he is supposed to explain. I am a lyre, am I? And my poetry is like a song of the world? Then this talk about "the eternal, the infinite"; one has to ask, what IS he talking about? (Especially given that he was an atheist. So he was a romantic atheist? Possible?)

Anyway, regarding your most recent comments, Dachshund, something there are about good and evil in the world and human conscience. But all of this:
o begin with, there is something very like a proto-concept of conscience in the Old Testament. In "The Book of Samuel", we read that, when David was aware he had committed some moral wrong, "his heart smote him", where the word translated into English as "heart" is the Hebrew word , lev , which can also mean, more generally the viscera. Also, in Psalm 16.7, we read that "the kidneys chastise a man" when he does wrong, and here again, the Hebrew word, kelayoth, which literally means "kidneys", can also refer to other internal organs. More Generally speaking, in the Old Testament there is a suggestion that when a person does wrong, the wrongdoer, at least if morally engaged, will suffer what you could call a backlash from his/her own viscera, or, to put it more bluntly a sort of "pang" or "stab" of palpable self-disgust that is felt in his own "guts" ( innards).


The first mention that we have of conscience as a moral concept in Western philosophy came from Socrates when he was on trial charged with corrupting the youth of Athens. Plato reports that Socrates defended his actions by saying...


"In the past the prophetic voice ( the Greek term is "daimon") to which I have been accustomed has always been my constant companion, opposing me in even quite trivial things as I was going to take the wrong course."



Socrates then goes on to point out that, when he engaged with the youth of Athens in dialectic, his "daimon" was silent, therefore he cannot have been doing any wrong. Put in modern terms, Socrates was basically saying, " I cannot have been doing any wrong, knowingly and willingly, because my conscience was clear", which is, in essence, the structure of any argument from the authority of conscience.


St Augustine, the Christian Bishop of Hippo ( 354 - 430 AD) ( a confirmed Platonist), had a view of conscience that could be described as Socratic", the only major difference being that Augustine substituted the divine illumination of God in place of Socrates' prophetic voice or "daimon". Augustine writes of the source of knowledge of the moral law or conscience as "my divine illumination" and also as an "interior law ( lex intima) written in the heart itself ( in ipso tuo corde conscripta)"


The classical Christian account of conscience as a moral concept was most developed in post-Reformation Protestant theology. Thus, John Calvin (1509 - 1564) for instance, wrote in his famous text. "The Establishment of the Christian Religion", that ...


"When they (Human beings) have a sense of the Divine justice, as an additional witness, which permits them not to conceal their sins, or to elude accusation at the tribunal of the supreme Judge, this sense is termed conscientia, "conscience". For it is a kind of medium between God and man; because it does not suffer a man to suppress what he knows within himself, but pursues him till it brings him to conviction."


This account of conscience by Calvin is a mixture of the Old Testament notion of conscience as a "backlash" with Augustine's idea of conscience as form of "divine illumination" within us. Arguably, Calvin's view of conscience is closer to the Old Testament version, I think, because he clearly see it as a post-factum visitation from "that additional witness" ( i.e. the Holy Spirit within us) that tells us we have sinned and hounds us until we promise to reform. For Calvin, conscience is a kind of internal "hound of Heaven", and it is an aggressive one at that, more like a savage Irish wolfhound than a gentle Bassett hound.

Then, in the 19th century, the English divine, John Henry Newman, gave an account of conscience that was effectively a fully-fledged return to St Augustine's pre-factum view of "divine illumination". Newman wrote of conscience as: "that inward light, given as it is by God... (which) was intended to set up within us a standard of right and truth". Moreover, this source of moral authority was superior to reason , and often opposed to it. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Newman once remarked that the common room of his own Oxford college, Oriel, "stank of logic".

In summary, a general outline of the classical Christian account of conscience as a moral concept would be something along the lines of...

Conscience is an inner voice of special ( because divine and therefore morally infallible) moral illumination or expertise and of incontrovertible moral authority which reveals itself inwardly and unavoidably in consciousness ( hence the term "conscience") and warns us to do good and avoid evil, and condemns us when we fail.
You should know by now my interest is only with basic questions, NOT the historical context of it all.

The trouble with moral intuitionism, which is what you espouse when you place moral authority with conscience, is that a person's moral response to a situation is bound up with interpretation which is produced as a matter of contingency in a culture. Conscience is not reliable in imparting right and wrong judgment to a person since such determinations are arbitrarily conceived. A medieval Roman citizen, for example, would likely not have the moral sensibilities of 21st century New Yorker, who would be light years away from a 19 century Zulu warrior. If you grew up exposed daily to a mentality that freely accepts cock fights and other brutalities it is likely you would not have moral qualms about such things. On a train in India I met a soldier returning from Kashmir who was careful not to harm the cockroaches that wandered about. He had respect for all life. I thought he was a little silly, after all, how many insects did he kill daily wandering around in t he brush? But his conscience was a settled thing on the matter, regardless.

It is not to say that conscience is unimportant, but just that it is not how we determine moral rectitude: it's too fickled and variable in its alliances with circumstances. What Newman called the stink of logic is exactly what the matter needs to come to an understanding. This talk about "inward light" needs to be explained more fully, or it needs analysis. Is there anything about moral feelings that truly is infallible?
More later....

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Hereandnow » September 26th, 2018, 10:05 am

To continue with the rest about conscience. This is interesting:
My question to you, HAN, is did you feel it ? Did you feel the voice of Calvin's/Augustine's/Newman's/Socrates'/David's CONSCIENCE in your "heart". Did you -instantly and automatically - "hear" the "inner voice" of an unquestionably righteous and supreme moral authority "saying" NO !! Did you feel it - the acute pang of moral prohibition, - the sharp kick of moral opprobrium and disgust in your GUTS, telling you, in no uncertain terms, that all of these behaviours are unconditionally, absolutely, morally BAD/wicked; that they are ABSOLUTELY, CATEGORICALLY WRONG; that you must NEVER engage in such behaviours!
So what IS conscience? Understanding this as in all things requires a return to basic assumptions, for without this there is question begging, though there is no altogether unbegged question as this would be impossible without an absolute of some kind to save the day, and even this would have to get by Wittgenstein and others look at propositions as truth bearing and truth is inherently propositional, therefore any utterance of an absolute whatever would be made in highly question begging conditions. Oh well. Forget this for now and just consider the argument.

Dashchund, your concern is, as is evident in your question and all that went before it, Guilt. Conscience should be examined somewhat psychologically, though in Kierkegaardian fashion: guilt is the source of the anxiety of conscience. And since we are thinking philosophically, it is not the psychiatrist's couch but the phenomenologist's:

I have always been taken by Sartre's account of a fear of heights, as an example: It is not the fear of falling, it is the fear of jumping, for what lies before you is the possibility of your own freedom to do so, and since the outcome would so terrible, it is the possibility of the terror vis a vis your own freedom to bring it about: that is the anxiety of fear. But consider further that everything is like this, though in a less dramatic way, since you are in time, Your thoughts and the agency of self that they construct are not Parmenedian Being, they are Heraclitean Becoming, if you will. You can never step into the same river twice, not even once, added Cratylus (a fortiori argument over the former). So give this a moment to sink in, because it is critical to an analysis of guilt' and its anxiety. Each moment, just by being in a culture and its language we face an unwritten future and it is our burden in life deal with this dynamic.

Now Kierkegaard calls this condition of identifying with the constructed self that is thrust into the responsibility of making a future without asserting its freedom, but just going along with things, passively, as if one were a thing, a tree or a fence post sin, it is our inherited sin as we receive it from the AGES (I give this capitals because it should sound familiar: it is Shelley's metaphorical language. Kierkegaard is calling sin what Shelley calls the eternal order of things, or the like). Sartre called it bad faith and Heidegger called it das man. Kierkegaard sin is the aesthetic, meaning sort of stupid and childlike, even if you are a respected doctor of minister way of life: without the anxiety of second guessing who you really are, what your authentic nature is. Now, Sartre doesn't think we have a nature, nor does Heidegger, as I read him; but Kierkegaard does as do you. So do I. He holds that guilt rises up in the "movement" we make through inquiry (I insert this) toward a qualitatively different kind of Being which we truly are, the soul, and God lies therein, or, God's discovery lies therein. Our world, Heidegger's dasein, what the Buddhist's call attachment, what Kant calls alienation from our rational transcendental ego (my words), what Sartre calls a en soi/pour soi synthesis (my words), Kierkegaard calls inherited sin.

So, guilt emerges when a person realizes that just being here at all constitutes a sin, the very opposite of Shelley. Guilt, of course, can be reduced to more familiar psychoanalytical ideas, but these would beg the question: we are eternal beings and all that is our identity must be reconstrued to show this. How are we eternal? That is another argument. (an aside: Time is the projection of the constructed self into the future of possibilities. time is not the physicist's time, Einstein's time. To understand what he is talking about here, you have to read Kant. Kierkegaard is an idealist, a phenomenolgist, and does not think of human existence in materialist terms. Not that Kierkegaard was a rationalist, just the opposite; but he is thinking within the an antirationalism founded on the prevailing rationalism of his time, which s=was about Kant and Hegel.) We are eternal because being finite is all about being in a world that imposes finitude on us: the very Heraclitean flux of becoming a person from moment to moment. Every thought is like this (aside: if you have any interest in this, you really ought to read Dewey, Rorty and the pragmatists. Rorty's Contingency, Irony and Solidarity is very accessible, It is a must!) and every though is an alienation from Being, which is the true self and God, for it is a dynamic that ignores the one true actuality, the present. The present is ignored in this arch of projection from the past into the future. When a person realizes the actual present, God becomes manifest as does the soul. Kierkegaard calls this the eternal present for time, finitude, is defined as our engagement in the culture and language and rational categorizing of the world. Atonement, redemption, these all refer to this epiphany about who we really are and is not unlike what the Buddhists are talking about: they are just as radical in their condemnation of the world as estrangement from our Buddha nature, which is always already there in the given moment. Becoming enlightened for a Buddhist is like Kierkegaard's qualitative leap our of the "sin" of our everyday lives.

That is all for now on this. It is hastily written and has highly contentious ideas. These arguments are think and heavy in their original presentation. But I actually think Kierkegaard is near the truth of the matter of guilt and divinity.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » September 29th, 2018, 7:09 pm

Has Guilt been necessarily present in any philosophical foundation of conciseness? What about Stoics and Epicureans?

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » September 29th, 2018, 7:17 pm

It was a mistake there. I mean consciousness.
Number2018 wrote:
September 29th, 2018, 7:09 pm
Has Guilt been necessarily present in any philosophical foundation of consciousness? What about Stoics and Epicureans?

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Hereandnow » September 29th, 2018, 9:34 pm

Number2018
Has Guilt been necessarily present in any philosophical foundation of conciseness? What about Stoics and Epicureans?
The guilt discussed here is very different from the Stoics and Epicureans. It is not a practical matter of deciding if guilt should be subdued or embraced, that is, this is not principal. Kierkegaard is not trying to figure out how to live life efficiently. I would have to read more on Marcus Aurelius and others to go into it, though.

Here, guilt is understood as a structural feature of being a person int he world that rises up when one begins to understand that the true self is completely different from the socially constructed self that they have been identifying with all their lives. Kierkegaard, whom I am currently infatuated with (it will pass and I will move on, but he will have made a permanent contribution to my thinking), is trying to understand the Christian concept of original sin. He often uses Biblical ideas to examine the world existentially.

As to philosophical foundations, he is working within the groundwork laid out by Kant and Hegel and others. I could go into it some but you might not be interested. But in brief, it is Kant's transcendental ego, the one "behind" the thoughts that show up in our judgments and language that Kierkegaard is on about. And it is Hegel's historical dialectics that is behind his notion of sin.

You can bet that Freud read Kierkegaard. Freud said that we are all of us neurotic because we are repressed. Neurosis is for Freud a common malady, the norm, not the exception (see Norman O. Brown on this). Kierkegaard said decades earlier the same, that guilt (a neurotic response) is pervasive, beneath the surface of our gleeful and engaged lives. Freud followed Kierkegaard in that he thought the solution was to expose the source. Both believed that the painful experience of facing one's deeper conflicts was the way to improvement. But here, they part company.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » September 30th, 2018, 2:34 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
September 29th, 2018, 9:34 pm
The guilt discussed here is very different from the Stoics and Epicureans. It is not a practical matter of deciding if guilt should be subdued or embraced, that is, this is not principal.

Here, guilt is understood as a structural feature of being a person in the world that rises up when one begins to understand that the true self is completely different from the socially constructed self that they have been identifying with all their lives.
For a stoic, as a philosopher of immanence, the true self neither was originated in an unachievable and unknown Transcendental Being,
nor was it socially constructed and imposed. The authentic philosophical self could have been built and achieved through a constant work of the care of the self, with the help of techniques and ways of a philosophical school and tradition. There was not the central question of guilt as a priory that corresponds to transcendence, for each person or for everyone, guilty or innocent; but the issue of an encounter with fate – therefore, an antic philosopher, had been unable to realize his ethics of a good life, prepared himself to commit suicide as an act of transgression. Seneca himself has shown a famous example of the philosophical death. One could ask if the struggle with fate was also central for Hamlet.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Fooloso4 » September 30th, 2018, 6:05 pm

What marks the distinction between poetry and philosophy?

I think this question is worth considering on its own, but in the context of the discussion it is tied to the problem of conscience.

The term ‘conscience’ means, with knowledge. For some this means that God knows what we are doing and so we should act accordingly. But for others it means some kind of inner knowledge by which we can distinguish right from wrong, good from bad. One obvious problem with this is what is deemed right or wrong good or bad is culturally and historically determined. And so, someone may, for example, suffer pangs of conscience for homosexual desire because their culture condemns it, but would be untroubled in a culture that does not.

Is the conscience active or passive? Socrates’ diamonia (in Plato’s version which differs from that of Xenophon), is a divine sign that warned him away when he was about to do something harmful or unjust, but was silent when it came to what he should do. What one should do, how one should live, requires philosophical deliberation.

The Æolian lyre is an apt metaphor for the passivity of Christian conscience. It is passive. The string vibrate when moved by the wind.

And this is the danger of this passive notion of conscience - one believes he or she is divinely guided and thus acts, as Dachshund claims, with:
... infallible … incontrovertible moral authority
One takes no responsibility for doing what the conscience demands, but has the utmost confidence that whatever it is it is right.

What role does philosophy play in light of an infallible, incontrovertible moral authority that we possess via the conscience? It would seem that moral deliberation is immoral since we should not deliberate about matters when we already know what we must do, it only confuses what is clearly and divinely illuminated.

Shelley claims:
The great instrument of moral good is the imagination …
But what need is there for the imagination? Why imagine things when we already have within us, an infallible, incontrovertible moral authority?

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Hereandnow » September 30th, 2018, 9:00 pm

Number2018
For a stoic, as a philosopher of immanence, the true self neither was originated in an unachievable and unknown Transcendental Being,
nor was it socially constructed and imposed. The authentic philosophical self could have been built and achieved through a constant work of the care of the self, with the help of techniques and ways of a philosophical school and tradition. There was not the central question of guilt as a priory that corresponds to transcendence, for each person or for everyone, guilty or innocent; but the issue of an encounter with fate – therefore, an antic philosopher, had been unable to realize his ethics of a good life, prepared himself to commit suicide as an act of transgression. Seneca himself has shown a famous example of the philosophical death. One could ask if the struggle with fate was also central for Hamlet.
Hamlet is complicated. Though there are a lot of poetic references to the stars and fate, as with the comments he makes about Claudius during his nightly drinking bouts, it is Christian metaphysics that has him down, as well as a disinclination to violence; what with all time at Wittenberg and what was likely endless arguments about the wages of sin. It undid his resolve. But then, he had to be clever, and his antics were justified as he tested friends and foes. Couldn't kill Claudius in prayer, could he? Hamlet was a neurotic mess.

As to the Stoic, the self produced out of "constant work of the care of the self" may not sound like a social self, but the values, the language and the culture which deliver the sense of importance are passed to a person through society with others. But I get it: Stoics are experience managers that repudiate excess. Fine, but take a Stoic to the extreme, where managing threat and pleasure becomes more than what you could call a first order self control; it becomes second order, whereby one deals directly with the very source of experience production itself. One becomes a Buddhist. A Buddhist, I would hazard, is a Stoic taken to its logical conclusion, the renunciation of all attachments, not just the prudent management of these.

An interesting idea, but disabuse on this if I am off this comparison.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Hereandnow » September 30th, 2018, 9:36 pm

fooloso4:
And this is the danger of this passive notion of conscience - one believes he or she is divinely guided and thus acts, as Dachshund claims, with


Emerson was in the same boat in, I think it was his Harvard divinity school address. Kiekegaard had something of this in him as well, but he is quite different in his thinking.

I think if we stop looking at what conscience cannot do and what it does, it makes what they all have in mind clearer: Conscience in all cases, I would argue, is aligned with compassion, empathy and the violation within these: the pain of the feeling of guilt. Is this knowledge? I think it is knowledge that something is, relative to one's moral sensibilities, wrong as it registers emotionally. And, it is distinctly Other oriented; I don't think one can feel the sting of conscience independently of others, even if it is one's own interests that are at stake, like doing badly on an exam in school may be disappointing to one self but this really passes to those Others who would be disappointed IN the person. I am convinced that conscience is all about emotional responses to harm one causes others.

Since it is a "feeling toned" response, the question goes to feelings, emotions that rise when one harms another. What are these? They are guilt. Conscience is the "knowledge" of being guilty, though guilt so far is still a relative term; I mean, it is not about the what one is guilty about, but just that one feels guilt about something and that something is harm to Others.

I take this to a higher level. Others don't, I know.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » October 1st, 2018, 3:11 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 10:05 am

Kierkegaard sin is the aesthetic, meaning sort of stupid and childlike, even if you are a respected doctor of minister way of life: without the anxiety of second guessing who you really are, what your authentic nature is.
Kierkegaard said that he was a poet of the faith rather than a knight – so, we can assume that his aesthetic
(and, Nietzsche's eternal return has shown it!) has become a productive part of his work. If God is dead, and we can not believe in the old manner, we are still able to explore aesthetic and phatic ways of becoming and metamorphosis, without knowing our authentic nature.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » October 1st, 2018, 3:15 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
September 30th, 2018, 9:00 pm

Hamlet is complicated. Though there are a lot of poetic references to the stars and fate, as with the comments he makes about Claudius during his nightly drinking bouts, it is Christian metaphysics that has him down, as well as a disinclination to violence; what with all time at Wittenberg and what was likely endless arguments about the wages of sin. It undid his resolve. But then, he had to be clever, and his antics were justified as he tested friends and foes. Couldn't kill Claudius in prayer, could he? Hamlet was a neurotic mess.
It is impossible to find out Hamlet’s authentic intention during
Claudius’s prayer scene (one could argue that Hamlet simultaneously wants and does not want to kill
Claudius); but, most likely, the tragedy itself has not exhausted its explosive potential yet. Almost at any instant, Hamlet has shown not a neurotic mess (your term),
but rather a dynamic moment of a paradoxical and catastrophic movement towards the end. Intensity and saturation of Shakespearean poetry lead us to sublime states of consciousness – which is entirely different from the philosophical ones.
A philosopher (Seneca)has planned and staged his own death in advance, applying the Reason and Judgement to accept it or to commit suicide with a clear and calm mind. While a poet has explored the excessive resources of language and aesthetic transgression, pushing them to the limits of the possible. Nietzsche’s end and death –had been poetic ones or philosophical?

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Hereandnow » October 1st, 2018, 9:19 pm

Number2018
Kierkegaard said that he was a poet of the faith rather than a knight – so, we can assume that his aesthetic
(and, Nietzsche's eternal return has shown it!) has become a productive part of his work. If God is dead, and we can not believe in the old manner, we are still able to explore aesthetic and phatic ways of becoming and metamorphosis, without knowing our authentic nature.
K said this because he knew he was not up to the task of being a knight of faith, which requires absolute commitment and detachment from what he called hereditary sin. Such a person could be on the surface entirely ordinary, but within she had made the essential qualitative leap of faith. K didn't really know what this was himself, he could only talk about it in his endless "nights of inwardness". As to his being a poet, I suppose he said this as he has said many self effacing things to make clear that his intellectual strength was entirely beside the point he was making. He fought, in his philosophizing, long and hard trying to express this very idea: the knight of faith is one who is beyond reason's categories, where reason cannot possess. As to the productive part of his work, it is not his aesthetic (being careful here because K used this term in a special way) or his writing style that makes his case. It is his dialectic that demonstrates the "collision" reason has with actuality of the eternal present.
For K God was dead in the mentality of the Christians of his day. He had many nasty things to say about how the minsters entirely misapprehended their religion. Finally, K would not agree exploring aesthetic and phatic ways of living are defensible. Just the opposite.
It is impossible to find out Hamlet’s authentic intention during
Claudius’s prayer scene (one could argue that Hamlet simultaneously wants and does not want to kill
Claudius); but, most likely, the tragedy itself has not exhausted its explosive potential yet. Almost at any instant, Hamlet has shown not a neurotic mess (your term),
but rather a dynamic moment of a paradoxical and catastrophic movement towards the end. Intensity and saturation of Shakespearean poetry lead us to sublime states of consciousness – which is entirely different from the philosophical ones.
A philosopher (Seneca)has planned and staged his own death in advance, applying the Reason and Judgement to accept it or to commit suicide with a clear and calm mind. While a poet has explored the excessive resources of language and aesthetic transgression, pushing them to the limits of the possible. Nietzsche’s end and death –had been poetic ones or philosophical?
I don't know why Hamlet would not want to kill Claudius and I cannot see how he is not teetering on the threshold of mental collapse. Just read the soliloquies! He is positively frothing over the "steamy sty" of the wedding bed, kills Polonius thinking him Claudius! Of course, he is conflicted, for real murder of his uncle is far from theory learned where Luther nailed his 95 theses announcing the reformation; but he has confirmation from his purgatoried dad that Claudius was guilty. No, he wanted to kill Claudius, he was just complicated, testing the court, his friends, their loyalties. He was also terrified.
Not sure what Seneca has to do with this. Hamlet was no Stoic, nor did he have a clear and calm mind. As to the tragedy's unrealized "explosive potential" and sublime states of consciousness which differ from philosophy, you will have to enlighten me.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » October 2nd, 2018, 5:21 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 9:19 pm

I don't know why Hamlet would not want to kill Claudius and I cannot see how he is not teetering on the threshold of mental collapse. Just read the soliloquies! He is positively frothing over the "steamy sty" of the wedding bed, kills Polonius thinking him Claudius! Of course, he is conflicted, for real murder of his uncle is far from theory learned where Luther nailed his 95 theses announcing the reformation; but he has confirmation from his purgatoried dad that Claudius was guilty. No, he wanted to kill Claudius, he was just complicated, testing the court, his friends, their loyalties. He was also terrified.
My point was that it would be a mistake to consider Hamlet as a real person, as we used to think so. So, he did not kill Claudius because Shakespeare did not want it, the tragedy would’ve ended abruptly and untimely.

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Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » October 2nd, 2018, 5:29 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 9:19 pm

K said this because he knew he was not up to the task of being a knight of faith, which requires absolute commitment and detachment from what he called hereditary sin. Such a person could be on the surface entirely ordinary, but within she had made the essential qualitative leap of faith. K didn't really know what this was himself, he could only talk about it in his endless "nights of inwardness". As to his being a poet, I suppose he said this as he has said many self effacing things to make clear that his intellectual strength was entirely beside the point he was making. He fought, in his philosophizing, long and hard trying to express this very idea: the knight of faith is one who is beyond reason's categories, where reason cannot possess. As to the productive part of his work, it is not his aesthetic (being careful here because K used this term in a special way) or his writing style that makes his case. It is his dialectic that demonstrates the "collision" reason has with actuality of the eternal present.
For K God was dead in the mentality of the Christians of his day. He had many nasty things to say about how the minsters entirely misapprehended their religion. Finally, K would not agree exploring aesthetic and phatic ways of living are defensible. Just the opposite.
I would like to take a different perspective on K’s work and life. I think
that a fundamental ambivalence, the absence of affirmativeness, the refusal of final self-identification have composed the essence of K’s way of being. If we consider Gjentagelsen, it is impossible to decide where is K himself (the author) regarding the main characters: there are the narrator, poet, Job (who is definitely knight of faith) –all of them are engaged in diverse interrelations. K states that Repetition is his way of existence, but it is not about simple miming or playing a role – actually, K creates and lives through a complicated assemblage of his characters and a variety of poetic, theological, philosophical, and literary resources.
Probably, to call K’s invention of being aesthetic living would be incorrect, he neither was entirely a poet nor an artist. Has he created a kind of existential metamorphosis?
By the way, my reflections on K are just preliminary, it is a hypothesis. :)

Number2018
Posts: 42
Joined: July 29th, 2018, 12:00 pm

Re: Poetry's Defense

Post by Number2018 » October 2nd, 2018, 5:37 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
September 30th, 2018, 9:36 pm

I think if we stop looking at what conscience cannot do and what it does, it makes what they all have in mind clearer: Conscience in all cases, I would argue, is aligned with compassion, empathy and the violation within these: the pain of the feeling of guilt. Is this knowledge? I think it is knowledge that something is, relative to one's moral sensibilities, wrong as it registers emotionally. And, it is distinctly Other oriented; I don't think one can feel the sting of conscience independently of others, even if it is one's own interests that are at stake, like doing badly on an exam in school may be disappointing to one self but this really passes to those Others who would be disappointed IN the person. I am convinced that conscience is all about emotional responses to harm one causes others.
Since it is a "feeling toned" response, the question goes to feelings, emotions that rise when one harms another. What are these? They are guilt. Conscience is the "knowledge" of being guilty, though guilt so far is still a relative term; I mean, it is not about the what one is guilty about, but just that one feels guilt about something and that something is harm to Others.
If I understand you correctly, your main point is that conscience
Is impossible without relation with Others. And, since the essential Other – God, Transcendental Being, or Law are practically unknown and unachievable, there must be a particular necessary connection of conscience with guilt. So, Guilt must, in fact, be the a priori that corresponds to transcendence, for each person or for everyone, guilty or innocent. Nevertheless, may we conceive
different ontological conditions of consciousness?
Who are the others, when we drive? Don’t we actually activate subjectivity and a multiplicity of partial consciousness connected to the car‘s technological mechanisms? Is there “individuated subject” that is in control of the driving? If one knows how to drive, one acts without thinking about it, without engaging reflexive consciousness. She is guided by the car’s machinic assemblage. Her actions and subjective components (memory, attention, perception, etc.) are “automatized,” they are a part of the machinic, hydraulic, electronic, etc. apparatuses, constituting non-human parts of the assemblage.

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