Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

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Cleric K
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by Cleric K »

findingblanks wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:48 pm This is exactly what always happens. You say it is very straight forward when Steiner says we must find the concept that corresponds to the percept we have encountered and THEN, says Steiner thinking "brings" and "attatches" the concept to the percept.

I say, great: describe thisb "attatching" process straightforwardly. I even hinted that you would pop away and get "intellectual" (nothing wrong with that, by the way).

But come back and give me a few straightforward descriptions of your experience of finding and then attatching concepts to percepts. Again, I predict you'll either refer to spiritual experiences of perceiving a process that is typically unconscious (this contradicts Steiner's claim that every sentence in PoF can be grasped by clear thinking about everyday experience, and it shows why I'm entertained when you tell me what Steiner said os straightforward) or you'll search for an example of when we can't tell what we are seeing and have to consciously take time to ponder and then keep looking. This also ignores what Steiner os clearly saying.

Or you'll surprise me and acknowledge that there is nothing straightforward about that claim.

My hunch, you'll find another way of claiming we need to say more and more before you can even begin to simply describe this supposed finding and attatching of concepts.

And who knows if you realize how profoundly interesting it is that in PoF says that the percept hides thinking within itself.

Maybe in some abstract way you'll agree that that is deeply clarifying.
Seriously, blanks, I no longer have any clue what you're arguing about. And the fact that you don't tell what your actual view on the matter is, doesn't help either. I don't understand whether you protest about the word 'attach', about the fact that we don't experience a 'mechanism of attachment', or whatever else. The fact that the examples that I gave you don't satisfy you tells me that you're expecting something completely different. In other words you have some preconceived idea about what this attachment process should be, then you notice that there's no trace of such a process in consciousness and conclude that Steiner talks nonsense in PoF. This is the same fallacy when atheists imagine God as bearded man hiding in the clouds, notice that this is absurd, and conclude that everyone who believe in God are idiots. I apologize again if I'm projecting but you leave me guessing about what the nature of the problem is.

As said, we need nothing but livingly experienced thinking in order to make the proper observations. Here's a very simple but tremendously effective exercise. Look around and take some object. The more familiar, the better. Try to find something new about it, something you've never noticed before.

Here, I'll help you out. I'll do the exercise together with you as an example. I took a pencil that was lying on my desk and started to examine it:

Image

I've used this pencil for years but I've never really examined it more closely. Now as I look at it I see that the poor old pencil is quite worn out. There are few longitudal streaks where the paint is peeled. At the same time, as this is an exercise, I try to pay attention to my cognitive process, I try to be aware of what I'm doing in my consciousness. And I make many observations. I see that the paint is peeled. I actually become aware that this pencil is in fact a piece of wood that has paint on it. Yes, it's super elementary fact but I've never thought about it. Then I notice that these peelings have longitudal shape, they are like lines. They are not strictly parallel to the edge of the pencil's hexagonal shape but seem to go slightly diagonally. I can go on and on.

Now just consider this. Moments ago I only had some generic perception and the concept 'pencil'. Then through my consciously willed thinking activity I found a way to attach a ton of other concepts - wood, paint, peeled, longitudal, hexagon, worn out, etc. All of these concepts are meaningful ideal content. They tell me something about the perceptions that I behold, and allow me to relate it to many other concepts. For example I was thinking what could I have done with this pencil such that these longitudal and slightly twisting peeled streaks have formed. I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with the way I repeatedly put the pencil in the pencil case. Maybe I have used it while I've been doing carpentry and it got damaged - I don't remember. Yet there's a whole world of ideas that I can link to by starting from these observations.

This is very simple and straightforward exercise. I invite everyone to try it. The experience may surprise you. I have perceptions and through my deliberate spiritual activity I've come to experience a ton of other concepts/meanings/ideas, which simply wouldn't be there unless I attempted this exercise. In the most phenomenological sense, through my thinking I have attached concepts to the perceptions belonging to the pencil. I'm not speculating what may be lying behind my thinking and behind this attaching process. I'm interested in the immediate spiritual experience - I have visual perceptions and through my thinking I came to experience the above mentioned concepts in relation to them.

So I haven't overintellectualized anything here, I haven't resorted to unconscious and occult knowledge, I haven't dodged your request to give you an example. I simply described a straightforward experience of perceiving a pencil and enriching the perceptions with multitude of concepts. This enrichment I achieved through thinking about the perceptions of the pencil. If I hadn't thought about it I wouldn't have experience the meaning of these concepts. It's clear that the visual perception of the pencil hasn't changed. I have seen this pencil million times before. Yet now I experience a ton of concept together with this seeing, which previously were not there. I've 'attached' these concepts to the perception of the pencil through my thinking. I don't think I can give any more clearer example than this.
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by findingblanks »

This is what I know for sure:

If I asked you to describe the process of finding a certain kind of butterfly and to describe the butterfly, you'd probably take a little time to give me that description, especially if it was, as you say, straightforward.

Steiner says many times in his early epistemology that we first come across a percept and before we know what it is, we go 'search' (his word) for the the 'corresponding concept' (his term, among others) and 'select it' and then 'attach' it to the percept.

When I pointed to one of his typical ways of saying this, you said that is straightforward.

I said, oh, great, please describe that process in a straightforward way.

You haven't yet. I don' think that makes me right and you wrong. But it is very interesting. And in the Philosophy of Freedom study groups I am in, we tend to look very closely at this and try not pop away into the typical rationalizations (not psychological sense) and abstractions.

If I can't get you to give me a phenomenology of this process (I'll call it that 'attachment' process for short), then there is no way on Earth I can communicate to you about what I find deeply unified between Schopenhauer and Steiner. Down the road if you ever desire to just describe 'attaching' to me, please send me a direct message so I don't miss it. I'm not sure how often I'll be checking this group and the notifications aren't reliable for me. Thanks!
AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:26 pm
findingblanks wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:29 pm No, just describe the attaching. Imagine you look over and see a duck. No big deal. Now describe each aspect that leads from there being no concept to the "search" (Steiner's term) to the 'selecting' and to the "attatching". Oh and describe how many concepts get sorted through before is picked.

I know how this conversation goes, yet I genuinely would appreciate a straight forward description.
Like I said before, it seems to me you are confusing experience in general with Steiner's use of the term "percept". You are saying, "there is no experience where meaning is not already inherent". That is true and a critical point in the philosophy of Thinking (one that philosophers of Will do not concede). You then see that Steiner also said Willing is fundamental to experience, and somehow, by way of some philosophical process Cleric and I have yet to figure out, you claim that means Steiner equated Thinking with Willing or did not have a sharp distinction between them (and you claim something similar for Schopenhauer). But your understanding of both are at odds with everyone else's and the plain meaning of what claims they made in the texts you have quoted. Against all odds, you have still managed to avoid stating your position with respect to these two philosophies, two philosophies which obviously exist in the real world and create a significant divide in idealist metaphysics (regardless of Schopenhauer and Steiner). And, since you said I am projecting "psychoanalysis" onto you, every single comment you have posted has contained such attempts, like the bolded phrase above. I hope you can honestly assess and see that happening in your comments. Cleric has literally tried to describe the process in a different way in each of his comments, so there is no way you can claim some sort of ideological commitment which keeps it at low resolution and therefore allows you to "know how this conversation goes".
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by findingblanks »

AshvinP, you wrote:

"Cleric already illustrated what is meant by "attaching" several different times..."

Okay, well then I missed his phenomenology of that. Later today I hope to have time to scroll back and try to find it. If either of you have it at your finger tips and could just cut-paste it here, great. But it is my responsibility to find it.
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:38 pm AshvinP, you wrote:

"Cleric already illustrated what is meant by "attaching" several different times..."

Okay, well then I missed his phenomenology of that. Later today I hope to have time to scroll back and try to find it. If either of you have it at your finger tips and could just cut-paste it here, great. But it is my responsibility to find it.
Look at his comment right before your latest two - with the pencil illustration. Like he said, if that is not the non-abstract phenomenology you are looking for re: Steiner and "attaching" of percept-concept, then there isn't possibly anything else that could qualify as such.
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by findingblanks »

Okay, I found your pencil example. Just so you know, I've been doing the concentration exercise, as modified by Dennis Klocek, for over 20 years. It's wonderful. But I could see right away that I failed again to be clear. I will go into all the downstream things you said if we find that is necessary, but I'd rather start at the very top and respect your starting point; also your starting point happens to coincide right when mine, so we might benefit from not popping away from it too quickly. You said:

"I took a pencil that was lying on my desk and started to examine it."

Okay, just stay straitforwardly with that. Describe what it required for you to do that. Steiner says that before you knew it was a pencial you encountered a percept without a concept. You then, according to what Steiner says repeatedly in The Philosophy of Freedom, had to go 'search' for the 'corresponding concept."

So maybe the first part of your phenomenology can be to just describe what it was like encountering a meaningless visual image and knowing you needed to search for the concept that corresponds to it. Then, if you could please describe what it was like sorting through all the options you came across and what it was like to then "select the right concept" from all of your options. Just that first half would be wonderful. I'm assuming that is part of what you said is straightforward. Okay, then I'd love to read a phenomenology of what it was like to grasp the correct concept, and then a description of the process of bringing towards the percept (how did you know where to bring it, could you have missed and brought it to the wrong pure percept, stuff like that), and then to just describe what it was like to be in the process of attaching it to the percept so that you'd realize you were straightforwardly looking at a pencil and were ready to pick it up and think about it. I think it is cool to see how we can work with reality that we've already finished, but I was at least somewhat clear that I was interested in the the process that started with you encountering not a pencil but a percept that has not yet had the sought for, located and then attached corresponding concept.

Like I said, this conversation always moves in very typical ways. Often it does start as you did where we examine applying a very specific kind of process to objects. But then I sometimes get lucky and finally the person sees that I really mean it when I say that I'm asking for a phenomenology not of that amazingly helpful concentration process (I do indeed know the benefits it has) but of the process that in PoF Steiner says any reasonable person can admit happens in order to recognize an object. He made very clear that he was not talking about only people who have transformed themselves. He goes out of his way to state that he expected many materialist philosophers who he respected to understand his simple points about the logical starting point. I say all of that because as you've noticed I hoped you wouldn't make the next move (often, that is) and talk about how it is an unconscious process until we transform our consciousness and THEN we can grasp what Steiner means about we do this for every single perception we make.

I'm sure I'm still be confusing. But hopefully my appreciation for your time is clear. As I said, I'm happy to talk about so many other aspects of this topic, but since it started with me sharing Steiner's clear statements about how we don't have an object before us until we 1) encounter a pure percept, 2) search for the corresponding concept, 3) select it 4) bring it back to the percept 5) attach it, so that 6) we can see that there is a pencil in front of us.

You can see why people often pop away, get abstract or, eventually, talk about initiation experiences that allow us to understand what Steiner means.

Thanks!

My hunch is we are about to go down the very 'technical' road of explaining 'unconscious process' or perhaps just justifying why the starting point needed to have this kind of language. I've certainly been collecting those conversations for a couple decades. But I also know there is a chance that you still think that your process of picking up the pencil was as straightforward as Steiner's claims that started this particular conversation.
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

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And Cleric please know that I'll be more than ready to go through all your wonderful description of the concentration exercise as well. I hope you can see why my asking you to describe the phenomenology of simply straightforwardly looking over at the pencil is a cleaner starting point regarding what Steiner says in PoF. If we start with an exercise that presupposes there are pencils and concepts and exercises and they can go on forever, that is at least a few steps removed from simply describing for me what it was like for you to go through the phenomenology of noticing the pencil in the first place.

Later, we can talk about how many concepts you had to sort through before you selected "wood" and what it was like to reject some concepts "metal", "spong", "grapefruit", etc., and then what it was like to attach it to the percept that you supposedly didn't know was wood yet. And then it'll be helpful to hear what it is like when you've selected the correct concept but you can't fit it onto the so-called percept. But those are all far downstream for what you have to do every look around your room and name the things you see. Steiner was very clear in PoF that he was not talking about discoveries made that presuppose the existence of objects and other ways of characterizing them. He says that we encounter the pure percept and then thinking must go to go out and find the right concept to attach.

That is why I wanted to focus on the very first thing you said rather than the wonderful exercise that starts with already assuming you are holding a certain object.
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by AshvinP »

Sorry to butt in again, but I really want to make a few points. These points have already been made by Cleric in previous posts, but I just want to organize them in this one post, especially in light of your latest comment.

1) You are not asking for phenomenology by any reasonable definition - you are asking for a mechanistic and reductionist explanation of how the human mind connects meaning to perception. (presumably because you want followers of Steiner to realize meaning is inherent in every percept, and therefore Schopenhauer's percept of his own Will is a perfectly valid place to start building a coherent idealism, although for some reason you will never state your own conclusion on this). You are starting with a common dualist and idealist assumption that we reject as an artifact of Cartesian and Kantian dualisms - namely that these processes can be reduced to mechanisms. Steiner never makes any such claim in PoF or anywhere else, and that mechanistic approach clearly goes against the whole thrust of his philosophy.

2) Steiner's ontic prime is Thinking (and Willing and Feeling), so of course he does not deny that meaning is inherent to all experience. Therefore, one cannot possibly step outside of experience and observe how meaning arrives to experience in the first instance. Anyone who thinks that is a valid question is once again falling for the 3rd-person perspective of Kantianism which does not exist. And again, Steiner is not doing that in PoF, in fact he argues against philosophizing from such a non-existent perspective explicitly in multiple places.

3) Your argument presupposes that a phenomenology must start from zero meaning and go to "least possible meaning" to be aligned with Steiner's arguments in PoF. Why is that? Even if Cleric must start with some meaning in percepts to get to much more meaning in them, Steiner's argument for the role of Thinking and against Schopenhauer's blind Will is still exactly the same. It still holds that blind Willing (or partially blind Willing) cannot possibly bear the meaning of the world's Unity and only Thinking can.

As is usually the case in these things, your argument ends up being the perfect example of why Steiner was correct and needed to publish so many writings about this specific topic. People come up with all sorts of reasons to avoid the implications of Thinking's unique role in our experience. Yours is kind of creative, but pretty awkward as well. I think even you have recognized that in several posts. You have caveated a bunch of times that you are just throwing some things out there for followers of Steiner to consider, lest they become too certain of his correctness. But obviously that is not a good reason to challenge or support a philosophy. I really think you need to revisit PoF, because you are not at all accurately describing the arguments Steiner made in it, either original or updated.
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by Cleric K »

findingblanks wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:51 am And Cleric please know that I'll be more than ready to go through all your wonderful description of the concentration exercise as well. I hope you can see why my asking you to describe the phenomenology of simply straightforwardly looking over at the pencil is a cleaner starting point regarding what Steiner says in PoF. If we start with an exercise that presupposes there are pencils and concepts and exercises and they can go on forever, that is at least a few steps removed from simply describing for me what it was like for you to go through the phenomenology of noticing the pencil in the first place.

Later, we can talk about how many concepts you had to sort through before you selected "wood" and what it was like to reject some concepts "metal", "spong", "grapefruit", etc., and then what it was like to attach it to the percept that you supposedly didn't know was wood yet. And then it'll be helpful to hear what it is like when you've selected the correct concept but you can't fit it onto the so-called percept. But those are all far downstream for what you have to do every look around your room and name the things you see. Steiner was very clear in PoF that he was not talking about discoveries made that presuppose the existence of objects and other ways of characterizing them. He says that we encounter the pure percept and then thinking must go to go out and find the right concept to attach.

That is why I wanted to focus on the very first thing you said rather than the wonderful exercise that starts with already assuming you are holding a certain object.
Blanks,

Ashvin already pointed the core points sufficiently. I'll just add few words in the same lines, just to give more angles on the issue.

The bolded text in your response is not something that Steiner claims in PoF. Actually he makes it very clear what exactly this cleaner starting point is:
Steiner wrote:We must first consider thinking quite impartially, without reference to a thinking subject or a thought object. For both subject and object are concepts formed by thinking. There is no denying that before anything else can be understood, thinking must be understood. Whoever denies this fails to realize that man is not the first link in the chain of creation but the last. Hence, in order to explain the world by means of concepts, we cannot start from the elements of existence which came first in time, but we must begin with that element which is given to us as the nearest and most intimate. We cannot at one bound transport ourselves back to the beginning of the world in order to begin our studies from there, but we must start from the present moment and see whether we can ascend from the later to the earlier.
Here we really need to be very attentive because it seems people just gloss over words like the above and then continue to do their own thing. The clean starting point is arrived at by focusing on the given. And the givens are the thinking process as the meeting point of perceptions and meaning. No one claims that our cognitive activity, in the way we find it, is the most fundamental form of spiritual activity or is the actual pristine grounds of existence. Yet it is what we find when we awaken as thinking beings and it is from here that we must begin. When we're in position to think about these matters we've obviously gone a long way in our life already (obviously not a toddler anymore). And here's the critical point which results entirely from habits of mind. People simply forget what they have read in a paragraph like the quoted, as soon as they finish it. Then they continue with their habitual speculative and purely abstract thinking, as has been done for centuries. And no one is claiming that it's an easy habit to overcome. But it's still a small victory if we at least recognize it.

As far as I can tell, you agree with the pencil exercise in the form that I gave it. In other words, you agree that at that level we experience in our thinking, association between perceptions and concepts. But then you're still dissatisfied and try to push the process further back to the time when the very concept of pencil was for the first time acquired. It's perfectly justifiably to want to do that. Actually we must do that in the course of expansion of experiential knowledge. But then you place completely arbitrary constraints on the type of answer that you would like to receive.

It's clear that the elementary concepts like 'pencil' have been acquired in the earliest childhood (often tightly related to the process of language acquisition), when there's barely and structured intellectual thinking. I can go on here in details but you'll complain that "that's how it always goes" because I'll have to use Imaginative descriptions (since at that stage of life the intellect is barely starting to develop, let alone being able to phenomenologically conceptualize its own workings). You should understand that "it always goes like that" because you demand something impossible and not because others are stuck in their conceptions.

It's like demanding to be demonstrated how one can pee without unzipping his pants and without wetting them. Then the other person says that one must unzip his pants. The first objects "There we go again. I ask for a simple example, you start intellectualizing and dodging the question". We're in much similar situation. You demand to be given a demonstration of something that Steiner doesn't at all present in PoF. It's the contrary - he says that we find ourselves in a situation where our pants are zipped. God may have initially created us without pants, but whether we like it or not, this is the situation we found ourselves today. So we begin to trace our path in reverse, so to speak. In the context of PoF this means that we start from the given. We recognize our spiritual activity of thinking and the way we enrich perceptions with concepts. These are the most immediate observations we make. And they are observations. We simply give them names, like 'percept', 'concept', 'attaching'. It's entirely the result of our modern reductionist spirit that we immediately want to atomize these observations into completely abstract secondary concepts, which are supposed to 'explain' the given. You very well realize that this abstract approach is something that must be overcome, thus you place the additional demand that these abstract concepts should be phenomenologically observed. And this is the crux of the error. On one hand you realize that genuine spiritual approach must be grounded in living experience. On the other hand you build abstract picture of the spiritual processes that you want to experience livingly but face the impossibility to experience this mental picture as anything more than floating dry abstraction.

I hope you see what I'm talking about. This is actually a major stumbling stone for entering deep into PoF. People 'kind of' understand what PoF says about thinking (and the exceptional state) but it's just not something that they allow themselves to experience intimately. It's too 'simple', too 'elementary'. They are used to juggle with far more advanced concepts like MAL, fields, energies, alters, dimensions, etc. The simple examples of living experience of thinking (as I described in the pencil exercise) are all dandy and fine, but they just don't provide the kind of food that the modern intellect desires. Yet it is precisely through the simple living experience of thinking that we make progress. It is the pinhole that I often mention. It's about reaching a stage where we no longer use thinking as a tool for building intellectual models of reality but thinking itself becomes an object of experience. Legitimate island of reality in which we feel causally involved. This already hints at the need for a higher order of cognition if we are to live in a spiritual element that is weaving in the very spiritual process of thinking, and not simply rearrange the end products of it.


I'm beginning to get a feeling of what your position might be. I could be wrong, since you don't give much in to make it clearer. To me it feels you focus on the experiential perspective of the Observer, much like in Buddhist traditions. From that perspective thoughts emerge seemingly together with their meaning/concepts. It's only natural that from that point of view one would say "these Thinkers only fantasize this Thinking process and its imaginary function of attaching concepts to perceptions. They build a fantastic picture of this Thinking (attaching) process and become entangled in it, believing it is real. They don't realize that there's always a more firm foundations where one can observe how the whole emergence of thoughts simply springs out of the container of consciousness together with their meaning. It is the same with the illusion of thinking, except that they are so convinced that they are thinking, that they simply can't see that thinking unfolds just like any other natural process within consciousness, as pure observation of thought-perceptions together with meaning."

When one has thought themselves up into such a mystical corner it is very difficult to demonstrate that this is the case. It's again one of the simplest things, yet it falls completely in the blind spot. I have emphasized the words in the previous sentence deliberately because this is precisely what happens. Thinking progressively thinks away its reality. It's like cutting the branch on which one is sitting. There's inner refusal to experience ourselves as causative spiritual force of thinking (which is the given experience) and instead, this experience is repelled. The only thing that we succeed in doing with this, is that we do everything in our power to hide the thinking process in the blind spot. Then we observe thoughts emerging complete with their meaning, no attaching process whatsoever. The only thing that this 'observer' omits is that the very way of looking upon reality in this way, was consciously or not, worked out by the same thinking which now denies its place in the picture (thus the metaphor with the cutting the branch). This leads to all other kinds of irrationality that were recently addressed elsewhere. One has to conceive completely different ways of knowing, which supposedly place them above the mere emergence of thoughts.

Why is this passive mode of experience, that trumps everything else, so appealing? Because it provides a simpler experience with less concerns. It also gives the feeling that one transcends 'mere thinking'. It seems we've attained to another, more fundamental way of direct knowing, which sees through the illusion of thinking. As said, the irony of all this is that the conclusion that we have experienced a higher knowing mode than thinking, is reached by the very same thinking that we consider illusionary. It's only by deliberately blinding ourselves for this fact that we can maintain we now know things in a way different than Thinking.
On the other hand, when we start from the given and Thinking is experienced, we continue through that portal and discover the higher degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity. We can never find these degrees of freedom if we refuse to experience our spiritual activity within thinking and instead prefer to watch everything unfolding as a movie. The most we can achieve in this way is the feeling that we're somehow more than the movie and above it, but we can never approach the true spiritual causes behind the movie phenomena. These can only be known and experienced through the evolving forms of spiritual activity, and we approach these only if we are first able to experience our normal thinking as such spiritual activity.

I'm sorry if I'm mistaken and you don't hold such position, but I'm trying to figure the perspective from which the Thinking process seems to be so disagreeable.
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by SanteriSatama »

AshvinP wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:54 am 1) You are not asking for phenomenology by any reasonable definition - you are asking for a mechanistic and reductionist explanation of how the human mind connects meaning to perception.
As I understood, the question was phenomenological backtracking in the same sense as Heidegger's destruktio, and Derrida's less absolute 'deconstruction'.

Also, it is only to espected that the subject-construction in it's dependence from object-construction, and in it's character of mechanistic recreation of of the mechanism it reacts also as mechanistic defence mechanism which reacts to possibility of self-deconstruction as it did. :P
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Re: Philosophy Unbound: Schopenhauer vs. Steiner (Round One)

Post by AshvinP »

SanteriSatama wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:03 pm
AshvinP wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:54 am 1) You are not asking for phenomenology by any reasonable definition - you are asking for a mechanistic and reductionist explanation of how the human mind connects meaning to perception.
As I understood, the question was phenomenological backtracking in the same sense as Heidegger's destruktio, and Derrida's less absolute 'deconstruction'.

Also, it is only to espected that the subject-construction in it's dependence from object-construction, and in it's character of mechanistic recreation of of the mechanism it reacts also as mechanistic defence mechanism which reacts to possibility of self-deconstruction as it did. :P
Cleric explained clearly in last comment why it was not "phenomenological backtracking". That involves starting with the givens of our experience as they are now and then working back to how they came to be that way, as Steiner does so well in PoF (and Heidegger also does in a much different philological way with his lectures on Thinking). It does not involve starting with hypothetically how they could or should be or what we want them to be for sake of our argument against philosophy of Thinking. FB wants to start from an abstract hypothetical state of "confronting a pencil percept without any meaning and then attaching the first concept" - that is not phenomenology, but 3rd-person reductionist philosophy.
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