Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

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findingblanks
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by findingblanks »

Ah, I found a fairly well regarded Schopenhauer scholar who said he might come here and speak up. Seems like this guy agrees with Bernardo that Schopenhauer is not at all making the claim Steiner insists that he is. Even though Steiner obviously can't be wrong, it will at least be interesting to see what term we would come up with if we find out that Schopenhauer was well aware that eyes and hands are representations. Stay tuned.
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AshvinP
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 4:03 pm Ah, I found a fairly well regarded Schopenhauer scholar who said he might come here and speak up. Seems like this guy agrees with Bernardo that Schopenhauer is not at all making the claim Steiner insists that he is. Even though Steiner obviously can't be wrong, it will at least be interesting to see what term we would come up with if we find out that Schopenhauer was well aware that eyes and hands are representations. Stay tuned.
I can't wait... everyone get your popcorn popped :) . But I will remind you and other readers the very first sentence in BK's answer to my question about Steiner's quote:

"The description [by Steiner] of what Schopenhauer means is more or less accurate."

So your scholar is already off to a rough start if he disagrees with BK on that. BK certainly disagrees with Steiner's critique, but not Steiner's interpretation of Schopenhauer's argument.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
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findingblanks
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by findingblanks »

Agreed. Anybody who claims Steiner had no grasp at all on Schupenhauer or who claims that Steiner's comments "Destroy" Steiner's overall philosophy, shouldn't even be considered yet capable of adding too much.

When somebody claims that a sentence or two 'destroys' and entire philosophy, I say that's a red flag. Youtube these days is just filled with thousands of videos of 'philosophers' destroying another person's argument by pointing out a flaw in logic in a paragraph.

Trust me if a so-called Schopenhauer scholar comes here, points to a sentence by Steiner (like when he says Schopenhauer's core claims falls apart completely) and claims Steiner was obviously incapable of understanding reality, that person is way too far gone to contribute to the conversation.
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AshvinP
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 4:56 pm Agreed. Anybody who claims Steiner had no grasp at all on Schupenhauer or who claims that Steiner's comments "Destroy" Steiner's overall philosophy, shouldn't even be considered yet capable of adding too much.

When somebody claims that a sentence or two 'destroys' and entire philosophy, I say that's a red flag. Youtube these days is just filled with thousands of videos of 'philosophers' destroying another person's argument by pointing out a flaw in logic in a paragraph.

Trust me if a so-called Schopenhauer scholar comes here, points to a sentence by Steiner (like when he says Schopenhauer's core claims falls apart completely) and claims Steiner was obviously incapable of understanding reality, that person is way too far gone to contribute to the conversation.
I am not sure who you are referring to here - I have never claimed anyone "destroys" anyone else's entire philosophy (I actually find some good value in Schopenhauer's aesthetic philosophy). Steiner never uses the word "destroy" either... and as you know, if we collected all his comments on Schopenhauer together, we would probably have enough for a short book. So it is no fly-by-night treatment of Schopenhauer.

Anyway, the point was that BK thought Steiner's characterization of Schopenhauer's argument, even in that relatively short section, was "more or less accurate". Maybe BK is wrong about that and maybe not, but I was just clarifying that your claim, "[scholar] agrees with Bernardo that Schopenhauer is not at all making the claim Steiner insists that he is", was not at all accurate.
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Cleric K
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by Cleric K »

I find it painful to try extract from this or that quote whether Steiner or Schop were 'right' about X. All these questions can be settled if we simply encompass the overall spirt of the heritage each has left. Assuming neither of them was erratic individual, who wrote random things, it's clear that in their life's works they tried to put down coherent descriptions of their own spiritual perspectives. Their perspectives are so different that in certain cases it simply makes no sense to say "Maybe Steiner misunderstood Schop, maybe they were talking about the same thing after all?"

Isn't it quite clear what Schop spoke about? Why dismiss the overall pessimistic mood, which alone allows us to understand most of his philosophy? I've already spoken about this. This mood is the result of the ego living in the mental pictures, feeling as a slave emergent property of the blind Will giant.

Compare this with Steiner where behind the mental pictures live intuitions, which are the very universal essence of the creative Cosmos. This opens the road for evolution of Man into the wide expanses, to find there the moral impulses for the transformation of personal, social and planetary life. Spiritual science reveals before us a world of possibilities that can fill Life with meaning up to the brim.

It simply makes no sense to say something like "Well, Schop was pessimist, he thought life could never have any meaning. The only solace for the meaningless existence of the ego living in mental pictures was to at least contemplate what is aesthetically beautiful in ascetic lifestyle. Yet this doesn't mean that he didn't see man as capable of evolving and expanding consciousness, such that the World Will can become conscious of itself at more and more Macrocosmic scales." It's like saying "Yes, he spoke everywhere that the world is black but maybe scholars simply didn't understand him. Maybe with everything he wrote about blackness, he actually meant white. Or maybe he was about to explain about the whiteness but died before that."

If this is the thesis at the core of this thread - I give up. After all, FB takes PoF and reads in it the exact opposite of the written, what's left about reading into what Schop has not written. The possibilities are endless :)

What's the point of arguing Schop vs. Stein when you refuse to read into what is literally written in PoF - that in Thinking intuitions we live in the actual spiritual essence of reality? You insist that it's all mental pictures, the shadow copies of reality. I won't quote PoF again, where Steiner says it as explicitly as it can ever be, since you simply ignore it and think he was either wrong, or overstated it, or he was not articulate enough to make his 'actual' point that in thinking we live only in mental pictures of the real thing-in-itself (Will or otherwise).

I had some fun in the other thread with all the detective work to figure out your position but this isn't really fun anymore. You have completely virtual pictures for both Schop and Stein. As said, for Steiner you simply invent whatever meaning you want behind his words and ignore/declare wrong whatever you don't like. In Schop you're even freer because you argue about what he might have thought but never written down. I don't see what kind of meaningful discussion we can have on these grounds.
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

findingblanks wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:56 pm "The world is my mental picture — this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and cognizes, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical discretion. It then becomes clear and certain to him that he knows no sun and no earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world which surrounds him is there only as mental picture, that is, only in relation to something else, to the one who pictures it, which is he himself. If any truth can be asserted a priori, it is this one, for it is the expression of that form of all possible and thinkable experience which is more universal than all others, than time, space, or causality, for all these presuppose it."

Does anybody think that the only way to understand this passage is to claim that Schopenhauer did not realize that our hands and eyes (as perceptions) are also representations.
You playing rope-a-dope with Schope, as a prelude to morphing into the 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee' Muhammad Ali version of FB? :mrgreen:

For what it's worth, my take on the Schope quote is that in making the point that there are no objective 'things' out there existing independent of consciousness, but only the experience of the apparency of such objects, he's surely aware that the 'hand and the eye' are as much a part of that apparency as the 'earth and the sun.' But since he's not here to clarify this implicit understanding, we're left with woulda/coulda/shoulda ruminations about how it may have been here and there better worded—not an exercise I'm inclined to indulge in. But no doubt you'll carry on as you seem compelled to do.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
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where mutual longings and sufferings of love
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we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
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AshvinP
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by AshvinP »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:27 pm
findingblanks wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:56 pm "The world is my mental picture — this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and cognizes, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical discretion. It then becomes clear and certain to him that he knows no sun and no earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world which surrounds him is there only as mental picture, that is, only in relation to something else, to the one who pictures it, which is he himself. If any truth can be asserted a priori, it is this one, for it is the expression of that form of all possible and thinkable experience which is more universal than all others, than time, space, or causality, for all these presuppose it."

Does anybody think that the only way to understand this passage is to claim that Schopenhauer did not realize that our hands and eyes (as perceptions) are also representations.
You playing rope-a-dope with Schope, as a prelude to morphing into the 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee' Muhammad Ali version of FB? :mrgreen:

For what it's worth, my take on the Schope quote is that in making the point that there are no objective 'things' out there existing independent of consciousness, but only the experience of the apparency of such objects, he's surely aware that the 'hand and the eye' are as much a part of that apparency as the 'earth and the sun.' But since he's not here to clarify this implicit understanding, we're left with woulda/coulda/shoulda ruminations about how it may have been here and there better worded—not an exercise I'm inclined to indulge in. But no doubt you'll carry on as you seem compelled to do.
You and Cleric have both pointed to this quote-gamesmanship and I agree, it is overall a distraction from the real issue of the holistic meaning underlying the philosophy itself. However, I also think Schopenhauer provides a great opportunity to think through these things carefully when it comes to the most fundamental philosophical wrong turn of the last 500 years - the denial of Thinking "I" in the participatory role of finding meaning in the world. Is it a coincidence that Schopenhauer sees every perceptive-and-cognitive process in the 'causal chain' of representation as illusory "mental image", and then also happens to be super pessimistic bordering nihilistic in his philosophy? Not at all! It is also where Rovelli ends up from a slightly different approach as we see on the other thread where SS is trying to stick up for him by abstracting even further from the concrete meaning of these things :roll:

I am really wondering if anyone other than Cleric sees that Schopenhauer references thinking activity, knowing, meaning, etc. many times in that quote but without ever explicitly acknowledging its existence and role in this whole representational affair? Please say you see it too, Dana, because that would really brighten my day :) Of course I am joking, because I don't want anyone to just accept my word for it or anything like that, but I am curious what you think? That is a really short quote so it is kind of unfair to evaluate only that, but in the context of Steiner's criticism of Schopenhauer's overall philosophy I think it's fair enough. He simply fails to notice that we are bringing meaning to the representations and that is what allows him to make any of these arguments in the first place.

I suspect many people view what I just said as a trite and trivial truism that has nothing to do with the core arguments - but that is precisely my point... it has become so ingrained of a mental habit to ignore that connecting point between noumenon and phenomenon in our own Thinking that we cannot even understand why it matters anymore.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

AshvinP wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:54 pmPlease say you see it too, Dana, because that would really brighten my day
I must confess that my reading of Schopenhauer is limited to BK's framing of his ideas in DSM, so I haven't given it much consideration beyond that. Anyway, I certainly feel that it's surely not beyond some nuanced metamorphic elaboration, but he's hardly an exception in that regard, as I'm not a big believer in some definitive or final explication of what's going on.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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AshvinP
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by AshvinP »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 2:27 pm
AshvinP wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:54 pmPlease say you see it too, Dana, because that would really brighten my day
I must confess that my reading of Schopenhauer is limited to BK's framing of his ideas in DSM, so I haven't given it much consideration beyond that. Anyway, I certainly feel that it's surely not beyond some nuanced metamorphic elaboration, but he's hardly an exception in that regard, as I'm not a big believer in some definitive or final explication of what's going on.
BK's framing in DSM is even better (which also aligns with his framing in the Q&A response). That is a much more comprehensive framing which still manages to omit this basic observation of our own Thinking activity that we are trying to highlight. Sometimes these things begin sounding too abstract and roundabout, so let me just state is this way - until we understand our own force as spiritual beings who bring meaning to the world through Thinking, we are going absolutely nowhere with our otherwise sound philosophy. The long-term metamorphic consideration is very important, but not at all necessary to recognize this fact, as Steiner demonstrates clearly in PoF. Recognizing this fact is not the final explication of what is going on, it's the very beginning of the process to try and figure out what's going on.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
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Re: Schopenhauer being clumsy or sort of dumb?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

AshvinP wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:58 pmBK's framing in DSM is even better (which also aligns with his framing in the Q&A response). That is a much more comprehensive framing which still manages to omit this basic observation of our own Thinking activity that we are trying to highlight. Sometimes these things begin sounding too abstract and roundabout, so let me just state is this way - until we understand our own force as spiritual beings who bring meaning to the world through Thinking, we are going absolutely nowhere with our otherwise sound philosophy. The long-term metamorphic consideration is very important, but not at all necessary to recognize this fact, as Steiner demonstrates clearly in PoF. Recognizing this fact is not the final explication of what is going on, it's the very beginning of the process to try and figure out what's going on.
Well put ... in any case, my reading of Steiner is pretty much limited to your and/or Cleric's framing of it, so I'm in no position to challenge it.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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