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BelGioioso

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #480 on: June 15, 2009, 11:20:11 AM »

Meursault is not an emotionally detached man, he simply cannot see any reason not to if it pleases Raymond. As an existentialist, he has no reason to regret what he does because it is done—regret is redundant. In his state of mind, Meursault is living fully in the present: he DOES feel, he feels joy and anger and frustration like every other human; he has a soul. The difference is that his feelings are sensual, they are experienced and explained through his senses: feeling the heat of the sun etc. Basically for him the only absolute Truth is death, and then there are many relative truths — and, in particular, the truths of religion and science (empiricism, rationality, etc) being, ultimately, meaningless. Meursault is unaware of the absurdity of human existence, yet it colours his actions, the only real and true things are his physical experiences, thus, he kills the Arab man as his response to the sun's physical effects upon him, as he moves toward his adversary on the brightly over-lighted beach. In itself, his killing of the Arab man is meaningless — merely another occurrence that happens to Meursault.


Apple, I tend to believe the "trick" with Mersault is that he has an utter detachment from all emotions -  so detached from the world around him, from his own emotions and the emotions of others, that the reader has to wonder what is the point of even living... Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov from "Crime & Punishment" comes to mind, but he is an intellectual in a bind. Mersault is part of the uber-mundane class who never tried to learn anything because he was so unpreoccupied with life.


Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg ex-student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of an evil, worthless parasite. Raskolnikov also strives to be an extraordinary being, similar to Napoleon, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.

The novel does not so much deal with the crime and its formal punishment, as with Raskolnikov's internal struggle. The book shows that his punishment results more from his conscience than from the law. He committed murder with the belief that he possessed enough intellectual and emotional fortitude to deal with the ramifications, [based on his paper/thesis, "On Crime", that he is a Napoleon], but his sense of guilt soon overwhelms him. It is only in the epilogue that his formal punishment is realized, having decided to confess and end his alienation.

The moral-psychological traits of his character incorporate this antinomy between instinctive kindness, sympathy, and pity on the one hand and, on the other, a proud and idealistic egoism that has become perverted into a contemptuous disdain for the submissive herd. Raskolnikov's inner conflict in the opening section of the novel results in a utilitarian-altruistic justification for the proposed crime: why not kill a wretched and "useless" old moneylender to alleviate the human misery? Dostoevsky wants to show that this utilitarian type of reasoning and its conclusions had become widespread and commonplace; they were by no means the solitary invention of Raskolnikov's tormented and disordered mind. Such radical and utilitarian ideas act to reinforce the innate egoism of Raskonikov's character, and to turn him into a hater rather than a lover of his fellow humans. He even becomes fascinated with the majestic image of a Napoleonic personality who, in the interests of a higher social good, believes that he possesses a moral right to kill. Indeed, his "Napoleon-like" plan drags him to a well-calculated murder, the ultimate conclusion of his self-deception with utilitarianism.

Although Raskolnikov eventually comes to the realization that happiness cannot be achieved by a reasoned plan of existence but must be earned by suffering, I would not place Camus's Meursault on the same par with him: in fact, it may well be argued that Raskolnikov is a product of his environment, and the main theme of the work is poverty and its results.


Honest, both Meursault in Camus' "The Stranger" and Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" were profoundly existentialist: each viewed himself as "an individual in a purposeless universe" who could depend only on his free will and rational mind. They took different paths to solve their mutual dilemma, life. Meursault became a passive observer -- nothing mattered, nothing touched him -- and he watched dispassionately as his life slipped away from him. Raskolnikov became a student radical and cared deeply about life -- especially his own philosophies and ideas -- and he took drastic actions in the hopes of improving both his and others' lives. Yet both their philosophies led them to commit murder: Meursault through careless disdain, Raskolnikov through an overpassionate concern with intellectual ideas and ideals that did not hold human lives to be all that important.

But if Meursault cared too little for life, Raskolnikov perhaps cared too greatly. His mind was not filled with ambivalent fog, with petty details of life, as was Meursault's; it was embroiled with the intellectual turmoil of the age. Society was rotten, anyone in Petersburg could see; one "old louse" held captive money that could benefit many more deserving people; were there not Napoleonic "extraordinary men" who could break the law and commit murder, "in the name of conscience", if such would help the mass of humanity? Was he not such a man for creating such a "new word" in philosophy? Eventually the feverish swirl of ideas and events and people and justifications and reasonings raging through his mind boiled over, and Raskolnikov reached the seemingly logical conclusion that he should kill the old pawnbroker. The universe belonged the men extraordinary of thought and will, and for such individuals law was pointless.

Meursault, the man with no firm beliefs, and Raskolnikov, the man with overpowering radical beliefs, were both misled by their reasoning (or lack thereof) to commit murder; the former murdered just because, the latter because he convinced himself that it was morally imperative that he kill, but both killed. This was in part because they failed to recognize a certain quantum truth about the universe: it is impossible to observe without being affected in some way. Imagining himself apart from the mass of humanity, Meursault could not simply watch the world go by and remain uncaught by the relentless force of events shaped by those who took a more active view of life. Raskolnikov likewise could not expect to isolate himself and to glorify his own intellect, and not fall prey to miscalculation. Yet while Raskolnikov was tormented with guilt and eventually confessed, thereby clearing the way for him to leave his existentialist fervor and have a real life, Meursault remained a cipher: his life, like his crime, seems utterly pointless. Raskolnikov may have been a brilliant young man who went far astray through too much attention to radical ideas, coming perilously close to losing his life; Meursault was only a shadow of a man, a dimensionless facade that had no life to lose.
People can never have access to the essence of things, only their metaphors, metaphors grounded in the bodily experience of pleasure and pain.

Alexian Pâtés

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #481 on: June 16, 2009, 09:47:15 AM »

[...] Rooting his vision of human liberation in the Frankfurt School notion of the embeddedness of human beings in nature, Marcuse believed that until aggression and violence within human beings was diminished, there would necessarily be continued destruction of nature, as well as violence against other human beings. [...]


Very much like Erich Fromm's worldview, his interpretation of the Talmud, his interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's exile from the Garden of Eden. Drawing on his knowledge of the Talmud, Fromm pointed out that being able to distinguish between good and evil is generally considered to be a virtue, and that biblical scholars generally consider Adam and Eve to have sinned by disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge. However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy, Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values.  rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.

Beyond a simple condemnation of authoritarian value systems, Fromm used the story of Adam and Eve as an allegorical explanation for human biological evolution and existential angst, asserting that when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being part of it. This is why they felt "naked" and "ashamed": they had evolved into human beings, conscious of themselves, their own mortality, and their powerlessness before the forces of nature and society, and no longer united with the universe as they were in their instinctive, pre-human existence as animals. According to Fromm, the awareness of a disunited human existence is a source of guilt and shame, and the solution to this existential dichotomy is found in the development of one's uniquely human powers of love and reason.
Away from Speculation, away from the System, and back to reality.

Wine-A-Rita

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #482 on: June 19, 2009, 10:08:24 AM »

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg ex-student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of an evil, worthless parasite. Raskolnikov also strives to be an extraordinary being, similar to Napoleon, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.

The novel does not so much deal with the crime and its formal punishment, as with Raskolnikov's internal struggle. The book shows that his punishment results more from his conscience than from the law. He committed murder with the belief that he possessed enough intellectual and emotional fortitude to deal with the ramifications, [based on his paper/thesis, "On Crime", that he is a Napoleon], but his sense of guilt soon overwhelms him. It is only in the epilogue that his formal punishment is realized, having decided to confess and end his alienation.

The moral-psychological traits of his character incorporate this antinomy between instinctive kindness, sympathy, and pity on the one hand and, on the other, a proud and idealistic egoism that has become perverted into a contemptuous disdain for the submissive herd. Raskolnikov's inner conflict in the opening section of the novel results in a utilitarian-altruistic justification for the proposed crime: why not kill a wretched and "useless" old moneylender to alleviate the human misery? Dostoevsky wants to show that this utilitarian type of reasoning and its conclusions had become widespread and commonplace; they were by no means the solitary invention of Raskolnikov's tormented and disordered mind. Such radical and utilitarian ideas act to reinforce the innate egoism of Raskonikov's character, and to turn him into a hater rather than a lover of his fellow humans. He even becomes fascinated with the majestic image of a Napoleonic personality who, in the interests of a higher social good, believes that he possesses a moral right to kill. Indeed, his "Napoleon-like" plan drags him to a well-calculated murder, the ultimate conclusion of his self-deception with utilitarianism.

Although Raskolnikov eventually comes to the realization that happiness cannot be achieved by a reasoned plan of existence but must be earned by suffering, I would not place Camus's Meursault on the same par with him: in fact, it may well be argued that Raskolnikov is a product of his environment, and the main theme of the work is poverty and its results.


Part of what makes Raskonikov such an enduring, compelling, and frightening character is the way he is able to coldly rationalize murder and evil. In his mind, when how the woman is "useful to anyone at all" he is suggesting that there are people who do not deserve to live and since his purposes are noble (he is not, after all, murdering her for the sheer joy of crime but in order to help his family and secure a good life for himself late) then his crime is justified. Although the guilt tears him apart, at no point does he ever seem to wonder about if what he did was right or wrong necessarily, but his guilt stems from a more complex set of reasons — not the least of which is the involvement of Sonia. For this essay, examine the many ways in which Raskolnikov is able to rationalize sin and close the essay with your insights on what this means.
Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.

Metromint

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The Nazi Extermination Camps - The Rationalization of Murder
« Reply #483 on: June 23, 2009, 10:07:59 AM »

You've got to be kidding us, lawn! You obviously don't have the slighest idea what does it feel like to kill. Here it is how researchers have described the whole process:

Concern about Being Able to Kill. Holmes' research indicates that one of the soldier's first emotional responses to killing is a concern as to whether, at the moment of truth, he will be able to kill the enemy or will "freeze up" and "let his buddies down." Interviewers and researchers have verified that these are deep and sincere concerns that exist on the part of most soldiers, and it must be remembered that only 15-20% of U.S. World War II riflemen went beyond this first stage. Too much concern and fear can result in fixation, resulting in an obsession with killing on the part of the soldier. This can also be seen in peacetime psychopathologies when individuals become fixated or obsessed with killing. In soldiers -- and in individuals fixated with killing in peacetime -- this fixation often comes to a conclusion through step two of the process: killing. If a killing circumstance never arises, individuals may continue to feed their fixation by living in a fantasy world of Hollywood-inspired killing, or they may resolve their fixation through the final stage, rationalization and acceptance.

The Killing Stage: "Without even thinking." Usually killing in combat is completed in the heat of the moment, and for the modern, properly conditioned soldier, killing in such a circumstance is most often completed reflexively, without conscious thought. Being unable to kill is a very common experience. If on the battlefield the soldier finds himself unable to kill, he can either begin to rationalize what has occurred, or he can become fixated and traumatized by his inability to kill.

The Exhilaration Stage: "I had a Feeling of the Most Intense Satisfaction." The adrenaline of combat can be greatly increased by another high: the high of killing. What hunter of marksman has not felt a thrill of pleasure and satisfaction upon dropping his target? In combat this thrill can be greatly magnified and can be especially prevalent when the kill is completed at medium to long range. Fighter pilots, by their nature, and due to the long range of their kills, appear to be particularly susceptible to such killing addiction. For some combatants the lure of exhiliration may become more than a passing occurrence. A few may become fixated in the exhiliration stage and never feel remorse. 

The Remorse Stage: A Collage of Pain and Horror. The tremendous and intense remorse and revulsion associated with a close-range kill is expressed in these words:

Quote
"... my experience, was one of revulsion and disgust... I dropped my weapon and cried... There was so much blood... I vomited... And I cried... I felt remorse and shame. I can remember whispering foolishly, "I'm sorry" and then just throwing up."

Whether the killer denies his remorse, deals with it, or is overwhelmed by it, it is nevertheless there, almost always. The killer's remorse is real, it is common, it is intense, and it is something that he must deal with for the rest of his life.

The Rationalization and Acceptance Stage: "It Took All the Rationalization I Could Muster." The next personal-kill response stage is a lifelong process in which the killer attempts to rationalize and accept what he has done. This process may never truly be completed. The killer never completely leaves all remorse and guilt beyond, but he can usually come to accept that what he has done was necessary and right. In personal accounts of those who have killed one may notice the use of specific words. At first, for instance, use of words such as "he" "him" and "his" shows the recognition of the killer's humanity. But then the enemy's weapon is noted, the rationalization process begins, and "he" becomes "the body" and ultimately the "gook." Once the process begins, irrational and irrelevant supporting evidence is gathered, and the possession of, say, U.S.-made shoes and a watch becomes a cause for depersonalization rather than identification.


The killing process was rationalized by the Nazi ideology of racial superiority/inferiority. These ideas were given official legal sanction in the Nuremberg Laws (1935). Combined with Hitler's quest for lebensraum, "living space," and his goals of world domination, and with World War II as a cover, the Nazi regime was able to carry out the greatest crime in human history. A clear distinction must be observed between the death camps, or killing centers, and the concentration camps. In some sense, all of the concentration camps, and there were hundreds of them, were death camps in that thousands of inmates died of starvation, being worked to death, exposure to the elements, epidemics and disease, or simply being executed for alleged crimes. However, the camps are classified on the basis of their primary, or intended, function. Many of the camps were established early in the Nazi regime under the "Protective Custody" law of February 28, 1933 which authorized the police to make arrests on suspicion of criminal activity and incarcerated without benefit of legal counsel or trial. The first such camp was created at Dachau near Munich in the south (1933). In that same year, Buchenwald was established near Weimar in the central part of Germany and Sachsenhausen, near Berlin, in the north. Additional camps were constructed between 1934 and 1941 as the need for them rapidly increased. The first inmates of these camps were Communists, democrats, socialists, political criminals, homosexuals and, of course, Jews. Some camps, however, were specifically equipped for mass killing by means of gas chambers and crematoria for disposing of the remains. As noted below, several methods were utilized. In the earlier camps, exhaust fumes from truck engines, or tank engines, were pumped into sealed gassing vans, sealed railroad cars, or specially constructed gas chambers. In some of the later camps, Zyklon-B pellets were used. In Stutthof, lethal injections were used to kill sick prisoners. None of these methods completely supplanted shootings, hangings and fatal beatings.

At the turn of the century, German sociologist, Max Weber, called attention to the dominant process underlying western culture - rationalization. In Weber's view, the economic revolution and the Industrial Revolution combined to produce the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. The driving force underlying both was rationalism - a quest for and the implementation of the most rational means for goal achievement. In order for capitalism and industrialization to reach their goals, a system of production and organization would emerge based on the principles of efficiency, predictability, calculability and control. The emergent result of this driving force is the bureaucracy. While Weber certainly recognized the importance and the positive potentialities of rationalization, he also recognized its dangerous potential to erode individual liberties and to dehumanize. Weber feared the long range consequences of a process which focused exclusively on means-end rationality to the exclusion of any concern with the human element of social organization. He expressed these fears in his concept of the "Iron Cage of Rationality," i.e., a process so rational that (a) it is irrational and (b) creates an inevitable cage from which there is no escape.

Contemporary sociologist, George Ritzer, "The McDonaldization of Society," 1996, has extended Weber's analysis to virtually every segment of modern society (the fast food industry, education, health care, child care, recreation and the work place). In a particularly penetrating analysis, Ritzer applies this analysis to the Holocaust. Drawing upon Weber and Holocaust scholar, Zigmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust, 1989, Ritzer argues that the Holocaust displays all the characteristics of rationality: efficiency, predictability, calculabibility, control and the ultimate dehumanization of its victims by treating death as a unit of production. The experiences of the Einsatzgruppen and the mobile gas vans served as the impetus for the Nazis to seek a more rational and efficient killing process.

eurobubblies

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #484 on: June 29, 2009, 01:11:41 PM »


Very much like Erich Fromm's worldview, his interpretation of the Talmud, his interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's exile from the Garden of Eden. Drawing on his knowledge of the Talmud, Fromm pointed out that being able to distinguish between good and evil is generally considered to be a virtue, and that biblical scholars generally consider Adam and Eve to have sinned by disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge. However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy, Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values.  rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.

Beyond a simple condemnation of authoritarian value systems, Fromm used the story of Adam and Eve as an allegorical explanation for human biological evolution and existential angst, asserting that when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being part of it. This is why they felt "naked" and "ashamed": they had evolved into human beings, conscious of themselves, their own mortality, and their powerlessness before the forces of nature and society, and no longer united with the universe as they were in their instinctive, pre-human existence as animals. According to Fromm, the awareness of a disunited human existence is a source of guilt and shame, and the solution to this existential dichotomy is found in the development of one's uniquely human powers of love and reason.


Could you expand a bit, Alexian?
We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

R R

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #485 on: July 01, 2009, 02:38:54 PM »

Part of what makes Raskonikov such an enduring, compelling, and frightening character is the way he is able to coldly rationalize murder and evil. In his mind, when how the woman is "useful to anyone at all" he is suggesting that there are people who do not deserve to live and since his purposes are noble (he is not, after all, murdering her for the sheer joy of crime but in order to help his family and secure a good life for himself late) then his crime is justified. Although the guilt tears him apart, at no point does he ever seem to wonder about if what he did was right or wrong necessarily, but his guilt stems from a more complex set of reasons — not the least of which is the involvement of Sonia. For this essay, examine the many ways in which Raskolnikov is able to rationalize sin and close the essay with your insights on what this means.


The character of Raskolnikov ("Rodya," "Rodka") could be compared to other characters in Russian literature of that time. These heroes of Romantic era often possessed the qualities of revolt, cynicism and moral flaw in intelligent and attractive light. The critics created a name for such type of literary character, superfluous person. The examples of these heroes are Pushkin's Yevgeniy Onegin and Lermontov's Pechorin.

The primary conflict in "Crime and Punishment" is the internal development of Raskolnikov's character. In his mind are two contrasting personalities, each demanding control over him. One side, brought out by poverty and egoism, is the murderer who kills the pawnbroker. The other side, inspired by the love of others and his inner goodness, is his benevolent conscience which desires to help those around him. The conflict rages on throughout the whole novel, and in the end Raskolnikov's good side wins over as he accepts his guilt, admits to his wrongness, and turns his life over to Sonia and God. In "Crime and Punishment," Dostoevsky attempts to portray the complexity of Raskolnikov's mental evolution. A primary vehicle for this task is his use of the literary device irony. Irony is the contrast between what is said and what is meant, or what happens and what is expected to happen. In verbal irony, characters say the opposite of what they mean. In situational irony, the unexpected happens.

Dolce Nonna

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #486 on: July 02, 2009, 10:56:08 AM »


Very much like Erich Fromm's worldview, his interpretation of the Talmud, his interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's exile from the Garden of Eden. Drawing on his knowledge of the Talmud, Fromm pointed out that being able to distinguish between good and evil is generally considered to be a virtue, and that biblical scholars generally consider Adam and Eve to have sinned by disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge. However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy, Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values.  rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.

Beyond a simple condemnation of authoritarian value systems, Fromm used the story of Adam and Eve as an allegorical explanation for human biological evolution and existential angst, asserting that when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being part of it. This is why they felt "naked" and "ashamed": they had evolved into human beings, conscious of themselves, their own mortality, and their powerlessness before the forces of nature and society, and no longer united with the universe as they were in their instinctive, pre-human existence as animals. According to Fromm, the awareness of a disunited human existence is a source of guilt and shame, and the solution to this existential dichotomy is found in the development of one's uniquely human powers of love and reason.


"Away from Speculation, away from the System, and back to reality."

Great signature from Kierkegaard, Alexian - BE YOURSELF!

musician

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Why Freud would have rejected Nietzsche's ER
« Reply #487 on: July 04, 2009, 01:14:58 PM »

Freud conceives the death instinct as a biological drive of life to return to the inanimate. The life instinct defends against this self-destructive drive of the death instinct both by projecting it externally as aggression and by binding it internally in sadomasochistic forms. Freud links an array of clinical phenomena, the repetition compulsion, sadomasochism, melancholia, obsessional neuroses, trauma, the negative therapeutic reaction, aggression, and self-destructiveness, to the workings of the death instinct. Klein and Bion and their followers emphasize the significance of the death instinct in psychological development and in trauma, psychosis, and character disorders. The question of whether there exists in human beings a force of primal destructiveness is a central question raised by Freud's concept of a death instinct. Freud's formulations of the death instinct and its Nirvana principle were instigated by reflections on the repetition compulsion that lends a haunted, daemonic, or fateful quality to our lives. The repetition compulsion, and thus the idea of a death instinct, has an archetypal basis in the myth of the eternal return and that Freud's linking of the repetition compulsion to a death instinct is an intuitive but unrealized mythologizing. The death instinct is divested of the rational, scientific claims Freud so persistently makes for it, and is allowed to reconstitute in the domain of metaphysics and myth. On the basis of ideas from the works of Eliade, Jung, and Hillman, it is suggested that in Freud's concept of a self-annihilatory death instinct, the Nirvana principle stands for an unattainable spiritual life that is repressed as death.



The link between concrete instances of repetition in everyday life and the larger and seemingly unrelated philosophical issues associated with eternal return is established in certain passages of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" and his autobiographical "Ecce Homo," as well as passages from other writings. A close reading of these passages confirms the legitimacy of thinking about eternal return in terms of concretely lived experiences. This leads into the heart of psychoanalytic practice, the alpha and omega of which is the repetition compulsion in its manifestation as transference. Here linear history appears to be abolished and replaced by a sense of timelessness and endless circularity. The analysand repeats entire episodes of his or her affective life without realizing that the seemingly novel interactions with the analyst are, in effect, new additions of old but unconscious experience patterns. Linear history and eternal return coexist in this paradox of transference.


Nietzsche says that "All psychology so far has remained hung up on moral prejudices and fears. It has not dared to go into the depths." Nietzsche changed it, and then Freud came along. The striking similarities between Nietzsche and Freud are well-known, and a whole literature is devoted to exploring them, primarily from a Freudian standpoint. While philosophers tend to be interested either in Nietzsche or in Freud, but rarely systematically in both, looking at Freud is useful for the purposes of this study, for two reasons. First, these similarities register strongly on a naturalist reading, and typically, in cases of such similarities, Freud provides laborious scientific investigations where Nietzsche offers flashy insights that require precisely such elaboration to be taken fully seriously. Second, while Freud never systematically engages with ER, nor even displayed a good understanding of its importance for Nietzsche, there are various grounds on which Freud would have rejected ER had he ever dealt with it. These two points show that exploring why Freud would have rejected ER is a fruitful way of exploring what to make of ER in the context of a naturalist reading of Nietzsche, and in general come to a better understanding of what Nietzsche took to be his greatest insight.

While Nietzsche believes we are not entirely transparent to ourselves, it is Freud who delivers a systematic model of the mind that also assigns a proper place to the unconscious, a model that, without difficulties, can be understood as accommodating Nietzsche's views, to the extent that they are developed. The goal of Freudian psychoanalysis is to help patients come to terms with what lies buried in their unconscious if it leads to apparently inexplicable patterns of behavior that interfere with the patient's life. But the underlying model of the mind that guides therapy also teaches that it will be rather hard to know oneself sufficiently well to be confident that one really wants to live this life again and again and again. But if so, it becomes dubious that we should test our own ability to affirm our lives by asking whether we would repeat this same life eternally. What precisely, other than sheer euphoria, would such a test assess? The other reason, finally, why Freud would not endorse ER turns on his view of guilt. As opposed to Nietzsche, Freud does not think that guilt can ever be overcome. Guilt is the price human beings pay for civilization: it simply comes with people's not living by themselves. Thus there will always be at least this element in an individual's life that she would want to be without, and so, again, it will be rather hard to be in a position to endorse ER. It turns out that, upon closer inspection, Nietzsche is, or at any rate ought to be, closer to Freud on these matters than it first appears, and therefore this Freudian reason for resisting ER as a life-affirmation test also applies to Nietzsche.

Like Nietzsche, Freud seeks to explain the origins of moral beliefs and emotions. Unlike Nietzsche, Freud does not think of such an account as part of a project of debunking morality. Neither is Freud concerned to object to common morality on behalf of human excellence, as Nietzsche is, nor does he have any interest in replacing debunked ideals with new ones, such as ER. In the "Future of an Illusion," Freud is clear that our God, Logos, promises no compensation for us who suffer grievously from life. Freud's vision, instead, is that morality can be justified on self interested grounds. Yet such self-interested morality merely delivers rules for conduct that are necessary for human beings to live together, but, as far as Freud is concerned, does nothing to answer any questions about the meaning of life. Freud is confident that in the long run nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction which religion offers to both is all too palpable – but, indeed, as he also reiterates in "Civilization and Its Discontents," no questions about meaning get answered anywhere:

Quote
The question of the purpose of human life has been raised countless times; it has never yet received a satisfactory answer and perhaps does not admit of one. (...) It looks (...) as though one had a right to dismiss the question, for it seems to derive from the human presumptuousness, many other manifestations of which are already familiar to us. Nobody talks about the purpose of the life of animals (…) One can hardly be wrong in concluding that the idea of life having a purpose stands and falls with the religious system.

Freud is not only hostile to the idea of accepting questions such as the one about the meaning of life into the confines of the scientific worldview (which by itself would not be such a radical view); he also appears to be loath to accepting any areas of inquiry that are genuine and objective in a sense to be spelled out, but also discontinuous with science, again in a manner to be spelled out. As far as morality is concerned, what is thereby excluded are, for example, practical reasoning approaches and constructivist approaches. Freud, in fact, makes no effort (and has no way) to distinguish between religious worldviews and such approaches to morality. All of these forms of discourse would simply be "meaningless." Freud, that is, is a subscriber to a strongly positivist criterion of meaningfulness.

Nietzsche and Freud are both naturalistic thinkers, and in particular they share an interest in explaining out moral beliefs and emotions in a manner continuous with the biological sciences. But Freud is a scientist committed to positivist worldview within which a lot of questions about how we ought to live simply make no sense. Nietzsche, as opposed to that, pursues his naturalist project as part of a larger project of debunking morality and replacing it with something else, namely ER. For Freud this would make no sense, but, following Nietzsche, this is so only because Freud mischaracterizes the significance of science to such an extent that he is in fact committed to an ascetic ideal. At any rate, this reason for why Freud does not endorse ER is not one Nietzsche has any particular reason to share.

D a i s y

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #488 on: July 07, 2009, 05:25:57 PM »
Interesting expose, musician!

laol

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Re: GAY SHOWS THE WAY
« Reply #489 on: April 23, 2010, 05:35:28 PM »

Gay people are spiritually different from the rest of society. They are more in touch with nature, bodily pleasure, the true essence of human nature. They seek to refashion the world after their egalitarian, non-hierarchical views. What drives them is a belief that sexuality is sacred. A belief that queer sexuality has an essential outsider quality that makes the outcast homosexual the perfect prophet for a heterosexual world lost in strict gender roles, enforced reproductive sexuality and numbingly straitjacketed social personae. A cross between born-again queers and in-your-face shock troops practicing g e n d e r @ # ! * drag.


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