Yet, what is the content of the new "thinking" about which Heidegger, Derrida and Rorty speculate? We will look in vain in the works of Heidegger, Rorty, Lyotard or Derrida for an explanation of what this new "thinking" is and how it is "better" than a thinking grounded in an attempt to conceptualize an objective world. At best, we are told to look at the work of poets and other artists whose intuitive aesthetic view of the world is offered as a new paradigm of knowledge. This explains the later Heidegger's abandonment of the traditional philosophical issues in favor of musings on the poetry of Hölderlin. We can discern a similar trend in the works of the postmodernists and neo-pragmatists. Derrida for instance has sought to redefine the philosophical enterprise as a form of literary text. Rorty champions the "good-natured" novelists at the expense of the sickly philosophers. Heidegger's claim to point to a primordial "thinking" that is in some way a return to a more authentic, uncorrupted insight is hardly new in the history of philosophy. It is but a variation of the claim that immediate intuition provides a surer basis for knowledge than the mediated sequence of concepts that brings particulars into relation with universals. The attempt to grasp the bare particular, uncorrupted by the universal, whether conceived of as "sense perception" or a mystical access to the divine, has dogged philosophy for centuries.Rational discourse is incapable of encompassing the complexities and nuances of (post)modern society. (The fact that such a statement is itself an example of rational discourse and is therefore self-refuting does not seem to bother proponents of this view.) The notion of progress cannot be demonstrated in history. This is closely related to a deep sense of skepticism about the possibility of harnessing technology for the benefit of humanity. The working class cannot play a revolutionary role. Some postmodernists counterpose other forces to the working class. Others simply despair of any possibility of a revolutionary transformation of society. Others even deny the existence of the working class in contemporary society. All, however, are united in their conviction that the prospect for socialism is precluded in our time. It follows that Marxism is conceived as a hopeless Utopian dream. This last conviction is uncritically adopted by all shades of postmodernism, deconstruction and neo-pragmatism. It has the force of a new dogma, one that remains completely unrecognized by its proponents.The defenders of Heidegger today are not, with a few notable exceptions such as Ernst Nolte, supporters of fascism. What they see in Heidegger is his attack on the history of rational thought. Like Heidegger, they wish to return to a mythical past prior to the corrupting influence of Western metaphysics. The politics of the "primordial thinkers," those who would in Hegel's words, "flee the universal," invariably leads to a politics that elevates the immediate and fragmentary at the expense of the objective and universal interests of humanity. It is not accidental that the postmodernists have become supporters of various forms of "identity politics," grounded in subjectively conceived particularistic interests, such as gender or ethnic group or even neighborhood. They oppose any notion of a politics based on universal and objective class interests. This is but a variation of Heidegger's political position of the 1920s and 1930s in which the reality of the mythical Volksgemeinschaft became the chief principle around which political positions were formulated.Why has Heidegger been considered by many the greatest philosopher of this century? His work does evince a deep familiarity with the history of philosophy and its problems. He also develops a very novel interpretation of this history. At bottom, the content of his thought is neither profound nor original. Judgments of this sort are not, however, based on the content of Heidegger's philosophy. They arise from the perceived lack of an alternative to the spirit of nihilism that pervades our age. Heidegger more than anyone else in the 20th century gave voice to that spirit. It is a spirit whose presence must be banished. The other of nihilism, the spirit of hope and equality ushered in by the Enlightenment, is Marxism. Until Germany had exploded the entanglement of such Medusa-like beliefs it could and it can not hope for a future. Instead, all the light that language and reason still afford should be focused upon that 'primal experience' from whose barren gloom this mysticism of the death of the world crawls forth on its thousand unsightly conceptual feet. The war that this light exposed was as little the 'eternal' one which these new Germans worshipped as it was the 'final' war that the pacifists carried on about. In reality, that war was only this: the one, fearful, last chance to correct the incapacity of peoples to order their relationships to one another in accord with the relationships they posse to nature through their technology. If this corrective effort fails, millions of human bodies will indeed inevitably be chopped to pieces and chewed up by iron and gas. But even the habitues of the chthonic forces of terror, who carry their volumes of Klages in their packs, will not learn one-tenth of what nature promises its less idly curious but more sober children, who possess in technology not a fetish of doom but a key to happiness.
How about SM being just a play act, without having all these connotations? Can't we simply think in these terms? And may it not be that by practicing SM one somehow guards against authoritarianism expressed in the social, political life of the person and group?
- What are you doing?- I'm working- What kind of work?- Thinking...- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Crime and Punishment"
The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. The paradox is resolved when the compulsion to repeat is viewed as a compulsion into metaphoric activity. This view emerges from a reading of Freud's commentary on a game played by his grandson that psychoanalytic lore has named the "Fort-Da" game. The child's play of make-believe is a paradigm for what occurs in the repetition compulsion of transference. From it arises the suggestion that transference amounts to a spontaneous form of metaphoric activity. This view also establishes a link between metaphor, as it works in transference, and personal destiny. Transference, as a compulsion into spontaneous metaphoric activity, is a compulsion into the enactment of images. While this claim is not new, it acquires a new significance with the recognition that it echoes the Socratic critique of poetry and the myth of Er, which are found in Book 10 of Plato's "Republic." The descriptive approach to understanding the repetition compulsion gives way to speculation in Freud's difficult and daring "Beyond the Pleasure Principle." Freud's thought follows a meandering path here as he introduces the hypothesis of an instinctual force, the death instinct, to explain the phenomena of compulsive recurrence in certain psychological symptoms. Freud's death instinct of "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" is the equivalent of Nietzsche's demon of eternal return from "The Gay Science." Both represent a radical question that challenges the foundation of their respective fields, the history of metaphysics for Nietzsche and the first principle of psychoanalytic theory for Freud. They ask: What if compulsive recurrence and all it entails were an autonomous given, beyond all else we have known and believed and imagined? What if, like Nietzsche's eternal return, Freud's psychoanalysis of the repetition compulsion were involved with the process of redemption at the level of man's confrontation with impermanence?
"The German word 'unheimlich' is obviously the opposite of 'heimlich' ['homely'], 'heimisch' ['native'] the opposite of what is familiar; and we are tempted to conclude that what is 'uncanny' is frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar. Naturally not everything that is new and unfamiliar is frightening, however; the relation is not capable of inversion."
Quote from: CoQ10 on November 13, 2008, 04:28:48 PM- What are you doing?- I'm working- What kind of work?- Thinking...- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Crime and Punishment"That's the problem: people should not think, but work!
Quote from: cen on March 18, 2008, 02:55:54 PMIn other words, Dundee, the key to success just isn't self-improvement That's not the point, cen! As each is a self-scripted star in their life story, each also has the power and freedom to pen their own demise. Living according to individual truth considerably reduces the possibility to self-defeat becoming a pattern moment-to-moment, year-to-year, and life-to-life. Not only must WHAT to do and WHY to do be self-determined, but HOW and WHEN too. Individual feelings are the only motivator and motivation that inflames and sustains drive, and returns rewards that are personally meaningful and, therefore, more confidence-building than money and applause. Otherewise, after reasoning and logical convincing, what walks out to try and do is SHOULD. When that happens, success and happiness are not individual, but predicated on the average of all who attempted before. SHOULD not only comes with set rules for doing and limits on reward, but it also requires the input of many to supervise and encourage when enthusiasm flags. IF attained, success and happiness rewards are owed many and spread wide and thin. On the other hand, failure is a burden that's carried by one, though trying and doing involved many. SHOULD always has a record of past successes attached, which more often destroys self-confidence than builds it. DOING FOR SHOULD and DOING FOR MUST are 180-degrees apart in terms of success/failure and happiness/unhappiness. The former is reasoned so unreasonableness becomes the motivation. The latter is decided by MUST which is already unreasonable, so the only motivation available is self. When doing for MUST, happiness is a daily companion straight through to the end, regardless of success.
In other words, Dundee, the key to success just isn't self-improvement
[...] instances wherein random numbers recur, seemingly meaningfully (here Freud may be said to be prefiguring the concept that Jung would later refer to as synchronicity). [...]