Law School Discussion

1 year later....still glad u went to law school?

Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #530 on: February 19, 2009, 12:48:52 PM »

[...] Instead of exploiting the slave, the master here tries to take care of the worker so that the worker can continue to work. This allows both master and slave to work for the master's master, work itself. But what is crucial about this is that the "taking care of" here or "feeding" of the slave is only feeding the slave such that the worker's work -- and not the worker himself -- can continue. The emphasis is upon work abstracted from the existence of the slave that provides the work. Thus the slave sinks below the conditions that he would be under if he were wrapped up in the feudal master/slave dialectic, because the master here is not concerned with his existence -- the master is "incompetent to assure the continued existence" of the slave, as Marx puts it. The slave cannot properly be a slave under capitalism. That is, it cannot be assured as to whether he will exist as a slave: his bare existence is threatened in the face of the abstract labor-power he temporarily embodies.

[...] The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of the feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society.


In other words, capitalism contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. It creates its own grave-diggers by creating a class with interests diametrically opposed to its own, bringing them together and teaching them how to cooperate. The proletariat then comes to realize that it is a class that has nothing to lose, but everything to gain, by revolting against and overthrowing the bourgeoisie.


Assuming, Quadro, that it does not make use of assimilation of antagonistic forces, containing and co-opting them.

The Dialectical Method
« Reply #531 on: February 21, 2009, 05:44:25 PM »

Two thousand years later, Professor Hegel found in Heraclitus' swirling vortex of the unity of opposites the kernel of a new 'world philosophy', the origins of 'speculative logic', and the historical notion of perpetual change. [...]

At any rate, Hegel's battle between thesis and antithesis, searching for synthesis, led directly both to Marx's dialectical materialism and to the fascist idealogy of the purifying powers of conflict and war. [...]
 


Hegel's dialectic




Now Marx adopted Hegel's science of logic, his dialectic, which shows that development takes place through the working out of the struggle between contradictory opposites ( the unity, conflict, interpenetration and transformation of opposites). But Marx rejected Hegel's view that the changes taking place in the world were the product of the mind of God.
 
Marx turned Hegel's idealist dialectics right-side up. He argued that the laws governing the contradictory development of nature, which evolved into human society and its thought processes are reflected in the mind. Thought reflects the movement of matter rather than the other way round. The everyday experience of the struggle for survival leads to scientific study which discovers these laws and enables us to intervene and change the world.


Dialectic (dialectics or the dialectical method) is a method of argument, which has been central to both Eastern and Western philosophy since ancient times. The word "dialectic" originates in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato's Socratic dialogues. Dialectic is rooted in the ordinary practice of a dialogue between two people, each of whom holds different ideas and wishes to persuade the other. The presupposition of a dialectical argument is that the participants share at least some meanings and principles of inference in common, even if they do not agree. Among the major forms of dialectic reason are Hindu, Buddhist, Socratic, Medieval, Hegelian, Marxist, and Talmudic.

Dialectics is based around three (or four) basic metaphysical concepts:

  • Everything is transient and finite, existing in the medium of time (this idea is not accepted by all dialecticians)
  • Everything is made out of opposing forces/opposing sides (contradictions)
  • Gradual changes lead to turning points, where one force overcomes the other (quantitative change leads to qualitative change)
  • Change moves in 3D spirals not 2D circles. (Sometimes referred to as "negation of the negation")


Within this broad qualification, dialectics have a rich and varied history. The basic idea perhaps is already present in Heraclitus of Ephesus, who held that all is in constant change, as a result of inner strife and opposition. The aim of the dialectical method is to try to resolve the disagreement through rational discussion, and ultimately, the search for truth. One way to proceed — the Socratic method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth (reductio ad absurdum). Another way of trying to resolve a disagreement is by denying some presupposition of both the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby moving to a third (syn)thesis or "sublation." However, the rejection of the participant's presuppositions can be resisted, which might generate a second order controversy.

Re: The Dialectical Method
« Reply #532 on: February 22, 2009, 12:31:47 PM »




Great avatar, Chrysanthi - the famous Mudra! It represents the offering that is made in the Tibetan 'mandala offering practice' and is the equivalent of the 9-tiered structure that appears on the mandala-offering-plate. The ring-fingers that extend upward in the middle of the configuration thus represent not only the 9-tiered 'Mt Meru' that forms the axis around which the mystical cosmology that is being offered is constructed, but also the central channel ('shushumna') in the energy system that permeates the body of the individual. The complex arrangement of all of the fingers in this mudra brings the two hands into a bowl shaped arrangement that approximates the shape of the lower half of a torus. And the manner in which the thumbs of each hand wrap around to connect with the little finger of the opposing hand, instead of thumb to thumb and little-finger to little-finger, is reminscent of a mobius-like 'figure 8', suggesting that the 3-dimensional figure that is being represented here must have a non-linear surface, one that folds in on itself. This suggests that the mandala-offering mudra is a 3-dimensional double-mandala reconciling two incommensurable orders of awareness - the undifferentiated (represented by the center column, composed of the two ring fingers) and the differentiated (represented by the other digits).


Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #533 on: February 23, 2009, 06:22:09 PM »

Wow - great post AmyL! Good for ya!

Love, and only love, will save the world!


so, Luzhi, still thinking Love, and only love, will save the world?


I am not Luzhi, cossetta, but I answer "Yes" to your inquiry: I thought that Love, and only love, will save the world on December 17 and I still do. I refuse to believe that hate and destruction will change the world for better, even when it appears that they sometimes do.


Sagapo, could you give us an example when "it appears that hate and destruction change the world for better"?

Re: The Dialectical Method
« Reply #534 on: February 23, 2009, 07:37:08 PM »

[...] The aim of the dialectical method is to try to resolve the disagreement through rational discussion, and ultimately, the search for truth. One way to proceed — the Socratic method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth (reductio ad absurdum) [...]


Could someone provide more info on what Chrysanthi says here about the Socratic method as it relates to the dialectical one?

Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #535 on: February 26, 2009, 03:22:54 PM »

Can "consumer society" accurately describe the American polity? Does it not exist in actuality a priority of producer over consumer interests? It is obvious to anyone with eyes to see and bodies to be comforted. Contemplate the design of most airplanes and airports and explain how high consumer/user interests rank in the society's priorities. Enter an airport and sit, sometimes for hours, with 1,000 other consumers of airline services in a stifling waiting room with a 12-foot ceiling; or wedge yourself into a 15-by-18-inch seat, where your neighbor's backrest protrudes within a foot of your chest; or stand anxiously by one of the 4-5 toilets provided onboard to serve 400 passengers and try to imagine how lucky you are to live in "a consumer society." Nor do the rules seem consumer-friendly that allow overbooked airlines to bump passengers waiting to board; or to deny a passenger the right to switch to another airline without further charges when various troubles on the booked airline lead to many hours of delay, and sometimes cause cancellation too late for a passenger to find a reasonable alternative mode of travel — to say nothing of the costs of missing a connecting flight.

How consumer friendly are those gas stations (once called service stations) that require consumers to pump their own gas or else pay an outsize premium per gallon? And can there be more frustrating moments in a working day than fighting with an electronic "pay station" in parking garages and lots that employ no attendants at all ("cost savings") and where the often balky machine must produce an entry ticket; and then later process the parking slip to permit exiting?

How are consumer interests served when personal telephone records are legally available for a price and for sale at a profit? (Locatecell.com is only one corporation that legally mines and then sells such information to any business or government agency that cares to pay for it.) Consumers of cell-phone services come last when producers see profit opportunities.

How well are consumer interests served when the law allows pushers of products to intrude at will upon our telephones, Internet, and fax machines? Or to pop ads onto television screens, more or less continuously, during an ongoing drama, sitcom, or sports program; or onto a computer screen, sometimes freezing a word-processing session? Even national public radio and television stations, partly supported by consumer subscriptions, now present several minutes of ads each hour, necessitated by cuts in congressional support. More than 80 years ago, that old radical Herbert Hoover, then secretary of commerce when radio was new, declared, "It is unconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service to be drowned in advertising." How quaint!

Consumers are themselves to blame, seeing themselves first as producers rather than consumers. If there are many who would complain, the media — which are dependent on producers' ads — are not likely to give them much time or space. But who's complaining?


Great post, perci!


Indeed, paine, that's a very curious post!

Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #536 on: February 27, 2009, 08:52:08 AM »

Can "consumer society" accurately describe the American polity? Does it not exist in actuality a priority of producer over consumer interests? It is obvious to anyone with eyes to see and bodies to be comforted. Contemplate the design of most airplanes and airports and explain how high consumer/user interests rank in the society's priorities. Enter an airport and sit, sometimes for hours, with 1,000 other consumers of airline services in a stifling waiting room with a 12-foot ceiling; or wedge yourself into a 15-by-18-inch seat, where your neighbor's backrest protrudes within a foot of your chest; or stand anxiously by one of the 4-5 toilets provided onboard to serve 400 passengers and try to imagine how lucky you are to live in "a consumer society." Nor do the rules seem consumer-friendly that allow overbooked airlines to bump passengers waiting to board; or to deny a passenger the right to switch to another airline without further charges when various troubles on the booked airline lead to many hours of delay, and sometimes cause cancellation too late for a passenger to find a reasonable alternative mode of travel — to say nothing of the costs of missing a connecting flight.

How consumer friendly are those gas stations (once called service stations) that require consumers to pump their own gas or else pay an outsize premium per gallon? And can there be more frustrating moments in a working day than fighting with an electronic "pay station" in parking garages and lots that employ no attendants at all ("cost savings") and where the often balky machine must produce an entry ticket; and then later process the parking slip to permit exiting?

How are consumer interests served when personal telephone records are legally available for a price and for sale at a profit? (Locatecell.com is only one corporation that legally mines and then sells such information to any business or government agency that cares to pay for it.) Consumers of cell-phone services come last when producers see profit opportunities.

How well are consumer interests served when the law allows pushers of products to intrude at will upon our telephones, Internet, and fax machines? Or to pop ads onto television screens, more or less continuously, during an ongoing drama, sitcom, or sports program; or onto a computer screen, sometimes freezing a word-processing session? Even national public radio and television stations, partly supported by consumer subscriptions, now present several minutes of ads each hour, necessitated by cuts in congressional support. More than 80 years ago, that old radical Herbert Hoover, then secretary of commerce when radio was new, declared, "It is unconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service to be drowned in advertising." How quaint!

Consumers are themselves to blame, seeing themselves first as producers rather than consumers. If there are many who would complain, the media — which are dependent on producers' ads — are not likely to give them much time or space. But who's complaining?


Great post, perci!


Indeed, paine, that's a very curious post!


Exactly - Paine correctly highlighted a quite good analytic piece!

Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #537 on: February 28, 2009, 11:52:00 AM »

[...] The aim of the dialectical method is to try to resolve the disagreement through rational discussion, and ultimately, the search for truth. One way to proceed — the Socratic method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth (reductio ad absurdum) [...]


Could someone provide more info on what Chrysanthi says here about the Socratic method as it relates to the dialectical one?


Well, I'd say used "properly" the Socratic method leads to a new, more refined, examination of the concept being considered. The method of Socrates is a search for the underlying hypotheses, assumptions, or axioms, which may subconsciously shape one's opinion, and to make them the subject of scrutiny, to determine their consistency with other beliefs.

Used "improperly" it is the perfect tool to drive people nuts.

cpl

Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #538 on: February 28, 2009, 12:19:24 PM »

Wow - great post AmyL! Good for ya!

Love, and only love, will save the world!


so, Luzhi, still thinking Love, and only love, will save the world?


I am not Luzhi, cossetta, but I answer "Yes" to your inquiry: I thought that Love, and only love, will save the world on December 17 and I still do. I refuse to believe that hate and destruction will change the world for better, even when it appears that they sometimes do.


Sagapo, could you give us an example when "it appears that hate and destruction change the world for better"?


graft, don't you think you're putting "Sagapo" on the spot with your question?

LVC

Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #539 on: February 28, 2009, 01:44:11 PM »

Speaking of Heisenberg, the inventor of the 'uncertainty principle': he thought Heraclitus (you know who Heraclitus is, don'tcha) views only needed a bit of tweaking to bring them totally up-to-date:

Quote
Modern physics is in some ways extremely near to the doctrines of Heraclitus. If we replace the word 'fire' by the word 'energy' we can repeat this statement word for word from our modern point of view. Energy is in fact the substance from which all elementary particles, all atoms and therefore all things are made, and energy is that which moves... Energy may be called the fundamental cause for all change in the world.

By the way, Heraclitus was an aristocrat who lived on the Ionian cost of Greece. His preference for composing short, almost paradoxical philosophical epigrams later earned him the sobriquet 'the Dark'. But it is an innocuous-looking dictum about rivers that has made his reputation. You cannot step into the same river twice. Heracliteanism became a doctrine encapsulated by Plato as the view that "all is flux." But Plato himself was echoing Cratylus, who had only earlier decided for himself what it was that Heraclitus must have meant. Cratylus' idea that everything was changing all the time was then taken up by Empedocles, who embellished the other Heraclitean notion of a world continually torn between the two evocatively named forces, 'love' and 'strife', in order to reveal its essential character. The world becomes a sphere of perfect love in which strife, like a swirling vortex, has infiltrated. Whose idea was it, then? Heraclitus', or Cratylus', or...? It keeps changing.

But in any case, the point about the river seems to have been a more prosaic one to do with the nature of human experience. We encounter things all the time as being different, but behind the appearance of diversity is a more important and more fundamental unity: "cold things grow hot, the hot cools, the wet dries, the parched moistens." Not that Heraclitus is saying that the senses are deceived, for "whatever comes from sight, hearing, experience, this I privilege," he adds. Even life and death are as one, Heraclitus continues. "The same living and dead, what is awake and what sleeps, young and old... for those changed are those, and those changed around are these." The opposites are united by change: they change into each other. And change is the fundamental reality of the universe. The highest, 'divine' perspective sees all the opposites: "day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, plenty and famine," all are the same. With the divine perspective, even good and evil are the same.

Two thousand years later, Professor Hegel found in Heraclitus' swirling vortex of the unity of opposites the kernel of a new 'world philosophy', the origins of 'speculative logic', and the historical notion of perpetual change. For your information, it was not the first time Hegel was borrowing or echoing, whatever you wanna call it. In 1766, Johan Titius translated into German "Contemplation de la Nature" by the French natural philosopher Bonnet, where the latter remarks that maybe there are more planets in our solar system than were known at his time. Titus added to this remark that one may notice that the distances of the planets from one another can be approximated by a sequence of numbers that can be generated by an algorithm that is known as the 'Titius Bode Law.' Hegel's dissertation (1801) "De orbitis planetarum" revolves around the discussion of the Titius-Bode law and likely influenced his concept of history as a series of successive epochs from the Prehistoric and Asian, through Ancient, Feudal, Industrial and post-Industrial Stages. The predictive power of the Titus-Bode Law was improved by Stephen Phillips' formulation of the Titius-Bode-Phillips Spiral Algorithm, after he interposed Hegelian dialectic spiral of historical development on the photograph of the Whirlpool Galaxy, captured by the Hubble telescope.

At any rate, Hegel's battle between thesis and antithesis, searching for synthesis, led directly both to Marx's dialectical materialism and to the fascist idealogy of the purifying powers of conflict and war. But then, Heraclitus himself had declared: "You must know that war is common to all things, and strife is justice." It is only the heat of battle that can "prove some to be gods and others to be mere men, by turning the latter into slaves and the former into masters." Actually, there is another way of looking at Heraclitus. At the same time as he was outlining his theory of perpetual, cyclical change, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu was explaining the cyclical nature of the Tao, manifested in the famous interplay of yin and yang. But that is another story altogether.

 

This was pretty good.

Just some cautionary notes:

1. Heraclitus views are second-hand. He did not write a book, and the stuff we have from Heraclitus are a few fragments found in other historians recollection of him.

2. No one really agrees on his theory of fire, some co-opted it for their own use

3. His theory on unity of opposites is very complex. Under some interpretations it is completely incompatible with Hegel. For example, one idea of Heraclitus' theory of opposites holds the logos (logic) of the cosmos corresponds to the deepness of the soul, and thus even when we percive opposites, we are percieving the same logos. According to this interpretation, there can be no thesis, anithesis, or synthesis, since the unity of opposites would be a matter of perception of the logos. That is, the logos is the unity, and our perception creates the opposites. There would be no room for this idea of thesis or antithesis, or change, since everything stays the same.   

Another interpretation, would be that the unity of opposites was statement that each opposite is different from the other according to degree. For example, 1% Cold, is really 99% not hot.

Several others exist. The interpretation this quoted author proffers is not supported by arguments, but co-opted Heraclitus quotes (which is very easy to do). Readers beware!


Jung, too, borrowed from Heraclitus. As in the Heraclitean doctrine, Jungian psychology stresses the existence of a conflict of opposites, or enantiodromia. This is a term which Heraclitus used to describe the endless to and fro process of the eternal flux. The opposites are at war with each other, but in this conflict there is harmony, for both positive and negative need one another. Jung based his theory of compensation on this principle, claiming that the conscious attitude, at times, must be balanced by gaining awareness of certain unconscious processes. According to Jung, "Just as all energy proceeds from opposition, so the psyche too possesses its inner polarity, this being the indispensable prerequisite for its aliveness, as Heraclitus realized long ago." A good example of what Jung means lies in an explanation of his doctrine of the anima and animus.