Sunday, March 01, 2015

Prologue: Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

With this post Flora Sapio and I start an experiment in collaborative dialogue.  The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts.  Your participation is encouraged.


--Part I (Whose Project is this Anyway?)
--Part 2 (Whose Project is this Anyway?)
--Part 3  (Whose Project is this Anyway?)
--Part 4 (Whose Project is this Anyway?)
--Part 5 (Does the Individual Exist?)
--Part 6 (Does the Individual Exist?)
--Part 7 (Whose Project; Does the Individual Exist?)
--Part 8 (Whose Project; Does the Individual Exist?)
--Part 9 (Whose Project; Does the Individual Exist?)
--Part 10 (Whose Project; Does the Individual Exist?)
--Part 11 (Whose Project; Does the Individual Exist?)
--Part 12 (Whose Project; Does the Individual Exist; the Natural Slave?)
--Part 13 (The Natural Slave?)
--Part 14 (The Natural Slave?)
--Part 15  (The Natural Slave?)
--Part 16 (The Natural Slave?)
--Part 17 (The Natural Slave?)
--Part 18 (The Natural Slave and the Old Philosophy?)
--Part 19 (The Natural Slave and the Old Philosophy?)
--Part 20 (The Natural Slave and the Old Philosophy?)
--Part 21 (Self Love, the Natural Master, and the Natural Slave?)
--Part 22 (Self Love, the Natural Master, and the Natural Slave?)
--Part 23 (Self Love, the Natural Master, and the Natural Slave?)
--Part 24 (Self Love, Compassion and the Self)
--Part 25 (Self Love, Compassion and the Self
--Part 26 (Self Love, Compassion and the Self)
--Part 27 (Coupling, does the individual exist only in relation to something else?)
--Part 28 (Coupling; Narcissus, the Other, and Compassion)
--Part 29 (Coupling; Narcissus, the Other, and Compassion)
--Part 30 (Coupling; Narcissus, the Other, and Compassion)
--Part 31 (Coupling, Narcissus, and the Depressed Academic)
--Part 32 (Narcissus and Talismans)
--Part 33 (Narcissus, Talismans and Cognition)
--Part 34 (Narcissus, Talismans and Cognition)
--Part 35 (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition and the Depressed Academic)
--Part 36 (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition and the Depressed Academic)
--Part 37 (Narcissus, Talismans, and Cognition)
--Part 38 (Narcissus, Talismans and Cognition)
--Part 39 (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition, and Resistance)
--Part 40 (Cognition and the Contextual Self)
--Part 41 (Prometheus and the COntextual Self)
--Part 42 (Obergefell v. Hodges (Gay Marriage), the Contextual Self and the Self Coupled)
--Part 43 (Obergefell v. Hodges (Gay Marriage), the Contextual Self and the Self Coupled)
--Part 44 (Marriage, the Contextual Self and the Self Coupled)
--Part 45 (Obergefell v. Hodges (Gay Marriage), the Contextual Self and the Self Coupled)
--Part 46 (The Self Coupled--of Moths, Torture and the Social Self)
--Part 47 (The Self Coupled; Harm, Torture, and the Educated Social Self)
--Part 48 (The Self Coupled and Satan--Harm, Torture and the Educated Social Self)
--Part 49 (The Self Coupled and Satan--Harm, Pragmatism and the Social Self)
--Part 50



FS: Without a healthy dose of destabilization you cannot become who you are, you cannot be your form-of-life, and embracing one's weakness/powerlessness is part of the process, but the philosophy of Foucault is much closer to a philosophy of death than to a philosophy of life. (James Miller, The Passion of Michel Foucault (Anchor Books).

LCB: A knowledge of our abstractness and the courage to face the oblivion of the individual in a society dedicated to the death of the individual incarnate bodies even as it worships the mythic firms of the individual and the individual will. Not so much the philosophy of death as the philosophy of transfiguration in the age of the algorithm.

FS: True Larry Catá Backer, and transfiguration is part of our lives, particularly in this age. But what I need now are a philosophy of individual (and collective) liberation, minuscule doses of Sulphur at very high dilutions just to shed further layers of false beliefs and personalities and one or two beers.

LCB: Hard in a world in which the individual in bound within the cage of Eros and Thanatos.

FS: Unfortunately yes.

LCB: Yet there must be a philosophy of the individual that avoids the obsession with purpose of English pragmatism, the Christian suffering of continental schools or the anarchy of post WW 2 US schools. Perhaps Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris thus calls for the development of the liberation of the individual through inversion-- the freeing of the individual from the determinism and thrall if capital in Marxism, from purpose in pragmatic and religious theology, and from the drivers if biology. Are you up for it?

FS: Sure I am!

LCB: Well then let's construct this philosophy of the individual! And we can begin by freeing ourselves of the diseases of causation and objective that have infected philosophy since the time if the Greeks, of obligation since the time of Confucius, and of the Atman as the absolute "other" since the Buddha's time.

FS: Let’s construct it!

LCB:  Where we might be heading:

 --Whose project is this, anyway? Does it serve an ends? Ought it?
--Does the individual exist?
--If the individual exists are there more than one type or how do we deal with Aristotle's idea of the natural slave and the natural aristocrat?
--Coupling; does the individual exist only in relation to something else?
--Is individuation taught; or is it a commodity?
--Does liberation exist, or is it a conceit or a a tool for the management of social cohesion or useful for some other purpose?
--Who sets these purposes anyway?
--Coupling 2: Is liberation relational?
--Is liberation taught; is it a commodity that we consume?
 We can take these one at a time to start and see where we are led.


Betita Horn said...

Caros Larry Cata Backer e Flora Sapio, eu me identifico com a maneira que John Locke, Hobbes e Rousseau viam a vida do homem. Eles pensavam a vida do homem na sua origem. Esta origem eles denominavam de estado de natureza.
Para John Locke no estado de natureza os homens são livres. Não dependem da vontade dos outros homens, eles vivem em situação de igualdade, todos recebem as mesmas vantagens da natureza.
Neste estado, a vida é instituída por uma lei própria. A razão é a lei natural por excelência que os homens devem respeitar, ou seja, a razão norteia todos os princípios deste estado de natureza. Os homens no estado de natureza viviam em situação de paz.
Quando um homem impõe a sua vontade a outro, instala–se o estado de guerra, e, para recuperar a paz, uma das características do estado natural, o homem utiliza o “poder político”.
O poder político tem como função fazer o homem (que vivia em estado de natureza) viver em sociedade com uma organização de governos e leis.
O indivíduo é, também,considerado uma categoria importante para a filosofia do dinamarquês Søren Aabye Kierkegaard. Para ele o indivíduo vive muito em situações limítrofes, o que mostra a existência de um processo de individualização.
Não existe um conceito de indivíduo fechado e acabado. A natureza do indivíduo é dinâmica (Kierkegaard,2010).
“Existir é arte” (Almeida; Valls, 2007, p. 54).
Neste caso, tem-se a existência, e a vontade de ser único. É esta vontade que implica no processo de individualização. Para viver este processo é necessário que ele compreenda, no mínimo um pouco, a si próprio.
Assim,com base nas minhas crenças, minha sugestão é que uma filosofia do indivíduo contemporânea deveria ser baseada, entre outras, na sua capacidade de escolher, e na sua liberdade de querer alguma coisa. Esta liberdade, eu acredito, foi suprimida com as regras e com os dogmas que surgiram ao longo da história da humanidade.

Dear Larry Cata Backer and Flora Sapio, I identify with the way John Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau saw a man's life. They thought human life in its origin. This origin they called the state of nature.
To John Locke in the state of nature, men are free. Do not depend on the will of other men, they live on an equal footing, all receive the same advantages of nature.
In this state, life is established by its own law. The reason is the natural law of excellence that men should respect, that is, the reason guides all the principles of this state of nature. The men in the state of nature lived in peace situation.
When a man imposes his will to another, enter into a state of war, and to restore peace, one of the characteristics of the natural state, man uses the "political power".
Political power has the function to make the man (who lived in a state of nature) live in society with an organization of governments and laws.
The individual is also considered an important category for the philosophy of the Danish Søren Aabye Kierkegaard. For him the individual lives much in borderline situations, which shows the existence of a process of individuation.
There is no concept of a closed and finished individual. The nature of the individual is dynamic (Kierkegaard, 2010).
"To exist is art" (Almeida; Valls, 2007, p. 54).
In this case, we have the existence, and the desire to be unique. It is this will that implies the individualization process. To live this process is necessary for him to understand at least a little, himself.
So, based on my beliefs, my suggestion is that a philosophy of contemporary individual should be based, among others, in their ability to choose, and in its freedom from want something. This freedom, I believe, was suppressed with the rules and dogmas that have emerged throughout the history of mankind.

Paul Van Fleet said...

A very worthwhile endeavor! How can we speak about an "individual" without first creating a construct as to what that individual "is"? And until we resolve this question, this "is-ness", how can we speak about anything?

Can you tell I've been reading a bit of Heidegger lately? But he is on to something. If an individual cannot grasp the source of his being, which is first and foremost in his "individual-ity", then we are doomed to being spoken for by society writ large - not speaking "with it" or independently of it. This nature of being, then, is a central question for your analysis and I encourage you to take it up.