Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Facadesaside has moved

Facadesaside has moved to wordpress.com. Please come visit.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Be Free Now

Going back to the Nietzche don't believe in free will thing; I think it's because the only way that a person could be free is in the moment. In the Walter Kauffman translated Nineteenth Century Philosophy anthology; there's an entry where Nietzche says Free Will does not exist, and in fact it was made up by the religions in order to make the religions powerful. He said it also exists in order to ascribe punishment.

Nietzche might be mad that I'm extrapolating so much from his stuff; but I want to point out that the only time a free choice could be taken is in the present moment. I want you to think about that for a second or at least have it in the noggin while we go over:

Two Kantian Theories of Freedom

The first theory is Autonomy or Moral Autonomy. This exists in his moral writings. The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals is often considered the greatest Kantian work on Ethics. I like the Critique of Practical Reason because it kind of rubs my brain the right way.

Anyway, the way Autonomy works is by contrast with externality. What we mean by externality is anything that is not the case.

By isolating the case as the only thing that could be the case, Kant does an elegant hopscotch. He basically asks us to flag our premises, at the top of our baby logic derivation.

The problem of Determinism says that if someone is predestined by natural forces (chemicals in the brain, psychology of the parents raising you, I don't know; maybe the pleasure that you get from doing something) then you do not have the ability to control what happens. If you do not control what happens, then there is no way you can be responsible for what happens.

The Metaphysical theory of Autonomy (freedom) reads like this: in the Antinomies of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant points out that freedom could be possible if there were a first cause in the noumenal realm, which would then in a non-temporal (not in time), maybe it could jump in the phenomenal realm at any given second and change the series (I'm thinking here thought stream, but it's probably like mental capacities in the whatever-Kant-was-thinking sense).

If the first theory of freedom is satisfying (and I think it is) and the second is unsatisfying, don't think Kant didn't catch it. There are Kantian writings saying that he wishes he put a better stab at it. The first theory of autonomy is pretty good, I think. You might turn to the Ethics of Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah for a better definition.

I agree with Nietzche though, and even though it is mutually exclusive with Kant's theories, I sympathize with Kant. Kant says we need to pose freedom in order to pursue morality. Nietzche says we need to be responsible in the moment. Ascribing blame and punishment is not being responsible in the way that Nietzche knows we should be.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wikipedia tells you what truth is: will you listen?


Existentialism's Demon

The Existentialist Demon is Postmodernist Commentary-ism.

1) One of the goals of existentialist thought is to get you to live your life as you are living it.

Our Law of Identity reads like this:

x = x

Such that if you want to live your life, you have to live your life. If you want to be happy, you have to be happy.

This is part of the reason Sartre said, "Existence precedes Essence." This simply means you exist before you figure out how you function.

There is no God or moral hierarchy to tell you how to live your life. Before, when everyone believed in God, they basically thought you had a designed function, much in the way that scissors are designed to cut or cars are designed to drive.

I think one of the ideas here is if you want to know how to live your life, you actually have to live. You have to experience life in the moment and create life in the moment because there is no other time that it could be created. You create your originality right now. You live your life right now.

Let's play hopscotch a bit with Philosophy Through the ages. Nietzche says that we do not have free will because free will ascribes reasons for punishing people. But Nietzche still thinks we have to be responsible. Feuerbach believes in the divinity of the moment as people simply live their lives. Divinity is living to Feuerbach. Meanwhile, about a hundred years back, Spinoza cryptically posited this as he Naturalized God or Deified Nature (the words Deus sive Natura appear in some of his letters: God or Nature). People like Roger Scruton in his easy-reader Spinoza think that Spinoza was trying to say something like Feuerbach with the attributes, which are two interpretations of living (Scruton specifically notes music: you can see it as sound waves, or you can see it as melody, both are correct). Finally, Schopenhauer says that you can escape The Will by listening to music and living a very Ascetic life (where you give up your possessions and want of possessions).

2) The Demon

We know better because of Postmodernism. Look at the structures. These philosophers are saying something to the extent that you can simply live life.

Can life simply be lead?

The problem is that the commentaries themselves are part of life. Every time you make a commentary, you cannot separate such commentary from life.

In the case of music, for example, you could not separate listening to the melody and considering its physics structure. The two are inseparable.

Or consider the critic who gets joy from critiquing movies: such is the raw power of life. Consider a chemist who has fun playing with chemicals. At what point can we divide the commentaries of life with the joys of living it?

This, right now, my writing and your reading, is this the joy of life, just reading it? There's this uncontrollable aspect to it all. There is no division between the originality of the moment and the commentary on the originality of this moment because that moment will be gone, too. Which was original? They both were. Which was divine? All of it. How can you escape the Will and realize the divinity of life as compared to the un-divine? You can't.

Search This Blog