josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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3 Feb '24 01:17:39 AM

'Ideas are by no means essences. In so far as they are the objecs of Ideas, problems belong on the side of events, affections, or accidents rather than on that of theorematic essences. Ideas are developed in the auxiliaries and the adjunct fields by which their synthetic power is measured. Consequently, the domain of Ideas is that of the inessential. They proclaim their affinity with the inessential in a manner as deliberate and as fiercely obstinate as that in which rationalism proclaimed its possession and comprehension of essences. Rationalism wanted to tie the fate of Ideas to abstract and dead essences; and to the extent that the problematic form of Ideas was recognized, it even wanted that form tied to the question of essences—in other words, to the 'What is X?'. How many misunderstandings are contained in this will! It is true that Plato employs this question in order to refute those who content themselves with offering empirical responses, and to oppose essence and appearance. His aim, however, is to silence the empirical responses in order to open up the indeterminate horizon of a transcendental problem which is the object of an Idea. Once it is a question of determining the problem or the Idea as such, once it is a question of setting the dialectic in motion, the question 'What is X?' gives way to other questions, otherwise powerful and efficacious, otherwise imperative: 'How much, how and in what cases?' The question 'What is X?' animates only the so-called aporetic dialogues—in other words, those in which the very form of the question gives rise to contradiction and leads to nihilism, no doubt because they have only propaedeutic aims—the aim of opening up the region of the problem in general, leaving to other procedures the task of determining it as a problem or as an Idea. When Socratic irony was taken seriously and the dialectic as a whole was confused with its propaedeutic, extremely troublesome consequences followed: for the dialectic ceased ot be the science of problems and ultimately became confused with the simple movement of the negative, and of contradiction. Philosophers began to talk like young men from the farmyard. From this point of view, Hegel is the culmination of a long tradition which took the question 'What is X?' seriously and used it to determine Ideas as essences, but in doing so substituted the negative for the nature of the problematic. This was the outcome of a distortion of the dialectic. Moreover, how many theological prejudices were involved in that tradition, since the answer to 'What is X?' is always God as the locus of the combinatory of abstract predicates. It should be noticed how few philosophers have placed their trust in the question 'What is X?' in order to have Ideas. Certainly not Aristotle. … Once the dialectic brews up its matter instead of being applied in a vacuum for propaedeutic ends, the questions 'How much?', 'How?', 'In what cases?' and 'Who?' abound—questions the function and sense of which we shall see below. These questions are those of the accident, the event, the multiplicity—of difference—as opposed to that of the essence, or that of the One, or those of the contrary and the contradictory. Hippias triumphs everywhere, even already in Plato: Hippias who refused essences, but nevertheless did not content himself with examples.'

31 Jan '24 10:11:29 PM

'… intervals that can't be erased…'

29 Jan '24 10:46:25 PM

'… when he finally wraps his arms around his forbidden lover, he realizes that she, like him, like all of us, knows almost nothing.'

25 Jan '24 12:21:47 AM

'… high culture, which really ought to be called sanctified culture, and what’s sometimes called popular culture, but ought to be called everyday culture…'

16 Jan '24 05:24:52 AM

'… the subordination of the haptic to another kind and degree of proximity, a social mode of temporality—simultaneity…'

14 Jan '24 05:11:50 AM

Seven Wafer-Thin Slices of Life (French)

11 Jan '24 04:35:50 AM

’Par exemple, de Pierre, qui est mort, je puis dire : « il aimait la musique ».’

29 Dec '23 01:13:16 AM

Où sont les blogs d'antan?

21 Dec '23 03:35:10 AM

'En durée le Sérieux fait acceptation du plus long intervalle de temps possible et, s'il se peut, de la vie tout entière et de celle même de notre descendance. Par-delà l'amusement de l'instant il considère l'avenir, prévoit les dangereuses possibilités encore enveloppées dans les brumes de l'incertitude. Le soucieux, comme le sérieux, a égard au futur et aux virtualités latentes de ce futur. Pourtant si l'insouciance, et à plus forte raison l'incurie, sont tout le contraire d'une attitude sérieuse, il ne s'ensuit pas que le Sérieux et le Souci, à leur tour, envisagent le temps de la même manière. Le temps du soucieux est un temps destinal dont l'homme n'est pas toujours maître : le soucieux attend dans l'inquiétude le déroulement d'une futurition imprévisible qui lui réserve surprises et malheurs : le souci, sans être à proprement insomniaque comme l'angoisse, est toujours plus passif que le Sérieux. Tout au contraire le temps du Sérieux est un temps dont l'homme prévoyant garde, grâce à son travail, le contrôle et la direction, un temps dont le bon usage nous incombe et qu'il dépend de nous d'employer au mieux. Prévoir afin de pouvoir : telle serait la devise d''une futurition sérieuse qui, comme le prince selon Machiavel, tient compte pour moitié du hasard et pour moitié du libre arbitre ; l'homme sérieux, faisant acceptation à la fois de la nécessité et de la liberté, se rend capable d'utiliser les déterminismes ; une exact circonscription des choses qui dépendent de nous, une notion vraiment modeste et moyenne des possibles et du pouvoir de l'homme, – voilà où l'on reconnaît le Sérieux !'