WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > The Library

The Library Reviews and opinions on published writing: prose and poetry.


Existential Impossible

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-14-2016, 08:17 AM
NuNu (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 271
Thanks: 66
Thanks 56
Default Existential Impossible


The last two books I have tried to read are some existential philosophy books I had put away from when I was 17 and going through my social teen angst stage.


I put them away because they were really tough reads.

I picked them up thinking I could read them now, and that I probably had trouble understanding them because I was young. Not the case.

The two books are

Being and Nothingness By Jean-Paul Satre

The Myth of Sisyphus By Albert Camus

The Myth of Sisyphus is slightly easier.
But I have had trouble understanding a single sentence Of Being and Nothingness. There are a few sentences that I can understand, but the rest I read over and over again and Am unable to comprehend.

I will post some exerts when I get a chance.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-14-2016, 10:10 AM
NuNu (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 271
Thanks: 66
Thanks 56
Default

Introduction
The Pursuit of Being
I.
The Phenomenon

Modern thought has realized considerable progress by reducing the existent to the series of appearances which manifest it. It's aim was to overcome a certain number of dualisms which have embarrassed philosophy and to replace them by the monism of the phenomenon. Has the attempt been successful?
In the first place we certainly thus get rid of that dualism which in the existent opposes interior to exterior. There is no longer and exterior for the existent if one means by that a superficial covering which hides from sight the true nature of the object. And this true nature in turn, if it is to be the secret reality of the thing, which one can have a presentiment of or which one can suppose but can never reach because it is the "interior" of the object under consideration---this nature no longer exists. The appearances which manifest the existent are neither interior nor exterior; they are all equal, they all refer to other appearances, and none of them is privileged. Force, for example, is not a metaphysical conatus of an unknown kind which hides behind its effects (accelerations, deviations, etc.); it is the totality of these effects. Similarly an electric current does not have a secret reverse side; it is nothing but the totality of the physical-chemical actions which manifest it (electrolysis, the incandescence of a carbon filament, the displacement of the needle of a galvanometer, etc.) No one of these actions alone is sufficient to reveal it. But no action indicates anything which is behind itself; It indicates only itself and the total series.


On and on for 798 pages.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-17-2016, 02:15 PM
Magealexstra (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 7
Thanks: 10
Thanks 3
Default

If you're interested in an easier method of digesting philosophy, you should definitely take a look at 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance'. After a couple of philosophy courses in college a professor suggested it to me. It is hands down the most compelling philosophical fiction I've ever read.

Note: I just made up the term philosophical fiction. I don't know if that's an actual genre.

Sent from my SM-N915V using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Magealexstra For This Useful Post:
NuNu (08-17-2016)
  #4  
Old 09-08-2016, 05:05 AM
silvarinf (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Being and Nothimgness is not only a densely written book, it also assumes you are familiar with the history of philosophy and the different concepts it has produced. But let me try to retell the introduction you posted:

Philosophy (the greek/western kind) has always struggeld with the duality of the things we see and teh thruth behind these things. For example: You can see the bodily presentation of a human being, but the soul, which was long believed to your true self, cannot be seen. And this was the case for all things living or dead. For ages, the discussion was not about whether a hidden (true) reality existed, but about the how and what of that reality, from Plato and Ariatoteles to Descartes and Kant. Sartre, and Husserl and Heidegger, were not the first, but the most famous opposers to this assumption. They believed reality is what you see, there's nothing hidden, you only have to learn how to look. In Sartres words: there is no exterior (body) and interior (soul), there is only appearance and by studying appearances one can learn the thruth.

Laymans words, but i hope it's clear anough.



Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to silvarinf For This Useful Post:
NuNu (09-11-2016)
  #5  
Old 09-08-2016, 01:18 PM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 229
Default

Originally Posted by Magealexstra View Post
If you're interested in an easier method of digesting philosophy, you should definitely take a look at 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance'. After a couple of philosophy courses in college a professor suggested it to me. It is hands down the most compelling philosophical fiction I've ever read.

Note: I just made up the term philosophical fiction. I don't know if that's an actual genre.

Sent from my SM-N915V using Tapatalk
Hi Magealexstra. I loved your post. And 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' was a major turning point in how I view the world. As a student all my electives at the University were Philosophy Courses. And all of them were hard to comprehend.

I was reading Zen... and had a plumbing problem I was trying to fix. I thought of that story and drove to the library and checked out 5 books on plumbing. I spent the evening reading them. The next morning I got up and fixed the problem. There's nothing quite like knowing the facts of a problem and changing your attitude on how to solve it.

I like your comment on philosophical fiction. And agree with it. I learned more reading stories which deal with philosophical issues than I ever did from a textbook.

To Nunu, I would suggest some Net searches for 'existentialism fiction, novels and short stories, plays, poetry and movies'. I'm suggesting 6 searches, not 1, with 'existentialism' for each category.

wrc
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.

Last edited by wrc; 09-08-2016 at 01:24 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to wrc For This Useful Post:
Magealexstra (09-08-2016)
  #6  
Old 09-08-2016, 09:55 PM
brianpatrick's Avatar
brianpatrick (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,760
Thanks: 248
Thanks 579
Default

Originally Posted by wrc View Post
Hi Magealexstra. I loved your post. And 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' was a major turning point in how I view the world. As a student all my electives at the University were Philosophy Courses. And all of them were hard to comprehend.

I was reading Zen... and had a plumbing problem I was trying to fix. I thought of that story and drove to the library and checked out 5 books on plumbing. I spent the evening reading them. The next morning I got up and fixed the problem. There's nothing quite like knowing the facts of a problem and changing your attitude on how to solve it.

I like your comment on philosophical fiction. And agree with it. I learned more reading stories which deal with philosophical issues than I ever did from a textbook.

To Nunu, I would suggest some Net searches for 'existentialism fiction, novels and short stories, plays, poetry and movies'. I'm suggesting 6 searches, not 1, with 'existentialism' for each category.

wrc


If you ever have plumbing problems you can PM me. I know everything about the subject. I too liked zen... You CAN figure anything out with a little research. Everything is easy once you know the tricks.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-10-2016, 01:11 PM
Magealexstra (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 7
Thanks: 10
Thanks 3
Default

I think it has more to do with attitude. There a is general defeatist ideology going around these days. Just because you haven't done something before doesn't mean you can't do It.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Magealexstra For This Useful Post:
whunter (11-03-2016)
  #8  
Old 11-03-2016, 07:01 AM
whunter (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 273
Thanks: 69
Thanks 38
Default

Glad I randomly clicked onto this thread. Reading Zen was a major turning point in my life too - it's why I'm writing this out for you below

On older philosophical works in existentialism, Kierkegaard is my favorite and probably the easiest to read.

EDIT: Forgot to add, the beauty of philosophy is that this is my interpretation of the text. You may have your own and the idea is that if our interpretations are different, we just argue about it until either one of us concedes.



Translations

Modern thought has realized considerable progress by reducing the existent to the series of appearances which manifest it.

Collected wisdom up to Sartre's time has been successful recognizing it takes only a series of appearances to say "this exists."


It's aim was to overcome a certain number of dualisms which have embarrassed philosophy and to replace them by the monism of the phenomenon. Has the attempt been successful?

The goal was to overcome the dualism of something's appearance and it's actual form. Ex: the mind and brain are the same thing.

In the first place we certainly thus get rid of that dualism which in the existent opposes interior to exterior. There is no longer an exterior for the existent if one means by that a superficial covering which hides from sight the true nature of the object. And this true nature in turn, if it is to be the secret reality of the thing, which one can have a presentiment of or which one can suppose but can never reach because it is the "interior" of the object under consideration---this nature no longer exists.

If we suppose there is some inner truth (or Platonic form) to an apple, we'd be mistaken. The only thing we can recognize is the apple, is an apple, because it has external physical properties that represent what we think an apple is. There is no underlying reality that makes an apple an apple, it simply exists because 1) it is a physical object in reality and 2) has properties that are consistent with what we call apple.

The appearances which manifest the existent are neither interior nor exterior; they are all equal, they all refer to other appearances, and none of them is privileged.

Therefore, the apple is inherently an apple and gives off the appearance of "apple."


Important thought:
No action indicates anything which is behind itself; It indicates only itself and the total series.

Argues that an action, say slapping someone in the face, is itself an action. Its physical appearance (the act itself: the hand wave, the sound it makes, the effect) is simply an action, regardless of the motivations behind it. It can't be confused with anything else.

Last edited by whunter; 11-03-2016 at 07:03 AM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > The Library


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Existential literature moops The Library 20 05-27-2013 01:50 PM
Existential Paradox Illogical Poetry 0 09-27-2011 04:10 AM
Challenge #47 - I Know It Sounds Impossible (Original Challenge) Firefly Past Prompts and Challenges 2 06-12-2011 05:57 PM
Existential Thoughts (need advice) Purple Bead Poetry 5 10-11-2009 12:53 AM
Impossible!!!! Occasionalpoet Writers' Cafe 16 06-29-2006 03:18 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:17 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.