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4 The Pathos of the Self-Transcendent God

Shai Held Indiana University Press ePub

THE PATHOS OF THE SELF-TRANSCENDENT GOD

In talking to a group of Jewish educators in 1968, Heschel warned of an “insidious danger” that constituted nothing less than a “block to Jewish theology”; “I refer,” he said, “to the Hellenization of Jewish theology.”1 This process, which began as early as Philo (20 bce–50 ce), was based on the dangerously misleading assumption that, at bottom, “Plato and Moses”—that is, Greek and biblical thinking—“say the same thing. Only, Plato would say it in Greek and Moses in Hebrew. Consequently, you can say that Moses was a sort of Hebrew Plato.” This conflation of two very different modes of thinking dominated the world of medieval Jewish philosophy, Heschel insists, and, as a result, Jewish philosophers too often “talk about God in the language of the Greeks.”2

Heschel is careful to note that he is not opposed to Jewish students being exposed to the non-Jewish world and its ideas. But he worries that in thinking in “non-Jewish terms,” Jews run the very real risk of losing what is most distinctive and original about Jewish thought. Whatever the strengths of non-Jewish thought, Heschel argues,

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Medium 9780253001788

10. The “Serious Play” of Book 7 of Plato’s Laws

Gregory Recco Indiana University Press ePub

10  The “Serious Play” of Book 7 of Plato’s Laws

David Roochnik

R. G. Bury begins the introduction to his translation of Plato’s Laws by stating that this work “lacks the charm and vigour of the earlier dialogues … [it] is marked also by much uncouthness of style, and by a tendency to pedantry, tautology and discursive garrulity which seems to point to the failing powers of the author.”1 Even without acceding to his suggestion that the inferior quality of this dialogue is due to Plato’s diminished abilities, it is tempting to acknowledge Bury’s description of the work. For the Laws does lack the sparkling density and playful irony of other dialogues. The Athenian is indeed pedantic, and his long-winded discourse is remarkably laborious. Especially for a reader inspired by the endlessly provocative minimalism characteristic of Socrates in so many other dialogues, tackling the Laws is a terrible chore. For above all else, what characterizes the Athenian’s speech is its sustained and relentless seriousness.

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1. Familiar Letters about the Art of Reasoning

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF

1

Familiar Letters about the

Art of Reasoning

15 May 1890

Houghton Library

Stagira, May 15, 1890.

My dear Barbara:

The University of Cracow once conferred upon a very good fellow a degree for having taught the philosophical faculty to play cards. I cannot tell you in what year this happened,—perhaps it was 1499. The graduate was Thomas Murner, of whose writings Lessing said that they illustrated all the qualities of the German language; and so they do if those qualities are energy, rudeness, indecency, and a wealth of words suited to unbridled satire and unmannered invective. The diploma of the university is given in his book called Chartiludium, one of the numerous illustrations to which is copied to form the title page of the second book of a renowned encyclopaedia, the Margarita Philosoph1 ica. Murner’s pack contained 51 cards. There were seven unequal suits; 3 hearts, 4 clubs (or acorns), 8 diamonds (or bells), 8 crowns, 7 scorpions, 8 fish, 6 crabs. The remaining seven cards were jokers, or unattached to suits; for such cards formed a feature of all old packs. The object of Murner’s cards was to teach the art of reasoning, and a very successful pedagogical instrument they no doubt proved.

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2. Ribot’s Psychology of Attention

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF

2

Ribot’s

Psychology of Attention

19 June 1890

The Nation

The Psychology of Attention. By Théodule Ribot. Authorized translation. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company.

1890. 8vo, pp. 121.

Every educated man wants to know something of the new psychology. Those who have still to make acquaintance with it may well begin with Ribot’s little book on “attention,” which all who have made progress in the new science will certainly wish to read. It is the chef d’oeuvre of one of the best of those students who have at length erected psychology into a science.

Ribot regards the doctrine of attention as “the counterpart, the necessary complement, of the theory of association.” He means that attention is related to suggestion as inhibition to muscular contraction.

Physiologists, however, would scarcely rank inhibitibility with contractility as an elementary property of protoplasm. Besides, though suggestion by association may be likened to muscular action, how can the analogy be extended to the process of association itself, or the welding together of feelings? This welding seems to be the only law of mental action; and upon it suggestion and inhibition of suggestion alike depend. Attention is said by Ribot to modify reverie’s train of thought by inhibiting certain suggestions, and thereby diverting their energy to suggestions not inhibited. This makes the positive element of attention quite secondary. At the same time, we are told that the sole incitement to attention is interest. That is to say, a preconceived desire prepares us to seize promptly any occasion for satisfying it. A child’s cry, drowned in clatter of talk for others’ ears, attracts the mother’s attention because she is in some state of preparation for it. Ribot, however, does not remark that to say the mind acts in a prepared way is simply to say it acts from a formed association, such action not being inhibitory. If interest be the sole incitement to attention, it is that the energy spent

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7. Problematization plus Reconstruction: Genealogy, Pragmatism & Critical Theory

Colin Koopman Indiana University Press ePub

7

Problematization plus Reconstruction

Genealogy, Pragmatism & Critical Theory

Reconciling Problematizers and Reconstructors

Throughout this book I have been working toward a conception of critical inquiry that brings together the methodological orientations of problematization and reconstruction. It is time to more tightly tie together these two elements of my proposed form of critical inquiry. In this concluding chapter I detail how what I have been calling problematization and reconstruction fit together quite naturally to form a broad-based conception of critique, in the capacious Kantian sense of critique I outlined in the introduction. Kant initiated a project in modern philosophical practice that remains of ineliminable value for the traditions of genealogy, pragmatism, and critical theory. I am not referring to Kant’s projects of an architectonic of reason and a legislation of the moral will. That in Kant which lasts for us today is his project of critique—the severe work by which we inquire into second-order conditions of possibility of our first-order practical doings. In placing genealogy, pragmatism, and critical theory in the lineage of Kant, I aim to call attention to Kant’s best achievements for us moderns. These achievements may not be dependent upon more textbook stories we are too often taught about Kant. Indeed, I can freely admit that Kant may not recognize himself in the critical methodologies I am discussing. But that is not my point. Rather my claim is that we can recognize enough of Kant in ourselves. What I seek, then, are connections on their own terms between Foucault’s Kantian project of problematization on the one hand and the Kantian projects of reconstruction featured in the work of pragmatism and critical theory on the other.

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20. Sundry Logical Conceptions

Peirce Edition Project Indiana University Press ePub

 

MS 478 [The third and longest section of the 1903 Syllabus, this text was not printed in the pamphlet for the audience. The subsection entitled “Speculative Grammar” was published in large part in CP 2.274–77, 283–84, 292–94, and 309–31.] Peirce begins here an important extension of his semiotic theory. He presents his doctrine of signs in the context of his more general theory of categories, making use of three kinds of “separation in thought”: dissociation, prescission, and discrimination. He remarks that logic, in fulfilling its historical mission to distinguish good from bad reasonings, develops into a general theory of signs, and he reviews the place of logic within his classification of sciences. Peirce then takes up the first department of logic (semiotics), speculative grammar, and, on the basis of his categories, divides signs into two trichotomies: (1) icons, indices, and symbols, and (2) sumisigns (later called rhemes), dicisigns, and arguments. The second trichotomy is here given for the first time. This is followed by a sustained discussion of propositions as signs, and of how they are related to dicisigns and other semiotic constituents. Peirce concludes with a discussion of the class of signs we call “arguments“ and surveys how its three types—deduction, induction, and abduction—work together to perform the operation of reasoning.

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X. Directives to the event

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

 

 

 

Unsuitable questioning
in the thinking of the history of beyng

The question-worthiness of beyng
is in truth the inceptuality of the twisting free
of beyng, and thinking follows
this twisting free.

Pain

Experience       the enduring of the difference—thinking

Knowledge

to think out of steadfastness in Da-seyn, i.e., out of historial humanity.

But that says: all these determinations are appropriations of humans into the uniqueness of their distinctive role: carefulness—i.e., the protection and stewardship of the truth of beyng.

To be sure, the mention of “pain,” “experience,” etc. will at first be taken in an anthropological and psychological sense as the singling out and arbitrary defining of “human” faculties.

is the pain of the departure, a pain that belongs to the twisting free of beyng. This pain, insofar as we twist free of it, first unfolds the bliss together with the horror. The twisting free of the pain follows the twisting free of beyng and is appropriated out of beyng. The twisting free of the pain does not remove it but, instead, brings it back into the continuance.

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Valuation and Experimental Knowledge (1922)

Larry A Hickman Indiana University Press ePub

Plato long ago called notice to the disadvantage of written discussion as compared with oral. The printed page does not respond to questions addressed it. It will not share in conversation. But there is a disadvantage for the writer as well as for the reader. He is never quite free in discussing the same topic again; he is committed and hence compromised. Even if he can escape the vanity of consistency, it may not be altogether easy to reapproach the subject-matter wholly on its own account. What is written may have called out comments and criticisms which need a reply; thus indirectly one gets called away from the subject to discussion of what one has previously thought and said about it.

These remarks are preliminary to a consideration of the relation of value to judgment, or the problem of knowing values. In the embarrassment of prior committal1 and of various comments and criticisms, mostly unfavorable, I shall do what I can to stick to the subject on its own merits, inevitably repeating some things which I have said before, while modifying and expanding the discussion so as to give heed to the main contentions of my critics. The consistency of what is said here with what was said in the earlier discussion, I shall for the most part leave to the reader to pass upon, in case he takes an interest in that not very interesting topic.

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Medium 9780253017536

Lexicon of Key Non-English Terms

John W. M. Krummel Indiana University Press ePub

Chan : Zen (Jp.): East Asian school of Mahāyāna Buddhism emphasizing meditation. The name comes from the abbreviation of the Chinese transliteration (channa ) of the Sanskrit dhyāna for “meditation.”

chifei : is/not, is and is-not, affirmation-yet-negation, sokuhi (Jp.)

dao : way, (Jp.)

fajie : realm of truth/reality, dharmadhātu (Skrt.), hokkai (Jp.)

Huayan : Kegon (Jp.): East Asian school of Mahāyāna Buddhism emphasizing the interpenetration of all and based on the Avataṃsaka Sūtra. The name comes from the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit avataṃsaka for “flower garland.”

kong : emptiness, (Jp.), śūnyatā (Skrt.)

li : patterning, patternment, ri (Jp.)

lishi wuai : non-obstruction between thing-events and their patternings, riji muge (Jp.)

San-lun : Sannron (Jp.): a Chinese school of Buddhism based on Madhyamaka

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7. Rowe’s Noseeum Arguments from Evil

Daniel HowardSnyder Indiana University Press ePub

STEPHEN JOHN WYKSTRA

In the Midwest we have “noseeums”—tiny flies which, while having a painful bite, are so small you “no see ’um.” We also have Rowe’s inductive argument for atheism. Rowe holds that the theistic God would allow suffering only if doing so serves some outweighing good. But is there some such good for every instance of suffering? Rowe thinks not. There is much suffering, he says, for which we see no such goods; and this, he argues, inductively justifies believing that for some sufferings there are no such goods. Since it gives such bite to what we cannot see, I call this a “noseeum argument” from evil.

In 1984, I criticized Rowe’s induction using CORNEA, the “Condition of Reasonable Epistemic Access.” In brief, CORNEA says that we can argue from “we see no X” to “there is no X” only when X has “reasonable seeability”—that is, is the sort of thing which, if it exists, we can reasonably expect to see in the situation. Looking around my garage and seeing no dog entitles me to conclude that none is present, but seeing no flea does not; and this is because fleas, unlike dogs, have low seeability: even if they were present, we cannot reasonably expect to see them in this way. But should we expect God-purposed goods to have the needed seeability? Arguing from the disparity between a creator’s vision and ours, I urged not: Rowe’s case thus fails CORNEA’s seeability requirement.

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Motions of Coherence

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

These motions of life have direction. Life moves toward wholeness. It seeks coherence. This is a journey of paradox that pursues a clear direction. It is paradoxical because the path seems first to move away from wholeness to developing a self that is unique and alone. But even the creation of unique selves is an example of coherence. Every self makes sense. It creates a world and an identity that feels coherent to itself. From infinite possibilities, it chooses what to notice and how to respond. All living beings create themselves by this sense-making process of perception and response. As we look at any living being, we are observing its particular coherence, the logic it has used to create itself.

Life’s movement toward coherence is more easily seen in the great energies that attract individuals into systems. Individuals extend themselves outward and create coherent networks that make more of life possible. The Galapagos finches that had slightly longer beaks brought their uniqueness into a system plagued by drought and helped neighboring birds survive. In this paradoxical way, diversity is life’s means for discovering new ways of being together. Life pursues a path of differentness to a destination of wholeness.

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7. Nietzsche’s Performative Phenomenology: Philology and Music

Boublil, Élodie ePub

7

Nietzsche’s Performative Phenomenology

Philology and Music

Babette Babich

Phenomenological Kinds

Like the manifold significations of Being, phenomenology can be and has been articulated in several ways. To say this is also to underscore that when we choose for one expression of phenomenology, even, say, the most canonic expression, such as Husserl’s, we also tend to choose against other approaches. This can go so far as to exclude the late in favor of the early Husserl; in other instances this may include favoring analytic readings and opposing classically continental readings of Husserl’s phenomenology and can entail excluding Heidegger’s or Sartre’s or Merleau-Ponty’s or Günther Anders’ or others’ approaches to phenomenology.1 To the extent that a number of distinctive contributions may be argued as constituting the phenomenological orientations of a range of thinkers, including Theodor Adorno, Michel de Certeau, Michel Henry, Pierre Bourdieu, Jean Baudrillard, and indeed Georges Bataille, as well as and by his own assertion, Jacques Derrida,2 the problem of articulating the meaning of phenomenology is in every sense a multifarious affair. Nor, as we shall see, is this observation new.

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8 The Proof of Paradoxical Reason

McCombs, Richard ePub

 

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31–32)

 

I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)

 

The truth in the sense in which Christ is the truth is not a sum of statements . . . but a life. (PC, 205)

 

This is eternal life, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)

 

That is, only then do I know the truth, when it becomes a life in me. (PC, 206, commenting on John 17:3; emphasis added)

Kierkegaard appears to reject the requirement of reason that he critically evaluate the beliefs grounding both his own and his rival’s ways of life. But in fact he affirms this requirement.

We have already examined some of Kierkegaard’s reasons for appearing to reject rational evaluation of ways of life. He thinks that he needs the incognito of irrationalism to help his readers become more rational, but if he unambiguously set about critically assessing lives with arguments pro et contra he would blow his cover. He also thinks that the task of reason is not so much to think the truth as it is to live it. Of course living the truth includes thinking it, but it also embraces feeling, willing, and enacting it. Since he wishes to encourage his readers to live what they know and believe, and since he is aware that they are very prone to substitute thinking for living, he avoids writing in such a way as to promote or excuse an obsession with thinking. Obviously, guarding in this way against an obsession with thinking does not permit publishing forthright and extensive rational evaluation of ways of life.

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APPENDIX

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF

493

Oliver to Peirce, 1871

invertible, facient-mvertible,

faciend-invertible], non-mvertibleJ

; whereof,

for convenience you denote all but the first by one sign; while addition, being commutative, is of only 2 kinds? And here is a question of notation: your (xy)z = xyz is far more neatly written than Hamilton's (xy)z = xzy; but is not his the most natural in its relation to the usual subject-matter?—These are the chief questions that I would care to raise now, concerning pp. 1-5; though there are 1 or 2 others that I must look at again.

As regards notation, your z(yx) = zyx is very neat, if you write y z

(x ) = xyz. So is >- or —<. I had abandoned it for ) or (, as easier written; but >— lends itself better to work like that /on p.y 31.

Of +, and — we will speak presently. /Andy the new notation on these pages, is apparently well-suited for your present purpose, but I agree with you in not recommending it for GENERAL Algebra. Thus, the comma can hardly be spared from its old use as a non-commutative mark of mere collection;

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9 A Terrible Love of Hope: Toward Peace Before Death

John J. Stuhr Indiana University Press ePub

“All nations want peace,” Admiral Sir John Fisher said, “but they want a peace that suits them.” Most people, including maybe you and me, and most nations—perhaps all nations, and surely the United States of America—are not pacifists. It is not simply that they sometimes or even most of the time fail in practice to live up to pacifist commitments. It is rather that they are not committed in principle to pacifism. They are not pacifists in theory. They do not oppose war, all war, categorically and in principle, and without exception. At the same time, of course, it is not that they do not value peace at all. It is rather that they hold other values to be more important than peace, to be ethically higher than peace, to be ethically more fundamental than peace. They are not fundamentally pacifists. They are fundamentalists for something else. This something else could be anything else at all—for example, democracy, freedom, pluralism, individualism, capitalism, socialism, equality or equal opportunity, rights, prosperity, livelihood, nature, territory, homeland security, children, family, clan, class, nation, tradition, doctrine, sect, religion, revelation, revenge, or justice. At most, fundamentalists for something other than peace do support peace in practice when, but only when, it serves their more fundamental value or values. They support peace when it seems instrumental to do so, support peace when, and only when, it suits them. And these supporters of pacifism-when-it-suits have a simple strategy recommendation for all supporters of pacifism-in-principle: if the sheer absence or end of war really is your highest value, then just surrender unconditionally.

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