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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 8

Discussion in 'General Freewheeling Chit-Chat' started by Gene Steinberg, Nov 23, 2016.



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  1. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Hi Usual Suspect. I have not watched the Matrix film/films, and am not more inclined to do so from the excerpts you link. I'm also at a loss in understanding your suggestion that extracts from MP concerning the meanings that have historically accrued to the human experience of seeing the color 'red' are significantly parallel to 'the red dress' as a meme of some kind expressed in the Matrix film/films. Perhaps you can clarify what you are suggesting in the comparison or attempted linking?
     
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  2. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Very interesting excerpt from The World as Will and Representation [pp. 26-28 in the later translation provided at wordpress -- https://digitalseance.files.wordpre...r-the-world-as-will-and-representation-v1.pdf


    "...The systems that start from the object have always had the whole world of perception and its order as their problem, yet the object which they take as their starting-point is not always this world or its fundamental element, namely matter. On the contrary, a division of these systems can be made in accordance with the four classes of possible objects set out in the introductory essay. Thus it can be said that Thales and the Ionians, Democritus, Epicurus, Giordano Bruno, and the French materialists started from the first of those classes, or from the real world. Spinoza (because of his conception of substance, as merely abstract and existing only in his definition), and before him the Eleatics, started from the second class, or from the abstract concept. The Pythagoreans and the Chinese philosophy of the I Ching started from the third class, namely from time, and consequently from numbers. Finally, the scholastics, teaching a creation out of nothing through the act of will of an extramundane personal being, started from the fourth class, namely from the act of will, motivated by knowledge.

    The objective method can be developed most consistently and carried farthest when it appears as materialism proper. It regards matter, and with it time and space, as existing absolutely, and passes over the relation to the subject in which alone all this exists. Further, it lays hold of the law of causality as the guiding line on which it tries to progress, taking it to be a self-existing order or arrangement of things, veritas aeterna, and consequently passing over the understanding, in which and for which alone causality is. It tries to find the first and simplest state of matter, and then to develop all the others from it, ascending from mere mechanism to chemistry, to polarity, to the vegetable and the animal kingdoms. Supposing this were successful, the last link of the chain would be animal sensibility, that is to say knowledge; which, in consequence, would then appear as a mere modification of matter, a state of matter produced by causality.

    Now if we had followed materialism thus far with clear notions, then, having reached its highest point, we should experience a sudden fit of the inextinguishable laughter of the Olympians. As though waking from a dream, we should all at once become aware that its final result, produced so laboriously, namely knowledge, was already presupposed as the indispensable condition at the very first starting-point, at mere matter. With this we imagined that we thought of matter, but in fact we had thought of nothing but the subject that represents matter, the eye that sees it, the hand that feels it, the understanding that knows it. Thus the tremendous petitio principii [9] disclosed itself unexpectedly, for suddenly the last link showed itself as the fixed point, the chain as a circle, and the materialist was like Baron von Munchhausen who, when swimming in water on horseback, drew his horse up by his legs, and himself by his upturned pigtail. Accordingly, the fundamental absurdity of materialism consists in the fact that it starts from the objective; it takes an objective something as the ultimate ground of explanation, whether this be matter in the abstract simply as it is thought, or after it has entered into the form and is empirically given, and hence substance, perhaps the chemical elements together with their primary combinations. Some such thing it takes as existing absolutely and in itself, in order to let organic
    nature and finally the knowing subject emerge from it, and thus completely to explain these; whereas in truth everything objective is already conditioned as such in manifold ways by the knowing subject with the forms of its knowing, and presupposes these forms; consequently it wholly disappears when the subject is thought away.

    Materialism is therefore the attempt to explain what is directly given to us from what is given indirectly. Everything objective, extended, active, and hence everything material, is regarded by materialism as so solid a basis for its explanations that a reduction to this (especially if it should ultimately result in thrust and counter-thrust) can leave nothing to be desired. All this is something that is given only very indirectly and conditionally, and is therefore only relatively present, for it has passed through the machinery and fabrication of the brain, and hence has entered the forms of time, space, and causality, by virtue of which it is first of all presented as extended in space and operating in time. From such an indirectly given thing, materialism tries to explain even the directly given, the representation (in which all this exists), and finally even the will, from which rather are actually to be explained all those fundamental forces which manifest themselves on the guiding line of causes, and hence according to law. To the assertion that knowledge is a modification of matter there is always opposed with equal justice the contrary assertion that all matter is only modification of the subject's knowing, as the subject's representation. Yet at bottom, the aim and ideal of all natural science is a materialism wholly carried into effect. That we here recognize this as obviously impossible confirms another truth that will result from our further consideration, namely the truth that all science in the real sense, by which I understand systematic knowledge under the guidance of the principle of sufficient reason, can never reach a final goal or give an entirely satisfactory explanation. It never aims at the inmost nature of the world; it can never get beyond the representation; on the contrary, it really tells us nothing more than the relation of one representation to another."

    9 "Begging of the question." [Tr.]


    {note: I've paragraphed the above text to facilitate its readability.}
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
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  3. Usual Suspect

    Usual Suspect USI Calgary

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    "Unfortunately no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." - Morpheus



    There is also a companion book

    [​IMG]

    You may have heard of a show guest and forum
    participant named Red Pill Junkie.
    The choice Neo makes
    explains that name.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  4. smcder

    smcder Paranormal Adept

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    Hi Constance ... I don't think you've missed any new ideas in The Matrix. The 2.5 hours it takes to view the film might more profitably be spent reading a philosopher of your choice. ;-)
     
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  5. smcder

    smcder Paranormal Adept

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  6. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Excellent orientation to Schopenhauer, which I assume continues in subsequent parts of this lecture. Is there someplace where the links to these are gathered? Schopenhauer refers in The World as Will and Representation to this work [On the fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason] and to two others -- an essay titled "On Sight and Colour" and the Appendix on Kant -- as supplements to WWR that help to clarify WWR. The Appendix on Kant is included at the end of WWR but the others are apparently published separately and it might be best if we begin with the texts of these works first. I'll look for links to each of them online.

    I have also come across an extremely clarifying paper comparing 'intentionality' in Schopenhauer and Husserl --

    Hanes, SCHOPENHAUER AND HUSSERL: CRITIQUING THE 20TH CENTURY PHENOMENOLOGICAL TRADITION

    Abstract: This paper contrasts the concept of intentionality in the works of Arthur Schopenhauer and Edmund Husserl, in order to outline some of their similarities and dissimilarities, and then use Schopenhauerian concepts to critique the Husserlian position. The paper then provisionally points toward locating a space in contemporary philosophical discussions for the Schopenhauerian critique, especially relative to the existent critiques of Husserlian phenomenology offered by Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida.

    which you will find at this link:

    http://www.haneswinereview.com/about/hanes_philosophy002.pdf


    ps, I'll have to track back to see how we landed on Schopenhauer, but at this point I'm extremely glad that we did.
     
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  7. smcder

    smcder Paranormal Adept

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    Sch
    There is a link to a site where additional lectures by John David Ebert can be purchased ... I think they are pretty reasonable.

    I'm not sure how we ended on Schopenhauer either ... I'm trying to catch up, but may just have to join the conversation in progress ...
     
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  8. smcder

    smcder Paranormal Adept

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  9. Soupie

    Soupie Paranormal Adept

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    The recent material re bitbol, Greer, and Schop have been interesting. I want to post with excerpts included but in the meantime the material has underscored my ongoing pondering of the following question:

    If causation as understood in classical physics is a perceptual and/or epistemological representation of a process "in itself," how do we explain the apparent order that we experience?

    This question presupposes there is a process.

    As smcder has said and bitbol underscores, making the claim the consciousness is primary and matter secondary raises problems equally as "hard" as the hp. But all signs seem to indicate this is the case.
     
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  10. Michael Allen

    Michael Allen Paranormal Adept

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    A quick answer is that the "representation" of the process pollutes the pure "in-itself" and the residual "for-what" is so intertwined as to change the meaning of the "explanation" which we seek regarding the order. Maybe I have misread you, but the "apparent" component of the "order" of experiences themselves beg a framework that subsumes the pure "in-itself" into an automatic "for-something" background which we (self-referencing-world-as-self-....) bring to the table. The problem of introducing the usual common sense predicates of "primary" and "secondary" in and of themselves require a "for-what" framework to supercede the "in-itself" relations. In other words, the "hard" problem is that we use signs that correspond to a greater relational totality than of the domain (i.e. the "pure in-itself") and therefore are unable to be answered by an explanation framework that stands inside the posited purity of the "in-itself."

    In the world of chaotic dynamics, a system for which our own predictions do not necessarily alter the future (i.e. level 1: weather) are fundamentally different from the same world of systems for which our predictions affect the actions of those who are able to change their own behavior based on the said predictions (i.e. level 2: financial). But both of these systems operate without fear of self-contradiction in a world represented purely as an "in-itself" -- it is when the activities of a second order "in-itself" against a first order "in-itself" operate in the same world that we seem to imagine "paradoxes" and "hard problems."
     
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  11. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    "The problem of introducing the usual common sense predicates of 'primary' and 'secondary' in and of themselves require a 'for-what' framework to supercede the 'in-itself' relations."

    I'm not sure I actually understand all that you are saying above but I sense that it might be helpful. Maybe what you've written can be clarified in questions stimulated by your post and consequent discussion. For example, in the highlighted quote, doesn't the 'for-what' framework you refer to actually presuppose 'primary' and 'secondary' predicates, and thus perhaps itself express/reveal our inherent human epistemological limits in seeking to comprehend the ontological nature of 'what-is' {if 'what-is' is supposed to refer to the noumenal, which remains beyond the limits of the phenomenal appearances of things as that to which we actually have access}. If so, 'what-is' must become 'what-is-for-us', yielding a phenomenological-existential ontology expressed in our lived experience.
     
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  12. Soupie

    Soupie Paranormal Adept

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    I can't be certain I follow what you write either.

    I asked: If physical causation just is a human representation how do we explain the apparent order we experience?

    Is your answer: We can't.
     
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  13. Michael Allen

    Michael Allen Paranormal Adept

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    Maybe my answer is more like, "why would it matter to explain the order found in experience?" Compare the question "what explains the order of the keyboard top row, i.e. 'QWERTY...'? "

    My mis-reading of "order" probably explains where I went off the rails, and probably for good reason anyways (unintentional) because when I saw the word "order" I took to mean a simple "ordering" of events experienced like in a sequence, which probably isn't very helpful at first glance. But it seems to be an interesting mis-reading nevertheless, because my sterile misinterpretation may hold some clues that unpack the original question regarding some metaphysical property we (might) like to raise to the status of some universal notion (i.e. Order)

    Sense (1) "the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method."

    Being a mere static sequence with a pattern is insufficient to capture the pure notion we are after (i.e. the apparent "order" vs some undifferentiated "chaos")
    Whereas the dynamics of the method regarding the "relations between people, things" are also part of the whole world from which we get at least a more holistic version of "Order" -- what may get cast out in the examination of the objective presence or it-itself are the methods and relations to "deciders" of order. Casting "causation" as a human representation doesn't throw away the instrument and methods used in cognition of the ______ nor does it necessarily mean our notions of Order are paradoxical or remain somehow mysterious (to borrow more of Hegel's terminology from his "Introduction" in Phenomenology of Spirit) As Hegel constantly reminds us, we must unpack and execute these notions with the organic unity of parts and processes that make up the final result. The final "order" experienced is a result of something that preceded before our own human bodies began to bear witness to some weird division between our own cognition and "representations" and the world from which both grew out.

    Constance, this sounds correct -- in the sense that the 'for-what' is missing when we constrain primary and secondary predicates to a reduced worldly domain (objective reality) -- and perhaps the "inherent epistemological limits" involve thinking that a pure examination of objective reality should somehow unfurl the fullness and totality of being-in-the-world. Maybe there are limits to which human cognition can implant itself as some weird external simulation somehow infused or injected into pure objective reality--but to do so would imply the simulation is also no longer a pure "in-itself" if the simulation is to be complete. Once complete the epistemological limit imagined is deleted or absorbed in the experiment...
    Regarding the "In-itself" notion, there is no such thing as "self-contained and fully realized Being" (not your quote, taken from combining the notions between Sartre, Heidegger, etc) without the processes, relations and methods that precede the same. Fully realized being is contained in the negative space of objects which are in the way (or out of the way, or irrelevant) of a Dasein fulfilling its purpose through the positive space of apparent "self-contained" entities which help the world to fully realize itself through something else.

    So maybe my answer wasn't so short after all...much apologies.

    Edit: Soupie, I hope you don't think I am picking on you from any other motivation other than random chance...I just happened to read the most interesting statement that "sparked" my curiosity and it was in one of your posts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  14. Michael Allen

    Michael Allen Paranormal Adept

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    I am sorry to revisit this, but I have to continue to break down this definition

    Order:
    "the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method"

    Arrangement:

    (1) the action, process, or result of arranging or being arranged.

    -> root verb put (things) in a neat, attractive, or required order.
    -> [back to order] the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method.

    Usage of action=ordering or commanding (implies Dasein)...usage of process (algorithm executed )...usage of arrange (dasein changes some pattern to its own purpose, or recognizes an existing pattern for its own purpose)

    Disposition


    (1) a person's inherent qualities of mind and character. (pointer or sign to a static notion which must be unpacked = person with a quality of _____ and ______ ...evidence in the in-itself is that of some agent acting on some structure of "external" or "internal" reality in order to continue acting.

    Disposition is a static pointer to a process which includes notions of interactivity with the world -- when unpacked (or dereferenced) it is a noun that is a placeholder for a dynamic structure of self-modifying and world-modifying activity. The word encapsulates the entire organic whole...the person, the methods, the process and the outcome. In sense (2) "the way in which something is placed or arranged, especially in relation to other things" --> this begs a path, arrangement cognized by some dasein, relations posited by another third party.

    So 1st order disposition notions are truisms regarding the accidental arrangements of things (i.e. QWERTY on a keyboard)
    2nd order dispositions are the relations between the accidental arrangements of that particular thing (i.e. QWERTY) and the results created by a typist who wishes to create a document
    3rd order dispositions are the typists understanding and reasoning for using the 2nd and 1st orders (which may be NULL) without noticing their objective presence

    I am currently typing this statement without any regard to the accidental arrangement of my keyboard (thus the paradox of causation with human representation is dissolved)

    Causation is a first order truism in the reduced domain of worldly events (restricted to pure objective reality divorced from any implications of purpose or goal)

    Paradox ensues when disposition is placed as an inherent quality within the reduced domain of "in-itself" and then is retroactively labeled as "self-sufficient being." When in fact "self-sufficiency" requires the projection or simulation of "self-reflection" within Dasein computing its purpose and the installing the static result into the actual particulars for which it deploys in a larger framework. This "projection" (as a habit of language) is what re-emerges as a standing irreducible paradox. The irreducibility of the paradox stems from the same irreducibility that causes this following to be uncomprehended:

    "This sentence is false"




     
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  15. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Sorry, I'm not following your last few posts, but I can agree up to a point with this sentence: "Regarding the 'In-itself' notion, there is no such thing as 'self-contained and fully realized Being'." We do, however, know be-ing.
    Be-ing is activity and interactivity, apparently generated from the q substrate upward, producing habits of interaction and entanglement in nature out of which we have evolved and develop. What 'Being' as a Whole is, or might be, is not on offer in most of our experiences. There might be occasional exceptions, senses, intuitions. For the most part we cannot know, in our temporally situated, spatially limited experience, the whole within which we are contained, from which we have been produced. Not sure I can see it as a paradox. It is what it is.

    So what are your thoughts about Schopenhauer?
     
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  16. Usual Suspect

    Usual Suspect USI Calgary

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    I heard someplace ( perhaps it's an urban myth ) that the placement of keys on a QWERTY keyboard was intentional rather than accidental. The story is that it is because the secretaries of the day were able to type faster than their male bosses could dictate, it resulted in an ego problem for them, so rather than the bosses improving their ability to think and talk coherently, they had the keyboards specifically designed to slow down their secretaries ... Men ... :rolleyes: ... I'm one of them and I still roll my eyes at that ( if it's true ).

    Anyway, unlike the rest of the nitwits here, I'm also egotistical enough to think I get what you're saying, and IMO it all adds up to the same situation it always does, which is a matter of context or perspective. Within some span along the timeline, caused events are the result of intention, but within a wider span, intention is itself the result of unintentional processes. So the paradox is the result of an awareness of temporal elements within our worldview, state of existence, Dasein, Exisistenz ( take your pick ). Consequently, this naturally leads to the idea that consciousness is an emergent phenomena.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  17. Soupie

    Soupie Paranormal Adept

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    Ha if you are "picking on me" I wouldn't know but I honestly can't make heads or tails of your posts.

    If you have answered my question I wouldn't know.

    I agree that the hp is not a true paradox but I'm not sure if my reasons for thinking this are the same as your reasons.

    As far as what I mean by order;, I was essentially referring to classical physical causation.

    Causality (physics) - Wikipedia

    If matter is not primary but rather consciousness is, then it follows that our notions of causality are that, mere notions.

    The perceived order of reality is attributed to causality but if causality just is a second order representation how then do we account for perceived order?

    Another way of asking this is: if the perceived laws of physics just are human inventions than how do we explain the apparent order of our experiences.

    As we cannot perceptually nor epistemologically access the noumenal, then we cannot access the "laws" by which the noumenal differentiates and evolves, right?
     
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  18. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    representation vis a vis reification . . .

    Will arises from/out of need and desire; it is intrinsic to living organisms and precedes thought in the long evolution of species on our planet (doubtless on other planets as well). It is originarily expressed in prereflective/preconscious/subconscious experience, which provides understanding as distinguished from abstract, conceptual, 'knowledge'. I think we need to work out the differences between representation at deep subconscious levels of awareness (in animals as well as in ourselves) and representation as reified in neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, and philosophy alike. It looks like Schopenhauer will help us to comprehend these differences.

    The Haynes paper I linked a day or two ago (and link again below) seems to me to be a clarifying entree into Schopenhauer's thought. Extract:

    "...Because Schopenhauer fundamentally subverts the traditional conception of the human as primarily knower, one easily may become confused regarding how he locates intentionality. Thus, we must try to be clear on which aspect of the world he is describing at any given time, and the manner in which representation and will supplement each other, as confusion may appear always just a step away. Again, let us pause, as Schopenhauer himself so often does in his texts, and reflect along with him. He reiterates: “We started neither from the object nor from the subject, but from the representation, which contains and presupposes them both; for the division into object and subject is the first, universal, and essential form of the representation” (WWR I, 25). Representation lies between the false ideologies of materialism and idealism, which both mistakenly privilege either the object or the subject over the relationship between them. Schopenhauer adamantly stresses that representation, including linguistic knowledge, requires the subject to support the world through the principle of sufficient reason and requires that there be objects that the subject applies this principle to, the first being its own body. In Schopenhauers form of subjectivism one cannot doubt the existence of an external world because the subject could not recognize itself as such without such objects in counterpoint. This presents a fundamental improvement on the Cartesian model of intentionality because it obviates the need for proof of the subjects world. The entire epistemological problematic that revolves around “How do I know that I know… (that I know that I know, etc.)” gives way to the facticity of immediate perception and the enclitic abstractions of reason. Schopenhauer states: 'The real foundation of all truths which in this sense are called metaphysical, that is, of abstract expressions of the necessary and universal forms of knowledge, can be found not in abstract principles, but only in the immediate consciousness of the forms of representation, manifesting itself through statements a priori that are apodictic and in fear of no refutation' (WWR I, 67).

    Representation deals with all that can be known, conversely all that could be known can be represented.5 able at all, in other words, is not capable of being represented in anyone's head. There exist facets of the world beyond representation, however, we should not bemoan our inability to represent them. He asserts that “all we complain of not knowing is not known by anyone, indeed is in itself not even known.”6 The concept of apodicticity is thus subtly altered—we do not look for a timeless and universal set of criteria to judge our situated truths against. Rather, based on our a priori cognitive wiring, we take what we perceive in the here and now as the barometer of truth. As a result, Schopenhauer avoids the need to appeal to anything transcendental when simply describing the 'stuff' or 'what' of the world:

    “What is correctly known by the understanding is reality; what is correctly known by the faculty of reason is truth, i.e., a judgement having a ground or reason (Grund)” (FR, 104). Illusion is merely false perception, error, false conception—the possibility of an evil demon need not be feared. The understanding grasps causality a priori and empirically applies it. Reason takes this data and abstracts it for future application to phenomena." . . . . ."

    http://www.haneswinereview.com/about/hanes_philosophy002.pdf
     
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  19. Nix

    Nix Skilled Investigator

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    The QWERTY layout was designed to keep common letter sequences apart to avoid keys jamming together on early mechanical typewriters. :p
     
  20. smcder

    smcder Paranormal Adept

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    The Archdruid Report: The World as Will

    From this week's Archdruid Report:

    "As discussed in last week’s post, every one of the world’s great philosophical traditions has ended up having to face the same challenge Kant flung in the face of the philosophers of his time. Schopenhauer knew this, since a fair amount of philosophy from India had been translated into European languages by his time, and he read extensively on the subject. This was helpful because Indian philosophy hit its own epistemological crisis around the tenth century BCE, a good twenty-nine centuries before Western philosophy got there, and so had a pretty impressive head start. There’s a rich diversity of responses to that crisis in the classical Indian philosophical schools, but most of them came to see consciousness as a (or the) thing-in-itself, as reality rather than representation."
     
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