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University of Toronto St. George
Rebecca Comey

Lecture #3 Continental Philosophy Kierkegard • the authentic self, no certainty of rational activity, is a self of faith • other 3 thinkers have suspicion of religious precepts • significance of Christianity is something that has been obscured and should be reevaluated • knowledge of the self cannot be achieved through reason • self abstracted away from in marketed, democratic society • process of rational comprehension weeded out in this period • Hegel obscures away from the self where no rational access can give, core of myself is a self I have to attain and arrive at and is not given to me • act of will and decision, responsibility • decision is strangely passive (paradox), because it is a response to a command to someone who is inescapable (transcendent God), absolutely other and to whom I have to attach myself, acknowledge and confirm my faith with a fundamental decision about my existence • not just a Christian self, but the self obscured from science, social relations, etc. • self of decision (no one can do it for me, active) and also responds to a voice (reactive) • responsibility is both an originary act that I alone am commited to (it can only come from me) and a response Fear and Trembling: Abraham • service to the Lord • to do God’s will • allusion to the Philipians • Abraham, the Father of Israel and monotheism is being tested as a father • does not minimize the horror of what is asked of Abraham that he is submitted to, nor the repent on the viewer witnessing it • told in a factual, chronical way • no psychological additives to the story, series of simple prosaic verbs • Abraham’s silence is striking • decision is taking in ignorance of what is being demanded, Abraham did not know that God would supply him with the ram • we normally keep silence during shame, when we want no one to know • does not seem to be the force of Abraham’s silence • it is the measure of the absoluteness to which he is responding • he is free not to obey it • it is an absolute command which you must obey because of God and yet, it is possible that you won’t obey it (for if not, it would not be obedience but conformity or oppression) A Dialectic Lyric • can philosophy and poetry be fused? • the author silences himself • doesn’t voice what he thinks, feels or wants • Johannes de Silencio, John of the Silence • he wants to understand and see how extraordinary and great Abraham is, so he takes on this name • to what extent can one identify the position of Johannes with Soren? • writing under a pseudo name: self invention, we are not bound to what we are given • giving up what is given to you, giving up the claim to ownership, credit Tuning Up • series of anecdotes, parables to understand the story (misunderstandings of the story) • you are not suppose to be watching the tuning up at a concert, but are drawn to it, sets the audience up for expectations, prepares you for a performance Lecture # 4: Kierkegard con’t Abraham Story con’t • no sign of deliberation or hesitations • timing of faith • takes place in the here and now • not aware of the ram • the immediacy of his decision contrasts with the way that the story is told, false starts of Soren, pauses • what is the relationship to our lack of immediate access to the story? • what makes him exemplary of a man of faith, someone we must imitate? • what the errors have in common is a misunderstanding of the faith itself • blind obedience does not confront the measure in which God demanded of him (in the errors) • it is not the willingness or the promptness of pulling a knife at the son’s throat without knowing the angel, this is a contast to the idea of winning Issac, to getting him, it is the precise of his gaining Issac in the end • Kierkegard tries to multiply the difficulties and misunderstandings • it is through the fear that Abraham displays of God that causes him to truly win him • question of appreciating the scenario in an aesthetic way, a piece of beauty • the poet, Johannes de Silentio, starts to speak in his own voice • relationship between admired and admirer? is this the approach we must have of Abraham • who strengthend Abraham’s arm? who gave him this heroic strength? “anyone who looks at this scene goes blind” • to the extent that we want to witness it, we can’t and we become blind, we are both invited to watch but we lack the ability to partake in it, we exclude ourselves • the man heard a beautiful story and continually misconstrued it pg 8, what engrossed him was not the scene, it was the shutter of trembling that is instantaneous and sudden • pg 19, he speaks to Abraham and not about him anymore, he is getting closer to him, becomes and imaginary interlockier, tributes to him, honour and praise • how can you praise what you cannot comprehend? what are you praising and is praise the appropriate attitude of the spectator? • it is something is giving or bringing to Abraham • what is the relationship to his gift to Abraham and Abraham’s ultimate gift to God? the poet makes a comparable act Poetry and Despair • pg 12: if there were no eternal consciousness in a human being, if a bottomless sensationa emptiness were within the human, what would there be but despair? • if all there was was time/nature/eternity, nothing worldly sustaining the act of order and decay, there would only be despair • BUT that is why it is not so, as God created man and woman, so he has fashioned the poet (in the same breath) to save humanity from despair • poetry introduces to time a stablizing force because he binds time to rememberance • the power of poetry of preserving the memory of Abraham for the future (praising of poetry and self-praising, praising his own ability to praise as a poet) • is praise or tribute appropriate or does it undercut itself in a self-interested way? • by the end he says that Abraham doesn’t need a tribute, he hasn’t lost anything to be saved by poetry • we don’t need poetic language to remember Abraham, don’t have to be poetically inclined to have access to the story • our admiration of Silencio’s poetic mesmerization distracts us from the story’s meaning Greatness • pg 13 there was one who was great by his power, hope, wisdom, love (the hero) • what makes Abraham special is not his extremities • Abraham was greater than everybody • his superhuman and incomprehensible strength also looks like a weakness, what kind of power, hope, wisdom or love is this? contradictory and irrational to ordinary understanding • it is not simply the destructive quality or sacrificial • what distinguishes him is the quality of expectency, radical promise that God made to him that he will be the patriarch, father of generations and land • Abraham believes in the promise to expect A SON • he is a man of faith, the expectency that he will get Issac back, it is the same expectency that he has when the promise is first made • Kierkegard emphasizes the expectency, he is forever young because he has a future, he believes in his own future that God has promised and believes in the sacrifice because he trusts God • you don’t expect something when it is against odds • expecting something normal is only prediction • expectation in a radical sense is when the pressure of time is passing • the paradox: at the impossibility is when the promise achieves its real resonance • promise becomes a promise at the moment when the promise appears to be broken • it when he gives up the child is when he gains the child the second time, (God appeared to break his promise the second time, but that is when the promise heightens) Lecture #5 Sept 22/08. Problems • no hesitation on Abraham’s part, striking reader by indirection of Silentio and directness of Abraham • next paradox: giving up your beloved but at the same time believing that you will get your love back • why so many words (he uses)? is this the way to faith? • contrast between getting and having something • what Abraham teaches is how to get something, how do we take what we have into something which we own, possess or get? (getting back Isaac) • what you acquire, you work for • labourous act of appropriation of possession • is the act of faith work? • you cannot get what you have unless you work for it • it is not the having of Isaac that it is the issue, it is the getting or getting back • what exactly in the story are we to get and how? (in the regetting sense) • paradox of faith is giving up and getting it back • faith and not a certainty (certainty would be a probability or prediction) • defies rational comprehension, logic cannot tolerate it • paradox within the paradox: it cannot be universalized, it is singular –How can it be exemplary? • his act is special and unique, we cannot look to it for guidance of action (killing or attempting to murder one’s child) • “what is worthwhile of remembering the past that cannot become the present?” • it is in a past world that is entirely different from our own, we are distanced from this event • he insists to speak of it as though it is now and he is human • “I prefer to speak humanly about it, as if it happened yesterday, and let only the greatness itself be the distance that either exaults or condemns” (28) Readership • is it the Christian aspect to which we are to respond? (Judeo-Christian) • narrowing the readership • is it about male (father-son relationships)? Rationality and Paradox • not simply the lack of logical comprehension that is both P and not P • impossibility of identifying with Abraham, not something which one can empathaize • “I can think myself into the hero; I cannot think myself into Abraham” (27), he cannot comprehend or even think of being through Abraham’s perspective • 28: says he lacks the courage to submit to the absurd • an impossibility of access and yet a compulsion to understand it and be there • what does the greatness consist of? (that Abraham can and we can’t do what he did) • he can make sense of the sacrifice, but not the “getting”, to fully anticipate without predicting getting the love back • leap towards the infinite by giving up everything that attaches me to this world (the finitude) –the knight of resignation • join myself with the infinite (God) • and sever myself to this world, leap towards eternity • unless one is prepared to give up everything that ties us to our time and space, faith is nothing and one cannot speak of it • and faith goes further: it is “more” Recognizing the Present • how see Abraham in the present? • he is looking for a sign that is singular and unique to identify the knight of faith that shows me that he has made the leap to the infinite • “he looks just like a tax collector” • what is special about Abraham is that there is nothing that appears to be special about him • if he were special/supernatural, it would show that he did not make the journey back down to the world • in gaining the world, become distinguishable from that world • trying to look for the trace of difference • no sign that he soared beyond the finite • the finite tastes every bit as good as the infinite (the lamb tastes good), I like it as much as anyone who has never lifted his head from the troph • if all one can do is give up, no faith • it’s about leaving the finite and having a simultaneous collision with the infinite • analogy: unattainable love, giving up the courtly love • knight of resignation: gives up bodily attachment to earthly love (will not be affected by her aging/death), and reunite with her in heaven, attaining her eternally • getting the princess back • p and not p Lecture #6: Sept 24/08. • there is in faith something higher than ethics • height as a metaphor • ethics can’t comprehend or what appears to be ethics • trying to distinguish faith from ethics • what makes ethics ethical is its universality (everyone has to do it, there is not special ethics rules or exceptions for me) • its normative, ought Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical? • yes • faith is this • what does it mean here? • teleology: standard classical name for the end, direction, purpose towards a goal or end point • suspension: to be held in time, yet overruled? • ethics seems to be the end • faith: paradox of the single individual being higher than the universal • it is thought that the universal is greater than the individual, this is the paradox, that it is it’s superior and not its subordinate • it’s not a matter of reversing the order of priority • the universal is still binding, the ethical rules still hold • still member of humanity with obligations, to government, to family, to country, etc., but I’m above what I am bounded to • the single individual stands higher than the universal to which he or she is nonethless bound • as a singular being the person stands in an absolute relationship to the absolute • nothing between me and God, no common language, none of the categories which I share with other humans that bind me to others are relevant to my relationship with the absolute which is unmediated, nothing in between, direct connection what makes Abraham’s act an act of faith? • Agamemnon: sacrifices his daughter b/c the gods tell him to • what is the difference? • needs to turn the winds in Greece’s favour(to win the war) so he kills his daughter • differences: • 1) there is a rational reason/purpose to it, military advantages • 2) he complains, argues, fights endlessly, weeps talks, he is giving voice to his anguish and there is a consellation, community of misery to make sense of his deed, he is also able to share the pain with others, his community, his wife, his daughter, his army, his sailors, his cause • Agamenon is a tragic character • mediation between relationship with the gods • public order, has its reasons and utility • public transparent sphere in which it makes sense, not believing in the absurd • no suspension of the ethical because of the way that his sacrifice is integrated into an ethical order, patriotic national loyalty • Abraham’s story is singular • not ethical, higher than the ethical, exceptional, suspends ethics and for this reason it is silent, at night, no one can see and imagine what is going on b/c it is exceptional and singular • if we try to compare it to other superficial sacrifices, K shows that it is singular and special • he has to humanize this story, make it my own, cannot treat it as an imaginable, ideal tale • this story has to make me shutter (trembling), to understand • “faith is a miracle and yet no human being is excluded from it” • faith is passion Lecture 7 Sept 29/08 • singularity of the sacrifice that he is making, yet ethics always requires a universal commitment • what seems to mark Abraham’s act as immoral (ethical suspension) is that the universality is irrelevant • it is inexplicable to a universal law • the paradox is notwithstanding or b/c of singular incomprehensible force of this demand, there is something in the act which is relevant to all of us • applies to us (binding) even if it is not a rule we can follow • faith is a miracle, no one excluded from it, what unites us is passion and faith is passion • how is it that what separates Abraham from humanity the very thing that unites or attaches himself to the people • what is communicated by this ordeal cannot be taught true knight of faith is a witness and not a teacher • Greek word for witness is same word for martyr • Abraham is described by K as a martyr, he is bearing witness to something which cannot be communicated • witness as something more that could be understand by sympathy as vanity • what do we have to do in the “same way”? • what is the same about it? • nothing certain about Abraham’s act • no way of knowing that this what the moral thing to do is, can’t be summarized by a concept paradox of uncertainty and pain • pain becomes the assurance in a world where no certainty or assurance is provided • we are in a world where there is no logical premise that we can practically apply to ethics (to follow A, we will arrive at the ethical B) • how then is pain an assurance of action-guiding? • Jesus demanding hatred of others in order to be a disciple of his • to make the sacrifice of what you love, hate must be involved • asking not only of a sacrifice, but hatred as well • hatred is not self-evident: this hatred is not about the absence of love • K trying to rid the idea of the love of the son or of God in a quantitative way • it is because Abraham infinitely loves his son that he can sacrifice him • how is it a devotional love to God if at the moment of sacrifice, we have a negative attachment of hatred to it, this is not as difficult as the fundamental connection to the sacrificial object (this is not giving up)?? • if he is so sure of getting Issac back, then why talk of it as a sacrifice at all? • he is not sure of logical knowledge, but of faith Lecture 8 Oct 1/08 • if we are beyond the ethical, do we have a duty to God? ethics=duty/ethics=religion • beyond ethical is beyond realm of public communication • sacrifice of language to explain or account for his sacrifice to share his innermost thoughts • not exhausted by the action or the silence • issue not graspable by esthetic categories • if issue is leaving behind conceptual thought, we might be tempted to think that the issue is poetic (no rational language) • K: limits of rationality is not marked by poetry • poetic language cannot capture it • not going to get at faith through a poetic means • point of the failed analogies is to emphasize that none are or can compare to Abraham • marriage: realm of ethics because it is public • all the dilemmas: to speak or not to speak? • silence: comprehended? inner rage/too angry or crazy to speak? no • silence praised as being divine and demonic • the more it is silenced the more frightful the demon comes, yet silence is the communion with the divine, someone who is so singular that he will not partake with the universal • problem of incognito • could mean that the mark of Abraham is not mark at all because it would do just the opposite of the intention • self-sacrifice: autobiographical • story of Sarah: female point of view in which he cannot imagine, morphs into Bluebeard, then Richard III • issue: Richard’s deformity, source of revulsion • 92: quotes Shakespeare, physical deformity becomes a moral one, becomes occasion for which he is out of the community, beyond ethical, becomes an example of the demonic • Abraham’s silence is not demonic bound up with his faith and not just a renounciation, Abraham cannot speak, the others wish not to • cannot make himself intelligble when he speaks • community: common sense recognizing each other as free agents: Kant Lecture 9: Oct 8/08 • K: response to presence of the culture of mass production and publication • describes a web in which social relations are constructed (everyone looks, sounds like, seems like everyone else is a prison) • something of new experience is being taken away • retrieval of individual singularity resists absorption of the universal • retrieving immediacy that is pre-rational that will not easily be reduced to conceptual thought • the uncertainty is that it is not about thinking, it’s about living, breathing, etc. • cannot be satisfied by universal categories • K calls it immediacy splitting differences between Kierkegaard and Marx • K: turns inward, rebellion against conformity, the way of going against it is to turn in and have a relationship with God • M: turning out, not a solitary worshipping being, but I am a subject that acts by producing, this is what defines my sensory involvement, to work and make things, by making things I put a piece of myself into the world, through making and producing that I establish my own being • a solitary individual vs. a public one • by working I am inescapably connected to other people • production defining the agent is inescapably social • K turns away from the public world • for Marx, there is no way to leave the public realm, even if one turns inward • M analyzes the modern world and that industrial capitalism conquers, not a speck left untouched (already or on the way of becoming merchandized) • evacuation of the human agent as a distinct being (I am a producer/exchanger) Marx • a theory of history German ideology • Feuerbach: when we think we are talking about God, we are actually projecting an idealized version of ourselves (authorities and exemplary figures) • theology is a form of anthropology • everything that seems to be above us is a reflection/manifestation of human desire • the thought of God being a thought of humanity will free us • it is revolutionary, heaven is brought down to earth so that the transcendent is something we have access to, something we can control Marx’s response • what is so radical to criticize an idea? • doesn’t argue with the idea that God is a human concept of the reflected humanity • but how is exposing the illusion going to change the way people live and behave • wants to know how these illusions got constructed in the first place • ideas themselves are enough to chain people • by changing the way people think, can we change their existence? • this belief that a change in mentality is sufficient to change appears to be radical, but all we are doing is continuing to look and adding to the idea that ideas are everything • it is not to say that we are necessarily wrong to think and value ideas, but he wants to know why • wants to define “thinking”, and what is “consciousness”, before we can provide a reason for our having false consciousness • we produce the conditions under which we live • we make and do things so that we can satisfy ourselves, connect with other producers and form social ties to produce the instruments to satisfy our needs and reproduce ourselves in the material world • the human being becomes human not when we satisfy our needs by the production of materials, but to produce things that satisfy our needs and arise other needs and continue this ongoing desire for new things • this needy individual is an embodied agent, only under this basis can we understand what it means to think and be conscious • if ideas appear as emanations of our materials, what is ideology in this context • appears as an upside down image, an illusion (man producing God and not God producing man) • it’s not just correcting the angle of perception • the fact that we produce these ideas is a function in which we live • it is not that our ideas are the only things that are upside down, it is that the world is upside down too • both illusory and not illusory • if ideas come from these conditions and reflect them, it would follow that to change our ideas we need to change our conditions • is a change of thought real change? –no • something must be done to the world Lecture 10: Oct 15/08 Background • Hegel: rational comprehension is divine • Hegelians trying to go beyond this, bring Hegel down to earth, rooting everything in a grounded corporeal species that constructed God in human likeness Feuerbach • man is the presupposition • issue is to see how the human species creates fantasies of transcendental being • calls man “essential man”: regardless of context (social, cultural, etc.) we share an identity of similar bodily needs • humanism is insufficient if it stops with human species • this would be to replace theology with anthropology (divine essence for human one) • the species represents God Marx • starts with irreducible human life, fundamental • insofar as humanity is human, it is not fixed, don’t exist in fixity but in their process of development • living beings that are not static (like animals who don’t change the face of nature or the world, don’t change their species or material world just reproduce, ) • what is essential to human being (Marx argues with Engels) is that it changes, what defines human being is its activity, always engaged in process of transformation and self-transformation = history • anthropology: would study humans as a static species • how to grasp a changing object by a theory that is unchanging? –Marx says you can’t • can’t watch history unfold from static position because object requires mobility by the subject Theses on Feuerbach • what does it mean to know? • conditions of thinking changes, thought changes • material embeddedness I • if thought is embedded, it implies there is something primary from matter • ideas can’t exist on their own (fall from heaven) • matter becomes a fixed and inert point • problem with materialism is that matter is passive and not an activity • world of thinking reduced to material conditions, suggests mechanicistically understood • active side: developed by idealism (does not know real sensuous activity), thoughts are abstract and actively understood • two opposites • Marx wants to synthesize, wants the activity but not the pure idealism and wants the materialism but not the passiveness • not a question of idealism (thinking is primary existing on its own) • Marx wants materialism and idealism • involves a submission to the given other, both committed to contemplative point of view of the world • the feelings of our bodies don’t give us access to them (not just knowing the body, but acting) • what gives us access is activity, becoming a material agent (not simply feel nor simply understand) • if we take our body to be an active body (subject) and not just object, we have to generate to know • every theory is a practice and intervention into the world • idea that they are objects (of contemplation and separate from our practice – materialism) does not come from no where – no ideas do • this idea itself of inertness or objectness (found rather than made) is produced under historical conditions, reasons why we believe our bodies to be this way • capitalist society in 19 century • see this idea is a consumerism • necessary for objects to circulate and be bought and desired (bodies) • we forget that they are produced • what it means to be a consumer is to forget production and the labour that goes into it and enjoy consuming, this is the only way to enjoy consumption, don’t want to know that products come from labour • even the most natural things are made, the apple is a result of trade, commerce, etc. • nothing in the world is simply there • this belief is the sustaining belief of capitalism • we applied the effects of consumption to the contemplation of the body (as simply there) Feuerbach’s mistake II • can’t make a theoretical pronouncement of human thinking • not a question of theory, but a practical question • men must prove the truth (aligned with power) • truth not just a thought about reality, but power • must prove the hereness, not just in an abstract realm • praxis ref. Greeks, Aristotle who opposed theory and believed in practical knowledge by custom and engagement • can only prove the truth of ideas in practice Lecture 12-Oct 22/08 Thought and German Ideology • relationship between thought and action of German ideology • describing what it is to think • forcing us to transform thought and philosophy into something more than an interpretation or theory about the world • the world is out there and thinking is in here so there is a barrier • we have to transform thinking into an activity • transformative relationship into the world Communist Manifesto • defined most recently through capitalism • not simply a prediction, piece of writing (Communist Manifesto) bringing the prediction to life • brings about the very event that it is profesying • says little about communism in comparison to the detail of capitalism • communism not presented as a wish or ideal state, but a present that is leaning and is pushed by this text towards that future • the paradox of his way of writing: 1) inevitability of this system must happen b/c of its causing forces, concentration of wealth and small owners, large class of impovershed workers, surplus value produce more wealth than giving back to workers 2) not inevitable because it has to be written and has not inevitably happened on its own • part of capitalism is that profit has to be generated Theory vs. Practice • no question of the values that Marx produces • same time, he is unstinting with terms which he condemns the working life of capitalism • exploitation, greed, embezzling, cannibalism • the condition of being in a factory, the kind of efficiency required • both physical and spiritual reasons for why life is unliving • people are machines, like death • don’t have to limit yourself to be a specialist • the need for specialization is a function of profit • if this is no longer the case, the human being is no longer living for profit • description is not meant to provoke moral outrage, not trying to stimulate an emotional reaction towards rebellion • not really about the injustice of capitalism • he actually calls capitalism just, not that it is good, but the category of justice itself cannot be thought about in a vacuum • he doesn’t want to reduce action to an emotional private feeling • any indication of a good articulated in a historical vaccuum where one can judge the evils of injustice, that kind of standpoint violates historical materialism that he sets forth in German ideology • one can step out of time and out of the conditions by that standpoint • the belief in the dualism between thinking and materiality comes about by division of labour (thinkers vs. manual labourers) • this dates back before capitalism • this very idea of moral theory is in itself an illusion because it is rooted in the thinkers and workers of society Capitalism • every image of capitalism, including the critique of capitalism can only be drawn by the resources of capitalism itself • defies the very aims of capitalism (suppose to generate more money, it does the opposite) it is its own gravedigger • also celebrates the accomplishments of capitalism • it is constantly transforming the environment • it has done away with feudal privileges that kept history stationary for a long time • what distinguishes itself from feudalism is that there is a new working class who are willing to work for minimum wages • feudalism: workers protected by their guilds, autonomy, worked under own rules • capitalism, worker has no independence and is cut off from creative freedom • no nostalgia for pre-modern time of communities in pre-industrial world, it was lazy and unproductive • criticizing against utopian socialists who want to regress backwards, he wants to progress forward • revolution doesn’t come from outside of capitalism, must come from most sophisticated forces of industrialization • now even our desires are being reinvented constantly • no way that capitalism has brought about stationary history • sign of radical invention • what he means by how the factories are bigger than the pyramids of Egypt • it breaks down the Chinese walls, breaks down all the barriers, all cultures and humans are interconnected • subjection of nature to humanity, something we all share, exchange • it is about connection (will see it as defacing the globe), but nobody is entirely separate from anyone else anymore • producing a world market or producers and consumers • an association of free development of each is free development of all for the reversal in taking place Lecture 13- Oct27/08 • we build ourselves up as gods to be worthy • churchs and monuments the tombs? • thinking tries to respond to a global movement called modernity, industrial capitalism • discomfort to a variety of causes (economic, technological, conceptual) Kierkegaard • Kierkegaard’s essence of modernity is conformity and sameness, individual who exists as an individual is singular and irreplaceable, but has been absorbed into a mass society that feels interchangeable, feels that uniqueness has been overtaken • religious experience, (where individual can be most him/herself), has been reduced to the church, has become a machine • annexation of Christianity to the state you have the phenomenon of Christendom, everyone praying, nothing is happening • his issue is to rescue authentic Christianity from Christendom Marx • Marx, it is not by virtue of the individual that a transformation of historical endeavor can be articulated • economic disturbance for Kierkegaard is a spiritual crisis, whereas Marx’ is more literal or concrete • religion in general, not just current versions, religious longing, attachment or belief is symtemmatic of a misconception of how the world is working but also consolidates a political arrangement • sustaining authority feels better to us • way of enduring earthly miseries, not overcoming them • religion is the opium of the people, not just a drug for its own sake, (put to sleep) • it is a real expression of real suffering • not just an illusion • religious suffering is an expression of real suffering Nietszche • neither religion nor politics is the way out of the problem • both mechanisms continue and prolong a presence that is unbearable • his writing is the catalyst of the explosion that is going to occur, perform an absolute transformation that will divide history of past and future • religion is the belief of the ordinary people • I want no believers, I am too malicious to believe in myself • not belief is not the question • the concept of politics will merge with wars of spirits • all power structures of old society will explode, all based on likes • sacrifice himself to save the state of Europe • not to do away with religion so we can be our own masters-Marx • N: religion is on its way out anyway because the modern age has reduced it • meaningless • we haven’t learned to take the measure of what it could mean Parable of the Madmen • disoriented and cannot distinguish between day and night • lights lanterns in the day • market (same as K and M) • marketplace of unbelievers (contemporary marketplace that has lost its beliefs and meaning) and is ridiculed • God not simply dead, murdered, by us • they seem so passive and idle his murderers • everything seems to be eroded, not just the loss of the intelligible metaphysical world, but the loss of everything (loss of stable point of transcendence, we find ourselves in disorientation, no more sea, horizon) • entropic universe getting colder and colder • no more force holding it together, no more sun • no center of rotation • another god doesn’t take the place of this • no forward and backward, pure scatter, disorder • infinite empty space that is cold • night is everywhere • madman who lights the fire in the day is the one who is registering the produndity of the loss of everything, seems less mad in comparison to the ridiculers • death is still here because it smells (divine decomposition) • doing away with a corpse is mourning and establishing a barrier between the living and the dead, recognizing a separation • a corpse above the ground is an unregistered death • a question of owning up to our responsibility of the death • to wipe the blood: how can we be free of this crime and live again • becoming a new god ourselves • must we ourselves not become gods simply to feel worthy of it? • new form of religious celebration that borrows features of religion but no longer has its name • deeds require time • he has come too early to give this news because no one is ready to receive this news • where is he coming from? • the news has not yet reached humanity, even humanity that don’t believe in God cannot recognize his death • compares the slowness of the news to the old dead lights that we see in the stars • only the single individuals who appear as madmen who is actually before their time • self-projection of Nietszche • why does he have to communicate then? why can’t it be solitary? • madman forced himself into churches • eternal requiem for God • churches are the tombs and sephlecures of a God that is not buried • unburied corpse of murdered God seems to lie and exute its aroma • keep God in a state of undead condition • meaning is not appreciated or absorbed • it is his intention to make good on this, to be a gravedigger to make it possible to think what the death of God will mean • do away with all old orientations Lecture 14- Oct 29/08 Kierkegaard and Nietszche • K: Christendom has destroyed the genuine Christianity • N: God is dead but not dead enough, identifying inverse paradox which religion can live on despite the death of God, despite Church practice • concerned with sniffing out the aroma which lingers on in the least likely places where religion is irrelevant and inappropriate • Nietszche was a minister’s son Genealogy of Morals • search for antecedents, tracing back of something to something which occassions it, caused it or brought it into being • genesis: search for beginnings/origins • morals are not their own origins • not self-given or innate • must look beyond them or before them • can be a shocking entailment because beliefs and morals become unoriginal • links birth of morality with origin of religion • trying to excovate a premoral original morality • where and how do humans begin to start morally? where do we begin to apply morality with theological overtones? • how do basic categories of perception and judgment get shaped? • where do terms of good and bad be inflected as good and evil? • Judeo-Christianity • attributes not just specific Western moral virtues, but the very idea of virtues to Christianity • pedigree of morality is a religious one • Christianity itself has a geneology, Judaism, for N, hides itself in Christianity • cloaks its Jewish roots in which it thinks it’s saying something fundamentally different • the text is a work in progress • the task of genealogy is linked to the act of antagonism • must introduce that to do a genealogy • antagonistic not just to specific morals, it is the very idea of morality as such, grounded by divine • not simply trying to expose Christianity • nothing purely theoretical about this • writing or thinking is practical (not in the sense that we should apply the ideas we learn like a manifesto, the work itself does something by exposing something that is less self-evident than one may think) • not debunking in the religion in the sense that they are not scientific • it is the ideas which themselves have a debilitating force • genealogy is never neutral, enhances or undermines presence • thinking itself it never neutral, we are doing something to the object even if we are protecting it, etc., not leaving the object alone • if we understand the manufacture of the ideas, show that they come from a common origin, we see that they are products and are not things that are simply there as facts • prior origin or cause for something, it doesn’t sustain the grip that it had, it is contingent • genealogy also used in legitimizing way – family trees • an exercise we undertake because we want an origin that suggests a status or prestige in the present, confirms our position and makes us feel okay about what we are • metaphysical desire for looking for miraculous origins • how do we attain the possibility that the origin of something is the essence of its opposite: origin of altruism is egoism • need not to go too far beyond what we see, leads us to postulate metaphysical grounds that can simply sanction and give voice to what we need and want • need to establish pedigrees, divine commandments, and look beyond the phenomena we experience is itself an acknowledgement of a destablizing force, no longer holds the pull it once held Origin of Good and Evil • not self-evident and cannot assume that they are already there • why do we assign normative qualities to objects? • not self-evident as to where this grammar comes from: “ought”, “should”, “must”? • why do humans do this? • in a moral system, what you are is what you do • begins with a fictional scenario of how it once was, psychological analysis of what seems to motivate us • the real question for him is why it happened that we have value thinking, not in a historical sense as when • we want to evaluate and judge others and ourselves because of the way our desires are structured • a world divided into two different groups: 1) pre-humans (men are living in a semi-animal life regulated by pure instinct, drive and impulse, divided by stronger and the weaker, well-organized pack, sticks together, described as blonde) 2) the rest of the world, nomatic, disorganized, don’t stay together, don’t have a center or roots • numerical majority become slaves, don’t get subdued, but are inferior • slavery is not a historical proposition • class division based on physical supremacy (more powerful vs. less powerful) • slavery is the beginning of inhabition of own animal impulses • to be a slave is to work for someone else and to put a break on impulses and passions, defer your gratification for your master’s • desires get denied, deferred  start to formulate new desires, redirect the desires elsewhere • substitution, imagining desires that are less immediate (happy afterlife, money in old age, heaven) • this is the transformation, about time, how we relate to the present tense through a future that is not yet, how we make bearable positions that we are in as slaves, pre-humanity to humanity itself, human comes about through global inhibition of desire, desires are not eliminated, but are redirected under the pressures of the prohibitions and penalties that can’t be negotiated, can’t express directly all your thirsts (for power, control, cruelty) as a master you can express them, not as a slave, how inner self is created by drives Lecture 15: Mon, Nov 3/08 What is it to be a Master? • self-inflicted misery, Judeo-Christian monotheism • logic of master and slave morality • master race vs. slave is a non-moral distinction • social, material and physiological attributes that are lined up with the master race • is it self-generated (mastery), not looking to the outside or looking at oneself through the mirror of the outside world, there is a proximity of oneself whereby one is what one is and define oneself as such • spontaneity to one’s being • there must be an object where the master expresses his will to power • I am good and therefore you are bad, master-slave • one’s insignificance is relative to his greatness • bad is morally neutral, the rest of the world is bad not because I judge it, but because it is defective insofar as it is not as good as the master • not moral values, but comparitive evaluations • is the search for origins the search for linguistic origins • master is good in strength, aggression, expression, etc. and defines bad (not evil) as weak The Slave • reactive, activity comes from the outside • dependent on the perception of the master, borrowing its terms • suffering has to be made bearable and to an even greater extent, they make the suffering good and justifiable, bound to the master, tied to what you structurally must hate because you need the master to define your being • how do you confirm fundamental dependence • the creativity is attributed to the slave • imaginative effort required is admirable • slave has to develop a self-esteem • must feel good in this disgusting situation, define goodness not as the master • what do we think of good this way? – we are the heirs of oppression, which redefines what it means to be • master then must become something evil • goodness is a virtue that is negatively defined relative to an aggressiveness that is associated with it • the slaves goodness is posterior and subsequent because it is derivitive in something that is not itself and is therefore bad • weak, lonely, humble, insignificant appropriate themselves a kind of goodness • the weak believe that the oppressed are evil and the roles become reversed with the statement, “If I am good, therefore you are bad” • first person account to a second person account • agency that is creative or active to an agency that is derivitive or reactive • my identity is not my own, but a negative reflection of your identity • as soon as one defines oneself in terms of what one is not, one has to maintain that and there can’t be good without evil, the being of goodness requires evil around oneself and that evil must be preserved because goodness is dependent on it, if not there is no virtue of goodness, there is just nothing • Judaism represstting slave revolt or rebellion, faithful initiative • section 7 of 1 essay: Jewish people with awe-inspiring consistency, dare to invert valuable equation and hang to inversion with their teeth, with hatred of impotence, wretched alone are good, powerful, godless, etc. are evil and unblessed • they will pay the price because goodness is on the side of the oppressed and the meek • revenge scenario brought about in imagination by passing judgment with those who have power • moral victory will one day become the real victory, judgment day • that is more important (eternity) than the temporal existence on earth • the afterlife is a fantasy of revenge • suffering on earth is then insignificant and pleasurable • resentment in sections 10 and 11, attitude of revenge cultivated by those on the
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