(“君子”)

Philosopher King or Junzi (“君子”):

Platonic or Confucian; who’s leader leads?   

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Abstract:

The following Article represents a prolonged reading and re-thinking of the merits of the political leaders of antiquity. Asking the question: whose leader leads? I am comparing the Confucian concept of leader the Junzi translated into English as ‘exemplary individual’ who following Confucius has a reverence for tradition and who will be shown to have an important origin; being compared with Plato’s leader of the ideal city the Philosopher King in its Republic. The comparison I make centres around these two figures and whether or not they possess the necessary qualities for ruling. I will argue that there is a quality that makes the Confucian leader the Junzi superior to the Philosopher King. I will show and explain how the Chinese concept of familial piety (xiào孝) is a more important and realistic ideal that provides a good grounding in actual leadership. Rather than the emphasis placed on the development of one’s individual rational mind found in the training of the Philosopher King.

 

Key words: Leadership, Politics, Confucianism, Platonism, Junzi, Philosopher King.


I wish to ask a political question: if humanity had a choice between a traditionally eastern or western idea of a ruler which one should they choose? This question is not intended to be antagonistic but rather serves as the basis for my argument; that the Chinese philosopher Confucius’s “Junzi” would make a much better leader than Plato’s “Philosopher King”. I will endeavour to show that through reading Plato and Confucius’s texts and the accounts of the two leaders and then comparing them through the contemporary literature on this subject will show the superiority of the Asian leader over the Western counterpart. It is also important that this writing engages with a dilemma of comparative philosophy, that when arguing in favour of an idea or culture that is not your own how do you ensure that your perspective is accurate? Do you approach a comparison and maintain an obvious distinction between the thinking of Confucius and Plato or do the differences between them add greater quality to this analysis? A question that poses a methodological demand on existing research on this topic within the global academia.

Acknowledging this leads me to adopt the following method to show the premises that lead to the ancient Asian concept of a leader being superior and at the same time showing how comparative philosophy needs to maintain a self-critical stance. Starting with a detailed description of the two leaders will provide the reader access to the subject under discussion. Then after providing an accurate account of these ancient governors their beliefs and values will be assessed because this will make the reasoning explicitly clear as to why the Junzi should be seen in a more positive light. A conclusion that I believe will come to be more and more important as China exerts a greater amount of influence on our contemporary world. So, let us begin with this paper’s formal argument and then the portrayal of these ancient leaders by those philosophers who both recorded and created them. The argument against Plato’s philosopher King is as follows.

  1. Confucius has Familial piety and Plato does not have Familial piety.
  2. To lead a country one needs the capacity to see one’s family among other families.
  3. The concept of familial piety expands a person’s capacity to expand the family with inclusivity.

  1. Therefore, Confucius’s emphasis on Familial piety gives the necessary capacity one needs to lead a country.

 

 

  1. Who where this King and the Exemplary Individual?  

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In Plato’s Republic, a complex discussion on how a state should be organised inevitably leads to a dialogue on how it should be governed and by who. Socrates is the voice whose ancient statement describes the philosopher king, “philosophers [must] become kings…or those now called kings [must]…genuinely and adequately philosophize”(Plato, The Republic, Book IX,5.473d). The argument against Plato’s leader begins with Socrates’s proclamation and how it immediately tasks philosophy itself with a kind of royalty and this is misleading. Socrates’s full speech tells us that the ideal state is unattainable unless it is categorically dominated by a philosopher; this ought mixes and confuses the genuine love of wisdom with an ideal amount and a definite standard. One initial objection to the accusation that Plato’s powerful dialogue imbues philosophy with a false sense of authority and a self confident rationality would be to defend philosophy as being unalterably political. Philosophy’s pursuit of truth is also a political act.

The defenders of Plato could well say that Socrates’s initial statement enacts this by way of the political conflict that is at at the heart and is the essence of leadership. Yet, this categorical “must” remains contradictory because of its multiple directions; either the philosopher becomes a king or the king transforms into a philosopher? Ambiguities are numinous, how are we to derive confidence that the philosopher king’s training in dialectics make him fit to rule? Is it not truer to suggest that all philosophers are kingly, or king like, but not kings? This then results in the dilemma of not being able to distinguish what exactly Socrates was envisioning when he uses descriptive language such as “genuine” and the “adequacy” of a philosophical process of thinking to mark and determine the ruler of the ideal city. This really only paints this Greek ruler with an overly illusory sense of governing; resulting in a criteria and standard driven governor: the philosopher king. Now, let us analyse how the Greek and Chinese leaders differ in how they are described and what beliefs drive them.

 

  • Confucius’s Junzi

In modern scholarship Roger Ames’s has successfully re-defined the Junzi as an  ‘exemplary individual’ rather than the older and common translation of ‘gentleman’. Ames’s achievement in re-translation is a good starting point from which to show the qualities the Junzi represents. Discussing very early Chinese ethics Ame’s directs us towards yet more evidence that being Confucian entails a set of beliefs that are unique. A good example is a specifically Chinese notion of themselves the daotong (道统) . We learn from Ame’s study that Confucius was more forthcoming in his debts to earlier ancient dynasties and does so in a spirit of transmission; we also discover the main quality that underlies the Junzi and indeed the Confucianism that nurtures this exemplary individual. In Chinese this is called Xiao (family feeling).

Next to the Importance of this feeling this argument builds upon what Ames also cited; writer David Keightley has usefully simplified, “contrasts a Chinese cosmology of ceaseless process with a classical Greek worldview in which a metaphysical transcendentalism guarantees an idealized reality”(Ames, 2011). Criticisms of Plato will always centre around this notion that our existence is anchored and determined by the existence of and our subsequent participation and engagement with the non-physical realm of the forms. Keightley’s description of a Chinese cosmology enhances the contrast between the beliefs Plato and Confucius would have had in a useful way. Looking at the cosmology of ancient China and Plato’s account the important difference becomes self evident. In Plato’s creationist dialogue Timaeus of Locri splits reality in two. Discussing the causal origins as a craftsman god: the demiurge and its relation to beauty as a kind of perfection.

“what is it that always is, but never comes to be, and what is it that comes to be but never is? The former, since it is always consistent, can be grasped by the intellect with the support of a reasoned account, while the latter is the object of belief, supported by unreasoning sensation, since it is generated and passes away, but never really is. Now, anything created is necessarily created by some cause, because nothing can possibly come to be without there being something that is responsible for its coming to be. Also, whenever a craftsman takes something consistent as his model, and reproduces its forms and properties, the result is bound in every case to be a thing of beauty, but if he takes as his model something that has been created, the product has bound to be imperfect.”(Plato, Timeaus, 28a) 

Here we can draw an important distinction a demarcation between Confucianism and Platonism. The latter of them is based upon a split that gives privilege to certain processes over others and the former observes a continuous process of processes; a flux the Chinese called qi or “Chi” an energy universally omnipresent, but shares a symmetry with the necessary causality of Timeaus. Yet, here the powerful connection Confucius drew to the family as a basis for a balanced state surfaces and makes the idea of perfection over imperfection less attainable. One appreciates the sentiment that Plato’s god (the demiurge) desired a cosmos to be as good as possible and so exists as a craftsman creating in a skillful way. But for an individual who has to rule a country and a given populace he is forced to work with and produce from something that has already been created.

The last part of the Timeaus quotation is in favour of the Junzi being prone to imperfection because this exemplary individual can not choose to craft perfection with geometric and mathematical certainty when faced with the earthly demands of changing social phenomena. Instead Confucius and the Junzi were in their own time forced to deal with imperfection, a period of Chinese history called The Warring States (戰國時代, Zhànguó Shídài). This is not to say that Plato and Socrates did not face conflict and imperfection but I believe that the reverence Confucius had for the rituals and traditions of an early peaceful period governed by men such as the Duke of Zhou who acted as a regent imbued his thinking with a practicality. A practice that would better enforce the possibility of attaining a balanced state within a chaotic reality rather than dismissing this chaos as irrational and being in favour of a belief perpetually in need of remeasuring?

This question begins to clarify how Plato’s idealism in his dialogues suffers from its own grandiosity and how Confucius’s idealization of the Zhou dynasty and its rulers is less destructive and distorting; a quality that has better chance of being preserved in a Junzi. An initial description of the Junzi is at the beginning of the Analects; in the words of Master You we begin to see how realism occupies a greater percentage of importance for the Junzi. Here we can start to develop an appreciation for this Asian realism and how it’s concepts are better suited for ruling. How the family acts as a natural regulator for the selfish nature of human intelligence and the larger governing structures that exist to facilitate peace and an abidance to the common laws of both the ancient and contemporary worlds.

“Master You said: “It is a rare thing for someone who has a sense of filial and fraternal responsibility (xiao 孝) to have a taste for defying authority. And it is unheard of for those who have no taste for defying authority. And it is unheard of for those who have no taste for defying authority to be keen on initiating rebellion. Exemplary persons (Junzi 君子) concentrate their efforts on the root, for the root having taken hold, the way (dao道) will grow therefrom. As for filial and fraternal responsibility, it is, I suspect, the root of authoritative conduct (Ren仁).”(Confucius, The Analects, Book I)

  • Plato’s Philosopher King

Socrates’s most detailed description of this lover of wisdom who would be king is found in book IV of the Republic. Plato begins by putting a trinity in place by insisting that even in an ideal state this city will also suffer from the very beginning with its citizenry being filtered into classes. The class with the philosopher king is also subdivided into subcategories: beneath the king is a general ruler and then the auxiliaries. Next to this split Plato has no qualms about the movement of children between classes and here myth is unfortunately used to support this selectivity. This is found in the language of book IV where the opening dialogue is littered with superlative descriptive language “the best”; the guardian (the philosopher king) has to be the best.

This then leads straight to the important Platonic concept of the Good and the belief that these guardians will unconditionally follow and enact the “best” and the Good as an omnipotent principle because they would only love the city and therefore care the most. All this is supposed to be a solution to other forms of collective government that Plato deems deficient; such as democracy as a system is too prone to corruption and therefore in need of one ruler. This solution has since its inception unintentionally invited criticism that is fixed around authoritarianism and a state of control. Reading how the Good is inherent to the Philosopher King I find it difficult to not be skeptical; especially when the dialogue mentions the voluntary and involuntary loss of belief. If beliefs are both voluntary and involuntary then this king guardian that is a philosopher is in danger of becoming a truth fanatic.

“But why? Surely you agree that men are always unwilling to loose a good, but willing enough to be rid of a bad one. And isn’t a bad thing to be deceived by the truth, and a good thing to possess the truth? For I assume that by possessing the truth you mean believing that things as they really are.”(Plato, The Republic, Book III, 413 a)

Although fanatic is too strong a word to use for the enthusiasm Plato has for placing authority and access to the truth in the hands of the one over the many. Our philosopher king does suffer from this Platonic schemata. Contemporary thinker Kenneth Dorter’s book The Transformation of Plato’s Republic (2006) features an important commentary on these dilemmas; the authoritarian control Plato exerts is translated into a compulsion to rule. Interestingly this is seen as originating in a fear of being ruled by inferiors. Even though Adeimantus and Glaucon object to this however Socrates insists that, “But once it is pointed out to them they will not refuse because ‘we shall be imposing just behavior onto just people”(Dorter, 2006). Here then is a barrier that other sections of The Republic fail to resolve and only furthers this leader’s problematic character.

It should not be a surprise that the Philosopher king suffers from within its own identity constantly striving in one direction only; to that which is the best. Having the natural qualities to rule in line with the Good. Reading about the philosopher as it has been described in Plato’s simile of the cave it could well read as an apology made on behalf of the human condition. Broken by our access and insight into truth that we are compelled to rule and this is firmly positioned in the domain of philosophy, “And we say that the particulars are objects of sight but not of intelligence, while the forms are the objects of intelligence but not of sight”, and “The sun is not identical with sight, nor with what we call the eye in which sight resides”(Plato, The Republic, Book VII, 514a-521a). The use of the sun to enforce the blinding potentiality of sensory perception may still underline the struggle we all face. But, if truth is indeed so blinding then why gaze at it in the first place? When applied to a ruler it is hard to fathom how many would rise to the challenge of returning to the site of imprisonment in Plato’s cave to free our fellows from illusion?

In the Analects there is not a direct discussion of imprisonment just discourse and it makes it difficult to not accept Dorter’s earlier criticism of fear as an equally strong motivator for human behaviour. Moreover is there anything that suggests that the philosopher would not be prone to irrational fear? Would not be susceptible to evil; and rather than free and aid his citizens not decide to keep them chained and imprisoned for their own good? These questions are the less common aporias Plato’s texts cultivate.

  1. What values do these two leaders govern by?

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  • Li, Filial piety, and Ren

There are many Confucian values that the Junzi would possess but there are three that are particularly important. Beginning with Li (禮) meaning ‘rite’ or ‘ritual propriety’ with this respect for one’s family and especially elders and ancestors xiào (孝) . Then from these qualities a Confucian is also equipped with Ren (仁) an essence of being human. We can marginally suggest that Ren differs from the Western notion of essence by remembering the Chinese notion of Chi (universal energy) that is omnipresent in all things and is constantly energizing, moving, and never stationary. The Western essence differs in the work’s of Plato and his student Aristotle because Plato sees the essence as the form of a thing his student puts the form in the essence as a unified substance. One believes that the Junzi would if approached to define Ren choose to locate essence between this world and another.

When compared to Plato’s and Socrates’s good which I will soon show is conditionally defined by a dependency on dialectical thinking wedded to a higher  rationality; Confucius’s Ren is more fluid only dependent on the context of the agent and their capacity to intuitively behave in line with what is “a” good and not “the” good; and so being an exemplary individual a Junzi. This is made obvious if we read the collection of this Chinese philosopher’s words, “A person of Ren, wishing to establish his own character, also establishes the character of others, and wishing to be prominent himself, also helps others to be prominent. To be able to judge others by what is near to ourselves may be called the method of realizing ren.”(Confucius, The Analects, Book VI) This demonstrates directly the social implications of this Chinese essence that it is social and therefore both subjected and objected to change. This is why it is an accurate comparison of Ren to essence as being more plural rather than singular.

 This comment is divisive and the Junzi differs from the philosopher king in other ways. Confucius himself was not as Aristocratic as Plato and throughout his life did experience some setbacks in his attempts to bring about social change, yet remained positive towards the capacity of a ruler coming from any background; Plato was not so forgiving after his failures in implementing his political ideas and so as I will soon explain was forcefully against democracy; but, what about an ideology like capitalism? Referencing the well known study by German Max Weber, Thomas T. Lennerfors’s paper references Weber’s opinion that Confucianism can not be seen as an origin for Capitalism in the same way that Protestantism and Calvanism could be because the former lacks the transcendental and religious qualities of the later. The reason Lennerfors makes reference to Weber is because he wants to show how Western criticisms of Asian belief as uniformly supportive of capitalism are prematurely made. Take this quote, it shows that Plato is under equal scrutiny in current Asian discussions.

“Constant references were made to Plato’s warning that a democracy can indeed be a path to societal corruption. In opposition to liberal democratic values of alleged rugged individualism and one person-one-vote, the speakers …were inspired by Confucian ideas of harmony and meritocracy to promote the creation of an alternative society.”(Lennerfors, 2015)

Although a brilliant defense of Asian belief’s transformation under contemporary capitalism; overall this study moves the king and the gentleman closer together, and this is problematic for the argument of this paper. So, let us turn to the importance of ritual for Confucians. Specifically, Confucius would maintain and defend the notion that the people already have the ability to self-govern. In the Confucian literature it is ritual li that is the principle that organizes or orders; and how does it do this? It does so by enforcing rite behaviour through every member of a communities capacity to understand and to have already learned the inherited and well versed ways of behaving. Ritual Piety can be seen even in the process of naming when Confucius suggests, “when the name is not correct, then the words are not smooth; if the words are not smooth, then things will not be done”(Confucius, Legge, 1971). Far more than just a correct formal way of speaking li is directly connected to Ren, a uniquely pragmatic ethical structure that has this authentic and realistic character that comes into view in one answer Confucius gives to Lin Fang.

‘The master replied: “what an important question! In observing ritual propriety, it is better to be modest than extravagant; in mourning, it is better to express real grief than to worry over formal details.”(Confucius, The Analects, Book III) This reply brings us to ‘filial piety’ xiao (孝) a reverence and respect for the family. The idea that the Junzi is more realistic due to a more liberal appreciation of form is the distinguishing factor in the exemplary person and nowhere is this more evident and prominent than in filial piety. The family then is the one constant, humans even if they are orphaned or become hermit like never fully leave a family, and it is remarkable that rather than a religious reverence for Confucianism the Chinese venerate this way of thinking because of its longevity, and because of its aesthetic qualities. Confucianism was adopted because its a tradition of teaching and learning that is present in the family. Where every single human being takes its first steps, listens to sounds, sings songs, crys, laughs, dances, and encounters Ren.

This aesthetic quality of Confucianism does not negate the idea that individual expression is not important both the Greek and the Chinese adored music and in many ways the Junzi would have also had its own freedom toward idealization. Supporting  individuals being able to express themselves is found when Confucius invites his students to share their dreams. Dian or Ceng Xi literally dreams of happiness in returning home singing. Here music and an appreciation of string and air instruments unite the ancient world and the rulers that found themselves in power. But the power of the organic family supports a belief in a plurality of human relations that extends from within the very first and most simple of social structures: in the words of the Confucian scholar Ames we see the power of filial piety (孝), xiào.

“We might say that Confucianism is nothing more than a sustained attempt to ‘to family’ the lived human experience. For Confucianism, it is through discursive living in a communicating family and community that we are able to enchant the ordinary, to ritualize the routine, to invigorate the familiar, to inspire the customary habits of life, and ultimately, to commune spiritually, in the common and the everyday.”(Ames, 2011)

2.2 Justice, the Good, and Dialectic  

‘Justice’ (δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosúnē) is Plato’s concept of human mind and it is to do with the idea of the sovereignty of reason; that the soul is affected by bodily appetites. For Plato the number three is important he splits our individual and collective being into three parts: appetite, spirit, and reason. In the Republic these correspond to the class system of this city those with appetite are the workers artisans and craftspeople, spirited individuals have the courage to serve in the military, and those under the influence of reason are to be governors, gaurdians, and philosopher kings. According to Plato when the human soul is able to act with reason it attains a greater level of virtue. Thus presenting Justice dikaiosúnē as the human mind and the process it goes through towards that which is good. The capacity to be self determining under the power of rationality and its access to the goodness of truth.  

Leading to the ‘the idea of the good’ (ἡ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἰδέα, i toú agathoú idéa) comes before Justice in the possible schematics of Plato’s thought. It is the most important because it gives rise to the contemporary use of the adjective Platonic. That is also called Plato’s ‘theory of forms’ the belief that things exist because behind the appearance or representation of them resides a truer mathematically precise formal basis for reality. Things as they appear to exist only exist in the extent that they participate in the formal version of themselves. Something can be said to be beautiful because it participates in beauty itself. We see Socrates discussing the Good in the Symposium describing its affinity and connection to love and eternity.

If one analyses the language of the quotations below this paper’s criticism of Plato should be becoming clearer. Although the idea of the Good is a powerful driving force throughout Western culture it suffers from a singular belief in truth being one. The Good being representative of this monolithic element of Platonism can not escape its placement and association with one’s own ownership and this is what stands in contrast to the Junzi who would not see truth so formally. In defence of Plato and his theory of the forms and the Good being the best of these forms; it should be noted that for Plato his theory works only to the extent that individuals and thinkers are able to participate in such forms. The Junzi, in my interpretation is closer to Pythagoras in that mathematical entities are identical to the objects they represent.

The philosopher king is different in being preconditioned to appreciate the truth of something in an unchanging structure related to thought and thought alone . Unfortunately, this is potentially corrupt-able, and dailectic fails rather than resolving opposing views through rational debate. If the king focused too much on what is Good how does the Philosopher King safeguard against such a negative possibility as his own thinking becoming overtly possessive and thus distorting his reasoning? Can we really fully trust that people do not fall in love with that which is bad as it is strongly argued in the Symposium below?         

‘ “But suppose”, she said, “someone changed the question, using the word

‘good’ instead of ‘beautiful’, and asked: ‘Now then, Socrates, the lover of good things has a desire – what is it that he desires?’

“That they become his own,” I said.

“I don’t think that each of us is attached to his own characteristics, unless you’re

Going to describe the good as ‘his own’ and as ‘what belongs to him’ and the bad as ‘what does not belong to him’. The point is that the only object of people’s

Love is the good – don’t you agree?”(Plato, The Symposium, 1999)

Discussing the ‘Dialectic’ (διαλεκτική, dialektikḗ) we can start by detailing how this is also split into three: geometrical, the mythical, and the pedagogical. The first is found in the form of a divided line, the mythical is expressed in the famous form of a similie of a cave, and the pedagogical being the time based plan for a potential philosopher to follow; this progresses from the necessity of military service and through dialectical training the philosopher is then ready to be of use to her or his state. Remember this is represented by a line from opinion to knowledge.

  1. Conclusion

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  • The forfeit of the Platonic leader?

Unlike the Confucian exemplary individual a philosopher king has no such evidence to refute the claims that have been made against it and so is not a leader that carries a strong legitimacy. Instead, looking back into ancient history it remains a vague and lofty character both removed from its citizens and also if Plato’s texts are to be believed: this philosopher leader can be trusted to assess and hold such authority that they have the capacity to accurately determine what function a citizen may be best suited for. Thus removing citizens from their capacity to grow and choose for themselves? Supporters of this king might cite the vast experience this breed of philosopher may have already acquired that is before they completed twenty years of training in dialectics (rational and virtuous thought), but this just plays into a selectivity that is not organic but possessive and aggressive.

The Philosopher King and the Junzi have many similarities yet the differences are hard to ignore. Even though they both share an appreciation of the harmony that music represents the Greek leader is more war like and this is understandable if we look at the historical context of this King’s ancient time. Socrates and Plato lived in the heyday of Athens led by the general Pericles; and it is certain that Socrates and Plato would have gone through military service. This selectivity is precisely why the Philosopher King can not be trusted to be a just and balanced leader. I have shown how this is deeply rooted in ancient Greek Idealism found in the Republic where at childhood the “philosopher king” starts to be selected by some divisive criteria and the separated from their families; a structure that remains an abstract necessity. One that is far less supportive and indeed is not a cause of responsible leadership based upon an immediate and relative discussions found within those closest to us.

  • The Junzi a more real and relative leader?

One of the main arguments against the Junzi that is left to put to the reader is that this ‘familial piety’ that stands in favour of the Confucian leader is also shared with the philosopher king; because we understand that res Republica has supposedly more than one philosopher king then one can say that they would also possess this piety. This quality of being a member of a family however where is the evidence? If this were true then Plato’s great discourse would feature more than just a description of what qualifies a person to be a Platonic leader and the manner in which they govern. If this king of thought has a family Platonist’s will argue that this lack of family in the ideal republic is down to two things: 1) The philosopher king seeks the truth of the family; the form of the family that would be called humanity.

In this case and at this time I do not see how one can take this as sufficient enough reason to make the claim that the platonic king possesses ‘familial piety’. 2) Secondly, returning to the beliefs of these beings their similarities are not so similar. Both believe in a transcendental power bestowed on the ruler. But, the difference is found if you look at Plato’s theology he believes in a creator god. Confucius portrays his leader as developing an awareness of both the bad and the good including how easy it is to fall into corruption. The Junzi exemplifies this because it is not just a leader. In the Chinese state of Confucius’s time the Junzi attained its position in society due to the leader’s capacity to achieve not only harmony but to deal with a chaotic and corrupt boss. Confucius urged his people towards an awareness of their own behaviour and in what way the state is existing. If the leader is not leading the population to a greater state of well-being then the Confucian would encourage his countryman to actively revolt through civil disobedience instead of violent outbursts.

Such a capacity to naturally deal with oscillations between the positive and the negative, and the one constant (change) is honed and harnessed in the organic social forces of the family. A form that is diverse as the many possible ways of living humans enact. Throughout the Analects we have seen many examples of Confucian ideals merge together as they emerged from the hardships these political thinkers experienced in a violent period of the country’s history. Current Confucianism suffers when viewed from the Western perspective of being nationalistic, but the opposite is closer to the truth. The Confusian Junzi is a better ruler because its version of dialectic is more familiar to resolving conflict between people. I hope this paper makes this clearer to the reader for implicit within my conclusion is a challenge to Plato’s beautiful legacy: is it possible that Confucius’s Junzi be better equipped to govern because it was born and remained in that imperfect earthly form of the family?

‘when he is accompanied by other persons, somebody is certainly able to be his teacher.

(San ren xing, bi you wo shi yan 三人行,必有我師焉。).’

 

Angle C. Stephen, and Tiwald, Justin, (2017). Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction, (Polity Press, Cambridge, UK).
Confucius. Ames T, Roger. Rosemont JR, Henry. (1998), The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation. Ballantine Books, New York.
Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary, The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong, University of Hawaii Press, Honolul.Hawaii.
ChinaKnowledge, An Encylopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art.    http://www.chinaknowledge.de/Literature/Classics/confucius.html [03/02/2019]
Dorter, Kenneth. (2006) ‘Philosopher Rulers’, in The Transformation of Plato’s Republic, Lexington Books, Oxford.
Hall, L David. Ames, T Roger. (1987), Thinking Through Confucius, State University of New York, Albany, New York.
Ha Poong Kim. (2006) Confucius’s Aesthetic Concept of Noble Man: Beyond Moralism, Asian Philosophy, 16:2
Hird, Derek.(2017), In League With Gentlemen: Junzi Masculinity and the Chinese Nation in Cultural Nationalist Discourses, Asia Pacific Perspectives, Volume 15, no. 1.
Legge, James. (1971), Confucian analects: The great learning, and The doctrine of the mean. Dover Publications. 263–264.
Lennerfors, Taro Thomas. (2015), The Confucian Ethics of the Junzi in Contemporary Light Capitalism, Taiwan Journal of East Asian Studies, December.
Plato (2007), ‘Part IV: Guardians & Auxiliaries’ in The Republic, Penguin books, London. 
(360.bc) Symposium, translated by Benjamin Jowett, online. http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html
(1999). The Symposium, Penguin Books, Great Ideas, London.
(2008), Timaeus and Critias, translated by Robin Waterfield, Oxford University Press.

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                                             Crappy Coinage . My penny’s worth.

But a week or so ago a group of inspirational citizens of the Steel City in the UK came together to discuss (UBI) Universal Basic Income. I was not present at these meetings and therefore can only imagine their discussion covered almost all of what I am going to write about here. Yet, this discussion, one of many happening simultaneously around the world I find inspirational and so perhaps this writing will only review what has already been mentioned but I hope there will be something added to the existing discourse on money, finance, and what to do with the capitalist order that seeks to apologise on behalf of inequality. I have been thinking through my own relation to the global economy and the ideology seen as dominantly hegemonic.

UBI should have been a reality a very long time ago; who is responsible for it not being implementable is difficult to say but I suspect it is not a person or a particular people: it is rather a period in the species history that started a process of material devaluation and therein value itself became own-able. This period in our history ranges across a large amount of time.[1] Yet, there are some dates that stand out as being a good starting point for thinking through the potential and I would say necessity for a new truly global alteration to the Capitalist system; that is if it is to continue or to be chosen by future cosmopolitans. The first dates are 1764 with the invention of the ‘Spinning Jenny’ the first industrial textile mill came into being in England. If you think about it this machine and that of its ilk the printing press became automated within the industrial revolution and one sees a correlation between the ease for printing paper and the unsociable and often unfathomable inequality that comes with it. Inherited wealth and business dynasties have cut this world up into ownership; there would be nothing wrong with profit if it could be distributed equally and evenly?

Other dates that are symptomatic of the current urgency of this ongoing discussion include: One of the fathers of the idea of ‘Political Economy’ William Petty was concerned that money be equal to itself which sits well with Karl Marx’s articulation that Gold and Silver where natural choices for currency because of this quality of appearing equal to what it is and this is seemingly embodied in these metals as they resist decay by oxidation. In 1964 the Bank of England was founded and four years later half of the United Kingdoms’s capital was paper. A Scottish financier John Law created a note issuing bank in 1716 to help in financing the then bankrupt French state. [2] A constant throughout these examples is the presence of war and its need for funding. It appears that although the change from metal to paper allowed a greater distribution of value but fails to secure equality; it is unclear if this change was ever made in the right spirit?

‘‘True’ and ‘false’ belong among those determinate notions which are held to be inert and wholly separate essences, one here and one there, each standing fixed and isolated from the other, with which it has nothing in common. Against this view it must be maintained that truth is not a minted coin that can be given and pocketed ready-made.”[3]

Professor Esther Leslie reminds us that this movement towards illusion has a direct connection to banknotes in the German language’s word Schein. The quote from Hegel gives us hope, if only a small hope, that truth is separate from Capital and so is a good point from which to invite more contemporary thoughts on money and income. The most important being a paper titled Bitcoin authored by a fictitious person whose nom de plume is Satoshi Nakamoto.[4] This paper is influential because it is considered to be the first attempt at providing a systematic proof that digital currency could make the economy more equal and such a change is more than possible and we are more than capable of implementing.

There have been many respondents to Nakamto-san but I came across his name in a recent article about LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) by a Liam Kelly. [5] One of the participants a character called Quinn does not like Hegel; referring to him as a Brain cancer. What is interesting about this recollection is that it is an example of a social phenomena increasingly set to increase: individuals wishing to take a break from the phantasmagoria and into the realms of fantasy.[6] This LARPing rave contains something interesting regarding the notion of cryptocurrency which is used here as a buy in and the currency that enables access to the rave. However the initial positivity surrounding Bitcoin has started to be met with negative press and on the same website of Breakermag we can read, ‘In the short term, though, that’s not what most big players care about—and the major social change blockchain has brought about so far is that a small number of people have become very rich indeed’.[7] Laurie Penny’s article is a sobering read indeed for those that have never been to such events or invested capital in capital. The criticism continues in an article on MIT’s Technological Review shared by Ami Clarke a lecturer at Central Saint Martins in London and director of arts space Banner Repeater.

‘In total, hackers have stolen nearly $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency since the beginning of 2017, mostly from exchanges, and that’s just what has been revealed publicly. These are not just opportunistic lone attackers, either. Sophisticated cybercrime organisations are now doing it too: analytics firm Chainalysis recently said that just two groups, both of which apparently still active, may have stolen a combined $1 billion from exchanges.’[8]

Such a lack of security runs against the claims of the Bitcoin Paper in which the fictitious Nakamoto lays out the issues of founding a peer-to-peer blockchain in which an equilibrium is created by the equality of users. Yet, in the Bitcoin paper Nakamoto struggles with a forecast problem: the dilemma of how to ensure ‘double-spending’ does not happen. The solution that was put forth is the use of a time stamp that anchors the data to a point then affixed to this is a proof of work using a required number of zero bits that show each node the truth of that data. The author, Nakamoto, goes on to show mathematically how via way of a calculation in probability he/they have successfully created the first economic exchange not based upon trust. Yet, as we have discussed there is more than enough evidence to contradict this infamous paper and a lot of them centre around the the inability of mathematics to nullify human greed and inequality. Furthermore, Orcutt’s paper delivers important details regarding cryptocurrency: it’s vulnerability arises from the same source of the human using the currency and although there are ground breaking attempts to use A.I and newer more and more complex math so as to secure the blockchain from corruption; it remains prone to hacking.

Does this not lead us back to Marx and his initial attack on financial ideology. Marx’s ideas regarding the universality of money and the general formula for Kapital continuously contribute to this discussion; as they have since the moment Marx wrote them. Marx uses a symbol symbolism to discuss the dynamic and the circuit capital produced at the onset of modernism. C for Commodity and M for Market are used to show certain relations between the two.[9] But we might appropriate them to clarify the need for universal basic income. Marx describes two forms of relations. ‘C-M-C starts with one commodity and ends with another… Consumption, the satisfaction of wants, in one word, use-value, is its end and aim. The circuit M-C-M, on the contrary, commences with money and ends with money’ presenting us with use value and exchange value. What is Bitcoin’s true aim to bring them together? Or to neutralise the commodity leaving just the market M-M-M?

It would certainly seem like the trouble maker is the commodity with its anthropomorphism, its capacity to draw from human’s an un-weilding power to influence and captivate. But is this commencing with money and ending with money even possible? The basic answer and argument is a yes because it follows from a simple logic that money is a human construct and so therefore under our power? Yet, this is a hasty simplification of a giant contemporary problem. From my perspective it is more than feasible but it requires the ability for all of us and by all I mean every single living being to agree to giving over power to a new Leviathan; a global government that rules over earth’s inhabitants. Such a proposal is hard and nigh impossible to believe but belief and security in the tried and tested are being put under pressure. There are major hurdles to this but we must consider a few possibilities or things that also contribute to our discussion and it is our discussion as it was in the United Kingdom that cash machines and ATMS first came into usage. It was a Barclays machine at the Enfield branch opened on June 27th 1967.

Such a fact gives us impetus to continue our thinking about how to resolve global inequality. For there is an urgency, year and year the human population grows and year by year unjust differences increase. I see no reason why we cant implement a system whereby everyone has welfare because they do not live in poverty as living citizens they are guaranteed a living wage regardless of job and position. Such a thought is not idealism it is a necessary part of a future human reality and it encompasses some very difficult hurdles. To bring about an equality that Block-chain technology promises (remembering that this technology is still in its youth) society’s work patterns and cultures will have to also change. A major barrier is the notion of ownership: how to retain the positive feeling this brings but without the propensity for greed? In the future work the notion of career should be cycle based and so a person rotates different jobs every year. Basically ensuring that a meritocracy and democracy is maintained. Next to this, work becomes optional, you can work for more money but this has a maximum capacity; the ability to horde wealth is stopped.

One major argument against this is that it is in our nature to be selfish and there is some evidence to suggest that altruism arises from selfishness (see George Price equation), yet this ignores other facts that seem to support radical change. For example, mathematical equations provide a truth in relation to nature but this thing we call nature is constantly also subject to revision and so thinking through ideas and forms that have an impact upon the economy is what we need to be doing. I have been fascinated by a simple perspective: if we observe the Price equation, an equation that tracks the growth and retention of a given quality in a population, then we can take the information (selfishness > altruism) and develop methodologies that lead to a greater understanding of this. Perhaps this suggests that over-consumption will lead to more friendly behaviour; the idea being that if my needs are met then the needs of others become more relevant. This is wishful thinking indeed but perhaps could be possible iff technology enables the production and recycling of commodities so they become more public and less private. This does not mean free but it implies that the exchange and use of a given thing are drawn closer together and so mirror wider social change. This is of course also dependent on a democratic use of technology like 3d-printing and intelligent design.

The contrasting idea is one of a luxury increase accessing Markets and un-regulate capitalism so that everyone lives in abundance. This idea does not provide a future as secure and as attainable as it might appear and instead unbridled capitalism makes an abuse of human desire, and our ability to use this force in a healthy way. Some thinkers, such as Frenchmen Gilles Deleuze and Georges Battaile have theorised that this be so and production is explosively unavoidable. In a book by English philosopher Nick Land one has confronted the idea that the storing of information is necessarily one of isolation and explosive. The formula of Bataille’s economy that Land uses describes how expenditure always exceeds acquisition and how this is indifferent and leads to isolation. But, I choose to read this continuously different communication as arising from the isolation and as the only immediate way we can overcome such unhelpful notions. This also includes a highly relevant discussion on the nature of information and whether or not it is entropic or negentropic; whether or not it privileges chaos or order? Physically we have understood that the past appears as ordered and in the future it is opposite but this is perhaps too reductive a perspective on information and indeed moves us towards pushing for a reversal of this polarity; so that information in the future can be re-ordered and resist decay and corruption?

formula

Here we return to Hegel who rightly stated that truth is not minted and does not reside or has never resided in a bank. Instead the development of rationality in our own time leads us naturally to desire a new state. Hegel, though does not contain answers, like every philosopher he generates more problems. Frankly his thoughts on Asia are outdated but his master slave dialectic and infamous ‘work of the negative’ may indeed have more work to do. Taking all this into account then surely we can conclude that when it comes to money and the economy we need to generate an ideology and ethos that sets our global communities and cultures of exchange not continuing on the narrative of mass production/consumption but rather a system by which the total number of living beings are not subjected to brutal losses by the greed of others. In other words if only it was possible to play a non zero sum game? Is there really such thing as perfect information? I sincerely hope so, as I am not proud of my country of birth as a recent report on poverty by the United Nations discovered one of the most historically influential of nations has left a large swathe of its residents in unforgivable material situations. If all else fails we can always resort to being Saboteurs in the original dutch meaning of throwing wooden shoes sabots into the machinery?


[1] I am not going to mention China’s usage of paper money in the 7th century A.D here because I do not have access to the relevant information and therefore can not offer a commentary on the success or failures of this change of currency. Although, it happened so long ago only adding more time to this problematic time.

[2] Esther Leslie. (2005),Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry, Reaktion Books, London. 89-92

[3] Ibid. Hegel, Preface for The Phenomenology of Spirit.

[4] Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System,

[5] Liam Kelly. (03.06.2019), I Larped as a Monero Developer and It Ended in Tears, [www.Breakermag.com] 

[6] The difference being one is innate and subconscious (kleinian) and the other a conscious choice (fantasy).

[7] https://breakermag.com/trapped-at-sea-with-cryptos-nouveau-riche/

[8] Mike Orcutt. (2019), Once hailed as unhackable blockchains are now getting hacked, MIT Technological Review.

[9] Karl Marx. (2008), Capital, Oxford World Classics, OUP.94-95  

 

 

Dubbing with Derrida

 

 

Dubbing With Derrida:

An underview of a Unique and Great French Philosopher

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[Je regrette que ce ne soit pas écrit en Français.]

 

The following is an attempt to provide an overview of one of my favourite philosophers and even with his renowned status as a university professor and the creation of his own way of doing philosophy Jacques Derrida and ‘Deconstructionism’ remain under-appreciated. Admittedly this may be the possibility of an impossibility: we may not be able to appreciate him enough; that is it may be humanely impossible to give Derrida enough appreciation. It is absurd to even raise the question, but why is it important to appreciate the achievements of this man? To answer this is simple. Jacques Derrida belongs to a group of thinkers gathered together under the tag of post-structuralism but for me he remains the most successful thinker at gaining acceptance in the highest level of a major public institution yet undermining its stability and in doing so democratised an industry and business that often excludes paths and practices of thought, reading, writing, and communication that are considered incomplete but still hide a logic just as certain as those that are streamlined into mainstream education as a commodity form.

The following is a humble attempt to be a good reader of Derrida and re-read some of his texts so as to deepen my understanding of the viral meaning his Deconstruction harnesses and hones.

 

Speech and Phenomena” (1973) La Voix et le Phinomene

 

There are interesting perspective on language involving a medieval notion of language; a trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The thoughts of a man named Ibn Khaldûn characterising language as a technical habit related to an art or craft malaka sintfiyya. The theories of language arising from German distinctions such as Frege’s Sinn (sense), and Husserl’s Bedeutung (meaning) lead to a Charles Morris’s idea of another trivium: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; which is in need of a separate consideration. Then Wittgenstein is chosen of Austin because he sits closer to a continental tradition and how in the Tractatus Wittgenstein runs up against the hegemony of knowledge; the hegemony that me and Derrida constantly complain against because of it’s crippling conditionalities (knowledge produces a reality bound purely by conditions that it alone generates). Phenomenology sits in a certain narrative of thinking that stems all the way back to Plato and then through Descartes and Kant arrived at its father Edmund Husserl. This philosophy then is one which is comfortable striving for the production of knowledge. Against this are different ways of thinking that reveal the truth of understanding. Derrida shows clearly how phenomenology may be read as successful in its aims of suspending the ‘natural attitude’ so as to assist in a truer understanding of our experience of a given phenomena.

‘Husserl will radicalise the necessary privilege of the phoné which is implied by the whole history of metaphysics, and exploit all its resources with the greatest critical refinement. For it is not in the sonorous substance or in the physical voice, in the body of speech in the world, that he will recognise an original affinity with the logos in general, but in the voice phenomenologically taken, speech in its transcendental flesh, in the breath, the intentional animation that transforms the body of the word into flesh, makes of the Korper a Leib, a geistige Leiblichkeit. The phenomenological voice would be this spiritual flesh that continues to speak and be present to itself—to hear itself—in the absence of the world. Of course, what one accords to the voice is accorded to the language of words, a language constituted of unities—which one might have believed irreducible, which cannot be broken down—joining the signified concept to the signifying “phonic complex.” Despite the vigilance of the description, a perhaps naive treatment of the concept of “word” has doubtless left unresolved the tension of the two major motifs in phenomenology: the purity of formalism and the radicality of intuitionism.’(D. 16)

Here we have a lot of things to unpack and offer a small explanation (I apologise to those who are acquainted with both Derrida and Husserl) so as to re-inforce my own small understanding of these European thoughts. I ponder, is it enough to say that the purity of formalism and a radical intuition can be connected and associated with Kant and Plato’s theories of ideas (the distinction between synthetic and analytical judgements are found uniform in our intuition, and ideas are mathematical forms). The spiritual flesh is seen as dependent on the unity of words and this indeed presents a linguistic continuum. Husserl’s theory of language as it is found in the second part of his Logical Investigations states that an ‘“empty thought” needs a sign as an “Intuitive Support”’ and ‘all thought is carried on by way of certain “acts” which occur in a context of expressive discourse’(Husserl, LI, II. 667… in Petr Urban’s The Relationship Between Thought and Language in Husserl’s Philosophy, Czech Institute of Philosophy). But, we also discover Derrida’s point of contention with Husserl when we observe that this German master saw both the sign and meaning as unified however the use of the word sign Zeichen can either be expressive Ausdruck or indicative Anzeichen. This seems like a small difference but from two different perspectives there is much to discuss and take from the position of Husserl ‘there is the possibility of a sign that signifies nothing; that has no meaning Beudeutung. Contrasting with Derrida where there is no sign without the signified. I will have to take a step back from the assumption that I know my everyday usage of language and also suspend judgement on various phenomena. I will read this book properly because one suspects this text along with On the Origins of Geometry to be essential in understanding the wider situation of the birth of Deconstruction and what questions this philosophy was born amongst. This leaves me to share two of the more important statements or benchmarks ever marked into the long history of thinking; and especially thinking about language.

 

  “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, dariiber muss man schweigen” (“What we cannot speak about we must consign to silence”).    

  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Philosophicus

 

II reste alors a parler, a faire resonner la voix dans les couloirs pour suppliéer l’éclat de la presence” (‘It remains, then, for us to speak, to make our voices resonate throughout the corridors in order to make up for the breakup of presence”)

– Jacques Derrida,

 

 

Of Grammatology (1976) De la grammatologie

 

I am reading from the text translated by the awesome Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak an Indian philosopher of great Great GREAT inspiration. For her never ending belief in education and the necessity of using language to fight for more equality and openness in our systemic structures of education and learning. Let’s begin with one of the great descriptions of Derrida’s philosophy, ‘Deconstruction seems to offer a way

out of the closure of knowledge. By inaugurating the open-ended indefiniteness of textuality—by thus “placing in the abyss” (mettre en abîme), as the French expression would literally have it—it shows us the lure of the abyss as freedom. The fall into the abyss of deconstruction inspires us with as much pleasure as fear. We are intoxicated with the prospect of never hitting bottom.’((Derrida, lxxvii)).

 

“If the nonphonetic moment menaces the history and the life of the spirit as self-presence in the breath, it is because it menaces substantiality, that other metaphysical name of presence and of ousia. First in the form of the substantive. Nonphonetic writing breaks the noun apart. It describes relations and not appellations. The noun and the word, those unities of breath and concept, are effaced within pure writing. In that regard, Leibniz is as disturbing as the Chinese in Europe: “This situation, the analytic notation of representations in hieroglyphic script, which seduced Leibniz to the point of wrongly preferring this script to the alphabetic, rather contradicts the fundamental exigency of language in general, namely the noun. . . . All difference [Abweichung] in analysis would produce another formation of the written substantive.”((Derrida, 27))

 

This re-production is interesting and I wonder how close it is to Delueze’s metaphysical understanding of the necessity of production. Although, like every text authored by Derrida this book is complex and explores many separate writers and thoughts it is useful in a summary to simplify; and so in this spirit I will take my lead from Wikipedia and split this text into two components parts, yet also add a third: the famous ‘Exergue’. The first two parts are comprised of Derrida’s study of the linguistic thoughts of two fellow French giants Ferdinand de Saussure and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Analysing Saussure’s idea of the ‘sign’ stating the claim that written symbols are not inferior to the phonetic sounds and matter of factly the privileging of speech that has been a constant since the beginning of philosophy is a fallacy according to Derrida; as he shows this opposition is an opposition held within language itself and therefore can not be overcome only embraced, only deconstructed.

The analysis of Rosseau’s thoughts on language is interesting. Pursuing a logic of supplementation Derrida analyses a chain of such events in Rosseau’s literary body. This analysis of the chain of supplementations has a psychoanalytic flavour beginning with the absence of a mother and moving through a presence and absence and then the priority of an absent presence written by Rosseau. One which is deeply haunting not just in how Derrida describes it but also in what interpretive difficulties it traces and marks for us today; and indeed the process is one which a person may readily identify with.

 

‘In his eyes it will remain the model of vice and perversion. Affecting oneself by another presence, one corrupts oneself [makes oneself other] by oneself [on s’altère soi-même]. Rousseau neither wishes to think nor can think that this alteration does not simply happen to the self, that it is the self’s very origin. He must consider it a contingent evil coming from without to affect the integrity of the subject. But he cannot give up what immediately restores to him the other desired presence; no more than one can give up language. This is why, in this respect as well, as he says in the Dialogues [Pléiade, vol. 1] , “to the end of his life he will remain an aged child.”(154)

 

As I am writing I am also reading the pdf copy of this text and it is not a preference the presence of an abundance of digital texts may indeed be turning me into an aged child. I would much prefer the actual book yet Rosseau is shown to be one of those that privilege speech. Remember Derrida supposedly does not mean to critique these thinkers and so I think he has more than a little respect and admiration for Rosseau; and I follow suite, Rosseau’s source for his study on language, a Duclos, provides a startling account of the liberty and therein the collective properties of “spoken” language and the political attacks that take place against language by way of alterations and shortenings. Duclos or Rosseau state, ‘The language is the property of the people. Each derives its unity from the other. For if language has a body and a system, they inhere in the people assembled and “bodily” united: “It is a people in a body that makes a language…. A people is thus the absolute master of the spoken language, and it is an empire they possess unawares.’(170) But, what of the written does it remain un-mastered, free, and unpossessable?

These difficulties are re-stated by Rosseau in terms of the voice and words pre-forming music, ‘If music awakens in song, if it is initially uttered, vociferated, it is because, like all speech, it is born in passion.That is to say in the transgression of need by desire and the awakening of pity by imagination.’(196) Pity interests me here; in Eastern culture, in Japan the Buddhists have a unique reading of the noun. Pity is read as mercy: Jihi 慈悲 has the radicals for happiness and sadness residing above the kanji for mind/spirit/heart. This Japanese noun would be well suited to Derrida’s method of working through the inner logic and contradictions of textual reality. What Japanese texts would enable a working through these signs of pity and mercy?

It is very clear, that many more readings of this book will have to be done for me to fully understand Derrida’s reading of Rosseau’s supplement and interval and this distinctly French exploration of language. Rosseau’s text are shown to contain much interesting reasoning on the state of linguistic change in his day and a discussion of a necessary relation of the child to the sign by way of non-relation; the sign is but it isn’t because unlike adults children do not immediately have a self relation from which to relate to a given meaningful phenomena such as a sign. Before I part ways with this book let’s look at this famous Exergue. Our looking at this description of ‘logocentrism’ benefits from the assistance of Gabriel Rezende’s work on this section of the Book. Rezende nicely describes this centrism and does so in an ambitious project of writing that emphasises the political aspect of Derrida’s work. Correctly stating the three problems that Derrida is dealing with: 1) our thoughts on writing are geared towards an ahistorical concept of phonetic writing, 2) Metaphysics is always bound to a logos, and 3)because of the later it can be stated that humans are nothing more than a teleology of sciences.

Rezende expresses why this part of Derrida’s book is so important and perhaps summarises why Derrida remains widely loved and deeply relevant to today and the future yet to come. It is Derrida’s respectful readings of the three big German H’s (Husserl, Hegel, and Heidegger) that culminates in the very real idea that a cultural teleology is present in the works of these major philosophers and results in logocentrism or the voice that speaks closest to the truth. In Deconstructing this Derrida helps us understand an absent cultural teleology one in which hidden truths are made manifest by the very grammars of writing.

 

Writing and Difference,(1978) L’écriture et la différence

 

A preface is a beautiful thing and in this book it is a translator’s. I am always taken a back at how a written object of respect and repute often comes with an introductory mask one that I often find just as rewarding. This preface does not disappoint I encounter: Epekeina tes ousias the Platonic term for the beyond of being, the shared interest in the difference between Sinn/sense and the senses; between Sein/être and Seindes/étant; the “ontological double genitive,” i.e., the necessary fluctuation of the subjective and objective cases in order to speak of Being, which always means the Being of beings and the beings of Being. Nietzsche gifts us voluntarism (the doctrine of the will) passed down to us from Latin voluntas our volition and funnelled through French vouloir implying even more of a wanting; and Edmund Hussserl’s distinction/opposition between hylé and morphé (matter and form). All of this and more is contained in Alan Bass’s short introduction.

 

Derrida begins his work on a note of anxiety one that is about language and in language itself. Discussing a kind of somnambulism (sleepwalking) situated between a structuralist ideal and the history of ideas; a schism within a force, ‘Form fascinates when one no longer has the force to understand force from within itself. That is, to create’(Derrida, 1978, 3). Here we find ourselves on the outside if we wish to be a creator? Thus soliciting a solicitation (check the Latin etymology), how writing and difference are intertwined. In Derrida’s intro we learn that there is an Art for Immanuel Kant and a Rousseau that is a hidden thing that does its work in secret, yet we can still understand that our imagination is what initiates such a process. We read of drastic yet true procedures, ‘One must be separated from oneself in order to be reunited with the blind origin of the work in its darkness’(D,7) and again this outside also applies to the purity of the literary morphé.

The pure book naturally turns towards this Eastern edge of this absence which, beyond or within prodigiousness of all wealth, is its first and proper content. The pure book, the book itself, by virtue of what is most irreplaceable within it, must be the book “about nothing” that Flaubert dreamed of-a grey, negative dream, the origin of the total Book that haunted other imaginations.’(D. 9)

Derrida could be giving a description of many of his own books and I can not help with my own personal connections to Asia; also long to return to the Eastern edge. This haunting of other imaginations is important it has a connection and relation to the production of truth and Husserl’s innessential (Unwesen). This we are told is dictated by an essence and happens under the rubric of sedimentation. Then a tussle between Flaubert and Nietzsche comes after Derrida’s own stylish eidetic translation, ‘the things for which we do not have enough forms are already phantoms of energy, “ideas” larger then the plasticity of style’(D.34) relishing in the natural lack of language; how it can never quite incomprehensibly structure and has to remain somewhat other to itself. A discussion on Foucault’s reading of Descartes’s nisi me forte comparem nescio quibus insanis…‘Unless perhaps I were to liken myself to a madman’(Descartes. First Meditation) associates this inoculation performed on behalf of philosophy by Descartes against madness is also a question of the sign. Derrida likens the Cartesian split to the presence of an obvious and then a latent language; intimately embroiled in questions surrounding knowledge as a historical construct and the attribution of meaning inherited from master Foucault.

Derrida’s own special Hegelianism rises when he starts discussing the juxtaposition of the Silent (the mad) and reason (the ordered mad) and how escaping reason is impossible unless you embrace its abstractions and its power to disturb. This Entzweiung, a dissociation that Foucault enacts; apparently ancient Greek logos did not have a contrary in comparison to classical reason (D.64). I am not certain what this implies the time of the ancient Greeks was so long ago yet perhaps this comment is a comparison between the pursuit of an Arche by the pre-socratics and the ideas against contradiction formulated by Aristotle and then developed by the Rationalists. Either way Writing and Difference offers questions that for me question writing over difference; that is the book offers an opportunity an invitation to write about writing. Which Derrida was overtly interested in privileging: the inscription over the act of speaking. The relationship between the younger French master and the older German master is fascinating and a relationship which I will be heavily invested in exploring in the coming years. This relation comes to the foreground when Derrida describes a Violence hidden in the history of Metaphysics. The need to determine one’s being in relation to Being.

Writing then is a very unique thing and deeply mysterious, the power of the pen endures in an age of instability. The power of our writing tools (I am eager to explore the power of the brush) remains because they are essential we need them to cut into reality and engineer new lines and sequences. Before, one finishes this the first brief reading and before this text ends with a commentary on the historical and the economical. One last reference to the great German master Husserl is necessary; Derrida cites some giddy German starting with the word Urtatsache (nonempirical factuality) and then moving onto two of Husserl’s sentences, ‘der intentionale Urgrund für meine Welt’, and ‘die Urtatsache, der ich standhalten muss’. After this, some beautiful reflections of what distinguishes a child or beginner philosophical baby from an authentic lover of wisdom. Derrida writes that the child will when first encountering a ghostly corner with an absence of light haunted by solipsism, relativism, and psychologism be naturally daunted; but we are told that, ‘The true philosopher will prefer, instead of fleeing from these ghosts, to illuminate the dark corner. Derrida, don’t pretend that you weren’t an infantile thinker once upon a Parisian dawn.   

‘This vigilance is a violence chosen as the least violence by a philosophy which takes history, that is, finitude, seriously; a philosophy aware of itself as historical in each of its aspects (in a sense which tolerates neither finite totality, nor positive infinity), and aware of itself, as Levinas says in another sense, as economy. But again, an economy which in being history, can be at home neither in the finite totality which Levinas calls the Same nor in the positive presence of the Infinite.’(D.146)

 

[There are so many books written by Derrida that are worth reviewing and so I will post a ‘Dubbing with Derrida: Part II’ at some point – Merci pour la lecture, mais j’ai maintenant besoin de revenir à l’étude japonaise]

The best job application letter that didn’t work

Human Pages

James Murray (1837-1915), the Scottish lexicographer and philologist, sent the following letter regarding a job at the British Museum in late 1866. Largely self-taught, he later became the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Before then, this letter somehow didn’t get him the British Museum gig:

I have to state that Philology, both Comparative and special, has been my favourite pursuit during the whole of my life, and that I possess a general acquaintance with the languages and literature of the Aryan and Syro-Arabic classes — not indeed to say that I am familiar with all or nearly all of these, but that I possess that general lexical & structural knowledge which makes the intimate knowledge only a matter of a little application. With several I have a more intimate acquaintance as with the Romance tongues, Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish, Latin & in a less degree Portuguese, Vaudois, Provencal…

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Japanese

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This post includes a few things I have been reading and translating. I have already posted some of them on Instagram but here I have included a translation of my friend Yutaka’s book, and my teacher Yoko’s buddhist text. I have also included some important practice in Japanese grammar which I really need to commit to memory in a fluent way so I can use them correctly in speech. I also found this amazing website for students of Japanese: www.japanese.io it is full of a wide range of literature and I will be using it a couple of times a week.

 

このポソトは私の読むと翻訳するの物です。インスタグラムで前にアップロードしたにですけど、友達豊君の本も私の先生、陽子さんの仏教テクストの翻訳を有ります。そして、大切な日本語の文法の練習する事も有って、この事が私はとてもペラペラ経由で暗記しなければなりませんから、話すときに使えますね。で、この素敵なサイトを見つけましたので、このサイトは日本語の生徒さんために便利だと思います。www.japanese.io はたくさん文学が持つので毎週二回目使えましょうです。

 

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If we make space for worshipping our nature with sublimation, existence is magnified.

Spring is passing / the birds cry / and the fishes fill with tears on their eyes.

 

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Ah tranquillity! / penetrating the very rock / a Cicada’s voice.

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Zen does not shout:

Its will is free

We can swim in the sea of its heart

The place of decision is a turning point in existence

Is the natural profound meaning.

 

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Gradually meet philosophy

 

What good can I do when angry?

 

Yutaka Morinaga

 

Throughout the day there are many problems with being angry, right?

___ Morinaga, This way of resolving was an inconvenient state of affairs.

 

Morinaga ‘whether one likes it or not, it is a little laughable. A sporadic person, reaching their limit has an angry feeling, and this is an object of torment?’

‘sporadically, ‘yes, this is how it is?’

 

___what Sporadic people, and Morinaga want to say is failing to come to an end.

 

Morinaga ‘ sporadic people reaching their limit try and make a sign of the angry episode, this considerable speech is understandable. But, for example, you can’t control the anger, and the anger is unreasonable, oh dear!’

 

Sporadically, ‘well, yes, you can. Seeing the person who sells, and what person suddenly gets angry like this.

 

Morinaga ‘ Yes?!’

 

レッドタートル

All Turtles Should be Red:

Watching An Isolated Isolation in Reddo Tātoru: Aru Shima no Monogatari レッドタートル ある島の物語

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In 2016 Japanese director/producer Toshio Suzuki and Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit collaborated to produce a jewel of a silent film; the title translates directly into English as Red Turtle: The story of an island. A film that features a narrative of a shipwrecked existence terrorised by a strangely coloured turtle. The Silence of this film lends and supports its Japanese flavour and taste. One loves the way it is animated with such care and compassion for the re-depiction of reality that it presents. Indeed the narrative of isolation that the protagonist suffers is also a potential re-depiction of reality in that although we are strongly grounded in living in communities of infinite variability this might not provide enough data for an individual to understand their own being. Thus after watching this film we could choose to take away from the experience a question: how do we understand ‘isolation’ as it is in the film and in wider contexts of life?

For me the medium of animation is partly isolating and this needs no proving it is self evident that even with contemporary production software that makes use of nodes and modes so as to maximise and streamline the working of animation the process remains time consuming and therein isolating. But animation is like an island a very small patch of land surrounded by a liquid and in this sense it carries a metaphorical energy that reminds of the place of the cell in artificial movement. But, here the cell seems closer to biology and therefore the belief that one might know a given state of the natural world; although is this not contrary to the truth of animation and its relation to that ancient belief; that ancient truth that states everything is subject to a force understood and experienced as change. Along with this, the relation we have had with knowledge is increasingly troubling me: for instance in the perspective ordered by science we use the word ‘isolation’ in tandem with a positive idea that of objective certainty, ‘we need to isolate the cause’, but at the same time thinking about the social use of the word we find a mainly negative usage of isolating.

There are ways in which individualism which is perhaps the term we might use to describe the idea that isolation is a positive. But, isn’t this cultist self so absurdly false and artificial that it deserves to be laughed at and derided because although there are great achievements made by remarkable individuals is it not the case that these are still socially determined and culturally by acts of barbarism? Is it not a point to wrestle with this antagonism between being all alone, and how in society this is often a kind of punishment: a naughty step, a sin bin, and a detention. Today, though we need to encourage retention so in this spirit one wishes to explore the theme of isolation not as a punishment ( we can do this another day) but rather as a part of survival itself. This will be attempted by way of a short exploration of the wider use of shipwrecked individuals and their islands both in art and wider cultural events. But, before we take a leap from the island with the red turtle let us make a brief nap on the island called language. In Japanese the name for island is Shima, the kanji 島 is composed of two parts bird and mountain and so from a Japanese perspective the position from which we are looking at the island and its isolation is one from the fluid movements of the sea.

Not all islands are in possession of mountains but they all possess their own geological culture which is not dependent on humans being marooned on its land. I wonder if this was a concern at any point for artist Charles Avery created a fictional island under the project The Islanders () one reads that our access to this island is mainly by a town brilliantly named Onomatopoeia and in the manner which these inhabitants might like or appreciate I can not help but take the noun of this capital topos and play on the place called island. Island sounds like its meant to be split into ‘is-land’ and I do not know are ‘is-lands’ the smallest land; is there not some land smaller than an ‘is-land’? I think so however I do not know so! Avery’s project is extremely seductive I want to read more about it and look at his dynamic drawings which are our only points of entry to this fiction that serves as a gateway towards greater insight on the determination that comes hand in hand with isolation. Do Avery’s islanders feel isolated and if so do they actually want foreigners visiting?

Japan, we are told by a world history was isolationist certainly not protectionist as it is now. This most Eastern of islands has a history of not only being isolated but of isolated individuals its almost as if the presence of many separated land masses presented an opportunity for the Japanese to exercise their imagination in spectacular ways. Japan has an island exclusively for Cats, and an island unfortunately patriarchal in its spiritual value (the island of Okinoshima excludes woman). A man named Masafumi Nagasaki has lived as a hermit in Japan for so many years and does not seem to have cared about his isolated condition. Next to this is the specifically unique Japanese notion of being a hermit 引き籠もりHikikomori a withdrawn world. Japan is a country comprised of a series of Islands that gracefully slide from the east of the earth. There are so many beautiful places in this country from the outskirts of Hokkaido, Hiroshima, and Okinawa, to Kyoto and the towering Tokyo.

Next to these Japanese is-lands there is a widely read and influential Arabic story about a boy growing up on a desert Island. I was introduced to this story by the princely German Idealist Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling who references it in a text he wrote in praise of Immanuel Kant’s monumental achievement in re-defining the place of the subject in human thinking.[I] Schelling references Philosophus autodidactus in dismissing the causal scepticism of David Hume as Kant so forcefully did. Schelling’s words and sentences liken the causal presupposition the necessity of a portion of our judgements being prior to experience because the experience itself is created by the time and space already present at the moment of judging. This independence of our will is perhaps similar to the universal law of gravity suggests Schelling. So here we have an isolation in philosophy an attempt to give ground to a metaphysics that was then in need of solidifying as an objective science. I wonder if the child on this fictional Arabic island shares traits with the red turtle’s captive?

The child like the man finds a route away from isolation by the application of an innate understanding. We learn that this medieval jewel of philosophical reflection might not have made it through history if its author had not been the protégé of a prince who translated the works of Aristotle into Latin. The most delightful thing about this text and it is a quality shared by the animated film is that although theology is present it is as an undercurrent or something you have to see yourself. Rather then the usual focus on a neoplatonic emanation and a kensosis anchored to the One what you have instead is the number two: two islands, two islanders, two forms. Perhaps there are two ideas that are influential for our viewing of this fantastic film: I was recently watching something that gave me the idea that silence (remembering the animation is silent) is made possible by the failure of language. Next to this is the existence of pure negativity that our positivity has to constantly resist? I often wonder if Japanese notions of nothingness are able to mediate this issue. In our Arabic story of island isolation there are frequent moments where the language plays between this dynamic of universality construed as infinite and the finitude of the individual being.

‘since the notion of imperfection is nothing but a mere Non-existence or what depends upon it? And how can he in anyway partake of Non-existence, who is the Pure Existence, necessarily by his Essence; who gives being to everything that exists, and besides whom their is no existence; but He is the being, He is the perfection, He the plenitude, He the beauty, He the glory, He the power, He the knowledge?

     

As if you take any Body whatsoever in your hand, and then move your hand, the body will without doubt follow the motion of your hand? With such a motion as shall be posterior to it in Nature, tho’ not in Time, because they both began together. So all this World is caused and created by this agent, out of time, Whose command is, when he would have anything done, Be, and it is.’

 

–  Ibn Tufayl [II]

To further Tufayl’s contribution to the animated experience let us deal with the ultimate mischief maker called time. The above quote suggests time and space began together and this is indicative of the thoughts of Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason, ‘Time is nothing other than the form of inner sense, i.e., of the intuition of our self and our inner state. For time cannot be a determination of outer appearances; it belongs neither to a shape or a position, etc.’[III] Evil German philosopher Martin Heidegger found Kant’s definition to be inspiring and states so early on in his philosophical masterpiece, ‘…apriori is the interpretation of genuine historical beings. Travelling through time with their own historicity.’ [IV] This motion then is to be considered as nature; time is our natural state. But to resolve these German notions of time let us turn back to the medieval period and to an Asian master, Dogen Zenji who has a distinctly unique concept of time, a ‘Time Being’ or Uji in Japanese. It seems more befitting to both the marooned man attacked by a turtle and other historical individuals such as Nakahama “John” Manjirō who was one of the first Japanese translators to work with the Americans. As a young man Manjirō-san was indeed marooned and shipwrecked on Torishima Island.

In master Dogen’s essay on Time Being, we see how it might be a complete waste of time to initiate a thinking about isolation. Dogen’s words make it appear as if time is a unifying thing only if one has attained the capacity to see the way. Dogen describes a unified and not an isolated time thus, ‘The way the self arrays itself is the form of the entire world. See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time. Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. The way-seeking mind arises in this moment. A way-seeking moment arises in this mind. It is the same with practice and with attaining the way. Thus the self setting itself out in array sees itself. This is the understanding that the self is time.’[V]This understanding is present and sharply felt if one finds themselves in extreme isolation when one is forced to consider the limits of being: time remains ever present and mischievous. Natural time then is unforgivably uniform and only appears to change; Dogen’s point is that we should learn to partake in this uniformity lest we fall and victimise the self.

In a way the Western perception of isolation dwells in an unhelpful negativity as described in a recent article by researcher Frank Johnson, he says ‘”[R]eality” resides outside the individual. The accepted orientation is to relate to the world in a direct and a discrete way as an external environment. States of cogitation which center on internal phenomena run the risk of being disparaged as irrational and dangerous.’[VI] Here though what is this natural force experienced as the blood red turtle other than a demand to work with this radical evil, this das radikal Böse, or a pure negativity? Freud gives voice to a potential for two methods to unite to solve unwelcome separations and to move towards surviving them; two methods that reside under the names Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism may be different but possess the same aim. Writing in ‘Beyond The Pleasure Principle’ Freud diagnoses this devilish red shelled being, ‘errare humanum est perseverare autem diabolicum (to err is human, to persist is of the devil). If this science of the human psyche and the most refined of Asian spiritual practices were to find themselves being brought closer together then we can continue to isolate what makes isolation always potentially part of the silence of animation.

“A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Finally these guardian deities of the lonely spirit brought the war.

You are not to blame. I, of course, am not to blame. Everything is the doing of loneliness.

 

Loneliness made them carry guns, even made them, with the bait of loneliness, shrug off their mothers and wives

and leave toward where the flags flapped.

Trinket makers, cleaners, clerks, students,

all turning into folk shaken with the wind.

 

Every and each one, no distinction among them. All taught to die was best.

Petty, timid, good-natured people, their thoughts darkened in the name of the Emperor, went off like brats, delighted, hubbubbing.

 

But on the home front, we’re nervous,

fearful of an arrow with white feathers,

forcing ourselves to push aside skepticism and anxiety,

we try to spend just this one day, we’re all doomed anyway,

drunk on the sake given out.

Egoism, and the shallowness of love.

Bearing it in silence, women wait for rations,

linking themselves like beggars.

People’s expressions growing sadder day by day,

the fate of the folk of an all-out nation,

I had not seen, since my birth, a loneliness so immediate, so profound.

But I no longer care. To me, such loneliness doesn’t mean anything now.

 

The loneliness that I, I now truly feel lonely about

is that I can’t feel, around me, any desire, not even of a single person,

holding his ground in the opposite direction of this degradation, trying to find the very roots of loneliness as he walks with the world. That’s it. That’s the only thing.

 

On 5 May 1945, Boys’ Day

– Mitsuharu-Kaneko, The Song of Loneliness

 

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I. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. (1994) ‘On the History of Modern Philosophy: Kant, ed. By A. Bowie Cambridge, CUP, 94-106 

II. Ibn Tufayl. (1929), The History of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (Alive, Son of Awake), Translated from the Arabic by Simon Ockley. Westminster Press, London

III. Immanuel Kant. (1998), Critique of Pure Reason, Cambridge University Press, B 50. 163

IV. Martin Heidegger. (1996), Being & Time, State University of New York Suny Press. 11

V. Zen Master Dogen, Moon in a Dewdrop, trans. Dan Welch and Kazuaki Tanahashi  https://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/Dogen_Teachings/Uji_Welch.html

VI. Frank Johnson. Psychological Alienation: Isolation and Self-ESTRANGEMENT , Psychoanalytic Review (1963), 62:3 (1975:Fall) p.369


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全ての亀は赤い亀を入れなければなりません:レッドタートル有る島の物語で塊然い孤独を見っています。

2016年で日本人の演出家スズキ・トツオとホランド人のアニメーター、デゥドクデウィット・マィークル静粛な映画を作るのでご協力しました。題名は英語に翻訳して「Red Turtle: The story of an island」です。映画のナラティブは難破の存在が変なカラード亀経由して恐怖しました。映画の静粛な事は日本的な嗜好に支持しました。私は映画のアニメ仕方で実をまた描くのために用心と慈悲がとても大好きです。実際には、主人公が苦しむ孤立の物語はまた、我々は強く無限の変動のコミュニティに住んでいるに基づいているが、それは個人が理解するのに十分なデータを提供していないということで現実の潜在的な再描写である。したがって、この映画を見た後、私たちは、経験からの質問を取ることを選択することができます: どのように我々はそれがフィルムで、生活の広い文脈で「分離」を理解するのですか?

私ためにアニメの媒体/ミディアムはちょっと孤立化んですので当世流な作る方がノードとモードを使う事にしてもこの孤独から多い時間を過ごすと自明です。でも、アニメは小さいランドを環海の島をみたいだって、このセンスで比喩表現と不自然な動きの細胞が連想します。しかし、ここに細胞は生物学へもっと近くみたいなので、自然の具合の知識を信じる事で他の昔の信心がアニメの実で諸行無常を反しません。そして、前の文章の事隣に皆さんの知識と関係は私に心配を増加しるので、例えば科学の遠近法でこの単語「イソーレシン」と確実で積極的なアイデアで「原因を隔てれなければなりません」ですけど同じ時間でアイソレイトが消極的で社会的な意味を有ります。

アイソレイトの積極的なアイデアの説明するで個人主義を使えます。でも、このカルト自己はむやみに空々しくてアーティフィシャル居るけど、この自己の業績は社会と蛮行経由して決心するからこの業績ために笑いだしますか。要領は西の国の社会で一人で受刑:やんちゃなステップ、シンビン、拘置の対立関係を取り組みますか。今日、保持をしなければなりませんのでこの孤立は処罰じゃない(他の日出来る)いっそ孤立が生き残る方を探ります。アートと文化の旧事で難破の人のソトーリーに島と早く探索しています。でも、島とレッド亀から跳ねる前に言葉の島で小さい昼寝をします。日本語でアィランドの名前島ですので、漢字が”島”二つの部分有って鳥みたいな、山と日本の遠近法から離島に見る立場は流動的な海からよ。

全ての島は山じゃありませんですけど全ての島が人間の難破を依存しないから地層の文化持ちます。私は画家チャールズ・アブーリさんを同じ考え方と思うという事とこの画家が虚構の島を作って居ます。プロジェクトはザーアイランデズだから、皆さんはこの島の参入するのオノマトペ村へ入れるので市民の順調な好み経由して、僕がこの国都の名詞をこの場所で遊びます。アイランドの音はイズーランドに切れてなるを聞こえます。そして、私は知らないにイズーランドが一番小さいランドですか。他のランドはイズーランドに比べてもっと小ささを有りますか。考えるですけど知らないね!アブーリさんのプロジェクトはとても悩ましいのでもっと読みたいと彼の行動的な絵を見たいです。このドローイングは虚構の門と孤独の決心により一層眼力をくれます。アブーリさんのアイランドの人は孤独を感じるか、もし、感じてからこのアイランドの人は外国人を出入りしたいです。

日本、世界の歴史は孤立主義有ったけど今保護主義ですので皆さんに言いました。一番東の島達は孤立主の歴史有るけど遠隔の人という事も別途な陸岸から日本人の想像力を仕方の機会みたいです。日本は青島愛媛県、そして一つの島は隠岐の島が女性差別過ぎます。男性はナガサキ・マサフミさん、日本で多い年に隠者を居ると住んでいましたので気にしないでした。このユニークで日本的な隠者居るで引き籠りが内向的な世界です。日本は国と一連の島が世界の東側から優雅でずらす。日本でたくさん美しい場所有るので北海道と広島と沖縄と京都も屹然い東京です。

これらの日本の島々の隣には、砂漠の島で育った少年についての広く読まれ影響力のあるアラビア語の物語があります。私はこの物語を、人間の思考における主題の場所を再定義する際のイマヌル・キャントの記念すべき功績を称えて書いたテキストの中でそれを引用している、ドイツの理想主義者フリードリック・ウィルヘルム・ジョーゼフ・スケリングによって紹介されました。[1] シェリングは、カントがデビッド・ヒュームの因果的な懐疑を却下する際にフィローソーフィカズ・オートディダクタズを参考にしました。 シェリングの言葉や文章は、経験そのものが判断の瞬間にすでに存在している時間と空間によって作られているので、因果関係の前提は経験の前に判断の一部が必要であると考えています。私たちの意志のこの独立性はおそらくシェリングを示唆している普遍的な重力の法則に似ています。 ですから、ここで私たちは哲学を孤立させ、形而上学に根拠を与えようとしました。 この架空のアラビア島に住む子供が、アカガメの捕虜と形質を共有しているのでしょうか。

男のような子供は、先天的理解の適用によって孤立から離れた道を見つけます。 著者がアリストテレスの作品をラテン語に翻訳した王子の原始者でなかったならば、この中世の哲学的反射の宝石は歴史を通してそれを成し遂げなかったかもしれないことを私たちは学びます。このテキストについての最も楽しいこと、そしてそれがアニメ映画によって共有されている品質は、神学が存在しているけれどもそれはあなたが自分自身を見なければならないという何か不足しているということです。 そうではなく、ネオプラトニックな発散と、人に固定された尖塔に焦点を当てることは、2つの島、2つの島人、2つの形式です。この素晴らしい映画を見るためには、おそらく2つのアイデアがあります。私は最近、言葉の失敗によって沈黙(アニメーションは沈黙していること)が可能になるという考えを与えてくれるものを見ていました。 これの隣に私達の積極性が絶えず抵抗しなければならない純粋な否定性の存在がありますか。私は、何もないという日本の概念がこの問題を解決することができるのではないかとしばしば思う。 島の孤立についての私達のアラビア語の物語では、言語が無限として解釈されるこの普遍性の動的と個人の存在の間で演じる場面が頻繁にあります。

 

「不完全さの概念は単なる非存在に他ならないのか、それともそれに依存するの か? そして彼はどうしてもとにかく彼の本質によって、純粋な存在である存在しな いのに参加することができます。誰が存在するすべてのものに存在を与えるのか、 それ以外には存在しないのか。 しかし、彼は存在であり、彼は完全さであり、彼は 寛容さであり、彼は美しさであり、彼は栄光であり、彼は力であり、彼は知識であ るか。

あなたがどんな体をあなたの手の中に持っていってそしてあなたの手を動かしたか のように、体は間違いなくあなたの手の動きに従うでしょうか? それらが共に始ま ったので、時間内ではなくて、自然の中でそれの後にあるような動きで。ですか ら、この世界はすべて、このエージェントによって引き起こされ、創造されたので す。」

イブン・タフェール [2]

アニメーション体験へのタフェールの貢献をさらに深めるために、私たちは時間と呼ばれる究極のいたずらメーカーに対処しましょう。上記の引用は時間と空間が一緒に始まったことを示唆しています、そしてこれは彼の純粋な理由の批評におけるカントの考えを示しています、「時間は内なる感覚の形式、すなわち私たちの自己と内なる状態の直感の形に他ならない。しばらくの間、外観の決定はできません。 形や位置などに属さない。ドイツの邪悪な哲学者マーティン・ハイデガーは[III]、カントの定義が感動的であると述べ、彼の哲学的傑作の早い段階で述べています。自分自身の歴史を持って時を経て旅をする[IV]。時間は私たちの自然な状態です。しかし、これらのドイツの時間的概念を解決するために、私たちは中世の時代と、明確にユニークな時間の概念、日本語での「時の存在」またはUji(有時)を持っているアジアのマスター、道元禅師に話を戻しましょう。他の歴史的な人、マンジロウ・”ジョン”ナカハマさんと難破の男性にもっと相応をみたいですので、マンジロウ・”ジョン”ナカハマさんは日本人の翻訳者がまずアメリカ人と働きました。若い人でナカハマさんは鳥島に難破しました。

道元禅師氏のTime Being(有時)に関するエッセイでは、孤立について考えることを開始することがいかに完全な時間の浪費になるかを見ています。 道元の言葉は、時間が道を見る能力を達成した場合にのみ、時間は統一的なものであるかのように見えるようにします。道元は統一された、孤立した時間ではない、と説明しています。この全世界のそれぞれのものを時の瞬間として見てください。瞬間がお互いを妨げないように、物事はお互いを妨げません。道を探す心がこの瞬間に生まれます。この心の中に、道を探す瞬間が生まれます。それは練習でもやり方でも同じです。このように、配列の中に出ている自己はそれ自身を見ます。これは自己が時間であるという理解です。[V] この理解は存在し、存在の限界を考慮せざるをえないときに極端に孤立していると感じると鋭く感じられます。自然な時間はそれから容認できないほど一様で、変化するように思われるだけです。 道元のポイントは、私たちが転倒して自己を犠牲にしないように、この統一性に参加することを学ぶべきだということです。

ある意味では、研究者フランク・ジョンソンによる最近の記事で説明されているように、孤立に対する西洋の認識は有益でない否定性を示しています。「現実は個人の外にあります。 受け入れられている方向づけは、外部環境として直接的かつ個別の方法で世界に関係することです。 内部現象を中心とした共引用の状態は、非合理的で危険だと惑わされる危険があります」。[VI] ここで、この急進的な悪、このdas radikalBöse、または純粋な否定的なものと共に働くという要求以外に、この自然の力はどうしているのですか。フロイトは、歓迎されない分離を解決し、それらを生き残るために動くための2つの方法の可能性を表明します。疎遠’精神分析とZen Buddhism禅という名前の下にある2つの方法は異なるかもしれませんが、同じ目的を持っています。「喜びの原則を超えて」と書くと、フロイトはこの悪魔のような赤い殻を診断します(誤った人間は人間であり、持続するのは悪魔です)。 この人間の精神の科学と最も洗練されたアジアの精神的慣行が互いに近づくことを発見することであるならば、孤立を常に潜在的にアニメーションの沈黙の一部にするものを孤立させ続けることができます。

ZVpVqK8

寂しさの歌   四

国家はすべての冷酷な怪物のうち、もっとも冷酷なものとおもはらる。それは冷やたい顔で欺く。欺瞞は、その口から這い出る。
「我国家は民衆で有る」と
ニーチェ・シアラトウストラはかく語る。

遂にこの寂しい精神のうぶすなたちが、戦争を持ってきたんだ。君たちのせぬじゃない。僕のせめでは勿論ない。みんな寂しさがなせるわざなんだ。

寂しさが銃をかつがせ、寂しさの釣出しにあつて、旗のなびく方へ、母や妻をふりすててまで出発したのだ。かざり職人も、洗濯屋も、手紙たちも、学生も、風にそよぐ民となつて。

誰も彼も、区別はない。死ねばいへと教へられたのだ。ちんぴらで、小心で、好人物な人は、「天皇」の名で、目先まつくらになつて、腕白のやうによろこびさわいで出ていつた。

だが、銃後はびくびくものであすの白羽の箭を怖れ、懐疑と不安をむりにおしのけ、どうせ助からぬ、せめて今日ー日を、ふるまひ酒で酔ってすごさうとする。エゴイズムと、愛情の残さ。黙々として忍び、乞食のやうに、つながつて配給をまつ女たち。

日に日にかなしげになつてゆく人人の表情から国をむけた民族の運命のこれほどさしせまつた、寂しさを僕はまだ、生まれてからみたことはなかったのだ。しかし、もうどうでもいへ。僕にとつて、そんな寂しさなんか、今は何でもない。

僕、僕がいま、ほんたうに寂しがつてぬる寂しさは、この零落の方向とは反対にひとりふみとべまつて、寂しさの根元をがつきとめようとして、世界といつしよに歩いてぬるたった一人の意欲も僕のまはりに感じられない、その事だ、そのことだけなのだ。

昭和(ショウワ時代)二○・五・五
端午の日

 


1.フリードリック・ウィルヘルム・ジョーゼフ・スケリング(1994年). ‘近代的な歴史: カント’. エッドはボウイ・ア、ケーンブリッジのプレス

2.イブン・タフェール(1928年). ‘ حي بن يقظان’, ‘フィローソーフィカズ・オートディダクタズ’アラビア語から翻訳者はサイモン・オックレ、ウエストミンスタープレス、ロンドン

3.イマヌル・キャント(1998年).’純粋理性批判’ ケーンブリッジ大学のプレス

4.マーティン・ハイデガー(1996年).’生存と時間’政府大学のニューヨークのスニープレス

5.道元禅師(ドウゲン・ゼンジ)(1996年)’露滴の月’ 翻訳者はダン・ウエッチと棚橋・カズアキ

6.ジョンソン・フランク(1693年).’心理的な疎隔:孤立と自己の疎遠’精神分析のレビュー,62:3(秋1975年)