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皆さん、この情報は西の哲学の勉強ためにとても便利です。もし、皆さんは私を同じのでラチン語と古いギリシャ語を全然知りないからこれの単語と文章が手伝います。じゃ英語だけごめんなさい🙏ですけど楽しんで下さい。

このブログのポーストは多分間違えも有るけど原因のサイト:  1) https://philosophy.unc.edu/files/2013/10/Latin-and-Greek-for-Philosophers.doc 2) http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/309/greekterms.html

ポール

Latin prepositions used in the following definitions:

a or ab: ‘from’ ad: ‘to’ or ‘toward’ de: ‘from’ or ‘concerning’

ex: ‘from’ or ‘out of’ per: ‘through’ or ‘by’ in: ‘in’ or ‘on’

sub: ‘under’ post: ‘after’ pro: ‘for’ or ‘in exchange for’ propter: ‘because of’

A fortiori: preposition + the ablative neuter singular of the comparative adjective fortior/fortius (literally: ‘from the stronger thing’): arguing to a conclusion from an already established stronger statement (e.g. ‘All animals are mortal, a fortiori all human beings are mortal’).

A posteriori: preposition + the ablative neuter singular of the comparative adjective posterior/posteriorus (literally: ‘from the later thing’): things known a posteriori are known on the basis of experience (e.g. ‘We can know only a posteriori that all swans are white’).

A priori: preposition + the ablative neuter singular of the comparative adjective prior/prius (literally: ‘from the earlier thing’): what is known to be true a priori can be known independently of (or prior to) empirical investigation or confirmation (e.g. ‘Kant held that we can know a priori that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.’)

Ad hoc: preposition + the accusative neuter singular of the pronoun hic/haec/hoc (literally: ‘to this thing’): a proposed solution lacking in independent justification (e.g. ‘Aristotle’s view that nous is the kind of knowledge we have of the first principles seems entirely ad hoc.’)

Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas: Plato is a friend but truth is a greater friend’, based loosely on Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1096a.

Argumentum ad hominem: the nominative neuter noun argumentum/argumenti + plus preposition + the accusative masculine singular of the noun homo/hominis (literally: ‘argument toward the man’): an argument attacking the person rather than addressing the question.

Barbara: A name employed as part of a mnemonic system devised by medieval students to remember the valid forms of the syllogism (‘Barbara’, ‘Celarent’, ‘Darii’, etc.). Since one of these syllogism consisted of three universal-affirmative (or ‘a’) propositions it was associated with a woman’s name containing three a’s). Aristotle held that Barbara was the most appropriate argument form for presenting a scientific explanation.

Causa sine qua non: the nominative feminine singular of causa/causae + preposition + the ablative feminine singular of the pronoun qui/quae/quod + adverb (literally: ‘a cause without which not’): an indispensable cause.

Causa sui: the nominative feminine singular of causa/causae + the genitive singular of the pronoun sui, sibi, se, se: ‘self caused’ or ‘cause of itself’. Associated with the view proposed by Spinoza and others that the reason for God’s existence lies in its essence (thus sometimes associated with the Ontological Argument).

Ceteris paribus: the ablative neuter plural of the adjective ceter-a-um + plus the ablative neuter plural of the adjective par-paris, an ablative absolute (literally: ‘if other things are equal’ or ‘other things being equal’): a phrase commonly used to consider the effects of a cause in isolation by assuming that other relevant conditions are absent (e.g. ‘An increase in the price of oil will result, ceteris paribus, to people using their cars less often).

Cogito ergo sum: the first person singular present indicative active of cogito/cogitare + adverb + the first person singular present indicative of the verb to be: ‘I think therefore I am’. From Descartes, Principles of Philosophy (1644); the first proposition Descartes encountered in his exercise of methodic doubt he believed could be know clearly and distinctly to be true.

Conatus: the nominative masculine singular of the perfect passive participle of conor/conari, a deponent verb meaning ‘attempt’ or ‘endeavor’; derived from Greek hormê (‘force’ or ‘first start’), term used by the Stoics and later philosophers in speaking of the innate tendency of things to exist or enhance themselves.

Contra: adverb: ‘against’. To be distinguished from Pace (see below)

Credo quia absurdum est: the first person singular indicative active of credo/credere + conjunction + the nominative neuter singular of the adjective absurdus-a-um used as a noun + the third person present indicative of the verb to be: I believe because it is absurd’. Based loosely on a remark in Tertullian, De Carne Christi V, 4.

Credo ut intellegam: the first person singular indicative active of credo/credere + subordinating conjunction + the first person singular subjunctive present active of intellego/intellegere: ‘I believe in order that I may understand’, a view associated with St. Anselm of Canterbury, based on a saying of St. Augustine.

De dicto: preposition + the neuter ablative singular of dictum/dicti: ‘concerning what is said’.

De re: preposition + the feminine ablative singular of res/rei : ‘concerning the thing’.

The phrases de dicto and de re are often used to mark a kind of ambiguity found in intensional statements (statements concerning what a person knows, believes, wants, etc.—also known as attributions in an opaque context). When we say that ‘John believes that someone is out to get him’ we might mean either that John believes that someone (unspecified) means to do him some harm (the de dicto interpretation) or that there is some particular person John believes is out to do him some harm (the de re interpretation).

De facto: preposition + the neuter ablative singular of factum/facti (literally: ‘concerning what is done’): in accordance with the way things exist or events happen (‘John is the de facto head of the organization although he has not been authorized to take charge’).

De jure: preposition + the neuter ablative singular of ius/iuris (literally: ‘concerning the law’): in accordance with the law or some authorizing condition (‘John may be running the organization but he is not its leader de jure’).

Deus ex machina: the nominative masculine singular of deus/dei + preposition + the ablative feminine singular of machina/machinae (literally: ‘god from the machine’). From Horace, Ars Poetica, where it refers to a mechanical device used to transport the representation of a deity onto the stage; more generally it designates any attempt to resolve a problem by means of an unwarranted or un-natural contrivance.

Eo ipso: the ablative neuter singular of the pronoun is, ea, id + the ablative neuter singular of the pronoun ipse/ipsa/ipsum: ‘through or by the thing itself’ (as opposed to through some consequent factor or action). ‘The fact that one disagrees with a particular church doctrine does not eo ipso make one an unbeliever.’

Ergo: adverb: ‘therefore’.

Esse est percipi: the present infinitive of the verb to be + the third person singular present indicative of the verb to be + the present passive infinitive of percipio/percipere (literally: ‘to be is to be perceived’). For Bishop Berkeley, being perceived was a basic feature of all sensible objects.

Ex nihilo nihil fit: preposition + the ablative neuter singular of nihil plus the nominative neuter singular of nihil + third person indicative active of fio/fieri: ‘Nothing is produced or comes from nothing.’ One of those metaphysical principles supposedly evident to ‘the light of reason’; first stated in fragment B 8 of the ancient Greek thinker Parmenides of Elea.

Explanans/explanandum: the nominative neuter present active participle of explano/explanare and the nominative neuter singular future passive participle of explano/explanare: ‘the one explaining’ and ‘the thing needing to be explained’. In the plural: explanantia/explananda: ‘the things explaining’ and ‘the things needing to be explained’. (A clue: remember that the nd in explanandum marks the item needing to be explained.)

Ex vi terminorum: preposition + the ablative feminine singular of vis/vis (‘force’) + the masculine genitive plural of terminus/termini (‘end’, ‘limit’, ‘term’, ‘expression’): ‘out of the force or sense of the words’ or more loosely: ‘in virtue of the meaning of the words’. ‘We can be certain ex vi terminorum that any bachelors we encounter on our trip will be unmarried.’

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas: ‘Happy is he who is able to know the causes of things’. From Vergil, Georgics 2.490, said with reference to Lucretius.

Fiat justicia ruat caelum: ‘Let there be justice though the sky should fall’. (One of many versions.)

Floruit (fl.): the third person perfect indicative singular of floreo/florere: ‘he flourished’. Used to place a person in a historical period when the precise birth and death dates are not known (e.g. ‘Heraclitus of Ephesus, fl. 504-500’).

Hypotheses non fingo: the accusative plural of the Greek noun hupothesis + adverb + the first person singular present indicative of fingo/fingere: I do not feign (invent) hypotheses’. From the second edition of Newton’s Principia.

Ignoratio elenchi: the nominative feminine singular of ignoratio/ignorationis + the genitive masculine singular of elenchus/elenchi (literally: ‘ignorance of a refutation): mistakenly believing that an argument that has proved an irrelevant point has proved the point at issue.

In cauda venenum: preposition + the ablative feminine singular of cauda/caudae + the nominative singular neuter of venenum/veneni: ‘the sting is in the tail’. Originally used to describe the scorpion, the phrase is sometimes used in connection with a text or speech that begins in a friendly way but ends with a stinging rejoinder (cf. Winston Churchill’s remark: ‘You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing—after they have exhausted all the other alternatives’).

Ipse dixit: the nominative singular of intensive pronoun ipse/ipsa/ipsum + the third person singular indicative active of dico/dicere: ’He himself said it’, based on the Greek autos êpha, a phrase associated with the Pythagorean practice of crediting all discoveries to the founder of their community.

Ipso facto: the ablative neuter singular of the adjective ipse-a-um + the ablative singular neuter of factum/facti: ‘By the very fact’.

Ipsissima verba: the nominative neuter plural of the superlative adjective ipsissimus-a-um + the nominative neuter plural of verbum/verbi: ‘the very words’ or ‘the words themselves’.

Lex talionis: the nominative feminine singular of lex/legis + the genitive feminine singular of talio/talionis: ‘the law of retaliation’.

Locus classicus: the nominative masculine singular of locus/loci + the nominative masculine singular of the adjective classicus-a-um: the ‘classic place’ or original location (‘Iliad II 454-57 is the locus classicus of the view that gods know all things and mortals know nothing’).

Modus ponens: the nominative masculine singular of modus/modi + the nominative masculine singular of the present active participle ponens/ponentis: ‘by means of putting or placing’, from pono/ponere: ‘put, place, set out, assert’: the name of the valid argument form ‘If P then Q, P, therefore Q’. (Also known as modus ponendo ponens: ‘the way that asserts by asserting.)

Modus tollens: the nominative masculine singular of modus/modi + the nominative masculine singular of the present active participle tollens/tolentis, from tollo/tollere: ‘take away’: ‘by means of taking away’; name of the valid argument form ‘If P then Q, not-Q, therefore not-P’. Also known as modus tollendo tolens: ‘the way that denies by denying.’

Mundus intelligibilis: the nominative masculine singular of mundus/mundi + the nominative singular of the adjective intelligibilisintelligibile: ‘the intelligible world’, the world known to the intellect’. For Kant, this was the noumenal world or things in themselves.

Mundus sensibilis: the nominative masculine singular of mundus/mundi + the nominative singular masculine of the adjective sensibilis-e: ‘the sensible world’, ‘the world known through sense perception’.

Mutatis mutandis: the ablative neuter plural of the perfect passive participle of the verb muto/mutare + the ablative neuter plural of the future passive participle of the verb muto/mutare, an ablative absolute: ‘those things being changed which have to be changed’ or more loosely: ‘making the appropriate changes’.

Natura naturans: the nominative feminine singular of natura/naturae + the present active participle of the verb naturo/naturare (literally: ‘nature naturing’): ‘nature doing what nature does’, associated with the philosophy of Spinoza.

Non sequitur: adverb + the third person singular present of the deponent verb sequor/sequi: literally: ‘It does not follow’; used to characterize an inference as invalid.

Obiter dictum: adverb + the nominative neuter singular of dictum/dicti (literally ‘something said by the way’): an incidental or collateral statement.

Obscurum per obscurius: the nominative neuter singular of the adjective obscurus-a-um + preposition + the accusative neuter singular of the comparative adjective obscurior-ius: the error of attempting to explain the obscure by means of the even more obscure.

Pace: the ablative feminine singular of pax/pacis: literally ‘by means of the peace of’; more loosely: ‘with all due respect to’, used to express polite disagreement with one who holds a competing view.

Per se: preposition + the accusative neuter singular of the third person pronoun sui, sibi, se, se: ‘through or by itself’. ‘Aristotle held that the essence of a thing is what that thing is in virtue of itself or per se.’

Petitio principii: the nominative singular feminine of petitio/onis + the genitive neuter singular of principium/principii: literally: ‘a request for the beginning’, used to accuse a speaker of begging the question, i.e. assuming the truth of that which needed to be proved.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: ‘After this therefore because of this’, used to accuse a speaker of inferring a causal connection simply on the basis of temporal precedence.

Prima facie: the ablative feminine singular of the adjective primus-a-um + the ablative feminine singular of facies/faciei: ‘on its first appearance’ or ‘at first sight’. Often used in an ethical context (following Ross) to distinguish a duty from an absolute moral obligation.

Quale/qualia: the neuter singular and plural forms of qualis/quale (‘of what sort or kind’); used to characterize either a property (such as redness) independently of the object that possesses it, or the contents of subjective experience (sometimes spoken of as ‘raw feels’).

Quid pro quo: the nominative neuter singular of quis/quid + preposition + the ablative neuter singular of quis/quid: ‘something in exchange for something’.

Quod erat demonstrandum (QED): the nominative neuter singular of the pronoun qui-quae-quod + the third person singular of the imperfect of the verb to be + the nominative neuter singular of the future passive participle of demonstro/demonstrare: ‘that which was to be demonstrated’. Traditionally used to mark the conclusion of a mathematical or philosophical proof.

Quot homines tot sententiae: ‘(There are) as many opinions as there are men’ (from the Roman playwright Terence).

Reductio ad absurdum: the nominative feminine singular of reducio/reductionis + preposition + the accusative neuter singular of the adjective absurdum: ‘reducing to absurdity’, a form of argument which seeks to disprove a proposition by showing that it implies an absurd consequence.

Salva veritate: the ablative singular feminine of the adjective salvus-a-um + the ablative feminine singular of veritas/veritatis: literally ‘with saved truth’. Two terms or statements can be interchanged salva veritate when one can replace the other without loss of truth value.

Solvitur ambulando: the third person singular present passive indicative + the ablative gerund from ambulo/ambulare: ‘It is solved by walking’; more broadly: ‘the problem is solved by a practical experiment’. Diogenes the Cynic is said to have introduced the idea of a refutatio ambulando in response to Zeno’s arguments against motion. After Zeno had presented the argument against motion Diogenes got up from his seat and walked out of the room.

Sub specie aeternitatis: preposition + the ablative feminine singular of species/speciei + the genitive feminine singular of aeternitas/aeternitatis: literally under eternal appearance’: viewing some matter from an eternal or cosmic perspective.

Sui generis: the genitive neuter singular of the adjective suus-a-um + the genitive neuter singular of genus/generis: ‘of its own kind’ or ‘unique in its characteristics’.

Summum bonum: the nominative neuter of the adjective summus-a-um + the nominative neuter singular of the substantive of bonus-a-um: ‘the supreme or highest good’. Ethical theorists since Plato and Aristotle have sought to identify the ‘highest good’ or ultimate aim of all human action.

Tabula rasa: the nominative feminine singular of tabula/tabulae + the nominative feminine singular of the adjective rasus-a-um: ‘an erased or blank tablet’, a phrase used by Aristotle, Locke, and others in connection with the view that the human mind is wholly lacking in content prior to the onset of sense experience.

Tertium non datur: the nominative neuter singular of the substantive tertius-a-um + adverb + the third person singular present passive of do/dare: ‘the third thing is not given’ or ‘there is no third option’, often used in connection with the principle of the excluded middle.

Tertium quid: (as above) + the nominative neuter singular of quis/quid: ‘a third thing’, originally used in debates concerning the nature of Christ.

Tu quoque: the nominative masculine singular of the second person pronoun tu + adverb meaning ‘also’: ‘literally ‘you also’, used to accuse the speaker of acting inconsistently with his doctrine; a form of ad hominem argument.

Vade mecum: the second person singular present imperative of vado/vadere + the ablative singular of the first person pronoun joined with the governing preposition: literally: ‘go with me’, a handbook or manual. Compare ‘Fodor’s Guide to Mental Representation: the Intelligent Auntie’s Vade-Mecum’ (Mind, 1985).

Greek

Here are definitions or explanations of some ancient Greek terms and phrases (or some English terms and phrases derived from ancient Greek) you may encounter in your study of philosophy. (A superscript caret () serves to distinguish the long vowels êta () and ômega () from epsilon () and omicron (o) respectively.)

Aesthetics: from the Greek aisthêtikos (adj.) relating to aisthêsis, which can mean either ‘sensation’ or ‘perception’. The use of the term to designate a branch of philosophical inquiry dates from the 18th century when the German philosopher Baumgarten assigned it the meaning of ‘sense of beauty’.

Agapê/philia/erôs: The three most common Greek words for love. Agapê (rarely found in the Greek of the classical period but common in the New Testament) is a caring concern; philia covers various forms of affection ranging from friendships to a mother’s love of her child to a miser’s love for gold; erôs is passionate desire, typically sexual in nature.

Aitia: ‘cause’ or ‘reason why’, related to the verb aitiaomai: ‘charge, accuse, blame’. Aristotle held there were four kinds of aitiai—material, formal, efficient, and final. In Plato’s Phaedo Socrates defends the view that only formal and final causes are deserving of the name, all other factors being mere necessary conditions.

Akrasia: ‘not having power’, ‘weakness of will’, ‘incontinence’. Socrates’ identification of knowledge with virtue raised the question of how a person can fail to do what he or she believes or knows to be the best course of action. Aristotle proposed a solution within the context of his theory of the practical syllogism.

Alêtheia: ‘truth’ (literally ‘the state of not being forgotten or concealed’). In Homer one who gives an alêthes (adj.) account speaks openly and withholds nothing. Heidegger mistakenly took this to mean that alêtheia originally designated ‘a kind of being that has come out of hiding’ (Verborgenheit).

Antinomy (from anti: ‘against’ + nomos: ‘law’), a pair of incompatible principles or theses each of which we have reason to accept. According to Kant, using the categories in any way other than as rules for the organizing of sense experience will generate a set of ‘antinomies of pure reason’.

Aretê: (Pronounced ar-eh-tay). By the 5th century BCE aretê had come to mean ‘virtue’ or better ‘excellence’, especially in the qualities that made for success in civic affairs. Plato devoted most of the Meno to a consideration of the question: ‘Can aretê be taught, or is it acquired by practice, or does it come to us as a gift from the gods?’ In Plato’s Republic ‘justice’ (diakaiosunê) became the focus of attention, but aretê regained its central place in Greek moral thought when Aristotle defined the single highest human good as ‘activity in accordance with aretê’.

Atomic theory: In the 5th century BCE Leucippus and his associate Democritus introduced the idea of ‘the uncuttable thing’ (to atomon) in an attempt to reconcile a belief in plurality and change with the arguments for an indivisible and changeless reality devised by Parmenides of Elea. Thus, as Jonathan Barnes put it, ‘the first atoms came from Elea.’ The idea of an indivisible material building block was later taken up by Epicurus and Lucretius and established on a scientific basis by John Dalton and Ludwig Boltzman in the 19th century and Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr in the 20th.

Cosmology (from kosmos: ‘order’, ‘the ordered world’ + logos: ‘account’ or ‘reason’): ‘an account of the physical universe’. A scientific approach to cosmology begins with the Milesian thinkers (Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes) who were the first to offer accounts of the universe that were (loosely) based on experience and subject to critical evaluation, correction, and improvement. Greek kosmos, at least as used by the Pythagoreans and Heraclitus, conveyed the idea of an elegant or beautiful arrangement (cf. the English derivative ‘cosmetic’).

The demiurge (ho dêmiourgos); ‘the artist’ of Plato’s Timaeus who uses the Forms as a blueprint in fashioning the best possible universe from pre-existing matter (from ho dêmos: ‘the people’ + ergon: ‘work’, i.e. a public worker).

Deontological ethics: from to deon: ‘that which is binding or needful’ + logos: ‘word’, ‘account ‘ or ‘reason’. Deontological approaches focus on the question of what action is required or must be done, typically in order to comply with a rule or set of rules rather than on the basis of the consequences of performing the action.

Dialectic: from hê dialektikê technê: ‘the dialectical art’, ‘the art of debating or arguing’. In Republic VI I Plato identifies a form of dialectic that consists in the examination of philosophical concepts and theses without making use of any information gained from sense experience. In Aristotle, dialectical arguments seek to establish a conclusion using premises granted by one’s opponent and play an important role in the presentation and defense of scientific knowledge. Dialectic assumes a central importance in Hegel’s philosophy as the historical process through which one natural development is negated and yet to some extent preserved in its successor. Marxian ‘dialectical materialism’ represents a variation on the Hegelian theme.

Elenchos/elenchus: ‘examination by question and answer’, ‘testing’, ‘refutation’. Although the word makes its first appearance in Parmenides B 7.5 when the goddess directs the youth to ‘judge/decide the elenchus on the basis of the account spoken by me’, the best-known ancient practitioner of elenchus was the Socrates of Plato’s dialogues. The elenchus usually consisted in the assertion of a thesis by Socrates’ opponent, Socrates extracting a few seemingly innocuous concessions, then Socrates pointing out that one or more conclusions implied by those concessions contradict the original thesis.

Endoxic method: Aristotle typically began his discussions of philosophical questions by reviewing ‘the received opinions’ (ta endoxa) on a subject—‘the opinions of the many and the wise’. At least in ethical contexts, a philosophical theory would also be evaluated on the basis of how well it accorded with the endoxa.

Epistemology: (from epistêmê: ‘knowledge’, especially ‘scientific or explanatory knowledge’ + logos: ‘word’, ‘account’, ‘reason’): ‘theory of knowledge’. Greek epistemology begins with some brief remarks by Xenophanes, Heraclitus, and Parmenides. It becomes a major topic of interest for Plato and Aristotle, and a major problem among the Skeptical philosophers of the Hellenistic period.

The ergon argument: (from ergon: ‘work’ or ‘job’): In Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle argues that the supreme human good (aka eudaimonia) must be defined in connection with the exercise of the rational part(s) of our soul since this is the ergon or distinctive activity that serves to distinguish us from all other kinds of living creatures (perhaps an offshoot of the principle affirmed in Plato’s Republic that a person’s role in the ideal state will be determined by his or her special abilities).

Ethics (from êthikos: ‘relating to moral character’): ancient Greek ethics can be divided into five main phases: the largely normative teachings of the early Greek poets and philosophers (including Xenophanes and Heraclitus), the skeptical attack on objective moral values launched by the Sophists of 5th-century Athens, Socrates’ questioning of conventional Athenian values and search for the essential nature of the virtues, the systematic theories developed by Plato and Aristotle, and the more-action oriented reflections of the Stoics, Epicureans, Cynics, and Skeptics.

Eudaimonia: (literally: ‘being under the protection of a good daimôn or spirit’): usually but misleadingly translated into English as ‘happiness’. The term is perhaps best understood in connection with the success or good fortune a person would enjoy when under the protection of a guardian angel; sometimes rendered as ‘human flourishing’. Eudaimonia was the winner of the contest Aristotle organized to determine the single highest good of all the goods achievable by action.

‘Focal meaning’: pros hen legomenon or ‘being spoken of toward one’. The philosopher-scholar G. E. L. Owen coined the phrase to characterize Aristotle’s view of the way in which words such as ‘health’, ‘medicine’, and ‘being’ possess meaning. Although things can be said ‘to be’ in various senses (e.g. to be as a substance, as a quality, as a relation, etc.) there is one basic sense in connection with which all the other things are said to be. This basic or core sense is the ‘focal’ sense of the expression, and in the case of ‘being’ it is ‘to be as a substance’. Owen held that it was Aristotle’s discovery of the phenomenon of focal meaning that enabled him to think that there could be a single science of being (i.e. metaphysics).

Form: eidos. Eidos appears to have begun its life designating the ‘visual appearance’ or ‘look’ of a thing (from the Greek verb eidô: ‘see’) and to have acquired the meaning of ‘kind’ or ‘form’ of a thing in early medical writings (where people who had a certain ‘look’ were associated with suffering from a certain kind of ailment). In Plato’s dialogues Socrates asks a number of his interlocutors to identify that single common characteristic (eidos) all its instances have in common. In dialogues such as the Symposium, Republic, and Timaeus, Plato characterizes Forms (eidê) as the only true realities, with the things we encounter in sense experience representing merely imperfect and short-term copies of their ideal prototypes. Like Plato, Aristotle regarded the eidos of a thing as the proper object of knowledge but he rejected Plato’s contention that eidê could exist as independent substances. At Parts of Animals 642a Aristotle describes his conception of immanent form, i.e. a fixed set of attributes inhering in a substance and constituting its ‘what it is to be’, as his major advance over his predecessors.

Greatness of soul: megalopsuchia (from megas/megalê: ‘great’ + psuchê: ‘soul’). In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle speaks of greatness of soul as ‘the crowning ornament of the virtues’. The great-souled man possesses all the individual virtues, a great deal of interest in the specific virtue of honor, and an unshakable confidence in his own excellence. He also ‘moves at a sedate pace and speaks in a deep voice’. Some students of ancient Greek thought regard megalopsuchia as one of the less appealing aspects of ancient Greek ethical thought.

Hedonism (from hedonê: ‘pleasure’): the view that pleasure is the chief or sole good to be pursued in human life, associated primarily with the ancient Greek thinker Epicurus (cf. also ‘hedon’: the unit of measure of pleasure in Jeremy Bentham’s ‘hedonic calculus’),

Hylomorphism (from hylê: ‘wood’, ‘lumber’, ‘matter’ + morphê: ‘form’ or ‘shape’): usually associated with Aristotle’s view that substances (including living beings) cannot be adequately understood either simply as material beings (as, for example, the ancient atomists had supposed) or simply as form (as the Platonists had held), but as compounds of matter and form. Aristotle’s hylomorphic conception of substance is one of the most difficult and historically influential aspects of his philosophy.

‘Justice writ large’: The English phrase often associated with the reference to dikaiosunê en tôi meidzoni in Book II of Plato’s Republic. Having failed to determine the nature of justice as a quality in persons, Socrates proposes that he, Glaucon, and Adeimantus, consider justice ‘writ large’ or justice as a quality present in cities or states.

The ladder of love: The usual way of characterizing the simile introduced by Socrates in his speech on ‘passionate desire’ (erôs) in Plato’s Symposium. Although ‘the ladder of love’ (or ‘the celestial ladder’) became a commonplace in the writings of Neoplatonic philosophers and early Christian writers, it was a somewhat inaccurate representation of the Platonic original (which was epanabasmos: ‘a step on a staircase’, literally ‘a thing one steps on in going up’). Philosophically, it matters whether one views the pursuit of philosophical understanding as a ‘ladder’ (Greek: klimax) or as a staircase, since the former but not the latter must be a rather solitary enterprise.

Logic (from hê logikê technê: ‘the art of reasoning’). Although philosophers before Aristotle devised arguments to support their claims, and Sophists such as Gorgias identified various forms of persuasive argument, logic as a systematic study of the valid forms of inference begins with Aristotle. Within several centuries the limitations of Aristotelian logic had become apparent (non-syllogistic argument forms were identified and investigated by the Stoics), but for roughly two thousand years Aristotelian logic provided the basic tools for the analysis of immediate, syllogistic, and modal inferences.

Logos: ‘word’, ‘account’, ‘reason’. Logos is arguably the single most important term in ancient Greek philosophy. In Parmenides it is the ‘account’ or ‘discourse’ through which the goddess announces Parmenides’ epistemology and metaphysics. For Heraclitus it is both his ‘message’ to the world and the larger rational order he sets out to explain. For Plato and Aristotle it is the ‘rational account’ the possession of which serves to distinguish knowledge from mere true belief or experience. The logos became the ‘word’ of the gospel of John I 1 which was ‘in the beginning’.

Metaphysics: Since Aristotle, metaphysics has been identified as the study of being qua being, or an investigation into the conditions that must be satisfied by anything in so far as it can be said to be at all (to this extent, metaphysics coincides with ontology). Later philosophers defined metaphysical inquiry more broadly (e.g. Kant identified its three concerns as the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the freedom of the will). We owe the term metaphysics to the Roman scholar Andronicus of Rhodes who edited and organized the surviving Aristotelian treatises during the 1st century BCE. When after completing the editing of the Physics Andronicus came to a treatise that had no obvious unifying theme, he entitled it ‘the things after the Physics’ta meta ta phusika.

Nous: ‘mind’, ‘intelligence’, ‘clever intelligence’, ‘insight’, ‘intuition’. Nous appears early on in Greek literature as the ‘intelligence’ that is either impressively shown or woefully lacking among the characters of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. For Heraclitus, nous was the ‘deep understanding’ that could not be acquired through ‘the learning of many things’; for Anaxagoras nous was the intelligence responsible for the cosmic order; for Plato nous was the certain grasp of truth we gain in connection with thinking about the Forms of things; and for Aristotle nous was (among other things) the mind, the ‘moral insight’ possessed by those who have learned from long experience, the kind of ‘intuitive grasp’ we can have of the first principles of a science, the ‘active intellect’ or ‘maker mind’ described in De Anima III 4 and 5 as a condition of our knowledge of intelligible form, as well as the divine ‘mind’ that moves all things by being the object of thought and desire.

Ontology (from ontos, genitive of the Greek participle ôn: ‘being’ + logos: ‘word’, ‘account’, ‘reason’): the branch of philosophy that seeks to give an account of the nature and properties of being.

Paralogism: from para: ‘against’ or ‘beyond’ + logismos: ‘reasoning’: in general: ‘an invalid or fallacious argument’. In the section of the first Critique known as the Paralogisms Kant attacked the attempts by rational psychology to gain knowledge of the nature of the soul.

Pederasty (paiderasteia, literally: ‘boy love’): the formalized relationship known to have existed in different periods and regions of ancient Greece between an adult male lover (known as the erastês) and the younger male ‘beloved’ (the eromenos). Pederastic relationships were typically short-term quid pro quo arrangements in which the older male offered guidance to the younger (typically post-pubescent) male in return for sexual favors. Plato depicts a number of individuals who are in pederastic relationships, perhaps most notably in the Phaedrus and Symposium, but his depiction is not uncritical.

Philosophia (from philia: ‘love’ + sophia: ‘wisdom’): ‘the love or eager pursuit of wisdom or knowledge’, perhaps coined by the members of the Pythagorean communities.

Phronesis: ‘practical wisdom’, as opposed to nous: ‘insight’ and epistêmê: ‘scientific or explanatory knowledge’; related to ho phronimos: ‘the man of practical wisdom’.

Phusis: ‘nature’, ‘the nature of a thing’. One of the key terms in the development of ancient Greek thought, phusis began its life as a noun formed from the verb phuô: ‘grow’ or ‘come to be by nature’. Early Greek writers spoke of the phusis of some individual thing as ‘the specific nature it had developed’, but the Presocratic philosophers used the term in a novel way in speaking of ‘nature’ as the physical universe.

‘Platonic love’: the phrase amor Platonicus was coined by the Renaissance scholar Marsilio Ficino in speaking of the special bond of mind and heart between two men Plato had depicted in a number of his dialogues, especially in Socrates’ speech in praise of erôs in the Symposium. ‘Platonick love’ (which by this time had become heterosexual) became a popular theme among artists and writers of 17th century Europe. Today’s ‘Platonic relationship’ (i.e. a relationship between two people devoid of any physical or sexual dimension) is a distant cousin of the Platonic original.

Recollection. In the Meno, Phaedo, and Phaedrus Plato develops the Doctrine of Recollection (or Anamnesis), the view that what we ordinarily speak of as learning is in fact ‘recollecting’ or ‘being reminded’ of things the soul knew in some previous lifetime. Plato’s theory is perhaps best understood as an attempt to account for our ability to grasp concepts (rather than the truth about empirically knowable matters). In some respects Plato’s proposal anticipates the later doctrine of ‘innate ideas’ as well as contemporary varieties of nativism developed by Chomsky, Fodor, and others.

‘The Socratic method’: instruction in the form of question and answer, perhaps most usefully employed (as in law school) when a sizable shared body of information can be assumed. See also elenchus.

‘The Socratic paradox’: The view expressed in several Platonic dialogues that knowledge is both necessary and sufficient for virtue, or that all wrongdoing is a product of ignorance.

‘The Socratic problem’: the classic, perhaps insoluble difficulty created by the fact that we have only three contemporary portraits of Socrates—those provided by Plato, the historian Xenophon, and the comic playwright Aristophanes—and they offer us radically different accounts of what Socrates believed and taught.

Socrates’ disavowal of knowledge: Socrates famously claimed that he knew virtually nothing, but this claim sits uncomfortably with his identification of knowledge with virtue as well as with the various passages in which he claims to know some things (e.g. at Apology 29b when he says that he knows that disobedience to a superior is shameful and wrong). Students of Plato’s thought have sought to avoid this inconsistency either by distinguishing between ‘two senses of know’ (Vlastos), between knowing instances of virtue and knowing its essential nature (Lesher), or between ‘expert’ and ‘ordinary knowledge’ (Reeve).

‘Saving the phenomena’ (sodzein ta phainomena). The phrase appeared originally in a statement of Eudemus quoted by Simplicius on the authority of Sosigines. Plato is said to have challenged the mathematicians and astronomers in his Academy to ‘save the phenomena’. This meant, specifically, to come up with an explanation of the apparently irregular motion of the ‘wandering stars’ (the five planets visible to the naked eye) that would enable the observed phenomena to be regarded as real rather than dismissed as deceptive appearance. The astronomer Eudoxus is credited with responding to Plato’s challenge by reducing the apparently disorderly movement of the planets to a combination of regular circular motions, an approach which provided the basis for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy. The incident, real or fictional, illustrates Plato’s preference for the more theoretical, especially more mathematical approach to the study of nature. The phrase reappears in a modern context in Pierre Duhem’s instrumentalist view of scientific explanation.

Sophrosyne: ‘moderation’, one of the five cardinal Greek virtues (along with piety or holiness, justice, courage, and wisdom). Exemplified by the two sayings inscribed on the ancient temple to Apollo at Delphi: gnôthi seauton’ ‘Know Thyself’ and mêden agan: ‘Nothing Too Much’. In 1962 the students at St. John’s College in Annapolis (where Greek is required of all students) organized a popularity contest and crowned the winner ‘Miss Sophrosyne of 1962’.

Substance and essence: ‘Substance’ came into English from the Latin substantia which served to translate the Greek ousia: (‘being’, ‘substance’, ‘essence’) and hupokeimon (‘substance’, ‘underlying subject’). Ousia originally meant ‘substance’ in property or wealth (e.g. ‘a person of substance’), but in Aristotle ousia became the term of choice for ‘the basic reality’ or ‘that of which things are predicated but itself not predicated of other things’. In the Metaphysics Aristotle identified ‘being as an ousia’ as the basic or ‘focal sense’ of ‘being’, and held that the question asked since the time of the first philosophers, ‘What is being?’, was the same question as ‘What is ousia?’ The central books of the Metaphysics contain a convoluted and deeply perplexing account of the hallmarks of ousia along with a review of the most promising candidates. Book Lambda contains a famous and influential account of God (aka ‘the divine mind’, ‘the unmoved mover’ and ‘the best thing’) because God is a substance that in many ways is implicated in the existence of all other substances. Unhelpfully, Aristotle sometimes used ousia in speaking of the essence of a thing, its ‘to ti ên einai’ or ‘what it was to be’ that thing. The relation between a thing and its essence is only one of a number of difficult questions raised and at least partially answered in the Metaphysics.

Sun, line, and cave: The three literary figures deployed by Plato in the central books of the Republic to explain his a priori theory of knowledge and its metaphysical foundations. All three embody the same basic analogy: the light from the sun and the objects that are directly and fully illuminated by that light relate to each other as the form of the Good relates to the objects of thought (the Forms). As a consequence, a ‘full, direct, and sure grasp of the truth’ (saphêneia) requires that we turn our attention away from the realm of shadows and reflected images (i.e. physical objects) and direct it toward the Forms.

Syllogism (from sullogismos: ‘connected reasoning’). Aristotle did not invent the term sullogismos but he was the first to develop a conception of valid inference on the basis of which he could distinguish valid from invalid syllogistic arguments. Although Aristotle’s account of the syllogism represented only part of his logical system, it is usually referred to as ‘Aristotelian logic’).

Teleology (from telos: ‘end’ or ‘goal’ + logos: ‘word’, ‘account’, reason’. A teleological account or approach regards the end state or goal of a process as either the only or the most important explanatory factor. Both Plato and Aristotle attacked various materialist cosmologies and promoted strongly teleological conceptions of the natural world.

Theôria: ‘contemplation’ (literally: ‘a looking at’, from the verb theôreô: ‘look at’, ‘view’, ‘behold’). The Pythagoreans may have introduced the term in connection with their attempt to discover the mathematical principles that order phenomena, but both Plato (e.g. in the Symposium) and Aristotle (e.g. in Nicomachean Ethics X) identify the life of theôria as the best possible kind of life for a human being (see eudaimonia and the ergon argument above).

‘Thought thinking about thought’: Aristotle’s Greek is kai estin hê noêsis noêseôs noêsis: ‘And its thought is thought about thought’ (Meta. XII, 1074b34-35). Aristotle reaches this unusual characterization of the divine through a series of binary decisions, grounded in the conviction that since the divine must be the best being in the universe it must live the best kind of life (which is the life of thought). And since its thought must be the best kind of thought, it must be about the best kind of thing (which is itself); hence it must think about itself. And since thought is just what the divine is, the divine’s thought must be thought about thought. Not surprisingly, this conception of the nature and life of the divine posed no small difficulties for later thinkers who sought to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy with Christian doctrine.

‘The third man argument’ (TMA): Although the title comes from Aristotle (Meta. 990b), the classic statement of the TMA occurs in Plato’s Parmenides 132a-b, formulated in terms of the Form of Largeness. Since the Form of Largeness shares the property of being large along with all the other large things that participate in it, we must posit some ‘third thing’, a second Form of Large in virtue of which the first Form of Large and all other large things share the property of largeness. The argument became the focus of much discussion thanks to a famous paper by Gregory Vlastos. Vlastos attempted to formulate the argument as a deductively valid proof of an infinite regress, articulating all the essential but un-stated assumptions (such as that Forms are self-predicating and that nothing that has a character can be identical with that in virtue of which it has it). Vlastos’ own interpretation of the TMA was that it was a reflection of Plato’s honest perplexity about the viability of his Theory of Forms, but many other interpretations were subsequently proposed in response to Vlastos’ paper. The philosophically rich and stimulating papers published by Vlastos and Owen in the 1960’s and 1970’s sparked a renaissance in the study of ancient philosophy in the English-speaking world.

The unmoved mover: One of Aristotle’s alternative ways of referring to the divine mind, thought thinking thought, or ‘the best thing’. Aquinas drew his First and Second Ways directly from Aristotle’s argument in Metaphysics XII that the series of moving and moved things cannot go on forever. (The argument is sometimes referred to disparagingly as ‘the taxi cab argument’ since when it gets to where it wants to go, it conveniently forgets about the general principle it used to get there.)

‘Zeno’s paradoxes’: Zeno of Elea (mid-5th century BCE) was a follower of Parmenides who developed a series of arguments intended (evidently) to reinforce the teachings of his master. On one interpretation, Parmenides had sought to show that plurality and movement were unreal (or at least that we can think of what-is only as existing in a complete, indivisible, changeless, and eternal way). Zeno argued that those who disagree with Parmenides in so far as they think that many things exist and that they can move about from place to place can be shown to be committed to various absurdities. Zeno’s best-known arguments are the ‘motion paradoxes’ (The Bi-section, Achilles, Arrow, and Moving Rows), although there is also a set of plurality paradoxes each of which trades on our normal and somewhat loose ways of speaking about parts and wholes. Although the paradoxes seem in some ways to be trick arguments, and are obviously belied by ordinary sense experience, it has proven difficult to kill them off. A number of recent studies maintain that resolving the questions raised by the paradoxes requires that we address some fundamental issues relating to our ways of thinking and speaking about time and movement. For a useful set of essays on the topic, see Wesley Salmon’s Zeno’s Paradoxes (Hackett 1970, 2001). ‘Paradox’ in this context relates not to the embrace of two conflicting but apparently true theses (e.g. a logical antinomy), but rather to ‘paradoxos’ in its ancient meaning: ‘that which is contrary to popular opinion’, ‘unexpected’, ‘strange’—the same sense in which Plato spoke of his most outlandish proposals for reforming existing societies as ‘three great waves of paradox’.

[I hope J. H. Lesher (2010) does not mind me re-posting, re-sharing this resource here. If he does then I am more than willing to delete the post.]

For the best resource for these terms see F. E. Peter’s Greek Philosophical Terms (New York University Press, 1967). Those terms with the asterisk will be the list from which the first terms exam will be drawn.  The rest of the terms will be the possible candidates for your second terms exam.

*Hyle. Aristotle’s word for “prime matter.” Translated by Thomas Aquinas as material prima. Aristotle’s concept arose out of a critique of Anaximander’s notion of apeiron.

*Morphe. Aristotle’s term for form. In Aristotle’s Metaphysics there is a duality between hyle as prime matter and morph‘ as that which forms this matter into the sensible things of the world. Latin translation: forma.

*Apeiron. Anaximander’s concept of the first material or prime matter. Literally translated it means the “unlimited.”

*Logos. The Greek term for “reason” for “giving an account” (Plato). The verb lego both to speak and to put together. Thus Plato’s emphasis is on the living dialogue as the only context for the unveiling of logos. Socrates claims that the logos speaks through him in the Platonic dialogues. The Latin translation is ratio, and this had led to a more strict use of reason in the confines of mathematics, science and logic.  For much more click here.

*Sophia. Wisdom. Becomes an intellectual virtue in Aristotle, as contrasted with phron‘sis the intellectual virtue that makes the good life possible. Last stem of our word “philosophy.” Used in a derogatory way in naming the Sophists, those pretending to be wise.

Phronesis. Generally used to describe practical knowledge.

Pragmata. Objects seen in terms of practice and not theoretical investigation.

*Episteme. For Plato knowledge that has been derived by justifying an opinion with an argument (logos). Hence the Platonic formula doxa + logos = episteme.

*Kosmos. Order, form, fashion, rule, regulation, or regulator. The world or universe according to its perfect order or arrangement. Non-philosophical use in Alexandrian Greek as known or discovered world.

*On = being. Onta = beings. Root for our word ontology.

*Kosmos Noetos. Plato’s real (transcendental) world of forms.

*Eidos (plural eide). The Greek word Plato used to designate his “forms.”

*Eidon. Image. The images of the sensible world, the poor, inexact copies of the perfect eid‘.

*Kosmos Aisthetos. The sensible world for Plato.

*Aisthesis. Sensation, the sensible. Translated into Latin as sensatio.

*Nous, Noesis. Intellect to intellection. Translated into Latin as intellectio. Anaxagoras’ cosmic mind.

*Philo, Philein. Love of and to love. First stem of philosophy.

*Physis. Trans. As natura in Latin. Basic meaning in Greek much more living and active than what we term as physical nature today. Physis could be better translated as creativity or creative coming forth according to a certain logos. Aristotle called the pre-Socratics “physicists” (physikoi).

*Psyche. The soul. First stem of our psychology with logos at the end.

*Atoma. Indivisible. Democritus concept of the basic units of the world.

Energeia. Aristotle’s concept of act or actuality.

Dynamis. The power in things.  Aristotle’s concept of potentiality.

*Homo mensura. (Latin). Man is the measure. Protogoras’ theory of epistemological relativism.

Chorismos. Ontological gap between world of forms and world of appearance.

*Ouk on vs. me on. Absolute non-being vs. relative non-being. First mentioned in Parmenides but there is no consistent distinction until the German theologian Paul Tillich defined them as absolute and relative in the first volume of his famous Systematic Theology.

*Dialektike. See essay at this link.

Eros. Love, usually now in terms of passion as in our erotic love vs. Platonic love.

Hypodoche. Plato’s word for the primal stuff or receptacle which is equiprimordial with the perfect forms. According to the Timeaus, the Demiurge (the artisan or creator) impresses the forms on this stuff and the sensible world of appearance (kosmos aisth‘tos) is the result. Aristotle uses his own hyl‘ as a replacement for the Platonic hypodoch‘.

Hypokeimenon. Aristotle’s substance or substratum that which persists throughout all change. Translated as subiectum by medieval philosophers. The original meaning is corrupted in modern post-Cartesian subjectivism but is retained in our subject as a subject of research or investigation or our subjects in school. Click here for the full hypokeimenon story.

*Aporia. No way out, nothingness, or the impenetrable. It is something which is not porous which cannot leak. The interlocutors in the early Platonic dialogues cannot get out of the dead-ends into which Socrates leads them. They are in aporia; hence, the locution “aporetic” dialogues, the early dialogues where there seems to be no positive result.

Ergon. A finished work, as opposed to energeia the work in process, the actuality of the work.

*Axios. Value or worth; hence, our word axiology, theory of value in ethics and political philosophy.

*Nomos. Law, custom, convention. Nomos was referred to as divine law in Heraclitus, the Sophists thought that nomos was only conventional. Our word, antinomians to indicate revolutionary sects like the Gnostics or the Anabaptists who took seriously the idea of going beyond the law as a way of spiritual redemption.

*Hedone. Pleasure, hence our term hedonism.

*Theos. God hence our “theology” or “theophany” the revelation of theos because the “phany” stems from the Greek phainos, to come to light. Ontophany is the revelation of being. Phenomenology is the logos of phenomena, those things that appear.

*Heiros. The sacred, hence our “hierophany,” the revelation of the sacred.

Agathon. The Good in Plato’s republic, which is not identified with the theos. This is the Form above all the Forms.

*Arche. The first, or first principle (s).

*Gnosis. Knowledge, hence agnostics, not-knowing, and our word “agnostic.”

*Deontos. Law, hence “deontological” ethics, strictly non-utilitarian with strict adherence to the law in all situations.

*Doxa. Opinion, the quasi-knowledge we obtain from the sensible world as opposed to the true knowledge that we get from the realm of Forms.

*Monas. Unit, the one. Hence, Leibniz’s “monads” and the “monadology.”

Polis. Originally meant fort or citadel and then came to mean the Greek city states. Out terms “politics” of course stems from this root.

*Telos. End, purpose, or goal. Hence our “teleological” ethics, utilitarian ethics that urges actions according to their end and purpose.

Dike. Law or justice, as in the opposites having to pay for their coming out of Anaximander’s apeiron.

Aletheia. Unveiling, uncovering. The Greek notion of truth. The German philosopher Martin Heidegger maintains that we ought to return to this concept of truth rather than the modern “correspondence” or “coherence” theories of truth.

Elenchos. Scrutiny, refutation, interrogation. Socrates method in aporetic dialogues.

Entelecheia.  Lit., “having a telos inside.”  It is the essence of anything and allows t

Sophrosyne.  Usually translated as “temperance,” but it literally means “moral sanity,” i.e., a personal stability and integrity that comes from the harmony of the appetites, passions, and reason.

Dianoia.  For Plato the type of cognition that stands between doxa and noesis. It is that faculty that allows the mind to connection mathematical forms to geometrical and numerical figures in the world of appearance.

Aletheia.  The Greek word for truth as the uncovering (lit. meaning) or coming forth of a thing’s essence.

Anamnesis.  The Greek word used to indicate Plato’s theory of recollection.

Arete.  Most generally anything “functioning excellence”; most specifically as phronesis operating to develop the virtues, viz., human functional excellence.

Daimon.  Lit. “spirit,” good, evil, or indifferent.  For Socrates it meant his “conscience,” the voice within that told me not to do certain actions.

Demiourgos.  The creator god of the Timaeus who takes the Forms and impresses them on a primordial stuff (hypodoche) to produce the world of appeance.

Diairesis The Platonic method of division found in the Phaedrus and the Sophist.

Eudaimonia.  Lit. “having a good spirit,” usually translated as “happiness,” but more accurately “contentment” or “well being.”

Theoria.  For Aristotle the activity of nous that requires a logos, viz., a truth that is demonstrated.  As opposed to nous as phronesis that does not require demonstration.  These practical truths are lived rather than demonstrated.

Megalopsychia. Lit. “great souled,” most often translated as “pride,” the virtue of knowing one’s own worth without falling into the deficient of humility or the excess of boastfullness.

Ousia Aristotle’s basic words for substance or fundamental being.

Epoche.  Pyrrho’s term for suspension of belief.

Ataraxia.  Pyrrho’s word for a state of “unpeturbedness” or “quietude.”  It is the moral and spiritual end of the philosopher’s quest.

The Nøtel: The Architecture of Acceleration

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PH (2017)
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  • The Nøtel: Lobby

Welcome to the Nøtel your stay here will be more than comfortable as there are no human guests. This is a Hotel like no other, it has been built by future Chinese multi-billionaires in a manner that was imagined, and simulated in a computed architectural space. It’s origins are also from the musical habits, experiments, and imagination of Steve Goodman (aka. Kode 9). Who is the owner of London’s independent record label Hyperdub. The names of his earlier albums include ‘Memories of the Future’, and ‘Black Sun’ eluding to this man’s thinking in a continuous analysis of rhythm. This special sonic hotel features initially as a track on his most recent album titled simply ‘Nothing’. Kode 9 was in a hotel when the news of his long term collaborator the Spaceape’s tragic death reached him. This sudden loss of this gifted poet is what inspired and speeded up the creation of this scarce minimal album. Yet, the most suitable word to describe the Nøtel is in fact dystopia, the absence of humanity is replaced by the eerie glow of holographic ghosts. Although initially the name of a track on an album this has been expanded through a collaboration with the German artist Lawrence Lek into a virtual environment, that can be explored by possessing the robotic drones that inhabit the space.

What really drives this fantastic piece of creative culture is a meditation on the number Zero. Many people and perspectives have been touched by, or actively embrace nothing as a muse. Theoretically Steve Goodman entered musically into the vacuums and voids inherent in quantum physics. You can see much more has influenced this album if you look at the track names: holo, void, vacuum packed, zero work & point energy, 9 drones, respirator, mirage, and nothing lasts forever. You can glimpse the sonic influences of the films: The Shining (1980), and Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi (1982). The latter Goodman claimed, ‘rewired my brain’, after realising the film accurately described the reality of socio-technical acceleration. Goodman collaborated with Lawrence Lek a German simulation artist who is a trained architect. It was watching Lek’s recent project Unreal Estate, which is a part of Bonus Levels – an experimental virtual novel that embodies the artists interest in site-specific reproductions of existing buildings/places sampled from reality. Persuading Goodman, that Lek’s creative practice was an ideal match to expand the sonic concepts in his recent album. Unreal Estate, can show what the Royal Academy of Art would become if it was purchased by a Chinese multi-Millionaire.

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  • Lawrence Lek, Bonus Levels: Unreal Estate,
This work is accompanied with a vocal narrative that describes how the super rich should treat their staff. To understand the many contemporary topics this collaboration makes visible one watched a great interview with Kode 9, and Lawrence Lek. Conducted by the journalist Lisa Blanning for the 2016 festival Sònar in Barcelonai. Blanning’s brilliant questions solicit many topics that lend themselves to Philosophical consideration. So, this small article explores these concepts and attempts to spread the work of these two creators. Their work supports Leftest causes and aesthetically sets a precedent for how art can produce experiences based upon cybernetic and politically pertinent ideas. The biggest idea that runs through the concept of the Nøtel is Accelerationism. A belief that the one way to defeat capitalism is to speed it up, so as to guarantee a future with some level of human freedom and autonomy outside of capital relationsii. The ism’s ideological call is one of There must be an outside? What exists outside of capitalism has kept human imagination busy, but after generations of critical analysis. It seems that the economic and cultural superstructure has resisted repeated revolutionary alternatives. Therefore multi-media dystopia is useful to leftest discourses, it is not needlessly politicised, but rather it enables a path towards resisting capital’s destruction of life anew.

‘Despair seems to be the dominant sentiment of the contemporary Left, whose crisis perversely mimics its foe, consoling itself either with the minor pleasures of shrill denunciation, mediatised protest and ludic disruptions, or with the scarcely credible notion that maintaining a grim ‘critical’ vigilance on the total subsumption of human life under capital, from the safehouse of theory, or from within contemporary art’s self-congratulatory fog of ‘indeterminancy’, constitutes resistanceiii.’

If one watches the interview and listens carefully, you might criticize the two creators for not denouncing capitalism. But, they do not have to, what they have created is sufficiently haunting to offer valuable perspectives on complex ideas. Lek speaks about Unreal Estate with an opinion that many people might share. He admits to a pro-capitalist point of view, yet also confesses to the necessity of a subjective imagination. This dualistic dynamic is anchored to a desire to be rich enough to join the elites, but because this is not realistic for him as an individual he is happy to confess the power the creation of fiction holds. It’s at this stage that the economic or material norm of the super wealthy is brought into sharp focus. Goodman furthers Lek’s initial answer, ‘There seems to be a Zero as the engine of capitalism … if you look at the spaces the rich live in. The more richer you become the space you live in becomes bigger and emptier.’. Not only is this logical it is already very very visible. Paradoxically, the super well off’s wealth may be invisible (hidden in offshore investments, or in the oligopoly they have amassed!), however the rich are not hiding, they reside in the aforementioned spaces.

What’s more interesting is the notion that architecture is a visual vessel for ideologies. Lisa Banning get’s Lek to describe this through buildings such as Apple’s new headquarters, Campus 2, one Infinite Loop, Cupertino California, and the Barcelona Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe, and built in 1929iv. Compared to Apple, which screams ‘Zeros’, in both its vocal support for a hyper-designed ideology, next to the mundane march of additional digits on it’s huge profits. The pavilion is rightfully considered a classic of Modernism, Lek explains how the building has continuously staged differing ideologies (Mostly from other artists). Moreover, this fantastic building is symbolic and important today because of it’s connection to National Socialism. This Bauhaus legend created a building that uses formal geometry to suggest physical planes. It has the worlds first glass walls that display the ambition of it’s author. Mies van der Rohe is inspirational, but his relevance to the Nøtel is not just visual. The architect so famous for being apolitical and possessing a single-mindedness that surfaces perhaps in contrast to his socialist background. Although, his lack of serious resistance is regrettable considering his fame, his story can be appropriated to invite the present into this discussion. A now-time that is explicitly defined by the election of a person who is publicly racist, sexist, overtly aggressive, and derogatory. Let’s hope America’s decision is not one of self destruction.

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– The Nøtel – Apple Campus 2, California, USA

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  • Mies van der Rohe, Sketch for the Barcelona Pavillion
Mr Trump could be America’s fascist boogeyman, he is certainly in favour of unbridled exploitation, manipulation, and the protection of his surnames place, perched in the comfortable nest of billions of dollars. In fact his son-in-law is an equal puppet in this financial superstructure that turns all of us into hypocrites enslaved to the circulation of money. Bizarrely, Trump, Hitler, and der Rohe all share a pre-occupation with buildings. Hitler and Trump in one’s opinion share scarily similar traits, they both are impudent and mask their failure as human beings in psychopathic hatred and machismo. By failure one is referencing specific failures in their lives. For Hitler it was the rejection from art school in Vienna coupled with an idea of the weakening of the ‘Fatherland’ under the Weimar Republic that fuelled his egoism. Trump’s equally narcissistic, and has experienced a slightly different disappointment, that may fuel his distaste for Muslims and Iran. This negative event one speculates as originating in two experiences Trump has had, firstly when his brand of luxury encountered the superior version of his own hotels owned by the Arab rulers. The second experience was the public put down he experienced at the hands of Barack Obama in 2011. This is perhaps the moment that Trump the paradigm shifter came into being. It is easy to dismiss a man such as trump, but being British one is attuned to the power of precedents. Trump is a rather large one.

In fact one more reference to Mies van der Rohe connects this brief discussion on Trump, Hitler, and this architect; a seemingly strange trinity to look at for human origin’s for the Nøtel ‘s ideas. Take Accelarationism, it embraces speed in it’s ant-capitalist theorising. One cliché has always been used to warn of the dangers contained in succumbing to your desires for a better version of what you have: The grass is always greener on the other side. When this is placed next to what van der Rohe is supposed to have said as he began to flee from Nazi Germany, arriving in America, ‘Freedom! This is a kingdom!’ (“Freiheit! Es ist ein Reich!v) you glimpse a very human dilemma: too much desire and you enter utopia, not enough nature (i.e grass) and you enter utopia. The gauntlet this virtual space lays down describes how non-places (or worse?) are pre-destined. This is how Goodman and Lek’s creation should be viewed or read; a masterful play on a potential structure made from dystopia. Therefore when the Nøtel a Shanghai based state-owned hospitality enterprise, and it’s zero-star™ range of luxury hotels opens, you enter. In the lobby one is confronted by a very important idea, that is key to a full understanding of this accelerated Accelarationist architecture. The miss use of the commons? FALC (Fully Automated Luxury Communism) is the belief that robots not humans will work in the future, so it could be said to be a post-work theory. Seeing the frequent habit of Capitalism to automate labour, to remove the human as a productive force generates a demand for everything to become automated, and then followed by common-ownership over all things.

The Nøtel brilliantly showcases ultra-pertinent concepts using a narrative; a scientific fiction that in an apparently neutral way takes this concept of FALC and openly misreads it. Hence why there are no actual human beings in this Hotel the inversion of this concept means that even a society of abundance, itself eventually becomes an automation. Visually the Nøtel bathes in this green nuclear illumination, referencing the strong glow presumably from this structure’s basement’s nuclear power, and the empty depiction of what remains of the human. The holograms directly reference a unique particular quality about digital reality; musicians enjoy an after-life through their music (Spaceape & Dj Rashad R.I.P), however using digital material this becomes an extension of a kind of living. Perhaps, the use of a holographic optical illusion in the holographic reincarnation of 2pac at Coachella 2012 describes something about the nature of immortality. One only becomes immortal when your image as an individual is commonly accessible, in other words it can be owned and reproduced by others. This life after death element of this collaboration really invites philosophical reflection. Observing what British Philosopher Peter Osborne articulates reading Walter Benjamin and Heiddeger, ‘Death is the material meaning of Messianic exteriority … History is a democratic utopia of death.vi’

‘… as a result of the accelerating temporal rhythm, the new itself appears as the ever-always-the-same: ‘the ever-always-the-same within the new’. It is the pure temporal logic of this new social form (the commodity as fetish), the modern ‘measure of time’, that Benjamin detects in fashion (mode). … The projected allegorical reading of modernity as Hell vii.’

These two quotes really emphasise that humans are trapped with a choice between two utopias, and this is a good interpretation of the Nøtel. Although are we really bound by this hotel’s vacuum of human social autonomy trapped in a presupposed essence of temporality? Walls constructed from double negatives, and positive multiplications as sums equate to negatives. Moreover, positive and negative aspects in the hellish modernity of this hotel shrouds the zero at the core of it’s idea in a notion of a strange ruination, maybe all hotels are just ruins that appear new? To summarise one’s attempt to think about this real virtuality (see Slavoj Žižek’s interview The Reality of the Virtual, 2012) one shall solicit the assistance of a great critical analysis of accelerationism. An essay written by professor of Continental European philosophy Patricia MacCormack. In a brilliant dissection of futurity and ethics, MacCormack starts by referencing aesthetics and Steven Shaviro’s Post – Cinematic Affect, apparently the prison has no outsideviii. One can immediately see the importance of MacCormacks thought to the Nøtel, when she invites Deleuze and Guattari’s work into focus. This in turn reconfigures our observation on this virtual architectural zero-driven wonder. To acknowledge the becoming inhuman of manix, nudging one to ignore the Amazon.com-esque drones, and imagine what kind of being may one day exist to occupy the rooms of the Nøtel? Still referencing Shaviro, MacCormak lays bear the ethical value of the Nøtel claiming, art should explore the dangers lurking in futurity.

Lek and Goodman’s project achieves this in abundance. This Hotel sets a standard, ‘These non-spaces are found between the leaps of replacement culture … imperceptible zones that add elements of slowness to accelerationist aesthetics by readdressing the lost time that was never perceived … in-between spaces that are the minoritarian planes of duration.x’ One can not distil into words a better description to describe the lure of the Nøtel. There is so much to consider, but unless one desires to end in the democratic death of a narcissistic utopia. Then much worse could be done than engaging in the cybernetic possibilities this work of collaboration represents. If one does so then the ecological harmony native to MacCormak’s Cosmogenic ecosophy may be a practical approach as our species continues actively creating it’s world. The Nøtel, has plenty of space to host many more interesting points of discussion. For example Orientalism defined as ‘how Asians view fellow Asians’ represented by the presence of Shiseido, which is a real cosmetic company, on some screens in the hotel. In many ways the route to the Nøtel is haunted by the current shadow of A.I and a super intelligence’s role in the potential dark side of automation. This year a Japanese life insurance company sacked thirty four employees in favour of IBM’s artificial intelligence. Let us end on an optimistic materialist utterance. If humanity can slow down acceleration, so as to truly grasp it’s affects. This might lead to us avoiding the absolute death, that is an extinction. Would it not be better to continue with understanding, that zero-marginal cost economies have thus-far not sustained life. We need to ensure that in the future we aren’t resigned to counting the cost of acceleration, nor becoming undead holograms?

‘Child is father to the man,

impressions imprinted years before regrown

clean up your own mind, no memories ingrafted,

repeated recycled

treated like the original is copyrighted, recited.

we can just about see, …

shadows haunting shadows

the Rhizome and sophi

my skin tightly bound

I hear the screeching sound of seagulls

circling with endeavour

flesh strokes with an abstract line become blurred

overwhelming feelings of something you hearrrd

once before

like sound waves battering the shore

storm clouds gather

I remember them well.

(The Spaceape)

 

 

  • The incomplete verse of the poet Spaceapexi. Kode 9, Third Ear Transmission,
  • Sónar+D, Behind the Show: Kode9 & Lawrence Lek present The Notel,published 1st July 2016.
  • Editors: Robin Mackay, & Armen Avanessian, #ACCELARATE: The Accelerationist Reader,Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2014. pg.5
  • Tom Dyckhoff, Mies and the Nazis,Gaurdian, Saturday 30th November 2002.
  • Peter Osborne, The Politics of Time.Verso, London/New York, 1995, Pg. 147
  • Pg 137.
  • Patricia MacCormack, Cosmogenic Acceleration: Futurity and Ethics,in The Internet Does Not Exist, E-Flux Journal, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2015, Pg. 299
  • Ibid, Pg.302
  • Ibid, pg 304
  • The Spaceape & Kode 9, Third Ear Transmission,Trailer, 2015

 

The Brothers Grimm (One day I’ll start learning German).

 

Grimm Brothers

I recently started preparing to start to study German next to my second language Japanese as these are the two languages that I wish to speak. After first learning from the great Esther Leslie’s Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and The Avant-Garde (2002) that the early Walt Disney Animators where told to create animations from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm ( Kinder- und Hausmärchen / Children and Household Tales ) because they had been freed from copyright and so were a perfect resource from which to create the early animations, such as the ‘Skeleton Dance‘ (1920’s ish). On second read pg24. just mentions ambiguously that out of copyright fairytales were used to develop characters … yet I feel the Brother’s Grimm must have fed the early birth of this dominant animation studio; yet another example of German magic working its way into the roots of important visual culture. 

source

Walt Disney, ‘Skeleton Dance

So, I will just share two of my favorite Grimm tales in both German and English. I chose these two ‘The Frog King’, and ‘Tom Thumb’ because they are two of the lesser known tales compared to Snow White. The frog reminds me of a short story by Haruki Murakami in which the protagonist is also a frog. I need to find this again because unlike the Grimm’s version it is not directly about a moral, but instead is more about the limitations of knowledge. The second story ‘Tom Thumb’ is weird (Imagine giving birth to a thumb sized child, and then what conspires is somewhat expected if your thumb sized… your bound to get swallowed by a wolf. This then I associated (perhaps there is no connection here) with Georges Bataille, the French thinker, he wrote about the importance of the ‘big toe’ but again need to read more… I hope these two stories make others want to read the Grimm Brothers. I know I do, but only after I have improved my Japanese. Next to this bi-lingual resource… I am also going to purchase from the excellent Para para books, they have Franz Kafka ‘Die Verwandlung’ and Jospeh Conrad ‘The Heart Of Darkness’ or ‘Herz der Finsternis’… Looking forward.

1)

The Frog King
by the Grimm Brothers

In olden times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face.

Close by the king’s castle lay a great dark forest, and under an old lime-tree in the forest was a well, and when the day was very warm, the king’s child went out into the forest and sat down by the side of the cool fountain, and when she was bored she took a golden ball, and threw it up on high and caught it, and this ball was her favorite plaything.

Now it so happened that on one occasion the princess’s golden ball did not fall into the little hand which she was holding up for it, but on to the ground beyond, and rolled straight into the water. The king’s daughter followed it with her eyes, but it vanished, and the well was deep, so deep that the bottom could not be seen. At this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be comforted.

And as she thus lamented someone said to her, “What ails you, king’s daughter? You weep so that even a stone would show pity.”

She looked round to the side from whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching forth its big, ugly head from the water.

“Ah, oldwater-splasher, is it you,” she said, “I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well.”

“Be quiet, and do not weep,” answered the frog, “I can help you, but what will you give me if I bring your plaything up again?”

“Whatever you will have, dear frog,” said she, “My clothes, my pearls and jewels, and even the golden crown which I am wearing.”

The frog answered, “I do not care for your clothes, your pearls and jewels, nor for your golden crown, but if you will love me and let me be your companion and play-fellow, and sit by you at your little table, and eat off your little golden plate, and drink out of your little cup, and sleep in your little bed – if you will promise me this I will go down below, and bring you your golden ball up again.”

“Oh yes,” said she, “I promise you all you wish, if you will but bring me my ball back again.” But she thought, “How the silly frog does talk. All he does is to sit in the water with the other frogs, and croak. He can be no companion to any human being.”

But the frog when he had received this promise, put his head into the water and sank down; and in a short while came swimming up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass.

The king’s daughter was delighted to see her pretty plaything once more, and picked it up, and ran away with it. “Wait, wait,” said the frog. “Take me with you. I can’t run as you can.” But what did it avail him to scream his croak, croak, after her, as loudly as he could. She did not listen to it, but ran home and soon forgot the poor frog, who was forced to go back into his well again.

The next day when she had seated herself at table with the king and all the courtiers, and was eating from her little golden plate, something came creeping splish splash, splish splash, up the marble staircase, and when it had got to the top, it knocked at the door and cried, “Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me.”

She ran to see who was outside, but when she opened the door, there sat the frog in front of it. Then she slammed the door to, in great haste, sat down to dinner again, and was quite frightened.

The king saw plainly that her heart was beating violently, and said, “My child, what are you so afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside who wants to carry you away?”

“Ah, no,” replied she. “It is no giant but a disgusting frog. Yesterday as I was in the forest sitting by the well, playing, my golden ball fell into the water. And because I cried so, the frog brought it out again for me, and because he so insisted, I promised him he should be my companion, but I never thought he would be able to come out of his water. And now he is outside there, and wants to come in to me.”

In the meantime it knocked a second time, and cried, “Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me, do you not know what you said to me yesterday by the cool waters of the well. Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me.”

Then said the king, “That which you have promised must you perform. Go and let him in.”

She went and opened the door, and the frog hopped in and followed her, step by step, to her chair. There he sat and cried, “Lift me up beside you.”

She delayed, until at last the king commanded her to do it. Once the frog was on the chair he wanted to be on the table, and when he was on the table he said, “Now, push your little golden plate nearer to me that we may eat together.”

She did this, but it was easy to see that she did not do it willingly. The frog enjoyed what he ate, but almost every mouthful she took choked her.

At length he said, “I have eaten and am satisfied, now I am tired, carry me into your little room and make your little silken bed ready, and we will both lie down and go to sleep.”

The king’s daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the cold frog which she did not like to touch, and which was now to sleep in her pretty, clean little bed.

But the king grew angry and said, “He who helped you when you were in trouble ought not afterwards to be despised by you.”

So she took hold of the frog with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner, but when she was in bed he crept to her and said, “I am tired, I want to sleep as well as you, lift me up or I will tell your father.”

At this she was terribly angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might against the wall. “Now, will you be quiet, odious frog,” said she.

But when he fell down he was no frog but a king’s son with kind and beautiful eyes. He by her father’s will was now her dear companion and husband. Then he told her how he had been bewitched by a wicked witch, and how no one could have delivered him from the well but herself, and that to-morrow they would go together into his kingdom.

Then they went to sleep, and next morning when the sun awoke them, a carriage came driving up with eight white horses, which had white ostrich feathers on their heads, and were harnessed with golden chains, and behind stood the young king’s servant Faithful Henry.

Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was changed into a frog, that he had caused three iron bands to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness. The carriage was to conduct the young king into his kingdom. Faithful Henry helped them both in, and placed himself behind again, and was full of joy because of this deliverance.

And when they had driven a part of the way the king’s son heard a cracking behind him as if something had broken. So he turned round and cried, “Henry, the carriage is breaking.” “No, master, it is not the carriage. It is a band from my heart, which was put there in my great pain when you were a frog and imprisoned in the well.”

Again and once again while they were on their way something cracked, and each time the king’s son thought the carriage was breaking, but it was only the bands which were springing from the heart of Faithful Henry because his master was set free and was happy.

Froschkönig
der Brüder Grimm

In den alten Zeiten, wo das Wünschen noch geholfen hat, lebte ein König, dessen Töchter waren alle schön, aber die jüngste war so schön, daß sich die Sonne selber, die doch so vieles gesehen hat, darüber verwunderte so oft sie ihr ins Gesicht schien.

Nahe bei dem Schlosse des Königs lag ein großer dunkler Wald, und in dem Walde unter einer alten Linde war ein Brunnen: wenn nun der Tag recht heiß war, so ging das Königskind hinaus in den Wald, und setzte sich an den Rand des kühlen Brunnens, und wenn sie Langeweile hatte, so nahm sie eine goldene Kugel, warf sie in die Höhe und fing sie wieder; und das war ihr liebstes Spielwerk.

Nun trug es sich einmal zu, daß die goldene Kugel der Königstochter nicht in das Händchen fiel, das sie ausgestreckt hatte, sondern neben vorbei auf die Erde schlug, und geradezu ins Wasser hinein rollte. Die Königstochter folgte ihr mit den Augen nach, aber die Kugel verschwand, und der Brunnen war tief, und gar kein Grund zu sehen. Da fing sie an zu weinen, und weinte immer lauter, und konnte sich gar nicht trösten.

Und wie sie so klagte, rief ihr jemand zu “was hast du vor, Königstochter, du schreist ja daß sich ein Stein erbarmen möchte”. Sie sah sich um, woher die Stimme käme, da erblickte sie einen Frosch, der seinen dicken häßlichen Kopf aus dem Wasser streckte.

“Ach, du bists, alter Wasserpatscher”, sagte sie, “ich weine über meine goldne Kugel, die mir in den Brunnen hinab gefallen ist.”

“Gib dich zufrieden”, antwortete der Frosch, “ich kann wohl Rat schaffen, aber was gibst du mir, wenn ich dein Spielwerk wieder heraufhole?”

“Was du willst, lieber Frosch”, sagte sie, “meine Kleider, meine Perlen und Edelsteine, dazu die goldne Krone, die ich trage.”

Der Frosch antwortete “deine Kleider, deine Perlen und Edelsteine, deine goldne Krone, die mag ich nicht: aber wenn du mich lieb haben willst, und ich soll dein Geselle und Spielkamerad sein, an deinem Tischlein neben dir sitzen, von deinem goldnen Tellerlein essen, aus deinem Becherlein trinken, in deinem Bettlein schlafen: wenn du mir das versprichst, so will ich dir die goldne Kugel wieder aus dem Grunde hervor holen”.

“Ach ja”, sagte sie, “ich verspreche dir alles,, wenn du mir nur die Kugel wieder bringst.” Sie dachte aber “was der einfältige Frosch schwätzt, der sitzt im Wasser bei seines Gleichen, und quakt, und kann keines Menschen Geselle sein”.

Der Frosch, als er die Zusage erhalten hatte, tauchte seinen Kopf unter, sank hinab, und über ein Weilchen kam er wieder herauf gerudert, hatte die Kugel im Maul, und warf sie ins Gras.

Die Königstochter war voll Freude, als sie ihr schönes Spielwerk wieder erblickte, hob es auf, und sprang damit fort. “Warte, warte”, rief der Frosch, “nimm mich mit, ich kann nicht so laufen wie du.” Aber was half ihm daß er ihr sein quak quak so laut nachschrie als er konnte! sie hörte nicht darauf, eilte nach Haus, und hatte bald den armen Frosch vergessen, der wieder in den tiefen Brunnen hinab steigen mußte.

Am andern Tage, als sie mit dem König und allen Hofleuten an der Tafel saß, und von ihrem goldnen Tellerlein aß, da kam, plitsch platsch, plitsch platsch, etwas die Marmortreppe herauf gekrochen, und als es oben angelangt war, klopfte es an der Tür, und rief “Königstochter, jüngste, mach mir auf”.

Sie lief und wollte sehen wer draußen wäre, als sie aber aufmachte, so saß der Frosch davor. Da warf sie die Tür hastig zu, setzte sich wieder an den Tisch, und war ihr ganz angst.

Der König sah daß ihr das Herz gewaltig klopfte, und sprach “ei, was fürchtest du dich, steht etwa ein Riese vor der Tür, und will dich holen?”

“Ach nein”, antwortete das Kind, “es ist kein Riese, sondern ein garstiger Frosch, der hat mir gestern im Wald meine goldene Kugel aus dem Wasser geholt, dafür versprach ich ihm er sollte mein Geselle werden, ich dachte aber nimmermehr daß er aus seinem Wasser heraus könnte: nun ist er draußen, und will zu mir herein.”

Indem klopfte es zum zweitenmal und rief, “Königstochter, jüngste, mach mir auf, weißt du nicht was gestern du zu mir gesagt bei dem kühlen Brunnenwasser? Königstochter, jüngste, mach mir auf.”

Da sagte der König “hast du’s versprochen, mußt du’s auch halten; geh und mach ihm auf”.

Sie ging und öffnete die Türe, da hüpfte der Frosch herein, ihr immer auf dem Fuße nach, bis zu ihrem Stuhl. Da saß er und rief “heb mich herauf zu dir”.

Sie wollte nicht bis es der König befahl. Als der Frosch auf den Stuhl gekommen war, sprach er “nun schieb mir dein goldenes Tellerlein näher, damit wir zusammen essen”.

Das tat sie auch, aber man sah wohl daß sies nicht gerne tat. Der Frosch ließ sichs gut schmecken, aber ihr blieb fast jedes Bißlein im Halse.

Endlich sprach er “nun hab ich mich satt gegessen, und bin müde, trag mich hinauf in dein Kämmerlein, und mach dein seiden Bettlein zurecht, da wollen wir uns schlafen legen”.

Da fing die Königstochter an zu weinen, und fürchtete sich vor dem kalten Frosch, den sie nicht anzurühren getraute, und der nun in ihrem schönen reinen Bettlein schlafen sollte.

Der König aber blickte sie zornig an, und sprach “was du versprochen hast, sollst du auch halten, und der Frosch ist dein Geselle”.

Es half nichts, sie mochte wollen oder nicht, sie mußte den Frosch mitnehmen. Da packte sie ihn, ganz bitterböse, mit zwei Fingern, und trug ihn hinauf, und als sie im Bett lag, statt ihn hinein zu heben, warf sie ihn aus allen Kräften an die Wand und sprach “nun wirst du Ruhe haben, du garstiger Frosch”.

Was aber herunter fiel war nicht ein toter Frosch, sondern ein lebendiger junger Königssohn mit schönen und freundlichen Augen. Der war nun von Recht und mit ihres Vaters Willen ihr lieber Geselle und Gemahl. Da schliefen sie vergnügt zusammen ein, und am andern Morgen, als die Sonne sie aufweckte, kam ein Wagen herangefahren mit acht weißen Pferden bespannt, die waren mit Federn geschmückt, und gingen in goldenen Ketten, und hinten stand der Diener des jungen Königs, das war der treue Heinrich.

Der treue Heinrich hatte sich so betrübt, als sein Herr war in einen Frosch verwandelt worden, daß er drei eiserne Bande hatte müssen um sein Herz legen lassen, damit es ihm nicht vor Weh und Traurigkeit zerspränge. Der Wagen aber sollte den jungen König in sein Reich abholen; der treue Heinrich hob beide hinein, und stellte sich wieder hinten auf, voller Freude über die Erlösung.

Und als sie ein Stück Wegs gefahren waren, hörte der Königssohn hinter sich daß es krachte, als wäre etwas zerbrochen. Da drehte er sich um, und rief “Heinrich, der Wagen bricht.”

“Nein, Herr, der Wagen nicht, es ist ein Band von meinem Herzen,
das da lag in großen Schmerzen,
als ihr in dem Brunnen saßt,
als ihr eine Fretsche (Frosch) was’t (wart).”

Noch einmal und noch einmal krachte es auf dem Weg, und der Königssohn meinte immer der Wagen bräche, und es waren doch nur die Bande, die vom Herzen des treuen Heinrich absprangen, weil sein Herr wieder erlöst und glücklich war.

2)

Tom Thumb

der Brüder Grimm


There was once a poor peasant who sat in the evening by the hearth and poked the fire, and his wife sat and spun. Then said he, “How sad it is that we have no children. With us all is so quiet, and in other houses it is noisy and lively.”

“Yes, replied the wife, and sighed, “even if we had only one, and it were quite small, and only as big as a thumb, I should be quite satisfied, and we would still love it with all our hearts.”

Now it so happened that the woman fell ill, and after seven months gave birth to a child, that was perfect in all its limbs, but no longer than a thumb. Then said they, “It is as we wished it to be, and it shall be our dear child.” And because of its size, they called it Tom Thumb. Though they did not let it want for food, the child did not grow taller, but remained as it had been at the first. Nevertheless it looked sensibly out of its eyes, and soon showed itself to be a wise and nimble creature, for everything it did turned out well.

One day the peasant was getting ready to go into the forest to cut wood, when he said as if to himself, “How I wish that there was someone who would bring the cart to me.”

“Oh father,” cried Tom Thumb, “I will soon bring the cart, rely on that. It shall be in the forest at the appointed time.”

The man smiled and said, “How can that be done? You are far too small to lead the horse by the reins.”

“That’s of no consequence, father, if my mother will only harness it, I shall sit in the horse’s ear and call out to him how he is to go.”

“Well,” answered the man, “for once we will try it.”

When the time came, the mother harnessed the horse, and placed Tom Thumb in its ear, and then the little creature cried, “Gee up, gee up.” Then it went quite properly as if with its master, and the cart went the right way into the forest. It so happened that just as he was turning a corner, and the little one was crying, “gee up,” two strange men came towards him.

“My word,” said one of them, “what is this? There is a cart coming, and a driver is calling to the horse and still he is not to be seen.”

“That can’t be right,” said the other, “we will follow the cart and see where it stops.”

The cart, however, drove right into the forest, and exactly to the place where the wood had been cut. When Tom Thumb saw his father, he cried to him, “Do you see, Father, here I am with the cart, now take me up.” The father got hold of the horse with his left hand and with the right took his little son out of the ear. Tom Thumb sat down quite merrily on a straw, but when the two strange men saw him, they did not know what to say for astonishment.

Then one of them took the other aside and said, “Listen, the little fellow would make our fortune if we exhibited him in a large town, for money. We will buy him.” They went to the peasant and said, “Sell us the little man. He shall be well treated with us.”

“No,” replied the father, “he is the apple of my eye, and all the money in the world cannot buy him from me.”

Tom Thumb, however, when he heard of the bargain, had crept up the folds of his father’s coat, placed himself on his shoulder, and whispered in his ear, “Father do give me away, I will soon come back again.”

Then the father parted with him to the two men for a handsome sum of money. “Where will you sit?” they said to him.

“Oh just set me on the rim of your hat, and then I can walk backwards and forwards and look at the country, and still not fall down.” They did as he wished, and when Tom Thumb had taken leave of his father, they went away with him. They walked until it was dusk, and then the little fellow said, “Do take me down, it is necessary.”

“Just stay up there,” said the man on whose hat he sat, “it makes no difference to me. The birds sometimes let things fall on me.”

“No,” said Tom Thumb, “I know what’s manners, take me quickly up.” The man took his hat off, and put the little fellow on the ground by the wayside, and he leapt and crept about a little between the sods, and then he suddenly slipped into a mousehole which he had sought out. “Good evening, gentlemen, just go home without me,” he cried to them, and mocked them. They ran thither and stuck their sticks into the mousehole, but it was all in vain. Tom Thumb crept still farther in, and as it soon became quite dark, they were forced to go home with their vexation and their empty purses.

When Tom Thumb saw that they were gone, he crept back out of the subterranean passage. “It is so dangerous to walk on the ground in the dark,” said he, “how easily a neck or a leg is broken.” Fortunately he stumbled against an empty snail-shell. “Thank God,” said he, “in that I can pass the night in safety.” And got into it.

Not long afterwards, when he was just going to sleep, he heard two men go by, and one of them was saying, “How shall we set about getting hold of the rich pastor’s silver and gold?”

“I could tell you that,” cried Tom Thumb, interrupting them.

“What was that?” said one of the thieves in fright, “I heard someone speaking.”

They stood still listening, and Tom Thumb spoke again, and said, “Take me with you, and I’ll help you.”

“But where are you?”

“Just look on the ground, and observe from whence my voice comes,” he replied.

There the thieves at length found him, and lifted him up. “You little imp, how will you help us?” they said.

“Listen,” said he, “I will creep into the pastor’s room through the iron bars, and will reach out to you whatever you want to have.”

“Come then,” they said, “and we will see what you can do.”

When they got to the pastor’s house, Tom Thumb crept into the room, but instantly cried out with all his might, “Do you want to have everything that is here?”

The thieves were alarmed, and said, “But do speak softly, so as not to waken any one.”

Tom Thumb however, behaved as if he had not understood this, and cried again, “What do you want? Do you want to have everything that is here?”

The cook, who slept in the next room, heard this and sat up in bed, and listened. The thieves, however, had in their fright run some distance away, but at last they took courage, and thought, “The little rascal wants to mock us.” They came back and whispered to him, “Come be serious, and reach something out to us.”

Then Tom Thumb again cried as loudly as he could, “I really will give you everything, just put your hands in.”

The maid who was listening, heard this quite distinctly, and jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. The thieves took flight, and ran as if the wild huntsman were behind them, but as the maid could not see anything, she went to strike a light. When she came to the place with it, Tom Thumb, unperceived, betook himself to the granary, and the maid after she had examined every corner and found nothing, lay down in her bed again, and believed that, after all, she had only been dreaming with open eyes and ears.

Tom Thumb had climbed up among the hay and found a beautiful place to sleep in. There he intended to rest until day, and then go home again to his parents. But there were other things in store for him. Truly, there is much worry and affliction in this world. When the day dawned, the maid arose from her bed to feed the cows. Her first walk was into the barn, where she laid hold of an armful of hay, and precisely that very one in which poor Tom Thumb was lying asleep. He, however, was sleeping so soundly that he was aware of nothing, and did not awake until he was in the mouth of the cow, who had picked him up with the hay.

“Ah, heavens,” cried he, “how have I got into the fulling mill.” But he soon discovered where he was. Then he had to take care not to let himself go between the teeth and be dismembered, but he was subsequently forced to slip down into the stomach with the hay. “In this little room the windows are forgotten,” said he, “and no sun shines in, neither will a candle be brought.”

His quarters were especially unpleasing to him, and the worst was that more and more hay was always coming in by the door, and the space grew less and less. When at length in his anguish, he cried as loud as he could, “Bring me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder!”

The maid was just milking the cow, and when she heard some one speaking, and saw no one, and perceived that it was the same voice that she had heard in the night, she was so terrified that she slipped off her stool, and spilt the milk.

She ran in great haste to her master, and said, “Oh heavens, pastor, the cow has been speaking.”

“You are mad,” replied the pastor, but he went himself to the byre to see what was there. Hardly, however had he set his foot inside when Tom Thumb again cried, “Bring me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder!”

Then the pastor himself was alarmed, and thought that an evil spirit had gone into the cow, and ordered her to be killed. She was killed, but the stomach, in which Tom Thumb was, was thrown on the dunghill. Tom Thumb had great difficulty in working his way out. However, he succeeded so far as to get some room, but just as he was going to thrust his head out, a new misfortune occurred. A hungry wolf ran thither, and swallowed the whole stomach at one gulp.

Tom Thumb did not lose courage. “Perhaps,” thought he, “the wolf will listen to what I have got to say.” And he called to him from out of his belly, “Dear wolf, I know of a magnificent feast for you.”

“Where is it to be had?” said the wolf.

“In such and such a house. You must creep into it through the kitchen-sink, and will find cakes, and bacon, and sausages, and as much of them as you can eat.” And he described to him exactly his father’s house.

The wolf did not require to be told this twice, squeezed himself in at night through the sink, and ate to his heart’s content in the larder. When he had eaten his fill, he wanted to go out again, but he had become so big that he could not go out by the same way. Tom Thumb had reckoned on this, and now began to make a violent noise in the wolf’s body, and raged and screamed as loudly as he could.

“Will you be quiet?” said the wolf, “you will waken up the people.”

“What do I care?” replied the little fellow, “you have eaten your fill, and I will make merry likewise.” And began once more to scream with all his strength.

At last his father and mother were aroused by it, and ran to the room and looked in through the opening in the door. When they saw that a wolf was inside, they ran away, and the husband fetched his axe, and the wife the scythe.

“Stay behind,” said the man, when they entered the room. “When I have given the blow, if he is not killed by it, you must cut him down and hew his body to pieces.”

Then Tom Thumb heard his parents, voices and cried, “Dear father, I am here, I am in the wolf’s body.”

Said the father, full of joy, “Thank God, our dear child has found us again.” And bade the woman take away her scythe, that Tom Thumb might not be hurt with it. After that he raised his arm, and struck the wolf such a blow on his head that he fell down dead, and then they got knives and scissors and cut his body open and drew the little fellow forth.

“Ah,” said the father, “what sorrow we have gone through for your sake.”

“Yes father, I have gone about the world a great deal. Thank heaven, I breathe fresh air again.”

“Where have you been, then?”

“Ah, father, I have been in a mouse’s hole, in a cow’s belly, and then in a wolf’s paunch. Now I will stay with you.

“And we will not sell you again, no not for all the riches in the world,” said his parents, and they embraced and kissed their dear Tom Thumb. They gave him to eat and to drink, and had some new clothes made for him, for his own had been spoiled on his journey.

Daumesdick

der Brüder Grimm


Es war ein armer Bauersmann, der saß abends beim Herd und schürte das Feuer, und die Frau saß und spann. Da sprach er “wie ists so traurig, daß wir keine Kinder haben! es ist so still bei uns, und in den andern Häusern ists so laut und lustig.”

“Ja,” antwortete die Frau und seufzte, “wenns nur ein einziges wäre, und wenns auch ganz klein wäre, nur Daumens groß, so wollte ich schon zufrieden sein; wir hättens doch von Herzen lieb.”

Nun geschah es, daß die Frau kränklich ward und nach sieben Monaten ein Kind gebar, das zwar an allen Gliedern vollkommen, aber nicht länger als ein Daumen war. Da sprachen sie “es ist, wie wir es gewünscht haben, und es soll unser liebes Kind sein,” und nannten es nach seiner Gestalt Daumesdick. Sie ließens nicht an Nahrung fehlen, aber das Kind ward nicht größer, sondern blieb, wie es in der ersten Stunde gewesen war; doch schaute es verständig aus den Augen und zeigte sich bald als ein kluges und behendes Ding, dem alles glückte, was es anfing.

Der Bauer machte sich eines Tages fertig, in den Wald zu gehen und Holz zu fällen, da sprach er so vor sich hin “nun wollt ich, daß einer da wäre, der mir den Wagen nachbrächte.”

“O Vater,” rief Daumesdick, “den Wagen will ich schon bringen, verlaßt Euch drauf, er soll zur bestimmten Zeit im Walde sein.”

Da lachte der Mann und sprach “wie sollte das zugehen, du bist viel zu klein, um das Pferd mit dem Zügel zu leiten.”

“Das tut nichts, Vater, wenn nur die Mutter anspannen will, ich setze mich dem Pferd ins Ohr und rufe ihm zu, wie es gehen soll.”

“Nun,” antwortete der Vater, “einmal wollen wirs versuchen.”

Als die Stunde kam, spannte die Mutter an und setzte Daumesdick ins Ohr des Pferdes, und dann rief der Kleine, wie das Pferd gehen sollte, “jüh und joh! hott und har!” Da ging es ganz ordentlich als wie bei einem Meister, und der Wagen fuhr den rechten Weg nach dem Walde. Es trug sich zu, als er eben um eine Ecke bog und der Kleine “har, har!” rief, daß zwei fremde Männer daherkamen.

“Mein,” sprach der eine, “was ist das? da fährt ein Wagen, und ein Fuhrmann ruft dem Pferde zu, und ist doch nicht zu sehen.”

“Das geht nicht mit rechten Dingen zu,” sagte der andere, “wir wollen dem Karren folgen und sehen, wo er anhält.”

Der Wagen aber fuhr vollends in den Wald hinein und richtig zu dem Platze, wo das Holz gehauen ward. Als Daumesdick seinen Vater erblickte, rief er ihm zu “siehst du, Vater, da bin ich mit dem Wagen, nun hol mich runter.” Der Vater faßte das Pferd mit der Linken und holte mit der Rechten sein Söhnlein aus dem Ohr, das sich ganz lustig auf einen Strohhalm niedersetzte. Als die beiden fremden Männer den Daumesdick erblickten, wußten sie nicht, was sie vor Verwunderung sagen sollten.

Da nahm der eine den andern beiseit und sprach “hör, der kleine Kerl könnte unser Glück machen, wenn wir ihn in einer großen Stadt für Geld sehen ließen, wir wollen ihn kaufen.” Sie gingen zu dein Bauer und sprachen “verkauft uns den kleinen Mann” er solls gut bei uns haben.”

“Nein,” antwortete der Vater, “es ist mein Herzblatt, und ist mir für alles Gold in der Welt nicht feil!”

Daumesdick aber, als er von dem Handel gehört, war an den Rockfalten seines Vaters hinaufgekrochen, stellte sich ihm auf die Schulter und wisperte ihm ins Ohr “Vater, gib mich nur hin, ich will schon wieder zurückkommen.”

Da gab ihn der Vater für ein schönes Stück Geld den beiden Männern hin. “Wo willst du sitzen?, sprachen sie zu ihm.

“Ach, setzt mich nur auf den Rand von eurem Hut, da kann ich auf und ab spazieren und die Gegend betrachten, und falle doch nicht herunter.” Sie taten ihm den Willen, und als Daumesdick Abschied von seinem Vater genommen hatte, machten sie sich mit ihm fort. So gingen sie, bis es dämmrig ward, da sprach der Kleine “hebt mich einmal herunter, es ist nötig.”

“Bleib nur droben” sprach der Mann, auf dessen Kopf er saß, “ich will mir nichts draus machen, die Vögel lassen mir auch manchmal was drauf fallen.”

“Nein,” sprach Daumesdick, “ich weiß auch, was sich schickt, hebt mich nur geschwind herab.”

Der Mann nahm den Hut ab und setzte den Kleinen auf einen Acker am Weg, da sprang und kroch er ein wenig zwischen den Schollen hin und her, dann schlüpfte er pIötzlich in ein Mausloch, das er sich ausgesucht hatte. “Guten Abend, ihr Herren, geht nur ohne mich heim,” rief er ihnen zu, und lachte sie aus. Sie liefen herbei und stachen mit Stöcken in das Mausloch, aber das war vergebliche Mühe, Daumesdick kroch immer weiter zurück, und da es bald ganz dunkel ward, so mußten sie mit Ärger und mit leerem Beutel wieder heim wandern.

Als Daumesdick merkte, daß sie fort waren, kroch er aus dem unterirdischen Gang wieder hervor. “Es ist auf dem Acker in der Finsternis so gefährlich gehen,” sprach er, “wie leicht bricht einer Hals und Bein.” Zum Glück stieß er an ein leeres Schneckenhaus. “Gottlob,” sagte er, “da kann ich die Nacht sicher zubringen,” und setzte sich hinein.

Nicht lang, als er eben einschlafen wollte, so hörte er zwei Männer vorübergehen, davon sprach der eine “wie wirs nur anfangen, um dem reichen Pfarrer sein Geld und sein Silber zu holen?,

“Das könnt ich dir sagen,” rief Daumesdick dazwischen.

“Was war das?” sprach der eine Dieb erschrocken, “ich hörte jemand sprechen.”

Sie blieben stehen und horchten, da sprach Daumesdick wieder “nehmt mich mit, so will ich euch helfen.”

“Wo bist du denn?”

“Sucht nur auf der Erde und merkt, wo die Stimme herkommt,” antwortete er.

Da fanden ihn endlich die Diebe und hoben ihn in die Höhe. “Du kleiner Wicht, was willst du uns helfen!” sprachen sie.

“Seht,” antwortete er, “ich krieche zwischen den Eisenstäben in die Kammer des Pfarrers und reiche euch heraus, was ihr haben wollt.”

“Wohlan,” sagten sie, “wir wollen sehen, was du kannst.”

Als sie bei dem Pfarrhaus kamen, kroch Daumesdick in die Kammer, schrie aber gleich aus Leibeskräften “wollt ihr alles haben, was hier ist?”

Die Diebe erschraken und sagten “so sprich doch leise, damit niemand aufwacht.”

Aber Daumesdick tat, als hätte er sie nicht verstanden, und schrie von neuem “Was wollt ihr? Wollt ihr alles haben, was hier ist?”

Das hörte die Köchin, die in der Stube daran schlief, richtete sich im Bete auf und horchte. Die Diebe aber waren vor Schrecken ein Stück Wegs zurückgelaufen, endlich faßten sie wieder Mut und dachten “der kleine Kerl will uns necken.” Sie kamen zurück und flüsterten ihm zu “nun mach Ernst und reich uns etwas heraus.”

Da schrie Daumesdick noch einmal, so laut er konnte “ich will euch ja alles geben, reicht nur die Hände herein.”

Das hörte die horchende Magd ganz deutlich, sprang aus dem Bett und stolperte zur Tür herein. Die Diebe liefen fort und rannten, als wäre der wilde Jäger hinter ihnen; die Magd aber, als sie nichts bemerken konnte, ging ein Licht anzünden. Wie sie damit herbeikam, machte sich Daumesdick, ohne daß er gesehen wurde, hinaus in die Scheune: die Magd aber, nachdem sie alle Winkel durchgesucht und nichts gefunden hatte, legte sich endlich wieder zu Bett und glaubte, sie hätte mit offenen Augen und Ohren doch nur geträumt.

Daumesdick war in den Heuhälmchen herumgeklettert und hatte einen schönen Platz zum Schlafen gefunden: da wollte er sich ausruhen, bis es Tag wäre, und dann zu seinen Eltern wieder heimgehen. Aber er mußte andere Dinge erfahren! ja, es gibt viel Trübsal und Not auf der Welt! Die Magd stieg, als der Tag graute, schon aus dem Bett, um das Vieh zu füttern. Ihr erster Gang war in die Scheune, wo sie einen Arm voll Heu packte, und gerade dasjenige, worin der arme Daumesdick. lag und schlief. Er schlief aber so fest, daß er nichts gewahr ward, und nicht eher aufwachte, als bis er in dem Maul der Kuh war, die ihn mit dem Heu aufgerafft hatte.

“Ach Gott,” rief er, “wie bin ich in die Walkmühle geraten!” merkte aber bald, wo er war. Da hieß es aufpassen, daß er nicht zwischen die Zähne kam und zermalmt ward, und hernach mußte er doch mit in den Magen hinabrutschen. “In dem Stübchen sind die Fenster vergessen,” sprach er, “und scheint keine Sonne hinein: ein Licht wird auch nicht gebracht.”

Überhaupt gefiel ihm das Quartier schlecht, und was das Schlimmste war, es kam immer mehr neues Heu zur Türe hinein, und der Platz ward immer enger. Da rief er endlich in der Angst, so laut er konnte, “Bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr, bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr.”

Die Magd melkte gerade die Kuh, und als sie sprechen hörte, ohne jemand zu sehen, und es dieselbe Stimme war, die sie auch in der Nacht gehört hatte, erschrak sie so, daß sie von ihrem Stühlchen herabglitschte und die Milch verschüttete.

Sie lief in der größten Hast zu ihrem Herrn und rief “Ach Gott, Herr Pfarrer, die Kuh hat geredet.”

“Du bist verrückt,” antwortete der Pfarrer, ging aber doch selbst in den Stall und wollte nachsehen, was es da gäbe. Kaum aber hatte er den Fuß hineingesetzt, so rief Daumesdick aufs neue “Bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr, bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr.”

Da erschrak der Pfarrer selbst, meinte, es wäre ein böser Geist in die Kuh gefahren, und hieß sie töten. Sie ward geschlachtet, der Magen aber, worin Daumesdick steckte, auf den Mist geworfen. Daumesdick hatte große Mühe, sich hindurchzuarbeiten, und hatte große Mühe damit, doch brachte ers so weit, daß er Platz bekam, aber als er eben sein Haupt herausstrecken wollte, kam ein neues Unglück. Ein hungriger Wolf lief heran und verschlang den ganzen Magen mit einem Schluck. 2

Daumnesdick verlor den Mut nicht, “vielleicht,” dachte er, “läßt der Wolf mit sich reden,” und rief ihm aus dem Wanste zu “lieber Wolf” ich weiß dir einen herrlichen Fraß.”

“Wo ist der zu holen?” sprach der Wolf.

“In dem und dem Haus, da mußt du durch die Gosse hineinkriechen, und wirst Kuchen, Speck und Wurst finden, so viel du essen willst,” und beschrieb ihm genau seines Vaters Haus.

Der Wolf ließ sich das nicht zweimal sagen, drängte sich in der Nacht zur Gosse hinein und fraß in der Vorratskammer nach Herzenslust. Als er sich gesättigt hatte” wollte er wieder fort, aber er war so dick geworden” daß er denselben Weg nicht wieder hinaus konnte. Darauf hatte Daumesdick gerechnet und fing nun an” in dem Leib des Wolfes einen gewaltigen Lärmen zu machen, tobte und schrie, was er konnte.

“Willst du stille sein,” sprach der Wolf, “du weckst die Leute auf.”

“Ei was,” antwortete der Kleine, “du hast dich satt gefressen, ich will mich auch lustig machen,” und fing von neuem an, aus allen Kräften zu schreien.

Davon erwachte endlich sein Vater und seine Mutter, liefen an die Kammer und schauten durch die Spalte hinein. Wie sie sahen, daß ein Wolf darin hauste, liefen sie davon, und der Mann holte eine Axt, und die Frau die Sense.

“Bleib dahinten,” sprach der Mann, als sie in die Kammer traten, “wenn ich ihm einen Schlag gegeben habe, und er davon noch nicht tot ist, so mußt du auf ihn einhauen, und ihm den Leib zerschneiden.”

Da hörte Daumesdick die Stimme seines Vaters und rief “lieber Vater, ich bin hier, ich stecke im Leibe des Wolfs.”

Sprach der Vater voll Freuden “Gottlob, unser liebes Kind hat sich wiedergefunden,” und hieß die Frau die Sense wegtun, damit Daumesdick nicht beschädigt würde. Danach holte er aus, und schlug dem Wolf einen Schlag auf den Kopf, daß er tot niederstürzte, dann suchten sie Messer und Schere, schnitten ihm den Leib auf und zogen den Kleinen wieder hervor.

“Ach,” sprach der Vater, “was haben wir für Sorge um dich ausgestanden!,

“Ja, Vater, ich bin viel in der Welt herumgekommen; gottlob, daß ich wieder frische Luft schöpfe!”

“Wo bist du denn all gewesen?”

“Ach, Vater, ich war in einem Mauseloch, in einer Kuh Bauch und in eines Wolfes Wanst: nun bleib ich bei euch.”

“Und wir verkaufen dich um alle Reichtümer der Welt nicht wieder,” sprachen die Eltern, herzten und küßten ihren lieben Daumesdick. Sie gaben ihm zu essen und trinken, und ließen ihm neue Kleider machen, denn die seinigen waren ihm auf der Reise verdorben.

Revolution From the khōra: Power From the Outside

Khora
_

(Paul Harrison)

Throughout history there is a reoccurring pattern when it comes to revolution. If you observe the specific contexts of the revolutions that have taken place in many countries: Britain, France, Haiti, Russia, and China. Did they all happen because of an external influence? And, to what extent is this a component part of the revolution? Of the very idea of revolution? This is the line of questioning this essay will explore. Discussing the idea that successful revolution is dependent on a power that comes from outside the location of its eventual happening. This idea will be shown to be present or situated in these exemplary instances of undeniable revolutions: 1) The French revolution, 2) the Russian revolution, 3) The Chinese cultural revolution.

Next to these historical examples one is aware of one’s reasons behind writing with this perspective or with this postulation on the causal movements of revolution. The main reason for adopting such a stance is the importance of a famous fact in what many people believe to be the first work of political philosophy. Although there are other contenders for the title of first political treatise Plato’s Republic is often cited as the first. It consists of a conversation that encompasses what the ideal state might look like and the importance of justice to such an ideal, yet the fact that is more important for this discussion is the location, the specific place that this dialogue conspired. It happened outside of the city a place called the χώρα [Khōra] a notion that was important to Plato because he considered it to be a location where the forms used to reside.[ Plato. Timaeus (48e4)] Jacques Derrida helps us remember it in more recent thought of its importance. It certainly is political but what does it explicitly have to do with revolution?

In Derrida’s short essay named after this Greek location he starts by describing the myth which emanates from Plato’s orientation; Derrida describes the Khōra, ‘it oscillates between the two types of oscillation: the double exclusive (neither/nor) and the participation (both this and that).’[ Jacques Derrida, ‘Khōra’ in On the Name, Edited by Dutoit, T. Stanford University Press, Stanford California. 91 ] Such an oscillation or frequency fits the force one observes as the causal logic of revolution. The force transforms into a common noun “revolution” which is the culmination of a fluctuation in a form of logic.

The change found between exclusivity and participation is why one interprets the Khōra as a causal force because it implies a feeling of uncertain action like that of invasion, or an influx in immigration, and a conflict. This uncertainty is present in the ambiguity of the noun ‘revolution’ and what exactly it means. Furthermore, this doubt as to what is done in the name of revolution is resolved or completed in its success. An alternative to this expression is that within the site of potential revolution there is then a need of a referent but such a thing Derrida helps show is deeply abstract and one argues that this particular abstraction is a necessity.

‘Deprived of a real referent, that which in fact resembles a proper name finds itself also called an X which has as its property (as its physis and as its dynamis, Plato’s text will say) that it has nothing as its own and that it remains unformed, formless(amorphon). This very singular impropriety, which precisely is nothing, is just what Khōra must, if you like, keep; it is just what must be kept for it, what we must keep
for it.’[ Ibid. 97]

Yet, reading Derrida could suggest an opposite direction that we have to maintain the outside as formless and this would contradict my argument. This quote could be read from the perspective of a citizenry seen as keeping revolution indeterminate and external, but one would maintain that if this lack remains it is suggestive of an alternative cause: that the lack was not transformed into a name, an event (revolution).
So, let us test this idea and look to history beginning in France and some sources that hint at this movement away from the resemblance of a name, an X, to an actual name and suggest an accurate interpretation of this process named revolution. Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville discussed the 1789 revolution that changed the entire reality of Europe.[ Alexis De Tocqueville. The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution, edited by Jon Elster, translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. ] Tocqueville’s discussions of the changes that transformed the ancien regime (the old order) including: how the French revolution was a political revolution but with the distinctly religious character, territorial disputes giving way to principles, and the destruction of feudal and aristocratic institutions.

Again, the way Tocqueville writes supports the opposite notion of revolution the one that says it was a unique phenomena that originated in one country and then spread elsewhere. However, one does not agree with this because it does not reflect deeply enough on the religious aspect of this revolution. Religion for the French revolution was the Khōra; a power that was on the outside, in what sense can one claim this? The evidence for this perspective is that the then king Louis XIV who under the influence of Cardinal Mazarin embodied absolute rule. This means that kings where to believed to have a devine right implying that they were backed by the authority of God a power that was to also be responsible for the revolutionary thoughts of Karl Marx.[ Karl Marx, ‘Theses on Feuerbach’ [1845] in: Early Writings, London: Penguin 1975. ] Yet, the royalty of France of this time also contributes even more to our discussion. The way king Louis XIV exercised his absolutism demonstrates power’s necessary movement from the outside to the inside. This is explicitly made obvious by the fact that this king prioritised military expansion at the expense of higher taxes on citizens – unanimously cited as the cause of the revolution.

Reading this we see power exercised expansively into space outside the country in military acts and expansion. This inevitably results in the country’s citizens adopting a line of thinking an equation that Sieyes articulated, ‘subtract the privileged order and the nation would not be something less, but something more.’[ Abbé Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, ‘Qu’est-ce que le tiers-état? / What is the Third Estate?’ in Essay on Privileges, (January 1789). 96] Of course this power often manifests in incredibly violent ways and the French revolution is infamous for the ‘reign of terror’ and the mass executions by guillotine. Here we should take a moment to consider the difficulties we face when viewing the power that fuels revolutions because it seems to contain key signs or symptoms: abuse of military might and paranoia towards the outside coupled with the ambiguity of deciphering the difference between criminals and those who place faith in laws. Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobin’s behaved in such a way that enacted both symptoms but although their revolution was a success this did not save them from their fate. They fell victim to the very violence they wielded against their enemies; perceived both internally and externally power resulted in a short lived governance.

‘Wisdom, as much as power, presided over the creation of the universe…
If the revolutionary government is not seconded by the energy, enlightenment,
patriotism, and benevolence of all the people’s representatives, how can it have
the strength to respond proportionately to the efforts of Europe who are
attacking it, and to all the enemies of liberty pressing in on it from all sides?’[ Maximilien Robespierre. “On the Principles of Revolutionary Government.” In Robespierre, Virtue and Terror, edited and by Jean Ducange, translated by John Howe, introduction by Slavoj Zizek. London: Verso, 2007.]

In the case of Russia Vladimir Lenin offers more evidence for one’s scepticism toward the idea that the power bringing about radical change is generated internally by alluding to sham socialists and their petit-bourgeois utopia.[ Vladimir Lenin. State and Revolution, introduction by Todd Chretien. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2014. 61.] How the ideology of the state being above classes betrays the working class. So, in Lenin’s discussion of the Russian revolution we can observe that he deemed the French revolutions of 1848 and 1871 to be a betrayal, the proletariat sell their birthright for a mess of porridge, and how the destruction of the state is a prerequisite for the formation of Marx’s the ‘workers dictatorship’ a main step towards human emancipation.[ Ibid, 63. ] We also learn of the struggles of the two quintessential rebel rouser’s so influential for Lenin and the Russian revolution; Marx and Engels came out and back into hiding, adding their firebrand journalism to revolutions in Germany and Europe (1848), yet these revolutions all failed because the fight for power came from within the same country and were all easily defeated. Lenin’s thoughts on Marx clarify the Khōra.

Marx never expected the communist revolution to take place in Russia. The manifesto he wrote with Friedrich Engels foresaw revolution taking place in more economically developed countries. The noun ‘Communist’ was the abstract necessity that Derrida described as a name and simultaneously an X because to be a communist one has to desire communities sharing the commons (both this and that, and neither nor. Remembering Derrida’s distinction). In the Russian revolution Lenin attempted to use Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariat in other words ‘a vanguard party’ to do away with the rule of the Tsar and bring about socialism.[ Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels. “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” In The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker, 469-500. London: Norton & Company, 1978. 479-500.] The 1917 October Revolution in Saint Petersburg was led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks and here we have movements associated with conflict (WW1, and exile in Lenin’s case) a desire for change that when forced to travel via way of exclusion seeks an inclusive tradition.

Mao Tse-Tsung wrote extensively about how he perceived a revolutionary tradition dating back to the people of the han dynasty. Mao claims, ‘the Chinese never submit to tyrannical rule but invariably use revolutionary means to overthrow or change it.’[ Mao Tse-Tsung, ‘The Chinese Revolution and The Chinese Communist Party’ in Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tsung, Volume I,[https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_23.html] ] Whilst writing about his nation Mao is rightly brimming with pride and the sentences carry this feeling unabashedly and this may hide the simultaneous exaggeration that also resides within any writing of a political leader. In this case the aim of Mao was to clearly describe how it was the Chinese people’s great struggle that was the sole creator of what was to become the Peoples Republic of China and of course this is true to some extent but there is more than a little evidence that Mao and his revolutionaries had help from a power outside China.

Japan and its invading armies constitute this external force. The second ‘Sino-Japanese war’ (1937-1945) resulted in Japan committing some of the worst war crimes on record – an estimated two to three hundred thousand people where massacred and raped as Japanese forces captured the then Chinese capital of Nanjing. Here we have a dark example of this external power influencing a revolution because there is evidence that strongly suggests chairman Mao the leader of the Communist party of China saw this event as the reason for his successful revolution. Journalist Richard McGregor cites this confession. This quote demonstrates that Mao the instigator and figurehead of the cultural revolution consciously referenced the force that allowed him and his comrades to move from guerilla warfare and toward defeating the nationalists and to attain control over the country.

‘[A] meeting with a Japanese Socialist party leader, Mao perversely thanked Japan for invading China, because the turmoil created by the Imperial Army had enabled the CCP to come to power. “We would still be in the mountains and not be able to watch Peking Opera in Beijing,” he said. “It was exactly because the Imperial Japanese Army took up more than half of China that there was no way out for the Chinese people. So we woke up and started armed struggle, established many anti-Japanese bases, and created conditions for the War of Liberation. The Japanese monopolistic capitalists and warlords did a ‘good thing’ to us. If a ‘thank you’ is needed, I would actually like to thank the Japanese warlords.”[ Richard McGregor, The Long Read: Could Trump’s Blundering Lead to War Between China and Japan? The Guardian Online, Thu 17 Aug 2017 06.00 BST, [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/could-trumps-blundering-lead-to-war-between-china-and-japan] ]

Adding to this example we can acknowledge that the use of ‘comfort women’ by the Japanese highlights the importance of feminist narratives in the future of revolution. The oppression of women and the fight for gender equality is one of the more important revolutionary battles happening today; perhaps the power that will make this gender revolution a success is a change in the role of the female as a mother, giving birth may change due to external influence of technology.[ Shulamith Firestone. The Dialectic of Sex: The case for feminist revolution, Bantam Books, USA, 1970] Such changes will first manifest in the societal and cultural entities of the biggest countries.

China is currently the worlds biggest economy and global power this is because like America it is expanding its military but after its revolution the state that emerged became more self aware of its own character and culture.[ China is well known for the control of its population and its inward looking nature but also due to its philosophy Confucianism it places a much greater emphasis on the importance of the family as a structure. ] So, rather than expanding imperially via military strength China exercised control over its population building control within its own lands. This is why McGregor uses the metaphor of Thucydides Trap because he sees that the rising power of China as too much of a threat to America for there not to be war between these two great nations.[ Ibid, McGregor. ] However, the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war when Sparta attacked Athens is another example because this metaphor is politically applicable to many instances of conflict throughout history and its symptom is an arms/weapons race. Such a race, does it not demonstrate power coming from the outside? Yes, it is one example but staying with China the country offers more evidence it has in the last decade hosted some of the biggest workers unions in the world (unsurprising because one fifth of humanity is Chinese). Comprising of millions of members and are often farmers or rural workers – they are so big and well organised that the government is forced to communicate.

This takes us back to that truly revolutionary conversation that took place outside the city. A site to situate the power from the outside that generates the impetus for a change that even an ancient aristocrat like Plato saw as necessarily tied to the use of justice. But, in terms of revolution the use of justice is a power that first manifests in a place between legality and criminality, a place, a topos that we understand as the χώρα [Khōra]?

‘When you want a deposit to be kept safely.
You mean when money is not wanted, but allowed to lie?
Precisely. That is to say, justice is useful when money is useless?
That is the inference. And when you want to keep a pruning-hook safe, then justice is useful to the individual and to the state; but when you want to use it, then the art of the vine-dresser?’[ Plato, The Republic, Book II. ]

_
_

Bibliography

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De Tocqueville, Alexis. (2011), The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution, edited by Jon Elster, translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Derrida, J. (1993), ‘Khōra’ in ‘On the Name, Edited by Dutoit, T. Stanford University Press, Stanford California.
Shulamith Firestone. (1970), The Dialectic of Sex: The case for feminist revolution, Bantam Books, USA.
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. (1978), “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” In: The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker, 469-500. London: Norton & Company.
McGregor, R. The Long Read: Could Trump’s Blundering Lead to War Between China and Japan? The Guardian Online, Thu 17 Aug 2017 06.00 BST, [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/could-trumps-blundering-lead-to-war-between-china-and-japan]
Plato. The Republic
_____ Timaeus,
Robespierre, Maximilien. (2007), “On the Principles of Revolutionary Government.” In Robespierre, Virtue and Terror, edited and by Jean Ducange, translated by John Howe, introduction by Slavoj Zizek. London: Verso.
Sieyès, Emmanuel Joseph. (2003), “What is the Third Estate?” In: Political Writings, edited and translated by Michael Sonenscher, 92-162. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

On Adam

Adam is a series of three online cgi animated films you can watch them below and become immersed in this world of filmic freedom. If you are looking for evidence for just how revolutionary Google owned video platform Youtube was and still is – then this trinity of independent sci-fi goodness really emphasises this because not only is this an example of how film making has been freed from a studio dependency; of course it does not escape the clutches of promotion with financial aim (it is to showcase the rendering capacity of the animation software Unity). In this regard it is a beautiful demonstration of the capacity of animation in its visual mode doing what it does best. Making imaginary worlds that depict the present wrapped in the disguised skin of the future. The films portray a narrative of a cyborg or a robot as we begin this visual feast by being introduced to Adam who is hooked up to a system of cables that power his robotic body. We are led to assume that the only organic component is the brain that is hidden behind a white mask.

IMG_2630

The moment Adam wakes up he is in visible distress and is traumatised. He struggles to grasp reality and his new metallic body (this places such an emphasis on the body as an anchor or point in which reality (such a strange but lovely word… we always need to check it) is necessarily comprehended), he stumbles as a door is opened, and finds himself in a mass of similar mechanised matter. The mass of cyborgs are almost gathered like sheep and made to face a wilderness as through the horizon’s heat waves two figures approach. This duo are also robotic and mechanical taking the form of samurai-esque warriors. They then take the herd of animatronic beings on a journey across the desert. A journey that proves perilous for some who fall victim to the inhospitable environment they find themselves in. Leaving one to ponder if these cyborgs are better off being freed from there place of birth/re-birth? Like all travellers they are on a journey to discover what they are? They discover that to have been cut from their organic bodies the ‘Consortium’(a business state) had to  wipe their memories. In the final episode we are confronted with religion and faith as potential saviours for the evils inflicted upon the population. But, without spoiling too much, this is not at all what it seems, and in many ways supports the horrible dystopia of the human being subordinate to the machine and technology.

It is possible to see that these short films are supporting the opposite: how technology will inevitably seek to cure the damage it has inflicted on living matter. Below, are the three youtube clips along with three quotations; two from David Hume who is using the first man Adam as an example of how ‘Causality’ escapes full comprehension in daily experience. This is then followed by a small sample from Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, which I will read in full soon. These quotes next to the films articulate many a thing, yet they arguable express the current issues with remarkable clarity. One such issue are the ideologies that relinquish too much to technology picturing it as the sole reason we as a species of animal are so successful. Such structures of belief strive to provide real certainty but mystery remains through ‘now time’. I am thinking of the confusion that arises when considering hacking, automation, computation, and generally the exciting prospect of a new-modernity. However, Haraway’s metaphor reminds us that Adam’s relation to the world is becoming more and more complex…

 

 

Episode I

 

 

 

“Were a man, such as Adam, created in the full vigour of understanding, without experience, he would never be able to infer motion in the second ball from the motion and impulse of the first”   

 

 

 

Episode 2

 

 

 

 

 

“Tis evident, that Adam with all his science, would never have been able to demonstrate, that the course of nature must continue uniformly the same,and that the future must be comfortable to the past. What is possible can never be demonstrated to be false; and ‘tis possible the course of nature may change,since we can conceive such a change.”

 

 

 

 

Episode 3

 

 

 

 

“The world is subdivided by boundaries differentially permeable to information.
Information is just that kind of quantifiable element (unit, base of unity) which allows universal translation, and so unhindered instrumental power (called effective communication). The biggest threat to such a power is interruption of communication. Any system breakdown is a function of stress. The fundamentals of this technology can be condensed into the metaphor , command-control-communication-intelligence, the military’s symbol for its operations theory.”

 

 

Philosophy of Science (Course Notes and exam prep.)

[I took a course in the philosophy of science this year and although the lecturers and professor are nice people – I did not like overall experience. I felt there was very little philosophy being done, more just a critical review of science and the information that it has generated. I am surprised that I passed this exam because I did not feel good writing my essay’s in those two hours… Yet, like I said the Lecturers and professors are good but the information contained in the curriculum needs a lot of work if it is to become a more enjoyable learning experience. Anyway, I wish the professors and philosophers of Science in Leuven the best of luck in this regard. I have collected the contents of my preparation for the exam so I do not loose the notes and can review at a later date. Perhaps they may be of interest to some…]

 

Construct an argument that either defends or critiques a statement below.

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  1. Philosophy of science is useless for the practice of science.

The science we know today would not have come into existence if there had not been what was widely called ‘natural philosophy’. A way of scientific inquiry which contained a process of questioning the world in its material nature. This has a very long history indeed the western centric textbook answer has it that this strand of philosophy that was ‘natural philosophy’ began with Aristotle (The Reader, as Plato called him) who was one of the first to systematically record his scientific explorations of the biological world. Then, we have been told to believe that the transformation happened under the guidance of Rene Descartes the father of Cartesianism. A dualistic belief that the body and mind are separate substances one is extended the other thinking. But, at this point in history science remained in the nurturing womb of philosophy and had yet to branch off into its current form.

This happened when towering figures such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Isac Newton showed how by using maths a human might offer an explanation for the way the world works to such accuracy that knowledge became wedded to science. Of course, this had an effect on philosophy no longer the sole proprietor of Truth. Being forced to observe this baby called science philosophy held it as an object of its reflections. One such example being the creator of Positivism the thinker Auguste Comte who wrote about how science was an inevitability in his somewhat Hegel inspired tripartite movement from metaphysics and theology to positivism construed as a study of the relations between a growing body of natural knowledge; such a system is pro-science, ‘When these different operations are sufficiently advanced to have assumed an irrevocable character, we shall see social education itself fall for ever into the hands of the scientists.’ (Comte, …) Words like this contain what many would like to believe, that science is a social education, progressing by way of shared research. There is no longer the need for individual greatness or of the speculative prolonged reflections philosophy offers – science now has a track record of knowledge production.

Such a situation where science has buried its parents might sometimes feel like it is the case or even desirable: in 2010 Stephen Hawking went on record as saying he believes philosophy to be dead. So, this leaves us at a contested position either philosophy still has something to add to the sciences or it is indeed useless? However, this misses an important part of the question: ‘useless for the practice of science’, so it is of course essential to leave behind the debate on the qualities of the two separate disciplines and focus on what they each have to say about one another’s practices. Philosopher of Science Samir Okasha explains the practice of science to contain two distinct features the experiment and the theory. Okasha hones in on the valuable role he thinks philosophy of science performs; it continues questioning when the scientist equipped with belief in the reproducibility of his experiment stops questioning. He mentions this in line with a problem science and philosophy both share how to differentiate between that which is pseudo- or just operating under the name of the practice.

I would argue that considering all of what one has just mentioned philosophy of science remains very useful for the practices of science. For the following reasons should suffice to support this: 1) Science often needs more ethical considerations – just think of the Manhatten project, nuclear power, and the future of DNA editing, 2) Occasionally science has discovered something remarkable but it may not know how to communicate precisely what the discovery is telling them – a perfect example would be quantum physics and the human mind. 3) Philosophy exerts parental rights over science as its history shows it was rationalist philosophers such as Leibniz and Descartes who inspired Newton’s breakthroughs in calculus and physics. A potential problem for this conclusion is that the practices of some philosophers who may habitually over question, or harbour questions that are unfairly weighted against science containing a prejudice will inevitably be disruptive. Yet, I would suggest that such a philosopher has not spent enough time reflecting and therefore in the rare event that they come into contact with the practice of science one does not imagine that the scientist would put up with such distractions for long. The probability of this is very low and controlled and well thought out criticism of both practices is obviously encouraged.

Finally, one last argument in favour of the usefulness of the philosophy of science:

  1. Let us say that a progressive scientific research programme is near a new discovery in Dark matter and energy.
  2. The scientific experiments provide certifiable and undeniable evidence for the But, the scientific community does not know what their results, the discovery actually means outside the context of the experiment. It refutes earlier theories but leaves questions unanswered.
  3. Therefore, science will greatly benefit from having a philosopher who used to questioning questions will bring new abstract interpretations to the table, and thus greatly improve the probability of agreeing upon what the discovery means and how it should be communicated.

  1. A better interpretation of probability could solve the problem of induction.

Let us begin with a clear definition of what induction is and why it has for so long been considered problematic. Induction is a form of argument that stands in contrast to deduction. Deduction is an argument that contains a conclusion deduced from its premises this makes it necessarily true because it follows that if the premises of the argument are all true then the conclusion must be true. Abduction, differs from this because the argument contains premises/inferences that do not necessarily support the conclusion an example of such abduction and its reasoning is below:

A large quantity of reports contain errors of calculation

All the reports were written by the same person.


Therefore, all the reports will have to be re-written.

Here it is evident that if we compare the first premise with the conclusion it follows that it is only contingently true that all the reports will have to be re-written because a large quantity is not ‘all reports’. Following Okasha we can understand why this way of reasoning is an issue for philosophy in that inductive reasoning is often found in everyday use. Okasha’s examples include the following, ‘when you turn the steering wheel of your car you assume that it will turn the way it turns because of past events’(Okasha…). Continuing thinking through inductive reasoning Okasha cites the Scottish Enlightenment thinker David Hume  who was the first to offer up an explanation for the dominance of inductive reasoning in our everyday experiences. Hume claimed that it was due to pure animal habit that we reason in such way and so when we induce that the sun will rise in the morning tomorrow we do so because of the Uniformity of Nature (U.N)(Hume, ). In short this is an assumption relative to objects we have or have not observed. Hume continued when considering if the U.N could be proven and he denied that it could stating that there could exist a universe where nature was not uniform and existed in a state of constant flux. Essentially, Okasha helps distill Hume’s point that: there is no way of empirically proving the uniformity of nature without trying to persuade someone who does not trust in induction is a process of induction thus committing the formal fallacy of begging the question.

You may say that it seems like one of those stereotypical problems that philosophers bicker over and you would be correct. But, many philosophers argue that induction is so essential to how we think that it is not something provable. Although there are the following responses to problem of induction:

  1. Peter Strawson’s analogy: ‘If someone worried about whether a particular action was legal, they could consult the law-books and compare the action with what the law-books say. But suppose someone worried about whether the law itself was legal. This is an odd worry indeed. For the law is the standard against which the legality of other things is judged, and it makes little sense to enquire whether the standard itself is legal.

Induction is a standard to which we decide whether or not our claims are justified.


  1. Inference to the best explanation (I.B.E)

 

Basic everyday induction takes the form of:  ‘all x’s examined so far have been y’,

and the conclusion has had the form ‘the next x to be examined will be y’, or sometimes, ‘all x’s are y’. In other words, these inferences take us from examined to unexamined instances of a given kind.

In I.B.E there can not be two events that infer the conclusion so we have a most probable one take the example argument below:

The left over curry in the fridge has been eaten.

The husband/wife arrived home from work late.


The Husband/Wife ate the left over curry.

Charles Darwin used Inductive reasoning in his theory of evolution saying that evolution or the development of species only makes sense if there is an observable relation a common ancestor (horses and zebras for example).

Okasha, explores a potential disagreement with (I.B.E) that it remains uncertain as to how to distinguish between possible explanations and the data present in the argument. The solution is that the explanation that is the best is also the most simple one. Yet, using simplicity and parsimony (…?) as solutions still does not resolve the problem because it does not say anything about the main issue that ‘the uniformity of nature’ makes problematic that the universe may be either simple or complex.

Part of the confusion surrounding how to resolve this is the problem of interpreting the word ‘probability’ some say that when we state the probability of something happening let us say the chances of me cooking a vegetarian dish tonight are 1/10 rather than an exact percentage or prediction it communicates a subjective interpretation.

[contrasting with the usual frequency interpretation of probability: If you read that the probability of an Englishwoman living to 100 years of age is 1 in 10, you would understand this as saying that one-tenth of all Englishwomen live to the age of 100. / But what if you read that the probability of finding life on Mars is 1 in 1,000? Does this mean that one out of every thousand planets in our solar system contains life? Clearly it does not. For one thing, there are only nine planets in our solar system.]

[The logical interpretation of probability rejects the idea that there are no objective facts about probability (subjective interpretation) by saying that there is true and false positions regarding events. Evidence for this Advocates of the logical interpretation think that for any two statements in our language, we can in principle discover the probability of one, given the other as evidence. For example, we might want to discover the probability that there will be an ice age within 10,000 years, given the current rate of global warming.]

{0.9 < maximum is one 1/10,1000 I.e once every ten thousand years}

  • Mendelian genetics, which deals with the transmission of genes from one generation to another in sexually reproducing populations. One of the most important principles of Mendelian genetics is that every gene in an organism has a 50% chance of making it into any one of the organism’s gametes (sperm or egg cells). Hence there is a 50% chance that any gene found in your mother will also be in you, and likewise for the genes in your father. Using this principle and others, geneticists can provide detailed explanations for why particular characteristics (e.g. eye colour) are distributed across the generations of a family in the way that they are. Now ‘chance’ is just another word for probability, so it is obvious that our Mendelian principle makes essential use of the concept of probability.
  1. (Okasha) “For John and Jack both accept the evidence that the sun has risen every day in the past, but Jack fails to realize that this evidence makes it highly probable that the sun will rise tomorrow, while John does realize this. Regarding a statement’s probability as a measure of the evidence in its favour, as the logical interpretation recommends, tallies neatly with our intuitive feeling that the premisses of an inductive inference can make the conclusion highly probable, even if they cannot guarantee its truth.”

As a statement in and by itself yes it is the case that a “better interpretation” may one day solve the problem of uncertainty surrounding inductive reasoning and arguments. However such an interpretation would seem to need to be inhumanely accurate to factor in the relation between chance and uncertainty. Maybe a future quantum computer may make advances in probability that will enable us to resolve this issue, but one remains highly sceptical of such a solution because it would imply the possibility of a world without uncertainty and irrationality and this one believes to be unattainable and undesirable for a science.


  1. Falsificationism rejects confirmation and verification, and thus can resolve the problem of induction.

Karl Popper Science: Conjectures and Refutations

  1. “Mr Turnbull had predicted evil consequences …, and now was doing the best in his power to bring the about the verification of his prophecies.”

-Anthony Trollope

  1. “The problem that troubled me at the time was neither, ‘when is a theory true?’, or ‘ when was a theory acceptable?’. My problem was how to distinguish between pseudo-science and science?”
  • Popper was thrilled with the affirmative experiment and confirmation of Einstein’s calculations for gravity by Eddington’s Eclipse Observations in 1919
  1. Popper had a problem with three theories: Marx’s ‘theory of history’ (Historical Materialism), Freud’s (psychoanalysis – unconscious), and individual psychology. He held a problem with their claims to science because of their lack of certainty or success when measured to the objective predictions they made… compared to the certainty of Einsteinian physics… For Popper these three theories resembled myths rather than science and astrology rather than astronomy.

Popper’s peers are impressed by these theory’s explanatory power, and that they seem to have evidence for their validity everywhere in the world. But this is not the case for Popper.

  1. Against Freud and Adler, Popper used this analogy, ‘Using two choices one human being is confronted with when a man pushes a child into the water with the intention of drowning it, and another that sacrifices his own life to save the youth. Each of the cases can be easily explained via way of Freud and Adler’s theories. In the first instant ( The man suffered from repression/while the second managed sublimation). Secondly, in Adler’s language the first man suffers from inferiority produced due to a need to prove something, the second man is the same he needs to prove he can save the child, The theory’s always seemed to have a conclusive answer and conclusion regardless of the scenario.
  2. He says that Einsteins confirmation of the light of a star during an eclipse bends making it appear further away from the sun. Popper mentions the aspect of risk in these scientific predictions. If they do not match the reality of the world exactly then they are refuted.
  • A) For popper you should not be chasing after confirmations but good scientific theories are a prohibition they forbid certain things to happen. B) Irrefutability is not a good aspect of a theory it is a vice. C) Testability is a way of falsifiability (important). D) Occasionally a scientific theory is saved from refutation because there is an ad hoc auxiliary assumption or hypothesis. But, this destroys the viability and validity of the theory, lowering its status.
  • The Criterion of a scientific theory is its falsifiability, testability, and refutability.
  1. The Criterion of falsifiability is about drawing a line between theories with empirical evidence (science) and those without.
  2. The above is an answer to theproblem of demarcation… “because it says that systems of statements in order to be qualified as scientific… must be capable of conflicting with possible or conceivable observations.

… Imre Lakatos Science and Pseudo-science…

 

  1. “Blind commitment to a theory is not an intellectual virtue, it is a crime” Scepticism towards one’s own theories is essentially scientific… Belief’s role in formatting knowledge is suspended …
  • Objectivity is essential for science:

‘If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity, or school metaphysics, for

instance; let us ask, does it contain any abstract reasoning concernig quantity

or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter

of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames. For it call contain

nothing but sophistry and illusion.’   

  • David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748)
  • Newton once confidently claimed he only produces proposals based upon facts, and especially Kepler’s facts about the movement of the objects in outer space. This was incorrect because Kepler’s facts stated that planets moved in ellipses. Newton claimed that planets would move in ellipses if they did not disturb each other in their motion. However they did so Newton was forced to develop a pertubation theory that states that no planets move in ellipses.
  • ‘inductive logicians’. Inductive logic set out to define the probabilities of different theories according to the available total evidence. If the mathematical probability of a theory is high, it qualifies as scientific; if it is lowor even zero, it is not scientific. Thus the hallmark of scientific honest) would be never to say anything that is not at least highly probab Probabilism has an attractive feature: instead of simply providing a black-and-white distinction between science and pseudoscience, it provides a continuous scale from poor theories with low probability to good theories with high probability. But, in 1934, Karl Popper, one of the most influential of our time, argued that the mathematical probability. of all theories, scientific or pseudoscientific, given any amount of evidence is zero.” If Popper is right, scientific theories are not only equally Inprovable but also equally improbable.
  1. Tom Kuhn, adistinguished American philosopher of science, arrived at this conclusion after discovering the naivety of Popper’s falsificationism. But if Kuhn is right, then there is no explicit demarcation between science and pseudoscience, no distinction between scientific progress and intellectual decay, there is no objective standard of honesty. But what criteria can he then offer to demarcate scientific progress from intellectual degeneration?
  • Now, how do scientific revolutions come about? If we have two rival research programmes, and one is progressing while the other is degenerating, scientists tend to join the progressive programme.

  1. Creationism is a science. (And what is the implication for whether it is rational to believe in creationism?)

Elliot Sober, ‘Creationism’ in Philosophy of Biology, (2000)

  1. Begins by discussing phrenology (measuring the human skull to distinguish behaviours of the mind… as a serious research programme in the past now regressive.
  2. WE must distinguish the people from the propositions they maintain.
  • The earth is flat but this does not stop there being ‘flat-earthers’
  1. Scientific (added to creationism to imply that it appeals to evidance for the existence of god. Creationism vs Evolution / A intelligent being a designer vs natural selection
  2. He assesses the logic both positions defend…
  3. He suggests that creationism has not developed a scientific research programme and still only makes one claim an appeal to God. Evolution on the other hand has grown with many hypothesis tested and grown into a progressive research programme.
  • Sober comments on the authentic intellectual background of the ‘design argument’ explaining that rational theology was a tradition that contained a lot of what was best of western philosophy due to its grounding in reason and rationality.
  • Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas wrote five reasons for the existence of god… the fifth of these arguments is ‘intelligent / argument from design; (1224-1274) building upon ideas developed by Plato and Aristotle.
  1. This argument from design met its heyday with Hume’s Scepticism Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779) and was never believed in in the same way again. (compared to the Bridgewater Treatise)
  2. Abduction Logic of design argument laid out by William Paley, Natural Theology (1805) – An inference to the best explanation containing two possibilities: 1) God is an intelligent designer an engineer so he built organisms that would be well suited to their habitat. 2) Random lumps of matter where transformed by random physical forces into living things. Paley wants to show the former as being more probable.
  3. He uses an analogy of a complex object, a watch with moving parts that functions as a whole. Its success as an object is because it had an intelligent designer.
  • The Likelyhood Principle Edwards 1972.

Consider a statement we know to be true O. Then consider two explanations  (H1…H2...) for why O is true. The likelihood principle reads as follows: O strongly favours H1  over H2 if and only if H1 assigns a higher probability to O than H2 does…

In the notation of probability theory this says:

strongly favors H1 over H2  if and only if P(O/H1) >> P(O/H2).

Expressing the likelihood that hypothesis 1 has in light of observation but don’t confuse

‘It is likely’ and ‘it is probable’ P(O/H1) – P(H1/O) How are they different? Consider the following:

You are sitting in a cabin one night and you hear rumbling in the attic. We wonder what could have produced the noise. I suggest that the explanation is that there are Gremlins in the attic and they are bowling. You dismiss this as implausible. Observation over hypothesis is probable … Hypothesis then observation has a likelyhood but low probability.

Applied to Paleys argument:

A: The watch is intricate and well suited to the task of time keeping.
W1: The watch is the product of intelligent design.
W2: The watch is the process of random physical processes.

Paley claims that P(A/W1) >> P(A/W2) . He then says the same pattern of analysis applies to the following triplets of statements.

B : Living things are intricate and well suited to the task of surviving and reproducing.
L1: Living things are the product of intelligent design
L2:  Living things are the product of random physical processes.

Paley argues that if you agree with him about the watch then you should agree that

P(B/L1) >> P(B/L2) .   


Hume (analogy arguments) stronger or weaker according to how similar the two objects are:  Blood circulates in humans / humans are similar to dogs/plants / dogs plants blood circulates.

Object A has property P

Object A and property T are similar to degree

N _________________________________________


Object T has property P.

 

N measures the degree of probability two objects are alike n = o / n = 1

For Hume this shows that even as an argument of analogy the degrees of similarity between a living organism and a watch are not enough to make the argument feasible but Paley’s argument may stand alone.


Third use of the likelyhood principle consider we toss a coin a thousand times and note on each toss whether the coin lands heads or tails. We record the observational results in statement O below and wish to use O to discriminate between two hypothesis.

O:  The coin landed heads on 803 tosses and tails on 197
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H1:  The coin is biased towards heads – its probability of landing heads when tossed is 0.8
H2:  The coin is fair – its probability of landing heads when tossed is 0.5

  • Inference in induction cause and effect based upon prior knowledge of the probable cause. – Hume

  • Problem with the Design argument and induction: Sample size “Suppose we have good reason to believe that the organisms in our world are the product of intelligent design, then we must have looked at lots of other worlds and observed intelligent designers creating organisms there. We have observed no such worlds so our sample size for postulating the design argument is 0

Darwin – Natural selection and the survival of the fittest… if it involves an element of chance as to the evolutionary selection of species and the survival of hereditary beneficial genetic traits. Then this makes it a random process NO

Natural selection includes unequal probability and for this reason it is not a random process. 1) variation must arise within the population, 2) natural selection goes to work selecting modifying the frequencies of the variants present.

  • Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker (1986)

Imagine a mechanical device that like a combination lock composed of series of disks side by side. On each side the 26 letters of the alphabet are placed. There are 26 possibilities on each disk and 19 discs giving  different possible sequences.

-one of these is: METHINKSITISAWEASEL… the probability of this being spun is 1/  a very small one … but the analogy applies to evolution because the device can be adapted so that when one of the target letters is viewed the device freezes it greatly increasing the speed at which the ordered whole can be attained. Natural selection works in a similar way.

Variation (not about usefulness – more about from the variants what can be retained)   and Retention.

 

Voltaire, satarized Leibniz’s God created the most perfect world… with DR. Pangloss in Candide

 

Jacob, natural selection is a tinkerer — argument via similarity / Vestigial Traits (

  • Panda’s boney thumb related to bears…

  • tree of life … common ancestor — all animals share a genealogical history…

DNA( amino acids )  RNA(messenger)

“Coding is arbitrary then it affects the likelihood argument… if the genetic code was the most functionary then we would expect all terrestrial life to use it regardless of origin.”

The problem of productive equivalence …

 

 

         O : Organisms are imperfectly adapted to their environment
        Dp: Species were separately created by a super-intelligent and omnipotent god
Who wanted to make organisms/ perfectly suited/adapted to their environment.
 Ev :  Species evolved from common ancestors from natural selection.

The observations are said to favour a hypothesis of evolution  over the perfectionist

Design hypothesis Dp: P(O/Ev) >> P(O/Dp).  But now consider a Trickster (Descartes god as perfect being / trickster)

hypothesis: D1 : Species were created separately by a god who made them look just the way they wood if they had evolved from natural selection.

Ev and DT are predictively equivalent… The Likelihood Principle is baced upon a comparison of competing hypotheses.

Creationism is not a scientific argument because it is un-testable … influenced by Karl Popper (Falsifiability is the hallmark of scientific questioning)

 

Popper used to believe that evolution was a metaphysical research programme… but changed his mind.

  1. Observation sentences (popper)

Poroposition P is falsifiable if and only if P deductively implies at least one observation sentence O.

 

Problem: Observation is often theory laden… our perception is not separable from theory.

Poppers Falsifiability Criterion has deeper problems:

1)Tacking Problem

Suppose that some proposition S is falsifiable then it immediately follows that S in a conjunction with another proposition N is also falsifiable. That is if S makes predications that can be checked observationally, then so does S&N. This is an embarrassment for Poppers theory because he wanted to distinguish between the scientific and the non scientific.

  • Strange relationship of a proposition to its negation.

Consider the statement of the form “ All As are B”. Popper judges this as falsifiable because you can observe a single A that is not B. Now consider the negation of the generalization, “There exists an Object that is both A and not – B” This statement is not falsifiable. No single observed object or finite collection of them can falsify the existent claim. Generalization is falsifiable, and the negation is not. Surely is a statement is scientific its negation is falsifiable suggesting that falsifiability is not a good criterion for being scientific.

  • Theories make testable hypothesis when they are conjoined with auxiliary assumptions T by itself does not deductively imply O, but rather T&A.

Peirre Duhems  thesis theory and auxillary hypothesis… Dinosaur and meteor … the theory said nothing about metal iridium being located in certain places so theory needed auxillary hypothesis … this metal has higher concentrations in meteors than found on earth.

  • Probability statements in science are unfalsifiable “ A coin toss is fair because of 0.5 probability” well what if you toss it five times?

[Evolution against Creationism… unscientific main arguments can not be tested

Creationism against Evolution … Scientific theories are often incomplete or are refuted.]

Examples of Poppers problems:

Asymmetry:

Faslification Verification

If T then O                                                                                 If T, then O

Not –O                                                                                          O

________                                                                                       __________

Then not –T                                                                                 T

(Deductively Valid)                                                                (Invalid)

….………

If T&A, Then O                                                                          If T&A, Then O

Not-O                                                                                           O

_____________                                                                                 ______________

Not – T                                                                                            T

(Deductively Valid)                                                                (Invalid)

….……………………………………………………………………………………

A vestige of Poppers asymmetry can be restored if we include the premiss that

The auxiliary assumptions (A) are true…

Falsification                                                                            Verification

If T&A, then O                                                                          If T&A, then O

A                                                                                                  A

. O                                                                                                O

_____________                                                                              _____________

Not- T                                                                                          T

(deductively Valid)                                                                   (Deductively Invalid)

To falsify we have to assume that A is true

Left argument asserts that if we cannot verify theoretical statements, Then we can not falsify them either!!

 

Problem: Popper’s Asymmetry thesis: EQUATES WHAT CAN BE KNOWN WITH WHAT CAN BE DEDUCED VALIDLY FROM OBSERVED STATMENTS.    

….……………………………………………………………………………………….

The Virtue of Vulnerability

Vulnerability appears to be a defect and not a virtue … of science. Why is important that our hypothesis be refutable and vulnerable?

The Liklyhood Principle helps answer these questions. A consequence of this principle is that If  O  favors H1  over H2 , then not-O would favor H2 over H1  .

Because P(O/H1) > P(O/H2) , then P(not – O/H1) < P(not -O/H2) For our beliefs to be supported by observational evidence. For, this to be possible there must be possible observations against them.

“Duheim’s thesis say the hypothesis in science makes testable predictions only when they are conjoined with auxiliary premises / assumptions. Creationists claims that organisms are the result of an intelligent designer is no different. The only distinguishing factor is that creationist auxiliary assumptions are not independently supported. If we can not choose test between auxiliary assumptions then the design hypothesis is not validated.

Sometimes creationists criticize evolutionary biology and philosophy as too naturalistic    

But science is commited to a methodology and not a substantive claim about the way the world should be…

Difference in arguments makes creationism un- falsifiable.

 

 


  1. Explanations should be arguments.

 

In this essay one will provide an argument in support of the statement, ‘explanations should be arguments’. One will do this by citing sources within the practices of the philosophy of science. An area of philosophy which does not seek to think like a scientist even though this often is the case, yet the philosopher who has science as the subject of their thought is faced with a maze of initial questions: the simplest would be what exactly is science? How are we to understand its qualities such as power (political/cultural), importance, and accuracy? Amongst these considerations there are the questions that could be asked surrounding the difficulty of placing or situating explanations and arguments. Both, are essential to science but considering them philosophically the two do not appear to be as clear and distinct as one might initially assume. To overcome the assumption that one understands these two component parts of science I will maintain a simple line of reasoning. Starting with the presumption that if arguments were not explanations than this would make the whole praxis of science a sad unsocial enterprise without its current relevancy.

Such a reality is not true and this is because of the explanatory power of arguments and vice versa the argumentative force of explanations. This is observable in texts by Samir Okasha in his introduction to this strand of philosophy (2016), and David Lewis discussing ‘causal explanation’ (1986). The later text begins with a consideration of an explanandum event, and the causal chain leading up to it ad infinitum. Implying that in the event of describing a phenomenon many causes may be found together or even as part of the explanadum. Lewis articulates in the reductive spirit of science the importance of information in explaining and how this is dependent on a causal history.

‘The why-question concerning a particular event is a request for explanatory

information and hence a request that an act of explaining be performed.

(Lewis, 1986. 218)’

What is forthrightly expressed here is the structural relation between information and an act of explaining; where the act is an argument and information is equal to explicans (premises) resulting in a conclusion or explanation of an event. This strikes one as being remarkably human in that we find ourselves in a world that demands explanation but in this very relation contains a necessary process of arguing for or against a number of causes – our success in this process is due to scientific causality.   

This notion is supported elsewhere in the text when Lewis expresses gratitude to David Velleman who told him that humans explain by way of analogy moving the unfamiliar towards the familiar. After discussing how its possible to explain in a bad or good way Lewis shows the shared interest we have in understanding by way of logical argumentation, ‘But credibility is not a separate merit alongside truth; rather, it is what we go for when seeking truth as best we can.(Lewis, 1986. 218)’ The idea that truth and credibility are to be taken on merit is then met with the capabilities of the human. The struggle to explain is just as important as the explanation itself and this is a big contributor to the power of science: it is an assumption to suggest that since our species first breath we have striven for the certainty the truth provides us because today some people desire to remain ignorant to the wonders that science may bring.

Philosopher Samir Okasha adds yet greater emphasis on the human component of science but just after discussing objects being ‘multiply realised’ at the physical level (how physical entities take different forms in the observable universe) he explains this notion of sciences incomplete reducibility by discussing the concept of a biological cell. But, this multiple realisability just deepens our need to understand explanatory arguments or argumentative explanations.

‘So the concept “cell” can not be defined in terms drawn from fundamental physics

There is no true statement of the form ‘x is a cell if and only if x is …’ where the

blank is filled by an expression taken from the language of microphysics.

(Okasha, 2016. 57)’

Okasha helps further one’s inquiry by allowing for an approach to the dilemmas at stake via way of language. Viewing the language of science is useful because it helps in honing in on the reasons for supporting our beginning statement and the following conclusion. Although you might say that adopting a position that views language as the main evidence in favour of explanations being arguments being invalid because it reduces the beauty inherent to the simplification that is necessary for scientific certainty, in the form of equations and formula for example. In other words one main disagreement is that arguments remain prone to linguistic uncertainty and ruin the simplicity inherent to science by adding unnecessary complexity by generalising separate instantiations of existence. This one believes is an interpretation that could be used to refute my positive conclusion. Viewed from Okasha’s discussion on the antagonism that philosophers and physicists debate that the laws physics builds upon with their assumed truth are not quite irreducible to a perfect description of physical phenomena. Another example of this conundrum can be observed in Bradford Skow’s paper on Physical Explanations of Mathematical Phenomena ( Skow. 2015).

However, although important and relevant such discussions move too far away from an everyday reality into the more abstract and formal discussion on apodictic qualities of physics and mathematics as such. To understand why these discourses should not be seen to effect our discussion on the co-dependency of logical structures within natural language (causal histories) and explanations (phenomenal events) then we should return to an idea mentioned by both Lewis and Okasha. The ‘covering law’ model first suggested by philosopher Carl Gustav P. Hempel states that if arguments are to provide causal information on an event then they need to appear in the form of a deductive nomological argument (containing only law premises and particular fact premises). The argument is deductive so if the premises are true then it is necessary that the conclusion is also true meeting the requirement of certainty science demands.

Yet, Lewis explains how Hempel also approached the different scenario of probability. Introducing a need to consider ‘the “specificity” of an act of explaining as being relative to the state of our knowledge; so that our ignorance can make correct an explanation that would be incorrect if we knew more.(Lewis, 1986. 232). This could bring in to doubt the belief in a human’s capacity to guarantee that there explanations can come in the form of an argument. But, there is one more contributory factor that I would argue supports an acceptance of the incompleteness of knowledge and that is the extremely relevant contemporary importance of information. Lewis also comments on information inviting us to consider its role in determining whether or not our explanations are of a good or bad quality – in fact information is the first on his list. I argue that this is structurally important for causal histories.

I have chosen to represent this by showing how the notion of a covering law argument also has to embrace a dualism or vulnerability seen as relevant to the physical state of our knowledge (information). In other words this necessary vulnerability in science pared with its certainty or inevitability of explanation are strong evidence for explanations being arguments. This is represented by two formal arguments below that show a certainty in explaining and then a vulnerability in whether our argument affirms or denies. I believe science needs its constructive dilemmas otherwise how would it continue to progress? One last consideration to further the scope of the essay is it important to avoid the trap of arguing for explanations under the guise of completed facts because these are always subject to change? So, subsequently it has to be the case that explanations should be arguments leaving the horizon of scientific discovery truly open to future human understanding[…] 

 

Argument one

 

  1. Explanations should be arguments using pre-given information.
  2. Scientists use a formal language (arguments that contain certain pre-given ) to explain a given phenomena. (1.2, explanans/explicands).

  1. Therefore it follows that there is new information produced

of the given phenomena needing explanation. (explanandum/explicandum).

 

Argument two

 

  1. If good information then an affirmation, and if bad information then a negation
  2. There is good information or bad information
  3. Therefore there is affirmation or negation

 

¤

 

Bibliography

 

_

 

Lewis, D. (1986), ‘Causal Explanations’ in Philosophical Papers Vol. Ii. Oxford University Press.

Okasha, S. (2016), Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction, 2/e, Oxford University Press.

Skow, B. (2015), British Journal of the Philosophy of Science, 66, 69-93.  

 

The No Miracles Argument is a Decisive Refutation of Antirealism

At the heart of science resides sceptical or radical doubt; inherited from its founders. Figures like Descartes, Leibniz, Newton, Galileo all embodied movements of doubting what was perceived as real. Science has moved to a point where it appears trapped in a desire for absolute certainty in a set of physical laws affirmed in one equation and one mathematical proof (Hawking, Michio kaku, Thomas Nagel).

But, if we go back to the days of Descartes and Galileo there is a clear antagonism between free-thinking (doubting our understanding of the physical world) and the certainty of religious belief. Science has since seemed to be victorious in these disagreements. However, this success has come without physics being able to provide a completely certain explanation of the reality we exist in. This invites within science itself a physical reflection. Culminating in a contemporary debate involving those who support the idea that the conclusions science provides contain real facts that tell us something true about this world and its phenomena.

This stance is called ‘scientific realism’ and those in opposition  to such a perspective argue that science only provides “empirically adequate” descriptions of the unobservable phenomena; a position called ‘Ant-realism’.   The realists have used an argument called the ‘No Miracles Argument’ (N.M.A) to refute the Anti-realists. This argument supports what philosopher of science Hilary Putnam once expressed, ‘Realism is the only philosophy that does not make the success of science a miracle’, Putnam is supported by the vast evidence that science’s predictive force is highly successful (but, we should probably say reliable?).

Nevertheless, I believe the position of the realists and their use of the N.M.A does not provide a decisive refutation of Anti-realism. So, in this essay one will argue that a simplification of thinker Colin Howson’s thought on the N.M.A ; following Howson I propose, or put forward a position that expresses a simple model acceptance of miracles in science. In other words I think science does contain miracles suggesting that miracles can also be scientific. From this an argument against a realist use of N.M.A can be made: when realists reject miracles they also reject possibility and plurality in favour of necessity and singularity. I will now offer examples or contexts where evidence for this argument and conclusion can be observed.

Starting with the philosopher Colin Howson’s work on David Hume (Howson, 2015) we see how, ‘Hume inferred an extreme smallness of P(m) , from the definition of a miracle: as an event which violates the laws of nature.’(interesting “violates” the laws of nature)… It is possible to see Hume’s thought clearly: you don’t see a miracle everyday. But, this just remains trapped in observability which is too simple. Howson begins by showing that the N.M.A commits a ‘base rate’ fallacy, a fallacy that ignores or privileges one kind of information over another. He shows how the argument that supports N.M.A to be false it does not say anything about base rates or likelihood.

  1.  P(S/T) is quite large
  2.  P(S/¬T) is extremely small

  • Therefore, prob. (T/S) is large.

Where (t) is ‘substantially true’, and (s) is predictive success. This argument ignores the dependency of the posterior probability on the prior. That can be observed as necessary including likelihood (λ). Observing odds can be seen in ‘Bayes Theorem: odds (T/S)  = λ odds (t). Where odds are related to probabilities in the usual way, and (λ) is the likelihood ratio, so P(S/T)/P(S/¬T) , this then only shows Bayes factor in favour of P(t), and that likelihood is large; nothing about the or its odds. Thus being fallacious because as Howson points out P(t) does not have to be very large to generate a high probability value.

II.

In contrast to this a separate thinker named Psillos who attempted to reformulate the N.M.A so that it would acknowledge or consider evidence (Psillos 2009).

  1. f =1
  2. f =< 1
  • f =0
  1. f is close to 0
  2. S is the case     /  Therefore, impact of S on P (T/S) > P ( ¬T/S)

I agree with Howson’s rejection of Psillos attempt to support and re-articulate the N.M.A. In short by referencing the fact that probability coherence needs consistency. Instead of being able to choose or hand pick agreement between (t) and a given observation Psillos shows that success tells more in favour of truth than falsity because what tells in favour of truth depends on the prior.

In response to these two related examples I would argue that the N.M.A can not be seen to refute Anti-realism: that is,

(rejecting miracles simultaneously rejects possibility and plurality in favour of necessity and singularity: ( ¬  ◊ (p) → □ (s)).)

 

Phlogiston Theory is simply false, because phlogiston does not exist, and has been entirely superseded by the theory of oxygen.

Let us question this statement and see what it can communicate. First, in this statement we see a negation the claim is that Phlogiston theory is “simply false”, and then two explanations: 1) it does not exist, and 2) it has been surpassed by the theory of oxygen. So, our question may initially be twofold does either the discovery and theorisation of oxygen by French scientist Lavoisier make Phlogiston theory false and does the fact that phlogiston does not exist today make the theory worthy of simple falsity? In our discussion it will be greatly beneficial if these questions could be asked in a way that clarifies both the truth and meaning of the above statement, its position, and relevancy to the wider practice of the philosophy of science.

We could begin by suggesting or adopting the most popular definition of Truth still used by science today. That Truth is one, and a continuation of this one (it holds true and remains true over a period of time: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 …). Is it acceptable to suggest that the success of a theory is completely dependent on its truth preserving abilities? Here it would appear that if we take a science as a whole we see the legacy of the ancient Greeks Parmenides and Aristotle. The ‘Principle of Non-Contradiction’ in Aristotle is so influential it states that it is impossible for one thing to be true and false in the same way and at the same time. This could be easily taken as sufficient to affirm that indeed Phlogiston theory is simply false because oxygen clearly serves as a better explanation for a substance that when released enables bodies to burn.

But, let us look at this in an argument form:

  1. Phlogiston does not exist
  2. Phlogiston theory has been superseded by oxygen

  • Phlogiston theory is simply false

I see two discrepancies with the initial premises they do not appear to directly lead to a simple falsity. In that the first premise claims phlogiston as a material thing does not exist. The second premise says phlogiston as a theory has been transcended and replaced by oxygen. The problem here is somewhat obvious: 1) to what extent does a theory hold true to a reality subject to change? Or, do phlogiston and oxygen refer to the same object? Then, if we look at the conclusion we have assess the falsity of the phlogiston theory. If we were being very critical we could also add that the use of an adverb to describe falsity invites in an auxiliary line of questioning. However, let us keep “simply false” as meaning the simple definition that it is not true.

To conclude:Today, I will fall In line with Thomas Kuhn’s thought in that the discovery of oxygen represents a separate paradigm and therefore the frame of reference (the capacity for technical terms within a theory to correspond) is also cut. So, they are two separate objects (almost as if they exist in different worlds or universes of discourse). This though is not sufficient to say it is “simply false” rather a better conclusion would state it is necessarily false in this world and at this moment. Thus, expressing a complexity of negation essential to understanding the truth value or true value of oxygen.

 

 

Letter to Muhou-san and the Antaiji Sangha.

IMG_2582

IMG_2586

[The following is a copy of an email I will send to the head abbot of this temple in Japan. To start a discourse and one day perhaps visit to formally practice Buddhism. I look forward that moment and the start of a long and warm conversation.]

Dear Dōchō-san (abbot Muhō), and the Zen community at Antaiji,

I hope this letter reaches you quickly and I would be happy if you read this letter. I am Paul Harrison an animator and thinker who is at heart Buddhist. I have lived and worked in Tokyo Japan for two years. I’ve been learning Japanese studying with Yoko Morita sensei. Yoko told me about your temple, and so I wanted to make contact with your sangha in Hyogo. Now the first wind of spring has past you all must be looking forward to very pleasant weather (I hope you do not suffer from hayfever). Anyway the reason I am writing to you is I want to understand Zen more deeply. My teacher Mrs. Morita teaches Engaged Buddhism, and translates for a Taiwanese temple here in Tokyo. Sensei has taught me many things and ways of practising Buddhism. But, I wanted to ask you Muhō, and your Sangha’s members some questions to help spread the Buddhist truth into the wider world.

 

-Paul Harrison

禅師様、

貫主、無法さん、安泰寺の禅宗の僧伽にこの手紙を道長さん早く受け取って貰えれば、私は嬉しいです。私はポール・ハリソンと申します。日本に二年間住んでいます。英語の講師です。森田陽子先生から、日本語を習っています。陽子さんは安泰寺の事をなしましたですから、私は兵庫県の僧伽に今手紙を書いています。春ー番が吹いたので皆さんは快晴を同じいい天気を楽しみにしている事思います。『花粉症でくれしんでいないように願っています』しかし、書く理由は禅をもっと分かりたいから、そして森田先生は人間仏教を教える事いって台湾のお寺で翻訳しています。先生は私にたくさん禅について教えてくれました。それで、無法さんに私はの質問をしたいです。そして、仏教の真実を伝えたいです。それで、もっと人間が禅法を分かるように成ると思います。

歩流・梁尊

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Things That Had to be Cut From My Leuven Phil. Paper

 

Writing about Accelerationism this year has been a blast primarily because this Philosophy seemed to grow up beside me as I have constantly had a deep disdain for my own relation to Capital (mainly how it makes me feel uncomfortable) and this necessity of having to sell my labour has since the very beginning of my working life at the age of 15 as a kitchen porter been somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a career working nine to five and developing yourself, yet this always forgets that even this is not protected and guaranteed under law and the notion of rights secured by our cultural and institutional powers. This I think can be quickly summarised by saying although we do appear to be progressing towards some murky sense of equality (universal income …) this forgets a perspective that reveals a picture which challenges us to ask questions such as: If there was such a thing as a minimum wage then why is there not a maximum wage? A question like this is one we should ask ourselves; at least it will remind oneself of the sheer hypocrisy and inauthenticity of the economic superstructure known as capitalism. Let me be more clearer… I am not completely dismissing the need for some economy I am only highlighting and repeating that the one we have today is a zombie like sacrificial body – it is slowly turning us into Zombies.

After, living in Japan I regained enthusiasm for philosophy, art, and language. During this period of time I discovered a thinker who I wish to read everyday Mark Fisher, and through Fisher I discovered Nick Land. Land is one of those peeps responsible for accelerationism having a pro-capitalist agenda and therefore was in need of critique. When critiquing someone’s work it also at the same time a mark of respect and an acknowledgement even if it takes the form of a miss-reading of the original authors intentions. I am not saying this is what I have intentionally done, but the entire history of philosophy is most likely one incomprehensible miss-reading. I felt obliged to do this because one is vigilant against Land being used by those forces of the political spectrum that would look to the past undemocratic social forms and see a positive in sacrificing humanity as we now glimpse it. I saw an over-dependency on the very real figure of the cyborg and a dismissal of some of the positive qualities we all semi-consciously enact.

My paper The Existential Politics of Acceleration offers an argument that attempts to think through ‘death’ and specifically the idea of the death of humanity that is seen by some as an inevitability. Resulting in an argument that expresses the existential alternatives to any unnecessary sacrifice. I have to express gratitude to everyone that read the drafts of the paper, offering great advice, and especially to our teacher Dr. Marieke Brugnera who after reading the first draft pointed me to Sophocles’s Oedipus the King to help me structure the writing. Marieke is an awesome reader of Soren Kierkegaard and wrote her phd on this prince of existentialism and Deleuze. Critical theorist Benjamin Noy’s book was also something that greatly supported this ambition to contribute to the growing criticism of this contemporary philosophical movement.

During the process of editing and rewriting some things where left out because they where all too much to fit into one BA Paper… The following is a list of such leftovers perhaps to some individuals this may be of interest (Also sorry about all this talk on death but hey this is philosophy after all?).

  • The Inevitable Death of Your Parents Gives You Language

This does not just apply to one’s biological parents but also to progression from something in the past that generates the language of today. I think even if we consider the inevitable demise of ones parents this does carry such huge importance that I see it as foundational for the way you as a child, all of us as children of a mother or father inherit our language from our parents, yet their death is also your death, just as your birth is also their birth. Freud’s use of Oedipus and Sophocles play itself shows one of the two most disturbing possible behaviours of the human: incest and canabilistic potential. Yet, I have chosen to read it as a structure that allows us to approach language with wiser eyes. … Also, I used a little bit of modal logic to diagram this (it has a Hegelian flavour to it:)):

Ba paper logic cryptogram

 

Having thought this I am not sure to what extent this is just a natural reaction to the uneasiness that Freud’s thesis gives me, or it is an actual structure in reality one continues to ponder… YET I love both my parents and if anything both of them taught me the concept of impermanence. When as an adult I discovered inequality which makes a mockery of the prior state, that is without a shred of doubt a part of our nature. I became an unwavering enemy of Capitalism and a firm believer in utopian, that is creative thinking. So, this is just a model of how I understand the strange necessity of language gaining…

 

  • Strange Thought Processes and Diagrams (Groupings of Concepts/Ideas and Thinkers) / Logic Practice

logic

 

Ba Paper Diagram 001

argument diagram

  • Pikida ぴ乞沱 (ピキダ)

 

Pikida after the two boys in my argument. The first in the native American story involving the ritual of corn balls Piki, and the second in Freud’s analysis of the Fortsein game where the boy after retrieving his toy on a string from its banishment joyfully yells ‘Da’ (there), as in there it is! See, Freud, Beyond The Pleasure Principle, pp.12. In Japanese Pikida ぴ乞沱 (ピキダ) the Kanji 乞‘ki’ means ‘invite’, or ‘ask. 沱, ‘da’ the ‘flowing of tears’ This is my own invention a neologism that names the death I have described and the emotional effect I wish it to carry to my reader. This entire paper could be read as a demand to think about the disturbing idea of your self without others, without our species. In other words my belief is that it is possible to think of new ways to exist as a social entity, but revolutions, both political and social depend on what we might suggest to be instances of linguistic change also and this will become increasingly important as humanity increasingly desires change.

Just another addition I think one of the most powerful commentaries on death in the realm of contemporary art is the video art work Rachel, Monique (2006) by French artist Sophie Calle which is a video of her mother on her death bed. Such a proposition of catching the last breath of either your father or mother contains the emotion that Pikida ぴ乞沱 (ピキダ) contains…

img_06951

 

From Socrates in the Platonic dialogues discussing the philosopher as practising dying (because these guys really did not care much for even a sniff of materialism, never mind libidinal notions) to Heidegger and being-towards-death. The process at the end of life has always been historically central yet I think putting too much emphasis on post-humanism or the figure of the cyborg is all well and good but this should not trample over the human and label it unimportant or lacking progression. This is why I wanted to respond to the commentary on accelerationism and Nick Land…

Also, My writing this year is heavily dependent on arguing for or writing upon language … language, language, language. That is because it has become my home over these last three years – a home that constantly inspires wonder rather than disenchantment. Also my conclusion of the paper does not comment on a disturbing thought: that a desire for death is not just on the horizon but is already here… I am referencing Japan (Tokyo) and Korea (seoul) but this phenomena is sadly everywhere. A relation of over work to suicide 😦 but, this does not include the debate on euthanasia. These things need more reflection on my part but in the future I think they demonstrate that the phenomena of death is becoming increasingly important to human reality.

For those readers who are interested please get in touch if you want to read my BA Paper The Existential Politics of Acceleration: Nick Land, Oedipus, and Language I will send you a copy. It has been a real enjoyable and challenging experience studying with so many fine folk in this seminar group: Nikos Koroneos, Yorgos Alpha, Zoë Que, Farah, Albin, Marlieke, and many others who I am sorry if I forget to mention.

 

 

 

__Bataille, Georges. (1988). The Accursed Share, An Essay On The General Economy, Volume 1, Consumption, Zone Books, New York.

__Bataille, Georges. (1985). ‘The Use Value Of D.A.F De Sade’, in Visions Of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939, Theory and History of Literature, Volume 14, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

__Noys, Benjamin. (2014), Malign Velocities: Accelerationsim and Capitalism, Zero Books, Winchester U.K, Washington U.S.A.

__Deleuze, Gilles. Guatarri, Félix. (1983). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

__Land, Nick. (2014). ‘Circuitries’, in #Accelerate# The Accelerationist Reader, edited by Robin Mackay, Armen Avenessian, Urbanomic, London – Merve, Berlin.  

__Land, Nick. (1992). The Thirst For Annihilation: George Bataille & Virulent Nihilism (an Essay on Atheistic Religion), Routledge, London.

__Land, Nick. Editors: Mackay, R. & Brassier, R. (2012). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007, Urbanomic London, Sequence Press New York.

 

The Committee’s Invisibility: Is Insurrection the language of communes?

 

_________________________________________

 

Paul Harrison (2018)

__________________

 

“La tay pour seul à part

Pour les croyants, les vaillants

Qui ont peu de culture, immatures

Élevés au riz, au couscous, aux coups de ceinture

A la classe ouvrière

Les darons éboueurs

Daronnes qui taffent dans les travaux sanitaires

Dans la douleur

Pour les pucelles”

 

[“Tay for only a part

For the believers, the brave,

Who have a little culture, imatures

Raised on rice, on couscous, on hits with the belt

In the open class

The cleaner fathers

Fathers who work in cleaning jobs

In pain

For their children.”]

 

Rohff, Pour Ceux, Mafia K’1 Fry.

 

 

 

 

Are we still waiting for what was anonymously named The Coming Insurrection? It is a remarkable thing a text that simultaneously solicits an anarchist roar of laughter and a nuanced but potent philosophical reading of that which would continue the concept of the commune. A political phenomenon which in itself has a uniquely French flavour as the ‘red virgin of Montmartre’ Louise Michel demonstrated at her unjust trial, ‘I have the honor of being one of the instigators of the commune – which by the way had nothing – nothing, as is well known – to do with murder or arson.’ Michel’s words resonate today because the frequency with which states commit violence against citizens has increasingly become hypernormalised. Both, this symbol of feminine anarchism and members of the modern collective the Invisible Committee did not pay the ultimate price for exercising their political rights unlike some of Clémence’s Communard colleagues of the Paris Commune who were put to death. Nevertheless, in 2005 after the unnecessary death of two children was the catalyst for the city to be ablaze once again. It was in the aftermath of the “re-civilisation” of Paris that The Invisible Committee grew as a distant relative of the journal Tiqqun.

A name that is a modern appropriation of the hebrew Tikkun Olam (תיקון עולם) meaning ‘repair of the world’ or ‘construction for eternity’, but wikipedia suggests ‘social justice’. Putting aside wikipedia’s contribution the two prior translations remind us that the legacy of this journal and of a monsieur Coupat’s imprisonment is the radical anonymity of a contemporary re-engagement and political engendering of the concept of the commune. Initially the question of this essay was different, but this was altered to pursue an analysis of what one believes is explicitly put at stake in the text. One will begin from what is an insurrection for the committee, and then offer a reading that seeks to show that when it comes to revolution language is the animating force.

 

Marxian or … Anarchist or…, or Marxian and Anarchist Circuits?

 

 Equation 001

 

Why circuits and not circles? The circles of this anarchist publication hide the books truly revolutionary content by offering a written aesthetic that produces images of continuation that run against the texts anarchist aims: to show the ‘commune’ as the only option for radical change. One feels that circuits/circuitry would be a better fit because it is my argument that this small publication’s insurrectionist agenda (armed rebellion against authority) fails to consider how much more violent language as the kernel of technology could be. One could even claim that the insurrection was never on the horizon it has always been present and its processes need processing.

 

An insurrectionary upswing perhaps means no more than a multiplication of

communes, their connections to each other, and their articulation. In the course of

events, either the communes will melt into entities of a larger scale, or they will break

up into fractions. Between a band of brothers and sisters tied together “in life and

in death,” and the meeting of a multiplicity of groups, committees, gangs, to organize

supplies and self defense in a neighborhood, or even in a whole region in revolt,

there is only a difference of scale; they are all communes.’

 

It is through the articulation of this communal spectrum that constitutes the truly emancipatory frequency of technology a trojan horse for new language. Of course not everyone is so optimistic; in author Ian McKay’s review he believes this insurrection to be satirical, but McKay both misses the deep potentials of this text by asserting that socialism needs more misery for it to be desirable. To McKay’s overcritical stance one will show the validity of my conclusion: The Coming Insurrection is a call to resolve the antagonisms that have plagued the youth of today by developing a radical new concept of resistance to the obvious illegitimacy of traditional forms of power whether these be the state or family. Uniquely, this text re-ignites the fractured relations between anarchism and marxism by allowing the reader to see future struggles as an insurrection that is a language capable of disrupting and appropriating technology to proliferate community against the isolating mandate of capitalism.

The weakness of the committee’s invisibility is that it fails to recognise the Marxism within its Anarchism. A problem that is not entirely new it was Marx who first caused the unhelpful split and entrenched different aims. However this uncapitalised political scripture puts forward a unification seemingly lost in the intellectual ineptness of yesteryear. This relation has existed throughout the entire history of Left wing thinking the Anarchists and Marxists have always been conjunctive. One finds this not only philosophically stimulating but also peculiar how historically the two have been moving in parallel, yet their language remains technocratic. Both revolutionary stances continue disjunctively when the commune’s language is always an ‘and’ it has to say ‘we are’, and ‘we are not (the government)’. But, this just describes the contemporary revolutionary’s predicament. In Tiqqun’s own words they summarise the political desire at stake, but fail to provide evidence for the future social circuitry. That is why the powers that be were so spooked.

 

On the one hand, we want to live communism; and on the other, to spread anarchy.´

 

To demonstrate the idea, the notion that future revolution will not just be anarchist it will rather take the form of what Tiqqun described; a communism (unlike its failed manifestations in west Germany, and Russia), and an anarchism that provides social security via directing violence into cultural production: music, art, poetry, etc! A reader may object and say the notion that usurping neoliberalism by cultivating a language of insurrection could not possibly offer an alternative to liberal democracy. The claim I make is derived from an observation of the behaviour of these commune lovers – remember members of this committee were charged with the intent to disrupt the functioning of transport systems – for me the same disruption can be much more effective if the vessel of its furore was a technical de-territorialised language.

Evidence for this belief comes from two fierce French thinkers who theorised about the encroaching urbanisation of reality as this phenomena came into being. Foucault, not only described clearly how language is our revolutionary tool of choice because it can come from the outside. In 1978 Foucault whilst lecturing on two of his most important interests ‘security’, and ‘discipline’ clearly expresses a physics of power, ‘It is not an ideology. First of all and above all it is a technology of power.’ Foucault in the same lecture traces the image of man in the emergence of the concept of population, and disagreements between classes and bioethics. Today the population should not dwell in safety because their sûreté is diseased and our ecology eroded. The population needs to learn how to use this physics of power (language) to reclaim the urban from its crushing processes of rent, pollution, and privatisation. Marxist Henri Lefebvre after citing Karl Marx’s insight in the Grundrisse ( 1939–41) comments:

 

If so, a definite change in the relationship between ideology and knowledge

must occur: knowledge must replace ideology. Ideology, to the extent that it

remains distinct from knowledge, is characterised by rhetoric, by metalanguage,

hence by verbiage and lucubration.’           

 

Insurrectionist Instances Murder Idiotic Ideologies.   

 

These words help one clearly express what insurrection was for this most radical of committees. The freezing of that which is normal (circulation of commodities) and the subsequent state’s control frees up potential for self organisation, or ‘it’s sufficient to see how social life returns in a building suddenly deprived of electricity to imagine what life could become in a city deprived of everything’. For, the Invisible Committee ‘insurrection’ is a revolutionary process that is irreversible in completely erasing authority, property, and ownership. If individuals claim this not to be the language of the commune then one must reply by stating insurrection is the code at which a new revolutionary agenda has been set. In combing Foucault’s ‘population’ and Lefebvre’s emphasis on ‘space’ one arrives at the concept of the urban.

The Invisible Committee, members of Tiqqun, and the Tarnac Nine have made a move back to the rural but one reads this as an awareness of a very interesting perspective on the political notion of representation: the less visible we are the stronger our voice will become. That is what the move away from the urban would suggest but critically speaking if the commune needs the rural or an ecology with which to develop language as a physics of power – to seize legitimate lexicons back from crippled corrupt states. In the future what will transgress or circumscribe this dichotomy is the role of technology. At the moment the internet is materially owned by America but the culture of open source mirrors these movements and processes under discussion. Tiqqun, seem ready to also reject technology because its too structured and controlling, ‘And the obvious paradox of bodies growing stiller the more their mental functions seethe, responding in real time to the fluctuations of the information flow streaming across the screen.’ Yet, technology is an unavoidable component of the looming social revolution will politics be equally revolutionary?

A question for the reader to continue, but to end on a strong statement: when trying to kill an evil ideology it is a language of Marxism and Anarchism, a language of insurrection that will succeed in emancipation. If we fail to see this political event as a linguistic marvel then we overlook the capacity for new modes of autonomy, even new freedoms. The younger generation will grow up understanding to despise inequality they will grasp what thinker Jason E. Smith articulated as the ‘myth of the punctual insurrection becoming a classicism’. Yet, this youth will seize this punctuality to make their authentic demands: safety, equal rights, social mobility, religious and sexual freedom, good health, and compassion. For if these necessities are not met by future iterations of an urbanised monetary ideology then long may future cities burn in the violent shimmer of the people’s weapon, their power of syllabification. Against that which would masquerade as guarantor of a morphine like meaning; the illegitimacy of the superstructures that have kept the potential for a revolutionary government to enact a successful ism. One in which the technology and the language of insurrection funds future rights.

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Books & Texts


 

 

Foucault, M. (2007), Security, Territory, Population: Lectures At The College De France, 1977 – 78, Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Lefebvre, H. (1991), The Production Of Space, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith, Blackwell, Oxford UK, Cambridge, USA.

Michel, Louise. (2004) Louise Michel, edited by Nic Maclellan. Melbourne: Ocean Press.

The Invisible Committee. (2007), The Coming Insurrection, Semiotext(e) Intervention Series □ 1, L.A, California, MIT press, Cambridge, Mass. London, England.

The Invisible Committee. (2004), The Call, trans. anonymous, US Committee to Support the Tarnac 9.

Tiqqun. (2011), This Is Not a Program, Semiotext(e) Intervention Series □ 7, L.A, California, MIT press, Cambridge, Mass. London, England.

 

Journals & Papers


 

Culp, A. (2009) Insurrectionary Foucault: Tiqqun, The Coming Insurrection, and Beyond, (Rethinking Marxism Conference, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, November)

Smith, E. J. The Day After The Insurrection: On ‘First Revolutionary Measures’, Radical Philosophy 189. (January/February 2015)

McKay, I. ‘Review Of The Coming Insurrection’, in Anarchist Studies; 2011; 19, 1

Phenomenology 現象学

Phenomenology 現象学 [げんしょうがく] – Short Review – Professor Stefano Micali

Studying at the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven University is a great experience for many reasons. But one of the main positives is its role and position within the intellectual traditions of the European continent. Specifically this institute at this university is presently a member of the big umbrella of “research universities” of Europe but before being granted such stature it has been since its founding a Thomasian institution modelled on the thoughts of Christian thinker St. Thomas Aquinas the author of the mighty Summa Theologia. During the period of Nazi terror and over world war 2 a phd student smuggled Edmund Husserl’s Nachlass out of Germany and to Leuven. Leuven became the permanent home for the archives of Husserl and in 1962, a young Jacques Derrida came to KU Leuven from Paris precisely to read this great German masters thoughts; resulting in the publication of the popular and deeply inviting books such as Origins Of Geometry, and Speech and Phenomena.

One should take the time just to observe these facts and how Husserl’s philosophy Phenomenology is special because unlike other aspects of philosophy it remains not only a relevant methodological apparatus but an unfinished and inviting intellectual tradition. This year I am taught Phenomenology by Professor Stefano Micali who has provided a syllabus that not only includes Husserl but Marcel Proust, Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, and Sigmund Freud. The following blog post is designed to review, expand, and build upon the course content we have covered so far – to prepare for the exams and to participate in the joyful sharing of information with the wider community. 😉 –

  • What is Phenomenology?

Phenomenology is a philosophy that seeks to understand the essence of consciousness through a unique methodology and vocabulary. It first acknowledges that humans have what is referred to as the natural attitude’, that we should understand as an everyday assumption that there exists an external world independent of I that is the thinking subject. Husserl perhaps was not fully persuaded by Descartes use of God as objective validity for the external world, but was influenced by his scientific method of reduction. So, following one of the main historical currents of philosophy from its Greek founders Husserl wished for his philosophy to carry certainty as a first philosophy (of its kind) as a basis for future sciences. He set about doing this via his method of reduction which is two fold: 1) “The phenomenological reduction”, including the suspension of the natural attitude, the unwavering belief that our senses depict reality as it really is – an attempt to do research without a metaphysical presupposition of a world independent of us. 2) “The Eidetic Reduction”, following the phenomenological reduction, this reduction is ‘Eidetic’ because it allows access to the essence of consciousness – in the sense of different stratum of time (streams of consciousness/involuntary memory), and the structure of experiences – all experiences are based on consciousness as absolute field of experiences. Husserl wanted to be linguistically clear from the outset – Eidetic, Eidos, a “terminologically unspoiled name”, and the German wesen [essence] were preferably chosen.

The sheer richness of Husserl’s text pose a problem for the novice reader such as I because of the sheer amount to read (we are still translating – Husserl was a graphomaniac – there is an official word equivalent to logophile or bibliophile but I have forgotten it). Anyway, a short quote from Husserl’s Ideas should clarify the above.    

‘The relevant reduction which leads over from the psychological phenomena to the pure “essence” or, in the case of judgemental thinking, from matter of fact (empirical) universality to “eidetic” universality is the eidetic reduction. The phenomena of transcendental phenomenology will become characterized as (irreal).’

[The following are bullet points which expand upon the content of the lectures on Husserl and my clumsy reading of the great thinker… you will see that they often start with a linguistic weight, as one believes we should always follow language contra someone like the great Alain Badiou who has called language an obstacle. Plus I desire to begin to learn German one day soon.]

  1. Idee [idea], ideal [ideal]

“Desires to avoid apriori, aposteriori, … In addition, the need to keep the supremely important Kantian ‘concept of the idea’ separate from the universal concept of either formal or material essence.”

Kant: Apriori transcendental structure of sensibility

Husserl: Empircal (experience) starts from the experience.

Erlebnisse [a transcendentally purified mental process], Eriegnis [an event]

Vergegenwärtigung [apperception/presentification – to make it present, meaning forming], gegenwärtigung [an act related to the present], Wirklichkeit [reality],Lebenswelt [lifeworld]

 

Bewuβtseinerlebnis /Bewuβtseinerlebnissen [a lived experience/experiences of consciousness],

 

Epoché [ἐποχή epokhē, “suspension”] is an ancient Greek term which, in its philosophical usage, describes the state where all judgments about non-evident matters are suspended in order to induce a state of ataraxia [freedom from worry and anxiety]. This concept was developed by the Pyrrhonist school of philosophy.

In German Einklammerung [Bracketing].

 

  • Marcel Proust, Time Regained, &Swan’s Way In Search Of Lost Time

Professor Micali chose Proust because his writings contain a good route into the phenomena of DéJa Vu, how memory is often involuntary, and how we experience the past? In Proust’s on words, ‘Will it ultimately reach the clear surface of my consciousness, this memory, this old, dead moment which the magnetism of an identical moment has travelled so far to importune, to disturb, to raise up out of the very depths of my being?’ In our discussions what has been made very clear both in the lecture and the seminar is the strangeness of consciousness in the phenomena of déja vu – a situation involving a consciousness that is split into two streams of time consciousness were a past experience is re-lived in the present as if it were the same experience. This makes one ponder the power of time, how it remains so central to the philosophy and science of the West. It is remarkable this situation when we are subdued by the seeming certainty of linear time, and we become so torn between the past and the future we loose the present in but a tick of a clock hand.

‘The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect,in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) of which we have no inkling.’

When Proust searches for lost time we may read a fantastically vivid account of an experience of déja vu. Proust’s event takes place as he accepts a cup of tea from his mother and a complimentary ‘petites madeleines’ cake. After taking a bite this cake triggers an exquisite pleasure and his body shivers. Proust likens this feeling to that of love and articulates that the essence of his experiences was not in me, but was me – a joyful becoming? The language Proust uses to describe the process of the second consumption, the need to experience this experience again is awesome. He writes of an ‘echo of great spaces traversed’, and references visual memory as an image linked to that specific taste having an autonomy surfacing into his conscious mind. Yet, it remains elusive this experience of Combray and Proust has to recollect involuntarily then the memories triggered by the tea become vivid once more…

Here we should attempt to put into practice some phenomenological terminology that we mentioned above. In Proust’s case the gegenwärtigung is the sipping of the tea with the cake, then the Vergegenwärtigung would be the awareness of the initial memory the cake and tea being given to him by his aunt. It is difficult to suggest where Husserl would have suggested bracketing or using an ? Is it likely he would locate the natural attitude in the difference between the present tea and cake or the tea and cake in the memory? In the extra-temporal delight? The co-presence of separate times transforms into a spectacle of life as the ultimate form of joy… In Time Regained, Proust writes about Art also in a mind blowing way which makes it necessary to write about this in the very near future.     

‘And I began to ask myself what it could have been, this unremembered state which brought with it no logical proof, but the indisputable evidence, of its felicity, reality, and in whose presence other states of consciousness melted and vanished. I want to try to make it reappear.’

  • Henri Bergson Mind-Energy

 

This French philosopher is not only infamous for being one of the most important writers on time but is also known to have been accused of denying Einstein a noble prize because he was critical of his theory of relativity. We have read the text Mind-Energy, constructed from a set of lectures Bergson gave titled the Spiritual Energy. The exact purpose of reading Bergson was that not only is the book a good example of how research is done and that the book comments nicely on ‘false recognition’, and ‘memory of the present’. Being extremely teleological Bergson focuses a reader in on the phenomena of déja vu by offering insight into a way one can interpret it as being both a memory and a perception. This is puzzling because we should experience this condition of déja vu all the time but we don’t we are anchored to a present pragmatical perspective and agency in the (real) world. It is said that you experience a déja vu once or three times a year… yet, we are confronted with it in many different ways. If we take one of ancient Plato’s questions: what does multiplicity look like? Then we are faced with the dilemma of accepting déja vu as an exclusion of explicit memory – are we not then faced with a tension between transcendental and metaphysical (epistemological) presuppositions of an ordering science… can not accept déja vu as a phenomenon > Numerical identity of experience leads to a different experience. Again, in another approach déja vu and similar phenomena could be problematized as an oscillation between either categories and a world or between possibility and necessity. Or, more linguistically everything depends on relational experiences, the problem appears lodged in the encounter of relational reality with a rationalistic manner.

Bergson, begins negatively by describing an inner tension of inevitability and its suffering. Involving a lack of a lack of freedom – inserting oneself into a prior or pre- established plot (involuntary memory and déja vu, also a nice inversion of the theatre as an innately positive thing – I believe it is, but this is still nice considering Freudian echos of the inner theatre, Rousseau etc). This French thinker’s description of déja vu begins by discussing the mark of the past and a duplication within our consciousness of time. A Memory of the Present, is the description he settles on after describing how memory precedes perception, he mentions ‘the entirety of the present which must appear to us at once as a perception and as memory.’, and in a more detailed section of text in the following page.

‘We feel that we are confronted with a recollection; a recollection it must be, because it bears the characteristic mark of states we usually call by this name and which only appear when their object has disappeared. And, yet it does not present to us something which has been, but something which is; it advances pari passu with the perception which it reproduces. It is a recollection of the present moment in that actual moment itself. It is of the past in its form and in the present in its matter.’  

 

Bergson uses the Latin pari passu [synchronised at the same time] to enforce this definition of déja vu. But professor Micali is encouraging us always to read the text carefully whilst at the same time directing our attention to elements of the text which are fruitful and rich for potential new modes of understanding and enquiry. Staying with Bergson’s account of déja vu we can understand Phenomenology’s legitimate claims. Take a complex phenomena such as this we are already faced with deeply inter-subjective issues – how experiences of déja vu differ in the accounts of different people. The above quote adds the complexity of the phenomena itself as a necessary aspect of one’s considerations has to be further understood.

Bergson has a popular concept in his thinking that is the elain vital or ‘vital life’ and it portrays a capacity a vitality for the overcoming of hurdles by life in itself. But this energy is arrested in the experience of déja vu where the simultaneity between memory and a future resulting in what can be called the pragmatical systematic overlooking of a future necessity (which we should associate with Husserl’s ‘natural attitude’), and in the current modality of déja vu we can understand the anomaly itself as the cause of the reality, in that it makes visible the co-founding of memory and perception. It is perception that is the criterion for selection (I.e pragmatism) and this is why reading Bergson in a phenomenological way is very productive because he is critical of similarity and familiarity; allowing both an opportunity to make use of the reductions in Husserl’s philosophy, and also to continue to ask fantastic questions such as: why does a concrete idea emerge? (manifest) in an infinity of experiences? Hence the continued value of Phenomenology both as a rigorous form of scientific enquiry and an opening towards new interpretations for there seem to be no explicit reasons why a person would become aware of the structure of consciousness.

[more points regarding Bergson…]

  • Power of co-existent empathy – linguistically dependent?
  • 1/ memory of the present. 2/ déja vu: experience of the present as if it were the past. 3/ Feelings of inevitability and split from the ego > a feeling of premonition that is unjustful.
  • This includes a two stage step for Bergson: 1) The lowering of attention > Suspension of vital life. 2) Repetition > the retention of memory.
  • Bergson: Virtuality / Knowledge?
  • Bloch, Freud, and Walter Benjamin

[The following are more experiences of déja vu and if you need the exact references get in touch and I will contact the professor.]

The first quote is from Ernst Bloch – I believe, unless there is another Bloch? Ernst Bloch was a utopian German political philosopher who like many Jewish thinkers fled their persecution by the Nazi’s only to return to their homeland and establish lasting philosophical legacies. Bloch and Walter Benjamin were exemplary practitioners of what is called Das Plumpe Denken [The crude thinking] something which I wish to also practice. The account of déja vu shows clearly a strong sense of presentification Vergegenwärtigung in that Bloch sees this bridge before it appears in his present perception. 

‘While on expedition through an unexplored region of Peru, he felt not only that he

had witnessed the entire scene before, but knew in the same moment that a bridge

was about to come into view around the bend in the road’

The second quote from Dr. Sigmund Freud is also quite strongly descriptive of the importance of thinking phenomenologically. But, where Husserl may have insisted on the necessity of the eidetic universality (pure consciousness has as its contents all experiences united in a single adumbration.), yet with Freud we see déja vu described within his science of psychoanalysis – visible with the affirmation of both unconscious and conscious states or conditions. Also one should just note that I should read about Husserl’s ‘ego split’ in regards to Freud’s split between ego and super ego… I want to understand this a little better…It’s also interesting to see the criticality inherent to the modernist pathos of science.

‘It is in my view wrong to call the feeling of having experienced something before an illusion. It is rather that at such moments something is really touched on which we have already experienced once before, only we cannot consciously remember it because it has never been conscious. To put it briefly, the feeling of déja vu corresponds to the recollection of an unconscious phantasy. Their exist unconscious phantasies (or day-dreams) just as there exist conscious creations of the same kind which everybody knows from his own experience.’

Finally we have the greatest urban explorer the delightful Walter Benjamin the tragic loss of Benjamin and his exclusion from the philosophical school he associated with, the Frankfurt school haunted Theodore Adorno as it haunts us today. Benjamin was absurdly creative 🙂 and wrote in a way which embraced new styles of writing that made his thinking less prim and proper but in no way less philosophically potent. So, when we overhear, or are confronted with a philosopher of science suggesting Karl Popper was correct to label Marxism as a pseudo-science it might be tempting to reply by saying ‘so what!’ it does not use apodictic certainty but then again is not obliged to do so… Benjamin’s contributions are egalitarian, deep, and I am only just reading them for the first time. But to quickly offer some examples of why he was very special one could start with the poetic character of his thought. He took what fellow Marxist Althusser called the ‘superstructure’ and turned it into a metaphor, and for Benjamin this transformation centred around the sensual perception or that which is sensually perceivable offering an immediate material connection. To explain this a little more practically: ‘linguistic transference (metapherein – to transfer) enables us to give material form to the invisible, the superstructure is then directly related to the material substructure meaning the totality of sensually experienced data.’ Benjamin also had a very important philosophy of time a unique adaptation of historical materialism beginning in his Über den Begriff der Geschichte [Theses of the Philosophy Of History], and being more strongly articulated in other texts. Benjamin’s understanding of time centres around his critique of a naturalism within historicity, and a distrust of the concept of progress in social democracy. This stance on history is close to mine and so many peoples hearts because it makes room for a literary montage to then create dialectical images, and as revolution as an arrest or interruption of history – within his historical materialism: progress is destroyed in favour of actualisation. Let us see the spirit of Benjamin’s creativity in this final account of déja vu where his relationship to the true materiality of time is present.      

‘It is a word, a tapping, or a rustling that is endowed with the magic power to transport us into the cool tomb of long ago, from the vault of which the present seems to return only as an echo. But has the counterpart of this entranced removal ever been investigated-the shock with which we come across a gesture or a word the way we suddenly find in our house a forgotten glove or reticule?’

  • Edmund Husserl, Ideas Pertaining To A Pure Phenomenology And To A Phenomenological Philosophy 1,

 

[The following are a small selection of essential quotations taken from Husserl’s text above. I think they help clarify and enhance one’s initial understanding of one of the big H’s of philosophy the other being Hegel.]

  1. Essence and Eidetic Cognition

 “The presentive intuition, gebende Anschauung, belonging to the first, the natural sphere of cognition and to all sciences of that sphere in experience that is presentive of something originally in perception. … the world is the sum total of objects of possible experience and experiential cognition.” {pg.6}

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“Science in the natural attitude, the sciences of material nature, but also those of animate beings with their psychological nature, consequently also ‘natural sciences’ and ‘Geisteswissenschaften.’”

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“Eidetic universality (any matter of fact in respect of its own essence)”

 

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“Eidetic seeing [Wesenserschauung] an intuition of something individual [Individuelle Anschauung] … Essence is the being of an individuum. The ‘what’ which ‘can be put into an idea’. Experiencing an intuition of something individual can become transmitted into eidetic seeing (ideation) a necessity.

[Oswald Kiilpe’s Polemic against Husserl, Die Realisierung Grundleging der Realwissenschaften, Liepzig Hirzeb, 1912, Vol. 1, p.127]

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“Any possible object – logically speaking ‘any subject of possible true predictions – becoming the object of an objectively personal selfhood, seizes upon it – seeing an essence is therefore an intuition.” {pg.10}

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[There is a lot more to add, and I will do so in later posts on phenomenology, but this is a small overview of what we have covered since February]

“Judgement (mode, any [Uberhaupt] about the individual though purely as a singular particular essences [Einzelheit der wesen] – pure geometry we do not judge (subsumption of individual under an essence (genus) – subordination of an essence to its higher species (Geometry has Eidetic universality).”{pg.12)

“Pure Eidetic Sciences (logic, mathematics) pure of all positing of all positing of matters of fact > in them no experience, as experience ( a consciousness seizing actual factual existence ‘can assume the function of a grounding – experience functions in them it does not function as experience. Geometer/Artist – drawing figures on a white board, factually existing lines. Experiencing of the product qua experiencing, no more grounds his geometrical seeing of essences and eidetic thinking than does his physical producing