a. Ethical Approach is basically in summary it is the thought about how human beings ought to live.
b. Not only do we think about the nature of nature in the environmental philosophy field but we also: think about what human beings are? What is nature? How do they relate? Think about how human beings ought to live. Given truths about the natural world, given truths about the nature of non-human animals. So questions of this sort really probe our very way of being in the natural world. We are called upon to think ethically when we are called upon to reflect upon our very behaviour, our very way of existence, and to evaluate it and try to understand it, and to try to live in a way that is in with who we are, what our nature is as human beings.
c. So questions under this category are of the sort: How ought to humans behave in relation to non-human animals? e.g. are we permitted to eat non-human animals? Are we eat beyond non-human animals for the heck of it? If I see an ant walking along the side walk and I feel like squashing it for no apparent reason beside it will lift my emotions because I have had a bad day? Not just how we individuals human beings out to behave but also how as human society/communities ought to cultivate an identity, cultivate ethos, cultivate a spirit/cultivate an understanding of who we are of our environment, our surroundings? How ought we to live in light of that? - Questions might be thoughts about our responsibilities in growing food problems? Do owe natural world a kind of respect? And what would that look like what would that mean? Should our farming techniques be things that will tend towards the flourishing of the natural world rather then towards the crumbling desolation of it?
- Is there a mutual dignity between humans and natural world? If so, where does that dignity come from? and, is it of the same sort of dignity - in that we find in human beings? What reasons we have as human beings of the things we do?
- "God made covenant with man & creation" - au sable
- is there a hierarchy of other creatures?
- who says human beings have greater dignity & worth then rest of creation? - question in response to statement made, do human beings have greater dignity and work?
- these two aspects are not always clearly distinguished
- ex. Racoon example.
- Philosophy originated with this little peninsula in the Mediterranean that we now know as Ancient Greece. It was kind of unique in Greece, that is, around 500BC. Around 500BC in Greece, there arose this development of this idea of independent thought. The idea that in order to cultivate a genuine life in the world one had to be self critical. This notion actually had a historical birth. Human beings haven't always thought that self criticism...self criticism as a concept hasn't always been on horizon of human understanding. Or on horizon of human understanding. But the ancient Greeks started thinking about what it meant for human beings to be free. These things, this idea of independent thought and self criticism were rooted in a regard for human freedom. For the freedom of the human being. What does that mean? It is not a coincidence that Ancient Greece originator of things like, democracy, things like history, things like artistic beauty, of the inherent dignity of both man and human being and the natural world, independent of any sort of religious view towards the gods. In this respect, we can look at Greek PHL originating in a kind of secular understanding of human beings. So democracy wasn't a religious government specifically. On the contrary it in a sense validated human perspectives in a way that was distinct from nature and from the gods. It was the idea that human perspective were of value in their own right. Human perspective was dignified in its ability to grasp the truth, to grasp the good. So democracy as a political idea was founded on the idea of the notion as a perspective on the whole, a perspective on the real, that bears its own intrinsic truth, independency from nature and gods. There rose through in democracy idea of human excellence - arête = Greek word for excellence or virtue - just means simply being excellent at being the thing you are. Idea rose that human beings could be excellent at the thing that he is. That the human being has this natural aim or orientation towards excellence. Not only so, but that is something that has to be cultivated. You can look at a dog, right, and you can see that when a dog has pups she doesn't have to cultivate the excellence of her pups. They just sort of behave the way pups behave, gravitate towards things dogs do. They don't seem to have to work at being dogs. The pup comes out of his mother with this inherently unfolding ability to be what it is without much effort. The Greeks saw this as not so in human beings. Human begins actually have to cultivate excellence, work at being what we are. The Greeks saw something about human beings that made them more likely the monuments they built to the gods then like something that arises out of nature and falls back into nature. In other words, the Greeks thought, human beings are - internal dignity and value in human beings that needs to be developed and cultivated in our life of (animal needs?) Reframes/reshapes western world's view. There is something inherently distinct about human beings ability to live out his or her life and that distinctness has to do with this idea that there is a separation, that there is a separate nature about the human beings that requires cultivation. In order to be an excellent human being we have to work at it. We can't just eat food and copulate and do all the things dog do. We cultivate a sense of worth in our freedom. Greeks say as our inherent dignity was our ability to reflect upon the whole of existence. What other animal, in the animal kingdom, has the ability to reflect upon the whole of its existence? The Greeks saw inherent value in human beings ability to consider the very meaning, the very worth, of life as a whole. Beyond fulfillment of our individual needs.
- Due to this distinction they began to write: history writing: began to write stories of conquests, exploits of human heroes and developed sense of history as some how a linear story that rises out of eternal circling of the natural world. Out of this cyclical move and turns and flows in the cosmos. Ancient man looked up at the stars, and thought everything in nature followed one worded path, and animal like rise into being and go out of being and that goes eternally for forever. History writing gave human beings a sense that there can be this story that we rise out of that eternal cycling of nature and leaves behind the monuments that are inherently intrinsically meaningful. In the sense that they point towards something that is good and true about our very existence that is not just bound to the cycles of nature. Finally their was this notion of artistic beauty divorced from any sense of beautiful deities. Sense that the human body is inherently beautiful, that it is exalted in nature, not only exulted in nature but that the human being is oriented towards eternal or oriented to ultimate things.
- So in these three developments: democracy, history writing, and artistic writings the Greeks really began to have a sense of the inherent dignity and freedom of what used to be called 'man.', the human being. Out of this notion came the idea that soul of man can contemplate the eternal things. The soul of man, of human being, can reflect on the meaning of existence as a whole. And the idea was, that developed in Ancient Greece, the excellence of the human beings was in contemplating these ultimate things. The excellence of human beings, unlike the dog, but the excellent human being is excellent in its contemplation of ultimate things. So that was the original idea in which PHL'y arouse with this curious figure called Socrates
- Socrates: was a person who embodied a lot of the ideals of Ancient Greece except artistic view - he was actually not very physically appealing - eternally known as the snubbed nose philosopher. - not very attractive. But he certainly bodied the ideal of intellectual and moral excellence. Two things Greeks deemed highly. Recounted in Plato's famous dialogue Apology: Socrates was charged with impiety, corrupting youth, turning the weaker argument into stronger, and denying the gods in 399 BC. Its the norm that people like Socrates to be considered with suspicion, looked upon as lacking piety - proper respect of powers that be and typically looked up on as curious lot that don't do a lot of stuff for society, don't produce a lot and just ask questions that upset a lot of people or look into things people don't care about. Socrates was actually put to death due to trumped up charges by the Athenians - people lied about things he had or hadn't done. Socrates was killed for his pursuit of philosophy. But he argued that there is a certain dignity in the pursuit of human excellence that doesn't bend to power. There is a certain dignity in pursuit of truth, of human excellence, that does not bend to the whims of human beings. Socrates developed the idea that there can be a rational pursuit of truth that holds everything in question, that doesn't accept something to be true because of popular belief. It holds even the very cherished beliefs of society and questions them. You can either think philosophy is dangerous or it can be helpful to us. In both cases it is true but it is also quite helpful to us. If in fact that we belief truth can be had. That truth is more than just power, more then just something we would pursue to gain power over others, that it is worth something of its own sake.
- Now, philosophy is not science and its not law or policy - though it is like both of these in some ways. But because Socrates developed idea that truth ought to be pursued for its own sake. He developed the idea that other sorts of other intellectual pursuits other sorts of thoughts can be held open to question for the sake of truth. We know that science can be questioned for its subservience to ends of means and perhaps that aren't so good. Science can be put into service of greedy commercial interests, negative intentions, and law and policy for negative reasons. Like science, PHL attends to society. Like law and policy, philosophy uses arguments that tries to find the most plausible or reasonable case for something. Its unlike these two things (science, law, and policy) in other ways.
- Cultivation of Human Excellence: Out of Greece arose the idea that human beings- that human life requires a certain amount of cultivation in order to be excellent. Human excellence does not occur over night, spontaneously, it takes work. Socrates developed that thought into the notions that in order to cultivate a life worth living we as individuals need to be self critical, we need to examine the things we hold true. Because as he shoed the ancient Athenians, there was something true in what the Ancient Greece believed. But the truth of their beliefs wasn't exactly what they thought it was. Take own beliefs seriously but be open to hold them open to questioning because you might find that while there is some truth in what you believe it might not be exactly true in the way you understand it to be so. Socrates famously encountered an Oracle and asked the question whether there was anyone wiser then Socrates, the Oracle answered as "no one is wiser then Socrates." As the story goes he went into market place to question those people he encountered there to see whether they were wise. Fist he questioned politicians, law makers, people in charge, rulers, he basically realized they were filled with pride and didn't know much at all. Next Socrates decided to question the poets, inspired individual who spoke holy words to Greece. Why they might be inspired they didn't have inkling or clue as to what they were talking about. Socrates argued that those with an inkling of wisdom and excellence were the experts, experts in his days were the artisans. People that produced stuff. Those who built houses, made thing operate, and designed things and fixed things, and did things with their hands most of the time. Socrates says those people do know something, they know something about the world, they know something about nature simply because they are required all the time to work with it however they overstep their boundary of knowledge. Since they are an expert about building houses, a carpenter, thinks he is also an expert about politics. Overstepping boundary of knowledge, egotism. Why they, the artisans, were wise in limited areas they tended to think themselves wise in all areas. Socrates was wise enough to know by claiming that he didn't know anything. When he questioned these people in public places in Athens most of the time they thought they knew things when they didn't know them at all. Socrates said human wisdom is the ability to recognize the limitations of man. Keep ourselves to believing in things that we have good reason to believe. In fact Socrates took philosophy, as a divine gift from God. The capacity of human beings to reason and reflect on the whole of existence was the highest exemplification of the divine in man. The idea wasn't to stay satisfied with a question and answer that hasn't been thought out but to continue to hold open to questionably inquiry so that we can continually exercise that divine element within ourselves. Known as rational component, the Greeks called it the logos component (Best translated: the best aspect that enables us to give account of something) Logos is ability to give account of what we are as human beings and the very reality in habit that we in which are apart of. It just meant hold things we take to be true to into question and acknowledging our limitations. Our inherent limitations that is part of the reality we are studying. Hold onto that thought. That the Greeks, thought that there was something of inherent dignity of both man and the rest of the natural world - that was their freedom. Their freedom amounted ability to exercise logos in pursuit of wisdom. Logos is simply giving account of our own limitations in relation to the whole, in relation to the (holy?). So that I the fragment partial limited story of emergence of PHL in historical science.
- So here for the first time we had human beings thinking about their place in nature, not just about being part of reality that they were not really reflecting on critically and self responsibly.
- Summary: Greeks thought there was some inherent dignity and worth that sets them apart form nature: their freedom. Socrates: this freedom was the ability to exercise logos in the pursuit of wisdom. Logos is giving account of our own limitations in relation to the whole of being
- Israel is unique among ancient religions in that its scriptures came with notion, this claim, that God the creator, well first of all that there is a Creator. Already right there - there is a distinction, an absolute distinction, between the eternal creator and the created. So first of all there is the idea that God created. There is no equivalent notion of that in Greek imagination. There is a glimpse of the idea of god - the cosmos emanates out of eternal fixed point which is god. So in the sense eternal for the Greeks is being expressed in the motion of finite reality. The eternal is something that is not therefore absolutely distinct, absolutely separate from natural reality as we know it. Natural reality in some respect just the finite expression of the eternal. So Israel had this alternative idea that nature is not just the finite expression of eternal but it is the creation of an eternal creator that is wholly distinct from it. This arrived on the scene and really forced philosophy to rethink itself. Idea of creation is one of those truths that force PHL'y to rethink itself. (That is what faith can do sometimes) Historically then with the advent of Christianity and the coming intermingling with Jewish faith and Greek philosophy we had the emergence of these shock effects in PHL, PHL had to reorient view of nature in light of biblical revelation.
- The one idea Israel developed, or revealed to it, was the idea of creation. With that came the notion that human being, man, is wholly imbedded in creation.
- Adama: is dust + breath of God. This is different from Greek account that human beings are: animal + logos
- There is a bit of a distinction there. With the idea that everything is created. Comes this idea that we ourselves are holy created. There is nothing in us as created things that is divine except that we are animated by the divine, and bare the image of the divine. But that is different form seeing something little bit of the divine in us. Not saying there is one part better then the other part of us, logos is in charge of animal part - logos rule over animal parts as Greek believed or looked at it.
- Want us to think about: distinction between what the Genesis account tells us that the human being is: and sort of ideas of human beings that we developed in philosophy perspective. Those are three ideas that revelation created:
1. Idea of Creation: God is wholly distinct from Creation
2. Idea that human beings are holy apart from divine, image bares which means they express the divine in some way
3. God is intimately concerned with the human heart, and wishes to dwell amongst its people
- The Greeks had a notion of the divine. Plato & Aristotle. Divine was internal. All that we call being sprung from eternal divine. No way was this eternal was a personal deity that created and spoke into being - that was a Jewish and Christian. Is the relationship of human beings of reality of that of contemplation or is that of personal relationship and are those necessarily mutually exclusive. The Greeks thought contemplation was the highest calling of the human beings. Starting with Socrates - the call for self reflection & self examining life - was the proper way for cultivating human excellence. For the one who examined his beliefs and acknowledged his inherent limitations as a human being, and able to live with his limitations knowing he wasn't wise in light of the whole. The life of contemplation. Whereas in biblical, we are encountered with ignorance. Greeks knew human beings couldn't comprehend the whole of existence but that we were pushed forth to try to fathom it. There is a bit of tragic failure there, because they can't. Socrates had to acknowledge his limitation, saw his call of excellence in trying to contemplate but failing. But in biblical revelation there is also the idea that we are ignorant of the whole. We can't fully comprehend all of reality but that doesn't mean we are doomed to a tragic attempt to fail in contemplating it over and over again. In fact it opens us up to a kind of depth of freedom to fulfill freedom of lovers of the divine. It is only possible if we acknowledge the divine is personal and comes down to human beings and to loves us first.
- King David, 1000BC - 500 yrs before dawn of Greek age. He developed this idea that God wishes to dwell with us. Man is certainly nothing before God but is yet crowned with glory & honour as being of inherently dignity and worth. It is telling, Adam was given authority to name animals, an act of dignity, an act of freedom expressed that man alone possessed. Also significant that creation account gives a story where God charges His people with the task to tending/cultivating the garden. Cultivating the garden. What is a garden: a garden is that space, that place between the utter wildness of nature and the utter uniformity we impose upon it. We are called to as tenders of garden to cultivate not to destroy or impose foreign order on it, but to cultivate it in its very wildness, as something we don't posses, that inspires towards the internal divine. This is an idea that the Greeks did not share. The Greeks had an idea of cultivating human excellence in context of cultivating city, cultivating human society, it was a way of responding to intrinsic nature of things as they are. Didn't have the idea that all things bare the image of a personal creator and bare forth in loving response the loving nature of a loving creator. That is a Jewish and Christian idea.
- Summary: Finally with the advent of Christianity. Christianity, took a lot of these ideas from Jewish revelations. The idea of creation, the idea of man created in image of God, the idea man being the tender of the garden, idea of man baring sort of authority over other animals - being able to name them, and the idea of a loving God towards with all things aspire, the idea that God dwells amongst us. We have the idea that Christian's completed this thought with the incarnation of God. God came down to earth, he came to rescue them in brokenness of sin and reorient creation to the eternal. With that came idea that while nature is good, because God created it, it is also in a certain respect it is incomplete without a divine (supernatural) compliment. The idea that paradoxically if you will, nature is in a way not itself until it is reached by something that is beyond itself, namely which is God. That is what Roger contends is a very revolutionary thought - a helpful thought that will be helpful in environmental philosophy. The idea that in Christ, in God incarnate, in Christ, all things reach their completion, each their healing, reach their full potential of flourishment (reach their kingdom?) Aristotle had idea all things inspire to some eternal end (seed grows when stuck in ground). Greek had a sense that things were oriented to some good but didn't have sense that the good of thing actually required something else to complete it. That is unique with Jewish revelation and as is completed in Christian revelation in the New Testament. The idea that God cares for the lilies and sparrows, and cares for the smallest aspects of creation. Natures is now wholly distinct from the highest good but is not lacking in anything because it is completed by this. It doesn't aspire towards the eternal to complete itself because it is lacking but aspires to eternal because in itself it is only a loving expression towards the love of that eternal.
- So here you have is two very useful things. On one hand we have development. Take serious the call to cultivate excellence, that involves in some respect being critical in the beliefs we have inherited. Also take seriously the ways in which Jewish and biblical revelation revolutionizes and transforms Greek philosophy and how we think and our understanding about nature, and nature of human beings. This is key due to ecological crisis we are experiencing right now - anthropogenic damage of the nature we depend on for life. It wasn't a thought, in Ancient Greece, that we would be capable of utterly destroying life as we know it.
- But this is the apparent source of the apparent ecological crisis that modern humanity now faces - supposedly we are utterly capable of annihilating all life on planet, we are utterly capable, and that we stand threat to annihilate life? How ought we to cultivate life? Given that crisis.
- Since Socrates human beings began to be self responsible for their thinking. And they began to think about how best to respond to reality not specifically out of the traditions & cultures past onto them out of the religious beliefs or oracles or the habits of their particular clan. But since Socrates, human beings began to think through the use of reflective thought. Human beings began to think about themselves as those beings capable of exercising a certain about of freedom. The Greeks allowed a kind of reflection to emerge where the nature of things really began to be considered independent from any inherited norms or beliefs. The nature of things simply was considered as such, as they present themselves to the rational mind, capable of reflecting on them. Before Socrates, Greek thinkers were thinking about nature and trying to give an answer to what is it ultimately? But since Socrates this idea emerged that the thinker him or her-self responds to something of her/his own nature in the very task of thinking. So it is not just about answering the question of 'what it is of all' - it is about answering that question but the manner or mode of which it is answered involves turning back on ones self - a reflective consideration of nature and thinker, and where the thinker thinks he or she belongs or fits in with whole of reality. So for the Greeks, all of nature is the manifestation of a response to the deep reality of thing. To the deep structure of reality itself. And as part of the very manifestation of this response to the nature of things, the thinker comes along and does his thing and asks his questions. And he tries to account for reality, for the whole, in such a way he accounts for himself, for his own existence. And the Greeks thought this way of giving an account of oneself was unique to human beings. We could observe all other forms of life, and as it appears those other forms of life are not capable, in the same way as human beings capable are capable of giving an account of themselves, of considering their relation to the whole of reality. The Greeks thought this was significant. So, with Socrates we talk about the task of philosophy as one by which the thinker gives account of the whole of reality and also where he or she fits in. And not only that it is unique to human experience, in fact it is of the nature of human beings to want do this, to want to account for themselves in such a way they account for the whole of reality and not just respond immediately to particular aspects of that reality. Not just merely responding to the environment but the human being is distancing himself in such a way that his relation to the environment comes under scrutiny/consideration. Socrates thought this was a unique capacity that human beings had. That in fact it was in the nature for human beings to do so. There was this idea that the excellence of being human consists of cultivating the sense of awareness. Being responsible in such a way one cultivates that very capacity for reflective thought. Back to last class: at least at surface of it you can observe the distinction between something like a dog and a human being. Just the very fact that there seems to be an extra requirement for human beings to develop what they are. Human beings have to cultivate excellence of being human where as the dog doesn't have to cultivate - The idea here, the idea of being self responsible in ones thinking, and actually cultivating a life of excellence by doing that means taking a stand on what we have reason to believe. It means having the courage, being self responsible in ones thinking, is having courage to examine accepted beliefs and cultural norms. Philosophy as a discipline, as a practice, faces a degree of cultural unwillingness to accept modes of thinking that have capacity to question a set of beliefs. We encounter a lot of unwillingness on the part of people who have not examined their beliefs, to have those beliefs examined. Quite often anyway. So in a sense philosophy is kind of striving to emerge in one's freedom as a human being. By way of a sense of turning around. To face truths and realities that may not be fully or properly understood through received wisdom. The way in which Socrates approached philosophical questioning was he would ask a person to put forth a view on x and then he would follow that view to its logical conclusions. He would follow x through to the implications of x to y. Socrates would question as to how we can deal with y, given x, if were are to assuming x is the case. How are we going to deal with y? And how is x consistent with y? - and most of the times, not all of the time, Socrates would find that most people have very little idea of what they are actually talking about. They think they know something but in fact the views they hold are either logically inconsistent with one another, or even if they are consistent they produce consequences that we are not generally willing to accept. If you can imagine, such a practice is capable of generating a lot of anger and harsh reactions towards or against the question. It is not the purpose of philosophy to irritate people but there is a certain amount of irritation involved in being shown what you thought what you knew is inconsistent or lead to ridiculous consequences. But hence such is the task of being self critical and self- responsive to ones thinking. But philosophy is not only that it is being willing to take a stand on the truths that, makes themselves apparent to us when we question and arrive at such conclusions. Even if they are the best we've got for now. Philosophy is having the courage to stand on ones taking stand on truth arrived on freedom of inquiry. Socrates known as the Gad fly to Athens. The small insignificant thing nonetheless manages to wake up something big and startle it into a new wakefulness and perhaps even a new self responsiveness Sometimes we talk about nature of things and what we mean is something like the essence of a thing or what a thing really is?Plato is seeking to understand what something is really. And he looked at the world around him. He looked at his environment, his surroundings, and he was intrigued by the sight of change. Things coming into being and coming out of being. Given the fact that we live in world full of change and there doesn't seem to be anything concrete to grab onto. If there is it seems to be here one day but put pass out of existence the next.
- We can picture a photograph of a kitten, if you will. What is the nature of that thing you see in the photograph? Well it is the nature of a kitten but it is not really a kitten. But what you are looking at is an image, a shadow, of a kitten. But we can look at that image and recognize that it has a cause, that it bares a relationship to another thing. So, it is interesting in our experience that we can look at something and understand that the thing we are seeing is somehow the manifestation of a reality. It is some how a manifestation of, the expression of, the thing it is. So even though it is perhaps changing there is a certain something about the thing we see, that we can recognize as being, as something of permanent, as something that causes the very things we see, the very things that manifests.
o Example #1: So, imagine the picture of the kitten, we not only see the, as we gaze upon the picture, the image of a particular kitten - Roger mean's we do see that- but we are also in a sense we are seeing a type. Plato called it a form: eidos. We are not seeing just a kitten. We are seeing 'a' kitten. There is something generalizaable about the experience of seeing that kitten. Eidos just means the form or look of a particular something. That thing I see in that picture has a look of a kitten. It looks like a particular something, that I recognize belonging to a certain type. It belongs to a category of things. So putting aside photo I can recognize, lets say I have a particular kitten, I can recognize just in seeing that thing a particular type, I recognize the form of kitten. I recognize that this thing is a particular something, it has an essence if you will, it is definable as a 'what.' I know that the moma cat and popa cat get together and do their thing they are going to produce what? They are going to produce more cats. They are going to produce things that will belong to that category of things, as cats. The kitten being the baby thing. The parents in the sense are the cause of that baby having that form. So, in the same way we see the reflection is not the reality but it is the effect of something, or the manifestation or the expression of something real. Reflection of mirror or reflection of a kitten. We can see that a particular thing too is the manifestation of a reality, the whole of which we do not immediately see in each given manifestation. The whole reality of cat is testified to by the particular cat or the particular kitten. Right, but there is something more to the idea of being a cat, then any particular cat you see. You don't see one cat, and say "yes that thing I an essence of cat." No you see that cat and say, that thing is expression of a reality that is greater then it. Things themselves testify to the reality they are. How do we know that rather then the other way around. Well, the Species, he eidos of the form explains the particular. Look at cats and see that they have particular characteristic. Yes each cat is different but there are characteristic things that cats do and we can recognize the cat in virtue of doing characteristic things. But it not only does characteristic things but it has characteristic features. It has whiskers, has a tail, it hunts in a certain way, it meows or growls when you pet it. That particular thing in itself is kind of appeal to the nature of what it is. It is an appeal to the reality of its existence, of its being. So both the shadow, or the mirror image or photograph, and the thing are in a sense derivative realities. They depend on something more substantive more real. So they are ontologically derived. So the word Ontology = study of/account of being. So to say that the image and the particular thing are both ontologically derivative means that they account for the reality they are. They are caused by and depend upon their being on a greater reality. Consider the process of becoming. The reason for the thing then is this form, that accounts for what it is. The reason you know a cat is a cat because it bares forth the form of a cat. It has the certain characteristics and features that are of the nature of cats. But a cat becomes what it is then. Perhaps a better example of becoming is a plant.
The things in the world reflect imperfectly mathematical realities. It is not just things are reflections of species. But they are also reflections of perfect, of perfections that can only be approximated in experience. Each being in a sense attempt to enact the realities of mathematics. The universe as a whole is a kind of a bring into being the perfection f mathematical realities. Mathematics in a sense is built into the very nature of things, in a sense, we observe things and natural realities and we can understand that they function in accordance with mathematical form. So when I see a thing, I not only experience the particular, I also see it in terms of what I understand it to be, in terms of it form. It's form is an expression of mathematical perfection. I have a visual experience and understanding of it. That is what it means according to Plato to experience, to experience reality. Even heavenly bodies, or motions of the planets, imagine the Greeks looking up to the stars in the sky and seeing these things that approximate purpose, striving to be perfection of a circle. So all of nature in a sense Greeks concluded was striving to meet perfection of mathematical results.
- So in the Idea of Form we have reality and the knowledge. So by way of idea that things have forms we come to understand that
o #1 there is more to things then we immediately grasp through our sense. Things as they manifest bare witness to deeper reality. And, through this idea that things bare witness to a deeper reality we understand that we know what things are through exercise of our intellect. So this is the causal: things manifest a deeper reality: reason why it manifests the way it does. Picture & image of kid. Plato would - we recognize that this image is of something means there is a causal relation. There is a cause or for causing the reality of that picture.
o and the knowledge: intelligible: understandable by form /species
o so by way of idea that things have form we come to understand there are more to things we grasp through our senses. We can know what things are through our intellect.
o So we understand there has to be a cause. If we understand something like a thing. Because if we understand something like a thing one has to recognize that there is a reality that remains consistent through all of its manifestations. Intelligibility is something inherent. Go back to cat example. So you see a cat, and recognize that thing is manifestation of a form cat. Right? You wouldn't think that you would just say "I saw a cat" or witness some misshaped - something got in a crash can last night - oh that darn cat or oh I know it is that cat that always comes around. How do you know it is a cat? Because you know the certain features it has. But in order to recognize all those particular features make up the same thing, cat, you have to recognize something more than all those features put together, you have to understand something intelligible about that thing. Not just how a series of images put together. If that is all we had we wouldn't have experience. A series of images put together is not experience. Experience is coming to understand the reality something is. The actual thing it is and that involves a degree of recognition and understanding of the form.
- So mathematics as a discipline Plato thought helps us to see #1) there is more to reality then what we perceive with our senses. And #2) but also importantly mathematics can show why something is true.We start with these axioms and move towards what ever conclusions that we draw form it. So math as a practice attunes us to the deeps nature of reality or to the deep nature - structure of things, as a form, as a kind of order harmonious relations among intelligible realities. It offers proof and reason. So if the order of mathematical harmony is primary, it also means that we can in a sense can come to understand this order through the exercise of our minds, through the exercise of reason. This why Plato thought the practice of philosophy was so important. It would help us to observe not just shifting changes but also help us observe the deep structure of things and to reason about the deep structure of things, and draw conclusions and understand it on bases of the mind, of the kind of observations observation of intellect. Plato doesn't stop at mathematical relevancy. He saw mathematics as a useful tool to understand further the deeper things about the nature of reality we encounter. So there is something about reality, or nature, that is both beautiful and good. So we see a whole world of nature striving to realize - not just mathematical perfection - but to realize beauty, to realize harmonious order. So the human being in virtue the fact that the human being is open to intelligible realities means that human beings can recognize compelling beauty, to be compelled by a beauty in nature. A kind of demand that I acknowledge the worthiness what presents itself. To acknowledge it being of something of inherent worth and inherent value. So here we have the Greek idea developed by Plato and Aristotle that the world of nature bares an intrinsic value, bares a value in itself, something that human beings bares witness to. Something human beings hold, and help unfold or unpack. So the world has its own inherent intrinsic order and that order is beautiful. And we as human beings can recognize the beauty of things, we can bare witness to that beauty. One way of doing that is by attempting to imitate it. Art, is human beings attempt to realize the beauty of the world that is already shining forth. So the musician can recognize there is a certain structure about music. Even in the fact that notes, one of their 8 notes in an octave, and harmony. Go octave higher makes notes in a different scale. So the musician takes note of the fact that there is a certain harmony about music. There is a mathematical reason to it. And it is beautiful. It bares forth an order and potentiality. And it is something to be enjoyed. Not something we can demonstrate, beauty, that is. Can't demonstrate a musical piece is beautiful but you can appreciate the beauty of the music produced. And the reason you can arguably recognize something as mathematical harmony - portioned order of nature - is because we intrinsically have sense things are beautiful, that things are ordered in a particular way, and that they have to be, that things have to show up in particular way because there is an arrangement about reality. There is an inherent harmony in the real. That we as human beings bare witness to and strive to imitate, in art. So artist according to Socrates and Plato, artist is inspired by beauty of nature of things. Aspire to express the natural beauty. So, this is why Plato reasons why beauty is prior to the mathematical harmony. We recognize harmony in mathematical means because we can't demonstrate it but have the ability to see it. It is not your actual physical sense seeing the view but it is your mind. You are seeing beauty in your minds eye. Soul baring witness to greater reality? Think of beauty as portionality, symmetry, harmony...those things have to be seen by minds eye. We wouldn't understand mathematical beauty if we didn't have already sense of those things. That is why Greeks thought artists and poets, that strove to imitate nature, were more inspired than mathematicians. Because they were invoking beauty of nature in a way that mathematicians could not, at leas in a more perfect way.
- So also beauty is not the highest perfection. In the way that as we as thinking beings have the ability to see beauty we also have ability to see integrity of the whole of reality. We have this ability to see that and all is good. We have the ability to see that all of reality bares within itself a reason for its existence that can be offered by no other thing then itself. Reality just makes sense what is good in that way. The Thinker according to Plato, should strive to turn, to engage this reality which bare its own reality of itself. To engage it in a way it needs too. Thinker, turns around. That is the purpose of education. The purpose of education turns us around, to bare witness to the truth of beauty and the goodness of nature. And to respond to that truth, that beauty, and that goodness in a way that we need to given our particular situation. There is a continual turning and continual striving therefore in the human being to turn and embody most fully the perfection of reality. There is a striving in the human being in a way that supersedes the strivings of other sorts of animals. You can look at a cat or dog and you can recognize that there is a kind of harmony and portionality of that creature, and it behaves in certain patters, and it almost looks as though it has reasons for what it does. But it doesn't have, according to Plato, it doesn't have capacity to turn around and to understand its situation from a kind of stand point of intellectual awareness, form self reflective point of view. So the animal no matter the animal it cannot be educated. Education is something human beings do to cultivate that sort of awareness and understanding of the truth, and beauty, and goodness of the whole of reality. Education is a kind of striving to look at sources of being in reality themselves and not nearly to respond to the one-sided presentation of things. So the excellence of the human person, according Plato, consists of becoming responsible to demands of the truths and beauty calls upon us. Because these demands appeal to our minds to our talents. Just as there are compelling aspects to a beauty of a musical piece, don't know why but it just is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but there are ranges and limits of what we are capable of what is beauty. And if we took all the things that human beings considered beautiful we would probably recognize certain truths about them. Namely, their capacity for harmony and portionality that makes them beautiful. Begin to see why these things are considered beautiful even though we can't demonstrate they are beautiful. But there is a kind of objectivity. Claiming by studying pattern of beauty probably come to see why intelligent creatures consider such things beautiful. You always have to be those intelligent creatures to have experience of beauty. Experience beauty is prior to coming to understand causes etc.
- There needs to be an intellectual ascent to higher forms. So you can come to recognize beauty when you are exposed to mathematical forms and you realize that there is something in recognition of forms that I am dependent upon. Something is causing my ability to understand it to be true. And that is my notion of beauty. Notion of beauty is causing me, giving rise to my understanding of perfection in nature. In fact when I understand mathematical perfection that gave me - coming to hold beauty in new ways. There is kind of ascent up to forms, even though higher forms draw on full understanding of everything in your reality. So there is climb upwards - striving to contemplate beauty. Even though beauty itself is responsible for our ability to even recognize perfection in lower orders of reality.
- So where does this picture of reality as intrinsically good, intrinsically beautiful, intrinsically true. Where does that leave our understanding of ourselves as thinkers? Well , we know that the good of the whole of reality is that its inherently sufficient unto itself. It is absolutely free in its self sufficient existence. Depends on nothing else for its being - good whole being. It just is. It is in virtue of the fact that it offers its own reason for being. So the thinker in contemplating the whole, contemplates the reason for the whole, for the reason for the being of the whole. And because the thinker belongs to the whole of reality, we as thinkers are not separate form the whole of reality we are trying to understand, when we turn and have some sort of inspiration, some sort of intellectual acknowledgement of the good, we come to understand where we as thinkers fit into the order of things. Come to be able to reflect on our selves and be aware of ourselves as our aspects of this harmonious whole.
- Plato gives this famous Allegory of the Cave, which depicts the process of education. Which depicts the process of our coming to understand where we as thinking beings fit in with the whole. So, for the most part human beings are not living out their potential. For the most part we are deeply imbedded in prejudice, and we are deeply captivated by spectacles - images (news, media, endless stream of flashing images). That gives us over to a tendencies to construct narratives, a tendency try to account for ourselves without really thinking about who we are and where we fit in. We can sit in front of our TV screens day in an day out bombarded by images of things, situations, people which are imperfect substantiations of imperfect reality. And we can be bombarded by these images and not think about what they mean. We can passively taken in. And over time, we learn to think of ourselves in terms of the images presented or stories given to us or past onto us. And learned to never think about these images and just passively accept it. Plato has us imagine people chained to a cave wall eyes fixated upwards. And between the fire and people facing the wall, allows opportunity for poppet men to cast shadow images onto the wall people are facing. So Plato is suggesting by analogy this is the ordinary condition of human beings. Education comes about where human beings are some how freed up to exit the situation of the spectacle and to go and hold things up and turn around the spectacle and turn toward the nature of things and then to come back and reflect on what us going on in the world. So we hear the story of parable of person who is turned loose and first is kind of bedazzled by what he sees around him, and eventually leaves the cave and castes eyes out to the expanse of water - and eventually look upon things as they consider the source of life itself. Plato says when this person returns back to shadows of cave, these things no longer - these shadows and dancing spectacles no longer seem as real or intelligible realities he encountered outside the cave or the fuller reality outside of the cave. So philosophy has this way of - education has a way of turning us around and causing the world we have always known to become puzzling to us, in light of a greater comprehension of things that are. practice should reorient desire to unchanging things.
o "If he should have to view those all prisoners by laying down law about shadows...etc." - would they kill any to release and take those individual sup.
o Plato is repeating mantra of his teaching to Socrates - emphasizing being self responsible for ones own thinking. And having courage to taking stand on ideas and truths that may not be considered true by other people, by those who don't think about the beliefs they hold.
-Human beings depend on their surroundings for sustenance and life because they have bodies. But human beings are also unique in that the particular sort of self responsiveness involves intellect. As we will see, Aristotle argues there is a self responsiveness to all living things. But there is an order - there is a hierarchy of freedom, integrity, and dignity of self responsiveness. Socrates, inquired about the good of human life, to that good belongs the task of being self responsible. Aristotle is still talking about the form of things, using the same word as Plato, eidos. So this form is the nature of the thing, that reality of that thing. He argues in passages that the human beings is an animal distinctive in its profession of logos. Logos, meaning giving an account of something- anthropology = account of human being? So, this logos is the unique capacity to give account of things. Human beings are animals, but animals with this unique capacity to give reason about things, to tell stories about things, or to sum up hat things are, to respond to the realities of things, to what things are of their essence. And it is also translated into language. Yes, human beings have capacity for language - Aristotle means much more than that - language in the sense of accounting for the reality that things are. We are participants, as human beings, in the animal world that take account of the virtue of being human - we take account of both of your self and of your surroundings in way that other animals don't, according to Aristotle. You can see a bird on a tree singing its sweet song. You can see this bird feeding its babies in the nest. You can ask yourself if this bird has a kind of language, does this bird posses logos? I hear it singing, chirping, I also see it - there is a kind of sense or order about what it does. Its actions are aimed towards an end, there seems to be reason for what it does. Now can we say that, that bird has logos? Roger, wants you to keep that question in your mind for later on.
- Question Nature of Living Things
o We are animals of logos. We find ourselves answerable to structure of reality, we find ourselves answerable to what presents itself in nature. Aristotle says we have the unique ability to observe - and in fact we do observe - that some things in nature come about by themselves and other things are result of causal manipulation. So something's seem to emerge out of their nature as being what they are. Things like trees. And other things don't emerge out of nature of what they are they have to emerge out of art, some form of cultivation. Aristotle's word for art is 'techne.' What he means is broader than fine art. Aristotle talks about art, and most often he is talking about the stuff human beings do to produce other stuff. So, an artists is a person who fashions a chair out of wood. Artist in the sense of techne. An artist is also a person who paints a picture but and artist isn't just a person who paints a picture or writes piece of poetry but also a person who builds a house or heals a sick body, or who uses his hands to accomplish stuff. Aristotle contends here, when we look at natural world, we see that some things emerge out of themselves according to the very thing they are and other things do not that they have to be made through some sort of process of manipulation of stuff that we find in the natural world. Art can be made through external things from nature! So what does a tree do that a chair can't? A tree is made of the same stuff as a wooden chair. Both are made of wood. What is wood? We can break it down to carbon and sugar and breaking it down further to atoms, base potential for being etc. But a chair and tree are made of the same stuff but they are not the same sort of things. Because a tree, as you observe doesn't anything external to be what it is. A tree just sort of happens to be what it is. Through its own process of coming to be. And it doesn't even have to be a living thing. A rock is formed by nature through natural processes to form rock. Rock just sort of happens to come into a being and a chair doesn't. Have you ever seen a volcano and then said hey look chair! A chair needs external stuff to be what it is: there is an art there, there is an ordering of parts into a whole and that whole is purposed for use in a way that is different then natural tree. Aristotle says some thing happen by nature. When he says that he means that they emerge of themselves. Without any external manipulation by somebody to create art. That is what it means for something to emerge by nature. So a chair doesn't emerge by nature, it is comprised of earthly stuff that emerged by nature, wood - comprised of a tree. But it receives principle change and principle of stability or something else - a tree receives principle of tree and growth and stability to be what it is years upon years form itself. In virtue of being a tree it just is that thing that changes or stays the same as a tree. But a chair does not do that. A chair does not strive to be itself in the same way a tree strives to be itself. - "man is caused by man or also caused by the sun" - in other words - a thing that happens by nature bares its cause within itself. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't mean that it can't rely on its subsistence on other things. It just means that in order to be what it is doesn't require some form of art or manipulation that is ordered towards an extrinsic end. That is the main thing. Yes there are some things that manipulate a tree to make it what it is. A tree needs soil - if the soil is crappy the tree won't survive as well. So the soil can have sort of an influence over the tree. It can help it make it a good strong tree or it can help it to be a weak tree. But the soil does not order the tree to its own end as a tree. The soil just provides some useful nurture for the tree. The tree itself order's itself to its own ends. IT happens by nature to be a tree So it has the sorts of characteristics of being a tree. The chair doesn't happen by nature to be a chair. The chair has a nature - it is to be a chair - but its ordered externally to an external end that does not happen inherently or intrinsically in virtue of its being. The fruit grows off of a tree and if you take that tree a as whole you see as part of its purpose or aim of a tree is to grow fruit so that reproduce. So its of the nature of tree to beget more trees, to reproduce more trees, that is why it grows fruit. Now that fruit can be used to serve other animals right? I can pick a fruit from a tree - apple - and taste it and enjoy it. It serves a purpose for me. I am a living creature, so I am serving my own aim as a thing that is responsible to myself, to eat. So I am going to use that piece of fruit to do that. Now that means that - that piece of fruit can serve other ends outside of the aim the tree has. But the principle aim is in the form of the tree. With fruit of tree in reference to you can recognize the cob of corn is in the same nature as the stalk, how did we recognize that? We recognize that because it has a form, that you can recognize that the cherry comes from the tree and both of them participate in the same nature that happens to emerge of itself. So the chair is an artifact, it certainly takes part in the natural world. But it doesn't emerge by nature, human beings takes part in manipulating the natural world so as to produce things to meet their ends. Or cultivate...not just human beings but other creatures to. Such as beavers who build dams. Dams don't occur by nature it is actually in existence as a kind of thing that serves other ends, extrinsically form itself. A beaver exists by nature, exists as a thing that bares in itself its own reason for being. Tree is something that is different form a synthetic tree. One is constructed and one emerges according to nature/according to reality. So Aristotle is saying something similar to what Plato says. Plato says things bare witness to reality of its being. Does so by nature without any extrinsic means or ends. Other extrinsic needs can be opposed onto tree but it doesn't change basic fact that tree exists by nature. So cat exists by nature because it is something that exhibits an aim or end in its own being it doesn't have that aim or end brought to it extrinsically. This is a basic distinction - important. - Important question: how is cultural activity rooted or distinct form nature? Aristotle thinks cultural activity is distinct form nature. Because human beings have capacity for imposing their means and ends on other things and fashioning things out of nature to create new things that provide intrinsic things. It not like nature can't be moulded by human means but there is an integrity to nature that cannot be destroyed.. When we talk about 'a nature' it is just a thing that has from in a certain way. Some things don't have much of an order to it. You can pick up a rock, that's a think, a rock but not a whole lot to it. It is not a sophisticated thing. It happens to be there. It has a nature as a rock, a rock is something that we can fabricate but the rock is just something that happens to be. And we might try to imitate nature of rock by constructing it. We know of the rock because we know of things occurring in nature. So if something as mundane and unstructured at as a rock can have a nature than so much more complex forms that occur in nature, such as trees/birds/ and human beings, each thing has a nature. Now does that mean fabricated things have a nature, such as a chair? Aristotle answer is yes, a chair has a nature. Its nature is to be a chair, the char serves certain functions as a chair. Does it exist by nature? No its fabricated but it has a nature. So its form as a chair is given to it. Received form by way of art that fashions it. So everything can have a nature, can receive it by being fashioned or in virtue of the thing it is. Person prune tree causing tree to flourish...hold onto this thought for later.
- What is nature? When we talk about a nature, a nature is a thing. This chalk has a nature as chalk. The substance in the chalk occurred by nature but actual tool was fabricated/fashioned for a humanly purpose. But it is a nature regardless of what thing we are talking about. Talking about thing that has a nature. But Aristotle asked a question, "What is nature, as such?" - Nature of this or that, by nature...etc. What is exactly are we talking about? Aristotle observes that one aspect of the stuff we encounter in the world is that its always potentially some thing. It is always potentially some body we can bump into which means its comprised of some kind of material. A tree is comprised of the sort of material that makes up wood. So is the chair. Plastic is also comprised of certain type of material. Chalk, a piece of chalk - the instrument I am using to write is comprised of certain type of material, chalk. My human body is comprised of material. Material in the Greek is the world hyle it just lit literally means lumber, or stuff, or the raw material that goes into making something. It is just stuff that comprises a thing. Now, we know from Plato, that the thing is more then just the stuff that comprises it, a thing is more then a sum of its parts. The thing enacts a reality that each stage of its being re-enacts perfectly. So the thing cant just be a hyle - raw material made into something, there has to be a given form. There has to be - Aristotle uses word - eidos: its specie, the look it has about it. So nature is not just stuff, stuff by itself is only potentially a thing and stuff by itself is completely undifferentiated. It needs to take on a form in order for it to be fully of nature, it must in fact receive its form. Just as the stuff from which a house is built, its not a house - it is only potentially a house, so a house until it is physically built - then it is an actual house. Before it is an actual house you have only the materials that goes into comprising the stuff of that house before the materials are assembled together - they are stuff of a house. House itself requires, needs to have some sort of nature it takes on. Aristotle thinks that you can keep breaking things down into parts and eventually get to just pure matter - pure matter is just the potential to be something. That lumber is comprised of wood, what is that wood comprised of - carbon, what is carbon? Keep answering what the stuff that takes shape as a form, is just a potential piece. So a thing is only properly what it is when it has taken on its form. It has in itself a source of motion. A source of being and becoming what it is. That is what it means to take on a form, means to take on motion of becoming actualized. A house takes on a form when it goes through motion of being built, and stands out as a house when its fully formed. It is formed out of material but that material is the expression of the form of house. The material is on potentially house but when you have an actual house it is the expression of that form of house, the thing that it is. Likewise with anything like a tree. A tree exists by nature, it is not just stuff, there is an order about the tree that we can see. The tree has a form, has that form in virtue of what it is. Intrinsically and not in virtue of receiving it extrinsically through art or through craft. But it is still as a tree is still the manifestation of the form tree by way of that material expression of this particular tree. This particular tree is the embodiment of the form of tree by way of material expression, by way of particular stuff that it is made of. A thing is more then sum of part but not less then that. That thing, nature requires is must be expressed material. So, human being by nature arises form species as human being and there is a certain thing, there is a certain way in which that thing expresses principle of order, expresses what it is, in and through the motion of its coming to be of its various changes. Talking about human beings, see baby growing into adolescence to an adult. That the set stages of development is part of materialization of particular form. So the form to be precise, the form is actually the nature of a thing even though 'a nature' is always, at least the stuff we encounter in world, is always the expression of this form by way of particular matter. But if we are going to ask about nature of the thing properly speaking we will be talking about form and not its matter. If I ask you what it is a true. You aren't going to answer "well the tree is just a bunch of carbon molecules thrown together" - you are going to talk about the form of the tree, the sorts of ordered characteristics it serves as a tree. It nature is to be a tree. That matter without form is potential, form without matter is never potential. This is how Aristotle would understand this I am experiencing the form of a tree = I am experiencing an actual tree. Form never occurs without matter, but he is not claiming matter can be pure potential. Just that a form is actualization of matter. Aristotle 's claim here is a actualization of something, at least something occurring in nature, takes place as a something. One who studies nature needs to attend to not just the stuff that a thing is made up of but - that for the sake of which - what does that thing aim towards as a thing. So we need to attend to its form.
- Causes of a Thing: What causes a thing to be a thing, to be what it is? Aristotle claims there are for things we can be looking for, the types of causes.
1. We could just be asking about the Material Cause - components: what causes a house to be a house? "well the 2x4s...and nails" We know that there are other sorts of answers we can give about a house to tell us what it is.
2. Formal Cause: Know from discussion about form that form is just the thing that it is. A house takes on look of a house and can be defined as the whole thing in relation to it has parts. So the formal cause of a house is just it's exhibiting the characteristics we typically see in the form of a house beyond the stuff that it is made of. So a house is a sort of thing that houses human beings, that tends to have certain features that the houses typically have: houses typically have doors. Things belong to its formal cause. Has doors and looks belong to a house. Exhibits what it is -> its actuality
3. Efficient Cause: what it is that brings about this thing? The efficient cause is jut the source of something being brought about. So the efficient cause of the house is the builder of house. Now the important thing to realise is the efficient cause of things that live and grow is themselves and nothing else, the principle. Now there can be other efficient causes that help them be what they are but principle the efficient cause of a living thing is the thing itself. The efficient cause of my body as a living body is just my nature as a man, because I have a form of human, it means that I bare the principle of my own growth and development into being human. Now a doctor can help rest or health to our body. Can speak of a doctor as a kind of efficient cause towards the aim of health that I bare in myself however I myself am intrinsically inherently the efficient cause of my health in the way that the chair is not efficient cause of its own characteristics. A chair begins from parts and emerges out of art, chair takes shape and form in virtue of an art. Starts as an art and emerges as an art. Human beings do not start as an art. Things can have multiple efficient causes but nothing which exists by nature begins from an art. Its efficient cause is not principally outside of itsef it is principally within itself. All the doctor can do is work with natural function of body to help person's health. Person can't make health in my body. The doctor can pay attention to how my body functions as a body and then help speed up healing process. Cause of being healthy is still occurring principally within me according to my nature, to be healthy flourishing human being. Bring something to be what it is = efficient cause.
4. Final Cause: The end or aim it bares within itself. Aristotle thinks that one of the principle causes of life is this notion of aim. That life responds to self in a way to serve its own end, to serve its own aim. Now other things have final causes, ends and aims. A chair has an aim. What is the aim of a chair? The aim of a chair isn't to grow and do its own thing but to serve purpose of which it was made for, to be sat on. So everything that is a thing has a final cause. It is oriented to some aim either intrinsically or extrinsically.
- Nature of Life, so Aristotle principle point when he talks about this idea about nature is that a thing must be studied according to the thing that it is. Now all things that we encounter, in so far as we encounter, are pulled along by or in virtue of the things they are. They are pulled along towards an aim or end, the serve a particular purpose. Its nature as thing is to serve and fulfil the end or aim or purpose of a thing.
- The Purpose of Thing: To fulfill its own aim, according to what it is, its nature, the type of thing that it is. But things also, because nothing is completely self sufficient, everything in a way ends up serving aims/ends outside of its self. There is a kind of, final aim or ultimate aim in nature towards all things are unfolding towards. All things strive as much as possible to embody the form that they are, and that means striving as much as possible to be like the unchanging whole of reality. The more perfect things that occur in nature are the things that have characteristic about them that makes them most like the unchanging source of being by which they are pulled along. We see things emerging into being and they almost have a characteristic about them by which they are striving towards a perfect reality that supersedes them? And the most perfect things are those things that embody the reality that supersedes them in the best of way. In a way that exhibit the least about of essential change.
- So now we are talking about life. So Aristotle claims here that life is unique among the bodies that occur in nature. In that life exhibits its own principle of self nutrition and growth. There is a striving inherent life to living things that we don't see in non-living things. There is no self response in a rock - it is what it is - rock doesn't strive to be itself but a plant does. Plant in a way responds to the sort of thing that it is. There is no self response in rock even though we can still see the rock by nature still kind of still imitates perfectly the reality that supersedes it. Life is unique in that there is a sort of bending back on itself. There is a self -nutritive and growth response. The plant responds to own needs by moving out towards the things in its environment that will give it what it needs in order to survive. A rock will respond to its environment if it is rolled down a hill but there is no sort of response to the kind of thing that it is exhibited in a rock in virtue of it rolling down the hill. But in a plant growth there is a kind of response to the thing that it is. In virtue to fact that the plant has to strive to sustain itself, by gathering nutrients from soil and sun, and by growing and developing and emerging into the fullness of what it is. So that is the principle of life is the self nutrition and growth exhibited in things that respond to themselves. By striving to flourish and emerge as what it is. Things that respond to their own needs in order to promote themselves, in order to promote the continuance of their flourishing in the natural world. This is what Aristotle means by a soul. So does Aristotle thinks plants have souls - yes! Yes, plants are living souls - putting it in a different way plants are souls. Just the same as animals and human beings are living souls
- Principle of Living Soul or Psychic Being is again, being able - having the initiative in virtue of something being itself, striving to promote itself in being, striving to continue to be what it is by growing and feeding itself. Those are the rudimental characteristics of being a living soul. Now the body is just simply the organization of a soul into a coherent unified whole. Into that thing that strives to sustain itself in existence. The body is more than just the sum of its parts but the organization into a unified whole that strives to sustain itself in nature. The body is the manifest expression of a living soul in response to itself. Put differently, the body is manifest expression of living soul in responding self by responding to itself, its own needs, by responding to its natural environment. The soul just is the enactment or actualization of that body to nourish itself in the world. So the characteristic of living things is it has the power to impact itself in certain ways. Rock affected by gravitational pull down a hill. But it doesn't affect itself in respond to its need for growth and nutrition. Hat is the basis of life, there is an originative power possessed in the thing, itself, to emerge out of nature by responding to sort of thing it is, and it does at its most rudimentary level by feeding itself and by growth. There are higher levels of complexity of emergence of life. So, Aristotle claims that a thing becomes an animal when it has the capacity to sense the forms of things. When it has the capacity to receive the forms of thing by sensing it. - wait a second I thought you could only think about it. Aristotle says there is a unique capacity or animal like to respond to forms of things by responding well by remembering certain patterns exhibited in nature. And the principle of sensation - characteristic being attractive to what gives pleasure and have aversion to what causes pain. Aristotle argues animals can be drawn to form of things just by recognizing that there are certain things our bodies come into contact with that gives us pleasure and other things that our bodies come into contact that causes pain. The more sophisticated types of animals have ability to remember what sorts of things can give pleasure or cause pain. Like dogs, intelligent creatures, can recognize this particular person is really mean - always hits me even thought there is no conscious reflective awareness in dogs. A dog recognizes the habit of particular embodied for to hit and cause a lot of pain. So a dog responds to own needs as a living being through a kind of reorganization of a kind of form, kind of recognition of a particular thing, and whether tat thing is conducive to its pleasure or pain. Little bit like operant conditioning, but Aristotle thinks about formation of habits. Creatures that can sense things are the sort of creatures that form habitual relations outside of them. These habitual relations are based on the a degree of pleasure or harm perceived from form. Aristotle believes basic sense is touch. Every animal has sense of touch. Earthworm is drawn to sorts of thing that are conducive to its good and drawn away form sorts of things that are conducive to its harm. So even in sensation there is just another layer of self response that emerges out of the vegetative form. There is still this move to nutrition and growth to proper flourishing exhibited in the animal but animal has capacity to sense things that plants do not.
- Students questions - Bear and Bee's question = habit formation - sort of capability for intelligence for recognizing suffer through paint o get honey. Kind of separating form Plato. Recognizing the form of things is strictly an operation of intelligence. Aristotle leaves room for capacity for sense and memory and recognization to recognize...etc. Recognizes particular shapes, particular sense, learns to associate particular experiences with shapes, and strategies of getting to bee hive without being stung.
- Remember a living thing is a sort of thing that responds to its own needs, a sort of thing that desires to promote itself and own growth and so respond to self by responding to its natural environment. So sensation is just an expression of this being, of being self responsive. So, non-human animals can learn to respond to things the way plants cannot. No matter how many times grass is clipped by a lawn-morrow, the grass will not learn. If dog got run over by lawn mower - might be aversive towards it and learn to avoid wheels.
- Now, when Aristotle talks about 'Knowing and Thinking', he is not just thinking about ability recognize wholes and things. Knowing and thinking is this capacity that human beings seem to have regarding themselves in regarding things. Human beings have this ability to step back and look objectively, how they relate to whole of reality and particular kinds of things.
- What does this mean for how human beings respond to natural world? Well because human beings have this nature, to respond to patterns & respond to forms of things & also respond to their own relation to these forms - that means human beings have ability to understand the principles and causes of things. Human beings have the ability to not just understand this particular thing is going to cause me harm or this is good for me. But human beings have capacity to understand why. And so, Aristotle says the person who understand why things happen on principle - being able to explain why thins happen - is wiser then the person that kind of has the sense of ' if I do this will happen' but can never explain why. And then the person who explains, who has ability to contemplate principle of things out of sheer desire to know, is wiser then the one who understands the principle of things to produce stuff, results, for human beings. Those who contemplate reality out of shear joy of it is wiser then the one who contemplates principles of reality for pleasure or cool things like video games, understand principle of science and make inventions for enjoyment or for useful things. Those are all good usable things that human beings can do but the wisest are the ones who contemplate principle of reality not for extrinsic bodily means but simply for sake of becoming like the eternal, becoming like the very source of origin of our being. That is what sets human beings apart from other animals, we can contemplate the whole beyond the needs of our bodies.
• early modern period, have in mind a very broad span of time probably starting around 1400 to 1800. We will look at two thinkers who were writing in the 1600s - kind of in middle of this time period. Roger wants us to keep in mind these are influential thinkers who have given voice to thoughts that have transformed culture. These are thinkers who came to express many things that we now, take for granted, consciously or unconsciously in the very world we live in now. Voices that have shaped and transformed how human beings relate to the world. So this though ti important in own right, keep in mind thought that ideas the way human beings think about the world give voice to those ideas to those thoughts how they transform potential.
• So some of the ideas that began to emerge in the early modern period, were those of natural science - idea of free enterprise or capitalism and the idea framing individual democracy. Most attention will be paid on these two. How do we think about nature and also how we respond to nature.
• One of the central historical development in this time period was that we as human beings, we as thinkers could study the natural world to grasp its inner workings. That we needed to in a sense find the right point of view an objectivity sot hat we could grasp nature of things, and bring that nature under our control. This by the way cam in opposition to he prevailing order, dominated by aristotian way of thinking, which is to say the idea of nature then was that we respond to the form the things in way they present themselves. But this emerging idea of science from eh first time in human history was thought we could actually grasp a hold of the - we could take cognizance of the fundamental causes that make nature work. And the thought was if we could actually grasp these causes, if we could understand them in an objective way then we could make nature work for us. We could learn inner secretes of natural world, and if we could unlock these secretes of how everything works then we would become smart enough we could manipulate nature so that it would do things for us, it would help us be more comfortable. Help us as human beings to live our lives with more freedom more power over the natural world. This is very powerful thought if you think about it. That we who are actually in affect at least on face of it we seem to be part of the natural world, but this thought that we could actually grasp the inner working of nature as to take control, to take helm of it and steer it the way we want it, to make it do what we want it to do, and so also there was this idea of free enterprise or capitalism. The idea that a person has an inherent right as a free individual to labour in the world, to make it valuable in his own way. That is not to recognize some inherent intrinsic value that is already there, but to labour to make the world what he wants it to be. To produce value the raw materials of nature so to facilitate nature in different directions. So these two ideas: the idea that we can cultivate the sort of world we want to make it a better place for it that is a modern idea; and the idea that we can learn the causes of the world to run things, ourselves, to take charge of it. To make the world our object, something at our disposal.
• Descartes, he was writing in the 1600s and he was already one of the thinkers bearing witness to the scientific revolution. This idea that this natural world can be grasped according to its inner workings. It was already in full swing. He wanted to show, to give a philosophical account of what people are doing when they are doing science. When we try to observe the world scientifically to understand its causes, what in essence are we doing? And Descartes saw this question had a couple of senses: In one sense, what are we as agents? What are we sorts of things that are able to grasp the causes operating behind or in the natural world? And then also how rightfully can be said that we do in fact grasp the truth of nature - how can we justifiably say that there is something real to our experience with the natural world? How do we know that the sorts of things we take for granted - experience, in natural world are in fact representatives of the things that are going on, causally speaking? This is the first time in history this kind of question was posed. That the Greeks, never thought or entertained idea that the thing you are experiencing is any different in essence from the sort of experience you have. The experience you have of that thing is always just in essence immediately that things form. But with the rise of modern science came this idea that the thing we see may not be essentially anything except for causes that operate as it were, in a way that is not available - causes that operate in nature in such a way that they are hidden from our ordinary experience.
• Descartes, giving this emerging idea, justifiably as "how do we know what we are? - and how do we know what the natural world is?"
• Answer to student's question of questioning: Now the way of questioning that became predominant for the modern world was to ask for - not for what this thing is as a thing but for what this thing is as a piece of nature. So, it makes more sense as roger is suggesting in modern world if we want to ask what this is essentially, the answer that it is a bunch of molecules hanging together by force/energy - that makes more sense then answer, it is inherently bares forth the form of a chair. It serves proper ends of a chair. - Chair? Yea it is a chair, people sit in - if I really want to know what it is I give you a scientific answer. Want to know what sort of physical essence that thing is. So in a sense I have to, there is this emerging idea that I have to ignore what my senses present me and focus more on what is going on behind the my sense, or at least narrow my sense down to certain things so that my mind can discipline myself to construct explanations that are least attentive, the least dependent on outward presentation or manifestation of things.
• Descartes - in first two meditations, there are two arguments to pay attention to:
• The first is an argument about, what we are as agents? This tends to be called the 'cogito' argument. The reason that this is important as an argument is that Descartes wants to find some sort of unquestionable principle, some unquestionable source of knowledge. So there is this idea that we can, Descartes deploys systematic doubt. He has the idea that we can rule out possible sources of knowledge, in principle by the very fact that it is possible to doubt. So his way of preceding through meditation is give why things do not give us absolute certainty. This is not to doubt everything but to discover those things that cannot be doubted. We want to discover what it is that we are absolutely certain of in our experience of the world. Why? Because we want to find that point of view in objectivity, where we are able to go on to understand the ultimate nature of things. So, what can be doubted? Well you can doubt your senses; you can doubt everything that appears to you by way of your sense. You can be deceived, it is possible to be deceived right now that you are actually experiencing the world. You could be dreaming or sleeping. You could say, "I know for a fact that I am dreaming", but how do you know? How can you be certain of that? There is now way you can verify that all of this is not just a dream. You may have a really strong belief you are not dreaming but you can't verify for yourself that you are not dreaming which means that you cannot rely on what your sense are presenting to you, event that gut feeling, it is not a source of certainty. But you cans say, "yes, well regardless whether I am dreaming you can recognize that things have certain features that don't change" - I recognize certain shapes, features of bodies that don't seem to change, its not like I can fall asleep and thing about different forms of things when I experience the world. In fact it seems to be the case that I bring the forms I experience in my waking state in my dreaming state, how else can I dream those things. So that must mean that there is stability, permanence to things I can recognize. Sort like Plato's argument, I can recognize that there is a kind of permanent quality, there is a permanence to things because I am able to think upon them, upon their form, that forms takes on a mathematical quality. Well, I am not sure that these things are characteristics of the real if I can't be sure I am not being deceived about them right now. Yea, I can recognize something like a circle or triangle, recognize that there are features of body regardless of dreaming/or awake pertain to bodies, but I can't be certain that I am not being deceived right now about those things. I know because I am limited in my ability to perceive the real, I know I am capable of being deceived, and sometimes I catch myself being deceived or making mistakes. Catching self thinking that something is one thing and find out it is another. In virtue of that fact alone that I am capable of error I can't be certain I am not being deceived by the things that I know. Even those things that seem most certain like the nature and essence of a circle due to its mathematical equation. It could be the case that God is deceiving. Well God would never deceive. How could an eternal good being deceive me? Can't verify or prove to self that there is a God? Descartes is doing this as a thought experiment. What if we suppose that there is just I experiencing, what can I be certain of? Wizard of Oz, someone behind the scenes pulling the strings. How do I know. Well there is one thing I cannot doubt. There is one thing you cannot doubt. You cannot doubt your own existence. You can persuade or believe there is nothing around you but can't persuade self without, contradicting yourself, that you don't exist. Here is the famous argument, by the very act of denying your existence you are thinking about it. Have to conclude you must exist because I am aware of myself thinking, that I am doubting my own existence, that means the doubt stops here, no longer can doubt this. Well right now Descartes hasn't established anything except "I am." I am a human being, a body that walks around, interacts with other bodies, manipulate objects to accomplish what I want. But all those things that I think about myself, or yourself, can be doubted right now all you can establish is you exist, I am. Just being aware, youa re just awer that youa re aware that your existence is an existence of awerness of yourself. That you are a kind of inwardness, kind of private experience of yourself. Just look at your neighbour, who or what you see there? You don't see the same thing that you see of yourself. You see a body or some thing that you can doubt the existence you can doubt. You yourself are that warrent of self that you cannot doubt, private interiority, or ineward subjective response to yourself. So this is the first thing Descartes mentions, knowledge of yourself doesn't depend on things you can doubt or your body. You think yourself as a body has to think of features of embodiment, picture in mind. Reason you know that those things are not essentially what you are is you can doubt them yet still be aware of yourself. YOU CANT DOUBT YOUR OWN EXISTENCE - YOU CAN"T DOUBT YOUR AWARENESS BUT CAN DOUBT YOUR BODY! So you are subject of your experience, no one else. No one else has access to that experience, there is a private interior - no one has access to that point of view that you are. No one else can see, perceive, precisely the way you see and perceive. There is no shared experience in that sense. QUESTION IS: pg 66. " for it is so obvious that doubt, that I understand, that I will, that there is nothing that can be explained more clearly, basis for nay other explanation, that I am in fact aware of all these things going on in my experience" - so you as an interior awareness, you are the one who is as I underlying all of these experiences you are having doubting, willing, imagining, feeling - all those experiences you have of yourself are essentially routed that you are thinking, that you are a thinking awareness of yourself. Can't be any other way. You can only will because you are a thinking awareness of yourself. I am the ground of all my experiences of the world. I am not necessarily the source. I am the ground of all of my other experiences. I am the one who verifies for myself that I am aware, simply that I am aware of myself, continuity of my experience rooted in self awareness. I am one responding in awareness to my own existence. Given this cogito, we have established now that the only thing that cannot be doubted is my own awareness of my existence, can't without contradicting yourself. Now can ask if there is a real world that corresponds to the way I see things? This is a quintessential question, given insight that I am the one subject, is the subject to experience, no one else ahs access to the experience I am having right now. Now I can question is there anything to the experiences I am having. Sure I can't doubt my existence, I can't doubt the fact that I am some interiority - awareness of self that is private, but is there nay possibility for objectivity? I can't see, I can't even see with certainty there is another being like me. All I can see is that I am self aware one that is the ground of my experiences. But I can't even know, I can maybe think the people I see before me are other beings like me but all I can see your present form, our bodies, it is possible to doubt you are the same type of existence that I am. SO to be a person is to live in this base of private subjectivity. Note that being a person, a person is not a natural organism, not part of nature in any straightforward way. A person is a point of view, an intelligent point of view defined, a perspective, which is a person. That is what I know to be the essence of what I am, everything else about me is not essential. Descartes idea here is what is essential is what I cannot doubt. That which I have complete evidence for. This is different from Plato and Aristotle, existence for them is cooperative existence with nature, bring nature to its fulfillment. My experience of the world is same as yours, we share in that experience in common form, we share basic fabric of nature, look & see and recognize what is to be seen, nature is immediately manifested to us. This is not the picture Descartes is crating with cogito. It is completely independent, can't be shared, we are not part of nature in therefore in any obvious sense. We don't' share in any common natural experience. The nature of other people is not at all manifest in you. You can't in other words you can't see it for yourself You can't have other persons perspective as you can your own. And so essentially distinctive thing human being is not the same as the natural organism. You are not your body, you are separate form nature. You occupy a point, a perspective on nature, that is wholly distinct, that is separate. And his point of view is own private domain of awareness. So this awareness, this perspective, as we will see in part your knowledge of world, and also your will. You can know what is going on in your experience but you can also will it. You have the ability to act, orient direct self to your own aims you choose, that is part of what it means to be a perspective, to be a point of view, you can orient yourself. However you also realize that you could potentially, don't know for sure yet, but you could potentially if there are other perspective in the world you could be the object of a person's appraisal. There is a kind of unsettling nature about other people now. That there is an aspect of other people that you cannot know and that is unsettling. Because now you could be made of object of some one else's awareness in a way you don't set the terms. Someone else can have experience of you and you don't set the terms of that experience. So as agents we are individuals dealing with other individuals and must find common ground, find some traction in objective world. How do we know if there is anything real, that we understand anything in the world? We see the same thing, inherently. Again we can't rely on our senses to tell us that because according to any sensory modality the thing is always different, it is changing. And I don't necessarily see same sensory qualities you see. Even if I do, the thing I think I know based on my perceptions of you can change and become completely different
He asks us to imagine he is preceding this piece of wax. He is doing this thought experiment by the fire. This wax manifests itself as a thing with different sensory properties. Descartes demonstrates every one of those sensory properties changes when he melts he wax be the fire. What is he trying to prove here? What he is trying to show us is that the fact that the wax is a self same thing is not recognized by the sense alone. I can recognize, Descaretes isn't saying therefore there is no objectivity, still acknowledge it is the same wax but how can I recognize the wax when I have one minute a solid object and the next moment I have a puddle of melted wax - goo? Different smell, different colour, makes no sound. How do I know that object and puddle the same thing? There is no recognizable form other then the fact that it is a body. It is an extended thing in space - (THE TWO THINGS DESCARTES THINKS ARE IN EXISTENCE - A THING: RES EXTENSA AND RES COGITANS) - It has the characteristics of bodies - flexible, changeable, and takes up space - 'res extensa' or an extended thing, the sort of things that has the ability to take up space and is changeable - that is essentially anything in world is that you encounter. It is essentially chair, door, table, and horse if it is a body it is essentially an extended thing that has properties of ex tended thing - flexible, changeable, and takes up space. Weakening the claim that the sense has on the legitimacy of our experiences. I have to look at just its quality of being a body, unless of course it is a thinking thing. 'Res cogitans' a thinking thing. Means that if you want to know what you are need to separate extended stuff you possess form the actually awareness, the existing that you are. (OKEY DOKEY) So we can judge, what we do is we judge. When we recognize an object we are making a judgment of the continuity of that object. We recognize it to be the outward manifestation of a body. You can never sense a body in essence. You can see an outward manifestation of a body - sensationally. But you can never really sense a body. The only way you can perceive a body is by recognizing it intellectually. Descartes making more radical claim - in fact nothing about your outward manifestation as a body that is essential to you. Nothing about your outward manifestation, Your body, isn't essential to what you are - essential to what you are is this ability to think, it
is the ability to recognize mathematically/scientifically characteristics of extended body. Because other animals can't do that they are not really awareness at all. They look like sort of awareness as we are but they are automatons, things that function like mechanical things that function, that is all they really are. The point of wax argument, is that the reality we perceive is not in itself sensible. We know this, the argument Descartes gives here is that by way of illustration of a piece of wax clearly there is nothing about outward sensory manifestation that shows me it is a body. I have to think about the reality of the embodiment. So it tells me that reality of embodiment is not sensible, not available to my senses the way it is available to my mind. So this means, it must follow that I understand what a body is, I have an idea of a body so therefore I have ability to judge that this things I am perceiving - have ability to judge these changing sensory states are in fact a change of one thing, the change of a body. That body in other words is not changing in essence, it always remains the same essential thing, extended body/extended thing. I interpret it to be a body through its various sensory states because I can see by way of my mind the essential thing that it is.
• How then could I learn the idea of a body if I could never sense a body? How can I learn the idea of a body if all that I encounter by way of my senses is different manifestations I have to judge that they are the same thing, manifestations of the same thing. Well I know that it is a body because it is the nature of the mind, nature of the sort of thing that I am as a thinking thing to come equipped with this idea that there are objective features of the world I experience available to my knowledge. Descartes calls this innate idea of objectivity - the very fact that I am a thinking thing means that. By my very nature I have be able to understand something like objective reality, I have to be able to recognize enduring presence of reality, of body, of extended existence/substance. How do I know its in my very nature as a thinking thing to have the idea of objectivity? Well I know, because as a thinking thing I have capability of reasoning about the infinite, that which outstrips all (laws?). This is time in history where calculus was invented. This ability to contemplate infinity using the forms of mathematical reasoning...but because we can do that. We can recognize that there is something like limitation in the world that we experience. Because we can reason about that which outstrips all limitation? So we have this inherent ability, therefore, to understand that all that we encounter is governed by law of objectivity - that the world as a whole can never escape this norm. There is nothing that exists or that there is nothing that we perceive to be real that operates outside the bounds of objectivity, because objectivity includes the infinite- infinite, the infinite itself is objective reality. So what I see then when I look at the world, in the very nature of objectivity, I see something that is real and separate from you the individual - something that therefore operates on its own terms that human beings are answerable to the very terms of its operation. The idea of the real is something that is precedent to me, compels me to recognize the very terms of reality. These terms are objective in other words they can be grasped intellectually and understood according to their causes. And so the real is manifested to senses but independent of those sensory manifestations. A body is never essentially related to sensory manifestations? So as a mind, I am - in a sense - a sort of thing equipped with ability to recognize the norm of objectivity operating in all things. That means I can question reality. I can view the things I perceive with my senses and I can ask, is that really the way I see it. Is the objective reality that I understand before me. Or by way of my sense? Another way of asking that is, is the awareness that arises for me of the world? Is it true? By thinking about the world is answerable to the truth, that means it is answerable to the very terms by which things in reality operate, and those things are objective. So they are available to be thought and completely understood. So with Descarte - arises this idea that I am the ground of all my experience. I am the one who judges and measures the validity of that experience. But there is also the idea I am the one who is able to judge the things that I sense and measure the way things really are. I can understand the real natures of bodies opposed to sense. This is clear when we think about experimental knowledge in terms of science. The idea of the experiment is not to experience nature in its given forms but I is to find what is responsible for the manifestations we can see so that we can better control those manifestations. If we find the causes the ways nature presents itself we can learn to work with those causes and manipulate the way nature presents itself. It is like better learning the terrain to better navigate to accomplish what we want to accomplish. Then we learn in science appearances the way nature works to adapt it to our purposes. In experiment we set up apparatus to obtain one little piece of sensory information and we obtain enough pieces gained through careful control of environment in order to make a judgment about the significance of the results. But we are the ones that opposed question to nature, set up apparatus, and figure out how to get the results we want form the natural world. We are the ones who put the question to nature and demand it answer to us, that It show itself to us, that manifests what it really essentially is so that we can better understand it and exercise our will to make it manifest that way we wan tit to. So in a sense the point in Descartes meditations is event foundations of modern physical science. IT is in a sense to understand what we are doing when we do since, what is going on in our attempts to understand and control the natural world. It is in fact according to Descartes the activity thinking things that are able to understand objective truth and in light of that understanding exercise their will upon reality in a way that subdues it.
Continuity b/w Desecrate and Lock
• Think they are emphasizing the same general worldview, contributing to same thoughts that have shaped the modern world.
• Bouma Prediger pay attention to pg 71-80, especially 71 to 73, talks about ...this author gives critique of ideas that have shaped modern world. Claiming that they are in fact responsible in large way for the current mess that we find ourselves in today, ecologically speaking. He argues the modern world developed idea human beings can discover laws of nature an d in fact we are progressing in our knowledge an din our capacity to be the great things that we are, flourishing beings capable of bring things under our dominion and control. Asks how does this idea of bring nature under dominion of our will square with biblical creation and calling to cultivate nature as stewards? How can revelation speak to our modern view of the world that has emerged out of thoughts stemming from thinkers like Descartes and Locke, and how can revelation speak to thought of ... as well.
• The sorts of ideas that Descartes develops with respect to natural science or our ability to think about the world as an objective reality standing before us. Locke develops a thought along similar liens with respect to like value and property. So what Roger is saying just as for Descartes, the natural world is an object which indeed operates on own terms, but it can be understood it can be brought under our dominion and control. Locke argues the natural world can be brought under the dominion and control of human productivity not just human knowledge. We can actually not just know the world and do what we want but also make it produce what we want. We can make it valuable for us as human beings, we can cultivate it to be the sort of place we want it to be. Roger wants us to understand Locke's emerging notion of property comes out of idea of freedom and liberty. We are sorts of beings who can choose for ourselves what is valuable. We can recognize that for ourselves. There is no inherent value out there to be known. We are in fact the ones who cultivate the very value we come to recognize in the world and we cultivate it for our own purposes. So there is this modern idea in fact that there is no inhibition to human freedom. You are free to give shape to the world around you as far as you want. Provided it doesn't trespass other. Provided your freedom doesn't in hinge on the freedom of others to do the same. So the question Locke uses to frame his discourse on property, is what must be done as to respect the rights of every individual? Now the idea of property comes from, Lock argues, the idea of earnings. Property is essentially about what you earn. The argument is that you have the right to what you earn. It is in essence the expression, the outward manifestation in the world, of who you are - of your will - of the free exercise of your will. So your will, your choice, your ability to choose as a free building, is carried out in worldly actions. And because you also have a body and you need to eat you need to do things to nature in order to live. But even in urban environment you still have to do thing to the world around you to produce value. Your will as perceptive on world has to take on a form of a cultivation of nature. In order that you maybe able to express your freedom. If you don't cultivate nature and take hold of something as yours as your rightful earnings then you can't really express your freedom, your nature as a free rational agent. So on pg 277, so he says here "god gave the world to man, for their benefit, they were capable to draw form it, etc...gave it to use of industrial and rational...etc" In our nature as rational beings to want to express our will by way of doing stuff to natural world, cultivating, making it produce. Why? Well because, we need to do that in order to continue to express ourselves as the kind of things we are, as the free agents who produce - who give rise to knowledge and value? If the subject is the ground of the awareness of world, knowledge, it is also ground of value, it is also the judge of which value is recognized. But value can't come about unless it is cultivated by beings that value it. Why does it come from us? We labour with nature. We have to seize parts of world to cultivate and make them valuable. Value itself is to be understood strictly in terms of what it can due to us - there is no intrinsic worth to the natural world. Value emerges, when a rational agent mixes his or her labour with nature. Ex. Building a house, it is your house, how is it your house? Because you built it, cut down the trees, gathered the other materials, assembled all the materials together. The thing you have appropriate is of value because you have mixed a thing with nature. Nature of value is to exclude the common right of others to have that thing. If he places value to an apple and ate it- its his - no one has rights to it - I can offer an able as a gift or offer but would not negate that it was my apple - mixed my labour with nature and increased what I have found in nature. I have turned nature into something that is useful to me and desirable as object of worth because it serves important function for human beings.
• pg 275 : when did something begin to be property of someone. Later put distinction between them and nature. What do you put into nature besides labour
o invest labour into the natural world to make it be what you need it to be for you to exercise your freedom for you to be able to live, comfortably, well provide, and in a way not to worry about where you will sleep, when you will eat next, and not fight over property
o Locke argues - labour + nature increases value > ability to live as free rational agents
o good thing because learning how to work with the earth in such a way that you can magnify the realm of the whole human condition and not magnify your own prosperity. learn to work with the natural limit of nature
o food spoils
o yet that is not what humans do now
o no right to things we cannot use
o right to use not to waste
o trade surplus for things you need/ or can utilize
o introduction of barter & trade
o problem with trade - have something that isn't valuable to another - how do you exchange
o or how do you decide
o trade common things of value - some can spoil - but tendency of agrarian society was towards a division of labour
o emergence of money because it does not spoil, flexible and long lasting
o 1400s created form of banking by way fo system - merchant didn't travel with wealth but with 'notes' : value is what money represents
o there is a natural limit to what people have the right to
o money there can be produce a massive accumulation of wealth, money doesn't perish or spoil> no limit in principle
o first time in history, with emergence of capitalism, possibility people could gain an increasing wealth in money
o what world has this led to? - in the wake of 400+ years of capitalist
• we can observe world objectively in such a way to learn how to better...steer the course of nature in a way we want it to go
• personal thought: isn't this a superiority complex?
• biblical revelation
• Greeks: nature isn't just object for us - there is no notion that nature serves our purposes. Human beings cultiate nature + enable sall things to accomplish their natural aim - HB cultivate
• respond to form by seeking and contemplate it because it is in the nature of our freedom as RationalB that form that folows does not change
• forms we observe in natural world manifest in themselves in their own right - they don't alter - they are active in such a way to behold them to bear witness to them - not in any way to understand them for the sake of controlling for which they appear
• Moderns (Lock + Descartes): no longer bearing witness to unchanign forms of nature but taking a perspective on the ntarual world . Taking a point of view/stance on natural world in such that we fowe compell nature to express /to conform to a freedom higher then itself. That higher form is the will of human beings
• You see that, the way he initially accounted for what science is doing. He gave a place to be the mind. That the mind was safeguarded from this sphere of nature that has no unchanging forms or essences and no natural aims or ends. With Descartes, the mind, that which we are - the awareness and perspective - is not really any part of nature as such. So, humans are now essentially observers. We can exercise our will upon the world and we can understand how it works. So we can build things of value and significance in the world without really being part of it. In nature and yet not really apart of it. So we have the ability to do science, treat nature as an object of worth of knowledge and our ability to just look at it. And we can also cultivate the earth and we can make the earth achieve the means and ends that we oppose upon it. If there are no mean sand ends explicitly to the reality we encounter then we bring those means and ends to it. The ancients, remember, never really worried about where things originated or came from because they thought that aims, purposes, and origins were already explicit in the very reality they encountered. The form is the explanation, form accounts adequately for the thing. But with the emergence of modern science we have this emerging picture of nature that doesn't seem to fulfill any explicit aims at all. So naturally, we can ask the question as to where it all came from. If there are no unchanging forms manifesting themselves outside the surely quantitative. - it doesn't seem to be the cause nature serves an explicit aim or purpose -Then how exactly can we offer an account of the origin of the very purposeful things that we see going on in nature? And how do we account for forms, the meanings that we encounter. Still seems to be the case that a tree inspires to towards its own ends, it still seems to the be case that things obey the law of form. So initially the modern world was able to circumvent this problems simply by the idea, with the idea that we don't need to ask that question because all purpose is round up in this other reality where we find mind and God. Mind and God stand out from nature - right and those realities offer the full and complete purpose - they are sufficient to offer an account of nature. We don't really need to go there and ask for any sort of aim or end explicit to nature because we can turn to these meta-realities of intellect? This is Descartes strategy to.
• So on the one hand this line of inquiry that looks to nature as a pure mechanism eliminates the need for Aristotle's God, eliminating any ultimate means or end that nature manifests on the surface. On the other hand it leaves open this big gaping question as to the origin of the meaning we do find in nature. Obviously there is a theological danger imposed here. Obviously the early modern's were worried and concerned to safe guard purpose and meaning and human intellect from these sort of questions. So they found a way of positioning these realities outside of nature and also suggested that nature operates a s a whole on its own terms independent of any sort of interference - this is basically the idea of deism. Deism: just the idea that God is responsible for nature initially, it all comes form God, but after God has created it he doesn't really interfere at all. Nature functions as cosmic watch. Watchmaker will craft this mechanism where all the parts are finally tuned to function together to perform one coherent task and all work together as a whole. The best watch maker would construct something that doesn't need constant intervention, a good watch that doesn't break down all the time and need someone interfering with its operations. That God is the cosmic watch maker would make nature perfect, which would make it operate on its own terms with out its interference. Clever argument to question God's relationship to nature out of view. Allows us to ask questions of nature seeking answers, seeking explanations on very terms nature presents to us without the need for metaphysical explanations that draw on supernatural realities that includes the human intellect. So, there is a supposition here that nature is self autonomous. That God acts purely from the outside (and so do human beings?) - to make it and perhaps to sustain it. The idea of occasionalism, Descartes was occastionalist, he in fact thought that reality or a nature had to have every single miniscule moment sustained by infinite substance, God. Otherwise everything would dissipate to nothingness. On every infinitesimal situation God is holding everything together? Don't be fooled by metaphysical explanation because its same as Deist offer - God is holding the world together -we don't need to appeal to God to know how it functions as a mechanism. So nature is still readily made, Descartes and Deist thought that we can look about how it works without worrying about where it came from or how it began. This appealed to realities outside of nature - meant that people could safe guard this newly emerging field of physical science from the intrusion of the question of where it all came from. Well metaphysics will show it all came form God and lets get down to business of how it works. Science gave explanation of given physical systems on the basis of the generally principles of the cannon - nature functions as a whole - while there are no self sufficient aspects of it yet it is still all fits together as if it were parts working in proximity with other parts to performs and ultimate function, we know not what. You can't look at nature and discern its ultimate purpose it serves. That purpose - is perhaps there but not readily apparent to reason. Only God knows the ultimate purpose of nature and form our infinite objective perspective is to look at all the parts that fit together, mathematically - quantitatively - geometrically speaking. Then alternatively early modern's could claim matter was a basis of stable systems. There is a kind of observable process by which matter transforms itself to reach for complex states. Why doe sit do that? We don't need to appeal to inherent form or purpose we can clearly precede that more order states are more stable then less order states. Just as a watch functions best hen all the pieces hang together and perform some function in relation to the rest so we can see that the more complex nature itself becomes in its manifest expression, as material bodies, the more inherently stable it means. So the very law of conservation of matter itself demands emergence of more complex forms in nature. We can explain these emergence of complex forms solely on basis of material reality alone. So there was also this idea then that we could look back from objective point of view, as an observer an intellect, and we could reconstruct the results the outcomes of natural processes on the basis of our understanding of how they emerge form prior simpler states. We can actually even reconstruct these processes in the laboratory artificially. It is clear, we understand the principle, understand given these priors states -complex stuff emerges? A given, given the simple structures we begin with and tendency of everything towards order and more and more complexity - independent parts then must have - most thinkers in development of early modern science still thought matter was essentially part of us. No quantum wave theory. The principle still holds. That you can see while in their case independent particles would create complex particles so they don't dissolve to nothing. Still understand this thinking, still train our minds to think about emergence of system and structure by way of appeal only to the tendency of everything toward more order and more complexity we don't need to appeal to any intrinsic inherent purpose of things. We don't need to appeal to any qualitative feature wrapped up in nature or reality. We can just understand the emergence of compel structures solely on the qualitative terms and for the more we can understand that anything qualitative we encounter must have come from us. Meaning and purpose comes from our subjective understanding of things. We can understand that. Descartes wax argument, body is capable of changing its qualitative states. Qualitative states alone do not make up reality of body. Quantitative reality doesn't change. The amount of body is still the same body but qualitatively we can attribute this and that characteristic. Then of course if the origin of qualitative change is not the form or final state of thing then it follows that the materials. So what this means is the prior simpler states offer exclusively offer explanation for further more complex states because they themselves are most explanatory not the form or essence Aristotle speaks of. The most self explanatory things are the most explanatory. IMPORTANT IDEA: that nothing in nature is eternal and unchanging if we trace all things back we can see simple states seem to occur randomly and seem to have occurred by way of kind of spontaneity this is not completely out of turn perhaps with the idea of the biblical idea of creation. Modern science grew out in part of biblical understanding of nature as creation. If nature is created it is completely contingent, it is completely - it has all of it emerged into being some how it has a point of origin. There is nothing in it that is eternal. There is also, in development of modern science, this not he influence of biblical influence of creation but also the Gnostic (desire to command = to have control over) idea. We human being shave occupied point in nature where we have grasp of it objectively, where we can bring it under our control. But on this emerging picture the way. Explain all organization of nature as an equilibrium. As a kind of push towards more and more stability - emergence out of prior less stable forms. So the early distribution of matter is less table and in order to achieve equilibrium against opposing forces matter itself would arise to more and more complex states. No aspiration to realize essentially what it is in itself. No cause or principle the only one is just the total series of changes themselves in an infinite continuity, infinite continuation. Each step towards further and further organization can be accounted fro on basis of prior forms and organizational distributional forms. And that step, that new step itself anticipates further steps in the emergence of order, in emergence of organized forms of complex matter? There is nothing inherent to any one of the step sin the emergence of order that would point us to and enduring cause or form - some enduring quality or purpose - all there is the total series of steps towards further organization. Completely open-ended there is always change going on. There is always the emergence of new systems and forms of ordered being of existence and there is passing out existence of earlier forms. Nature is always striving (in loose sense - no implied agency or mind going on in this process) to reach equilibrium. It is just is the tendency of all things to organize so not to dissipated into nothing.
- mention this in order to discuss .."WHAT IS LIFE"
- what is the situation of life?
- organism -> environment: situation
- its cause for emerging..are the conditions that operate on it externally the mechanistic laws of nature itself
- give rise to biological life of interaction of organism with environment
- series of continual shifts where organism responds to environment due to levels of complexity
- environment tests organism, drawing it out of self, by continually forcing it to adapt and change to meet its external conditions. Life as a whole, as you will, is just a complex interconnections between species, species and their environments, and manifests itself not in form but the situation
- so think of nature as a kind of cosmic origami? with each shift in the poles (organism and environment) you have another fold in material existence that plays on all the rest of the factors in shaping the organism
- with each fold you add in origami you change in which all the other shapes that were present before are changed with each new fold. We can't see nature as a whole like origami...With one change in one side results in change on the other pole
- there is no content outside of the origami...its in the folds that shapes it into something
- if you take away folds then you take the dynamics from it
- don't have a form, don't have any meaningful thing
- it follow that we can even account for mind and intellect. Its nothing foreseen in primitive states...mind itself is another fold in fabric of nature ...another adaptation that occurs to increasing complexity...really it means further pull between the two poles.
- In 20th C, for example we have the emergence of idea of existentialism(originate from Augustine - present thinkers refer to him?) -> no unchanging essence...need to fashion our own meaning as whole
- Darwinism didn't cause this view put cleared the shelf space for this thought and for the idea that humans are not different essentially from other animals.
- that mean son one hand our activities of thinking are not any different in kind from the sort of things other biological organisms to do. we just have the ability to more complex awareness then other being are capable of. It allows the question of owning nature...instrumental...lock key - private property. No more can own property then a beaver owning a dam...only in utilizing it...not invaluable We have inalienable right....we just happen to use it. We use it for sake of achieving for best we can some level of happiness
- also have emergence of idea of utilitarianism
- measure of moral value stems only from our ability to attain a kind of perceptual equilibrium, a state of happiness, a state of being at pleasure not in pain. We share that intrinsically with other forms of life. A dog can be just as at pleasurable as we can be
Peter Stinger: constructed view on animal care on utilitarianism
- stress idea of revolution in way human begins have thought about nature. Nature is now wholly contingent (not in any way meant to be in accordance with itself- it just so happens to be there). It could as well not be there, everything you encounter in nature is contingent...it just happens to be there but it is there.
- has to act in strict causal laws
- deterministic: things had to turn out the way they did due to the states that came before them.
- we are wholly determined...determined outcome
- even though nature is contingent given to states prior to present state what is here now has to be the given state ...the qualitative feature of nature (the things we have - human beings or other kinds of animals) could have just as well not been there. The Qualitative features of nature are contingent upon its quantitative features (series of shifting states). These states give rise to the qualitative features we see (not inherent to nature but had to come out factually given to prior arrangement sin material world).
- What does this mean philosophically? Can life be accounted for in exclusively in these terms? We see that natural selection, Jonas calls, a negative process. There is no principle conducting it it just eliminates something that encounters situations that are unfavourable to it it will adapt (it will select the course of least resistance - develop features to maintain self and stability) this is negative selection. it isn't striving to achieve an internal aim it is navigation through a gauntlet of nature. Here is the problem, Jonas sees at looking at this, we have an emergence of another dualism
- dualism: Jonas means the separation of relate into two distinctive modes/characteristics of being. Remember Descartes had dualism of mind (thinking substance) and body (extended substance) and was constructed by how these two interact. he thought it was useful...have mind then push out mind and allow people to do science without worrying about how nature interacts with mental substance. The question inevitably arise how nature originated. Mind and God didn't' give adequate answer to how nature originated if it operates strictly of mechanism. Took razor blade to it and split it but how do they interact
- evolutionary theory has similar problem the dualism is of germ and body(soma). Evolution gives us idea that you are not essentially the purposes or aims expressed through bodily existence. You are essentially kind of a freak emergence from a germ whose continuity through history is just continual mutation form one form to another, form one expression to another
- the germ is only, the germ - the thing that's evolving - the expression the stable expression of nature in form of biological organism -, that is what human beings are. But what is that? Well it is just a series of manifest mutations. And that is the only continuity of the reality of species at all. the only history is germ history. You can imagine a germ -> continually manifesting self in different expressions but there is nothing to tie these separate expressions except just the evolution of germ , just the mechanistic nature of organic life
- you can ask similar question to Descartes: is that sufficient to account for the emergence of organic life. Organic life seems to ....
- if we can't appeal to mind external to nature to account for the purposes we find in organic life
- similarity we can't appeal to a germ which is a vanishing point if you will. Just a continuous nothing that manifests in separate expression...you can't appeal to that to account for organic life
- brilliantly Jonas runs itself into the ground that Descartes has...because nature is strictly mechanical and not something else...
- similar issues as Descartes dualism of mind and body
- evolution sets up for rejection of this vie of nature
- that mind is continues with nature no Cartesian theory. the sort of capabilities we posses as beings we are awareness of self...just complexity
- therefore all of life has a kind of inwardness about it
- life responding to self (like Aristotle's view), capacity to express self in ways that bares directly on its essence. On what it is.
- ex. imagine an organism learning to adapt self to environment precisely due to process of interaction. not just by brute law of natural selection.
- Jonas' worldview/PHL compatible with creationist view
- the reason why merilm ponty reading complimentary to Jonas argument
- he wants to give an account of what we are simply returning to what shows up, what shows itself without appealing to a reductive explanatory principle. Whether that's' an internal form or causal law operative in nature such as law of mechanics
- goal is to return to account which precedes all of our attempts and over conditions of all of our attempts to understand
- describe what we see without fitting into any theological scientific framework
- that kind of approach developed, has a long genealogy - extending back to Descartes and Cant, such as Husserl/Heidegger, responsible for development field of inquiry of Phenomenology (study of/account of phenomenon (appearance) ...literally account of appearance
- thought of approach to appearance to just what appears and the way in which anything/everything appears
- approach that doesn't start off assuming anything scientifically or metaphysically about reality. Asks questions: what features show up/how...
- can we sketch these features, these structural features of existence that appears and shows up
- what pheonomenologists realized: what is real about appearance is not the feature of it
- first principle...can't explain appearance based on something that appears....can't give account of experience due to your own personal experience ...its all this...
- its inevitably will obscure the layers and meanings that appears for us.
- when you say everything fits into models into mechanics you will ignore those that don't fit the model and press them into a shape they are not
- what it that simply just appears
- its something like whole involvement of complex of meaning...world...meaning which we find ourselves situated...
- complex what does that mean
- what do we find when we simply look at appearance. you find your engagement with the world. find something like your bodily interaction in the hear and now (similar of Descartes appeal to just look at your awareness). What you find just right now is not just some subjective conscious awareness but what you find is your involvement in the very framework of meanings that shapes your life. Your a body in the world, as a body in the world you participate that gives rise to shape and meaning, you are not just participant in shaping meaning but you are also receiver of meanings that act upon you. You are a student that means you chose to get to this point as a student. You are involved in a project that in some sense shapes the meaning of your life...this project is being a student...you have an implicit aim or goal...it is not radically different. Why do you want to be a student right now? answer will keep in general framework of meaning...there are certain reasons why they want to be students
- you are participating in giving shape to give meaning of your life and working with broader shaping that are directed towards you
- you already find yourself involved in world, caught up in complex of meaning, that themselves define you as an agent, as an awareness of yourself. Now what Maril DePonty is saying that your engagement with the world, framework/meaning you are involved in (all of them), All the layers of meaning that defines who you are what you are, is already an engagement with things
- its an engagement in the complexes of meaning that allows you to identify what these things are. So neither the things you encounter in the world nor the frameworks of meaning which they have significance at all as things, neither one of those poles are less feature of appearance then the other
- neither the things you deal with nor framework of meanings less real then another....what does this mean?
- on the one hand you can't understand what a thing is unless the context that arises...ex. sitting in chairs - wouldn't have grasp of what a chair is without your sense of the broader...without sense of meaning of chair
- suggesting is meaning of chair is dependent on the context that something like chair arises. You understand what chair is, something to sit upon, because you have become accustom to what the chair utilizes...you know when you come in to the room you sit at a chair and desk...your elate meaning & context you find yourself
- since there is a classroom structure you deem it appropriate to sit in chair - you do it automatically
- diagram (photo)
- things bare on context
- things already inherently meaning
- because their inherent meaning in relational occurrence
- you involve yourself ..sit in chair responding to meaning of thing
- habitually relating to thing: manifestation of the very meaning of your world
- 1. explanation obscures reality, denies integrity of things, denies things have reality that outstrips simply their physical nature
- reality of things is being them being involved in agents and frames of being
- no explanation should deny etc...
- no explanation should deny to shape to give rise to what presents itself
- we seem to be caught in situation, the paradox almost, where agents both unfold and give meaning to a world, and yet in so doing we simultaneously receiving and shaping world on its own terms....double certitude, irreducible facet of our situation
- no control as to whether or not your life means something...goals and aims means you want to respond to something bigger then you. holds you to account means that you have to actively give shape to what ever that is. you are both cultivator and receiver of what appears. Ponty has no interest in resolving the tension ..that just where we begin, that just where meaning begins
- Ponty's approach to offering description of our situation as agents in the world. Ponty argues that we find ourselves in a situation where we are compelled to acknowledge something real. We are compelled to acknowledge - in his terms he talks about positivism in his words - we are compelled to acknowledge the reality that presses in against us to which we are answerable to its own terms, and yet at the same time we are also compelled to acknowledge this reality, to which we answer, is a reality for us. In other words, we can't know anything in the world without having appropriated that thing some how, and engaged in some sort of behaviour, some sort of manifest activity that brings meaning to bear an situation. We ourselves in one respect the constructors of meaning, and yet in another respect as constructors of meaning (mean we acknowledge for us) what we are doing is we are baring witness to something that is not merely for us, that has integrity of its own. The very fact that we can only take up meaning for us. He calls that negativitist vision. These poles of meaning, are intention. And that is originally what we find our situation, as agents of world, you can't remove self from situation of having to bare witness to some meaning to which you are answerable to on its own terms. Also finding self baring witness to that meaning in some way that you make it your own. So what does the situations mean for our reflection on our selves as agents and reflection on things of cultural significance (science, and all sorts of value meanings and also nature)?
- Ponty first of all argues we can't fault philosophical thinkers for wanting to find some sort of explanation that accounts for our need as agent to make meanings that somehow correspond to something real which we encounter and to which we are answerable to. We can't fault the tradition of seeing all things as on the one had the manifestation of God, or Soul, or of some nature. And we can't fault the philosophical nature turning, as Descartes did. towards an inward awareness of ourselves to try to account for appearance to seem to be happening all around us. Ponty's argument is, what the tradition (philosophical tradition) come to realize to find a way as human beings to hold these aspects of our situations in proper intention without reducing the situation to any one particular account of reality. So, in this particular article, Ponty is addressing the question of nature and he is arguing that we need to do the same sort of thing with our notion of nature. Nature for us can't be something wholly positive that we just account for as a fact out there in the world. And yet neither is it something that is wholly negative, in the sense that it is just the appearance that manifests before us depending upon our activity of being. When we talk about nature we are talking about this reality we can't quite grasp which compels us to be answerable to us. That is why Ponty says, in a sense, it is kind of interchangeable with how philosophers think about God and Soul. They are making hand gestures out towards that something which we can't grasp. That something that is not an object for us but stands opens at the very opening as such, opens the horizon of meaning we come to understand as our world. To use a metaphor: that what ever stands behind us, give rise to us as certain sort of agents. So what does it mean then according to Ponty to be in a situation? Ponty describes the interface between these two poles of meaning as the body. Body is a technical term for him - does not mean something like Descartes idea of extended substance/thing - simply a thing just sitting there that can be given a quantitative and mechanical definition. Body is dynamic interface between an agent and its world. In a sense then the body is the very opening of meaning, it is the very opening to what we take to be what we would consider perception of the world. It is a kind of articulation of being that gives rise to this situation that we as agents have to answer to reality as a whole in a way that is understandable to us on our own terms. So, that is what Ponty means by body. In a sense it this nexus of meaning, we as agents are finding significance for ourselves in the very manifestations and the very ways we are oriented bodily towards certain situations in the world. And, in the very way we are bodily oriented to certain things. We are finding, Roger is finding significance being a professor, not a mind floating around in the ether. Roger isn't just a mind that happens to be positioned in a body. The way in which Roger is positioning his body in front of class is helping Roger unfold the very significance he encountered in the world. Roger standing in front of the class bares witness intrinsically a kind of significance, not just mine but the classes too. Our class is compelled because Roger is dressed as a professor, positioning himself in a certain way, we are compelled to acknowledge a kind of teacher authority standing in front of you. That is a meaning you have encountered in this world and a meaning that you take up for yourself in a another sense you have no ultimate say over it. You are compelled to acknowledge it. That is an example of Roger's unfolding kind of significance simply in the way in which Roger articulate himself as an agent, that way Roger articulates himself is bodily. The way Roger positions his body, makes sounds from his throat, and dress a certain way. As students, we are bodily receiving those sounds, receiving those air vibrations in a way that incorporates them into our world that is of significance, more then vibrating air, whose reality outstrips the basic physical manifestation. The reality of bodily being is not just physical being it is a multifaceted reality. All the features of air vibrations which make them real are not just physical features. In a further horizon of significance beyond the merely physical, those air vibrations have meaning significance as words, words received by audience in context with audiences ability to use language and audience comes to understand other things that are equally as real, other things of meaning. So Roger's bodily involvement with things, standing before you, opens for Roger a certain perspective on the world if you will, what Roger is doing is positioning his body in such away that Roger is able to take up things into every opening - ever expanding context of meaning. Roger is able to incorporate things into his projects and he is able to unfold the significance of projects through his relationship with things. Roger is able to relate with space, this classroom is not just an empty space, it is not just mathematical space. What this room is before it can be given any mathematical or geometric interpretation - what it is before we can give it scientific orientation, is the opening of a particular context that meaning takes place. The whole thing is greater then the summative of its parts. Roger can only come an interpret this room afterwards as something that can be plotted on a graph in terms of its spatial coordinates. More precisely, only because I first encountered it as a classroom, only as encountered it as human value/significance. Means something to proff and to students. We all are sharing in common meaning that we are/that we each have a hand in unfolding. But we also, we are not just taking up things into our own world, but in my very act of doing that I am manifesting myself (proff) as a bodily presence, manifesting self to us as someone to whom you are answerable simply in virtue of his presence here and just in the same way you manifest to Professor to whom he answers to. Roger can't help but to answer to you, I can choose to ignore that very call that your presence emplaces on being. But that wouldn't take away from fact that virtue of our presence as students, proff is answerable to us in a specific way as a teacher. Roger can't deny that facet of meaning that our presence here has opened up and helped unfold. So the body incorporates things into its meaningful web of relationships and makes of those things as something of significance. But the body also learns to habituate itself in the patterns of existence that are already therefore yet. It learns to answer to a call that is placed upon it by the presence of other bodies and the presence of things that have been shaped by projects that other people have taken up into being. We can think about case of infant. What does a human infant do? It grasp towards thing in his/her world. Especially to or around 4-6 months of age. We know that, the infants you know moving its limbs around and learning to grasp for things is not random activity. What this being is doing, is opening for him/herself new layers of meaning. That world is not immediately available to that infant in the same way in which it is to us. Because we have years of experience interacting with things and taking them up in our own context of meaning. It takes practice to, in fact, open up a world of meaning. NA infant doesn't come out of womb already knowing how to write a letter or sing a song, or play with toys, or even eat. These things have to be learned, tall the things infant encounters almost have to be taken up in to his body, in a sense, body of infant is learning to take up things into its existence as something of meaning. The Child learns eventually learns how to play with a truck, as a truck, rather then a soother or to throw. The child learns this by coming to experiment with things and to learn and open for itself through this experimentation new horizons of meaning. Once these new horizons have been opened up they don't be denied. Once I have come to understand there are certain things in the world that we call automobiles. I can refuse to use one if I were crazy or deny they exist. But can never go back to before I understood automobiles and their abilities. You can never go back to that situation you were in as an infant. You could never have that same relation to the world even though the one you have now is not wholly unrelated to the one you had then but the one you have now is much more sophisticated. You have taken those early habits and patterns of behaviour up in tone facets of new meaningful relationality to things. You have learned this bodily movement of arms is actually used for grasping and grabbing things. Does he take into fact about brain damage? Yes he does. In another text unrelated to this course. The example in this text was an Schneider, individual through neurological damage lost the ability to be attracted erotically to other human beings. This is kind of memory loss. What Ponty find is that the ability to be erotically pulled towards other human beings is a condition that enables us to do many other things that we don't think, on the surface of it, being erotically pulled to other beings. So the loss of bodily ability to manifest certainty types of behaviour bares directly on our or ones ability to understand world beings. In that sense, there is a kind of loss of entire horizon that will no longer be available to that patient due to neurological damage. Memory loss - Alzheimer's - Roger doesn't think this example holds against Ponty's descriptive analysis. Roger things it helps support because it suggests there is a direct relation between the sorts of things we are able to understand they're meaningful in our world and the sorts of bodily abilities we have. Even though you cant make an deductive claims about either sides. Can't make any deterministic claims. Can't say necessarily that all meaning depends on causes happening in our bodies we are not aware of like certain evolutionary processes. Ponty isn't saying that. What Ponty is saying is there is a irreducible situations we find ourselves in, and that situation is that we are living bodies and simply in virtue of our being able to behave in certain ways we find ourselves beholden to certain sense of meanings. So just because body is deteriorating doesn't mean person is loosing the ability to grasp those realities. So not only does the infant grasp towards things and appropriate those things but as Roger was suggesting those things that the infant encounters are already in place. They are already things that belong to context of meanings the infant is opening self up to and responding too. So the infant is almost pulled out of itself and the infant is being shaped by bodily agent by these shapes of contexts he encounters. Baby shakes a rattle. In one sense the baby is learning to develop that rattle into his horizon of understanding, the baby is relating to that thing in certain way, appropriating the thing - doesn't understanding linguistically yet. It is still a meaningful object in some way. But also notice when infant picks up rattle starts to shake it or do something with it. Rattle was designed by adults because adults already know these toys are appropriate to give to infants to help them develop. There is wisdom and understanding adults have already grasped and understand. Now they are going to use it to help other agents open up to these other horizons of meaning. So when infant encounters rattle baby positions itself in a certain manner. The rattle already belongs to a context of meaning that is something that draws out bodily behaviours of that agent, that baby, an help that agent form its (baby) own identity. It is because of the context of meaning that are already there for that infant that, that infant starts to become the sort of being that stands, sits, crawls, say mommy and daddy, and cry for food an other sorts of things. There is nothing mechanical about this process, there is nothing predetermined, there is nothing happening by natural selection, it is just that. It is just further layers of meaning opening up through this bodily interaction. And there is nothing inevitable therefore or necessary about these unfolding or emerging perception on the world. We can simply look at relation of bodies to the world and see a pattern of behaviour - habits of being - we see these manifesting over and over and say AHA yea there are certain things that happen in a pattern way but what we can't say that those habits are necessarily because each of us equally a perspective opening onto the same world and we can't turn around and see the functionings of that nature in an absolute way. All we can do is, see that certain living bodies are agents are oriented to certain types of behaviour in part because of the sorts of beings they are but also in part because of the sort of world they encounter.
- As Ponty says, laws that we learn to recognize in nature as the ways in which nature behaves. These laws have no validity outside of the relations on which they intend. It is not that nature is first a set of law and then those laws determine and dictate what those relationships are going to be. It is that nature is just manifestation of all of these habits of being giving rise and shape to meaning or agents. We as agents, as sophisticated agents, we can say AHA a law of nature - nature always seems to behave in this way. To a certain extent yes. Ponty doesn't want to deny validity or velocity of natural science but he is saying is we can't mean that in any strong deteriminsitic sense. By that metaphor law, is just that nature is given to manifesting itself in this way. So we can make valid predictions. In other words, there is no question the idea that nature has some inner principle that we can understand once and for all is nonsense. It would be like asking to grasp inner principle of fruit outside of our relation to piece of fruit. I don't want that apple I want fruit. I don't want cereal I want breakfast. That is what the metaphysisist asks in relation to nature, I don't want you to tell me about nature I want to know hat nature is. It is nonsense. All we can do is look at the way nature works. And part of our activity of doing that is answering question of what the nature is for us? We can't not do that. So this is in part Ponty is talking about when he talks about crisis of intuition. There isn't a crisis of nature but a crisis of intuition. Pg. 92, "What has occurred, crisis of intuition rather then science" So what Ponty is saying here is that there is nothing we can grasp a hold of either in objects or ourselves as subjects that gives us some basis of making absolute claims about nature, nothing to grasp onto. What Ponty is doing is radicalizing what Descartes started by rejecting Descartes conclusion but keeping his investigations alive. We can doubt that there is stable of identity of objects. Because instance of any particular thing or moment cannot be isolated as some given point that we sharply define. We simply cannot therefore conclude there must be anything immutable such as extended body behinds series of manifestations we encounter. We observe no absolute point in an object. There is no immutable reality. What we observe is simple a thing taken up to an ever opening and examining context of meaningful relation ability. There we draw conclusions about nature of things, the physical nature of things, the emotional nature of things, etc. There is no grasp of body in itself. Neither as something of universal form or essence. Or extended self as Descartes talks about. Instance of thing cannot be isolated, so we can't conclude there is an immutable point of origin. Every instance that you could take of something, go back to Descartes Wax Example. You could say, "well at this particular point what I am looking at is the hardened wax" another particular instance I am looking at the melted wax. And you can form all the instances of this thing on a spectrum of all these different instances - clearly I am observing stable objectivity manifesting itself there because I see something of continuity in these manifestations. But that logic only works if we can grasp particular moments of time in which we have some immediate access to the thing. That is precisely what we don't have. All we have is the behaviour that we manifesting now, taking some object up into some meaningful relation to us. So in a sense the thing itself is never just the inert thing sitting there. But it is always the - its meaning is always open to further interpretation. It is always open to horizons of further possibilities. This looks like an instance of inert chair right not. But there no point in which I could isolate that instance, and say "clearly I am observing just some absolute point of reality" - because all I am doing is taking up this object into my pro-jects and if I want to then stop and say "well, I could say this is an extended body," all I am doing is interpreting that thing in a further thing as an extended body. Not seeing any pure reality behind that manifestation. So on one hand there is crisis on intuition of the object. You simply don't intuit an object at all. In a sense of having some immediate access to their reality or essence. What we do is we engage with objects and shape sour world and shapes our understanding. Now again does that me we can't do natural science. No. We can offer physical explanations but what those explanations don't offer us is some entry point in seeing things absolutely once and for all what they are. Conversely crisis of intuition of our subjectivity. In the awareness each of us thinks we have of our existence. If there is no exhaustive determination of an object once and for all, only arbitrary fixations. Piece of matter is just particles in space - that is just an arbitrary net I cast over a dynamic experience of the meaning of the world. If there is only those sorts of arbitrary fixations on such ting sin our attempts to pinpoint what they are really or absolute it follows that there is also no thinking thing. There is no essence of meaning that stands as some sort of reality beyond the world - thought, soul, awareness - there is only my body engaging in particular practices that shape and give rise to meaning. What I take as necessarily logical sequences are formalized abstractions of my experience. And those are useful to abstract from experience in a formalized way - to use concepts. "When this happens this always happens" - this has its use in science. But I have to realize what I am doing here is I am not tapping into the intrinsic unalterable intelligibility of nature. But what I am doing is I am - way engaging with nature in certain way, I am learning to trace patterns by abstracting form the behaviour I am already engaging in, formalizing those relations I observe in concepts. So what does this mean? So instead of being aware of some immediate continuity of thinking, what we are aware of is just the fact that we are continually ritualizing - Ponty's words - ritualizing our form of behaviour, we're repeating them over and over again, and in doing so we come see facets of meaning of our world, and come to shape who we are as doing as well. And through process of ritualizing our behaviours we have to cooperate with the nature of things. But we don't have any inner access to objects in such a way that we are able to determine once and for all what they are - and don't have inner access in ourselves to determine that either. This is the crisis of intuition. Ponty doesn't think it is problem for science or understanding values such as moral. In fact Ponty's argument is once we learn to hold onto the paradox of our situation, as in to think about it in such a way that we are not denying one side of it, but continually offering - thinking about things that holds tensions at center of our limits - once we learn to do that we will be in a better position to come to terms with who and what we are as agents and what nature is. One more point about that. Ponty mentions that science itself through the 20th C came to doubt the mechanistic account of nature that the earlier philosophers and scientist gave. Ponty argues, scientific investigation itself is becoming more and more open to this picture of nature as radical contingency without any inherent necessity at all. We can still give causal explanations without holding out to picture of nature as a functioning mechanism that has to function in certain ways. So we can offer a better account of organic nature, so Ponty refers to biologist, Uexkull.
- Uexkull, manner of investigated biological organisms tried to avoid treating said organisms as ready made objects that must function in some necessary and also clearly exhaustively observable ways. Instead of treating biological organisms as these objects that are completely available to our thinking. Uexkull, developed the concept of ' umwelt' - which is something like 'around the world - environment' - animals belong to umvelt. Incidentally, Uexkull was one of the key things in development of thought about of environment and developing of this concept. What Uexkull is arguing, is that there are certain features of an animals umvelts that are carriers of significance for it. So a while ago when asking about whether there are there certain features of world that are more significant to organisms depending on the sort of organism that they are, the answer is yes. There are certain sorts of things that interests us, as human animals, in virtue as the fact we are human animals. It is because of - it is because we are as biological organism the sorts of beings that respond to umvelt -the environment, - that the meanings we grasp are those that are readily available to us because of our biological nature. That we respond to perceptual world and has significance to us. Bee responds to perceptual world that is significant to it. The colour of flowers has a specific meaning to bee in a way that it will never mean to us. A child's toy could never mean something to a bee the way it does to a child. Or the ticks skin is sensitive to light because that sensitivity enables it to be able to climb onto a leaf or piece of grass to ready itself for the leap onto another animal. That light is significant to that tick in a way that could never be to us. We don't share ticks umvelt. And the other interesting point Uxekull develops is there is no absolute perspective on the world. So the fact we can do biology, we can examine other animals and trigger they respond to but what we can never do is come to understand them from an absolute standard. Our act of biology is not something that gives us an exhaustive account of that animal for once and for all. Because we are responding to feature of that animal that makes sense to us, according to our own human being umvelt.
Science - Value?
- So it is not just that, we understand science differently as a kind of practice that doesn't afford us some absolute knowledge of reality, that affords us some kind of grasp of world of our meaningful purpose. But we can also understand that value is understood differently between different species/creatures. It isn't just the colour of flower's petals is meaningful in a way to the bees that it could never be for humans. But that the colour of petals is intrinsic marker of value for that bee. Uxekull, opens up our ability to understand or suggest that there is a sort of response to value that other species of biological organisms are capable of. Bees are capable of recognizing and responding to things of value for them. So, unlike John Lock who thinks value arises from human purpose - there is an unfolding value intrinsic to the natural world but it unfolding only to the unfolding of interaction of other bodies in that natural world. But what Ponty and Uxekull wants to help us understand, is that there are possibly an infinite variety of different perspective on the world. What that means is that there are also possibly sorts of meaning we could never understand or we could only understand by inference that there is meaning going on here some how. So that flower means something to bee that it could never mean for us. It is an invitation to harvest nectar. Because we are not sorts of being to harvest nectar then that flower could never be what it is to a bee...its nectar not as enticing for us as fro the bee. Bird invited into relationship with flower in certain way. But the bee, is not just then endlessly absorbing everything in to its umvelts but manifesting itself on the flower in some way. The bird desires to be seen, recognized, and heard, and manifest itself bodily in certain way out of that need to be responded to. So, a part of definition of organism is the interchangeable with other animals. It is part of which gives rise to both that bees understanding and expression of itself but also what that bee is as a bodily presence for us. We can understand that bee has bodily presence only because it has sort of a relationship to flower. That is part of bodily presence of the bee. It is part of the way bee differentiates itself from flower and other aspects of environment in a certain way. The bee actually learns to respond to not just to the petals of this flower but petals of all different sorts of flowers. Can learn to substitute one flower to another. It learns to respond to flowers as meaningful objects to it, even thought it can't do it linguistically. There is a perceptible horizon part in response to those things. This isn't quite alien to Aristotle's analysis of the soul: suggests there is a certain respect to see non-human animals responding to different forms of things. Ponty does believes certain recognition of pattern that humans and other animals aren't capable of. The bee is able to respond to this flower and that one, for the bee these two things are interchangeable. There is a kind of 'intelligence' (Aristotlian Term) to inherent unfolding of things. Ponty would refer to this intelligence as the unfolding of bodily agency. What do bodies do? Well they open up perspective on the world and perspective grow out of interaction with things. Ponty or Uxekull wouldn't deny the incredible power humans have ability to model and shape animals response to the environment. This serves part of the point suggesting that there is no necessarily process or natural selection or inherent determinant, nothing is set in stone. Because a bee is a manifestation of a certain kind of body there is arrange of possible meanings for it. But what we could do as bodily agents is manipulate its environment so it responds to this opposed to that. We have learned to do this in agriculture. Chickens respond to bright colours, chicken farmers know they can use bright red feeding trays and drinking tables - chickens come to associate those colours with food and water. What we are doing is we are working with an already habituated behaviour in chickens. Some how chickens have learned as species to respond to bright colours. - Not sure why biologically. But certainly we can set up conditions to model, change, manipulate others. It is not just that we are not incapable of inferring a kind of behavioural response. Clearly we can see bees respond to flowers, obviously flowers mean something to them. We can never understand flower the way the bee does - because of the type of animal we are we can't respond to flowers for nectar that bees respond - we can but not in the exact way a bee does. We use hands they use their legs...The flower can't be meaningful in exact way as bees. We don't understand flowers the way the bees do but we draw inferences form outward perspective. We are responding to relationship between bees and flowers out of our own desires. If this relationship wasn't an interest of our own desires and fascinations of how things work we wouldn't observe this relationship. That means we too are responding to things from an umvelt. So in a sense, all animals share in this ability to respond to environment/world - share in perceptible awareness of the world - share it differently, and some ways that awareness doesn't over lap or it does. We might be able to respond to a ball in slightly similar way as a dog does. Can form a particular type of relation to the dog that we both learn to respond to ball in similar ways. Similar meanings. And the more different we are in bodily being to the animal we are encountering it is likely will be the case there is less overlap. There is definitely idea here that non human animals open to facets of meaning that human beings are not. That is why Ponty concludes with notion that there is no inherent hiearhcy of nature. Not like humans have complete access to meaning. It is more like Pg 97 "there is a transcendence of one by the other" - what he means by that there is a certain respect that I am open to meaningful relationships in the world that the bee could never be - I transcend the bee in that way but the bee transcends me, because the bee is open to meaningful relations to the world that I am not simply because I don't have bodily nature- but Ponty calls it a lateral transcendence not a hierarchal scale of being. The ways in which I transcend the bee in ability to understand and grasp meaning are not really inherently more meaningful or superior to the bee transcends. More sophisticated or complex but not more inherently meaningful or significant. Each organism has own umvelt and certain features of each umvelt is that of the individuals alone.
- How does umvelt shed light onto we have been made in image of God - leave this open to next unit.
- Ponty fantastic thinker - writer style is frustrating. (ROGER's Opinion) Page 98: Ponty says, "it is only within perceived world that we can understand all embodiment is already symbolism" - what does Ponty mean by that? The body itself is already inherently meaningful. There are no static bodies to bump into. What a body is - what corporeality is, is already an openness to meaningful relations. There is already an engagement in the world with other bodies, that engagement itself, that relationship from body to body is open to symbolic meaning. It just means what we have been talking about - it is opening of perspective of the world = meaning of body. Part of that is the symbolic meaning that opens up for that organism, symbolic meanings that compels that organism - that the organism must respond to. Flower and bee, flower symbolic for eating.
- So the philosophy of nature Ponty has developed here has to do with the idea of body and its inter action with the world. What he wants us to try to understand is nature itself is a kind of infinite series of leaps - if you will - it is just transition from possibility to actual modes of being. Those actual modes of being anticipate further possibilities, so there are these endless series of transitions & transactions. Life itself, organic life occupies rift between actual and possible. There is transition toward/into the actual. The enactment of forms of life, forms of life that manifest their own behaviour. But this actual world is nothing without the further possibilities in itself it anticipates and it is becoming actualized. Which means that the actual nature that is there is always kind of anticipation of itself, it is an expression of itself. Which means its always gasping for further possibilities. Technical term here is, that nature is a kind of transcendence, it is out beyond itself. It is a moving out beyond what it has been, to manifest itself continually anew. It is not any one particular thing. There is no substance, substrate or universal essence manifesting itself outwardly, it is just the series of transitions into actuality. These leaps of being - if you will. So this is not unlike something Aristotle argued when he said that "all of nature is the coming to be, the emergence of certain sorts of forms of behaviours" but for Ponty, material motion itself opens up an kind of inwardness, or a kind of reflexivity - bending back upon itself (metaphorical expression). So what that mean is that these infinite transitions into the actual that nature itself manifests give rise to this capacity - give rise some how to this capacity for some organisms to grasp a hold of the actual and anticipate the possible. To sort of inhabit that transition. So that is what we are as living beings. We are a situation in nature, where we actually inhabit the transition of material being to actual forms. We inhabit that in such a way that we are able to anticipate what it will be and help give rise to those forms. The bee is not just a body but it is a certain form of anticipation of the sort of thing it could become. It is a sort of grasping a hold of possibilities for being a bee, that is part of being that thing. So it is not just an actual something but the whole range of possibilities it could express itself as.
- So the task therefore of our thinking of science and philosophy is to learn to grasp the natural world in such a way that we enable these new leaps in being. Student asked question about agriculture - we have incredible ability to give rise and shape to the natural world - especially natural and biological meaning. But Ponty suggest idea that science should be a cooperation of being. If doing science, thinking about nature, is apart of what we are - as the Greeks thought - still we have to learn to do the thing we do in a way that responds appropriately to the integrity to the things that are. What does that mean in the long run? - This is the sort of question we will be asking in unit of animal ethics. We must acknowledge in our behaviour, nature, and science all the facets of things - things that outstrips our ability to grasp it. We have to respond out of respectful awareness of what things are.
- Phenomonlogical Tradition - Another thinker in this tradition - Heidegger
- Says much the same as Ponty. His piece by Heidegger in Animal Philosophy draws from Uxekull as well. But heidegger wants to argue that the non-human animal has a sort of umvelt (its world), but its umvelt is poorer then the human's world (umvelt). There is what sounds like a judgement of value of human world and non-human world that Ponty doesn't want to make. INQUIRY QUESTION: Is the non human animal poorer in world compared to humans, some how? Ex. Stone, rock... the human Hiedeggar argues has full range of worldly significance to it for its capacity for the language - which makes us beholden to higher order of meaning. Very Aristotelian question.
- Peter Singer was a famous ethicist. Singer part of what made him famous for was his work on animal welfare. Singer is approaching the question of animal welfare - the question of whether we owe some form of ethical responsibility to animals - approaching the question from the/on the basis of the modern idea (arising from individualistic democracy) the idea of institutionalized prejudices hold us back form acknowledging the full humanitarian quality. So this idea of demand for moral quality. Moral reasoning requires us to treat like cases alike. Modern morality asks us to focus on the features of actions and policies that make them morally irrelevant, morally insignificant. This is unlike doing moral philosophy before modern age. Thinkers such as Aristotle thought the good life or moral life consisted in quality of man's character-habituated to respond approrpiately to situation. Ex. responding with courage to appropriate situation. Courage was the balance between two exptremes. Courage was ngihte cowardness or rashness, just the right sort of response given situatin. That is not how Singer is approaching question of ethics. Singer is not asking us to cultivate the right sense of moral character - what he is asking here is whether animals in their own right deserving their own moral consideration and on what basis they are so deserving. His argument is it is arbitrary to discriminate against animals in same way it would be arbitrary to discriminate against animals on the basis on morally irrlevent features of their day. Just as we wouldn't - do violence against a human being account of her skin colour so we don't do violence against a non-human animal because it has fur and tail ro features that makes it not like us in some morally irrelevant way. So here, the basis to this approach in thinking about ethics, is the idea of freedom. We should treat like cases alike. Where we recognize there is a certain freedom in some beings or a capacity - if you will ) to live a meaningful life free from hindrances and cumberance life. The argument here is the encroachment against this freedom is against our best moral senxe. Why? because it is a failure of reason, failure to treat like cases alike. If I refuse to allow a 'coloured person into restaurant' - failure on moral account because I am disregarding the freedom of these persons ability to pursue their life they way they want on basis of something to do with their 'accidental feature' - that is morally irrelevant/ morally wrong. Singer, we do this allt he time to non-human animals. Singer thinks we discriminate against them out of prejudice not out of any sound reasoning. We treat animals to serve our own ends, that is very arbitrary. Signer argues that when we examine our practice and behaviour we find that we are exhibiting a moral prejudice that should be eradicated from our lives and behaviour. Now, Singer
- Argues this on basis on a - what philosophers call a - utilitarian approach to ethics. Utilitarianism was developed by two thinkers in the 19th C Germany Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Basically idea is to be consistent in moral reason what we take good for ourselves to be good to great other creatures like us. If our goal is to maximize good for ourselves logically then that goal needs to be extended and maximizes good for all creatures like us. In other words we must acknowledge right of others to same good, if not - we are responding to others out of prejudice rather then out of sound reason. So utilitarianism holds we must act of maximize over all good, of this many beings like ourselves as we possible can We must strive to do our best to achieve maximum number of creatures capable of being happy be happy. This was Benthem's idea. Mill adds, that what it entails is you can pursue what you consider to be good as long as you don't prevent another like being is not deterred to achieve their own. If there not, if we choose our own happiness over the happiness of another being we are acting in an arbitrarily fashion. We can't justify that behaviour, because logically our good is also the good others. To be consistent, if we want to pursue goodness we need to pursue it for everyone capable of achieving/pursuing goodness. Happiness in other words, achieving some state of pleasure/happiness is the only measurable good. Everything else that we might consider good is just a means to the end of achieving happiness. What is the highest goal of your life? You are doing these things in part because you want to live a flourishing life as a human being. That is part of your aim as a human being is to flourish. You wouldn't be doing all those thing sunless you though that they would some how eventually enable you to flourish as a human being. Problem behaviour prevent,s when you go to the store and select that article of clothing off sehlf, it is bring happiness ot your= to some extent, but your purpchase is contributing to great unhappiness to people like yourself, those working in sweatshops. Singer wants us to be reflective of jus that sort of thing because he thinks that ht eonly morally good action and policies are the ones that help bring about maximum overall happiness, not just our won. It is morally wrong to engage in actions and behaviours that may make us happy at the expense of others. If that means increasing our happiness far beyond happiness of others. What is happiness? Each individuals definition of happiness is different. Te objct htat nebale sus to acieve certain amount of pleasure and uflfillment differes. But that fact ht each person is in prusut of their rown happiness doesn't change. Can't deny in so far as a person is able to experience at all that that person pursues happiness and pleasure and tries to live a life that avoids pain. What I fyou bring happiness to others and not yourself. If you are putting your happiness so far below others that you are not able to maintains semblance of life that is morally wrong. But we have tendency to be the opposite. Forward our own happiness over others. We can't do that. Singer wants to flesh out this logic of this argueemnt. So necessarily again we have to ask what it would be - what sort of eatures we share in commonw ithother animals that makes it such that those other animals are just as worth of moral consideration as human beings. If we wish to include animals in our moral considerationw e have ot ask what those other naimals hsare in common with us that makes it such ew are responsible to them in a similar way in that we are responsible to other human beings. Notice here, that singer doesn't reocgnize inherent worth or diginity int eh kidn of thing that something is. Singer is no aristotlean. He thinks that looking to the kidn of thing something is, it affords us the know basis of measurement of anything of moral value. And he argues, with an example of human beings if we ant to say human beigns are of above inherent worth due to ability to use language or to think we land orusleves in difficult situation when we come accorss human beings who can't think cognitive as we full can or use language - we would consider these human ebigns completely worthy of our moral consideration. What is it that we find morall relevant about th ekidn sof menigns that we are. Human beigns are vslty in intelligence and capabilities btu one thing we share in common is that we can suffer. The fact that we can experience pain and that we have the desire to avoid it. If I were walking on one side of the street and someone was walign on the othe side of vast inellgience and there was danger, we would both react to avoid that danger. We can both reocngize there is osmethign to avoid. We are btohe beign that pursue pleasurable state of life. That argues Signer is ultamtely morallyr elevent the fact that not we have some unique intrinsic capacity as human ebigns, because we have varing depgrees of ability. But it is the fact that we share in the common suffering. Each of us is capable of sufferien ghwihc means we are eachc aapble of prusuign pleasure o rhappiness. Not food sex - pleasure but we are sophisticated beings and have abiityt o puruse sophisticated forms of pleasure - opera. They support case that as human beigns we are purpsueers of pleasre.W e like good things because they fulfill us, make us happy, give us pelauser - that is why we pursue them and try to avoid things, because they give us "owies," This is what Singer thinks we share with non-human animals. We can infer that non- human animals are capable of suffering in similar ways as human beings. Our institutions, we have recognized that human beings are of moral worth not because of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc, but because of fact each human beings is the subject of a life, each human being want to be happy, and each human being wants to pursue its own happiness. Singer thinks it is arbitrary in that list to not to include animals, in moral consideration precisely because they can suffer.
- Why is suffering morally relevant? As Roger said, the desire you have to increase your happiness, to have more of the stuff that makes you happy, have more experiences that fulfill human beings logically extends to animal beings. The very fact that we desire that state of happiness for self must be morally you should and ought to desire for others like yourself. So logically we are compelled morally to give up some pleasure to benefit others. We agree not impose on others that make them suffer. We consider the exmapel of slavery in sothern US, to a certain extent the culture of the US south was built on the backs of slave labour. That culture that developed brought a certain amount of fulfillment and happiness that benefited from it. Can't deny that. But no one would denyt he claim that slavery, culture built on slavery was not worth the cost of slving human beings. Don't think anyone would say Human beigns were enslaved, even if that meant some other human beigns made happy - those human beign shsoudl have been eliberated that all human beigns could have share in common hapines. That ht eplight of slave owners got a bit worse. They were still morally obligated to give up slaver, isntiuiton of lsaver, so that they could rise plight of slaves up tot their lives. Their fortune decreased a bit (the owners) bt it meant increase to a massive of numbers of human beings. Allw e got to do to apply the same thing to non-human anials we have ot prove they are capable of sufferieng as human beigns can. We can never know that in an absolute way. We don't know absoltuelyt aht others human beigns can suffer because we are not in someone elses minds - my perspective of the world is private as others do - if I am experience pain you can't feel my pain in the same way I am feeling it - you can' only infer that I am feeling pain. We make inferences all the time. If Roger stubbed his toe, we would infer that he is experience pain. We do this all the time when someone else is in pain we empathize and - infer that person is experience pain that you might feel if you stubbed your toe. You infer, because that person is doing if you were in pain that person must be in pain. If you stubbed your toe you would wince, I winced when I stubbed my toe you must be in pain as I would be.
- We can make same kind of inferences in respect o non-human animals. Based on our knowledge and observation of animal behaviour and knowledge of biology and how bodies respond to their environment and similarities between humans animals philologically we can infer animals suffer. Infer that yelp of a dog it is in pain because someone stepped on his paw. Can't be absolutely for sure but you can infer. So it is clear to Signer that animals are capable to suffering in roughly similar way we suffer.
- So what about ability to use language? The fact that human beings can use language there must be something radically different between how we suffer and animals. Are we allowed to infer animals have a state of consciousness? Can only infer if they can communicate to you? Can we project that state of consciousness on a dog or cat - and cannot participate in our context of meaning/communicate. Singer thinks that this is not a good objection because
- #1. Pain seems to be a much more privative experience then concepts and intentions both of which are expressed linguistically. Pain can be communicated without these things. Dog clearly can communicate paint o us because it exhibits same behaviours we would if we were in pain. We ourselves typically express pain - not linguistically first - but by our way of bodily reaction/behaviour. If you saw someone wince and then the person waved it off as nothing you would probably be inclined he was lying to not experience pain. You saw the bodily communication. Clearly we can infer that state of consciousness with creatures that are not able to communicate it linguistically. So by way of analogy, a non human animal is like a human infant. In the sense - human infant doesn't have capacity of our higher order abilities but we can still infer that infant is capable of suffering. Non human animal is deserving of the same kind of regard. It is unable to communicate linguistically (or in capacity in all that our higher word abilities) but we can still infer that infant is in pain or capable of suffering, a non human animal is deserving of the same kind of regard. Singer is concluding there is no radical line between suffering of animals and humans.
- Speciesism - refusing moral consideration of non-human animals because they don't belong to human class/category... Animals should be given equal moral regard
- what this means it is moral arbitrary to exclude other animals from our consideration. Singer thinks the conclusion we should draw form this line of thinking is there is no rational excuse left what so ever to kill animals for our purposes
- Response (1): suffering of experimentation usually outweighs any human benefit
- Response (2): what if many human being could be save by experimenting on animal? sub in orphan, or a rate - why does this change the response. No moral difference between the subjects because they are all capable of suffering.
- Morality, once engaged have to look ...
- Only reason why to experiment on non-human not because of any sound reason but because we are a bunch of spiciest, prejudice animals. acting out on belief of apparent inherent superiority. Singer is trying to shock you into new awareness, trying to have you react to that plane, that accusation....he want to invoke offence in you because it is worthwhile. that you have to be confront with nature of behaviour you are engaging in so that you can change. What if we could create form of agriculture where they are happier and would rather stay then run wild, have ability to euthanize without any pain/suffering = no! There is no such possible scenario, absurd to think it. We have to acknowledge (1) animal life is of some value because they are capable of suffering, (2) and we can't reasonably believe that something would be happier when its existence is exclusively in the service of another being, means to an end. hence even traditional farming is out of the question, we as a species have grown morally to come to understand that all human beings are deserving of same moral consideration and that of all non-human
- to what extent should we respond to animal suffering?
Mr. N wants to affirm the positive power, strength, exuberance, joy and laughter of life. This is precisely what he thinks modern humanity has denied through the edifices of life built around itself. Mr.N thinks that we have created such a prison for ourselves that we no longer even live. The very structures - the very things - the very institutions we structure our lives make it increasingly difficult for us to really to have a genuine or authentic moment of validity of life. And the root is the problem of disdain we have developed towards our own animality. We modern human beings have cultivated this really refined hatred and disgust of our own bodies. We have turned against the animals that we are. We are reacting against the very beings we are. Mr. N is not so much as trying to argue against some very powerful ways of thinking that dominate modern life as much as he is trying to expose what is going on under the surface, what is going on behind these ways of thinking, he is trying to pull the curtain back and show us who we really are (in a sense), he is trying to show us we think we have reached a point in history where we as human beings are at pinnacle of existence whereas in reality we have become sick. We have allowed a cancer or a rot to grow in our very existence because we are acting in a recoiling the capacity from animal life that is our very source of our strength and joy in us. What's more, Mr. N doesn't believe we can't fix this problem, this mess we have gotten into, as modern men. There is no rule there is no law that we can appeal to that is going to help us sort things out. There is no way we can calculate our way out of the issues, there is no easy utilitarian principle we can appeal to - for all of us to be little bit happier. In fact this drive to find this rule, this standard, this law is part of the problem in fact. This is in fact is part of the very move in which we aim to separate ourselves from the very animal life's that is well within us, and trying to express itself. We are continually forcing it down, reacting against it, opposing rules upon. We are finally finding ways to insulate self from un encounter with this terrifying force, that our lives are routed in, this awesome terrifying force of nature. And, incidentally since we submerge - we push away the animality within ourselves, and we also find ways of insulating ourselves from other animal life forms. Because we don't want to have the sorts of encounter with these animals that will shock us into new and transformed ways of being. So, Mr. N would think Singer's Utilitarianism is kind of/ is a way of rather then really responding to other animals and respecting them, it is in fact a ruse that enables us to further insulate ourselves from them. Enables us to project our ideas of a good life that we can continue to ignore the animality of ourselves and of others. We can continue to sum up life and existence in a nice tidy frame work. Which of course enables us to rest content with our response, and to resign ourselves from having to listen and to respond in a more genuine and authentic way to the very life we share with other beings. Now, what is this animal life, this animal nature?
- Nietzhe's thoughts about nature as a whole: Mr.N thoughts on nature as a whole. Turn to page 3, first paragraph - rainbows. The picture of the world as this clamour of many different voices but it is a beautiful clamour because each voice is the welling up of the same life that each of the other voices take part in. Now that doesn't mean there is something behind all the voices and particular beings, Mr. N would call a life force, on contrary there is just the flux of becoming. There is just the flux - of the chaotic movement of things welling up into being and passing out of being. When Nietzsche (Mr. N) says that things are eternally apart. Mr. N means like, this idea that in existence is at least possibility for infinite number of perspectives. Everywhere that a perspective opens up, a perspective on the world, a perspective on life, everywhere where one opens up, that itself aspires to be the eternal centre of everything. That is the opening of a kind of grasp on life. And there is no real law we can appeal to in existence that shows us how one perspective is united to another. There are only the movements and dances, (metaphorically thinking) songs of being, that Mr. N call sit elusive sounds. Creatures coming together in unison with one another through the song of their own lives. They may come into unison with other creatures for a while and then break out of those unities, and form other unities, eternally for ever without any explicit aim or purpose. Life itself, your life - my life - the life of the animals roaming around outside , ever being that has life is itself a kind of upsurge of this natural exuberance. This over flowing of plenitude of being. That wells up into joyful song. Life according to Mr. N is not explicitly a lack of anything, it is not that animals are lacking something so they spend their whole lives chasing after those conditions, those very things to help them to be what they are, animal life is just the overflowing of a platitudinous nature over flowing into the songs, the joyful songs of creatures that are able for a time arrest the flux and to perform for themselves a sort of stable meaning or value. So there are infinite of centers of meaning. Everywhere is a center because being itself has no core or periphery. It just is infinitely the opening of more and more perspectives.. Now, a little bit of a claim about the origin of organic life. What Mr. N is doing in the passage in the second paragraph, is Mr. N is deliberately turning the ancient and the modern philosophical view of nature on its head, so to speak. Where as the ancients thought the ability to recognize stable identities was among the highest capabilities for living beings. Mr. N is claiming here that this ability to respond to identities to this ability to recognize stable forms in existence is actually a capacity, capability of most basic of organic functions in us. Its vegetative, plans that remain rooted and fixed, and these plants learn because they are rooted, they learn to respond to existence in such a way that everything reviews the same for them. So there are a series of passages in the article, that Roger doesn't go over them, but MR. N is reversing the traditional platonic Aristotle view of thought. Remember Plato and Aristotle thought human beings were sorts of creatures capable of participating in external things by thinking, by thinking unchanging forms that show up, that manifest in nature by way of appearance, by way of changing means. Now Mr. N is arguing here, he is claiming here that we do indeed participate in the eternal ,but this eternal is nothing but eternal flux, eternal becoming. And the forms, the stabilities that we as animals beings recognize - those stabilities- those identities that we are able to directly are the result of our own actions of will coming for a time to make "being" something for us. We are the ones who makes ourselves centre of all being. We are the ones who make ourselves the ones whom all things turns. Mr. N does not just see this process bad. This is just what it is to be a perspective, just what it is to be a living thing.
- You can picture - picture yourself, your own life as the absolute centre of being because for you it is. For you this opening onto the world that you are, this opening of your awareness and your response to world is the absolute centre because you have access to no other. You are the one - from whom the law of being flows - you are the singular existence. Therefore you are the one who is solely and completely responsible for that existence. And you make of it what you will. You can retreat and cower from it, you can be terrified by strength welling up in you, the youthful vigour, desire to think strange uncanny new thoughts, the desire to break free forms of life passed down to you, the means to forge for yourself a new pathway - you can cower away from that urge in terror but according to Mr. N that would be reacting against the life that you are. The other alternative is that you can embrace it. You can have the courage to embrace your instincts and follow where they take you. You can have courage to take the risk and to throw yourself into life in ways that may shock you and transform you and in fact according to Mr. N that is the only way really to affirm the existence you are. If you try to bring your life under some external law or rule what you are doing is you are denying that you in fact as a singular living thing you are a law unto yourself. Now this law that you are, this is also law of being. Every perspective is center of being. This law is identical to the law that makes all of nature be what it is. It is not a law we can grasp with our minds. Not like Roger can writ it down on the boards. It is just the law beings are unto itself. Such that the only law that being obeys is the law of difference, of differing. Where there is one powerful being in whom life wells and surges up there must be another, and another, and another. And perhaps for a time these beings can learn to sing together, like the birds, and as we will see when we get to the ethical life Mr. N thinks it is a good thing to spend time with other animals because that is where we learn to let go and to be the animals that we really are. We need to hear the birds in the tree. Need to have that serpent around his neck. Serpent is wise, it really is, beyond metaphorically. The eagle is proud and brave. The human being, according to Mr. N, is just a being that has learned to assume all of the best traits and characteristics of animals and to bring those to expression in new forms and in new ways. In one sense that is what the human sense. The human being also has another tendency, the human being can also become a very pathetic animal that whose whole existence is defined by dependence upon others. The human beings can also become sort of the animal that learns to cower at itself, to hold itself at bay, the kind of animal penned up in cage all of its life will not leave from cage when it is removed will stay in same place it was caged. We can be the sorts of noble and strong animals that depend solely upon themselves. The one's whom life wells up and don't act against own existence, their own life, their own vitality or we can be the sort of animals that learn to eek out an existence in weakness.
- So again what is animality? Animality is just this surging up of life, of plenitude of being that takes the form of action. The animal acts because of an excess of energy, because of excess of vitality, of health, of strength. That is why, MR. N argues, we see animals play in wild/singing. They are not just doing that to meet needs such as needs for nutrition but dare doing it because they are just proud of what they are and expressing that sense of joy and of life. Mr. N doesn't reduce life to a particular function because to do that is to impose a rule on that. It is to try to find some reason for being but if you take his starting point life has its own reason for being. Right the creature doesn't exist out of lack, and it doesn't act (most of the time - does hunt for food and do certain sorts of things when it needs of fulfill some needs) but that is not the primary reason for being. Its primary reason for being is just to act out of the plenitude of life. And when it act it gets hungry or its urges to mate will cause it to look for mate but those urges to mate, MR> N doesn't want us to think they are sheerly biological functions to procreate species. Just like in us, your urge to find a mage (husband o wife) would you define it as just biological expression or expression of life? ...Playful of life that betrays reason. Sure the bird may sing to attract a mate, but that all part of its dance of life. Why does it want to attract a mate, why the joyful song. Well there is just a plenitude of health in nature that is its own explanation. Animality, again, in part is the acts that come to express this plenitude, joyful being. Things making themselves to be what they are. So, Mr. N contends that the human animal is no different from this. These virtues, Socrates thought, were high values by which human beings triumph over other animals, all these virtues can be found manifest in different forms in the animal kingdom. So when we, as individuals, when we run or when we try to account for what we are, when we try to account for what we are by invoking the category of 'man', of human beings, this is really no different from the sorts of behaviour some other animals exhibit when they are trying to hide from predators or when they are trying to run away from something. The point here is that if you want to understand what is going on in the lives of human beings look to the animal kingdom, you will find parallels. And, these are not just metaphors or they are not just when we observe animal behaviour it is not just a useful symbol of something what humans do, not just a token, but these behaviours are in fact the same - identical natural forces that are expressed somewhat differently depending upon the form of life. So again, each being has is own particular form of happiness. It expresses that on its own terms. But, part of the way in which that animal expresses happiness its on its own terms it is through an overcoming itself. What does that mean an overcoming of itself? Because there are just an infinite plenitude of different perspectives in nature there is also the presence of struggle. Each being has to wrestle with itself, with its own sufferings, so it can transform itself, so it can bring about some new more powerful perhaps form of existence. It can't remain what it is. It has to continually find new bearings so as to express itself anew. if it doesn't do that it will perish. With each new successive new baring is the striving of the animal to express itself as the centre of all being. To secure itself in will, in that - upsurge of life - to secure itself as that very exuberance - - that expression without any reaction against it. It is not that the animal is trying to save itself out of a perception of danger. It is not like the animal running away from predator and cowering, that best captures this thought. It is more like the animal risking its life to find every new ways of expressing the joy of its own existence. It is like an eagle on a rock face swooping down into the canyon perhaps not out of any need, maybe not hunting but maybe joyfully swooping down for the exuberance of it, for the thrill of it. The animal wants only to further its expression of itself but in order to do that it has to be transformed continually.
- So, Mr. N thinks the rise of man is this sort of transformation of some how the creature that we now call man, learned to assume the best qualities of the animals around it. The pride of the eagle. Picture sub-human beings perceiving eagles swooping in the canyon and seeing that courage and demonstrating. Sickness, where we find animals who no longer having the will to risk oneself anymore out of a health or exuberance. That includes human as well. We moderns, we have become incredible sick. We are well fed, healthy, best medical technology in our history but as a culture as a civilization we have lost the will to be anything of...we are complacent, stagnant, we are dying. We are healthy in body, in a sense, but we have lost our noble character. We have lost the instinct that man had when it first emerged on the planet. When it first able to assume best noble strengths of all the animals around it.
- What about charismatic individuals? There are specimens, instances, of very powerful - very strong - very noble existences. And they are agitators, culture makers, they are the ones that give expression to widest range. Grow the fangs, talons that can dig into the forms of existence we are accustom to, shred us and forge new ones. Mr. N thinks that is inevitable and what in fact needs to happen if we are going to come back to any sort of life worth living.
- Not surprisingly, if what we are is just the spontaneously expression of instinct. If that is the case then there is reason to suspicious for those whose natural inclination and instincts are evil. In other words in Mr. N, we should always be suspicious of those who are always looking down on animality/body as evils to be avoided. Those who think that the passions and instincts that well up inside of us are somehow wrong, or to be doubted, or to be questioned, or to be avoided. Morality according to Mr. N is just sort of illusion. It is the illusion of the reality besides just the animals we are. A reality to which we as higher beings are responding. That is the sickness in the animal body. Morality is a sickness according to Mr. N. These are unworthy thoughts to think that we should doubt our passions and our instincts, that we should run from the form expression of youthful, joy, and exuberance and flee into the certainty/laws and rules. These are unworthy because they are reaction against the strength of nature, the strength that maybe once welled up in ourselves and strength we see in others. Morality is therefore out of reaction teaches us to fear and hate our natures. Mr. N has the kind of term to describe people who are good at this, Ressentiment. It is kind of like a resentment. What this is, is the reaction of the weak against those who are not inhibited in anyways in expressing their natural strength. It is a kind of reaction that turns inwardly on itself and starts to cultivate a vengefulness, a hatred, a nastiness towards those who are strong. It is what happens when life is no longer just this spontaneous emergence of being and it starts to become ingrown, it starts to look inwardly on itself and see evil/badness and stuff that needs to be avoided. So the man of ressentimental, strives against self acclimation of those who are strong - he hates that affirmation because he has become weak and is no longer capable of it, hates it in others. Mr. N thinks he is giving voice to inner spontaneity he finds within himself. Mr. N is a wild mind and doesn't follow the rules of doing good philosophy. There are argument here, but the way Nr. N expresses himself here is a kind of outworking - it is an expression n of thoughts he is having at this time. He isn't forcing himself to be consistent with previous thoughts. Mr. N just wants to give voice to life that is welling up in himself. Mr. N wants to give voice of far ranging instinct he experiences, he wants to be honest about them. Not a reactive response. But what he really wants to do is not be a man of ressentiment, but give voice to far ranging instincts he experiences. Wants to be hones. He doesn't want to push things out of the way or subdue it because he is afraid giving voice to something that offends someone or social not accepted. Ressentiment - is the person who is socially conscious - as in wants to be polite and follow societal connections - follow the herd. A Ressentiment man looks upon an individual exhibiting freedom of expression and thinks they need to be ashamed of themselves for expressing youthful vigour, don't you know you are sinning, you are evil, you better bring those passion in line. Mr. N thinks moral man is full of bitterness, rage, and venom, but this is born of kind of sick spirit, weakness/sickness an inability to live and express this reaction onto others. Mr. N doesn't think morality is peculiar to human beings, found in other animals, some individual isn't following code of the herd so they are ostracized. Humans are part of this herd existence. Mr. N is saying that there are some animals that are less appealing int heir traits because they exhibit sick tendencies. Not necessarily heard animals are sick beings. But they certainly weaker forms of life. Dangerous for humans to become like heard animals because are at risk of internalizing this reaction against life. Human beings, Mr. N thinks, are much greater then heard animals and when we act like herd animals we are pushing a lot and subduing a lot in our nature. Not giving voice to full range our instinct, or expression to the full range of our power and capabilities. There is definitely a hierarchy of animals in nature. Desirable to be a bird of prey rather then a chicken. It is much more desirable to be like a lion then a cow. We should not be driving terms of existence by what other peoples wants for us. This is to exhibit forms of heard like characteristics - hatred for health, vigour, and strength.
- So the man of ressentiment secretly wishes to prevent upsurge of vitality. So what does he do? He doesn't sing like a bird, he doesn't bark like a happy dog, he starts making really nasty noises, noises that are aimed at subduing rather then expressing. The noises he makes are like noises like "that is evil, that is wrong you should be ashamed of yourself" or inventing terms like - describing the desire for sexual fulfillment, natural desire for youth - striving in terms that it degregates it - its lust - shame of the body - something that ought to be avoided- shouldn't be celebrated. The man of Ressentiment hates the rich noble man who gives out flowing excess, feels no pity for the poor but out of generosity gives. The man of ressentiment, says well how dare he has more from himself then others would have. The man of resentiment loves the man who gives to poor out of pity. Why? Well pity of poor secretly shows we should all be like that, or at least we should bring ourselves down to that level because how dare we be wealthy and how dare we have plenitude to give to others and don't feel sense of shame for the wealth we have. The man of resentiment who says we should pity, gives to poor, to feel good. To be good is to show pity for poor, if there is no more poor, there is no more source of pity. So the man of Ressentiment doesn't wish everyone to live all in plenitude but wishes for there to be no more plenitude so that we can all be poor together. OR those who have plenty should be shamed of the plenty and out of pity we give to others. It is not that utilitarian wants to relieve suffering of others out of an exuberance and joy of life. Utilitarian secretly wants suffering of others. If this morality is going to work as a rule of life there always has to be a striving to respond to suffering. Suffering has to be the real term that sets the standards that we value of life. Reaction to plenitude of life. Affirmation of suffering, affirmation of poverty, affirmation of weakness as basic thing in moral life, Mr. N argues, this comes out of the sickness of existence, sick life, sick experience, the one that is no longer capable of life but which secretly resents its own weakness and so resents strength in others and wants to reduce it to common standard of weakness. This is the stuff of priests, of moralist, of despots of...need followers, need people - weak can't live on own terms, the terms by which they live depend on others. Either tat the man of resentiment depends upon the priest, giving terms to which he lives, or he is secretly the priest having others depend on him, without people depending on him he is nothing. He can't live life out of its own law, a law of self overcoming with no lack. He has to find a lack in life and then respond to that. The man of resentiment is full of life that is maigment and turned against itself. Mr. N contrasts he lower with the higher noble ones. Noble existence has courage to risk itself - to risk the upsurge of energies that possibly give it new forms of expression. The noble man is a genius or mad man, or both. He is one that no body understands, possibly, or if they do they hate him because secretely they recognize human strength they once had but killed in themselves long ago. So virtue according to Mr. N is in the sound instinct. It is in the instinct that is not imitated but full expression out of vitality, out of the vitality of life. All else is reaction against life. So the standard by which Mr. N judges forms of existence is whether these forms of existence, these forms of life, embody noble character or a service. Embody sort of character that reacts to nothing and gives expression to full range of virtue of all its life. Or whether it is the expression of character that has learned to subdue itself, learned to take form law of being from inside itself out of fear of inner strength and power out of love for its own weakness.
- No law of existence out side of self, that it is just what Mr. N means by saying that the noble existence refuses to take the terms by which it will exist from outside itself. Now, Mr. N is positioning himself as a kind of observer, offering a description of different directions that life can take. How can Mr. N, how can he offer a description, evaluate or judge between two different forms of life if he claims that value really is established solely by the singular existence of itself. Roger thinks his way of responding to question would say that there is no objective standard he is appealing to other then his own perspective. SO he is wagering that these forms of expression are better then these other forms of expression. This is why Mr. N thinks his own PHL is in fact, it is a descriptions of what is going ,but also want attempt to participate in the very thing he is describing, in that in an authentic way. But it is a risk he is taking Mr. N wouldn't be uncomfortable with someone saying he could be wrong he would admit it. Yes there is a value judgement, but it is not an purely and objective description. Btu the value judgement comes out of a kind of wager that - is kind of invitation to take a risk, risk giving voice to these other instincts - and you might be surprised by the outcome.
- Mr. N text is a performance, not just describing situation but it is trying to accomplish something with us and that would be helping us look at our own existence and arrive at our own judgement about who and what we are. The way Mr. N does this is by offering us a glimpse of a what it might mean to come to terms with the origin of who and what we are. That is all Mr.N is doing, Mr.N isn't telling us what we are as creatures or as individuals or singular existences. He isn't saying "now I offered the correct theory and go and be what you are". He is just using, Mr. N's technique is heuristic (history). He is trying to construct something you can grasp so that you can actually turn around look yourself and begin to see where you have gone wrong in suppressing your own instincts. Or he is trying to paint picture of the noble and by drawing pictures of animals seen in wild. Mr.N is trying to help us to see origin of our existence for what it is. This origin is not a self standing behind appearances. It not like when you turn and look at your self and see, oh yea I have been this self along and I've been expressing myself the wrong way - this is in fact part of the sickness. Thinking we are in control of our own expressions, thinking we are independent of the very expression we manifest as animal beings. Mr. N in facts wants us to pull of the mask - not so that we can come to see ourselves in the mirror of eerie or for what we really are but just so that we can just for the moment become a little bit dizzy, once we see that behind the mask there is really no self but self is a series of mask. There is this dizzying abyss at the core/centre of our existence that we can't grasp in any other way then to just to be. So the origin is not a self behind your expressions but it is just this moment, the uncanny moment, where you are confronted by the responsibly of yourself. Right, where you are shocked in a way where you learn to see that all you have is the very expression you are and nothing more or else. It behoves you to be noble and all you can do is look around at nature because there is nothing else. You find the best examples in nature, you find the examples you can assume and you choose your own companions. Offering a wager not a theory. Every culture has had a hierarchy of values, there hasn't been a human culture that has existed that there hasn't been something worth wile to strive for...return to this statement later. Don't want to dismiss statement about moral life it is something pertinent.
- What does the noble character do? the noble character is atamistic, this means return to something ancient and forgotten. The noble character give voice/expression to full range of instinct and this includes those that perhaps had been suppressed or forgotten over the ages which manifested in our ancestors but which we don't give expression to anymore. The atamistic give expression to these long repressed instincts allowing them to manifest in new forms of that excellence. These are drives that well up from the depths, from the chaotic depths of nature. And they express themselves retuitusly (overflow) of life strength, health, and vigour, they serve no particular function according to any social calculus, we can't reduce the function they serve to any biology, economics, or society because the very law by which these instincts are expressed are precisely the law of risk, the law of pleasure, the law of pleasure/certain, law of animal able to transform itself (adapt). Now as you can imagine, the man or women - human being - who obey's this law will be very maladaptive to his or her time. This sort of person is the artistic or scientific or religious genius - the Stephen hawking, The napoleon bonapart, the Gangus Kan. The one who assumes the power of the uncontrollable and gives free reign to its power and unleashes it. And by doing this, it is not a destructive power it is a creative one, it is one that brings and forges new structures who gives rise to new forms of life. The one who gives voice to awesome of nature is the one who gives expression to new life. So those instincts in us that are most uncanny most remote, the ones we fear the most because they will pull us in directions we are not accustoms to are those that are closest to center of very existence. Not the ones that make us complacent or habitualize, or that sink us into habits of being, that sink us into mediocrity. The closest thing to what you are is the furthest that you have become accustom to being. The closest thing to what you are a savage? Mr. N trying to seduce you to give loose to that internal savagery - that is the courage to see that all that is the becoming new again and surging up in power and life. Now is just an abrupt moment for the self assertion of the centre and its perspective. Take it up. If not you are going to react, you are going to cower. Mr. N says, learn to participate in flux, and participate in dance in life, and be like birds in the garden who don't seem to remember what came to before and don't seem to think about future but acts spontaneously out of their own exuberance in the present.
- The idea of ethical life, that has something to do with response to the other and not just our self expression? Yes it does. But how can we think about ethical life and human/animal relation? Well Mr. N thinks most honest form of relation to others comes out of our confrontation with them and not some rule that guides our behaviour.
- The ethical life consists in something like a continuous encounter with creatures that are uncanny- like us but not us. Because that life pulls us from where were are right now into new forms of expression, and helps us respond appropriately to the beings we encounter. Following a rule is just going to serve to insulate us from these encounters. Since these encounters with other beings are the catalyst that enables us to be transformed, if we insulate ourselves, we are making ourselves sick and weak. The sick and weak human beings are not the ones that roam the prairies and hunt the bison, not the ones that gather food for themselves for the deep respect for the other animals. The sick human beings live respectable lives insulated from animals that whose only function is to give them meat. The ones whose closest contact with an animal is in a supermarket, those are the sick creatures. The ones who can't bare to confront their own animalty so they have to insulate themselves form it, and so ignore it in other creatures. Can't bare to be shocked that we are eating the flesh of another animal, so we do all we can to pretend we are not - basically distancing self/disconnect with origin of food.
- So there is a deep idea, in MR. N, that we need others to show us exactly what we are. And this would include other animals. It is an illusion that we think we have surpassed our animality. And, Mr. N would think we are living out this illusion all the time in our civilized forms of life. Thinking that we are somehow beyond animal being. That we live a higher form a life and so all those facets of our lives that are connected to animality can be pushed out of our reality, can be conveniently removed form conscious awareness. This is what happens when we become civilized. Civilization, as Venessa Lemm's commentary on Nietzsche keeps us confines to our narrow expression of our way of knowing, gives us a comfortable picture of selves as being things that have surpassed the animal. It insulates us from the animal but it also therefore stymies us the institutions that habituate us to a certain from of life prevent us from becoming what we are, as ubermensch - german word for (Vanessa Lemm) - translated into 'over human animal'. But, the metaphor here is the form of life that passes beyond the expression it is right now. Ubermensche is not superman - not super human guided - its the future of what we will be. It is always open to us, this possibility open to us moving beyond forms of life. Ubermensche, the over human, is always the return to the animal that we are.
- What Mr. N is trying to get us to see is that the human being is a transition - the form we take for granted, as that creature that is above other animals - form of a human being is from animal in beginning to an over human future. So there is a constant anticipation and return. Tension between activity of creating and expressing profound new forms o life, he calls culture and just being civilized. Just being civilized is following in line with the herd, just obeying institutions you have inherited. Following heard, obeying institutions out of fear of taking risks of being strong of affirming own existence. That is the firm erstwhile man has become stuck in. Sick man things this is the pinnacle as to what it means to be human. Means sort of being who lives by the rules. Doing work of culture (building: German word) making.
- MR.N doesn't think we can avoid civilization, for it is a necessarily stage that sets stage for new expression & new life can emerge. Decadence is part of flow of history. Civlizatiosn rise and fall. They fall because the form of expressiont heyw ere originally formed around had been forgotten. And so these instincts that give rise to these form sof expression give rise to new ones ...in favor of these new forms of expression. Historical epoch sees fall and rise of different civilizations and peoples, that has to be because nothing can last forever. The only think that lasts forever is the flux of becoming. So every age, ever epoch, need its own genius' to find new ways to express human instinct that will continue march of over the human animal. So ethics is certainly is the cultivation of the way of life but its - Mr. N, wants us to see this cultivation of way of life forms itself around the expression of very powerful individuals. Individuals who are willing to risk giving up their identity, what they though they were, so they can take on new identities. Now if civilization, rule following, managing the herd by institutions, if that is a necessary part of our natural lives it is also part of our natural lives at risk for pulling us into those reactive sick forms of life. Mr. N wants us to see n ot just the pinnacle but also the stepping stone in civilization to greater things. It is there as something not to be imitated or passed on down or preserved, it is there to be ripped open - meant to be torn limb form limb. Because all of our actions in the world are animal activities. We are nto above or beyond normal animals. We do sorts of things they do. You want to be the ones that sets the terms people understand the world tear down old terms and come up with something new. Give fuller range of expression to instincts that other people are afraid of or unwilling to engage in. So man of culture is en-tuned. He ready to allow his natural virtue to rise, he is ready to be the one who is the instrument of destruction and of new creation. ex. Bird of prey don't look back at its dead meal...
- How does this idea of culture making translate into ethics in perhaps treating others with respect? Don't want to think that Mr. N is all about ripping people to shreds. He is not. Mr. N wants to give room to legitimate form of friendship, legitimate form of response to others which respects very existence of what they are. What does that mean? There is room in Mr. N for possibility that highest expression is giving yourself to another out of our health, out of our strength, not out of secrete sense that we all need to be weak. But giving self to the other due to over flow of life. Positive gift without sense of lack. Because I am just an excess of life. I in affect respond to you out of this excess and you can benefit form me. It is not mov't that levels off life, that find the lowest common denominator that we all attempt to survive. But it is a mov't that alleviates life by creating, by forging the terms perhaps by which other beings will find their way of expressing themselves. That means also that as human beings we have to be willing to allow the rest of animal kingdom to set its own terms for life. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as the only one with a perspective. Nothing gives us inherent right to living then any other being. Everything law unto itself. So if we can help ourselves to some animals we have at least fathom the possibility they can help themselves to us. Its healthier to fathom that possibility, even though we try to prevent this. You have to allow self and have courage to enter into relationship with others and allow that relationship to emerge on its own terms. Courage to be an animal. To allow self to be confronted by nature over and over again. But what we risk in that confrontation is a transformation. We risk potential that we could become even more powerful, not fathomed ourselves. If we don't risk that confrontation with other animals sure we are insulting ourselves, securing our lives, protecting self from danger. But we are also creating very conditions in which we can become sick and in fact start to resent life itself. So Mr. N doesn't give us hard and fast rules in responding to animals. Mr. N is trying to paint a picture with ethical life. Comes to terms with creatures we got. Only by doing this we are going to learn to respond well to others out of very law of life that we ourselves have.
- Mr. N exposes a disingenuous attitude behind such a desire we as human being would want to distinguish ourselves from animals to such an extent that we no longer able to recognize or address the animal nature we have. A Disingenuous attitude b/c it is cultivation of vindictiveness against those who are living in such a way they are not reacting against their own existence. This idea, Mr. N has of moral life - that we can receive field of action without reacting to it, acting out of a spontaneous life and health and exuberance, don't think this idea is really far from the Christian notion of acting out of plenitude of love. There are differences. But Mr. N idea of moral life as kind of resentment towards life, as a secrete action towards it, has parallels to genesis, the garden of Eden. Sin committed in garden of Eden was the attempt to know the division of divine good an evil. It was sin of one who become suspicious of a good gift, humanity had to react to it not just receive it -t o judge -gift was creation. The sin Adam and Eve committed was to learn how to find elements in creation which were good and evil. And so Mr. N claim, argument that the disdain of animal life as evil is in fact the root of the problem is not too far of the biblical account of root of sin. The idea that we actually find something in our existence to hate and rail against instead of accepting and embracing it as a kind of gift. Both Mr.N and Christian do acknowledge that there is no room for action against our own existence if we are going to be noble. Life has no lack, there is no intrinsic lack in what we find, it is just positive plenitude. Now the Christian perceives of this life as a gift. Whereas, Roger don't think there is any profound sense of gift in Mr. N philosophy. But, Mr. N helps us to be on guard ageist forms of resentiment in religion, a useful catalyst. Wherever we find in our even religious, in our views, that we have tendency to react against aspect of life. Mr. N encourages there to ask the right sort of questions, to be a little critical of our selves. Are we using religion as a pretence just to use animals just any way we want to without having courage to risk new forms of encounter, or have courage to listen to the animals and hear the expression of a life that we would otherwise not here. As wrong in over all assessment of Christianity, Mr. N has a point in showing us we can us Christianity as a pretence to falling into rotten forms of behaviour. One of those ways of using Christianity as a pretence, is starting to form in ourselves the belief that we are so far beyond our animality we really share nothing in particular with other animals therefore we can use them as we will without feeling any inherent need to respond to them in another way. Mr. N would have us look at how are religion would then is just actually a reaction against our own existence. But as Roger said Christianity, biblical revelation gives us sense we are led by divine power compared to upsurge of nature and power. Roger would argue the Christian life is least reactive of all possible ones. Roger would argue that love endures as the highest meaning of life. Not strength or power or health, or vigour. But as with Mr. N goodness, in the sense of love, as Mr. N' sense of goodness/health and vigour, can't just have a strict biological value. Love for one's neighbour, in Christian sense, serves no political, biological, social function, It serves no function outside of itself it is just upsurge of divine life, plenitude of God's goodness. That expresses self in action of one giving oneself to another out of love, faith, plenitude of life. God's love is recognizing the uniqueness of the other, to try to not see the sameness but the differences. So God's kingdom parallels Mr. N idea here of culture versus civilization. God's kingdom is not subservient to no particular state or civilization. It could manifest and it does manifest different forms and all different historical epochs. And yet beyond Mr. N God's kingdom doesn't require us to react against institutions but actually receive them as well as gifts. Because in Christian love there is no sense in which the strong has to continue to struggle against weakness. The love Christ offers the world is love that exalts weakness -in a sense one could argue that is least reactive a form of life- then Mr. N triumph will to power. Because will to power still has to exalt in strength against weakness but the one who sees in weakness precisely the source of all life and love coming form an other Roger thinks is the least sick spiritually. So why not wager against Mr .N weakness is in fact strength of an absolute others? If we see that we see there is no need to war against weakness. Offers a better ethic to responding to animals then Mr. N because ...ask yourself. Will there be killing of animals for food in the Kingdom of God, in the kingdom of Heaven? Will we still experience the need to take the body of another to use for ourselves as a means of subsistence? - The human animal has a tendency to hide itself in its fashioning and creation-ing of worlds - those that it imagined.
- Civilization runs the risk of imposing norms and standards on the common denominator
- We are nothing besides our actions
- We are not some beings that exist in some other world
- He severely critiques morality - how much is our tendency to dominate other animals is born of our hatred of our own nature as animals ; we too have natures, impulses that shock us and surprise us, we run away from these impulses because we want to assert ourselves as humans - completely separate and distinct = the sickness of morality. We lump every other creature under the category of animals. Animals = passions, we = ideals --- unmasked by Nietzsche, there is cross contamination between these two fields. Human animal = precisely an animal. This makes all the difference in how we respond to other animals. We have learned to insulate ourselves as humans from other animals.
- There is a sickness of moral flight when we insulate ourselves from other animals. Its our desire to run away from our own animal nature.
- Problem he has with Nietzsche: we can't entirely deny the fact that as human beings we are the sorts of creatures that find value, learn to distinguish the value of one thing from another. That means that we can't do away with morality entirely. Ubermensch has to cultivate a certain kind of life. There is a certain amount of cultivation that has to take place - a striving to subdue the weak so the strong can rise to the surface. Striving to run away from being herd animals.
- He shows us that perhaps in a lot of what we do we are alienating ourselves by looking for some world beyond this world. It doesn't follow from that we are just creatures that don't ever express ourselves morally (as Nietzsche says). Regardless of what condition human being find themselves in, they have to cultivate the good life.
- Nietzsche hates weakness, he hates expressions of herd life dependency. Perhaps the meaning of who and what we are is to be the sorts of beings that are exalted in those very weaknesses. Instead of being creatures that are always on the alert for ways in which we can increase our strength. Perhaps we are creatures who find ourselves responsible to one another. N's philosophy seems to require this idea. Already in our coming to express ourselves as free creatures, we're already doing this in response to other creatures we encounter. I recognize that I am a human animal, also recognize that there are other human animals like me and other animals that are not exactly like me. This recognition of another opens the possibility to respond to another - love = giving myself to another.
- While N is right because he calls into question the absolute distinction between animals and humans, but in order to express what we are, we have to respond to others. We are only able to express what we are. This might include not just humans but also other sorts of animals - what claims do other animals have on us today
1. How meaning arises?
2. Becoming animal
3. Possibility of an ethics (our relation to animal)
- He is trying to flesh out Nietzsche's philosophy and ask ethical questions about our relation to other animals.
- The language of this piece is obscure because he is trying to replicate the content of his philosophy - show us even by the way he writes. Trying to disrupt our sense that everything that is, is an organic unity. What's going on in the world is a bunch of perfectly defined objects in conflict. Subjects ----> objects. Experience isn't this organic unity because neither of these terms is ever complete. We never have complete access to our selves as complete unified identities orchestrating our experience around an object. Therefore we never have any access to an object other than bits and pieces.
- Subject: The basic thing that is holding together all of experience into a unity.
- Object: the basic thing that is being experienced. (the world for me is my object)
- Imagine that instead of beginning from the subject/object lens, we think about reality in terms of an emergence of meaning from a basic undifferentiated material.
- See notebook notes
- Sense of 'I' : stuff that floats on top of material reality. I = enjoyment/consumption of 'of' the particular things that are developed in nature. I only know what I am in looking back. Ex. I was the enjoyment of this particular plate of food. I was the experience of myself interacting with this particular thing.
- Basic unit of matter isn't the objet or the thing, its the fold. The articulation in the material reality. It gives rise to things. Flows into other flows gives 'of' = things. X becomes Y. Basic unit of reality isn't a thing. The real things aren't just the X, Y, and Z. We have articulations to enable us to look back and say yes things are articulated therefore the relation between X and Y is the basic unit.
- Another way to understand = a computer. What is it? Could talk about the mechanisms that make up the computer. System/networks/mechanisms. All works together to form a function. Or you could talk about it in terms of the actual function it performs = the information processing/windows/programs. Both are true in a sense and go hand in hand. By itself the system definition is deficient because you need info processing too. Computer isn't just the info processing because it is always related back to the things that function together. This is the condition on which further layers of meaning become possible.
- We only have a relationship between the two facets of computer (X and Y) not because of any one side, but the relation itself. This accounts for what a thing is. You have a relation expressed between flows, and then articulation of something then further relation with basic machines to higher order levels of meaning but all you ever have are the relations. One order of meaning depending on another. You can't say that one is completely distinct from the other. It's both of the layers of meaning and functioning.
- We are animals with self-identity.
You are both of these levels: traditionally
Bodily arrangement Instincts/desires/pulls body
Expression of these in an I that looks back. soul
The soul = your ability to enjoy something.
- Therefore as souls/selves, we are hacks. We are partial selves. We are never fully orchestrated. We have desires rising up and consummated with one body in an interaction with other bodies. 'we put on different selves' - 'I didn't know I had that in me', he would say that this is the idea that the identity / the subject is not a unity orchestrating its experiences, its the identity that rises out of the pole of different desires and orchestrates it after the fact, trying to unite everything.
- We are not at the helm. I am the one who keeps arriving after the fact and looking back at it and try to give it some unity/coherence.
- What is the point of this analysis: we are never complete then ourselves. We are open to further possibilities of becoming. We can become different sorts of things than we are now. This = becoming animal of the human
- The human being is always something arriving on the scene after the fact.
- I looks back at the animal that it is and says ah yes that's what I am as a self.
- The basic reality that you are is the relation between these two levels of your being (body and soul) and this becoming animal. The relation and not the terms is the most real thing. The terms is because initially there is that coming into being of the animal.
- The next idea of becoming animal: what can happen in relation to other bodies that in a sense present to us what we are.
- Back to the example of a computer to explain. Its an interface between these two levels (systems, info processing, etc) - both of these facets are one in the same reality of the computer, the computer is inherently a relation, in order to be what it is, it requires other things. Such as people to use it as a computer. It is only a computer when it is entering into a relation with an operator. The operator forms part of the system of the computer. This is 'becoming' something. The X (computer thing) <---> Y (operator)
- Key = becoming computer
- You are part of the information processing system
- The computer thing is also becoming part of the broader networks and systems that make up your awareness.
- You can only recognize that there are points connected in a bed sheet when you see the fold there connecting them.
- He wants us to think that what's going on is one undifferentiated material that becomes internally differentiated by having different folds. You only have an articulation of something when you have some kind of internal differentiation inside one basic material. The most basic level of reality past which we can't go is just flows and interruptions within one basic material. And only because of this can it be the case that you have the arrival of something (ex. An X and a Y). 'intensity' - fold = where you see an emergence of a compression. Therefore shape takes form. Its because of the fold you can say here's something. Intensities in material reality make us see that something is there. That something is related to another something. What follows from this idea is that everything is related to everything else. Everything shares in the same basic material and its just a point within a fold in the basic material. Uses the example of a rhizome. Not beginning as seed and moving into a tree. Its just a series basic additions from the root material, each thing is rooted in the same basic reality. Nothing there except further articulations. Any organic unity is a result of its growth, not because of anything it was inherently.
- Example from deluze = wasp <-----> orchid = block assemblage. - symbiosis. Wasp becomes a part of the orchids reproductive system. The orchid becomes a part of the wasp's orgasm. One thing is taken into a system belonging to another thing. One thing is entirely taken up as the object of the other thing. He suggests that the assemblage is the basic unit, not the individual things we identify, the wasp or the orchid or the X and Y. The wasp is part of the orchid's becoming itself, and the orchid is part of the wasp reaching its limit and becoming itself.
- Likewise with human and animal: both the interrelation within one organism, and within the human organism and the other animal organism. There can't be an absolute separation between these two terms. Doesn't give us the whole story. We can't understand one term unless we understand how its caught up with the other. Myth: animal characteristics to explain the human. Turn to animal kingdom to shed light on human traits. Science: partial human characteristics to describe animals. Already a bleeding of these two levels into one another. We can't find the point at which one stops and the other begins. We can see that there is some kind of distinction but we can't locate the line in any absolute way. Because the very characteristics that we take to be human can be only understand by our understanding of animals. Therefore there is only the fold within nature. A distinction within a more basic unity. Therefore we don't have the ability to see where one begins and the other ends. Within ourselves as well. We encounter multiple selves. We try to construct unity from those multiple selves that we encounter. Its making sense of a pack of selves. Human = pack animal, singular thing = pack, and pack = herd. Pack of instincts and desires pulling in many directions at once. Expression to this pack of instincts. You're not in the driver seat and in control. You're arriving after the fact to what you were. And often you surprise yourself with your reaction. To become aware that one is not something wholly self defiant and distinct.
- As far from christianity as possible (multiple selves = trying to be a soul?), but not too far from a christian understanding of nature. Nature isn't just an inherently finished prop. Its something that inherently open to an infinite number of forms and expressions. Its being folded, unfolded and folded again. Its a hot spot of intensities where meaning can take shape. Bible: human beings take on characteristics that are completely different than being a human - balam's ass = speech, nebechanezzer = cow. Nature that is very pliable. That can allow for different natures. But the way God made everything is that its inherently open to these possibilities from within.
What does this becoming animal mean for ethics?
- He's not just describing the way things are but point us in the right direction.
- Describing so that we can life better.
- Describing a basic state of relation. We're describing the way in which we are already in relation with other entities.
- The basis of ethics is our relation to other beings that can desire and in some way can identify their own experience as something belonging to them. Responsibility to other creatures.
- Three different sorts of relations in which we can enter into with animals = Kinds of animals
- 1. Domestic animals: relate to animals as though they were domestic things/individuals - individuated as pets. He doesn't like this form of human animal relation - we are looking for something to complete us. Finally getting that object that will make me the centre of my whole existence. Regressive because this kind of relationship obscures our understanding of what we are as animals. Our understanding ourselves as animals isn't just for academic exercise, its also an ethical task. We won't find the harmony that we're looking for in relation to domestic animals because we impose on that relation the oedipal desire - reference to freud. Mommy -- daddy (me in between). Imposing it on everything in the world - everything is a means in which I find myself in the centre of mommy daddy and me. Pet exchanged for daddy, etc.
- 2. State animal: animals we use to gather meaning.information about ourselves. Animals subject to our systems of classification. Also animals that are behaved. They fall in our systems. Ex. Farm animals. Chicken on a chicken farm = this thing is defined and used according to our purposes. Still something that's bound to the systems of meaning that we impose on it.
- First two = forms of self-alienation/alienation from our nature, if they're always held against #3...
- 3. Demonic animal: they're the animals that disrupt us from outside and within. Don't fit, and disrupt controlled environments. Don't submit to our inherent need to fulfill some lack, or lost object or stabilizing and ordering meaning. The same kind of animal can be found in one and the same organism.
- these are types of relations to animals not types of animals - as becoming animal we can enter into different kinds of relationships to other animals. We can either respond to other animals or we can respond to them in other ways.
- He wants to make us realize that there might be a possibility for us to identify with non-human animals in other ways. Apart from farming, pets, etc. Look at next point (past brackets)
- (If everything is already folded into everything else without any distinction of value what grounds do we have for evaluating progress, etc. Deluze thinks that there is a tendency with human beings to 'overcode' things. Nature is already a kind of music/collection of relations that express themselves as harmonious melodies - dynamic that give rise to more and more complex structures and meanings. Systems like overgrown organisms start to work against themselves. humans conflict with nature, the tendency to rise up in complexity and to run towards the allowable limits of natural limits = self-destructive tendencies. )
- Remember wasp and orchid form a system, this is a basic unit of reality - something happening. Deluze talks about the story of Little Hans and his relation to his horse. Proud horse but able to collapse. The horse forms a system within the domestic and the state animal. Hans <---> horse. He experiences the same highs and lows in relation with his own environment as the horse does to his. Hans doesn't just imitate the horse. But there's a mutual recognition that are different than other humans are used to with animals - different basic unit of meaning. Little hans is taking on something of the horse even while the horse is taking on something of the nature of little hans.
- Another story = Nietzsche collapsed into mental illness. Before saw horse being flogged in the street and flung himself around the neck of the horse. By doing this had a similar form of collapse. He fell under the weight of his own burden - 'becoming horse', took on something of the identity of the horse. Bearing the burdens of others. You're sharing the same task - not just sympathy, but you're coming alongside and sharing in the same suffering.
- Can we do this with other animals other than humans? As Nietzsche with the horse. Do you think that humans can share in the suffering of other animals in that way. Is an ethical relation possible with other animals? If we get rid of our pride, we're afraid of that kind of vulnerability. Empathy important. We shouldn't just be finding a rule or a guideline. Not pity = because that involves looking down. Easier to share in the suffering of domestic animals?
- Deterritorialization - being pulled out of your comfort zone. Pulled out of the sense of 'this is my territory'/outside of what we take to be normal. Fluffy supposed to be on the couch. Accidentally step on some creature, name it and then find out that we're screwed up too. Realize that we're consuming the flesh of another living creatures = now dead. Wasp and the orchid = deterritorializing, the wasp gives himself over to the reproductive system. A reterritorializing happens. We have to reach another sense of equilibrium with other creatures. Negotiations of relationships that would eventually fall back into complacent ways of relating if we're not careful. We have to remain open to other kinds of encounters
- Demonic = the wild/the untamed. Not a sinister being
- Another way of describing this: imposing our expressions of meaning on animals from a one sided view.
- The primary way in which deluze thinks that we can keep ourselves open to ethics/mutual suffering/empathy is through art. Art is the key. We need to become more artistic. Artistic in the right way- in a way of N, allowing the full range of our expression. The full range of our participation in different sorts of relationships. Nature as a whole = musical performance/artistic expression. Everything blends into everything else. Forming new and more complex harmonious orders. Ex. Mozart - composing a musical score by listening to birds. Haecceity = this-ness, particular, singular thing. Music = becoming animal. Mozart couldn't have composed his music without entering into a mutual suffering with the animals - taking on their songs/becoming their songs and giving expression to their bird songs, not imitating but entering a block of meaning with the bird. He's doing something ethical. Bird actually becomes part of the bigger expression of the music. The bird is taken up in the music and becomes part of the larger fold of meaning going on there. The bird is 'transfigured' in the art. It is willed in the art. The art is taking the bird up as part of its expression. Art can release/give expression to nature. Its the same song/expression though. Art participating in these other songs - can interrupt/disrupt the monotony of our factories etc.
- The meaning of the birdsong can't be restricted to just the bird. The basic unit of reality is not the individual thing but the fold.
- This is not our of harmony with a biblical idea - adam in the garden was given the power to name the creatures. Therefore he instinctively knows that they are and out of the at enters into a relation with them whereby he brings about learning to express their nature in the right way. Enters into the song of the bird to do so. Allowing the song to sung in the right way. Adam's language is a kind of music/speaking in harmony with nature. Enter into the things that animals are already giving rise to. We can sing the song of nature. But the names we give them also reveal what he himself is. Only after did he find that there was no companion there suitable for him. He recognizes that he needs another like him. This is different than deluze. Dangerous to cast so much suspicion on our domestication of animals. If we find ourselves as humans of naming, etc. We as persons are somehow distinct. Nature of the distinction = we can imagine worlds that don't even exist. We can act in such a way that we're acting out a vision of a world to come. In other words we're acting out of a vision of the heavenly kingdom coming down to earth. This is the vision that orders our relations. We act out of the vision of the heavenly kingdom, of God's revelation to us, his desire for us to be image bearers/God's revelation of himself in all of creation. This is against Deluze because he is focused on chaos. Where we are pulling against our tendencies to be territorializing animals. Becoming in human <----> all-too-human familiarization. We have to find ways to become inhuman in order to find compassion. Rather than this tension which doesn't seem to give us a very satisfactory account, Deluze is still too N. Rather than this tension, becoming human <-----> the becoming divine of creation. Take seriously the mandate to name the animals and keep in nature with their nature = responsibility of human beings. Question of proper relation to animals is still open
- Can we eat them? How can our naming of the other animals respect what they are in light of a vision of God's kingdom? Song of nature reflectors? The song of nature = expression of the divine then how can we as stewards release God's image in all of nature, cultivate that image and bring it to its fullest and proper expression.
- Can we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to break out of our common habits of being?
What does it mean to have compassion (Latin: suffering with)?
- we use this word a lot in discussion of ethics, virtue. You might consider compassion to be a good character trait to have
- but what does it mean to be compassionate
- responding to the needs of another (of others) - even where I deny my own
- mercy instead of judgment - understanding other perspective
- mercy should never be in contradiction of truth? - tough love - the courage of truth telling
- do we have to cultivate compassion as a virtue. It takes effort
- the idea that compassion involves a kind of response. A response to another. It is the ability to share in a kind of suffering with another. It therefore, if compassion is response to another, what we presuppose in the very idea of concept of compassion is the notion of an encounter with another, coming face to face with another creature, and to some extent learning to see through the eyes of that other some how. If that is not to put it too metaphorically. This is where we get another term: empathy - another word for compassion basically. Following along same path, enduring same suffering with another, may cultivate a shared perspective.
- So if we assume that there is an encounter, we are assuming then in our own experience of the world there are certain kinds of absences. Remember when we discussed Descartes, we thought about the very interesting idea that each of us is a private perspective of the world. You are the subject of your own experience, no one else is subject to that experience. I might be able to look at you and see it via the signs you give me/show me of some kind of agency and infer that by what your body shows me (body language + language). But I can't ever be you in the sense of being your perspective. I can't ever have that. You can never have my perspective. So what I encounter when I encounter you, in a certain respect, is an absence. I see a sign in my own experience that points me to the presence of something that could never be present to me, it is present to you - your experience. Points me to an absence. ..just is mine is from you... Now traditionally in ethics what we think is that an encounter with another is an occasion for us to see that we ourselves are not centre of universe. When I see that my own experience is pocketed with all these absences, all these signs, that seem to point to a presence I can't grasp I come to see that I am myself limited in a certain way. Limited that I will never have access to experiences you have. Traditional ethics has assumed you are the same being as me, that we owe a certain respect to each other due to shared common reason/language. Both agree that each of us have the right to his or her own project, goals, aims, and ends. Each of you is a subject of life. Each of you is the centre around which projects, aims and goals are oriented. All the things you do are done out of your sense that the world has meaning for you. I have to respect that. That is where traditional ethics draw the lines. respect that you are a human being just like me. I see that my experience has all kinds of signs that points me to absences, that points me to places where I end, where my experience no longer sets the terms of meaning. And because I can see that I can see that I have some kind of responsibility. I have to respond to another person, to someone else, out of respect of fact that she is like me. That she sets the terms of her own life much in the own way I set the terms of my own life. But is that what we mean by 'compassion' this is what Irigaray wants us to consider. When we speak of ethics: duties too other - are we speaking of compassion. Do we have duty of compassion? Is the respect that I owe to you, compassion? You are same kind of freedom as I am, I am responsible to acknowledge that freedom in you in the same way I acknowledge it in myself. [Kant] Namely by striving to do everything possible to respect it. This would not be me treating you as object tot use. [Sartre] - centre of gravity expression. Limit to own experience recognize all objects in world do not circle just around me but are shared objects in a shared world.
- what about other animal. when you want to talk about others, there isn't
- not just objects of our use, they do seem to have (animals) means and purposes of their own. you can notice the ant crawling along sidewalk. Animal carrying on back to its colony. So when I see that ant. I see that here is another one of those absences, here is another one of those black holes in my world where I can't quite grasp at it. I can only recognize that there is some agency there. I am thrown back upon myself. I am forced to see my own limits, I cant' quite comprehend that agency. I can't fully share in that perspective. What do I do with that. That ant can't communicate verbally in any sense. Can't enter into conversation with me about ethics, to share common projects/goals, not able to speak of human language. here we have a peculiar encounter. That is what Irigaray wants us to face. We are not just encountering meanings like yourself. The fact that the very sense of encounter (encountering an other) maybe exemplified through this encounter of an animal (another animal) because it is much [even that much more other] then another person. And so it might be even more the case that my encounter with another animal is at least reason. It is at least the means for m e to stop and be more reflective about myself and my own limitations. So, what I mean by that is I might be forced to revaluate the circle that I draw around the ethical sphere. All beings that have the characteristics 'X' is within this sphere but why Y (we won't thinking about Y) right? Here is the problem is if ethics means an encounter with an other. A response to the other then there is no reason, no justification, for the exclusions for any why. We have to remain open to every sort of encounter. Once we drawn this circle and saying it is ethics. Loosing grasp on ethical. We are loosing grafts about what ethics are really like/for. this is about being able to respond well to other, to have general/generous encounter without violence. - First part of argument
- So where does here is the point. The spirit of Descartes and (who coordinated the intro). There are reasons that we can gather from our own experience in the world to show we are responsible to others.
- We are almost undercutting occasion of ethics, which is responding to another
- How can your recognize that other when it is not in such respect like us I wouldn't be able to recognize you from me.
- How do we come to recognize the otherness of other animals. irigaray rises problems early on in essay. And ...How can we talk about them, to them, familiars habit another world that Irigaray doesn't know. You can observe something in it but can't observe it form inside, inside remains foreign, objective signs don't give meanings on themselves unless i project imaginary on to them... (French Philosophers)
- she is not denying that we might in fact share something in common with other animals. But in order to get in that sense of what it is we are going to have to pay attention to things we typically push to the margins. Stories, tales children tell, mythologies that we might find irrelevant to serious science or philosophy. We have to pay attention in ways we are not accustom to. because what happens is we fall into old habits of thinking or communicating. Old habits that tend to allow us to draw comfortable circles around ourselves. and carefully define spheres...listen more closely to the kinds of communication that comes from others that we don't recognize to be from others. We are going to have to listen to the communication of a shared being. A being shared with other creatures. Communication that comes in ways that we are not accustom to others. Back to bird calls. We are also in space of poetry and songs. Ways that human cultures have communicated in century's past (story telling, myths, ways of fostering shared experience that don't necessary slot everything into a neat and tidy mode, don't code, dont' organize). ...ultimately argues Irigaray we are going to have to find ways, once again, to allow ourselves to "give thanks." Interesting thought because it sounds like she is talking about something religious.
- Page 197 - rabbits - stuck in school - wants to be with her companions. She says ' what became of her adult life, of her exile, ...pain.. world of work, from community of humans - lack of understanding, compassion is rare, distress causes flight, sometimes on own or thanks to attentive heart companions came giving her aid...against repression...was able to find her a new companion. - Rabbit helped nurse her back to help. This rabbit was a kind of other, maybe an other we typically exclude from ethics, arguing that not only did she become more attentive to the needs of the rabbit but by attending to the needs of the rabbit became more attentive to needs of self. learned about something about her humanity. Learned about ethical...contrast between adult world/life and compassionate one. Here again in adult life (we consider respectable/proper) we can raise question of whether this life is a way of drawing a circle around ourselves and what we think is meaningful and excluding other.
- Question of rabbit can bare on ability to respond to other people. If we loose ability to respond to animal others, to any others, we also arguably loose ability to respond to human others.
- What is going on with the encounter of the animal - pg 197. Irigaray introduces a new theme. Talking about birds. Most precious or mysterious aid has often come from birds... bird perched on balcony - storm raging - how did it come in winter or such weather - no explanation sing of life and friendship - providential to me - like rabbit didn't dally - timely as grace -advent of little messenger is like certain blessings. birds lead ones becoming, song heals unless bird, breath variable, restores silence and creates...Birds animate birth, safeguarding materiality....path way to restore...not for nought that the bird appears as spiritual ....What is going on here? Is there something more going on in this passage? Irigaray does in fact saying something like this. Talk about idea of encounter. She seems to be suggesting when we encounter another, especially an other that doesn't share our ability to use "overly logical speech." That something more then a random event, a chance thing that is happening, something more then one more thing that we can integrate into the narrative of our lives, the story we are telling about ourselves. she actually borrows. A lot of European philosophers form 20th Century from new testament. She borrows idea of "event" that brings a kind of transformation to us. Apostle Paul talks about in relation to Christ breaking into ... he talks about unique time "kairos" (moment of crisis, decisive moment - where everything changes, I was blind but now I can see .... reorient understanding to something bigger, something tremendous) so the suggestion here is that we are not in control of what we are responsible for. We are actually vulnerable to the arrival of these kinds of events that transform us in a way in a timely moment. Iirigaray narrates all sorts of these moments in her essay - bird that encountered her at just at the right time when she needed it - is that just a coincidence? perhaps? but the argument here is that doesn't really explain what is going on. What are other possible explanations for such phenomena.
- Pg 199. What can I say as a Philosophers about these animal comportment (how they behave)- is this God working? Addressed in this passage. In all this stories narrated are about stories about animals bringing help. They bring her transformation of health, out of a difficult situation, right companionship at right time. Is that providence? What is that? She says it is difficult to impute it to simply to chance, especially when all help is received is placed in relation. it is problematic that I have projected my need or desire in appearance of some animal. If I just say each time it was merely chance that bird landed on windowsill at climatic time - just randomness...
- just projecting own needs onto that bird. Well that is not plausible explanations either because I am not even the one initiated the event. The event came to me and transformed me. didn't know that bird was going to land on sill. Did bird send self, did someone send it, what happened? Should it accordingly be thought that these animals were being sent by higher power, was it God? Wouldn't' that deny what those animals are themselves?
- If we just say that the bird is God's puppet, God is sending a bird? Is that another subtle way of controlling that meaning of that event. It is really all about this or that...is that another way suddenly of undercutting the encounter of drawing circle of around taking what is in proper sphere of meaning. This is what God would do in this situation, I am not surprised. Is that another way of controlling that mysterious encounter. Irigaray is content to just leave this encounter a mystery (that is why there was no conclusion in passage). Believe all human societies have recognized there is something mysterious in way in which these encounters happen, that transforms us. Come up with all kinds of mythological views or explanations. Point here is that the best accounts are the ones that help us remain open to new encounters and don't close us off (with dismissive explanation, just change, just wishful thinking, or ultra religious explanation - that is exactly what God would do in this situation - not surprised, nothing surprises me). Well...
- she doesn't like domesticated forms of treatment but likes play.
- moved and motivated to compassion ethically requires more than a rule it requires an encounter...it is mysterious/that happens takes place/transpires and transforms us in a certain way.
- Animal communication... pg 198
- the argument seems to be here, is if we listen very carefully what we hear is a very subtle invitation. Don't hear with ears, we intuitive it. We sort of see it, in a way that we can see that another is a person like me. I see it but don't really see it. Dont' see in a way that we can grasp...
- is there a deeper intuition beyond rational intuition not just intuition of reason but intuition of compassion or of common suffering or common love...
- loving dialogue, serve...if we keep still and listen to them...so the claim here is that even our very ability to think and understand and use language comes from a much deeper compassion/love for the other that can only be described as an encounter. So we will do well she is arguing not to abandon argument but always to be reminded that we must remain attentive to modes of communication that speaks to us on a deeper register.
- Ammeristis Dialogue - cut us off of a loving encounter, communication without mediation of logic or rational augmentation. Then even in our ordinary ways of thinking about the world we will be cut off from our selves. We will fail to grasp something essential of who and what we are. No matter the arguments we give we will never really understand what it means to be vulnerable, therefore what it means to be ethically responsible.
- Now raise a question about what this means for policy? Human beings have to stop abstract philosophizing and think about policies. Doesn't policies have to draw lines.
Religious Roots of Ethics
- policy - we have to come up with general principles about how we will treat animals
- pg 199 - extraordinary - high tower- sized by vertigo - cat offering support
- there is a sense that en encounter can come at a timely fashion we can't account for
- there is a possibility for communication - attunement
- relationship - she seems to suggest that other animals are in some ways more capable of being attuned in this way then we are often in passing off their weird animals. Seems to know if there is a suspicious presence
- what about God's angels? - suggestion is it might be that certain mythological accounts of animals might not be too far off basis. But the God or angel coming in form of animal is some form of rep of something mysterious we cant grasp - need to listen and attend to. Are there parallels to this way of thinking in the Christian world view? yes. Irigaray in fact gives us a picture of something very similar to creation account in Genesis. Sense of material beings animated by the divine breath
- pg 200 - it is not simple matter vitally animated - that came to support in difficulties/abandonment - living body of sense capabilities we have lost. Separating body and mind, though - dominating one...
- divine breath animating living soul - we can draw distinction of idea of divine breath and distinction of soul and body or mind and matter that has dominated western thought. When we stress this separation or distinction too much we end up creating these pathologies ...develop sickness/illnesses, perhaps sin. We end up privileging one aspect of self to detriment of another aspect. we restrict/cut off divine breath. We allow ourselves to be attuned properly to the live that flows in ...we over stress the rational. The life of soul & mind & thought &argumentation &understanding we aspire ... We end up cutting self from benevolent source. It might be animal messengers who are best able to open us up to new life and transformation because (and children) because they are the ones who are able to speak to us on a register that we are not accustom to anymore. We have lost touch with. They are able to come baring witness to a source beyond ourselves to a gift. that we are selves are (gifts). We receive ourselves by encountering the other. Till you have been opened up to the ethical life
- this is an interesting argument. Suggested here...I think if we read between the lines...the ethical lives has a religious root. not in that religious terms...not interested in institutionalized forms of religion. IF we take religious group in form of the idea that we have to first believe and in fact love, and in fact give thanks for worship before we can understand anything I think we are in agreement with Irigaray. - give thanks
- cat that seems to know what is appropriate in occasion, rabbits companionship, the birds that come and some how changes perspective these are gifts and the appropriate response is to remain thankful. But whom do we thank? This is a good question but irigaray doesn't answer this question. it seems like thankfulness is being hospitable to the stranger, hospital to the stranger we may encounter, having the right atunement (heart)...now what might that mean for developing policy. When we develop policy we have to make rules, regulations, and have to draw a line somewhere as they say. Doesn't leave things open to questions, wishy washy, or undecided. A good policy they say - these sorts of cases this is what we will do. But Irigaray wants us to, doesn't want us to say policy is inherently useless, but wants us to be ever mindful of the possibility that we ourselves can always be transformed and can always have a new perspective so our policy can reflect that. It shouldn't be so closed as to present itself as the final say. This is it and that is all it will ever will be.
- Irigaray wants us to remain open to hospitality to our policy making. So while she doesn't give us hard and fast answers of what that might mean she gives us suggestions.
- suggestions: pg 201. secret is revealed, this favour - entire generations may die and be unaware of possibilities that could be open to them. belong to scarcely future...bored...humanity, discover there what can be the an exchange (body thoughts...).....embracing at crossroads. Difficulty favour when we are focused on singularity
- suggestion as to how we can develop a kind of policy that embraces task of hospitality
- think that remains #1 suspicious of our own intentions or at least ever vigilance (ever watchful of areas we are shutting down possibilities of hospitality), #2 attuned to other possibilities for what she calls reciprocity
- lets suppose that my pet project is save whales type, good thing whales are endangered species, people dont' care enough about whales, I have compassion for whales, I am going to make sure they will be cared for because they are important. Why have I deemed whales important? maybe sometime in my life I had a heart rendering encounter with a whale, perhaps I saw the whaling industry first hand and saw suffering/causes and that inspired me a career in policy, activist to save the whales. Can encounter be indirect? Documentary - yes. Some timely event that made me aware of a need, opened me to possibility to compassion. Dedicated career to policy, Irigaray seems to argue - I still need to remain aware in a way that my crusade to save the whales can shut out other opportunities for compassion. I also need to be attuned to these other possibilities. I might be so wrapped up in saving whales I don't question factory farming at all. Made up mind this is right course of action, convinced self I have found something good, and quickly drawn circle of ethical fear, and now have excluded the possibility of encountering another other. Besides that even the very terms by which I construct my policy, or by which I go about saving whales, those terms can become inadvertently violent. How might that be the case? Very subtly or not so subtly I can end up losing touch with the compassion to motivate me to respond to whales, and the policy to saving whales can now just be about my attempt to do something good. And then we fall back to the area Nietczhe criticized of - wants suffering of others in order to assert my superiority - Secretly a way of ignoring the other, a way of (see other cases of policy being way of we have done all we can). Well I gave to charity I don't need to worry about that homeless man because I give to united way. Same with developing policy on animal ethics. Well I only organically farmed free range chicken so I am not responsible for factor farming. I am good. This might be way of closing off opportunities for compassion. Umm being appalled at suffering of others but not responding not by some kind of mutual exchange but responding in such a manner I isolate myself form it. I don't have to face it any more. I have given to world vision, bought my save the whale sticker. The point is policy can become an instrument to ignore opportunities of compassion and opening ourselves up to it
- probably the language of policy shouldn't be so closed off that /so determined that it asserts its the answer to all the problems
- the thing IRgaray wants us to understand is that we can never be completely good, we cannot be completely non violent in our dealings and interactions. We are in endangered when we thing we have reach a point where we think there is no room to improve, to change, to change our habits, to be deteriotrialized, to be pulled out ourselves to another, into some other form of exchange. In a certain respect, Irigaray, would think all policy is to an extent violent in so far it excludes some other always. The best we can do is we can use it as tool, for now, always open to revision in light of new encounters, enlighten of new revelations of being non-violent.
- New ways of leaving structures of life that exclude others/dominate others
- always open to possibilities we can be transformed, receive a gift, called what you will divine, mystery source...opens us up to possibilities to new sort of encounters
- religion means binding back, a call that shatters us, irrupts in our experience, compels us to respond.
- binds us back to meanings, relationships of who and what we are
- Question irigaray's over emphasis on violence. I don't doubt that the world we inhabit that it is impossible to escape violence. We are always going to be violent towards other to some extent and we can't avoid it but I don't think (this is a problem a lot of European (French German continental thinkers fall into -equate being with violence). Now Irgaray wants to break out of that assumption, there are encounters we can have with other animals that introduces us to ways of living that are nonviolent
- she suggestively remarks that it might not even be the case that animals have to eat each other (pg 198) as a friend wisely taught me that a satisfied animal doesn't look for blood - apart form humans. What she is talking about eating another animal not of hunger but lust for meat. She says that is a human behaviour and animals tend to learn it form us. Dont' know whether or not it is not true, but it is suggestive. There might be possibility of a future of human flourishing without kind of violence without eating flesh. Close to idea, biblical idea, of kingdom worship? Idea of eating animal flesh is something we do for a time, unavoidable for a time, but certainly not necessarily state of all thing for all time. So point here is that irigaray seems to be gesturing towards the idea that there could be a way of a nonviolent life. that all forms of intuitions are inherently violent and necessarily so. We see this idea running through Nietzsche and irigaray. Don't think Christian has to assume that to be that case. Christian doesn't have to buy notion that this is a form of hierarchy, order we impose on things, that is inherently violent. Now that is not the same as saying violence is not avoidable.
- Important distinction: ontological violence and factual/empirical violence
- ontology - study of being or reality -
- factual/empirical - violence we observe around us in the world
- what he is suggesting a tendency in philosophers go form claim that we can't avoid violence, no matter what we do, something is being imposed upon/dominated/or excluded upon. It seems true - we can't seem to fully escape violence. Don't want to perpetuate system of violence - by not eating animals - but I still eat things that depend upon violent treatment of animals and ecosystems and it might not be the case to escape violence but due best to minimize it. Problem when philosophers go ...therefore being of nature/self/being is inherently violence. That claim runs against Christians view of creation and God creating it and claiming it good. It bears inherently an order, and intrinsic harmony, and indeed a hierarchy. God gave Adam and eve dominion over other animals name them and express essentially what they are but not to dominate or violate them. To cultivate the garden - that expresses beauty and glory of God. leap to never escape violence now and jump to therefore everything is inherently violent and
- sees irgaray struggling with two ideas wants to open possibility of non-violent encounter of human and animal encounter. Suspicious of institutions (tends to thinks) that every time we form an institution it becomes rotten. broken down and built back up constantly we are always necessarily doing violence. Further more she things every time we have hierarchy we have violence- common assumption of feminist PHl he wont touch
- Christians don't have to assume
- ethics without hierarchy - we seem to have two alternatives. seem to have idea of chaos/anarchy of compassion that irgaray - breaking down and shattering of all hierarchies or the Christian vision of an order cultivation of creation where human being are exercising dominion over it. what is more conducive to view of ethics. It doesn't seem to be the case that we can respond to the other as other unless we have some sense of who and what that other is. I wouldn't want to be so quick to exclude our rational minds form ethics, wouldn't want to be so quick to say ethics has nothing to do with reason or logic- tends to be too extreme and tends to come from conclusion in situations are violent and inherently so. But I think IRgaray offers a valuable perspective on ethics, namely it begins with an encounter never a rule, always with an encounter. We learn this in new testament as well. An opening of true ethics, proper response to other, begins when one shares in the suffering with that other (new testament teaching - doesn't not begin form following or rule) our ethics and policy making should be always be the heart, the religious root of ethics, that religious attunement to life - al of creation.
- we should be concerned about ants, but I think it is still okay to h old onto idea that humans are - companionship with human beings, superior with other human beings rather then other animals
- this whole business about narrating her foray into wilderness & animal tracker
- wants us to see that the world we inhabit, we like to inhabit sanitized worlds, we only want to inhabit areas other humans have...?
- take this classroom, what do you see here? you would hard pressed to find something not belonging to another human.
- carefully insulated from animals
- it is different when you take a walk out into the woods.
- always fascinated by the fact that there are entire world -everywhere- come into one encounter with other - colony of ants, abandoned nests - what is going on here - there is another experience that I am not privy to calls attention to my own life. Calls me to see how I am ignoring a whole other universe of life around me. Makes me go home and acknowledge that spider...not to flush it down the toilet but to contemplate it . It opens me up to be attuned. What Houle is arguing is that these sorts of encounters are useful because they allow us to move attention away from ourselves (1) when we are no longer focuses on self we are bale to question where our supposedly good will comes form 9ehtical good will) (2), (3) able in a sense to come back to ourselves and re-envision ourselves - reterritorialize self - coming back to self with new awareness of who and what you are.
- So again, usually in our ethics we focus on what makes another animal deserving of moral status?
- What we saw with Irigaruay- an encounter with another - can cause us to...morality
- is this enough? is it enough to be challenged, is it enough to be open to the possibility of other creatures that are deserving of...at least he saw that there is room to broaden the ethical sphere. is this enough
- what she argues is that it is not enough to see that we are open to further possibilities for ethical considerations. it is not enough because as she puts it the form of our ethical discourse can cause contradict the content
- consider action you do, you can think about that action 'what you do" and "how you do
- content: what you do
- form: how you do it
- reminded of commercial - shows this guy - will you marry me - written in snow with urine
- what you form can be undermined by content
- wants us to pay attention by way in which we can actually undermine or undercut the true purpose of ethics in the very way we do ethics, we talk about ethics
- point talks/touches on what IRgaray has argued/what we have already seen
- we can talk about rights, and duties, and responsibilities we owe.
- as we saw with igigaray we must attend to what is left out.
- we must not be too focused on pet projects.
- part of this, nuance, entails a willingness to be vulnerable in our ethical decisions. Passage in Irigaray text that touches on this point as well. If we are going to be responsive to the other, we might find ourselves in situations that we find particularly unsavoury. Talks about risk of allowing a hornet to remain in her place of dwelling. Allow it so far. When it came to the point of going to bed and wanted to fallow into bedroom she wasn't quite wiling to go that far to accommodate the other. This is about constantly watching yourself, watching for your own limits, and questioning those limits and why they are there. Are you repulsed by the though of that other near you, why? Are you fearful for your life, safety, why? What is the threat? So point is that we should learn to see even things that might come across as threatening as opportunities to embrace, to embrace not react. Opportunities to open selves to possibility of nonviolence, maybe it is our own projections and assumptions that cause us to recoil/shock/distress of a spiders.
- suggesting in allowing ourselves to be disjointed vulnerable - question our own intentions, motivations, attitudes.
- 5th to last page? as butler remind us -task is not to suppress such events and prevent awareness of these events but learn from them hitting us on the back of head - impacted, broadsided, caught in ones worst nightmare and responding to such...
- question of fetus -abortion - when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to animals those sticky questions become entangled with animals....
- practice of extermination is a big tangle of moral mess ...destroying fetus' - same ethical...not willing to ...
- mentioned in Levinas
- What was he looking for in idea of moral duty/obligation, Kant wanted to find idea of ethics that did not derive from the accidental features of our experiences. Features such as inclinations, feelings, desires, wants, etc. Kant though that these things were certainly things that accompanied moral decision making but were not and could not be source of decision making. If I were to act solely on desire I wouldn't always act good - what is good? Ends meet courses of actions that go against what I want. I really don't want to tell the truth in this situation, much easier to lie but duty calls me to tell the truth. Where does this sense of duty come from if not from feelings desires, thoughts. Kant Didn't want to develop a teleological theory of ethics: idea we do good to obtain a certain aim or outcome or end. We do actions because we want to minimize outcome of suffering and maximize happiness. This was of doing ethics wasn't good because it leaves too much to uncertainty. How in fact do we know the aim or end that we want to achieve is a good one. What grounds make it a good one? Desires can lead us to decisions that are not good ....he rejected teleological ethics and moved to deontological theory of ethics (duty -Greek) this ethics is account of our duty. Duty for its own sake. Kant thought that in order to do right action you have to do that action for its own sake. That action has to be willed not for sake of consequence or good you wish to produce but willed because it is inherently good. How can we find an ethics (deontological ethics) where we will act because that act is good. Kant's idea was that we can find the imperative for this kind of ethics, ethics of duty, in the rational will all by itself.
- Think about it this way, what can we find in our experience that is good for its own sake and not for the sake of anything else? You can look at your experience, and see you do all sorts of things that are good for achieving for some other end, ex. going to school to achieve skills & knowledge in benefiting your self in some way - that is good - bring about consequences to earn U degree because there is a certain degree of good pursuing that end, but in your experience can you find something good for its own sake and not consequence brought out by way out of it. Kant's answer to this question is if you look carefully at experience you will see that everything you do is ordered around a certain reason you do. You do what you do because there is purpose in your life, set aims and goals for yourself, pursue goals that are worthwhile, He was able to find meaning intrinsically in your own life, where does that meaning come from, that meaning comes form that a fact that you have a will that is not just bound to external influences. A will that is completely entirely free. You are the one you can set terms by which you can determine your own life. The very fact that you are autonomous. This word, autonomous, mean self legislating). You are the one who has this, in virtue being an agent, is the very expression of this ability to give yourself the law by which you will live. This expression as an agent is giving yourself the law, you are the one who follows the law of your own being. Find in your own experience that is ultimately good, no one else can find it for you. You have to find it yourself. It is your progative, your imperative as an agent to find it yourself. So because you are the kind of agent you are you give yourself the law by which you live. That law is not primarily a law of desire but a law of reason. A sort of law that compels you to order your life that you take as ultimate meaning and purpose. Order your life to something that you take as ultimate meaning and purpose and only you can find it. So what sort of duty comes from this law/will. What duties issued from rational will (good for it sown sake)? Kant argues that this duty can't be the sort of duty that aims at producing external consequences because as a free agent your life can't be ordered around something external to you. You can't order your life around, how many people around you are happy; you can't order your life around even what you desire - what you desire can pull you every which way. you have to order your life around some principle that is good for its own sake, gives sense of own meaning. The kind of imperative (means ought to do) that flows form this ethics is what Kant calls a categorical imperative. Now the categorical imperative is a kind of law that you give yourself it is a law that you yourself are compelled to obey. But we know all nature obeys laws. But as conscious rational beings we are not mindless obey-ers of laws. We have power to choose an ordered life in conformity to demands of reason,...by inv virtue of very reason we have.
- Now to saw the imperative that we give ourselves, duty - categorical one, means that it is something that flows from the very will we ourselves are. Imperative that is absolute in its own right. There is no externalities compelling me. I simply have duty or obligation to obey this imperatives because I am rational. Concept of reason itself gives me reason that is why it is categorical.
- We don't have any basis for saying that somehow things obey a law that we can't understand or discern because the law the things obey is the very law that orders our every experience. the fact that we have experience has ability to discern the law?
- What Kant is doing is he is starting from experience, what laws have to be in place to have the laws in place we do today, As rational agents we are constructors of a rationally ordered picture of the universe. We don't' just consciously do that the very equipment of our minds is already doing that, we come built in with capacity of rational orientation to being. So with ethics, we already come equipped with the already built concept of reason, without anything else, we get idea of duty, simply just need to understand I am a rational agents and already have duties to others.
- What is this categorical imperative look like? If I am the one that gives themselves the law how am I responsible to someone else. I thought it was case that duty and obligation comes from within rather then outside. Those outside of me - rationality ahs to come form inside. Kant agrees that obligation cannot come from another person per say it comes from my reason. I give myself the law, if I understand this correctly is the law that I give myself demands respect for the other. Why? Kant gave three formulas for the categorical imperative
- (1) test for...universalization: so Kant thought in order to be rational every action I undertake as an agent should be able to be universalized as a maxim (principle or rule of thumb) without inconsistency or contradiction. In further detail, suppose I think it would be a good idea to steal some money because I am kind of in need of some quick cash. I have lost some money gambling and have bills to pay. I see that my Aunt Flo has left her wallet missing and wouldn't miss or notice her money gone and she is quite well off, wont suffer from this loss of cash. Not only okay to take but also beneficial - bills and people dependent upon me. Yah I blew money at gabling but got to think forward, wouldn't right thing to steal money. Could make case teological or consequential. Utilitarian - decrease in amount of suffering. Kant wants' to steer clear of this type of conclusion already have intuition that this is wrong. He thinks we have this intuition because we already know it is rational to do so. It is because, not due to bad consequences, it is going to undermine the very basis upon which we engage in social institutions. It is going to undermine the very trust we have with other human beings. The way we can tell, to test that, is to try to universalize the action as a general maxim (rule of thumb to follow). Ex. Aunt flow, action as maxim any case I am out of money cross opportunity to steal money no direct harm I will do that. Could society actually function if everyone obeyed that as a maxim. would everyone trust or function properly? nope. What is going on here, clearly the action is not a categorical patter, action contradicts what reason tells us -> external. So here there is no way I could give myself that duty because if I try to work that out as a duty I end up either contradicting myself or at least preforming an action I never will as a rational agent. Stealing undermines my freedom agency?
- (2) tests for how we can flesh out categorical imperative: autonomy: consider the freedom we ourselves have this is a similar universalizability test. It asks us to consider whether our action would somehow deny our autonomy if it were done to us. If deny ourselves ability as free agents? Isn't a law that I would give to myself or recognize another rational being
- (3) test of: end in itself (intrinsic value). We can see, virtue the fact that we are autonomous self legislating, ends of ourselves-ends in itself -what does that mean? it means that there is nothing about you that makes it such that your agency depends upon the will of another. Another way of saying this is you have intrinsic value as apposed to merely instrumental value. Intrinsic; value in its own life separate from what use can come from it. Because you are a rational agent your life has a value to you not dependent upon what everyone else makes of you. That means that the categorical imperative to commands us to never to use such an agent as a mirror - means to an ends. Ex. Cashier. Kant says that what you can't ever will that person to be (nothing but cashier) defined by his use to others. You can't will that for other people because you can't will it for yourself, its impossible. You can't make your own life as a mirror use to other people. No matter how hard you try you could never reduce another human being to nothing but a mere use to other people. Because as long as that other person has reason has will that is good, that is an end in itself, value...etc. Simply put people are not mere instruments
- human being value as end in itself. that human being that finds meaning value in own chosen course of life, because endowered in rational will, capability of ordering her own life to her own heads.
- Singer is teological - consequential theory
- What about Animals?
- traditionally, Kan's approach as well, we have traditionally an indirect response to animals
- duty in - indirect loop - caring for bet I have to help you. don't own animal don't own respect cant argue itself
- opens to command coming from beyond laws of reality
- reason, response to world, orders a form of totality
- also endowered with infinity? idea that there is infinite being beyond what we can grasp (Descartes called it God)...Levinas has something in line as God, but his idea is we really begin the ethical relationship not when we exercise our rational autonomy but when we encounter the other face to face. Ethics beings with the encounter. What does he mean by face, technical term, he doesn't mean the facial face (eyes, nose, mouth) the face according to Levinas is not a phenomena(appearance) the face is a epiphany, its something that beckons me beyond, it is an opening to the height, the divine highest, transcendence. In that very appearances we have an epiphany, see more beyond what shows itself to me, see image of the divine. I SEE GOD IN YOU when I look into your face. Not observation from rational will but comes from beyond me. Breaks into my experience, it shocks me, it disrupts me, when I gaze upon human face I am recognizing something that holds me accountable. Encounter the other, shall not kill other, places demand on me, I am commanded, I don't give myself this command breaks into my experience and holds me accountable to something beyond myself and I see that in every human face. If I don't see it, it is not because it is not here, but I am not open to epiphany. If all you see is a bone + flesh appearance then I am denying something essential about this experience. Or if I say that the encounter with other human being is ethical encounter only because what my reason tells me I am not really paying attention. my reason can't give epiphany myself. I don't have epiphany of my own agency but from a transcended height, from infinity, beyond my morality
- so when I encounter the other, thou shall not kill - stand under command, ethical commitment, responsible for other? Giving bread out of my own mouth. Commanded to respond to other in a way that some how betrays reason, could. I would give up something important to me to feed the other, give beyond reason so that the other could can flourish because in doing that I am giving up my claim to be the basis of ethics and I am acknowledging a command of sort s of ethics that comes beyond me
- he has in mind here the command of God.
- the encounter with other, whole life of a command that I don't give myself but comes to me. Recognize it as coming from an other. So I am also compelled to recognize a higher order or reason if you will that appears absurd to the rule of autonomy. Where autonomy would command respect to every other agent in a way that I would respect myself. My autonomy commands me to stablish, to recognize identity I share with each other.
- Levinas heteronomy commands me to only respect the other. disrupts I see I am my brothers keeping, responsible to him, owe him a debt. The commandment "thou shall not kill" is not a negative but positive, do everything in your power to ensure that your brother flourishes, the one whom you encounter flourishes. I receive self in response to other.....
- Snake?....see snake have an epiphany!
- Nazi guards - sunk below humanity - denied responding to the other, their ability/capacity
- companion - there still might be this reluctance to really allow ourselves to pay attention to the other on its own, to this encounter -> still appealing to idea we are better or more significant. that appeal alone doesn't allow for sound...judgment ...
- snake has a face - duty to that snake
- do we have to make a biblical case?
- do we have to make/fall back upon a natural law?
- what is at stake at this problem? not easily resolved
What does the moral life entail?
- what sort of people should we ought to be?
For the beauty and the earth : virtue ethics chp 6
- asks "what sorts of persons (moral agents) should we be?" what traits & dispositions should we be characterized
- main philosophers: Aristotle & (21st C) Foote
- What is virtue? Virtue, comes from the Greek work erete = excellence. It is an excellence of character. It is not just something you do, but you are characterized by a certain disposition, habits of being that make you who you are, Aristotle's virtue is a combination of factors. Disposition to act in a certain way and that disposition is avoidance of extremes in Aristotle's case. Virtue involves choice, sort of habit/behaviour that is praise worthy. We rightfully praise someone for being an upstanding person, caring mother, for being courageous in heat of battle (RCMP officer + Parliament building - Nathan Cirroli - praise courage in face of adversity - lesser person would have perhaps been a coward or excessive use of force or violence). Virtue is informed by habits. You don't become a virtuous person over night, takes work and cultivation. Do the right sorts of things not because you feel like doing them because they are good for you and eventually you will develop an excellence (virtuous) character. Done so due to habitually forcing self to act/respond well. You say please & thank-you even when you don't feel like it, you have gotten into habit of doing so, polite upstanding people are polite. Virtue follows an exemplar. A person of wisdom follows the wise person's example. It is rational and ordered. Who are our models of virtuous individual (role in life/profession)? We don't find the imperative to act due to our rationale will alone but also follow example of those who have cultivated a habit of good living, aspire to be just like them. According to Aristotle, virtue is avoidance of extremes, it is the mean between two extremes. Example: courage between excess and deficiency.: rashness <----courage------>cowardice. Right attitude, able to avoid extremes. Person who shows courage in face of adversity is not a coward (shying away form hardship or struggle - device of deficiency) or too much courage (rashness). Now, where does our judgment of what is just the right amount come from? it doesn't come from external circumstances alone it comes from the agent and his own response to those circumstances. In other terms, you can't calculate what would be the right virtuous action based upon seem externalized rule, calculus, or code. Only a person of virtue can do the work it takes to figure what is right given the situation. The virtue is relative to him and her nothing external to him and her. Aristotle leaves open a great deal to figure out what IS right. Morality, is a matter of what Aristotle calls practical reasoning. About negotiating practical reasoning of what the right sort of response would be and varies depending upon circumstances but always the maintenance of balance. What might cause for hastiness in one situation might call for a great deal calm and patience and resolve in another circumstance. If there is a gunman running down hallway threatening to shoot someone, you don't have a lot of time t sit town and think of what we are going to do, we would have to act in a degree of hast, action is called for by situation. Virtuous person will respond properly.
- believes virtues accompanies our feelings and abilities to respond well
- feelings, I am less virtuous if I act out of sense of duty but don't want to do good. then if I desire to do good/what is right and out of sense of duty -> if my feelings line up with what is right is better then acting out of obligation/habit without the feeling. If Mr. Rogers gives gift out of sense of obligation to wife for birthday it isn't all that virtuous. But if gift is given out of love, gratefulness, respect, contribution to the lives together then it is much more virtuous. SO virtue involves our feelings too, we are supposed to behave in a certain way, feeling the right feelings, virtue also involves ability to respond.
- also able to respond virtuous but also act virtuously. A virtuous soldier is able to respond to adversity with courage. But if that virtuous soldier is able to do what that soldier is able to do what (s)he trains elf to be respond well...not deposed to respond well. I could be disposed to be playing basketball (I don't have an aggressive bone in my body). If I were to be a good basketball player I would have to be more then just disposed to basketball but more then that. Virtuous has to be disposed to acting well but be able to act well. Have to developed right sort of habits to respond well.
- Foote adds nuances that unfold Aristotle a tad
- Other point, virtuous disposes us to see world in a certain way. I am not going to be disposed to act well unless I can see or understand my circumstances rightly. If I look at another human being and all I see is an opportunity to gain something. Obviously I am not disposed to act in a ...manner to another person. But if response is to actually see that person as deserving respect and disposed to act well...give respect. Attitude and behaviour depend upon how well I actually see the world. How I see the world will depend upon the stories I have absorbed for the large part, habits/narratives/stories absorbed from community - habits of how I have learned to view the world -absorbed story in childhood - creatures made in image of God - different way of responding and seeing world compared to growing up and learning that humans are smart mammals. Things would be very different.
- Here is the argument: so through narratives, a community and shared narratives/stories I absorb a theological perspective or a metaphysics (a basic view of reality). And that give rise for me to a sense - gives rise to attitudes, desires, a sense of world (ethics). And from this, we develop habits/behaviours/virtues (morality). We learn what to value and under what circumstances and the way to value it. ?
- communities help us absorb stories, given sense of who we are, when we have sense it forms our attitudes and things we desire, and forms sense of other people, and that enables us to cultivate habits that we call virtues.
- he wants us to see how our virtues, the sort of people we seem to ought to be, who we are is rooted in religious vision (metaphysical vision of reality) of reality essentially not a theory but a story that we tell ourselves as a community and orients ourselves to what is ultimate - story of way of unfolding, interpreting this ultimate
- why important? wants us to consider something important like ecological virtue. The possibility that ecological virtue starts/flows from our community stories (biblical narratives). If community understands biblical origin we would understand we are compelled to respond to the environment positively.
- ethics is: cultivation of a life that responds to the other - from Greek word ethos - orientation or view of the people but it has come to mean how we respond to another
- morality: system that helps us decide between different values.
- virtue: habit/disposition of character
- moral rule: a moral rule that tells me what I ought to do
- if morality tells me what I ought to do virtue is what I am (personality + more then that + your praiseworthy behaviour/attitudes).
- Gives list of ecological virtues:
- 1) theological principle: who we are as agents is pretty much people of earth and we are charged with serving the needs of flourishing - serve earth for its own sake not for the save of anything else. Keep, protect it as if it is guarding something valuable? Pieces together a theological principle of being an earth keepers (cultivating, fruitful, plentiful, preservation, bring forth the full revelation of God). The earth is not just ours to make productive as we can make it. Psalm 24
- (2) ethical significance- formulate this as an ethical maxim: beneficence - doing good for sake of other. Formulates idea as a maxim.
- (3) (account of) ecological virtue - that we can develop out of sense of responsibility: benevolence and love. Love the disposition to care for other whom he has come to know. Opposite of love would be not -apathy - don't care.
- we need to be not only recognize that we are responsible to other creatures that we perhaps need to cultivate how's + virtues to learn how to respond well. Argues not really about following rules but about learning what our role is as stewards of creation. So he doesn't really offer us hard and fast rules whether to be a vegetarian or omnivore or to kill animals we are left to ourselves to work that out. Given that role and calling as human beings as stewards of creation.
- Question: Does a vision of kingdom flourishing involves end of use of other animals to serve our needs and purposes?
- relating to world - letting go rather then grasping and purpoarting?
- Point us to possibility of this alternative way in relating to things where by we find ourselves able to allow them to be what they are without imposing a kind of use on thme
- Put aside any framework for forming policy
- Find fundamental relfection on our relation to things that might be more helpful for a replied reflection..something more concrete issue if yu will for env't phl
- So the piece starts off as...a lecture Hiedegger gave in commoration fo ag erman composer + work.
- In typical style begins on having us reflect on the very meaning of occasion. He wants ust to reflect upon memory + meaning. Memory in original sense is a gathering of thought on something, on something that really concerns us. Such as commorating, remembering there is something important and essential concerning us. Calls us to be mindful of it. Remembrance Day. Allowing self to be concentrated on something utmost important. Allowing selves once again to be gather into something bigger then ourselves.
- What orients you to world that gives you a sense of belonging
- Belonging curical term for Heidegger, family/homeland/place you grew up in/traditions/folkways/religious backrounds/ - all things in a sense that are - atleast metaphroaically - as important to you as the air you breathe. They give you life, informyou of who you are. To large extent invisible to you.
o Ex. Tradition
- Attend to what is closest to us when we remember. What is immediate. There I sno theory science orthinking of what the tradtion really means you simply have to go back and reapproriate for ourself, come to new undertanding, leanr to live it with a new perspecive perhaps ...can't think way into better understanding of it
- Whole entire being...
- It is not only immediate that is what clsoest to us but at our core of being
- Matter of the heart
- Cardia - heart
- Most deep seated desire that orients yout o who you are
- Denken - thinking
- Danten -thanking
- Receive, appropriate that thinkingly with love with the heart
The more techno savey - the adept to manipulating nature to get what we want the...deeper mediatation we still haven't talked about why is that the case. Why Heidegger - techno savy become ...
Calculative thinking - which is essentially what we have allowed to dominate in the west is about comuptting possibilities from a given sense of paramiters
What nature is all about has grown out calculative thinking -> we've engaged in cacluative thinking because we ant to do neat things so that we can predict further things, and take them and shed more light on what we take to be give.
Engage inthis kind o think taken expliity for granted a view of nature this calculative thinking confirms for us!
Ex. computer - access to info ...
Knowledge = information
Increasing difficult time in increasing knowledge that transcendes knowledge as a whole
More info we have its possible, not necessarily, th emroe info the less knowledge
Inattentiveness - adoption...basically thinking of age - thoughtlessness
Standing reserve: jet plane on reserve ...in techno understanding..that plane is essentially is a standing reserve of energy ...a readiness for use..ready for take off
Human agents are resources
Quote pg 50
Ge-stell - calling forth for use
Loosing sense of liberal art - is useful
Autochathony - means self rooted
1. Modern versus pre-modern technology
2. How ethics has changed
3. How are we to live? (to promote human good while also respecting the biosphere/integrity of nature)
technology: as humans we have tended to fall into a method of using technology that elevates technology as an end to itself
- Jonas' argument similar to Heidegger - but he fleshes out the distinction of classical understanding of technology and the modern one.
- classically: tech = means to an end, it was the method humans used called upon to carve out an existence for themselves. to manipulate nature to an extent that humans could forge their own pathway in it. all that is of ethical significance was very carefully confined to what humans considered the city, or culture. our ethical life is confined to our relationship to other agents within a social context that defines how we are to live well. the things we do with nature were simply a matter of expedience. chopping down trees has nothing to do with ethics on a classical stance because it's just using our ingenuity to carve out an existence for ourselves. tech serves humans ends that are not in themselves ethical but help build up an ethical life. tech = natural domain of activity, there was no sense that by way of tech we could come to make nature something other than it already is. nature is already inherently what it is. nature is not really an other to whom we can respond or are responsible. there was never the sense that what we did through our use of technology and even in our lives as ethical agents the things we did would have the kind of lasting ramifications that we see our modern technology is capable of. the ethical life of the individual in the greek city state was carried out within a very proximate range of view. you can be certain that your behaviour was ethical because all you had to do was pay attention was to your neighbours. it was just neutral - a means to an end. this is often repeated...especially in church. for it;s just how we relate to other creatures like us. AK47 neutral...but the development of this piece of tech is utterly involved in morality... —-> ancient/pre-modern view of technology and ethics ; for them they are two distinct modes/spheres of human activity ; a means to securing human life against the ebbs and flows of nature. whereas ethics = life within the city. the range of action in relation to other agents.
- how has modern tech changed this picture ..... it has vastly increased our power over the natural world. therefore an excess of power over the ability to foresee the consequences of our actions. it's not that premodern people were especially consciences...it's just that they never had to worry about the modern harvesting of lumber etc then. but now we have the means to destroy nature...we have the power to do things that create ramifications that we can't fully anticipate. we don't have the ability to say immediately that that mode of action would be good or bad. we would have to try to calculate the consequences of it. will that action undermine life itself? what are the long term effects of producing this industrial waste that tends to seep into the ground more...etc. Jonas is saying that we need to think of this excess of power and its consequences...this has become essential. modern technology: modern technology has in a sense become a program in its own right. it's become something of ethical significance as a task. before, the premodern stance said that tech has no sense of it being a way of life that has its own inherent ethical responsibility. Modern tech = tech = kind of ethics, it's a way of life. compare it to seeking the good for its own sake. the ethical life was good for its own sake because it was a source of happiness in itself. tech = means in which people could carve out a life for themselves so they could pursue the higher virtues. but higher tech = endless pursuit of tech and the power to subdue the earth = an end in its own right. it doesn't serve a higher purpose. it's an ultimate pursuit. Maximal control over things/nature = new delight = we can do something new. not about cultivating a life of virtue, its about tech for tech. it's turned into a destiny for mankind. it has ethical significance = tech. the life of the city is now defined by tech. the city = identical to tech = power = nothing is beyond our limit. nothing remains beyond artiface. descartes, locke = even they saw it fit to have human activities serve higher aims and ends. Locke and descartes could not have anticipated the monstrosity led itself to. success (more power) = feedback loop - results reinforce a sense of inevitability. prior to the advent of modern tech there was never a sense that we as agents could touch the fundamental nature of things = anthropocentric view developed. we carved out an existence for ourselves and fashioned our laws. we cultivate a space for moral goodness. city = space of human action. limited knowledge = required. we simply act with good will towards others. Good will towards all men = ethics. but modern tech = two crises of ethics arise. 1. actions could still threaten the future of mankind on the earth, 'morally good' actions still have the potential to threaten the very existence of potential future generations. what if our actions can threaten the continuance of humanity? then what? what if these actions would be previously considered morally good...therefore we need to re-evaluate. 2. our actions have the potential to interfere the forms of being that nature takes. reconsider our exclusion the natural world from our moral consideration. originally we thought that we couldn't change nature...but now we know we can with dire consequences...we have to then bring nature into our moral and ethical consideration. consider nature as a potential moral patient then.
monsanto example: GMO corn seed. the plant is grossly deformed though. the seed cross pollinates with other corn crops...and takes over other crops...problems in mexico and south america. now the corn is not only competing with communities of original corn plants. but despite this, two questions. things in the city can be perfect according to traditional standards but still threaten the communities themselves. this is a problem. ask now whether actions that were morally good if they would threaten the future communities. ask whether the moral goodness of these actions should be evaluated in terms of the very nature that corn takes and potentially affecting the future of corn as a whole. what about the integrity of that species? is there no moral demand on us?
A good action (KANT) has to be one that doesn't contradict itself. it is one that doesn't undermine the very reason for which that action is undertaken. or the nature of a rational person. what would happen in a society that everyone steals? think that when you consider stealing. therefore stealing isn't logically possible. but Kant doesn't require us to take into consideration the long term effects of our actions. there is nothing in kant's ethics that tells us it's irrational to act in a way that the potential of humanity future existence in destroyed. what about Aristotle? test in our head about rational consistency? no..virtuous character. the man of virtue has a short range of sight. he can relatively certain that his behaviours are virtuous based on the situation around him. i wouldn't steal because i understand that this action undermines the trust that others have in me, a man of higher character. but there is a sense for traditional virtue ethics that the actions we undertake don't really need to cause us to consider fortune and chance. these they leave to itself. but now, jonas says that its imperative for us to know the proximate and long term effects because we have that much more power over nature. we have the moral imperative to know the long term ramifications of our actions beyond anthropocentric actions. two claims:
1. we have to consider it a maxim (a rule that helps us to ground our ethics, guide us in our decision making) that the future of humanity is worthwhile preserving). why is humanity worth preserving? why is it better to have a flourishing humanity than no humanity at all. (goes against the 1st crisis of ethics above). we're forced to ask some tough metaphysical questions that modern ethics have pretty much pushed aside. ultimate value has now come into question.
2. the biosphere as a whole/nature as a whole = nature as a whole now places a moral claim on us, an end in itself, we're compelled to rethink the view of nature that science has brought - not just accidental features. nature as a locks of ends/aims that transcend human ones. somewhat back to classical views because nature once again has it's own views. but now nature = moral patient. we need a new way of thinking metaphysically about value. we need to be humble and take into consideration the excess of our power over knowledge. where we do get our sense of meaning and value that helps us live ethically. suggests that we need to revisit a sense of the sacred.
- he's hinting that there may be a place for religion in the new ethics of the modern world. we can't just snap our fingers and come up with an idea of the sacred. because the sacred calls us to responsibility. we can't just invent it =this is just wishful thinking. Christians insist on the fact that we bear witness to a God that reveals himself to us. he uses the term nihilism. this is the idea there is a loss of sense of purpose combined with the compelling sense that we need to act (ie. ethically) but we have no aims/values to guide us. all we know is that we have to act ethically. we have to re-waken a sense of the good life because we 're at a point of crisis. we're threatening the existence of human and all life existence.
- difficult tension in jonas' argument = trying to resolve the tension of human self-possession with the intrinsic worth of nature (nature is the other than holds us accountable).
- human self-possession: not that jonas is giving us anything radical, its pretty traditional. still has to do with humans carving out meaning for themselves in the face of a nature that doesn't seem to want to respond to humanity's demands.
- we have to guard our own needs and interests even though we have to protect nature. we have to extend our knowledge. trying to balance human autonomy with the claims of the intrinsic value of nature.
- try to cultivate a secure human life in the face of fortune and luck = jonas.
- instead of that tension, advocate the idea of grace. abandon the task of trying to possess ourselves and be ethical agents = his argument. ethics = the problem, humans trying to ethical. agree a little with N. no longer a clear distinction between the city and nature - artiface interwoven with natural world. therefore we don't have any expectations of securing for ourselves some kind of rich ethically meaningful human life. we as christians should not hold onto the struggle of ethics. Matthew = loaves and fishes - we see a kind abandon = simple trust that God will meet the needs of humans, no striving for ethical activity. Peter - fish one more time = abundance of fish. trust in the divine source, don't struggle with nature. crisis of ethics doesn't show us that we need to strive to be more ethical, and know more of the consequences of our actions. it's an invitation to question the program of ethics in western philosophy and learn to understand something that we can now understand - true ethical life is one of abandon to God rather than struggle with nature. it's one where we give ourselves radically to the other, rather than trying to find a way to be in possession of ourselves while still respecting God. How will this vision be fleshed out?
- certain crisis: materialism - what is good is limitless expansion.
- keep producing - bigger more better
- what are the crises under this? 1. human nature revolts - we ourselves sense in our own bodies the groaning under the weight of this compulsion.
- it pulls us away from our very nature - it's no longer satisfying (labour) - also created inhuman conditions while saving some from the freedom of creating and producing - it alienates us from our humanity - or we don't produce at all.
- 2. signs of breakdown all around us in our natural environment
- the natural environment cannot bear up forever under the strain of a system that demands more, faster, higher, higher, better.
- of course the system itself is unsustainable. it depends on natural resources that are non-renewable.
- therefore what is technology? we need to rethink this if we want to live authentic human lives. ideally - it should lighten the burden of our work and create for us more time for genuinely productive creative leisure activity. it should never do so at the expense of this activity. so technology should not just lighten the burden of work while making us so busy and frantic and alienated from our nature that we no longer have the ability to engage in meaningful creative work.
- work = master, apprentice form. this system is attentive to the connection between work and human community. it's attentive to the need of human beings to work with the connection of heads and hands - requires the use of all our faculties together in order to produce something of genuine value that we take pride in.
- what do we need to do to find our bearings with our use of tech?
- find new terms from which we understand tech
- tech needs to recognize a self-limiting principle. we are free to use our self-governing capacities but we also are finite. as agents who look for meaning, we have to be humble in our pursuits and be willing to work alongside the self-limiting principle inherent to the natural world.
- our understanding of science has to be subtle enough to allow us to recognize that science always serves human aims and purposes or something else - science always serves a purpose. the purposes it serves should not be violent - should not tend to the undermining of the self-limiting principles we already see in the natural world. biotech is not necessarily just natural, if it doesn't recognize the self-limiting principle, its unnatural and needs to be brought in line with this principle.
- He advocates the idea that production by the masses not mass production - goal = allowing as many humans as possible to participate in meaningful work even if that means a decrease in efficiency - simpler tools and allowing more people to participate.
- clearly he is trying to find a way for us to live with modern technology - we can't return to a pre-modern form of life. this is an empty view.
- he calls for an intermediate technology - between primitive and super forms
- technology with a human face as he calls it
- p. 138-139: strange to say that tech develops by its own laws and principles, unlike human ones. nature always knows when to stop.
- higher principles holding tech up :
- tech mustn't erase the human - Schumacher argues that we must not to be motivated by a fear of lack. this is where ethics crosses over into religion. our manner of acting in the world must not be motivated by fear of lack or by a false sense of inevitability and he thinks these are the same things. he pushes past jonas. he gives us the idea of HOMECOMING - from a deep conviction that its possible for us to meet human needs living in harmony with ecosystems. demands a sense that both humans and nature are in a sense made for something beyond themselves. instead of balancing the claims of ecosystems and humans, we need to operate an implicit trust, faith, that God will provide us the means to live in harmony with nature. we don't need to worry frantically about the far reaching consequences of our actions.
- BP: picture is that as christians we are responsible to cultivate ethical virtues and work with the cycles of nature, and yet he also says that God's kingdom has nothing to do with our efforts. we're called to bear witness to a coming kingdom - a task of ushering it in, but we don't actively do anything. if our tech decisions are made out of a fear of lack, then there is something that has gone awry. Do the tech decisions grant us opportunities for meaningful work and whether they tend to work well with the natural state of the ecosystems.
- we're really not responsible for ensuring that human existence continues on. we have to trust that God will provide for us what we need and out of this trust we learn ways of relating to nature that seem to work with the grain of nature. granted this doesn't give us any hard and fast rules for proceeding.
- ground breaking because it calls into question the economic model of conservation. has us question whether we owe things, like ecosystems or land as he calls it, consideration for its won sake independent from economic use we can put to it
- the other thing he does is he criticises the conservation movement for not going far enough in challenging the economic logic it seems to be based on
- our ethical responsibilities must extend to embrace biotic communities: ecosystems and land
- pg 202: how does he define an ethic: two definitions of one thing. Philosophically an ethic, according to Leopold, what it does is it helps differentiae between social and antisocial context? We deem that thievery or murder are anti-social. Being anti-social is to for act to undermine very basis of the moral community. Behaviour that undermines basic moral community: stealing tends to undermine trust, murder is more than anti-social behaviour but it is a form - instead of recognizing we need to treat others with respect murder undermines that that is due - disrespects the very fabric (ethos) of community.
- So that in a sense in which Leopold refers to social and anti-social forms
- ethics distinguishes these two forms. Helps us discern what is social and anti-social behaviour. What tends to the good of community and what tends to undermine good of the community. That is the philosophical idea of an ethic, usually mean when we talk about ethics. Some form of criteria to distinguish type behaviour or characteristics of individuals
- now Leopold says ecological ethically freedom of action in freedom of existence. Philosophically this is a way of discerning way of social and antisocial action. Ecologically it is a way of helping to facilitate a healthy flourishing in the community. Part of that flourishing is a struggle for existence. There is a legitimate struggle in any community. Healthy amount of competition that remains healthy. Struggle for existence. this competition for jobs, if it is a healthy level doesn't unfairly discriminate and can bring about the best in us, strive to achieve, to be our best to get that job. If we didn't have that struggle with others, arguably, those noble characteristics wouldn't be expressed/denied. He thinks that there is a certain amount of struggle fore existence that also takes place in all of nature. And what needs to happen is we need to be carefully that we don't interrupt or disrupt the conditions that allow for a stable, equilibrium, between cooperation and struggle. Because both are conducive to flourishing. In order to have healthy competition we need equal cooperation with each other. IF we were a co-op without any rules we wouldn't have any competition: dog eat dog - unhealthy. Do any violence to other as possible but that tends to undermine fabric of very community. But if you have right about of cooperation within community you can have healthy dose of competition.
- There is cooperation o achieve goals, and struggle to compete for survival. Two aspects of harmony, equilibrium
- Doesn't see equilibrium that exists in nature and equilibrium between cooperation/competition of struggle of survival.
- So this means that ecologically, an ethic is a limitation of freedom that helps safe guard a healthy struggle for existence. That we participate in, that doesn't tend to undermine biotic community that it depend son, doesn't undermine cooperation with biotic community we need to survive. = balance between cooperation and struggle.
- So, an anti-social behaviour ecologically speaking would be one that tends to disrupt the very fabric of ecological community. Community is something that where persons can community, build traditions, and etc. How can you call and ecosystem a community? This is what Leopold wants us to think/ or have us think. Think beyond human communities to the broader communities which we belong. Our dependency on natural world for our bodily existence is a kind of participation within communities of interaction.
- Is Leopold stretching meaning of community too far? Does this concept make sense? Concept fashioned by Aldo Leopold
- Pioneer of developing this notion. Thinks that morality has developed or evolved with human beings from relationships of an individual to and individual, to the kind of relationship we see between individual and society. He thinks there is a precedence for thinking about biotic, biosphere, or etc. as communities. Because we already see something as abstract as society as community.
- There is a certain morally relevant and way individual can relate to society as a whole through his actions
- in like manner Leopold things that individuals and societies each and both can in their own way bare some moral relation to the environment, land. He thinks land is part of this community. And it is merely just the next step in our moral evolution to recognize and become aware of fact that we have responsibility to broader community beyond human community. Just as ancient times, slave girls he executed anything besides his community just like in modern times we've come to see that human beings can't be owned as property because they bare some intrinsic value in virtue of them being human Come to see that other aspects of the biotic community beyond human beings also bares intrinsic value. And deserve respect, now what does that mean deserve respect? The basic idea of ethics, differentiates social from antisocial behaviour, the thrust of ethics of moral reasoning is to foster a stable community ethics comes from ethos (character of community) ethics tends toward good of community, tends to foster stability and flourishing, opposes a converted attitude. Ethical individual recognizes life while it is struggle, we struggle with each other, we are not conquerors first and foremost but citizens.
- So ethically specking we are not necessarily conquerors. If we have ethical responsibility to environment we have to get rid of conqueror mentality. Acting like conquer' when we should be...
- extend ethical community such that we no longer live by this economic logic as conquer, or treat land like it is our resource only, but learn to foster a flourishing environment. Now in order to do this, take seriously this land as communities, Leopold reflects on us our own history deeply rooted in us is the land. Ecological history. When we tend to think of history we think about evolution and development of human flourishment.
- point here is to show that we as human beings as a community are already deeply embedded in these biological networks. They are already apart of ethical decision meaning. Can't make excuse that economics doesn't have to do with environment because it is already rooted in way of valuing gland. There is no economic decision making process without evaluating land.
- So what we need then is what he calls an ecological conscious. That is development of inner voice that tells us what we are doing is anti-social when in fact it is. Without it not going to have land ethic. And we need an economical conscious...etc. Already caught up to moral making beyond use value.
- What doe we need to do
- learning to look at land as a biotic community.
- Problem: it was still prime to justify conservation of land based o economic logic.
- if we are going to justify conserving something for the sake of some use for us, then we aren't absorbing to the real ecological conscious
- we aren't talking seriously the claim that land has on us
- get land has no claim on us, no obligation on us to act beyond what we take as our benefit. What can we come up with as an alternative to conservation which largely still works as land as expediency - use it beneficially - conservation should be done so that human beings can benefit form it - logic of conservation mov't in 1940s he is criticising
- conservation movement today has absorbed Leopold's argument
- Leopold composes this idea of land pyramid
- so a land pyramid is basically a complex network of interrelation between living creatures, and even non living aspects of environment for exchange of energy. This energy tends to be exchanged upward form bottom of land pyramid to more complex forms of life (carnivore animals) and put back to land as these animals die & decay
Larger carnivores (few # to)
Soil (More) - much more of this to sustain something higher on scale. There has to be a large soil and plant base to sustain a few numbers of carnivores
Interrelation between aspects of pyramid is a very tangled inter weaving of different chains
- not a straight forward chain. - the biotic community - harmony of cooperation and competition. In some ways plants an insects will form a complex system of operation. Two elements in a relation that in fact depends on one another mutually to perform some function. There are these systems of co-dependencies and cooperation + of course competitions. The point is that the pyramid tends towards harmony and as it tends towards harmony allows for greater complexity, further layers, reaching up to more complex animals
- there is a bit of analogy to tree where energy is drawn up from root to branches to produce the fruit. SO if there is a change in aspect of land pyramid all the other networks will have to adjust to this one change.
- what has happened with invention of tools & technology ( another claim of impact) - have ability to bring rapid wide ranging change. In unprecedented way - what has happened - for the first time is the chains are becoming smaller. Seeing that there is tendency now in land pyramid for higher layers of life to be locked off because of interferences in the biotic community that the pyramid is unable to adjust and compensate for. So the change is brought about use of tools and technology are of a different order of ordinary evolutionary changes because they have capability of putting to high of a demand on the land. Making the pyramid smaller and shorter rather then longer and more complex.
- as with Schumacher, arguing that there needs to be some limitation to freedom, there isn't an unlimited amount of resources and we see that the land pyramid is helpful tool to conceptualize this, we see that ecosystem that we depend in large part is quite resilient, but only to a point, and we keep pushing its ability to adjust, we should incorporate limitations in our actions towards land and environment.
- Leopold, thinks what has to happen, we move past tendency to look at land as mere soil (ecological conscious).Conquerors model vs. complex citizens in complex biosphere (city of nature).
- So, he boils idea to a principle, a moral maxim we can follow! Pg. 24. The key log: quit thinking about decent land use as solely economic problem, determine what is economically and aesthetically right -> economic + aesthetics + ethics of the land. We don't want to disrupt and dissolve beauty of nature to gain economically. Should be clear and self evident to us. Challenges why that it isn't so clear and self evident.
- A think is right when it preserves integrity, beauty, etc. of natural world. Asking us as members of human community/biotic communities - take in consideration the biotic community when we act. Our actions + policy to preserve integrity, stability, and beauty of complex web of inner relations and only then will it be social/ethically sound. Won't undermined very fabric we depend upon for our own existence. IT will promote healthy competition and consumption = overall harmony and flourishing.
- he has been accused of eco-fascism. He doesn't offer how just the direction we should move towards: fascism radical mov't popped up in 20 century -> classical case Nazi Germany - subordinates the individual to those of community. If community decides for whole to eliminate all the Jews is right -
- Eco-fascism subordinate interests of human individuals to consideration of a whole. How do we make these difficult decisions and where do we draw the line.
- doesn't tell us what kind of role we have in system
- is there room for both, for the individual etc.?
- Ex. people sabotaging Monsanto's property (article in CP) those activities are a form of what people call eco-terrorism. Which is any act that deliberately sabotages or disrupts some perceived ecological evil for the sake of striking terror to those who dare harm the environment. There has to be kind of logic that takes eco-fascism seriously if eco-fascism is justified. Logic, biotic community as a whole over claims of the individual
- Greenpeace. - would be considered eco-terrorist group?
- How do we resolve tension between ecosystems and biotic community, etc.
Deep Ecology Mov't PHL: Arne Naess
- is even more radical then Leopold's land ethic was spearheaded by Arne Naess
- rooted in a metaphysical claim about our relation as human beings to env't. Rooted in desire, that we human being stand separately and relate self to env't. Skeptic to questions of "how do we relate to env't" he thinks this approach is negative. This tends to promote breaking down nature into parts and how they relate to each other. He thinks rather what we need is a more holistic picture where we don't start with inherent picture. But where we begin with a kind of unbroken wholeness. This unbroken wholeness is wholeness of a self. So in deep ecology mov't there is a tendency to criticize our separation of our own self identification as agents from broader biosphere. So there's an argument, that what we are as agents is part of broader self. So the self, equals the whole of nature. So in deep ecology, if we are going to say protect rainforest from being harvested for lumber we don't think as agents acting to protect rainforest to safe guard its rainforest, but part of the very agency of rainforest in protecting self. See selves integrated into one unbroken hole. A deep ecological self that is learning to become self aware. What am I as an agent? I need to learn to identify myself as that seamless whole, that deep ecological self. I am rainforest protecting self. So if I learn to think ecologically that means I am learning to identify as that broader self. That seamless universal self. So, as Christians we might be inclined to question this way of thinking about the self and env't. Because it tends to break down any meaningful distinction between human agene and nature. And it tends to absolutist nature itself as that which is basically that it ultimately exists and of value. Deep ecology is deeply rooted in this religious claim. that is of ultimate value, ultimately exits is nature, the biosphere
- this is a more, reasonable theory. Associated with thinkers such as Karen warren and Val plumwood
- rationalism in western thought. Rationalism is basically a tendency in thought to draw an absolute line of distinction or separation between reason and anything natural including other faculties/ passions human being spouses (desires, emotions, etc.)
- rooted in dualism of mind and body & reason and value & man and women. So ecofeminist is tendency of western thought was to separate mind, reason, men from other and say they are superior to their opposites. Task of good life is achieve full exercise of mind and forget the body, cultivate reason but as a way of dominating or conquering nature or cultivate virtue (means manliness) rejecting elements that tend to feminine...model women after masculine characteristics
- as a response, to a these dualisms of rationalism. #1 Eco-feminist advocate rejection of dualism. 2# Learn to see self as holistic and integrated as agents. Learn to see selves as relational. 3# Reject to logic of domination. That there is one element in us that needs to rule over other elements. so the rational part should rule over natural part. Rationalize idea that rational superiority = right to dominate. And she thinks this logic has largely characterized and defined history of west. #4 rejection of abstract rule based solutions in favour of relational ones. Attention to particulars So ecofeminism tends to locate problem suppression of women and destruction of env't in patriarchy. Patriarchy, there is an inherently masculine origin of all things and orders & subdues all else. Reject (Warner & Bloomwood) reject idealisms that have shaped the rest. It is an openness to relational virtue, openness sot particularity to love and care for particular place, tree, or river bank. Tendency away form abstract classification systems and moral rules too solve problems from above. More relational approach that builds ethics from bellow. Construct way of life not way of rule but way of story telling, narrative, accounting for personal experiences and by caring and empathizing for others - claim they are traits that are more feminine. In replace of abstract will have mosaic ..
he agrees with most env'tal phl's that env't problems shouldn't be viewed individually
- above all, the church needs to recognize creation is God's gift to human beings and it should be stewards, responsibility of stewardship, and saying the fact that creation is gift to human beings it entails that it ought to be taken care of for its own sake, as offering from God, and for sake of other human beings because it is a gift given to all of humanity. That recognition as creation, as a gift, that both we have responsibility and safe guard its natural integrity and tot do the sort of the things we need to do so that it flourishes but recognition as gift also entails that we have responsibility to find ways of redistributing it and using it in an efficient way. Such that we are not causing undue harm to other remembers of the human community. In paragraph 5, prudence in face of ecological crisis wouldn't dictate long term review of long term development that takes in consideration of economy _ goals and eye to correct its malfunctions and application...ecology demands and humanities. Humanity needs profound cultural renew. etc.
- Benedict, thinks there is possibility of alternative economics...obviously Leopold doesn't go far enough in criticising economy because he seems to think conquest and struggle are only options for economic logic. Benedict hold out hope that economy can be rooted in love. Call for transformation of economy from within. Cultivate a different way of thinking economically. This idea is in line with reformed view of sovereignty = that creation is an integral whole, govern by laws and laws flow from God's creative love and every aspect of life, insofar it is aspect o life create, it can be properly or improperly ordered. Economics is natural part of human society. Every human society has economic aspect. That economic aspect of society can be disordered if it is closed in itself and focused on conquest and domination, and all is available for our plunder. this is not according to reformed and classical thinking is not how economic is inherently but it is a disorder economy + economics. There is hope that human economies can actually be rooted in love. So that it can be open to fundamental gift exchange. As human beings, agents to love each other, and steered creation given to us. That idea lends itself to idea that even economies...universal gift givers. So it doesn't mean to say economies can't give rise to businesses and pursuit of profit and livelihood. it just means that pursuit of profit and livelihood should be order by fundamental truth that what we are ultimately as God's creatures are gift givers. Our pursuit of profit and livelihood should d not come as a result of underlining of integrity of creation we have been given. Possibility of rightly ordered economy.
- Roger finds this idea compelling because it helps us look past both the logic of domination so to speak that both eco feminist and other env phl's claimed - swept up western world since Descartes and lock - find way past logic of domination in west. And also helps us find way of avoiding problems associated with Leopold's land ethic and deep ecology and absolutizing of nature and tend to overlook genuine moral claims of human beings. Gift that flows form free will of God. holds open a hope that we can find harmonious existence between human beings and communities and nature. So it is a rejection of logic of consumerism. Accords lesser role to self interest then that given by most modern developed economies today.
- this logic of gift, nature as gift, argues Benedict calls for strategies for western natures to implement for helping bolster lives of simplicity, more efficient use of energy, better distribution of natural resources among people esp. poverished people. no longer desire for absolute control over nature.
- Paragraph 7: the second Vatican...God has destined and it obtains for all people ....similar to Hans - we need far reaching policies to take into account future generations of human beings, argues on account of claim nature is a gift of God - Hans doesn't have this grounding claim. Seems to be cases that, Rogers would argue, that a env'tal phl claim we owe duty to integrity of nature and humanity as a whole and future humans needs ground in gift from God. Doesn't seem to be cases that we can find moral grounds on basis of anything else, certainly not in nature itself because then we find competition claims between humans and humans and nature.
- Similarly against eco-feminism Benedict argues that at root what feminist calls patriarchy and he calls patrimony he doesn't see the problem. He thinks we need stable traditional family structure. This is required in order for us to safe guard integrated relations among people and lessen our dependence on large scale systems, gov't and cooperate systems attributing to collapse of ecosystems and human communities world wide. Argues that traditional family, is unit best suited for cultivating values of self giving, values needed in current ecological crisis. and they're also able to help us to see the need to abandon our particular attachments to some extent. Family is training ground for cultivating friendships, particular relationship, and attentive to particular, and training round for cultivating virtues that help us to learn where we need to give up our attachments to what makes us happy or seems to fulfill us in light of bigger picture of common good. This is teaching rooted in Aristotelian and catholic social teaching.
- finally, against deep ecology argues against going too far in absolutizing nature. so he says in paragraph 13. If church magisterium gives mass misgiving...etc. The Christian idea that we have higher dignity and worth and how do we defined that idea as a viable ecological phl'y
- Benedict thinks we need this idea to safe guard integrity as nature as creation taking role as stewards.