File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2001/bhaskar.0112, message 9

Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 13:05:28 +0200
Subject: RE: BHA: ontology, ontic, etc

Hi Phil, Ruth, Howard and all,

Sorry if  I try to change this conversation, but it seems that there 
lies a temptation to have one explicit idea about Adorno's 
philosophy and expecially about his negative dialectics. Some 
diverging points here starting from the idea that before Bhaskar's 
Dialectics, all which has been written about Adornos philosophy is 
idealist philosophy, most generally in its irrealist empirist ways.

I am not taking part in that discussion which seems to me totally 
empirical philosophy per se. There are many issues which Phil has 
read in the similar way I have read, I am not dealing these issues. 
> Incidentally the idea of abstraction making everything repeatable reflects
> the residue of Hume that appears to cling to Adorno, as it did to Kant.
> Reason in Adorno is instrumental, not explanatory, and reason's
> explanations depend on prediction.  Bhaskar breaks the equation of
> prediction and explanation and can think of a power of nature as something
> that always tends to produce a particular effect without necessarily or
> ever or often actually doing so.  Gravity brings heavy objects to earth,
> but birds fly in air.
> Adorno's critique of identity thinking is important.  He insists on the
> ontological primacy of the object and he insists that the logic associated
> with actualist science is not adequate to explain the world.  He brings
> into powerful relief the limits of instrumental reason.  But he has nowhere
> to go with this.  In fact the unassimilated residue so important to
> non-identity thinking can lead to silliness if we have no way to
> distinguish (fallibly) what is significant from what is not.  But we cannot
> do that unless we have an idea of the real powers of things and of natural
> necessity.  Yet these Adorno rejects.  So he critiques closure in favor of
> the open character of the world. 

Adorno tries to have medations and relations in human thinking, 
but he was not able to have them. There are many pitfalls in this 
sense in Adorno's philosophy. But how other philosophers - exept 
Bhaskar in Dialectic and his later works -  have succeeded in 
deriving soundly  human rational evaluation as real which is 
required in order to distinguish what is significant from what is not 
in real objective life  without falling into empiricisms or 
rationalisms? This also was  Adorno's philosophical idea.

> But this leaves him with the dilemma of  the positivist who now must 
either give up the idea that there are any universal laws in nature or the 
idea of the empirical character of natural laws.  Negative dialectics clings 
to the empirical and critiques the universal.  But it offers no prospect 
for science.

My opinion about Adorno's conception about identity and non-
identity issues is going along the lines Bhaskar has made in 

Adorno has accurately elaborated identity thinking and he also 
thus has derived a real ontological world of identities, forms; that is 
the first mode of ontological dialectics. In there there is no science 
in this knowing and being, but this mode in human thinking as 
manifest, leaves the social and scientific fields open for the 
emergence of irrealist knowings in social life. 

But when Adorno clings to the idea of identity thinking in dialectic 
method, which is throughgoing philosophy in negative dialectics the 
world is open to empirist and rationalist irrrealist knowings which 
only make new irreal forms in social life. But there might arise a 
possibility to materialist science in its minimalist conceptual 
classifications along Newtonian lines. There is no way of 
differentiatons in totalities in the world or there is no way of having 
processes in dialetical terms in thinking and thus not in real world.  
In there arise various irreal norms in thoughts of thinkers and social 
scientific practicioners but this is of no help of having self-reflection 
and reflection in people's lay practices. These norms in social life 
must be turned to non-identities, that is human depart from them in 
this identity thinking, by having momentual awareness about the 
separateness of their thinking of these identities in having identity 
of an object and its concept.  

If there really would emerge a real possibility in human thinking of 
having second reflection Adorno has broadly delineated there would 
arise a possibility of having real things in material nature in human 
thinking in their contents of real world, not only of  actual world. So 
there also would arise a real possiblity of having dialectical norms 
(arguments) in one's thinking in the lines transcendental realist 
lines, Kant has purported to have and Bhaskar has succeeded in 
explicating in his philosophy by deriving various critical and other  
arguments in human thinking. 

> Tell me where I have mis- or under read!
> Howard


Martti Puttonen

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