File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0106, message 78

Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 23:29:57 -0400
Subject: Re: Tantalizing times - arguing for atheism....


Thanks for a careful reading.

I'll comment at **

> > > Is there a unitary definition that incorporates subjective
> > >interpretations
> > >of that which is generating the experience?
> > Isn't all experience subjective?  Don't different people having
> > consciousness, different memories, experience so-called "same" events
> > differently?
> Not when people 'imagine'... **No one knows your imaginings, however
cleverly you communicate, but I was referring to subjective experience of
external (not imaginary) stimuli.**
> > > >So let us imagine ourselves "outside" the so-called real >>world,
> Cosmos,
> > >>Universe(s), observing all that "is" - Including all that is >>to
> > :scientists,
> > >>deists, atheists - the "facts" we obey to survive
> > > But we cannot escape everyday life, there is no panoptic >point of
> > "Imagine" there is.
> > >We can only reference ourselves relative to >the :world :around :us.
> > >in  astrophysics and how >they :place the Earth, for there is >no
> to
> > >the
> > > universe (or if there is no one has told me:).
> > "Imagine" a center. **Imagine a center of the universe**
>  ...then there is a collective subjectivity, and we have people telling
> other that they believe and feel like they are Christians, or Communists,
> KKK members, or something like that.
> Don't you think as soon as we imagine a centre for arguments sake, we have
> done exactly that, given those we argue against (whatever the ideological
> positioning) some ground to stand on. **Those who argue have ground to
stand on, why else would they argue?**
> > > Is that which you call sublime sort of like an acutely affective
> > >experience  (i.e. that which does not require the binary logic >of the
> > social
> > >for some level of understanding)?
> > Assuning binary logic of the social means two people agree, events,
> sublime
> > or not, seem to be understood without being confirmed by another person.
> > Sometimes, not being sure, we
> > ask another person if they saw the same object, heard the same sound.
> No I meant in a Zygmount Bauman-esque binary, where there is always an
> inside-outside logic to language, or in terms of Baudrillard, there is
> always social residue. Boundaries are being placed around subjective
> experience so they can be communicated and shared. Human success in this
> domain can be found in, for example, some love poems, and failure in
> slurs.  **Not familar with those authors or arguments, so it sounds like
vague generalizations, maybe not.**
> > > >From Nietzsche's point of view, there is no exit from the >labyrinth
> > >interpretation; everything is 'interpreted through and through'.
> > > There is only essential relativism, that is what is shared across >all
> of
> > >humanity.
> > To "believe" there is "only" essential relativism, or "only any other
> > seems to be a failure of imagination.
> But what are we imagining exactly? Following what I call the binary logic
> the social there is always something discarded, some residue produced...
> that is not to say that experiences between persons aren't so similiar
> some are practically the same, or the persons can come to an agreement
> regarding the similarity. That is, for the practical use of language, so
> there can be a social at all.  **There are billions of people, millions of
"socials", and the above-named philosophers apparently shared at least one
of them - Consider the number of countries, thousands of dialects, billions
of practicioners of religions.  Most of these socials are afflicted with
poverty and disease, many are subject to wars, forcible removal from their
ancestral lands, and occasional genocide**

> In po-mo I meant there was seemingly essential relativism (not that there
> definitely was, sorry:), compared to modernity's relative essentialism.
> by essential relativism I mean in western societies (I am not in the U.S.)
> there seems to be a culture of victims appearing. Or not neccessarily
> victims, but people taking the relative stance of something like "I refuse
> to be a victim!" (Sort of like in the film American Beauty, but that is
> stretching it, I just needed an example to illustrate what I am talking
> about.) As a victim you are oppressed or dominated, and thoroughly
> subjectified. You become the 'residue' by physical or ideological force.
> However, it is only the threat of being a victim, not actually being
> (although, of course, there are real victims)**As noted above**  a victim.
Thus they create for
> themselves a position that seems to be that of 'residue', of the Other, an
> 'authentic' subject position, so as to 'authenticate' actions and
> ideological viewpoints. Or, perhaps, to authenticate an essentially
relative subject position.**Yes, everything is relative to something else.**
> I realise (see no 'z', not in U.S.:) that the above seems orientated
> a politically right tajectory, me saying that there are culprits of
> self-victimhood, eh, it only seems that way. If anything, I am a
> bird with no wings.. **(in no-zee-land?)**
> > >Perhaps, then that is why  the focus on the 'sublime'? For it is
> > > (normatively) a trans-cultural experience... it doesn't need to > be
> > >referenced, for it can't be communicated, only >experienced. >It can't
> > >communicated because the >boundaries of language can only >communicate
> > about
> > > the experience, rather than the experience itself.
> > It seems that experience is a function of an individual's life-history,
> > accumulation of memories, vs.environmental stimuli i.e. perception of
> > events.
> I meant that because of the apparently transcendental nature of the
> something is shared (on a certain level) with others. Trancendental of the
> insufficiencies of language that is, and hence, reason (of the binary
> of the social) itself.**People in Oklahoma City shared an experience of
transcendental terror for which language was insufficient. As for beauty and
the sublime, when it transcends language (despite the efforts of critics) we
assume there are similar experiences.

But each individual is different, and each experience is actual only for one
time, only for one place, only for one person.**
> > It is said that a newborn human sees flashes of light and dark, and
> "learns"
> > to recognize its mother's face, by repetition and memory.
> > Memories are notoriously inaccurate, even short-term, as witnessing and
> > describing an accident or a crime.  Language is
> > often inadequate, except for simplest objects and events where much-used
> > words serve well.
> > Years or decades afterwards, recollection of an event, recollection of a
> > feeling, is likely to be in some degree inaccurate.
> But which memories are you more certain of? The ones that happened, say, 4
> hours ago, or the ones you have had for 10 years? The certainty here is
> of the events in the 'real' world, but of the events as they are recorded
in  your head. The memories of 10 years have had more time to, umm, stew
(?). So
> that the actual events themselves the are part of the memory are fuzzy,
> the experience of what is remembered is not. E.g. when you were a little
> did you burn yourself on a stove (or some such thing)? Do you remember
what > colour the stove was (or what the time was, or the day, or the brand
of the > stove, or what type of pants you were wearing), or that is was
> hot?!!!**Some memories do remain vividly clear for years, most do not.**
> > If the sublime is "beauty and terror" as it is sometimes claimed to be,
> > must be very rare.
> Or maybe we just don't like to let ourselves feel such things (because
> we lose control,  and hence are vulnerable (on some base instinctual
level) **Perhaps for some people - I think of terror as a feeling that death
is inevitable, something that differs from being affected by beautiful
objects or performances**
> and we shy away from experiences that we know are going to result in
> something sublime?
> > If it is an experience of beauty for which one "cannot find the words"
> > describe it to others, one does not have the "language" to  verbalize it
> as
> > idea, thought or concept, even for ones'
> > self.  Visual and aural arts are languages without words.
> But still languages, still approximations of something not definable?
> Which is why art appreciation could be regarded as normatively subjective.
> Subjective, but a shared (collective) subjective (as mentioned above), for
> 'something' prior must be shared between audience and artist for
> to be communicated. In terms of Frege, the artist and audience need
> 'senses' of the same 'reference. **Collective terror, yes - collective
sublimity would be like one consciousness, one brain/body/organisim.  Of
course there's often enough commonalty of individual response to clap hands



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