File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1998/nietzsche.9801, message 7


Date:          Wed, 7 Jan 1998 7:26:15 EST
Subject:       Re: Perspectivism



>Steve Callihan:
>"The ripe fruit wants to fall." Sorry, I don't have my finger on exactly
>where this is from, maybe Zarathustra (anybody know?). Ascendancy and
>descendancy, in other words, belong to a coherent whole, as coequal
>potentials. Rising and falling. Living and dying. It is, in other words, not
>on the basis that things rise or fall that a value may be ascribed. Rising
>and falling are not values, but the twin potentialities (coming to be and
>passing away) that underly any being.


Mr. Potato-head:
Heidegger --with the distinction between 
Being & beings-- would say that things get 
disclosed & forgotten, uncovered and 
covered back up.  But what gets disclosed 
is disclosed (to us) not from theory but 
from our cultural practices & our developed 
skills.  there is in this primordial disclosure 
a zen-like quality of being attunded to things 
and knowing those things in those primordial 
(primary) ways.  i call it zen-like because in the 
west we usually don't pay attention to our attunements
to things unless they breakdown.



>Nietzsche's point about will to truth is, I think, much further along this
>line of thought. It is essentially that the affirmation of becoming--coming
>to be and passing away, or life as birth_and_ death (or growth and
>decay)--requires a strength that is other than what is normatively human.
>Oedipus eyes and Odysseus ears are required, as he put it. Resoluteness in
>the face of death (the nether side of life) is bravery. This is, in other
>words, the Nietzschean ground on which Heidegger puts forward his notion of
>authenticity. Along this line of thought, will to truth may be thought of as
>possessing the twin potentialities of authenticity and inauthenticity. As
>authentic, it is the eyes of Oedipus, the ears of Odysseus. As inauthentic,
>it is the three monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. The human
>norm, however, is inauthenticiy. The authentic is the exception.


(parenthetically, this is a kind of moralism
tucked away in an ontology--& i note yer
specifically naming _b&t_ authenticity:
"anticipatory resoluteness."  but, i'm
one of those heideggerians who think
that heidegger had real difficulties with this
after _b&t_ -- if he didn't reject it all together.)

Ontologically here, nietz still has language which 
is essentially intentional, & therefore
"subject/object."  Intentionality, and 
descriptions formalizing that intentionality,
is another parting of the ways for heid with nietz.




>It seems to be that you are asserting that the foreground belongs to the
>background, and must first be separated (focused, if you will), before it
>can be said to form a discrete appearance (phenomenon). Prior to such a
>separation (or focusing), neither foreground nor background could be said to
>be phenomenologically distinct. This would seem to fit with Nietzsche's
>notion of a prior reduction (the equating of the inequatable) which must
>occur prior to any perspective (stand-point) coming to be. It is, in other
>words, only in relation to a perspective that a foreground and a background
>may be said to be, but prior to the arrisal of any perspective, something
>must already have been fashioned from which a foreground and background
>might then be resolved. This is very much implicit, I think, in Nietzsche's
>thinking, and is what distinguishes his thinking from a mere positivism, for
>instance.

i'm not saying there is an essential separate
distinction of "foreground" and "background."
i don't even understand "foreground."
i think there is always dynamic connection between
everything that we can describe as a perspective, 
which i prefer to call a cultural practice, and the 
background of all practices, skills, and more.

first, there is no isolated appearance ever, 
especially because there is no isolated 
perceiver ever.  one gains one's 'perspectives' 
because one is skillful within the pracitces 
and customs of a culture that enables one 
such "perspectives."  

all of these perspectives (well, not all, 
'theoretically' they are infinite) are 
'grounded' by the background which 
is for one thing, all of the other 
unconsciously assumed perspectives 
that are interdependently linked to 
'the perspective" and also the background 
is more just these other perspectives 
(cultural practices).  

I think "the background" is both
 "all the cultural practices" but it
is also "the work" of history, that is,
it is the very fluidity of change that
gores on around us constantly, disclosing
as well as covering up things as our 
skills and practices change, ie, we
forget old skills and pick up new ones.
the distinction between the background
ad a bunch of skills, and the background as 
this dynamism of historical change is crucial.
and, once agin, it denotes the ontological difference,
the notorious ontological difference. 




>Except that Nietzsche, it seems to me, denies the distinction between pure
>and practical reason. Pure reason is, itself, practical, in other words. To
>assert otherwise would be to assert, ala Kant, etc., that the value of a
>perspective might be adjudged by its reason. This is what Nietzsche
>specifically denies. Reason and logic afford us no means to adjudge the
>truth of reason or logic, in other words. Knowledge cannot know itself. The
>question of the ground of reason comes down to two alternatives: 1) divine
>fiat and 2) natural development (or evolution). Nietzsche opts for the
>latter on the grounds of it simply being more "reasonable," if you will. Or
>why resort to a fantastical explanation (divine fiat), when a perfectly
>rational, if not entirely exhaustive, explanation is available. Shit
>happens, in other words.

none of the "reasons" is of primordial
importance, the pure, the practical, the
logical, the green one, the autumn one--
reason is not associated essentially to
our most primary knowledge.  our primary
knowledge is bodily and culturally developed
skills and practices that enable coping with and
caring for our 'world.'

you are (still) arguing logic and reason here.  
you are still presenting apologetics for 
a formal holism.  i am saying the 
holism involves driving cars, tuning 
a radio station, hammering a nail, etc, 
not distinctions between pure and 
practical reason.  (i know not nor do 
i care whether reason and logic adjudge 
the truth of reason and logic or whether 
knowledge can know itself.  i don't think 
any of that makes any sense except perhaps 
in terms of numerical calculation.  
nonetheless, it is not at all what i am 
talking about; it is not the same level 
of description as safely taking a freeway 
exit off the interstate.)



>And these cultures are, for Nietzsche, perspectives. They are the
>perspectives themselves, and cannot be said to be what underwrites the
>perspectives vis-a-vis each other. A perspective exists prior to our coming
>to know and elaborate what it is, in that it is the result of a development
>relative to which knowledge only comes late. A perspective is a growth (or
>will to power). The "tacit" understandings form the body of the perspective,
>but a body which remains primarily removed from view and which we only come
>to know second or third hand, as "affects" (wills) and "projections"
>(representations) for instance. Peirce here speaks of reality as being
>triune, as being composed coequally of action (firstness), feeling
>(secondness), and thought (thirdness), a notion he traces back to Hegel.


you are into the formal holism deep now, Steve, 
you are tracing the actual existence of thoughts 
and perspectives as though they were things.  
i know you are assuming a "formal" stance with 
this language, but that only means you are 
metaphorically claiming the existence of these 
mental states.  that's one of the things worng
with formal holism.




>The question here would be whether culture, as a general phenomenon, might
>be said to provide a ground. Still, that would only provide a ground that
>might be said to be true for us, a "species perspective," as I've put it. It
>would compose what is absolutely true for us, but could not be said to be
>what is absolutely true as such (although, we can't say positively that it
>isn't the absolutely true as such). The first thing that would have to be
>excluded, however, would be morality. There is no general agreement as to
>morality that runs across all cultures. Each culture possesses its own
>"good," in other words.
>
>However, even a species perspective, it seems to me, must be highly
>speculative. Not something ever known in any final sense, in other words. At
>most, it seems to me, it implies that there is an infinite multiplicity of
>perspectives, of which ours is only one.

still using your formal language, 
you are approaching what i mean 
by background as you approach that 
(formal) "infinte multiplicity of of 
perspectives."



>
>Except neither Nietzsche and Peirce are doing what you suggest. My
>suggestion, rather, is that the underground agreements between Heidegger,
>Nietzsche, and Peirce are more abundant than what might appear at first
>sight. Both Nietzsche and Peirce assign a practical ground to reason and
>logic that is, itself, something other than necessarily logical or
>reasonable. Peirce refers to logic, for instance, as a "habit." Nietzsche
>refers it to a _pathos_ or "affect." The three are in agreement here, it
>seems to me. Know-how, in other words, is an already existent "affect," a
>state of pathos that always already animates us in relation to the object of
>that pathos (the world of things).

this is said in cartesian language:
"...relates us to the object of that pathos..."  

no matter how many words for it there are,
"pathos" affect" "feeling"  even "will to power"--
the framework for this is still subject/object ontology,
a formal, logical stance.  



this is as far as i could take it the last few days.

i know i'm not satisfied with my attempts
at clarity, so i'm sure it is frustrating to you
as well--for which i apologize.  i will try another
tact, perhaps.  thanks for directions to Peirce,
perhaps that will help.



kindest regards,
henry




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