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The Art of Philosophizing and Other Essays

Other main points in this paper include the 19th Unnamed Cave, the mud glyph art that it contains, and how the mud glyph contributes to the understanding of mud glyph assemblage preservation, and it helps illuminates the chronological placement of the art form....

The art of philosophizing, and other essays

As Plato, Descartes, and the creators of The Matrix express in their writings and movies is the possibility of a person’s senses being deceived as there is no proof that the five sense of the person’s body is not being altered as the senses are all processed within the mind.

The Art Of Philosophizing And Other Essays

Get this from a library! The art of philosophizing, and other essays.. [Bertrand Russell]

For my part, although these two interpretations must acknowledge and accentuate their difference and define their irreducibility, I do not believe that today there is any question of in the first place because here we are in a region (let's say, provisionally, a region of historicity) where the category of choice seems particularly trivial; and in the second, because we must first try to conceive of the common ground, and the of this irreducible difference. Here there is a sort of question, call it historical, of which we are only glimpsing today the I employ these words, I admit, with a glance toward the business of childbearing-but also with a glance toward those who, in a company from which I do not exclude myself, turn their eyes away in the face of the as yet unnameable which is proclaiming itself and which can do so, as is necessary whenever a birth is in the offing, only under the species of the non-species, in the formless, mute, infant, and terrifying form of monstrosity.

There are thus two interpretations of interpretation, of structure, of sign, of freeplay. The one seeks to decipher, dreams of deciphering, a truth or an origin which is free from freeplay and from the order of the sign, and lives like an exile the necessity of interpretation. The other, which is no longer turned toward the origin, affirms freeplay and tries to pass beyond man and humanism, the name man being the name of that being who, throughout the history of metaphysics or of ontotheology-in other words, through the history of all of his history-has dreamed of full presence, the reassuring foundation, the origin and the end of the game. The second interpretation of interpretation, to which Nietzsche showed us the way, does not seek in ethnography, as Levi-Strauss wished, the "inspiration of a new humanism" (again from the "Introduction to the Work of Marcel Mauss").

The art of philosophizing : and other essays - PINES

The art of philosophizing : and other essays / by Bertrand Russell


The disparity between the mythology of the Romantic child (often a masculine construction) and its reality is apparent in Jane Austen’s Persuasion (1818), where a misbehaved toddler nearly strangles the heroine, Anne Elliot. When, in Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1760), the philosophizing Walter Shandy suggests to his wife the potential benefits of a Caesarean birth, he neglects to mention the fact that this almost certainly meant death to the mother; Mrs. Shandy turns “as pale as ashes at the very mention of it,” and the subject quickly drops. Forty years later, despite (or, perhaps in part, because of) the obstetric studies of men such as William Hunter and William Smellie, childbirth remained a terrifying and painful experience that often culminated in death for the mother. Survival meant the possibility of mourning an older, deceased child (as Wordsworth knew from experience). On average, one in four children died within a decade of birth, less than in previous generations but a stark reality nonetheless; rare was the family that hadn’t lost a child.

This emphasis on indoctrination and acculturation was perhaps the defining characteristic of childhood in the Romantic period. For every writer who celebrated the child as a “Seer blest” whose visionary power could edify and enlighten its elders, many, many more adults participated in a burgeoning new educational industry which conceived of children as undeveloped subjects in need of training themselves. Whereas Rousseau and the Romantic poets believed that children needed to be protected from the adult, commercial world in order to remain uncorrupted, these enterprising educators aimed to enmesh children in the conventions of adult society, treating them less as children of Nature than as adults-in-training.

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The Art of Philosophizing, and Other Essays - PhilPapers

Nevertheless, the center also closes off the freeplay it opens up and makes possible. center, it is the point at which the substitution of contents, elements, or terms is no longer possible. At the center, the permutation or the transformation of elements (which may of course be structures enclosed within a structure) is forbidden. At least this permutation has always remained use this word deliberately). Thus it has always been thought that the center, which is by definition unique, constituted that very thing within a structure which governs the structure, while escaping structurality. This is why classical thought concerning structure could say that the center is, paradoxically, the structure and it. The center is at the center of the totality, and yet, since the center does not belong to the totality (is not part of the totality), the totality The center is not the center. The concept of centered structure-although it represents coherence itself, the condition of the as philosophy or science-is contradictorily coherent. And, as always, coherence in contradiction expresses the force of a desire. The concept of centered structure is in fact the concept of a freeplay based on a fundamental ground, a freeplay which is constituted upon a fundamental immobility and a reassuring certitude, which is itself beyond the reach of the freeplay. With this certitude anxiety can be mastered, for anxiety is invariably the result of a certain mode of being implicated in the game, of being caught by the game, of being as it were from the very beginning at stake in the game. From the basis of what we therefore call the center (and which, because it can be either inside or outside, is as readily called the origin as the end, as readily as the repetitions, the substitutions. the transformations, and the permutations are always from a history of meaning that is, a history, period-whose origin may always be revealed or whose end may always be anticipated in the form of presence. This is why one could perhaps say that the movement of any archeology, like that of any eschatology, is an accomplice of this reduction of the structuralality of structure and always attempts to conceive of structure from the basis of a full presence which is out of play.

The art of philosophizing and other essays | Open Library

It would be easy enough to show that the concept of structure and even the word "structure" itself are as old as the that is to say, as old as western science and western philosophy-and that their roots thrust deep into the soil of ordinary language, into whose deepest recesses the plunges to gather them together once more, making them part of itself in a metaphorical displacement. Nevertheless, up until the event which I wish to mark out and define, structure-or rather the structurality of structure-although it has always been involved, has always been neutralized or reduced, and this by a process of giving it a center or referring it to a point of presence, a fixed origin. The function of this center was not only to orient, balance, and organize the structure-one cannot in fact conceive of an unorganized structure-but above all to make sure that the organizing principle of the structure would limit what we might call theof the structure. No doubt that by orienting and organizing the coherence of the system, the center of a structure permits the freeplay of its elements inside the total form. And even today the notion of a structure lacking any center represents the unthinkable itself.

The Art of Philosophizing: and Other Essays by …

Where and how does this decentering, this notion of the structurality of structure, occur? It would be somewhat naive to refer to an event, a doctrine, or an author in order to designate this occurrence. It is no doubt part of the totality of an era, our own, but still it has already begun to proclaim itself and begun to Nevertheless, if I wished to give some sort of indication by choosing one or two "names," and by recalling those authors in whose discourses this occurrence has most nearly maintained its most radical formulation, I would probably cite the Nietzschean critique of metaphysics, the critique of the concepts of being and truth, for which were substituted the concepts of play, interpretation, and sign (sign without truth present); the Freudian critique of self-presence, that is, the critique of consciousness, of the subject, of self-identity and of self-proximity or self-possession; and, more radically, the Heideggerean destruction of metaphysics, of onto-theology, of the determination of being as presence. But all these destructive discourses and all their analogues are trapped in a sort of circle. This circle is unique. It describes the form of the relationship between the history of metaphysics and the destruction of the history of metaphysics. in doing without the concepts of metaphysics in order to attack metaphysics. We have no language-no syntax and no lexicon-which is alien to this history; we cannot utter a single destructive proposition which has not already slipped into the form, the logic, and the implicit postulations of precisely what it seeks to contest. To pick out one example from many: the metaphysics of presence is attacked with the help of the concept of the But from the moment anyone wishes this to show, as I suggested a moment ago, that there is no transcendental or privileged signified and that the domain or the interplay of signification has, henceforth, no limit, he ought to extend his refusal to the concept and to the word sign itself-which is precisely what cannot be done. For the signification "sign" has always been comprehended and determined, in its sense, as sign-of, signifier referring to a signified, signifier different from its signified. If one erases the radical difference between signifier and signified, it is the word signifier itself which ought to be abandoned as a metaphysical concept. When Levi-Strauss says in the preface to that he has "sought to transcend the opposition between the sensible and the intelligible by placing [himself] from the very beginning at the level of signs," the necessity, the force, and the legitimacy of his act cannot make us forget that the concept of the sign cannot in itself surpass or bypass this opposition between the sensible and the intelligible. The concept of the sign is determined by this opposition: through and throughout the totality of its history and by its system. But we cannot do without the concept of the sign, we cannot give up this metaphysical complicity without also giving up the critique we are directing against this complicity, without the risk of erasing difference [altogether] in the self-identity of a signified reducing into itself its signifier, or, what amounts to the same thing, simply expelling it outside itself. For there are two heterogenous ways of erasing the difference between the signifier and the signified: one, the classic way, consists in reducing or deriving the signifier, that is to say, ultimately in the sign to thought; the other, the one we are using here against the first one, consists in putting into question the system in which the preceding reduction functioned: first and foremost, the opposition between the sensible and the intelligible. The that the metaphysical reduction of the sign needed the opposition it was reducing. The opposition is part of the system, along with the reduction. And what I am saying here about the sign can be extended to all the concepts and all the sentences of metaphysics, in particular to the discourse on "structure." But there are many ways of being caught in this circle. They are all more or less naive, more or less empirical, more or less systematic, more or less close to the formulation or even to the formalization of this circle. It is these differences which explain the multiplicity of destructive discourses and the disagreement between those who make them. It was within concepts inherited from metaphysics that Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger worked, for example. Since these concepts are not elements or atoms and since they are taken from a syntax and a system, every particular borrowing drags along with it the whole of metaphysics. This is what allows these destroyers to destroy each other reciprocally-for example, Heidegger considering Nietzsche, with as much lucidity and rigor as bad faith and misconstruction, as the last metaphysician, the last "Platonist." One could do the same for Heidegger himself, for Freud, or for a number of others. And today no exercise is more widespread.

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