1) I have always found the legend of Pandora incomprehensible, indeed preposterous and absurd. I suspect that Hesiod himself already misunderstood it and distorted its meaning. It is not all the evil but all the good things of the world which Pandora had in her box (as her name already indicates). When Epimetheus rashly opened it the good things flew out and away: Hope alone was saved and still remains with us.
Now, that's well and dandy. But elsewhere he writes:
2) Hope is the confusion of the desire for a thing with its probability.
He who is without hope is also without fear: this is the meaning of the expression 'desperate'. For it is natural to man to believe true what he desires to be true, and to believe it because he desires it; if this salutary and soothing quality in his nature is obliterated by repeated ill-fortune, and he is even brought to the point of believing that what he does not desire to happen must happen and what he desires to happen can never happen simply because he desires it, then this is the condition called despair.
Now--I'm trying to put these two passages together and get an understanding of what the hell Schopenhauer was trying to say about Hope. In 1, S implies hope is a good thing. But in 2, S clearly states that hope is a matter of confusion, and I would expect a philosopher to want clarity, not confusion. He would want people to recognize the probability of something (say, me winning the lotto) and not have them recognize their desire for it (I would like to win millions of dollars, after all).
So, fellow thinkers, tell me this, what do you make of Schopenhauers seeming inconsistencies?
I lay waste in this existential-postmodern wasteland.
(cf: Camus's Myth of Sisyphus, The Rebel, Caligula, Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, Kafka's Metamorphosis, Beckett's Endgame, Waiting for Godot and Derrida's idea of differance).
Why am I I?
To what extent is our self defined by our boundaries and not by that which is contained within them? By this I mean, if you were to take that edge of self defined by your skin, the front line between self and not-self, and somehow turn it upon itself so that there could be no experience of other, no perception of that beyond your physical boundary, you would agree that the self 10 years later would be unrecognizeable as the same being as the self which had not been so folded inward, would you not? In which case the definition of self is in large part dependant on the physical experience of other and your skin, being the organ of perception and boundary of definition is therefore what defines who you are... perhaps even moreso than your brain or genetic structure.
Or is this all nonsense and is the source of your experiences meaningless in the face of the seat of your perception. Is it rather that your body itself is primarily "other" and your brain, or perhaps just the part of it in which you "feel" that you perceive, really your self, in which case folding your skin in upon itself would simply have served to limit the variety of perception available to you and produced just what one would have expected, a self reduced in scope from its alternate to the exact degreee in which it's perception was limited.
Am I the sum of my perceptions - either in whole or as expressed through an only-tangentially-related pattern unique to Gillen even if another being were presented with my exact sequence of experiences?
(well, it was either open with that or 'What is Virtue?'...)
open_philosophy now open for business
Welcome! There's beer in the fridge. Feel free to grab a seat at the table. The photocopier is available for those who would like to distribute accompanying texts.
Yes, we have yet to finish decorating. Mind the dropcloths.
Any questions or comments before we get started?