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[Xmca-l] Re: Political constructions of self vs politicalconstructions of identity
Chris - spot on. Remember where this thread started: both essential unity and essential categoriality are infringements on the ity of the individual, who cannot be wholly identified with either. But either is a perspective from which candidates can make their calculations seem less complicated. I’d say we need not address the ity’s of the candidates rather than how their politics are likely to affect our our own.
Annalisa - replace “stable” and “stationary” in my posts with the bulkier “what doesn’t change” and I’ll still sign them. So you are defining “change” as opposed to stability. Morevoer, most of what you describe as fundamental only exists in the human mind. Western languages indeed are conducive to an understanding of the world you have described, but it is not the only possible one. You say “things exist before they are named” and "we can remove all things in [space and time], and existence remains”. So existence is also a thing? Western languages consider sentences as “the rose is red” and “the sky is blue” to be equivalent, but if you look a little more closely, “rose” and “sky” are ontologically quite different. There is no such thing as the sky. And existence is more like the sky than the rose. Just like the referents of negative sentences, it is something produced by the mind. “There are no rusty nails in this soup” may be true, but if it is, then only in our reflection, because there is no thing there (“absence-of-rusty-nails”) that is described by this observation. So we meaningfully say “Uncle Harry exists” to point out the difference of said uncle with Santa Claus, who doesn’t. (Or doesn’t he? A matter of how we define existence. For example, if we grant existence to immaterial entities that can be the causes of real processes, and a child does her homework diligently because of Santa Claus, while otherwise she wouldn’t, then it would be legitiamate to say that Santa Claus exists.) In this particular sense, the word “existence” performs the work of a double negative: “it is not the case that uncle Harry is nothing but a construction of our mind”.
Saying that constituents exist before their combination, therefore the combination exists before it actually comes into being is not very productive. There are multitudes of ways how to combine the currently avaialble physical objects and only a minuscule part of these will actually be realized. This is what is called “Occam’s razor” according to William Occam (14th century): we should not posit existences that are not logically necessary.
Impermanence can be defined at least on two levels: the popular one (call it “impermanence light”) insists that nothing is forever, everything changes, everything that exists turns into something else. The philosophically more thoroughly digested definition would state that anything we can point to is in exactly the same state at any two moments. That is, even the briefest duration separates two exhaustive sets of qualities that characterize this thing. As no qualities are essential by themselves, and no differences in degree are essential by themselves, any thing is not self-identical at two given moments.
With best wishes,
> On 01 Aug 2016, at 22:10, Christopher Schuck <email@example.com> wrote:
> All these explanations are very helpful - thank you. So then when Rein
> writes, "some calculations are less complicated," is this not speaking to
> the specifically epistemological priority of our efforts to pin down the
> candidates' essences? On what basis do we decide what is less complicated
> in a good way (that allows us to evaluate the candidates in tune with how
> they are as people and future presidents) as opposed to a bad way (being so
> uncomplicated that you end up missing the truth entirely and/or being
> manipulated), and what are the implications of appealing to either
> Trump-ity or Trump-ness, respectively? I am trying to parse out the "cash
> value" of understanding these candidates in terms of their -ity's rather
> than their -ness's.
> Sorry if some of this may be redundant. Chris
> On Monday, August 1, 2016, Rein Raud <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Annalisa, I’m afraid we stray too far from the original topic of this
>> thread if we get much deeper into ontology, and I would end up copy-pasting
>> a lot from a book I am currently writing. Briefly, I don’t think we can
>> define “change” as opposed to “stability” at all, and I’d suggest we speak
>> about impermanence instead. You are quite correct saying that “change” can
>> only be detected and described in regard of something else. The point is,
>> this something else is itself always undergoing some other kind of change
>> from a third point of view, and so on. The stationary point is quite
>> arbitrary. Most people currently believe that the Earth is rotating around
>> the Sun. However, the Sun is not stationary, but also in movement. We can
>> imagine a hypothetical celestial body which moves around in space so that
>> it is exactly at the same distance from the Earth at all times and does not
>> move around its own axis so that the Earth is always also at the same angle
>> seen from it. For someone on this celestial body, the Earth moves around
>> its axis, but is otherwise stationary, while the Sun moves around it. It is
>> just that certain calculations are less complicated when we assume the
>> primacy of the Sun as the center of the solar system in this scheme. And
>> that’s how we end up with notions such as change vs stability - some
>> calculations are less complicated. With best wishes, Rein
>>> On 01 Aug 2016, at 20:11, Annalisa Aguilar <email@example.com
>>> Larry, my questions are straightforward, as I stated them, but I'll just
>> reiterate that I was asking is what is Rein's definition of change? How is
>> changed detected? And from who's point of view?
>>> In the end, there must be something stationary in order to gauge change.
>> Whether in time or in space. Otherwise no change can be detected.
>>> Now Chris brings up an interesting extra to this that there is the
>> reality "out there" changing, and then our perception of it (which can also
>> change). But I think the definition still holds that even if the world is
>> illusory, and our perception changes too, there are laws still in play,
>> whether we understand those laws or not.
>>> For a law to adhere it must hold for all cases, or, in homage to
>> Einstein, in those cases relative to it (which would be marked exceptions).
>> I consider a law as a stationary point.
>>> It's not pure chaos out there. When I wake up I wake up in the same
>> body, even though there is a cellular distinction from my body of 7 years
>> ago. I don't wake up as someone else or with an extra limb I didn't have
>> yesterday. Now someone could ask, "Well how do you really know that?" And I
>> would say, "Well, how can you ask the question?"
>>> Something has to be stationary for change to happen. Even if change
>> happens faster or slower, the point I'm attempting to make is that there
>> must be a stationary point regardless.
>>> Something must be (stationary), before it can change or before change
>> can be detected.
>>> I would say existence is the "center." I think Buddhists contest that,
>> which is fine. I know that that is how they see it, that nothing exists. As
>> in no thing.
>>> And in some ways they are right if you are talking about the apparent
>> world and the thingness that makes a thing a thing. But everything that is
>> here has is-ness, not thing-ness. Otherwise it is not. Which means the
>> thing-ness that isn't thing-ness isn't present in time and space. It
>> doesn't present itself, whatever it is.
>>> How does one detect change of something (anything) that is not in time
>> and space?
>>> First, I'd say whatever this non-thing is, can't change, because only
>> things in time and in space change. On earth as we humans perceive it,
>> change appears to be dependent upon time and space. But then thanks to
>> Einstein, now we know that even time and space change. Which means that the
>> change of time and space must be dependent upon some other stationary
>> "point" as-if outside of time and space. I say as-if because we are dealing
>> with a container metaphor, but this metaphor doesn't work when trying to
>> conceive something outside of time and space. Be we can use it because we
>> are human and this is how we reason about things, using time and space as
>> reference points.
>>> Anyway, whatever that "point" is, it would have to be pretty expansive
>> and eternal in all directions, in all time. It would have to be big to
>> cover all of space and time. But because it would be outside of space and
>> time, it would also have to be formless and changeless.
>>> Take away form (space) and change (time) and all that is left is
>> existence. Which is.
>>> Right here right now. :)
>>> Kind regards,
>>> P.S. I see that Rein post just now, so this is not in reply to that post
>> of his.