Total Posts:5|Showing Posts:1-5
Jump to topic:

Existentialism and Positivism

Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/4/2012 1:07:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
[The book was written by William Barett, as an overview of existentialism.]

According to a recent book** that I have picked up describing the precedents, advent, and even definition of existentialism, I came upon a rather interesting discussion on the characterization of the eponymous man and his life, function, role comparative tot he universe, and so forth in apparently three shades: positivist, existentialist, and Marxist (though not exclusive to such vies) discussed there. It does seem however somewhat interesting,despite the inclusion and characterization of the Marxist man, to see the depictions of both the positivist and existentialist view.

The view described was that positivism, according to a rather brief and cursory reading, does--in a very general, characterize the world as operating in a mechanistic manner and removes and displaces the need of metaphysical speculations under the very premise that observation and grounded perceptions are admissible, thus making it a rather strong brand of empiricism. (It should be noted that I am only making a rough generalizations and that positivism has been applied, across disciplines, to both logical and sociological fields, though William Barrett's discussion appears to hinge only on general principles of positivism).

Thus, one can at least--especially by William Barett's own words, discern perhaps a characterization in line with his rather poetic statement--a dichotomy set between scientifically meaningful and meaningless, or, in his own words--being "in the tiny island of light composed of what he finds scientifically 'meaningful', while the whole surroundings area in which ordinary men live from day to day and have their dealings with other men is consigned to the outer darkness of the 'meaningless' ".

The existentialist view, whose base operates by a set of principles, is said, at least by Barrett, to be a further effort to encompass the figments of human life--"to gather all the elements of human reality into a total picture of man" and, as implied by Barett's own discussions, appear to incorporate a philosophical perspective of the "unique facts of human personality" and the collectivization of such--perhaps indeed in the very view of life--a meaningless invested within the world, an absence of a fundamental meaning outside of the shaping by a human consciousness, values, or even actions,and so forth. (It may even, with the far greater range of consideration, why existentialism seems to have grasped, in its wake, much of human philosophy).

My question is--and I am not asking rhetorical questions--that, if we were to consider the supposedly common base from which existentialism and positivism, by virtue of their own perceptions of life, then what factors would explain the remarkable difference and in particular--how the two formed into such different casts and whether or not any consideration of the historical context(s) or of the compatibility of the two views despite their significant difference in regards to the side of man's persona.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/4/2012 1:08:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Quoted sections within OP from first chapter, pgs 21-22.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/4/2012 5:55:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:14:04 PM, Nome wrote:
The existentialist has the world.

And what does the positivist have????
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Nome
Posts: 40
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2012 2:48:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 5:55:24 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:14:04 PM, Nome wrote:
The existentialist has the world.

And what does the positivist have????

What is given to them.