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Pondering on Philosophy - Intro & Part I.

Blade-of-Truth
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4/1/2014 1:38:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
This series will be centered around a collection of pioneering articles written by leading Anglophone philosophers that focus on the question: "What does it mean to be a self." The articles include among others, classics like Harry Frankfurt's "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person," Christine Korsgaard's "Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency," Philip Cushman's "Why the Self is Empty," and Charles Taylor's "Leading a Life." These articles engage core metaphysical questions regarding the nature of selfhood, including issues of narrative self-constitution, free will and personal identity, the temporal structure of the self, our socio-historical embeddedness, and the prospects for authenticity in the face of our embeddedness.

The series will be posted in 5 parts in total:

1) Harry Frankfurt, "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person"
2) Christine Korsgaard, " Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency"
3) Philip Cushman, "Why the Self is Empty: Toward a Historically Situated Psychology"
4) Kenneth Baynes, "Self, Narrative and Self-Constitution: Revisiting Taylor's 'Self-Interpreting Animals' "
5) Hubert Dreyfus, " 'What a Monster then is Man': Pascal and Kierkegaard on Being a Contradictory Self and What to do About it"

I will present the series in a manner of posting a link to the article itself, followed by my notes I composed throughout my own experience while reading these articles. You might find that in some parts I ask questions myself, and at other times you may feel inclined to answer, comment, or even ask your own questions. The end goal is for this to promote a collective thought experience where each of us partaking in this series can learn constructively from one another.

I will now begin by posting the link and my personal outline. I ask that you spend however much time necessary to read through the articles/essays and share whatever thoughts, observations, concerns or insights you might find while reading over the material or my outline. I fully understand that there might be individuals on this site far more knowledgeable than myself in certain parts of these materials. If you are one of those individuals - Please Participate! I hope everyone can agree that we are all here to learn.
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Blade-of-Truth
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4/1/2014 1:40:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Link to article for Part I - "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person," by Harry Frankfurt.

http://www.sci.brooklyn.cuny.edu...
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Blade-of-Truth
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4/1/2014 1:42:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I. What is a Person?

A. Current definition " Has both, states of consciousness and corporeal characteristics (p.5)
1. Does not differentiate between humans and animals.
a. There is no problem with ascribing personhood to animals, but the current guideline gives no criteria of how to do so. ""the criterion for being a person does not serve primarily to distinguish the members of our own species from members of another species" (p.6)
B. Revised definition " Essential characteristic of personhood is the structure of the will.
1. "The structure of a person"s will presupposes, accordingly, that he is a rational being" (p.12)

II. Structure of the Will

A. First Order Desires
1. To want " "A wants to X" (p.7)
2. "A wants to X" does not reveal A"s hierarchy of desires. "As I shall understand them, the statements of the form "A wants to X" cover a rather broad range of possibilities" (p.7)
3. Effective desire " "one that moves (or will or would move) a person all the way to action" (p.8)
B. Second Order Desires
1. "A wants to want to X" (p.9)
a. Second order desires pertain to reflecting on why or why not we act upon certain effective desires. These desires do not necessarily include the want to fulfill first order desires.
b. Example: "I want to not want to eat cake." (Want acts as the 1st order, i.e., immediate spontaneous urge, whereas not want acts as the 2nd order desire.)
C. Second Order Volitions
1. When a person wants a certain desire to be their will including the fulfillment of that desire. (p.10)

III. Person vs. Wanton

A. A wanton is a being with first-order desires and possibly second-order desires but no second-order volitions. "The essential characteristic of a wanton is that he does not care about his will." (p.11)
1. Nonhuman animals with desires and all very young children are wantons
2. "Adult humans may be more or less wanton" (p.11)
3. Wantons are still rational beings but what sets apart a wanton is his lack of concern with the desirability of his desires.
4. Wantons have equally ranked second-order desires and do not play an active role in deciding among them because they only identify with their first order desires. (p.13)
B. A person is a being with rational capacities that he uses to become critically aware of his will and to form volitions of the second order. A person has varying degrees of second-order desires which then cause him to act or not act upon his first-order desires; this is known as his will.
1. Second-order volitions cause a person to choose one of his conflicting first-order desires and thus pull away from the other and it is by this virtue of choice that if a person chooses one first-order desire over another it is an act of or against his own free will. (p.14)

IV. The Unwilling Addict and the Wanton

A. Unwilling Addict
1. "Has conflicting first order desires: he wants to take the drug, and he also wants to refrain from taking it" He is not indifferent to which desire becomes his will. He sides with one desire against the other. (p.12)
2. He is unable to overcome his desire for the drug.
3. He wants the latter desire to constitute his will and be effective, not the former. This indicates that he has a volition of the second order (is this cause and effect relation true)? (p.12)
4. He is a person
5. He identifies with the first order desire to not take the drug or to take the drug. His second order desire would be to want to not take the drug. His second order volition would be to want to want to not take the drug. His identification with his second order volition is an expression of his will. However, if his second order volition would be toward taking the drug, then it would not be an expression of his will since it is based on an impulse from an outside force. (p.13)
B. Wanton
1. His actions are solely determined by his desires.
2. "He does not prefer that one of his conflicting desires should be paramount over the other." He doesn"t prefer one to constitute his will.
3. "He has no identity apart from his first-order desires"
4. "His lack of concern is not due to his inability to find a convincing basis for preference. It is due either to his lack of a capacity for reflection or to his mindless indifference to the enterprise of evaluating his own desires and motives." (p.13)
5. The second order volitions aren"t necessarily a moral stance on the first order desires. The basis on acting on the second order volitions is unrestricted.
6. It makes no difference to him which desire wins out to determine his action. He can neither win nor lose in the struggle between his will and desires unlike the unwilling addict because he has no will.
7. He is not a person.
8. Example: The indifferent guy in The Stranger who shot someone on impulse

V. Freedom of the Will

A. "It is only because a person has volitions of the second order that he is capable both of enjoying and of lacking freedom of the will" (p.14)
B. "This concept excludes all wantons, both infrahuman and human, since they fail to satisfy an essential condition for the enjoyment of freedom of the will" (p.14)

VI. Traditional Understanding of Freedom of the Will

A. Having free will entails the ability to do what one wants to do.
1. This definition captures the idea of an agent who acts freely but not the quite different idea of an agent whose will is free.
B. Where the traditional understanding fails:
1. Animals certainly do what they want to do but no one would then conclude they have free will.
2. Having the freedom to do what one wants to do is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for having freedom of the will. Even though a person may be deprived of his freedom of action, he is still just as free to form his desires that constitute his will whether or not he is able to translate his will into action.
a. "For to deprive someone of his freedom of action is not necessarily to undermine the freedom of his will." (p.14)
b. "Rather, it concerns his desires themselves"
C. "Despite the fact that he is not free to translate his desires into actions or to act according to the determinations of his will, he may still form those desires and make those determinations as freely as if his freedom of action had not been impaired." (p.14)
1. Example: A slave is deprived of his freedom of action because he is chained up. He is physically unable to act on his second order volition or intention. However, he still has freedom of the will because he has the ability to want what he wants as a possibility in the first place.
D. We can compare freedom of will to freedom of action by analogy:
1. "Now freedom of action is (roughly, at least) the freedom to do what one wants to do."
2. "Analogously, then, the statement that a person enjoys freedom of the will means (also roughly) that he is free to want what he wants to want. More precisely, it means that he is free to will what he wants to will, or to have the will he wants."
3. "Just as the question about the freedom of an agent"s action has to do with whether it is the action he wants to perform, so the question about the freedom of his will has to do with whether it is the will he wants to have."
4. "It is in securing the conformity of his will to his second-order volitions, then, that a person exercises freedom of the will." (Intending to do what you want to want to do based on 2nd order volition- despite moral luck) (p.15)
a. Moral luck has clear influence on construction of second order volition. Moral luck refers to the uncontrollable circumstances that frame the situation of a person.

Of a Person
Freedom of the Will
^
Second Order Volitions
^
Second Order Desires
^
First Order Desires

**Continued**
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Blade-of-Truth
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4/1/2014 1:43:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
VII. "People are generally far more complicated than my sketchy account of the structure of a person"s will may suggest."

A. A person with conflicting desires who is unable to decisively identify himself with any of his desires risks the destruction of his personhood.
B. Orders Higher than the 2nd
1. Another complexity: A person can have desires and volitions of a higher order than the second, especially if his second-order desires are in conflict. (p.16)
2. "There is no theoretical limit to the length of a series of desires of higher and higher orders"
a. However, seeking desires of higher orders than the second is "a case of humanization run wild, also leads toward the destruction of a person." Example: contemplating a break up?
3. Third order desire: To want to want to want to do something.
4. The question concerning desires of higher orders is irrelevant once a first order desire has been chosen. "When a person identifies himself decisively with one of his first order desires, this commitment resounds throughout the potentially endless array of higher orders."
a. "But the conformity of a person"s will to his higher order volitions may be far more thoughtless and spontaneous than this."(p.17) Outside factors (moral luck) become more influential as the order of desires increases. Because of this, "The enjoyment of freedom comes easily to some. Others must struggle to achieve it."
b. Example: A slave who is already physically free finds it easier to act on his will for freedom, because his desires are more readily met.

VIII. Frankfurt"s theory fits our preconceived notions of what freedom of the will should be.

A. It doesn"t allow this freedom to be enjoyed by the members of species inferior to our own.
1. It makes it apparent why the freedom of the will is considered desirable.
a. A person can be satisfied by desires of his own choosing by having freedom of the will instead of being helplessly driven by the desires within him against his own decision.
B. A person who enjoys both freedom of action and freedom of the will seems to have all the freedom it is possible to desire or to conceive.
1. He may lack certain desirable goods or items, but there is nothing in terms of freedom that he lacks.
C. Chisholm"s account of free will: "Human freedom entails an absence of causal determination."
1. Whenever a person performs a free action, it is considered an action free from physical causes which can be solely attributed to the agent and not other events.
a. A free agent has, therefore, "a prerogative which some would attribute only to God: each of us, when we act, is a prime mover unmoved."
D. Where it fails (p.18)
1. It still cannot give good reasons as to why animals do not have free will.
2. "Chisholm offers no reason for believing that there is a discernible difference between the experience of a man who miraculously initiates a series of causes when he moves his hand and a man who moves his hand without any such breach of the normal causal sequence."

IX. Another condition an account of the freedom of the will must meet: Moral Responsibility

A. Frankfurt believes that the relation between moral responsibility and the freedom of the will has been misunderstood.
1. "It is not true that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if his will was free when he did it. He may be morally responsible for having done it even though his will was not free at all." Therefore, freedom of the will is not a necessary condition for moral responsibility.
2. However, in order to have moral responsibility, it is necessary that a "person did what he did freely, or that he did it of his own free will." That is, not under external coercion, when he is able to act freely. For example, this excludes slaves and prisoners. (I think this is what it means)
B. Again, Frankfurt asserts that acting freely and willing freely are not the same thing.

X. The Third Addict

A. He is a willing addict who is delighted with his condition. He would not have things any other way.
B. His will is not free, "for his desire to take the drug will be effective regardless of whether or not he wants this desire to constitute his will." (p.19)
C. "when he takes the drug, he takes it freely and of his own free will." (Meaning not under physical coercion?)
D. He is physiologically addicted to the drug and by his second order desire he has chosen to make this will his own.
E. He is morally responsible for taking the drug because it is not only his addiction that is making his desire for the drug effective.

XI. Conclusion

A. Determinism does not pose a challenge to his view of freedom of the will. (p.20)
1. "It seems conceivable that it should be causally determined that a person is free to want what he wants to want. If this is conceivable, then it might be causally determined that a person enjoys a free will."
B. Frankfurt"s account can also be coherent if a person"s free will should come about by chance or a third way. (What"s he mean by a third way?)

Questions I am curious to hear others thoughts on:

1.If desires and the self are constructed by society, per Nietzsche, is freedom of the will even possible?
2.Does decisiveness play a role in distinguishing a person and a wanton?
3.How does a series of higher and higher orders manifest itself in the concrete world?
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Blade-of-Truth
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4/1/2014 12:05:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Sorry for the formatting of the outline. I'll take the results into consideration when sharing my outline for part II.
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kbub
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4/1/2014 2:42:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Questions I am curious to hear others thoughts on:

1.If desires and the self are constructed by society, per Nietzsche, is freedom of the will even possible?

The language of the free will debate seems to me to be only meaningful within the context of the "objective" self. The intention behind the debate is to disambiguate the properties of the self and the other. It may inquire, for example,, whether desires come from oneself, or come from another.

Nietzsche's socially-constructed 'self' preserves the socially-constructed "ownership" of the socially-constructed desires, and thus from a personal constructivist standpoint free will is preserved. If one attempts to "transcend" social constructs, the free will debate becomes meaningless because the "self" and the "other" would be ambiguous.

2.Does decisiveness play a role in distinguishing a person and a wanton?

Seems like a question of language convention. I am not particularly interested in answering this question, though I will say I assign "personhood" relatively liberally.

3.How does a series of higher and higher orders manifest itself in the concrete world?

The world isn't concrete; the construction of a hierarchy is a power behavior. Because nonhuman animals have virtually no power over humans' forming hierarchies, the hierarchy structure is at the discretion of the human. Humans may follow this hierarchy, but they shouldn't (in my opinion) be deceived into thinking they represent the "concrete" world any more than believing that DDO polls represent global opinion.
kbub
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4/1/2014 4:53:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/1/2014 12:05:51 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Sorry for the formatting of the outline. I'll take the results into consideration when sharing my outline for part II.

The outline was hard to get through. Why not start with the questions, and then add the analysis, or take a position, and then add the supports? People aren't keep to go long articles based solely on the recommendation of a stranger.
blaze8
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4/1/2014 5:42:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/1/2014 1:42:44 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:

IV. The Unwilling Addict and the Wanton

A. Unwilling Addict
1. "Has conflicting first order desires: he wants to take the drug, and he also wants to refrain from taking it" He is not indifferent to which desire becomes his will. He sides with one desire against the other. (p.12)
2. He is unable to overcome his desire for the drug.
3. He wants the latter desire to constitute his will and be effective, not the former. This indicates that he has a volition of the second order (is this cause and effect relation true)? (p.12)
4. He is a person
5. He identifies with the first order desire to not take the drug or to take the drug. His second order desire would be to want to not take the drug. His second order volition would be to want to want to not take the drug. His identification with his second order volition is an expression of his will. However, if his second order volition would be toward taking the drug, then it would not be an expression of his will since it is based on an impulse from an outside force. (p.13)

Here's a different look at it. I'm an Economics guy, I'll have my BA in Economics in 4 weeks. This is how economics looks at addiction, it's called "Rational Addiction Theory":

1. Everyone is rational in the sense that everyone is utility maximizing.
2. Addicts are rational in that they seek to maximize the pleasure from their drug use (utility maximizing).
3. To that end, addicts engage in a forward-looking consumption plan designed around maximizing their next high.
4. For an addict, it is not rational to cease using the drug because it leads to withdrawal and physical illness, whereas continuing the drug maximizes an addict's utility.
5. Therefore, for an addict, it is rational to continuing using the drug, and irrational to stop.
6. It does not matter if the addict is aware of his behavior as being a forward-looking consumption plan designed to maximize his utility of the drug. It is enough that the addict behaves as if he is aware of his consumption plan.

This is a grossly over-simplified version of it, but it's become the standard model for studying addiction in Economics. It's called the Becker-Murphy model.

Under this view of addiction,

1. "Has conflicting first order desires: he wants to take the drug, and he also wants to refrain from taking it" He is not indifferent to which desire becomes his will. He sides with one desire against the other. (p.12)

The conflicting desires are not rational. A possible explanation could be that because of societal pressures, the addict feels the need to act as if he has these conflicting desires. But in the end, as you write, he sides with the desire that maximizes his utility: continued drug use. Thus, in the end, he makes the correct choice.

2. He is unable to overcome his desire for the drug.

The addict has no true desire to overcome the urge to use the drug, nor is it rational for him to have such a desire, because such a desire is not utility maximizing and will lead to withdrawal.

3. He wants the latter desire to constitute his will and be effective, not the former. This indicates that he has a volition of the second order (is this cause and effect relation true)? (p.12)

As stated above, the addict behaves in such a way to maximize his utility. To cease using the drug would not maximize his utility. Thus, this "desire" for the latter to "constitute his will and be effective" doesn't exist, or if it does exist, is not rational.

5. He identifies with the first order desire to not take the drug or to take the drug. His second order desire would be to want to not take the drug. His second order volition would be to want to want to not take the drug. His identification with his second order volition is an expression of his will. However, if his second order volition would be toward taking the drug, then it would not be an expression of his will since it is based on an impulse from an outside force. (p.13)

Pretty much the same as I've stated above. The second-order volition to take the drug not being an expression of his will depends on his first order desire being not to take the drug. For Rational Addiction Theory, this first order desire does not exist once you are an addict.

Thoughts?

https://www.youtube.com... <-- A short video on the basics of the Becker-Murphy Model. If you are sensitive to curse words, protect your virgin ears and don't watch the video.
"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."-Sterling Archer
blaze8
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4/1/2014 5:57:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Just to clarify, Rational Addiction theory starts from the premise that all humans are self-interested, and as a result, seek to maximize their well-being. Thus, rational means maximizing utility. If anyone wants more info on maximizing Utility, look up Utility Theory, its Neoclassical Economic Theory.
"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."-Sterling Archer
fazz
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4/2/2014 12:50:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/1/2014 2:42:51 PM, kbub wrote:

3.How does a series of higher and higher orders manifest itself in the concrete world?

The world isn't concrete; the construction of a hierarchy is a power behavior. Because nonhuman animals have virtually no power over humans' forming hierarchies, the hierarchy structure is at the discretion of the human. Humans may follow this hierarchy, but they shouldn't (in my opinion) be deceived into thinking they represent the "concrete" world any more than believing that DDO polls represent global opinion.

^this.

note: I know the 4th guy on your list. Have you read his work @BoT
fazz
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4/2/2014 11:34:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/1/2014 2:42:51 PM, kbub wrote:
Questions I am curious to hear others thoughts on:

1.If desires and the self are constructed by society, per Nietzsche, is freedom of the will even possible?

The language of the free will debate seems to me to be only meaningful within the context of the "objective" self. The intention behind the debate is to disambiguate the properties of the self and the other. It may inquire, for example,, whether desires come from oneself, or come from another.

Nietzsche's socially-constructed 'self' preserves the socially-constructed "ownership" of the socially-constructed desires, and thus from a personal constructivist standpoint free will is preserved. If one attempts to "transcend" social constructs, the free will debate becomes meaningless because the "self" and the "other" would be ambiguous.


2.Does decisiveness play a role in distinguishing a person and a wanton?

Seems like a question of language convention. I am not particularly interested in answering this question, though I will say I assign "personhood" relatively liberally.

3.How does a series of higher and higher orders manifest itself in the concrete world?

The world isn't concrete; the construction of a hierarchy is a power behavior. Because nonhuman animals have virtually no power over humans' forming hierarchies, the hierarchy structure is at the discretion of the human. Humans may follow this hierarchy, but they shouldn't (in my opinion) be deceived into thinking they represent the "concrete" world any more than believing that DDO polls represent global opinion.

Have you ever come across the concept of Territoriality? It comes from zoology?
Blade-of-Truth
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4/3/2014 12:45:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 12:50:31 AM, fazz wrote:
At 4/1/2014 2:42:51 PM, kbub wrote:

3.How does a series of higher and higher orders manifest itself in the concrete world?

The world isn't concrete; the construction of a hierarchy is a power behavior. Because nonhuman animals have virtually no power over humans' forming hierarchies, the hierarchy structure is at the discretion of the human. Humans may follow this hierarchy, but they shouldn't (in my opinion) be deceived into thinking they represent the "concrete" world any more than believing that DDO polls represent global opinion.

^this.

note: I know the 4th guy on your list. Have you read his work @BoT

Kenneth Baynes? If so, then aside from the article I'll be posting eventually - No. I would like to, but I'm currently in my capstone class and it's taking up a substantial amount of my time. A professor I TA'd for a few semesters back knows him as well. His name is Dr. Kevin Aho in case you're familiar with his work.

This might sound silly, but what he is like in person? I really enjoyed the work of his I did read and always imagine having conversations with these men, lol.
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fazz
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4/3/2014 2:33:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/3/2014 12:45:13 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:


Kenneth Baynes? If so, then aside from the article I'll be posting eventually - No. I would like to, but I'm currently in my capstone class and it's taking up a substantial amount of my time. A professor I TA'd for a few semesters back knows him as well. His name is Dr. Kevin Aho in case you're familiar with his work.

This might sound silly, but what he is like in person? I really enjoyed the work of his I did read and always imagine having conversations with these men, lol.

Yeah, he's pretty grim in person. He teaches all the good stuff though: Foucault, Habermas, Arendt & Nietszche- basically, stuff that nobody else will touch?
Blade-of-Truth
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4/3/2014 12:48:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/3/2014 2:33:59 AM, fazz wrote:
At 4/3/2014 12:45:13 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:


Kenneth Baynes? If so, then aside from the article I'll be posting eventually - No. I would like to, but I'm currently in my capstone class and it's taking up a substantial amount of my time. A professor I TA'd for a few semesters back knows him as well. His name is Dr. Kevin Aho in case you're familiar with his work.

This might sound silly, but what he is like in person? I really enjoyed the work of his I did read and always imagine having conversations with these men, lol.

Yeah, he's pretty grim in person. He teaches all the good stuff though: Foucault, Habermas, Arendt & Nietszche- basically, stuff that nobody else will touch?

I found him to be confusing to the untrained mind. In speaking directly about the article I'll be sharing later: Baynes claimed that "the self is not best conceived as a psychological entity" but later seems to endorse this idea that "the self is a psychological entity."

What confused me was 'in what sense is Baynes using the term Psychological (because he never really fleshed it out). After reading into the work a little more I realized that the former was tied into a Cartesian ideal of interpretation, whereas the latter is meant in terms of self-interpreting internally. At first I thought he was mad, now I see he is brilliant which explains why he'd come off a grim considering many brilliant minds are faced with an existential boredom.

I'd definitely enjoy reading over his teachings pertaining to Foucault and Nietszche, because he really did add a brilliant perspective which proved the compelling nature of Charles Taylor's thesis that humans are "self-interpreting animals." I've yet to truly dive into any works by Habermas & Arendt. Would you have any recommended works by them that would be a good entrance point?
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fazz
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4/3/2014 4:46:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/3/2014 12:48:59 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 4/3/2014 2:33:59 AM, fazz wrote:
At 4/3/2014 12:45:13 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:


Kenneth Baynes? If so, then aside from the article I'll be posting eventually - No. I would like to, but I'm currently in my capstone class and it's taking up a substantial amount of my time. A professor I TA'd for a few semesters back knows him as well. His name is Dr. Kevin Aho in case you're familiar with his work.

This might sound silly, but what he is like in person? I really enjoyed the work of his I did read and always imagine having conversations with these men, lol.

Yeah, he's pretty grim in person. He teaches all the good stuff though: Foucault, Habermas, Arendt & Nietszche- basically, stuff that nobody else will touch?

I found him to be confusing to the untrained mind. In speaking directly about the article I'll be sharing later: Baynes claimed that "the self is not best conceived as a psychological entity" but later seems to endorse this idea that "the self is a psychological entity."

What confused me was 'in what sense is Baynes using the term Psychological (because he never really fleshed it out). After reading into the work a little more I realized that the former was tied into a Cartesian ideal of interpretation, whereas the latter is meant in terms of self-interpreting internally. At first I thought he was mad, now I see he is brilliant which explains why he'd come off a grim considering many brilliant minds are faced with an existential boredom.

I'd definitely enjoy reading over his teachings pertaining to Foucault and Nietszche, because he really did add a brilliant perspective which proved the compelling nature of Charles Taylor's thesis that humans are "self-interpreting animals." I've yet to truly dive into any works by Habermas & Arendt. Would you have any recommended works by them that would be a good entrance point?

I would stick to this sort of interpretation (as it were). With these sort of philosophers there is always conflict. So it is better not to pick up Habermas and Arendt unless you told to. Otherwise, doing philosophy is like following a trail and if you are concerned with Self and Consciousness it is better not to deal with greek and other philosophies.
Blade-of-Truth
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4/3/2014 5:07:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/3/2014 4:46:17 PM, fazz wrote:
At 4/3/2014 12:48:59 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 4/3/2014 2:33:59 AM, fazz wrote:
At 4/3/2014 12:45:13 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:


Kenneth Baynes? If so, then aside from the article I'll be posting eventually - No. I would like to, but I'm currently in my capstone class and it's taking up a substantial amount of my time. A professor I TA'd for a few semesters back knows him as well. His name is Dr. Kevin Aho in case you're familiar with his work.

This might sound silly, but what he is like in person? I really enjoyed the work of his I did read and always imagine having conversations with these men, lol.

Yeah, he's pretty grim in person. He teaches all the good stuff though: Foucault, Habermas, Arendt & Nietszche- basically, stuff that nobody else will touch?

I found him to be confusing to the untrained mind. In speaking directly about the article I'll be sharing later: Baynes claimed that "the self is not best conceived as a psychological entity" but later seems to endorse this idea that "the self is a psychological entity."

What confused me was 'in what sense is Baynes using the term Psychological (because he never really fleshed it out). After reading into the work a little more I realized that the former was tied into a Cartesian ideal of interpretation, whereas the latter is meant in terms of self-interpreting internally. At first I thought he was mad, now I see he is brilliant which explains why he'd come off a grim considering many brilliant minds are faced with an existential boredom.

I'd definitely enjoy reading over his teachings pertaining to Foucault and Nietszche, because he really did add a brilliant perspective which proved the compelling nature of Charles Taylor's thesis that humans are "self-interpreting animals." I've yet to truly dive into any works by Habermas & Arendt. Would you have any recommended works by them that would be a good entrance point?

I would stick to this sort of interpretation (as it were). With these sort of philosophers there is always conflict. So it is better not to pick up Habermas and Arendt unless you told to. Otherwise, doing philosophy is like following a trail and if you are concerned with Self and Consciousness it is better not to deal with greek and other philosophies.

That makes sense, and for the last several months Self and Consciousness has been my main focus. That's also the focus of this 5 part series. I appreciate the info about Baynes' other works though. I'll most certainly look into them when I have the time and look forward to hearing your thoughts on his article once I post part IV. Hope you have a nice day!
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fazz
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4/3/2014 6:45:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/3/2014 5:07:59 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 4/3/2014 4:46:17 PM, fazz wrote:
At 4/3/2014 12:48:59 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 4/3/2014 2:33:59 AM, fazz wrote:
At 4/3/2014 12:45:13 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:


Kenneth Baynes? If so, then aside from the article I'll be posting eventually - No. I would like to, but I'm currently in my capstone class and it's taking up a substantial amount of my time. A professor I TA'd for a few semesters back knows him as well. His name is Dr. Kevin Aho in case you're familiar with his work.

This might sound silly, but what he is like in person? I really enjoyed the work of his I did read and always imagine having conversations with these men, lol.

Yeah, he's pretty grim in person. He teaches all the good stuff though: Foucault, Habermas, Arendt & Nietszche- basically, stuff that nobody else will touch?

I found him to be confusing to the untrained mind. In speaking directly about the article I'll be sharing later: Baynes claimed that "the self is not best conceived as a psychological entity" but later seems to endorse this idea that "the self is a psychological entity."

What confused me was 'in what sense is Baynes using the term Psychological (because he never really fleshed it out). After reading into the work a little more I realized that the former was tied into a Cartesian ideal of interpretation, whereas the latter is meant in terms of self-interpreting internally. At first I thought he was mad, now I see he is brilliant which explains why he'd come off a grim considering many brilliant minds are faced with an existential boredom.

I'd definitely enjoy reading over his teachings pertaining to Foucault and Nietszche, because he really did add a brilliant perspective which proved the compelling nature of Charles Taylor's thesis that humans are "self-interpreting animals." I've yet to truly dive into any works by Habermas & Arendt. Would you have any recommended works by them that would be a good entrance point?

I would stick to this sort of interpretation (as it were). With these sort of philosophers there is always conflict. So it is better not to pick up Habermas and Arendt unless you told to. Otherwise, doing philosophy is like following a trail and if you are concerned with Self and Consciousness it is better not to deal with greek and other philosophies.

That makes sense, and for the last several months Self and Consciousness has been my main focus. That's also the focus of this 5 part series. I appreciate the info about Baynes' other works though. I'll most certainly look into them when I have the time and look forward to hearing your thoughts on his article once I post part IV. Hope you have a nice day!

Arendt and Habermas are pioneers in Civil Society, which is housed under Pol. Sci or Political Philosophy. I am not that good with the Metaphysics, sorry*.