Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

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d63
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Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:34 pm

“WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this "Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will— until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance?” -Nietzsche, Friedrich (2014-08-26). Beyond Good and Evil (Illustrated) (p. 5). . Kindle Edition.

This can be seen as being at the foundation of one of the most telling points of the Deleuze’s Image of Thought: this notion that humans (or human thought (naturally seeks “the truth”. But all one need do is look at the weird, random, and repetitive nature of thought to recognize it as these kind of bodily expressions, the grunts and silences in the meat of the brain translated into words and images, and the evolutionary product of the body’s engagement with its environment. Nietzsche later goes on to connect Deleuze’s agenda with that of Rorty’s pragmatism:

“As little as the act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and procedure of heredity, just as little is "being-conscious" OPPOSED to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite channels. And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life.”

Then:

“The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it: it is here, perhaps, that our new language sounds most strangely. The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing, and we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions (to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us, that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely IMAGINED world of the absolute and immutable, without a constant counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not live— that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life.”

Here we see the convenience of taking on the materialist perspective (that is while not being committed to it: it says nothing about the possibility of free will or rather participation (for the sake of an agenda that I believe both Deleuze and Rorty share: that of seeing ourselves as nodes in a vast and complex system of exchange: discourse (an exchange of energy without the blockages of dogma

d63
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:23 pm

“As little as the act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and procedure of heredity, just as little is "being-conscious" OPPOSED to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite channels. And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life.” –from Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil

Here we see the role that resonance and seduction plays in philosophy. Of course, those of a more analytic persuasion (those who lean towards the more scientific side of the science/literature no-man’s land that philosophy inhabits), would scoff at this. They would boldly claim that they have found a method that shuts out the human/subjective element. Yet, for all their claims to objectivity, the anal retentive disposition that led them to seek such a mathematical and orderly precision appears to be a complete blind-spot to them. They act as if, in their desire to be “above the common fray”, they somehow started out neutral, then checked out all the facts before deciding what intellectual process to pursue. And if they are lying to themselves, how can we take their word for it?

It is this supposed above-the-common-fray fancy that underlies the so-called political independent in America. We have to ask: what exactly does it mean to be an independent? You don’t know what policies you support? Or do you not know what party furthers those policies? I can only think here of an interview with Bill O’Reilly during an election in which he claimed to “have not made up his mind yet”. Of course, anyone that knows O’Reilly (including himself) knows perfectly well that he would not even think of voting for a democrat.

What Nietzsche was prying under was common doxa: socially programmed responses to socially programmed cues. We are indoctrinated, from the moment we find ourselves being absorbed into the symbolic order, with the idea that all thought can only find its worth in the higher principles imposed upon it by the elite: those who represent the best and brightest of civilization and the technology it has blessed us with. And this we can trace back to Plato who was born at a time when mankind was just crawling out of the muck. This led to the assumption: nature bad; civilization good. Hence the hierarchy that put the body at bottom and the mind at top. Hence that which put the true and authentic (such bold words!) over the copy. Hence that which put the technology of logic and science over basic human experience.

But we know better. For all their bold claims, we know perfectly well that by the time we (all of us) enter the intellectual process (commit our lives to it) our biases (our wiring even) are pretty much established. Beyond that, all there is is what we do to back it and our fumbling attempts to assimilate those who don’t think like us.

d63
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:26 am

Me: Here we see the convenience of taking on the materialist perspective (that is while not being committed to it: it says nothing about the possibility of free will or rather participation (for the sake of an agenda that I believe both Deleuze and Rorty share: that of seeing ourselves as nodes in a vast and complex system of exchange: discourse (an exchange of energy without the blockages of dogma.

Amorphos: What is that which is directing though? If not us and something out there is driving everything, then we should be able to deduce a purpose, and yet there is none, there is nothing else out there making effect which would be measurable. This leaves us only with randomness as opposed to some imagined ‘force’ acting upon everything. The will to power is nothing in us and nothing outside of us, unless we can state what that something is, which we cannot. Its a self defeating argument imho.

Me: Why does anything need to direct? Why can't it just be a cumulative effect? And what other purpose would we need than just to see what happens? And does our not having deduced a purpose necessarily mean there is nothing out there (or in here (driving everything? What if we just haven't figured it out yet? And why did you automatically assume that because I was writing about Nietzsche, I was talking about The Will to Power?

Orbie: The will to power consists mainly of unconscious or instinctive material, the accumulation of millions of years of learning, which for the most part have become auto-reflexive and mechanistic.

Me: True, Orbie. But I would attribute that to the competitive model from which we started. You have to consider the process by which we evolved from simple life forms to the conscious beings we are today. We start out as simple life forms that evolve into life forms with simple nervous systems that eventually contract into central nervous systems that eventually bud into the base of the brain that blossoms into the cortex that allowed us to be the conscious beings we are today. The Will to Power is a residual effect of that process and an expression of the competitive model in which our baser impulses use our higher cognitive functions in their interest. This constitutes the history of Capitalism and is what has brought us to this point thus far.

At the same time, this evolutionary process has always gravitated towards the external. We have, along the way, found ourselves forming groups and finding, increasingly, that it is in our individual interest to look out for the interest of others outside of our immediate circle. This is the cooperative model in which our baser impulses see it in their interest to act in tandem with our higher cognitive functions.

This is what defines the important evolutionary milestone we are at: we can either continue with the competitive model and risk our self destruction as a species through man-made climate change, or we can make the evolutionary jump to the cooperative model and save ourselves.

And this is my main issue with Nietzsche, why I think he is a sacred cow that must be stabbed, and stabbed repeatedly: he is a legacy of the competitive model, an earlier point in our cultural evolution. He writes pretty words that can resonate and seduce those who are as prone to fancy as he was. But those words do nothing for people facing the critical situation we are.

Wyman
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by Wyman » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:25 pm

This is what defines the important evolutionary milestone we are at: we can either continue with the competitive model and risk our self destruction as a species through man-made climate change, or we can make the evolutionary jump to the cooperative model and save ourselves.

And this is my main issue with Nietzsche, why I think he is a sacred cow that must be stabbed, and stabbed repeatedly: he is a legacy of the competitive model, an earlier point in our cultural evolution. He writes pretty words that can resonate and seduce those who are as prone to fancy as he was. But those words do nothing for people facing the critical situation we are.
It has been remarked somewhere that there are two types of people: those who trust humans and those who mistrust. The classic example is Hobbes versus Rousseau. Without debating the issue of whether the competitive model is better or worse than the cooperative model (as we probably cannot change the 'type' of person we are through arguing), I believe that a cooperative model is impossible. The reason is, you will never get the mistrusting types to go along with you. Then you will have to decide how to deal with those types. The results have never been good. The competitive model is not an ideal for the mistrusting types, it is just the best they can come up with - making the best out of a bad situation.

d63
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:13 am

I'll get to you in the next couple of days, Mr. Bill.

d63
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:14 am

“Does our cultural evolution strive to create overmen (ubermenchen?” –Pawel Dudzinsky

The thing to understand about the Overman is that it is a product of fancy, created by a weak and sickly individual that would have died a virgin had it not been for alleged prostitute that allegedly gave him the syphilis that allegedly drove him mad, and it is a notion that has been perpetuated through fancy. Nietzsche, himself, admits to the role that resonance and seduction play in philosophy:

“As little as the act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and procedure of heredity, just as little is "being-conscious" OPPOSED to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite channels. And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life.” -Nietzsche, Friedrich (2014-08-26). Beyond Good and Evil (Illustrated) (p. 7). . Kindle Edition.

But this recognition turns on him, later in the book, when he starts going into assertions about how society should exist solely for the furthering of the greatest among us –something that Rand adapted in insidious and despicable ways. What he and Rand basically offer us are idealizations about the way things should be while claiming to have the only true grasp of reality. And they assume that their high-mindedness will somehow convince the slave to accept their place in life. It goes along the same line as the joke about diplomacy: the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that they think they’ll actually enjoy the trip.

Still, it does resonate and seduce. This is evident in the fact that a large portion of popular culture centers around the notion of the Overman (that can-do character that can overcome any obstacle that confronts them: Rambo, The Boondock Saints, etc., etc., etc. –that is along with ironically quoted to death: what doesn’t kill me makes me strong. This really got pronounced in the latest version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In Thurber’s short story, the main character starts out as a weak hen-pecked man who compensates through fantasy and ends as weak hen-pecked man who compensates through fantasy. But in the recent movie version (and in a manner that would have caused Rand to wet herself (Mitty ends up actually overcoming his obstacles to actually do something. He became an Overman. In other words, the movie succumbed to corporate values (that propped up by the notion of the Overman (and, in the process, completely failed to actually pay tribute to the classic story that Thurber wrote. In avoiding the theme of fancy in the story, it managed to succumb to fancy.

And we see it all over the boards: these basement Overmen (those who would use fancy titles like “anarcho-capitalism” (who have clearly been watching too much of the TV series House and think that what they have say is so important that we would put up with their obnoxious shit (bullshit even (to get what they have. And, of course, the underlying assumption at work (the appeal of fancy much as it was with Nietzsche (is the individual’s belief that they are somehow up to the bleak and brutal environment they are proposing we should accept.

So we have to ask what Nietzsche thought would happen when his appeal to resonance and seduction stopped resonating and seducing the slaves.

d63
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:35 pm

This is what defines the important evolutionary milestone we are at: we can either continue with the competitive model and risk our self destruction as a species through man-made climate change, or we can make the evolutionary jump to the cooperative model and save ourselves.

And this is my main issue with Nietzsche, why I think he is a sacred cow that must be stabbed, and stabbed repeatedly: he is a legacy of the competitive model, an earlier point in our cultural evolution. He writes pretty words that can resonate and seduce those who are as prone to fancy as he was. But those words do nothing for people facing the critical situation we are.

“It has been remarked somewhere that there are two types of people: those who trust humans and those who mistrust. The classic example is Hobbes versus Rousseau. Without debating the issue of whether the competitive model is better or worse than the cooperative model (as we probably cannot change the 'type' of person we are through arguing), I believe that a cooperative model is impossible. The reason is, you will never get the mistrusting types to go along with you. Then you will have to decide how to deal with those types. The results have never been good. The competitive model is not an ideal for the mistrusting types, it is just the best they can come up with - making the best out of a bad situation.” –Wyman from the Philosophy Now forum

First of all, while I wouldn’t dismiss your point, I’m not sure the demarcation between the two is as clear as you make it out to be. I as a progressive (that which I assume you put in the trusting category (am not as trusting of people as you might think, even though I would like to think that people are basically trustworthy under the right circumstances. I have the same instinct for self preservation as anyone else. However, to cop off of and revise a line from the movie The Italian Job:

I trust everyone. It’s the devil and desperation you have to watch out for.

The problem with the mistrusting type is that they assume any given individual would remain untrustworthy regardless of what environment they were in. They, for instance, mistakenly assume that the reason people act like they do in ghettos is because they’re just wired that way, that it has nothing to do with the sense of desperation they live with everyday. Granted, even if we did invest a lot of money into social programs to alleviate their desperation, there would still be individuals who would not suddenly abandon the criminal mentality. But I’m guessing the reduction would be enough to make those that did much easier to manage.

But the bigger problem for me is that it is exactly the kind of fashionable cynicism you are proposing here that props up the aristocratic oppression we are living under and pre-empts any practical solution to the problem. I mean why would we ask the prima donna country-club aristocrats to pay a little more in taxes to finance these programs when we must (?) assume that anything we do will not change the behavior of ghetto dwellers? And that is what it comes down to: what everyone is afraid might come out their paycheck. I mean it’s just much cheaper to leave the undesirables in fence-less concentration camps and let them do the job of eliminating themselves.

We do as much by cynically assuming that Capitalism is some kind of natural force in our lives: like the weather or something. We see the moves that rich and powerful can make in reaction to any move a legitimate government might make (one that recognizes its role as check and balance to corporate power (and assume that there is nothing we can do about it, that there is no infinite series of counter moves government can make once it recognizes that Capitalism is NOT the last word in social and political policy.

But we can forget my previous points and recognize that it really doesn’t matter whether we, as individuals, are trusting or mistrustful. All that matters is what sensibility we allow to dominate our political and social discourse: our higher aims. This is not a matter of what we are. It is a matter what we better become if we are to survive as a species: how we evolve. And evolution, as I understand it, is a matter of what best adapts to a given environment.

Wyman
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by Wyman » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:43 pm

d63 wrote:This is what defines the important evolutionary milestone we are at: we can either continue with the competitive model and risk our self destruction as a species through man-made climate change, or we can make the evolutionary jump to the cooperative model and save ourselves.

And this is my main issue with Nietzsche, why I think he is a sacred cow that must be stabbed, and stabbed repeatedly: he is a legacy of the competitive model, an earlier point in our cultural evolution. He writes pretty words that can resonate and seduce those who are as prone to fancy as he was. But those words do nothing for people facing the critical situation we are.

“It has been remarked somewhere that there are two types of people: those who trust humans and those who mistrust. The classic example is Hobbes versus Rousseau. Without debating the issue of whether the competitive model is better or worse than the cooperative model (as we probably cannot change the 'type' of person we are through arguing), I believe that a cooperative model is impossible. The reason is, you will never get the mistrusting types to go along with you. Then you will have to decide how to deal with those types. The results have never been good. The competitive model is not an ideal for the mistrusting types, it is just the best they can come up with - making the best out of a bad situation.” –Wyman from the Philosophy Now forum

First of all, while I wouldn’t dismiss your point, I’m not sure the demarcation between the two is as clear as you make it out to be. I as a progressive (that which I assume you put in the trusting category (am not as trusting of people as you might think, even though I would like to think that people are basically trustworthy under the right circumstances. I have the same instinct for self preservation as anyone else. However, to cop off of and revise a line from the movie The Italian Job:

I trust everyone. It’s the devil and desperation you have to watch out for.

The problem with the mistrusting type is that they assume any given individual would remain untrustworthy regardless of what environment they were in. They, for instance, mistakenly assume that the reason people act like they do in ghettos is because they’re just wired that way, that it has nothing to do with the sense of desperation they live with everyday. Granted, even if we did invest a lot of money into social programs to alleviate their desperation, there would still be individuals who would not suddenly abandon the criminal mentality. But I’m guessing the reduction would be enough to make those that did much easier to manage.

But the bigger problem for me is that it is exactly the kind of fashionable cynicism you are proposing here that props up the aristocratic oppression we are living under and pre-empts any practical solution to the problem. I mean why would we ask the prima donna country-club aristocrats to pay a little more in taxes to finance these programs when we must (?) assume that anything we do will not change the behavior of ghetto dwellers? And that is what it comes down to: what everyone is afraid might come out their paycheck. I mean it’s just much cheaper to leave the undesirables in fence-less concentration camps and let them do the job of eliminating themselves.

We do as much by cynically assuming that Capitalism is some kind of natural force in our lives: like the weather or something. We see the moves that rich and powerful can make in reaction to any move a legitimate government might make (one that recognizes its role as check and balance to corporate power (and assume that there is nothing we can do about it, that there is no infinite series of counter moves government can make once it recognizes that Capitalism is NOT the last word in social and political policy.

But we can forget my previous points and recognize that it really doesn’t matter whether we, as individuals, are trusting or mistrustful. All that matters is what sensibility we allow to dominate our political and social discourse: our higher aims. This is not a matter of what we are. It is a matter what we better become if we are to survive as a species: how we evolve. And evolution, as I understand it, is a matter of what best adapts to a given environment.
I wasn't thinking so much about the 'ghetto' dwellers as the rich and powerful. These things corrupt - and because I mistrust human nature in general, I think that they can corrupt anyone, so it is better not to give anyone too much power.

Mistrusting human nature does not imply a belief that the poor cannot better themselves - my mistrust is egalitarian. I work with all types and all backgrounds in my work and 75 percent are petty, selfish, vindictive, jealous, with inflated self worth. Notice I said 75 percent - not 100 - and the poor are just as good/bad as the rich. As soon as those in the 75 percent obtain any power over others, they use it to harm - even- or perhaps especially -in small petty situations, like DMV workers. Ever read 'Notes from Underground?' - Dostoevsky was great at exploring and portraying the petty, nasty, jealous side of people.

d63
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:55 pm

“I wasn't thinking so much about the 'ghetto' dwellers as the rich and powerful. These things corrupt - and because I mistrust human nature in general, I think that they can corrupt anyone, so it is better not to give anyone too much power.

Mistrusting human nature does not imply a belief that the poor cannot better themselves - my mistrust is egalitarian. I work with all types and all backgrounds in my work and 75 percent are petty, selfish, vindictive, jealous, with inflated self worth. Notice I said 75 percent - not 100 - and the poor are just as good/bad as the rich. As soon as those in the 75 percent obtain any power over others, they use it to harm - even- or perhaps especially -in small petty situations, like DMV workers. Ever read 'Notes from Underground?' - Dostoevsky was great at exploring and portraying the petty, nasty, jealous side of people.”

Fair enough. And, once again: my point was not to dismiss or even mock your position. It is clearly too popular to write off that easily. And I agree with much of what you say here.

Still, we have to ask if this as much a matter of the inherent nature of people as it is the environment they are adapting to. And we have to consider the possibility that this is the result of a handful of people enjoying the feast while expecting everyone else to live off the crumbs that fall off the table. Nor can we completely condemn the rich as just evil people. As many Marxist thinkers will tell you (much as Marx did: you simply cannot submit yourself to a system like Capitalism without it having powerful effects on the way you behave.

(And I will try to articulate on this in further rhizomes.)

And, as you unfortunately suggest, a lot of this mess will not just be matter of political policy. It will be a matter of working on people’s attitudes about things, the mythologies they have unthinkingly bought into such as government’s inability to do anything right, the psycho-shrieks they should hear every time the word “socialism” (REEK!!! REEK!!!! REEK!!! (is mentioned, and this weird notion that Capitalism is some kind of natural force in our lives: like the weather or seasons.

The uptick for people like us (the intellectually and creatively curious (is that these are issues that can’t be dealt with through legislation. Philosophy, as well as the arts, has never been so important as it is now in that, unlike legislation, it actually stands a chance of changing the sensibility of people, of facilitating our evolution into the cooperative model.

d63
Posts: 607
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:08 pm

“WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this "Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will— until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance?” -Nietzsche, Friedrich (2014-08-26). Beyond Good and Evil (Illustrated) (p. 5). . Kindle Edition.
This can be seen as being at the foundation of one the most telling points of the Deleuze’s Image of Thought: this notion that humans (or human thought (naturally seeks “the truth”. But all one need do is look at the weird, random, and repetitive nature of thought to recognize it as these kind of bodily expressions, the grunts and silences in the meat of the brain translated into words and images, and the evolutionary product of the body’s engagement with its environment.
"Indeed. Truth is not an empirical concept. Interpretation and utility are. We can verify those through observation. In consequence, we are free to believe - that is, to interpret experience - as we see fit, for it is only by way of our choices that obligations can be imposed on us at all, whether by ourselves or others. But, having arrived at that point, by materialism or in any other way, one must not make exceptions. The ladder must be kicked away, for there is no "real" reality "out there," dictating to us our choices - only what we experience, and how we choose to interpret it. So materialism, or regarding thoughts as "the grunts and silences in the meat of the brain," as you put it, becomes an interpretive act, a belief like any other. I understand why people who do not regard beliefs as choices adhere to materialism; it's been imposed on them, and they're willing to conform in order to be called independent thinkers. But the attraction of materialism to someone who does regard beliefs as choices escapes me." -John


First of all, John, I apologize for repeating what we already know. But I tend to work on word processing programs and I'm always working on the next rhizome in a limited window. It just makes it easier for me to work like I do. That said, I want to zero in on individual points and work from there:


"Indeed. Truth is not an empirical concept. Interpretation and utility are. We can verify those through observation. In consequence, we are free to believe - that is, to interpret experience - as we see fit, for it is only by way of our choices that obligations can be imposed on us at all, whether by ourselves or others. But, having arrived at that point, by materialism or in any other way, one must not make exceptions. The ladder must be kicked away, for there is no "real" reality "out there," dictating to us our choices - only what we experience, and how we choose to interpret it."


You have to understand that my approach to materialism (that is as I have come to accept it under the guidance of both Rorty and Deleuze (is mainly a matter of convenience for the sake of a model of how to act in the world: how to approach philosophy. Up until Rorty and Deleuze, I was always tightening my fists when approached by the obnoxious scientism of the more analytic approach to materialism. In fact, I found them every bit as odious and obtuse as libertarians.


Nor have I abandoned the possibility of a participating self. Somewhere in the interaction of the of body and its environment (the interface (there is still possibility of some entity that lies in that vague realm between the determined and random which, if you think about (or imagine (it, defines this participating self (the epiphenomenon: the emergent property (that those who are still looking for free will (who still believe (are looking for.

As for whether there is a reality out there, I tend towards an agnostic approach: that given how the world exists for us only through the senses, there is no way of proving or disproving the existence of it or the exact nature of its nature.

“So materialism, or regarding thoughts as "the grunts and silences in the meat of the brain," as you put it, becomes an interpretive act, a belief like any other.”

True enough. It is, first of all, a poetic appeal (that is to resonance and seduction (heavily influenced by the lurid imagery of Deleuze. Secondly, I arrived at it through a deductive process (not the empiricism of the materialist approach (involving the recognition of consciousness as an evolutionary product of the body’s adaption to its environment and the question of what the actual language of the brain must sound like as compared to the language we tend to share it in. Beyond that, it is up against the same pragmatic scrutiny that any other proposal we might make is: the question of whether it works.

And, hopefully, I have managed to address the issues you expressed in the last part of this:

“I understand why people who do not regard beliefs as choices adhere to materialism; it's been imposed on them, and they're willing to conform in order to be called independent thinkers. But the attraction of materialism to someone who does regard beliefs as choices escapes me."

The problem with the mistrusting type is that they assume any given individual would remain untrustworthy regardless of what environment they were in. They, for instance, mistakenly assume that the reason people act like they do in ghettos is because they’re just wired that way, that it has nothing to do with the sense of desperation they live with everyday. Granted, even if we did invest a lot of money into social programs to alleviate their desperation, there would still be individuals who would not suddenly abandon the criminal mentality. But I’m guessing the reduction would be enough to make those that did much easier to manage.

But the bigger problem for me is that it is exactly the kind of fashionable cynicism you are proposing here that props up the aristocratic oppression we are living under and pre-empts any practical solution to the problem. I mean why would we ask the prima donna country-club aristocrats to pay a little more in taxes to finance these programs when we must (?) assume that anything we do will not change the behavior of ghetto dwellers? And that is what it comes down to: what everyone is afraid might come out their paycheck. I mean it’s just much cheaper to leave the undesirables in fence-less concentration camps and let them do the job of eliminating themselves.

“I wasn't thinking so much about the 'ghetto' dwellers as the rich and powerful. These things corrupt - and because I mistrust human nature in general, I think that they can corrupt anyone, so it is better not to give anyone too much power.

Mistrusting human nature does not imply a belief that the poor cannot better themselves - my mistrust is egalitarian. I work with all types and all backgrounds in my work and 75 percent are petty, selfish, vindictive, jealous, with inflated self worth. Notice I said 75 percent - not 100 - and the poor are just as good/bad as the rich. As soon as those in the 75 percent obtain any power over others, they use it to harm - even- or perhaps especially -in small petty situations, like DMV workers. Ever read 'Notes from Underground?' - Dostoevsky was great at exploring and portraying the petty, nasty, jealous side of people.” –Wyman from the Philosophy Now board

Fair enough. And, once again: my point was not to dismiss or even mock your position. It is clearly too popular to write off that easily. And I agree with much of what you say here.

Still, we have to ask if this as much a matter of the inherent nature of people as it is the environment they are adapting to. And we have to consider the possibility that this is the result of a handful of people enjoying the feast while expecting everyone else to live off the crumbs that fall off the table. Nor can we completely condemn the rich as just evil people. As many Marxist thinkers will tell you (much as Marx did: you simply cannot submit yourself to a system like Capitalism without it having powerful effects on the way you behave.

(And I will try to articulate on this in further rhizomes.)

And, as you unfortunately suggest, a lot of this mess will not just be matter of political policy. It will be a matter of working on people’s attitudes about things, the mythologies they have unthinkingly bought into such as government’s inability to do anything right, the psycho-shrieks they should hear every time the word “socialism” (REEK!!! REEK!!!! REEK!!! (is mentioned, and this weird notion that Capitalism is some kind of natural force in our lives: like the weather or seasons.

The uptick for people like us (the intellectually and creatively curious (is that these are issues that can’t be dealt with through legislation. Philosophy, as well as the arts, has never been so important as it is now in that, unlike legislation, it actually stands a chance of changing the sensibility of people, of facilitating our evolution into the cooperative model.

d63
Posts: 607
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Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:28 am

You have to ask how much philosophizing Nietzsche would have done with the crack of the master’s whip at his back.
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And given his disdain for civil society and his glorification of struggle, I suppose we should imagine him living in a cave writing his aphorisms by firelight.

But is that really how it happened?
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Fancy.
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But in order to really understand Nietzsche’s disdain for civil society (what he closely associates with the conventional or what he calls ‘mediocre’ (we need only look at the overlap between this disdain and his disdain for women –that is while recognizing the undertone of awe one detects in his rants on their failures. One senses in it resentment: the resentment of a man who did not get to be treated as one of the “in-crowd”. And let’s put in mind here that he chose isolation (what can be more softly put as solitude (in order to pursue what he saw as the greatness in himself. We who are serious about what we do here do as much: sacrifice the common for the sake of something higher.

And many of us (myself included (take this as a kind of blessing (this license to be able to experience things that most people don’t get to (that, consequently, must be taken with a little humility and humbleness and the Promethean vision and heroics of wanting to bring fire to the people –of making their lives, along with yours, a little better. I mean compare this vision to that of considering that blessing as a license to revel in the misery of others.

Nietzsche (despite his greatness (was a miserable, resentful, and vengeful man. And while we can’t dismiss him for letting his baser impulses drive his higher ambitions (we all do so (we still have to keep this in mind when dealing with him. We have to take the pragmatic route of not just considering whether he works (the PT Barnum affect of “something for everyone” assures that he does (but for whom, how, and why he is working.
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And it is because of Nietzsche’s evolutionary backlash, his appeal to the competitive stage of our mental and cultural evolution (much like that we see on FOX News and in the Republican Party as well as Ayn Rand (that we can find contradictions in his reasoning. For instance, he sets out to free us from the chains of religion and its appeal to afterlives and higher powers. Then he asks us to accept our chains for the sake of the Overman.

He dismisses Spinoza for the Causa Sui (the uncaused cause (of substance and replaces it with the uncaused cause of the Will to Power:

“"Will" can naturally only operate on "will"— and not on "matter" (not on "nerves," for instance): in short, the hypothesis must be hazarded, whether will does not operate on will wherever "effects" are recognized— and whether all mechanical action, inasmuch as a power operates therein, is not just the power of will, the effect of will.” -Nietzsche, Friedrich (2014-08-26). Beyond Good and Evil (Illustrated) (p. 39). . Kindle Edition.

Here his appeal to the subjective (resonance and seduction (turns on him in that just because we cannot experience any cause for the will we experience, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Here, Science (another of his resentments (proves useful in its successes in explaining causes for that will -think evolutionary psychology here.

And I’m little confused here. Nietzsche shows his disdain for the conventional, then backs his support for the exceptional with this:

“But there is no doubt that for the discovery of certain PORTIONS of truth the wicked and unfortunate are more favourably situated and have a greater likelihood of success; not to speak of the wicked who are happy— a species about whom moralists are silent. Perhaps severity and craft are more favourable conditions for the development of strong, independent spirits and philosophers than the gentle, refined, yielding good-nature, and habit of taking things easily, which are prized, and rightly prized in a learned man.” -Nietzsche, Friedrich (2014-08-26). Beyond Good and Evil (Illustrated) (p. 40). . Kindle Edition.

Really? So the fact that those who achieve CONVENTIONAL success through the Will to Power, and are wicked in that process, is proof positive that we should accept his ethical position? And, because of this, the moralists are wrong?

d63
Posts: 607
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:03 pm

“But this recognition turns on him, later in the book, when he starts going into assertions about how society should exist solely for the furthering of the greatest among us –something that Rand adapted in insidious and despicable ways. What he and Rand basically offer us are idealizations about the way things should be while claiming to have the only true grasp of reality. And they assume that their high-mindedness will somehow convince the slave to accept their place in life. It goes along the same line as the joke about diplomacy: the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that they think they’ll actually enjoy the trip.”

At the same time, neither Nietzsche’s nor Rand’s resentment is totally beyond our sympathy or understanding. And the creatively and intellectually curious should get this more than anyone. We all know how our process is perpetually haunted by pressures from the petty and mundane. We all know what it is like to feel a certain socially induced guilt about pursuing something more than most people get to experience at the neglect of the needs of those close to us, those who continue to love us despite that.

We, for instance, are perfectly capable of sympathizing with (and feeling the resentment of (Rand’s rejection of the of term “selfish” in that it is too often thrown at individuals such as us for the sake of getting us to abandon our own projects to serve the projects that the accuser selfishly wants us to serve. We get the connotations of disdain involved in Nietzsche’s distinction between himself, and others like him, and the mediocre. Anyone one of us who has watched the movie Amadeus gets it. But these are people we love and care about. And without that love, we have little to drive our art. And why such a hostile term as “mediocre” when “conventional” would work just as well?

I, of course, use the seemingly hostile terms of “the petty and mundane”. But this is aimed at the same petty and mundane matters that conventional people are dealing with. And given that, can you really blame the conventional for not wanting to take on the complication of reaching beyond convention, for wanting to focus all their resources on the conventional so that they can achieve at least a minimum of comfort in it? And if they are a problem to us (that is given their occasional appreciation of our attempt (couldn’t that be more about a cluelessness about what it requires than some kind of hostility towards us?

And this is the main problem with Nietzsche, Rand, and their blind followers: they treat it like war. They turn philosophy into a paranoid/fascist center and fantasy in which they alone are fighting for what is right in a world gone wrong. While rejecting Christ’s compassion, they indulge in the Christ complex of considering themselves as the only one that sees. They, focused as they are on the notion of the lone genius (Nietzsche’s Zarathustra for instance (fail to see themselves as a node in a complex of communication. While focusing on the virtuoso pianist, they fail to see the role the audience is playing in the experience. They act as if greatness could somehow exist in a vacuum.

So: nonsense or not?

d63
Posts: 607
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil:

Post by d63 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:12 pm

“Always appreciate your responses Orbie, even if they're not always easy to decode and respond to. It's like you’re always running behind your mind trying to capture the knowledge that is bouncing around in there. But I think I have caught enough for a rhizome tomorrow. Today I have another rhizome I have to address.

Always a pleasure jamming with you, d.....” –from a discourse with Orbie in Nietzsche Studies on ILP: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=188729

First of all, Orbie, I apologize for repeating what we already know and making it seem a little less “personal”. But I’m always working across multiple boards with limited time. And it is a lot easier if I am setting up for cross-pollination from the start. I humbly ask that you look at it as a kind of pastiche or collage in which I juxtapose quotes I admire from others and myself while blending in my thoughts at any given time. You might think of it as a kind photo album that captures what is worth keeping. It’s the rhizomatic method as I see it.

That said, having read your responses several times now, I now realize that some of my confusion comes out your use of terms. For instance, you say:

“Nietzsche should not be stabbed because he pronounced a suppressed will to compete, because, for him, the suppression was , as it turned out through the mouth of Kierkegaard, primarily, a suppression of the will through aesthetic denial.

You may object here, that it was religion which was mostly the summit of of the objevpct of suppression, (and don't forget, Nietzsche was just giving a historical outline of social processes leading to the death of God),his main conflict subsisted in this, that he was compelled to follow this line of reasoning as a foregone conclusion, while his father, having been a minister, shaded his individually traced will, to power.

Kierkegaard’s view of God may be an aesthetic necessity, although he subsumed aesthetics under religious beliefs. “

You tend to use the word “aesthetic” here a lot. But I think what you actually meant (given that you brought Kierkegaard into it (is “ascetic”. Therefore, I would translate your quote to:

“Nietzsche should not be stabbed because he pronounced a suppressed will to compete. This is because, for him, the suppression was, as it turned out through the mouth of Kierkegaard, primarily a suppression of the will through ascetic denial.

You may object here, but it was at a time when religion was at the summit of its suppression, (and don't forget, Nietzsche was just giving a historical outline of social processes leading to the death of God). His main conflict consisted of this. He was, therefore, compelled to follow this line of reasoning as a foregone conclusion, while his father, having been a minister, influenced his individual embrace of the will to power.

Kierkegaard’s view of God may be an ascetic necessity, although he founded those ascetics on religious beliefs. “

Of course, the risk involved in such translations (as it is with my German jam-mate Harald (is that I will write myself into it. But it’s what I have to do in order to be able to respond. But I cannot encourage you enough to correct any mistakes I might be making in those translations.

But enough of the preliminaries and explanations. Let’s get to what we are here for: discourse:

“Nietzsche should not be stabbed because he pronounced a suppressed will to compete. This is because, for him, the suppression was, as it turned out through the mouth of Kierkegaard, primarily a suppression of the will through ascetic denial.”

You’re right. There is that common connection between Nietzsche and Kierkegaard in the ascetic –that is even though neither read nor knew about the other. And that connection is something to be explored to reveal some of the subtleties involved in Nietzsche’s position.

For instance, we find, yet again, another contradiction in Nietzsche’s point in that he embraced the ascetic while embracing the will to power which, to him, can only be expressed socially. Think, for instance: his distinction between slave and morality. While Kierkegaard embraced the ascetic to become the perfect Christian, Nietzsche embraced it to become the perfect/greatest philosopher. As you point out:

“You may object here, but it was at a time when religion was at the summit of its suppression, (and don't forget, Nietzsche was just giving a historical outline of social processes leading to the death of God). His main conflict consisted of this. He was, therefore, compelled to follow this line of reasoning as a foregone conclusion, while his father, having been a minister, influenced his individual embrace of the will to power.”

I would argue that it was a time when society (and its social and political systems (was reacting to the atrocities committed by religion (the inquisitions were over by then (and, consequently, rejecting it wholesale. Like most great minds, Nietzsche was basically riding the wave that was in front of and around him. Still, the sting of those atrocities was still fresh. And in this sense, you put him in a proper historical context. And I agree that Nietzsche put a lot into giving us a historical outline for it all. That is one of those things you don’t catch until a second reading –much as I found out with mine. And I agree with the Oedipal dynamic at work with his father.

But, once again, we see Nietzsche’s embrace of the subjective aspect of philosophy turning on him. We are given perfect license to accept or reject his assertions concerning the master and slave moralities and the silly notion that society exists to prop up its greatest. As is the case with Rand, we are perfectly free to see it for what it is: fancy; little more.

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