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By William James
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'Thoughts' and 'things' are names for 2 kinds of item, which logic will constantly locate contrasted and should continuously virtually oppose to one another. Philosophy, reflecting at the distinction, has various some time past in her factors of it, and will be anticipated to alter sooner or later. initially, 'spirit and matter,' 'soul and body,' stood for a couple of equipollent ingredients rather on a par in weight and curiosity. yet in the future Kant undermined the soul and taken within the transcendental ego, and ever considering then the bipolar relation has been a great deal off its stability. The transcendental ego turns out these days in rationalist quarters to face for every little thing, in empiricist quarters for nearly not anything. within the fingers of such writers as Schuppe, Rehmke, Natorp, Munsterberg -- at any expense in his past writings, Schubert-Soldern and others, the religious precept attenuates itself to a completely ghostly , being just a identify for the truth that the 'content' of expertise is understood. It loses own shape and job - those passing over to the content material -- and turns into a naked Bewusstheit or Bewusstsein ?berhaupt of which in its personal correct totally not anything may be said.
I think that 'consciousness,' while as soon as it has evaporated to this property of natural diaphaneity, is near to disappearing altogether. it's the identify of a nonentity, and has no correct to a spot between first ideas. those that nonetheless dangle to it are clinging to a trifling echo, the faint rumor left at the back of by way of the disappearing 'soul' upon the air of philosophy. up to now yr, i've got learn a couple of articles whose authors appeared simply on the brink of leaving behind the proposal of consciousness, and substituting for it that of an absolute event no longer as a result of elements. yet they weren't particularly radical sufficient, no longer fairly bold adequate of their negations. For 20 years prior i've got mistrusted 'consciousness' as an entity; for seven or 8 years earlier i've got recommended its non-existence to my scholars, and attempted to offer them its pragmatic similar in realities of expertise. it kind of feels to me that the hour is ripe for it to be overtly and universally discarded.
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Additional info for Does consciousness exist
This seems to be related to the way in which the Madonna can be used to mediate the coldness of the patriarchal religion with personal warmth. The saviour dies to wash away our sins, but the mother suffers in order to give us a sense of self. None of this seems to correspond to what is going on in the art world today. Indeed, the art world seems to want to question the notion of a self by challenging the concept of “thing-in-itself ” experience. The offertorium, in other words, places in question the whole metaphysics of transformation as such.
In the offertorium, the submissive transformation of narcissistic energy and self-love into the anti-libidinal force of civilized power is unfurled, like a magniﬁcent baroque painting of a knot undoing itself, revealing the dead ram inside its god-like shell, then Isaac hidden inside the ram, then Abraham’s mangled self-love and hatred and Sarah’s pain, also our own, burned into the heart of Isaac: the narcissistic drive condition of humanity. BALDESSARI’S BOX Glimpses of the historical unfolding of the beautiful-ugly structures of human self-love, the vicissitudes of the narcissistic drive, refer to a quality of the art world that is not speciﬁc to any individual work.
262–263) This is a “‘time of the now’ which is shot through with chips of Messianic time” (p. 263), not un-like Bion’s transformation in O. The time of the offertorium is outside the time of the ego, outside “progress” and civilization, praeter legem; it is in but not of this world. Benjamin described progress, or ego time, as a “homogeneous, empty” (p. 261) medium, an opportunity for omnipotent control in which progress is understood not merely as a reasonable advance in human abilities or knowledge, but as the grandiose authoritarian (civilized) phantasy of “the progress of mankind itself .