Saturday, December 12, 2009


zappa does Ravel's Bolero



"""The great master of rationalist phenomenalism, David Hume, begins his essay "On the Immortality of the Soul" with these decisive words: "It appears difficult by the mere light of reason to prove the immortality of the soul. The arguments in favour of it are commonly derived from metaphysical, moral, or physical considerations. But it is really the Gospel, and only the Gospel, that has brought to light life and immortality." Which is equivalent to denying the rationality of the belief that the soul of each one of us is immortal.

Kant, whose criticism found its point of departure in Hume, attempted to establish the rationality of this longing for immortality and the belief that it imports; and this is the real origin, the inward origin, of his Critique of Practical Reason, and of his categorical imperative and of his God. But in spite of all this, the sceptical affirmation of Hume holds good. There is no way of proving the immortality of the soul rationally. There are, on the other hand, ways of proving rationally its mortality.

It would be not merely superfluous but ridiculous to enlarge here upon the extent to which the individual human consciousness is dependent upon the physical organism, pointing out how it comes to birth by slow degrees according as the brain receives impressions from the outside world, how it is temporarily suspended during sleep, swoons, and other accidents, and how everything leads us to the rational conjecture that death carries with it the loss of consciousness. And just as before our birth we were not, nor have we any personal pre-natal memory, so after our death we shall cease to be. This is the rational position.

The designation "soul" is merely a term used to denote the individual consciousness in its integrity and continuity; and that this soul undergoes change, that in like manner as it is integrated so it is disintegrated, is a thing very evident. For Aristotle it was the substantial form of the body—the entelechy, but not a substance. And more than one modern has called it an epiphenomenon—an absurd term. The appellation phenomenon suffices.

Rationalism—and by rationalism I mean the doctrine that abides solely by reason, by objective truth—is necessarily materialist. And let not idealists be scandalized thereby.

The truth is—it is necessary to be perfectly explicit in this matter—that what we call materialism means for us nothing else but the doctrine which denies the immortality of the individual soul, the persistence of personal consciousness after death.""""

* * *

Bad armchair linguists: cyber-Dimwit of the hour translates "meanwhile, back at Bauhaus," as
"unterdessen rückseitig am Bauhaus….". Even a few minutes googling (or checking Die Wortbuch) shows that to be mistaken. The construction in English is colloquial of course, and doesn't translate literally to german; colloquially, it would probably be, "Inzwischen, wieder im Bauhaus"...or slightly more formal, "Inzwischen, um wieder auf das bauhaus ...". Unterdessen works, but not as accurate as Inzwischen. But Sky-schmutzkopf's certainly in error with "rückseitig", which is "back-page-like", or "reverse-side," with ruck as noun, NOT the adverbial use of back (which takes wieder, or hinter--something, perhaps zuruck..)


jh said...

thomas d aquino uses fairly simple straight forward common sense
he equates the mind with the soul with the "heart" of man the person

the mind is immaterial substance yet it exists we know it exists it displays itself always even here in the words i type...yet we cannot locate the mind in the body
the brain is not the mind
brain surgery would not identify anyone's thoughts

the body experiences corruption upon death because it is material it can be seen and touched

non substantial matter does not go through a process of decay it has no determintion in that way for it is spirit

all peoples maintain traditions of life after death
all "primitive" peopel know inherently and intuitively that the spirits of their loved onesare not subject to decay

J said...

Hey JH.

Have you read this essay by Unamuno? He doesn't exactly agree with the Humeans, and materialists--that's the basis for the tragic sense of life according to U., the conflict between what reason/rationality suggests (i.e. life/consciousness ends at death), and the religious sense, which does accept immortality, spiritual realm ...and Deus. U. seems to suggest that Kant offered something like a philosophical solution--not accepting the older, Thomistic dogma, or the Humean-positivists.....(and U.'s writing still remains relevant, given the rise of the neo-Darwinists, Dawkins, etc)

Sort of existential--a battle between heart, and head--tho' not of the frenchy sort.

jh said...

i quote from aristotle
nicomachean ethics
his discourse on the "skola"
the "medium " of reflective knowledge whereby philosphy must occur

"man cannot live this way insofar as he is man, but only insofar as something divine dwells in him." NE (X)

the sad current of skeptik thought diminishes not only its own program but the very essence of what it means to be human
(made in the image and likeness of god)
how we managed to permit a whole system of thought to denigrate the reality of human life is the only question for me

unamuno is most eloquent when he allows himself to be a poet

i went through a brief period when i performed spanish pieces on the guitar of introducing them with quotes from unamuno
years ago

i am reading josef pieper now


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