Love and Desire

The Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics.

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e_dog
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Love and Desire

Post by e_dog » January 25th, 2005, 12:33 am

The hardest philosophical question regularly ignored by philosophers is the relation between love and its supposedly baser others -- sex, desire, passion, obsession, etc.

That love is something more than desire is the last tenet of a transcental meaning to existence.

Dostoeveski's character said that if God doesn't exist, everything is permitted. Burroughs (as quoted by Kesey) supposedly said that without love, we're all just jacking off.

If Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God, Freud heralded the death of love. According to Freudian psychoanalysis, love is an investment of libido directed to someone or something. The love of humankind is simply a diversification of risk with respect to such investment: a broader portfolio. So much for the purity of the morality of compassion. According to schitzoanalysis, love must be composed of one or more desiring machines. The brides and bachelors of dadaism.

Art is a shallow replacement for the loss of love. A door prize at the temple of Venus.

perezoso

Post by perezoso » January 25th, 2005, 2:14 pm

Sigmundus was heading towards the truth. If he had taken some biochemistry he would have realized "love" was more or less a function of enzymes. On an environmental level, "love" is territoriality and of course economic: the usual female human- primate is seeking a suitable alpha-male to breed with and protect her, at least until she reads some feminist theory--then she seeks an alpha-female.

Love is perhaps more obscene than poetry. Nietzsche certainly thought romantic love the greatest of all absurdities. Marriage may be interpreted in a harsh marxist context as well, right comrade? The romantic courtly loves, say in Shakespearean comedy, are near to fascism.

The eros-agape stuff of plato is interesting--some agape-like philosophical "love" may exist but it's more a function of knowledge and intelligence than lust or infatuation.....Hamelt and Horatio --or Kirk and Spock--are in "love" ( agape) without being actual lovers--and really that love is in a sense deeper than that of Hamlet and Ophelia's--no?

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Post by e_dog » January 25th, 2005, 2:25 pm

no.

or maybe there is something i don't know about kirk and spock. they always were a little too neatly dressed n groomed.

the platonic love certainly seems to be more admirable when the alternative to love between friends is that of pedophilia. but plato seems not to have had any concept of romantic love in the shakespearean and others sense. don't quite seem to see the connection between courtly love and fascism that you see. nietzsche was a frustrated old man, on an total ego-trip and engaged in sublimation as writing. though, don't knock sublimation -- it's all that social losers have to cope with life.

freud was a naturalist, his views are mostly compatible with the role of evolution shaping natural instinctual drives. he did not himself give such an account but that wasn't his domain, which was more ontogenetic rather than geneaological, so to speak.

then, what do you think accounts for the power of "feminist theory"? is it a force stronger than that of natural selection? and if so, cannot there be a heck o a lot of cultural influences shaping sexual orientation in which case, the naturalistic biological deterministic theory is in jeopardy of being obscelete.
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

perezoso

Post by perezoso » January 25th, 2005, 2:42 pm

No to what? Try to be more specific.
but plato seems not to have had any concept of romantic love in the shakespearean and others sense
That's my point in a sense. It's been a while since the Symposium, but I think the Greeks thought eros--which is the essence of romantic love--was a type of madness, and not mad in any good or beneficial sense. Agape was the love of two intellectual peers; and I think you see that in some renaissance poesy such as Donne--perhaps in Shakespeare's sonnets. Romeo and Juliet, which I detest, can be read ironically--they are foolish, naive, infatuated--puppy love of the 16th century.
nietzsche was a frustrated old man, on an total ego-trip and engaged in sublimation as writing. though, don't knock sublimation -- it's all that social losers have to cope with life.
Heh. I think there's a bit more to FN than sublimation. He's a naturalist as well, and sees the animality behind the encultured ceremonies of european courtship and marriage. Personally I think he was a bit muslim-like in some of his attitudes towards femmes, and that is not necessarily a bad thing .
freud was a naturalist, his views are mostly compatible with the role of evolution shaping natural instinctual drives. he did not himself give such an account but that wasn't his domain, which was more ontogenetic rather than geneaological, so to speak


I will agree that his most of his views (excepting perhaps his ego psychology) are not incompatible with biological determinism , but the case study method is itself sort of shallow and superficial. But sublimation is a decent and needed concept. Let's hear it for sublimation!

Really my own cheap interpretation of psychology is that psychopathology and even widespread psychosis are not addressed and analyzed.

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Post by Arcadia » January 26th, 2005, 8:51 am

sigmundus...I almost don´t remember him.
for hobbie-holidays I´m reading Juan Balbi´s "La mente narrativa"

Contents:

1- La mente proceso
2- La mente inaccesible
3- La mente termonidámica
4- La mente afectiva
5- La mente social
6- La mente cibernética
7- La mente computacional
8- La mente conexionista
9- La mente intersubjetiva
10- La mente autoorganizada
11- La mente narrativa

Wundt, William James, Skninner, Watson, Freud, Bowlby, George H. Mead, Vygotsky, Watzlawick, Wiener, Bateson, Searle, Bruner, Turing, Chalmers, Mahoney, Fodor, Chomsky, Maturana, Varela, Guidano, Neimeyer, Rivière, Ricoeur and other guys all in the same book.

perezoso

Post by perezoso » January 27th, 2005, 1:23 pm

Muy profunda, hermana.....Porque es la "mente" de cerca a "mentir"? " (I'm not sure I worded that correctly).....


Like with many other philosophical issues, the question or status of "love" is predicated on what type of ontology we assume. According to a historical materialist, or strict, "physicalist" view of the world, "love" then is simply a biochemical phenomenon, though we might see how it manifests itself on the level of the environmental level, as the behaviorists say: whether in courtship, breeding, mate selection, marriage etc. A more marxist analysis of love and marriage may be productive as well-- marriage being a favorite ritual of the bourgeoisie that we might even term reification, were we suitably pompous.

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Zlatko Waterman
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Post by Zlatko Waterman » January 27th, 2005, 2:06 pm

One tiny note here while you two are swatting back and forth:

Nietzsche had a lot of lyric ( and epic-- an implied epic of Zoroaster, for instance . . .) poet in him ( we should all recall) and all that poetry is flushed in translation, even in Walter Kaufmann's excellent Englishing. So, unless you can read German ( I can with a thick dictionary at hand), you're missing a lot of that nasty old constipated man with migraines (no, I don't mean Marx . . .).

Imagine trying to catch on to all of Yeats in Czech.

Come to think of it, anyone who isn't a drunken Irishman should try to keep Yeats in Czech. ( I just couldn't resist.)



--Z

perezoso

Post by perezoso » January 27th, 2005, 2:32 pm

Das Stimmt mein herr! I have realized after a few years of trying to plow through the Deutsch articles and compound nouns, the bizarre verb suffixes, etc. that the latinate is more to my liking: the damned German language, as Twain said. Seeing all the spanish and french cognates-- poder and pouvoir, saber and savoir, etc. --yo puedo leer espanol y frances, mas or menos-- I decide with Pound and even Descartes that the Teuton zunge is the barbarian yawp condensed, though it does have all the nice case structure.
I have a Wheelock latin and been cracking into some Caesar Gallicus Bellum or is it Bellum Gallicus; the "suebi" do not come off so great in Caesar's book either.....

Nietzsche did write very poetic german though they say--in fact that's one of the problems with his prose--it's bombastic, and full of great pronouncements and little data or argument, and thus more poesy ( an insult really) than philosophy...

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Zlatko Waterman
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Post by Zlatko Waterman » January 27th, 2005, 3:40 pm

Twain is right ( about German-- and much else . . .), Wheelock is fun--

Watch out for-to-whom those "rosas dat", mein Herzog!


--Z

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e_dog
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Post by e_dog » January 27th, 2005, 10:00 pm

Nietzsche's writings: the more aphoristic and hence poetic, the MORE philosophical; demonstrates the Platonic philosophy v. poesy is a false one, or not-necessarily-true one.

same for Pascal.

the comparison b/t languages as to which is better is nonsensical. each has its own expressive power. the german's often thand ought theirs the only truly philosophical one, proper heir to ancient Greek, just because of the historical accident of a view great german thinkers, e.g. of idealism. but what about sanskrit? all language is a feeble attempt to express the inarticulable, all of it is condensed yawps, and musical rhythms, so this no basis for comparison, not one based on data, instead it's merely arbitrary tastes and upbringing.
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

perezoso

Post by perezoso » January 27th, 2005, 10:46 pm

Nietzsche's writings: the more aphoristic and hence poetic, the MORE philosophical; demonstrates the Platonic philosophy v. poesy is a false one, or not-necessarily-true one.

same for Pascal.
Nietzsche is amusing and a great poet I guess, but his writing is sort of superficial in many ways, not to say troubling when he starts into his blond beast stuff. And FN's aphorisms, like most poesy, have no necessity to them: "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." Not really, man, it might make you weaker. Someone breaks his leg and he remains crippled, etc. And it might make you weaker in terms of spirit or personality .etc. A person who loses his or her job might not be stronger, he/she might be saddened and depressed. Again, "Without music, life would be a mistake." Without say Britney Spears or MC Hammer life would be greatly improved. We are not obligated to worship music--even Beethoven or Wagner, FN's close anti-semite pal.

It sounds great and profound but in many ways it is a lie. As with much poetry.

The "continental" people worship him, but ask pragmatists or logicians or clinical psychologists what they think of FN's writing and they will most likely say he should be taught in the lit. department, not philosophy. FN's overrated. In much of his writing he seems so much the militarist that I am surprised many leftists enjoy him.

It's funny that you, who have sounded so skeptical and at times atheistic, would mention Pascal. FN himself claimed Pascal was a great failure if not fraud, and that when he moved from his mathematical work to his mystical aphorisms, he sold out and fell. Whatever. I agree that some aphorisms--of both Pascal and FN can be very moving but not nearly as much as say finishing Candide. Russell wrote some witty aphorisms as did Mencken and Bierce and Voltaire of course, but they are appetizers, no?. I enjoy reading the Pensees, and they are profound in spots, but they often oversimplify and mock the issue. Dr. Johnson called Americans "a race of convicts." THat may be true of millions of yankees but of all ? I think not; it's wrong and quite insulting.

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Arcadia
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Post by Arcadia » January 28th, 2005, 11:19 am

mendax
mendicatio
mendice
mendicitas
mendico
mendicor
mendicus
mendose
mendosus
mendum
Menelaus
mens -tis f: mente, alma, espíritu// razón, inteligencia// acto de razón, reflexión, memoria// disposición del espíritu, ánimo, intención // idea, propósito // valor
mensa
mensarius
mensis
mensor
menstruus
mensura
mensus
mentha
mentio
mentior dep intr.: mentir// faltar a la palabra// tr. decir falsamente/ fingir // imitar.
mentior
mentis
mentitus -a -um pp. de mentior: engañador, engañoso // imitado, falso.
Mentor
meo
mephitis
meracus
mercabilis
mercator
mercatura

(mmmmmmm... mente, mentira -no idea-)

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e_dog
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Post by e_dog » January 28th, 2005, 9:56 pm

perezoso --

the search for necessary truths in the realm of human life is bound to yield nothing. to appreciate an aphorism you need tro ask what it is getting at, not thinking up counterexamples. your Brittany Spears example illustrates this: OBVIOUSLY, N. was not saying that ALL music is essential or valuable. to assume that interpretation is to iss the point. another aphorist not to be mist is Rochefoucauld, whose Reflexiones are not some mere "appetizer" but pretty rock solid, if not quite as subtle or wild or scholarly as Nietzsche's. e.g.
"Virtues are vices in disguise." expresses a profound and provocative statement. is it true in all instances. No. but it is true enough to counteract he lulling common nonsense on topic. that is how to philosophize with a hammer, not just smashing randomly but with poetic skill, an artform.

aphorisms or philosophical poetry isn't "lies" but rather intellectual thought-provocations. (to more thinking or to disrupt estalished patterns o action and practice.)

re: Pascal. i don't now what surpries u about my reference to his Pensees. Pascal is a philosopher of some interest. i don't agree with much he says but he is stil worth reading. you are correct my leanings are atheistic, and i find the theistic wager to be a joke, but a very interesting one at that.

americans are a bunch of convicts. and converts.
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

perezoso

Post by perezoso » January 28th, 2005, 10:59 pm

e-hund--

The bon mot occasionally works, yet is often a substitute for a more in-depth understanding of an issue or topic. Nietzsche makes many grand, pompous statements throughout his writing which are often alarming. He advocates militarism, and his condemnation of "slave morality" and of liberalism, and his championing of greek and aryan virtue and so forth is scary, and the nazis read him--FN's sister was married to a leading nazi. He was not the rabid anti-semite (though there are traces of that) and german nationalist that Wagner was, but he was very close to Wagner for some time.

Opening up "Twilight of the Idols" (Gotterdammerung), I note this on Mill: an "offensive clarity." I admire some of Mill's writings on language and politics and I think this belch clearly shows FN's contempt for liberalism--

Tho no expert on Zola, I have read a good bit of Germinal, and any one with an interest in realism or leftist politics should object to N's comment on Zola: "delight in stinking." Zola was quite a methodical writer, even a bit of a social scientist, and N.'s quote again demonstrates his utter contempt for leftist politics. N. may be correct to some degree--Zola' s writing is primitive and perhaps shallowly marxist--but N's sneering dismissal seems a bit juvenile and haughty.

Nietzsche is weird, and not in a good way. And I do not think he is a philosopher in the sense that Descartes or Pascal or the cambridge school were. Even a bit Burroughsian--demonic weird; and there are definitely fascist overtones to most of his writing. I have read he only had one romantic encounter with a woman (though he may have visited brothels), and he may have been queer. He's very militarist and conservative in places; then, when discussing his beloved greeks for instance, he may wax quite poetically. He impresses one as nearly anarchist-criminal (in sections of Anti-Christ), but in his earlier writings he's more the "belle-lettrist" and conservative snob...perhaps he was schizophrenic to some degree.

last deep thought of evening: Like Wagner's music, N.'s writing has moments of transcendent beauty and insight, but he also contains much bombast, madness, and germanic, if not prussian, hubris--

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Post by e_dog » January 29th, 2005, 7:44 pm

how to read great philosophers:

find what is interesting and good in what the say and discard (not ignore) the rest.

how not to read great philosphers: harp on every infelicity and make ad hominem attacks or, even worse, post-mortem guilt-by-being-read attacks (e.g. Nietzsche was read by Nazis).

i definitely agree that N. is not a philosopher in the sense that Descatres was a philosopher; that is, he wasn't a sycophantic religious apologist. we've already mentioned Pascal. i don't know of any such thing as the "Cambridge school" so i cannot assess your claim there (i gather you mean Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein and others but i don't regard them as forming a "school" of thought in any but the bland, literal sense in which Cambridge is a school).

if you want paeons to liberalism read Mill, or Rawls, or others. if you want critque of mass democracy, N. isn't always a bad place to start though i agree that one should NOT end with Nietzschean politics. but anyone who gets their views from merely one source (e.g. Christ or Marx) is a follower-fool and can't be helped by philosophy. Nietzsche is a bit too conservative and even reactionary but there are few writers of the time who were more critical, even contemptuous of German nationalism than Nietzsche. read the chapter in Beyond Good n Evil that tears apart the hubris of the 'fatherland' concept. also, whether or not N.'s sister (or her husband) were anti-semitic does not mean N. was. in fact, Nietzsche was far more anti-christian than anti-semitic, he several times says that he has greater respect for the old testament than the new; thus it is misleading to claim he is anti-semitic, rather he is anti-religious, or at least anti-western monotheism. same goes for Karl Marx, by the way.
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

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