Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Myth of Sisyphus

Hello Pville Philosophy Clubbers,...

Sorry we're late to post this month. We had a house move, a dog escape, a french press break, and a bug attack to deal with. More of an excuse than a justification. Alas, as follows is some solid wiki-starter material to embrace and discuss. Hopefully, everyone had an opportunity to read Camus this past month, but if not, it's still a great subject to discuss. Without further delay,...the absurd:

In the essay, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd: man's futile search for meaning, unity and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values. Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? Camus answers: "No. It requires revolt." He then outlines several approaches to the absurd life. The final chapter compares the absurdity of man's life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. The essay concludes, "The struggle enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Transitioning From Truth to Morality

The concept of absolute truth is ambiguous. To split it up, melt it down, reshape it, built it back up again... one is left standing in circles. no one knows the answers to this question. the subject itself has plagued philosophers since the beginning. humans might not ever find out what is absolute. we can only speculate. we can only form an opinion which best fits our understanding.

"I have already hinted, that our sense of every kind of virtue is not natural; but that there are some virtues, that produce pleasure and approbation by means of an artifice or contrivance, which arises from the circumstances and necessity of mankind. Of this kind I assert justice to be; and shall endeavor to defend this opinion by a short, and, I hope, convincing argument, before I examine the nature of the artifice, from which the sense of that virtue is derived." (david hume)

this is an excerpt from "Treatise of Human Nature" by David Hume, PPC new focus this month. morality and how it relates to justice. morals are a very personal concept. many philosophers have focused on morality and its place in justice. why do we have morals at all? where do they come from? how does society deal with the morality spectrum? Its easy for one person to agree with a law if it favors their moral belief. but what if it doesn't? do we flex our morality based upon governmental law? do we base it upon natural law?

opening the table to discussions and information....

Member Input...take three!

As promised, here are some links to the works of Zizek and Badiou on ethics which others might find interesting:

Zizek on the Ethics of Violence

Badiou on Evil

Member Input...take two!

The following is taken from "An Introduction to Awareness" by James M. Corrigan

Excerpt from the chapter "Part One – Archaelogy":

"It is the one undeniable truth - we are present, as an awareness of that which we perceive, feel, or think."

Excepts from the chapter "Questioning Reality":

"... your perceptions have validity for you. This validity is the most important understanding that each of us has about our lives... it is self-assured. We know that we are real and our interactions with the world have taught us that it can cause effects that we experience personally ... we have experienced real interactions with the outside world - real because we directly experienced them ourselves - and those past interactions are now part of our selves - our memories, and our personal knowledge about the world and ourselves.

You also know that I am not some part of you; You know we are independent beings, and this knowledge has nothing to do with the validity of your experiences, it has to do with the form of the world. You are implicitly acting as if the form of the world is a certain way.

It seems to be the case that the first truth about the validity of our experiences is apodictic, while that of the form of the world is not."


Reply to all


Member Input...take one!

Ok – this might be a little unusual for this group (and any other group too). May I suggest you consider “On Having No Head, Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious” by Douglas E. Harding.

Douglas Harding's message is simplicity itself yet stunningly enlightening. He is fond of simple experiments to explain his ‘no-head’ observation. An as example, here is an experiment I sent to a few friends of mine. For the purposes of this email, please consider yourself an honorary meathead and do the experiment yourself.

Dear Meat-heads,

Try this experiment: Point at something within your view; let's say your computer. Actually point at it with your finger. Notice it has color, shape, texture, size, etc. Try pointing at something else in the room: point at the mouse, let's say. Notice its physical characteristics. Now point at, let's say your arm. Again – color, shape, texture, size, boundaries, etc. So everything around you right now has physical characteristics which are clearly evident and which you can point at and experience.

You, of course, are in the room too somewhere, right? You are here right now, and your finger is pointing at all this stuff around you. So, where are you, exactly?

Just for fun, actually do this next step: Continue to direct your pointing finger up your arm till you are pointing directly at yourself – where you are looking out from. Isn't it true that you are pointing at yourself right now? If you are anywhere you are certainly right where you are pointing at and where you seem to be looking out from. For me, there is no color here, no shape, no size, texture, boundaries. There’s no-thing.

You now pointing at the real you. The everyday actual you. And, isn't what you are pointing at now what you have always been all your life? Of course, if you think about it, there is a head somewhere around there, and arms, feet, heart, computer, walls, etc. But you, yourself, are something totally distinct from all that, which is what you are pointing at!

Everything else you point at has physical characteristics, like color, size, shape, etc. What you are pointing at now has none of these characteristics. Which makes perfect sense if you are a non-physical, awake and aware presence as, from all direct present evidence, you seem to be.

You have no shape, color, smell, boundaries. None the less you are here. You are present and aware, period. You have a body, of course, a computer, a room, a world but you are not any of those “things” nor do you possess any of their characteristics (like color or shape).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Morality and Justice

Hi Group,

I'm posting a quick post to allow the PPC followers to comment any information they may be finding and wanting to share. i full plan on heading home today and typing up and good amount of information. i have a lot of great updates surfacing and look forward to sharing this all with you.

stay tuned... tomorrow we'll have action...

enjoyed the day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More on Truth

So i have been reading up on general views about truth. in a world with so much room for error can truth exist? well that depends on who you are asking. ask someone who measures truth by group consensus. if we all say its truth than it must be. this is a pre-socractic thought. Plato would say to that statement,,, well then we if all agree man can fly than can a man fly? NO! so i suggest you research plato, hume, neitzsche and others to find what might fit for you.

i look forward to May 6th meeting.