The Ordering And Differentiating Of Particulars

Conversation In Thin Air Continues
July, ’80

“And, what principles did Cassirer take to be a priori anyway,” I said. “Obviously Kant’s space and time had to go, but causality and relation, I suppose, they could stay. Right?”

Woe, too many questions too fast,” responded Noel. “We need to back up a little here. First, no individual can claim to grasp absolute ‘reality.’”

“That’s what you say,” Tony replied, “Don’t tell that to my Harvard buddies.”

“Give it a break Tony,” Noel shot back, “and listen up.”

“Testy, testy, fellows,” Stan, the English Professor, interrupted, “after all this is not a stuffy conference. Mountain air is moving through our lungs, so lets try to keep it civil, shall we.”

“As I was saying,” Noel continued, “nobody has a claim on absolute reality, so we make do with approximations, and those approximations result from symbolic representation. And further, the pre-conditions for those representations are what make Cassirer a neo-Kantian philosopher. Expressed in the mind’s capacity for representation is the ordering and differentiating of particulars, the opposing of being to non-being. That was the source of expression early on in cave paintings and idol worship, and that is still the source of expression in today’s artwork. In fact, that is the source of expression in all symbolic forms, in literature, in science–the abstract and identifiable nature of that capacity drives the transmission of culture. At the cutting edge of symbolic representation is found the activity of ‘interrogation and reply,’ as well as the interplay of the understanding with our creative imagination, and the rules we use to extend and restrict that imagination. But here I am getting ahead of myself.”

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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2 Responses to The Ordering And Differentiating Of Particulars

  1. Reblogged this on Emotfit's Blog and commented:
    WOW just discovered the Reblog button and will therefor use it tofirst honor the blogger I first met because he was biking up the Atlantic Coast, I have become a devoted fan. Not only does he post great pictures, he has studied more philosopy than many of my friends with all those letters after their names. His current posts were written in the 80 as he was hiking the North West. with a diverse group of friends.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Thanks so much for your confidence in me. I’m honored. Just to let you know, though, my “philosophy speak” is probably more focused than philosopher’s with letters after their names (an advantage of the self-taught), thus it only appears as if I have studied a great deal of philosophy when in reality I have merely followed my muse. In a word, my philosophy is my religion. You are too kind, but your kindness does not go unappreciated. Thanks again.

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