“Karl Jaspers Applied” to the Spring 2008 Existenz-KJSNA, “Boston University’s Existenz/Paideia”: A transcendent more than immanent hermeneutical effort at understanding Leonard H. Ehrlich’s dissertation on Jaspers’ (“verstehen”) methodological phenomenology applied to worldviews and general psychopathology––Including: The substratum Vico-vice flaw, the Large Hadron Collider, its cost and its God-search fundamentalism; its potential for a postmodern babel-dispersion of physicists (Pre-research http://www.bu.edu/paideia/existenz/ Existenz Home, and Current Issue http://www.bu.edu/paideia/existenz/volumes/Vol.3-1Ehrlich.html ). (Routed for posting Oct. 3, 2008)
Notation: I disapprove of the word “postmodern”. But, if usage demands wielding it, then let it be done mercifully and quickly. Let’s feed everything into it, including “postindividualism”.
1. Communication without stifling the message by emphasizing talk without philosophical content––
7.1. A Müller “Karl Jaspers Forum” link––8. Therapeutic Existenz Revelation––
9. “GEISTESWISSENSCHAFTEN”: The circularity and inversion of pheno-geno/geno-pheno types of inheritance––
10. Backtracking to the fall of 2007
11. Back on track: “Spring 2008, Volume 3” of “Existenz”
12. “Geisteswissenschaften” as a non-issue––
13. Billions for Higgs boson, something that can be interpreted to be a physics’ ordination of the Lemaître, the Large Hadron Collider as collar for the “Vatican”––
14. Cassell’s New German Dictionary is available too––
15. Ken not dependent on kin, humankind and Rosenzweig––
16. Regarding Leonard’s deferring to Rosenzweig’s writings––
17. The similarity between German national Catholicity and German or any nation’s mount zion that was affected in part from an imposed dispersion––
18. Ramifications: Concluding today’s posting regarding Leonard’s paper on Jaspers’ “verstehen” methodology––
18.1. “Verstehen” is simple.
18.2. Turf protectionism; the hermeneutic collider-circle rationalization––“Vernunft” and group-corporate morale––
18.3. “Verstehen” should augment individual rights––
19. Addendum: My relative extracts on Vico from Müller’s “KJF”
REPLY TO LEONARD H. EHRLICH’S ESSAY ON JASPERS’ “VERSTEHEN”
1. Communication without stifling the message by emphasizing talk without philosophical content––There’s an understood though inevitable gap in the exchange of ideas while commuting on the WWW information highway. Though multidirectional (e.g., at least two ways: Catholic-Canterbury bound and Protestant-Pilgrim bound lanes) there are lane-distinctions in one-way travel not all of my own making but in large part now imposed by piloted “paideia” caravans emerging from Boston University. I must choose one driver in the adjacent lane with whom to signal. This helps explain my apology for treading, veering, reading between the lane-lines of Leonard H. Ehrlich’s “Existenz” article about Jaspers’ methodology. Jaspers’ methodology favors understanding rather than what is purely, infallibly, universally, understood…by the many. So, cutting in front of the caravan with some “Hell’s Angel” trepidation…my maneuver signals that Leonard seems to argue that Jaspers’ works need a special indigenous sort of editing, and that without such proper interpreters’ interpretation Jaspers’ growing influence would impede cosmopolitan efforts at open communication in our current one-world information axial epoch––one world-worldview ready or worldview-unready or not. It’s seems ok at this time to overreact for some purpose and interpret Leonard’s article as suggesting that due to a bias regarding an Anglo’s natural language it is futile to attempt to translate a revelational-philosophical gospel according to Jaspers and easier to think there is none. I maintain there is a worldview to be translated rather than edited out. Leonard is at home with at least a couple “natural” languages, and, to boot, with some Hebraic qualifications…but…not more qualifying than the intimate affinities of Jaspers’ catalytic and exemplary marriage to Gertrude. That marriage, too, was transcendentally blessed, i.e., an adjective reformed to adjective reformed equal yoking of soaring wings though formally unblessed by an established “Reformed” religion.
2. Linguistic differences can be too augmented––One, namely me, can get the impression that Leonard thinks that the German language is too ambiguously complex and at root “barbaric” but also particularly adept at philosophical thought. There’s enough truth in opposites to be reasonably agreeable on this here. But one would not want to support the thought that editing or not editing in-depth German works must be decided by the academic elect or ethnic elite, such as by experts in English and German, i.e., having more than one native language. The reading between the lines leads me to say that Leonard feels…maybe misunderstands…that there are inadequate parallel signs in English and that these are unsuitable for expounding German philosophical thought. But in Anglo-America as in Germany we sit and drive on the right side of Jaspers Blvd and the I-WWW highway. Allow me to get carried away where the rubber hits the road and point at what appears to be some deflations or weight violations.
3. Humankind’s sign-and-symbol commonality––I would argue against a cultic predisposition. I suspect that Jaspers would too. For instance in completing an Oxford application for a position when asked whether he was proficient in English, his answer was to the effect: “not at this time”. But if opposites have some sway Leonard is partially correct; for, when Jaspers was told that he might not be able to talk the Oxford talk, the friendly advisor understood that it was Oxford’s problem not Jaspers. For, Jaspers’ intellectual integrity would be compromised if he had to talk and proceed with research and communication with an Oxford predispositional air of tendentiousness such as religiously inherited aversions to suspending value-considerations in meeting the expectations of an environment of Darwinian(ism) positivism. Oxford-talk shows that cultural meaningfulness, like the spirit of God, can be stifled, suppressed by Anglican-Catholicity to the point of quelling the spirit––but not burned away heavenward or suppressed by a tendency to forget during change over long time. Time must not be allowed to cure anything on the communion table––les we forget to appreciate the conservation of martyred energy.
4. Distinguishing Existenz convertibility from Karl Rahner’s “postindividualistic” epoch––I could argue (but to avoid individualism I want to minimize personal pronouns) and say that…a person…could argue that Jaspers still has a handle on language. He has a universal command of cyphers, both cyphers of nature and cyphers of mind or spirit and a finely honed capability for distinguishing phenomena that transcend immanental cypher status. His linguistic ability is ambidextrous; while shielding special phenomena from consensus he simultaneously maintains the cypher-stratum that inspires seminal individuals from any rank and file. Yes, it’s that proverbial biblical idea about having a tactical tool technically wielded that separates marrow from bone leaving a consistent logic in tact and without establishing atheism, transubstantiation, or “Sainthood”. I’m referring to the potential betterment of Existenz as an autonomous self that participates more then less in imagelessness. Where I come from, such individualistic responsible autonomy belongs essentially to (p)rotestant epochs. With that understanding it is clear why a Catholic theologian would prefer spreading the rumor about some “postindividualistic” epic. A clear distinction can be made constantly between what is possible/plausible for the philosophical individual. Where I come form that’s a clearly listed David Robert Dungan hermeneutic principle. The subjective individual must be distinguished from intersubjective ascent to a naïve biological naturalistic fundamentalist gang’s infringement on individuals’ freedom––imposing through talk about what most biologists think including a “big bang” gesture enforcing an illogic about there being no ear to hear it. Jaspers uses language from the perspective of individual freedom and uses therapeutic techniques that include continuity and consistency, without violating the creative polemics of traditional ambiguity (good and evil and decisive action). The commanding use of language is such that editing his works is more risky for an editor and a challenge to editorial and intellectual integrity.
5. Vice detection: Vico’s insignificance without the vatic Jesuit boost––This editing challenge seems shaky when Leonard evokes the works of the Italian Vico and inserts them into a methodology for editing not only Jaspers’ works but of any in-depth German linguist. In introducing Vico––while dropping the name of Weber and Rosenzweig––Leonard should have gone further into Jaspers’ use of Vico, and Vico’s contemporary Jesuit milieu. Leonard gives too much weight to Vico without a rearview mirror check on something now popularized under the title of “constructivism”––short for “we can only know our own works” perverted into “and know nothing dependable in the way of the objectively inherited standards that individuals presumed/presume real enough for learning how to live and live long”. A convex side-mirror distorted view leads Leonard to cognize with undue emphasis something now re-cognized as hermeneutic circularity (a vortex-void leaped quickly into by vatic-authority springing off the positivism-end rather than the quantum-uncertainty-end of the postmodernism spectrum). That collider circularity, simply put, is the give and take of the unavoidable subject-object polarity dynamic; it offers an appearance of a way open for spinning on the historic unavoidable ambiguity of humankind’s thinking; it offers an easy spin into a German-translator’s editorial privilege. The so-called scientific hermeneutic circularity Ockhamed off from the source of individual inspiration opens the way for heavily accommodating the biases of philosophical naturalism while going light on transcending protesting. The result is tolerating everything for the sake of kind-regard talking and research without communing about establishment vs. individual issues.
6. Twisting Vico’s certitude and uncertainty––An editor would do well to see the Jesuit/Vatican situation to avoid selections from Jaspers’ works that would… today…tend to support Radical Constructivism and or vatic-authority at the cost of the history of ethic and moral constructs (like the Decalogue), for, to support that deficit is not what Jaspers had in mind when he wrote that “over against Descartes…stands Vico…” (Reason and Existenz, 22). It’s over against the rationalism, that kowtowing to catholicity, that dogmatic exclusive thinking, that imperial authoritative imposed rationalism, stands Vico. The Vico-twist that avoids the uncertainty side of Vico’s view on knowing anything except our own constructions is forgotten in the effort to use the Italian in support of the “evolution” of vatic constructionism (now being ratified under the guise of “Constructivism”).
7. So…Oh No! Not the link and spin off Vico again––Deferring to Vico as an instigator of a new science and a hermeneutic methodology that avoids the hermeneutic circle (the subject-object polemic) seems questionable. What I see is Vico coming to contenting terms about the limits of hermeneutics as an exact science. The presumption is that when the subject sees the hermeneutic polemic, the objective pole retreats when named. But in purview of Constructivism it’s a “new science” only because that was the title of Vico’s objective. It was not a new science except that it was a formula, a title of his efforts. Leonard’s deferring to Vico exceeds the value Jaspers places on Vico. My own research shows that Vico was educated and influenced by Jesuits during their most …Catholic deconstructionism…period. Intentional or not, Leonard, in my view, in referencing Vico throws support to Ersnt v. Glasersfeld who views Vico as the progenitor of Radical Constructivism––if such a source could be admitted to exist for an unadulterated Constructivist.
8. Therapeutic Existenz Revelation––But there is nothing new not even in German linguistics, except “timed concepts” like in the so-called pop-talk about constructivism. It gets radical in so far as it removes itself from the earliest Axial Mosaic-like talk about humankind’s genesis (faith and causal uncertainty) and the story of the fall (limits of reason) and the exhortation to cultivate a new world (keeping suffering at a minimum though maximized by Godly empathy). There is no biblical provision for a sanhedrin or vatican revealed type of collaboration not dispensed with in the spirit of the OT and reaffirmed in the NT vision of the kingdom of heaven. It is establishmentarian-revelation that Jaspers objects to and has never believed in. If an editor and translator of Jaspers’ works does not grasp this and prefers being amiable to convenient forces, this mistake becomes a test of Jaspers’ linguistic moves, and a test of the commonality of language. A proper translation and edit of Jaspers should liberate the reception of the spirit encompassing biblical hermeneutics, and the circularity becomes one of delimitation rather than limits.
9. “GEISTESWISSENSCHAFTEN”: The circularity and inversion of pheno-geno/geno-pheno types of inheritance––However, and moreover, for Jaspers, linguistic meaning is hereditary (GP 524) in more of a quantum bio pheno rather than geno-natural-science typical sense; rather pheno than geno…unless one is culturally sensitive to periechontology wherein, on an individual plain, an inversion to geno- then to pheno-type can be made though crucially risky. Risky for the individual confronted by conventional concensus and the other harvested forces (e.g.: the circularity of the Vatican harvesting the so-called absolute natural science, and the impure science harvesting of the Vatican and using tax payers’ money to purchase spots on “history channels”, and billions to bail out the Large Hadron Collider to make Lemaitre’s collar more obvious and make Hebrews 11:3 subject to the Vatican’s stance taken on the tenet of biological fundamentalism’s atheism). An inversion to geno-pheno on an individual plain rather than conventional consensus is workable when the Geistes=spirit breath of objectivity, encompasses the “Geist” in “geisteswissenschaften”. In other words, geno becomes an article of faith in that all humankind “are related in Adam, originate from the hand of God and are created after His image” (Origin, xv). This faith must be understood as encompassing “Geisteswissenshaften” and historically vital in reaction to the atheism involved in the fundamentalism of the biological tenet regarding humankind’s origin and extinction. Jaspers’ meaningful actualities, his works, remain in uncapped mode at the limits of so-called pure or basic poetical and clerically collared “science”.
10. Backtracking to the fall of 2007, Leonard H. Ehrlich’s “Jaspers’ Denkwerk: Sinn, Wirkung, Aktualitate” was posted on a “Boston University’s Paideia Project” Website and on the Web Page entitled “Existenz”. Leonard’s abstract was in English, but the body of the paper was not translated. I had hoped that the same logical consistency would be applied and an English translation be made. Unless I have overlooked something the translation was never made and no reason was given. To avoid filling an information void with pure fiction, there are possibilities and plausibilities: One might assume that some ISSN copyright reason was and is involved—because it was originally published elsewhere––but then the shift of responsibility would be to the author’s efforts to show prior approval had been sought from another “Karl Jaspers Society” in Europe (see item 18. Through 18.4 below, regarding “Verstehen” and individual augmentation of Existenz rights). Leonard was the pilot or point vehicle last fall as he is this spring as well.
11. Back on track: “Spring 2008, Volume 3” of “Existenz”, the first article is again Leonard’s; he is perhaps quite properly recognized as a point person within Jaspers Society gatherings. Leonard leads the caravan of postings this season again. This article is in English, and his subject is the methodology of Jaspers’ “Verstehen…” The title is further optimized by showing, for the reader’s understanding, the imperative relativity of the open-minded side of postmodernity, i.e., understanding’s basis in history, psychology, and translation with an appreciation for hard to measure learned ignorance. Leonard further augmented history etc. through a footnote showing the in-depth emotions and pathology of WWII war crimes. Though Leonard here does not specifically relate to it, it involves the German and world situation that Jaspers addresses in the book “The question of German Guilt” in which he did not ignore barbarism nor feign from pointing at catholic (universal) shares of guilt from “Pope” to “Prime Minister”.
12. “Geisteswissenschaften” as a non-issue––Restrained by whatever anxiety copyright laws and “academia’s” expectations regarding editorial ethics might be, I am reduced to critiquing without reproducing within quotations from Leonard’s “Existenz” article. Quotations should be made fearlessly, for, as Leonard with intellectual honesty points out it was an essay read at a Karl Jaspers Society of North America gathering. That meeting was at least penetrable by the public and therefore within the sphere of the philosophical public domain. This KJSNA public-domain-reminder by Leonard can be imagined to be in part a reaction to a spirit of exclusivity being perpetrating against the mind in at least one European Jaspers-Society. I’m using “mind” as the holier spirit of greater understanding, that maybe not captured in some pretentious low highfalutin name-dropping of the German “Geisteswissenschaften”. (There’s an attitude now seemingly perpetrated at Heidelberg’s “KJ Center” in the race for pole position in the Center for communication about everything but Jaspers’ worldview’s take on worldviews). That German word’s alleged mystique is less real than apparent, and does not subsume Jaspers’ methodology under a measurable empiricalism. I mean it does not provide a cosmogony string theory-of-everything way of twisting Jaspers’ philosophy of periechontology into a philosophical naturalism that too easily accommodates biological fundamentalism. We know no more or less about the macro and microcosmic substratums of humankind’s Substratum— notwithstanding the vatic hallowed “God Collider”.
13. Billions for something that can be interpreted to be a Higgs boson for physics’ ordination of Lemaître, the Large Hadron Collider as collar for the “Vatican”––Humankind is still distinct from all extinguishable bios, for the data, the “ken” facts, though infinitely flourishing and flowing, “what the flow contains, this remains the limit of cognition. Its diversity has been reduced to a few basic natural constants and illuminated from one side, but its essence remains in darkness (PFR, 172 Ciphers of Nature)”. In this sense we are entering a dark age of black-hole positivism un-seeable in the glare of inconsiderate high profile “positive scientists” driving under the influence of a biological fundamentalism. Furthermore, further disregardful talk about the circularity of hermeneutics cannot bridge this “Higgs boson” missing link between data known and data understood. The billions invested in the Large Hadron Collider assures that the @7000 “scientists” involved cannot afford to come up with anything less than “God” or “no God”, or at least produce enough specialized big-banger liturgy to be interpreted poetically as edifying enough to have a tenured-rectorial effect on the “Vatican’s” ordained priest Lemaître. Unless one is born with a white neck ring birthmark, tagging has neither place in the science lab nor either House of the Congress. There’s enough financially assured “miracle” involved in this positivism-side of the postmodern experiment to assure his “Sainthood”. Some will be healed of their deluded tendentiousness, and others’ tendentiousness verified when experiencing the rapture of their miraculous certitude while being sucked into a created black hole. At least we will hear those miraculous healing words that “most physicists here believe we have proven origin with a tiny big band”. What an Anglican big banger!
14. Cassell’s New German Dictionary is available too––It’s a good German-English, English-German dictionary. Interestingly, opening it right now I noticed I had on the first blank page written the words “verstehen p. 677” and “vernunst p. 668”. It takes verstehen or understanding to appreciate the data or “vernunst” in this dictionary. It is, as Jaspers once said to a biological know-it-all origin-sinner, that it is not the data but the meaning of the data at the limits of thinking that he, Jaspers, finds interesting and meaningful, and one can affirm also that meaningfulness/meaninglessness differentiations distinguishes humankind in part from other forms of life.
15. Ken not dependent on kin––Leonard clearly sees the place of empathy in “Verstehen”. In my view “Verstehen’s” meaning can easily be translated, for one’s understanding, especially by any understanding German Lutheran Reformationist (Jaspers to some degree) not given to Catholicity as such. It’s easily translated if it’s natural for one to imagine there to be a remnant of the spirit of the restoration of biblical literary truth, similar to an in-depth understanding of the Reformation’s struggle between vatic and biblical authority.
16. Regarding Leonard’s deferring to Rosenzweig’s writings––Individuals do not need to follow along and shed the autonomy of open-mindedness after genuflecting before a work and its kin-like author because it is alleged too complex for…some… readers. That there are methodological flaws in paideia or pedagogy is no excuse for not translating Jaspers’ from a transcendental stance; if that is the direction Leonard is going (admittedly I have not read, that I recall, any of the books he was instrumental in producing). There is no geo-ground in which to repose where only ethnic priests have control over meaning. The mount of zion is not geocentric except in that the Kingdom of God is within the individual, and the laws are written in the heart, the heart of reformation. Understanding is not better served through the use of terms about a linguistic mystique that only the ken (verstehen) of a kin can appreciate because participating in a greater array of documented historicity. That to me is what is implied by Leonard’s reference to Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption. Rosenzweig was a person of Jewish culture once flirting toward “Christianity” (whatever level of establishment status Leonard et al might mean by that classification) and he wrote letters to Eugene Rosenstock-Huessy another of like culture who converted to the Lutheran Reformed form of Christianity.
16.1. Both personages may have had a historical appreciable grasp on the mind, the spirit of humankind, an awareness of the holy spirit and the humility it engenders within the student of the arts and sciences, including the ambiguous spirit of modernity (modernism’s positivism still on a roll and postmodernistic quantum research’s affects on radical certitude). The postmodern uncertainty principle’s affect on one’s or a group’s superiority complex has contributed immeasurably and therapeutically to some quantum laded like ballast serving as counterbalance to the degree that quantum measuring affects honest thinking, and inspires individuals’ decision faculty while encompassed by good and evil possibilities. Honest quantum mechanical thinking points to the need for historical standards that involve humankinds’ sensitivity toward suffering. I mean being meaningfully friendly toward strangers because they might be angels in disguise is quantified in biblical history and as a biblical exhortation, for they…probably…may not be angels as such and prone to earthly-like suffering too. That is not something that can be with radical certitude (RC) mechanically measured, verified, by even the probability side of quantum physics or high tech quantum motors.
17. The similarity between German national Catholicity and German or any nation’s mount zion that was affected in part from an imposed Diaspora––Leonard is not all that clear as to what is meant by the reference to German Barbaric influences during the Dark Ages. He might be referring to the Dark Ages as a timed space of documentary silence, i.e., not much heard regarding the quality side of unrecorded information. I hope it is wrong to take him to mean that the guilt of the Dark Ages is not to be laid anywhere near the Holy Roman Empire and the Hebrew elect. Hopefully it is incorrect to hear that blame is to be laid nearest to a German culture before it was affected by some dispersion. An old culture’s remnant reacting to catholicity whether in the form of a German-zionism or Roman Catholicism to some degree must be manifest now in reformed Lutheran catholicity and reformed Judaism (the latter being less centralized as a convention’s establishment). That wrong interpretation would amount to a strange accommodation that could be seen as protecting ones’ own cult in the name of “praxis”
18. Ramifications: Concluding today’s posting regarding Leonard’s paper on Jaspers’ “verstehen” methodology––
18.1. “Verstehen” is simple. It can be summarized in the meaning of a response to one who accepts another’s judged misconduct, such as in speech like, “it’s ok for I love you” or “I forgive you” while what is needed is more understanding than a regal like acceptance of excuses. It is genuine condescending. “Verstehen” is less lovely dovely morality, and more the empathetic understanding proceeding out of ethical concerns premised by one’s own limitations. Understanding data in the “vernunft” sense implies conclusiveness (such as depicted in the faith that God can be touched and atheism bought by investing a tithe of the 700 billion Wall Street bailout in the Large Hadron Collider to verify a Higgs boson), while understanding what the facts mean involves openness toward limits and delimits––such as involved in the empathetic unspoken presence that indicates that one has experienced something similar in the way of others’ suffering and the parallel feeling that the earth is groaning under misuse. Mortal understanding immortalized is transitive, but the understood relates to the intransitive side of a diminishing humankind’s existence.
18.2. Turf protectionism; the hermeneutic collider-circle rationalization––“Vernunft” and group-corporate morale––When copyright laws are institutionally imposed as is done by Paideia, what we have in effect is this: “Thou shalt not critically quote without prior approval; Is that understood!” It is group protectionism. In “vernunft” there is the force of academia that one’s association with an institution of higher learning is such that a mutual supporting collaboration, a Conference, Convention, Society, is reinforced by an Institution’s commitment measured by the willingness to pay conference expenses or by making participation part of that education industrial plant’s job description and requirement. That is part of the meaning of ISSN gavel’s big bang; it is like privately owned land posted with “no trespassing” “no hunting” signs––namely as regards Boston University’s Website, and the “Existenz” Webpage’s “Unauthorized dissemination of any content posted on this site is prohibited”. Now, it could be possible and even plausible that all this talk about “the” hermeneutic circle is an effort to justify in part an understood turf-protectionism. Nevertheless, where would we be without it!
18.3. “Verstehen” in practice should augment individual rights––It involves freedom, though restrained by threats of reprisals, it affects a deeper understanding embolding efforts to circumvent copyright rules and expectations. Hermeneutics applied under “verstehen” involves the understanding that Existenz-rights belong to the public domain, and if that is in question due to ISSN or ISBN coding, the history of the “Existenz” title as reflected in individual works is absorbed by a common ethical law, such as, it is on record that I entitled my MA book-bound dissertation “…Existenz…” before Boston University gave that title to their Web-page. Though not pressing the rights, it is good to remember that a land-grabbing speeding using I-WWW is not common law legal.