THE "KARL JASPERS FORUM" WEB PAGE Update 3 (12-29-05)
email me. Notation: Parenthetical page numbers following quotes are primarily for my own references, and for confirmation of proper quotation if self-questioned later, or if questioned by anyone.
01. My KARL JASPERS APPLIED “Karl Jaspers Forum” Web Page’s weekly updates counteracts, hopefully in transactional ways, Herbert Muller’s Website that exploits the name of Jaspers. Why Jaspers is used is a continuing mystery to be understood. Below is a continuing effort toward understanding the complex.
02. Though Herbert’s “Karl Jaspers Forum” introduces Jaspers he is not centrally seated and no longer effectively represented or allowed a fair position on the platform. In effect the real Jaspers is asked to stand, but then Herbert can be imagined standing in front of him with crescent-arranged placards proclaiming a distracting formula “0-D”. It stands for zero-derivation and the atheistic explications, affirmations, associated therewith. Jaspers is theistic in the biblical traditional faithful sense of trusting the imageless as ultimate source. Herbert’s apparent incapacity for appropriating this theistic non-conformist but transforming attitude breaches any possibility of understanding the individual-therapeutic value of the theistic attitude. This incapacity stifles his understanding of Jaspers.
03. Herbert atheistically talks about the symbol “god” and presumes a knowable processive-progressive source in evolutional concepts, and “God” is capitalized only from a theistic constructionism perspective. God, for Herbert, is simply conjured out of thinking. Jaspers remains methodically open-ended and talks about God phenomenolocally recognizing the slippery trend toward metaphysical reductionism. He says we can talk about God so long as conceptualization or cognizing processes do not replace the imageless. The Herbert-type of non-theistic or a-theistic exploitation of the symbol is the reason for Jaspers use of interpretative therapeutic terms like “The Transcendent”, or the “Encompassing-as-such”--rather than the ontic-mystic hidden in Herbert’s talk about products of “evolution”. In this way Herbert’s use of the term “process” in last week’s 12-24-2005 postings becomes a religious-like “procession” parading an image of being; it becomes ontologism, a radical construction.
04. It is understandable why then last week’s postings are devoid of any references to Jaspers. It would be too embarrassing to be directly up-front about this disagreement with Jaspers theistic faith. Herbert would ethically have to reconsider his Internet domain title. My guesses as to why he is unwilling to vacate that domain have been more than less accurate. So…there’s plenty of talk about God but in no way relevant to the meaning Jaspers gives to theistic ciphers, i.e., illuminating, inspiring, revealing symbols. Let’s examine the evidence available to reach an understanding as to the some reasons or excuses for this departure from Jaspers. Remember, my objection is to the misuse of Karl Jaspers as though he has been passed by, i.e., that something evolutionally speaking has emerged and he is now dated.
1. The Matthew R. Silliman observation
1.1. The first posting is by Matthew R. Silliman who speaks to Herbert’s reductionism with regard to neurological studies. The phrase “paucity of thinking about brains and minds” is resoundingly similar to Jaspers’ astute awareness that often in “psychological theory the proposal moves along the world and therewith on that of a reduction of the contents to the paltriness of the mental” (823). Both Silliman and Jaspers seem to be pointing at a psychology that goes beyond points, beyond the experimental results and thereby reducing the practical illuminating effects of objective research. Mr. Silliman points out also that Herbert’s rejection of Cartesianism is contradicted by the gap he establishes between objectivity and subjectivity. In three sort paragraphs Mr. Silliman penetrates Herbert’s subjectivism. Though normally this should be adequate to ameliorate aberrant thinking, it predictably will not affect Herbert nor does it resolve Herbert’s misuse of Jaspers. My bailiwick so to speak is picked up here with an effort to understand the aberration. I thank Mr. Silliman for not objecting to my use of his comments, and if he should yet object I’d be glad to revise this Page.
1.2. Herbert can tolerate Mr. Silliman’s criticism for two reasons. First, its inclusion is intended to show how he is tolerant of anyone except Jaspers, and the likes of me, and that he, Herbert, is up to the challenge. Second, whether intentional or not, Mr. Silliman’s Comment leaves a loophole for Herbert’s (“0-D”) zero derivation formula, within which naught-area, reality can be spun in a will-of-the-wisp fashion. Mr. Silliman states “Clearly he [Mr. Muller] has not heard about emergent properties.” Watch how Herbert will make a connection with his mind-independent-reality verbiage interpreted with the same sort of Cartesian/anti-Cartesian complex verbiage like that mentioned in item 1.1. above. Predictably he will respond by warnings about conceptual difficulties of fixating evolutional theories about a reality independent of the mind…(mind that he…thinks…has evolved). The subjectivity of the parenthetical emphasis will be made explicit through a deductive inference. Here again the gap between subjectivity and objectivity will manifest itself to those alert to the awareness of consciousness and the limits of ideas about consciousness. Any wording that can be categorized as “evolution” Herbert will give subjective as-if worth to it on one hand, but on the other hand the weight of objectivity will be given surreptitiously and without mentioning it except in presumptuous terms.
1.3. Then, from this emergent mentalism he will begin talking about “evolution” as though he and everybody has primordially and clearly in mind what is being talked about. He will be careful not to speak of “evolution” as a concept equivalent to something of theistic weight, but his Website must be steered in such a fashion as to give opportunity for talking beyond points with carefully chosen terms that suggest otherwise. “You cannot rise above the adequacy of the terms you employ,” said A.N. Whitehead. Herbert’s terms are subjective. Herbert’s subjectivism also fits another of Whitehead’s statements, which is used here aphoristically, that “a one-sided formulation may be true, but may have the effect of a lie by its distortion of emphasis.” Herbert will work anti-theistic presumptions into the postings, leap on “emergent properties”, and Jaspers will be seen as an emergent agent now superceded by the forceful emergence of Herbert.
2. Thinking about the Rosemarie Anderson dynamic
2.1. Notice how Herbert makes a special effort to de-emphasis any word that could have a Jaspers’ application to The Transcendent or God reference. He includes a statement by Rosemarie Anderson under a Comment 69. ) Observe that bracketed statement by Herbert prefacing the Comment: “[This note is copied from “DIALOGUES”—HFJM]”. From a hermeneutical textual analytical (guessing) standpoint he must have searched for something useful that mentioned Greg Nixon, Whitehead, and something anti-theistic in emphasis. Apparently this was not submitted as a Comment to Herbert’s blogg. My guess is that someone’s whose self-esteem is felt challenged might have directed his attention to the DIALOGUES.
2.2. It almost seems included by Herbert because it compliments Greg Nixon. Herbert finds “C69” useful for it can be interpreted as more than alluding to an over-emphasis of Whitehead’s “God” that guides reality forward. Herbert finds “C69” useful for it speaks favorably about Mr. Nixon who places the emphasis on Whitehead’s evolutionary presuppositions such as implied in Whitehead’s “God is a process of becoming”. This theistic way of talking presents the springboard-opportunity for distraction from Jaspers by Greg, Herbert, and perhaps unknowingly by the author of C69. That author, there, does not mention Jaspers, but may feel obligated to cooperate with Herbert’s efforts on his “Karl Jaspers Forum” Website.
2.3. Greg aggressively rebelled against my comparison of his views to that of Jaspers. The rebellion appears to have become an establishing common bond. Rather than admit to the real reason for hitting it off together, i.e., collaboratively neglecting relevancy to Jaspers, some other more respectable ground for the feeling of togetherness must be conjured. Greg is the one who boycotted Herbert’s Website rather than sitting in and continuing the discussion—until I was censured.
2.4. Apart from the intrapersonal dynamics, i.e., the whole emotional transpiration of events complexly involved and surrounding the exploitation of the Comment (C69), I find nothing disagreeable about the Comment as such--minus the personal acclamation, i.e., the complimentary attribution fluttered too much. It might be of interest to note that because Whitehead often uses the pronoun “He”, that might in itself indicate a gender bias and distract from personhood as such, and leave room open for either a male surrogate for the fatherhood of God or a countered motherhood of God. But the issue here is the irrelevancy to Jaspers, for “C69” was not chosen because Jaspers is mentioned but because Greg is lionized, and also it offered a bridge to the theistic side of Jaspers’ Existenz via Whitehead.
2.5. There has to be a stretch beyond a Karl Jaspers point to even try to make Whitehead relevant. As far as I know Jaspers does not mention Whitehead directly, such as in his reply to Fritz Kaufman who does make a significant comparison with Whitehead in his critique of Jaspers. The effort Fritz makes is obvious and frivolous, and rather than get distracted by a secondary source, Jaspers substantially critiques Whitehead’s interpreter, i.e., Fritz, and carefully points out that there’s more will to power than actual concern involved by presuppositions in communicative efforts and says, “I renounce the presuppositions of predetermined success”. (Lib. Liv. Phil. p. 760) There’s little doubt about the presuppositions in Herbert and Greg’s evolutionary maxims, and Jaspers is saying in effect that Fritz’s Whitehead’s presupposition also predetermine the success of emergent mentalism.
2.6. Applying then Jaspers to Whitehead we can only do so indirectly, but it is a more appropriate indirectness than what Herbert and Greg inexcusably use to distract from Jaspers. Fritz Kaufman does the same leap-in-the-air spin. The application is only possible here through Fritz’s deference to Whitehead, then to saintly Thomistic epistemology, the place of common sense and nature. Here Whitehead’s emergent evolutionism is leaped upon as support for the church of “evolution”. This slip into catholicity is avoided by Jaspers more balanced view of the ciphers of nature, “I do not deny either the glory or terror of nature… (Ibid. 787). He warns against straining the symbol of nature to the point where “the symbol suddenly stands for reality” (788) and gives an example of how “the natural scientist forces nature to reply by submitting quite specific questions in the experiment”. In other words this Thomistic-like chain from God must not lose the invisible source--replaced by institutional authority. Being on the road to the One does not secure against prematurely seizing the One…by a pretense to clarity.
3. The great either/or
3.1. Herbert wraps-up last week’s posting with his R25, which is dated 12-15 and suggests that he has not yet addressed the Silliman piece dated 12-16. He needs time to make connections. I think we can make an educated guess as to what is coming, i.e., that guessed at above in item 1.2. In this last posted Response, he, supposedly prior to the M. Anderson Comment, also now has been converted by Mr. Nixon’s “interesting comments about process-physics…” and moves from Greg’s “interesting” Comment to convincing arguments “confirming” the compatibility with Herbert’s constructivism. To secure at least Greg’s continued contributions, Herbert ends by asking for clarification. He seeks further counsel from Greg.
3.2. If Herbert needs a counselor, he should seriously consider either Greg or Jaspers. Existenz therapy is recommended but perhaps more than Herbert is homespun for. He cannot yet choose Jaspers, but must not surrender ownership of his blogg’s domain name. His posted e-mail address includes “McGill” which provides continued prestigious weight to his misuse of Jaspers. How the Karl Jaspers domain name is held unto will make for a well spun yarn.