THE “KARL JASPERS FORUM”, UPDATE 18 (4-11-06),
SECOND ANNOUNCEMENT: This might be a good point for me to take some flee-time, retreat and reassess things, and follow through on some investigative urges.
NOTATION: This week Herbert’s postings were found on the 7th but assigned the posting date of 8th and includes one from Hugh Bone. There’s one by Edmond Mutelesi, another from Eric J. Lindblom, two newcomers. Eric Lindblom’s is assigned the date-received date of the 7th the same day posted though assigned the 8th for posting. Peter Bussey’s is shown received April 7th (the same date the contributions were posted though assigned the date of the 8th.) The reason those dates are mentioned is that one can wonder if they were pursued for contributions—pursued by whom and for what reason would then seem an appropriate question. None indicated any notable awareness with Karl Jaspers’ works. Herbert Muller Comments (C9) on Ramona Fotiade’s TA85, R1. This UPDATE commentary will primarily relate to Hugh’s previous and Herbert’s current and past contributions. This Web Page can be considered under construction and corrections can be made as time permits.
For Quick Reference
0. My missing controversial TA78, C35—(it addresses deferring to Richard Dawkins and to a vatic authority, and includes Teilhard Chardin’s Church of Evolution)
1. Regarding Herbert Muller’s 10 references to Jaspers--“Forum” review of the history of references to Jaspers.
2. Hugh Bone’s contribution evaluated
0. The controversial TA78, C35 is no longer accessible through Herbert's Website “Karl Jaspers Forum”. McGill University system-overload has been one reason Herbert gives for such deleting. He says some might be available if requested directly through him. The problem with that is if once made public it should remain public for “at least one year” and if removed it means he has control and there is no accountability possible. My Comment did not remain posted for one year. That overload-answer doesn’t resolve the arbitrariness involved in decisions to delete, and there is no public and fair recourse for those affected. I understand there are two moderators apparently involved with Herbert’s Website. The nature of their “moderating” participation has not been made clear.
01. Herbert’s Table of Contentsand the Role of Moderators—The Table of Contents < www.kjf.ca > shows my TA78, C35 is missing. It should be found between C34 and C36 and the receipt date of May 11 and posting May 21 2005. The copy of TA78, C35 indicates it was received by Herbert on 5-11 and posted 5-21.
02. A plausible excuse for deleting—In that Comment I referred to two personages by their birth name rather than by institutional-titles of distinction: “the respectable Karl Jaspers, and the respectable Karol Wojtyla”. It seems likely that Herbert and moderators used my Comment 35 as pretext for its removal and the pretense for my censoring and removal from the mailing list. At least there are reasonable grounds here for a permeating mistrustfulness. My Comment also argued that Catholicity was harvesting “evolution” (like it collects miracles and saintly personages). I also argued that Herbert was more wrong than right in his view that Jaspers held the same views as Herbert and Karol regarding the origin of humankind. I maintained that Jaspers did not make any part of the dichotomous predicament of thinking into an ontologism. I created a retributive-prone atmosphere opened to possible pseudo explanations and conducive to collusive manipulations. Regarding the deleting there has been no indication of guilt-conscience. But this is typical of Constructivism if the following quote can be indicative of Constructivist’s standard for conscience:
03. Radical constructivists don’t own up to mistakes--This week Herbert makes at least ten references to Jaspers. There’s no apology for misunderstanding Jaspers and none for past avoidance of him—a type of censoring. There’s no apology for using the name of a personage he disagrees with theistically and ontologically. The mind-set for this guilt-deficiency is seen in a 2001 statement by the most popular representative of radical constructivism, Ernst Glasersfeld (TA38, C8):
This verbalized rationale for not exercising a normal conscience helps explain the permissiveness of improper performance such as allowing and encouraging the digression from Jaspers and then deferring guilt to a confessional-like reliance on a vatic authority. Sharing the risk of improper performance with ”Forum” moderators buffered behind the scene lubricates such permissiveness. In this case popular moderators’ captured domain-name, i.e., Karl Jaspers, gets all the buffing. Karl Jaspers is public domain material but Internet domain-registry-processes allows for questionable capitalizing--influentially and maybe economically.
1. Herbert makes ten references to Jaspers this week—The references to Jaspers are relative to Ramona Fotiade’s brief and single reference to Lev Shestov’s review on Jaspers’ Reason and Existenz. My comments on the Shestov review can be found in UPDATE 15 posted March 20th. In my report I argued that Lev, even though a hostile witness against Jaspers, could be considered an authority on Jaspers’ views of the encompassing-concepts insofar as Lev’s testimony shows Herbert to be misinterpreting and misusing them. There’s no need to repeat the argument. This week Herbert makes reference to Jaspers’ periechontology, which is now, again, addressed immediately:
1.1. A comparison of Jasper’s loving-periechontology and periechontological basic-knowledge with Heidegger’s reduction of consciousness to calculating “concern” and Husserl’s intuitive eidetic movement toward things as such through consciousness in “terms” of the theoretical attitude. I don’t pretend to have made an effort to appropriate Heidegger or Husserl’s thinking except in a guess made for comparison. I think and feel I have appropriated Jaspers from my personal perspective and historicity. I’ll start with Jaspers’ informed thinking (including his use of Greek terms) that encompasses all ontologies without coming to rest on any. That inclusivity of what passes for knowledge is never closed to possible interpretation and reinterpretation but includes a perpetual awareness of limits. That is what he calls “periechontological basic knowledge” (see Philosophical Faith and Revelation) and represents a readiness for loving struggles with even those who have ontological fixations. It is essentially philosophical in a traditional sense in that the readiness is open to loving communication thus the loving part of philo in philo-sofia. Without laboring to show it here, Jaspers’ life can be understood as encompassed by loving parents comparable to heavenly love and concern and he manifested love and empathy too; love without which his The Question of German Guilt would have been ineffective. Love is the fundamental ontological feeling, the all-encompassing feeling, the periechon, the attitude that Herbert criticizes and reduces to a negative and meaningless formula (“mir” meaning something independent of mind). Herbert thinks Jaspers would have been less irresponsible if he had been aware of Herbert’s invented “od” (ought denken, i.e. zero-thinking). And, he thinks, Jaspers should have been as incapable as Herbert at understanding Kierkegaard’s love relative to the love of Jesus and Kiekegaard’s, grasp that a loving Christian follows Jesus “forsaken, hated, bearing the cross”. Judging Heidegger in hindsight--perhaps more critically and with less love than Jaspers--we can understand his fundamental reduction of consciousness to “concern” for it is easier to follow national-socialist orders out of political “concern” rather than love. There’s a big difference between love and concern. As regards Husserl, even Jaspers said he did not think Husserl understood what phenomenology was (letter to his parents). For purposes of comparison it could be guessed that Husserl’s approach to consciousness was more like touching it without causing the ripples that might disturb the mental-calm that he believed intuited reality best, another buoyant theoretical attitude used to ride social-political waves. Though social concern, and hope for socially comforting things as such, and love are real, the greatest is love. Periechontological-basic-knowledge is not synonymous with love, but includes love; periechontology is not systematized love but is closer to its encompassing and Transcendent theistic source.
1.2. An accounting of Herbert’s references to Jaspers—The first and last time significant reference to Jaspers was made can be found in TA58 by Dimitrije Pivnicki and in the Comments. There were some exchanges there regarding Mr. Owsley’s paper on Jaspers’ Periechontology. I did not and do not agree wholly with Owsley’s understanding of the encompassing-concept, and do not agree, that Jaspers based his Existenz philosophy of Anaximander’s apeiron, though it is understandable how this could be thought. I have demonstrated on Herbert’s “Forum” why this is not a viable interpretation (soon to be posted for reference). And of course the issue of Anaximander’s alleged view of humankind’s origin is an issue now as during Jaspers’ “axial period” (about which misinterpretations also arise).
1.3. TA58 could have been a continuation of an application of Jaspers’ works begun in my TA51. But I was involved in a few building projects (constructionism) at the time and could not devote the time and energy to further participation--and thought we could always go back to it. But there were predominating agendas already under momentum on the forum: Joel Hinkel’s (TA33) presumption of undeveloped primitive peoples and his assumed established “evolution of the mind” (TA37), an apparent continuation of efforts begun in TA20 to associate Thomas Aquinas with the “evolution” of the mind thus making straight the establishment of the church of evolution begun by Chardin. Though Joel Hinkel wrote several Target Articles what was strange was the lack of biographical data on the author. This also created a suspicious atmosphere, unlike the atmosphere Jaspers had who knew who his Thomistic critics were, such as in Schilpp’s Philosophy of Karl Jaspers.
1.4. In fairness to Herbert a review of his Target Articles prior to TA58 did not show signs of getting bogged down in the infinity of the finite. He used the word “evolve” a few times. He used the word “evolve” relative to mistakes observed in “phylogenic maintenance” and survival. But that use of the word could be the same as talking about how the automobile changed by trial and error; it was not yet used by him as an ontology or worldview or major premise for epistemology (TA32 ). He talked about concepts as tools to which I cautiously and partly agreed. “Evolve” is a word he uses in TA1  within parenthesis but qualified it carefully by stating the need for “objectifiable criteria”. But this highly charged word had set off a landslide of evolutionism-play and he attempted eventually to end the Babel by deferring to “the Vatican” and “John Paul II” who had sanctified the word for catholicity—to which the final stamp of infallible truth will be conferred upon the word, upon completion of his “Sainthood” process, which is guaranteed to polarize emotions. It was too late and he got into the same mess with the use of the term as the current U.S. administration got into when the historically-emotively charged vatic-conjured and sanctified word “crusade” was used to resolve universal unrest.
1.5. Proceeding on the trust that Herbert understood Jaspers I did not yet object, but you can tell by TA51 that I wanted more biographical and conceptual data. Muller’s TA11 avoids “evolution” as a word but in  he expresses himself on religion and uses the word “encompassment” and justifies it by reference to Jaspers’ use of the word “encompassing”. Even his comment about a scientifically based religion could be tolerated because one needs to have some psychology, sociology, or anthropology of religion especially regarding abnormal performances. But, eventually I accepted that he had an agenda opposed to any “positive theistic belief component”. I mean he did not even use the term “the(ism)”. And when Herbert says he knows “the purpose of religion is to offer an encompassing normative frame, preferably with a center which is open for needs as they emerge”  I understood he was not talking friendly about Jaspers’ view of biblical faith, nor the protestant principle, and that he was unwittingly perhaps watering the seeds of the church of evolution that Chardin dreamed about. Herbert seemed incapable of neither understanding Jaspers’ encompassings nor Kierkegaard’s Christian Existenz.
1.6. Herbert’s performance-error: he played the ontic game--Herbert succumbed to the origin-worldview, the ontologism of evolutionism, which eventually came to mean vatic authority to end discussion. In TA58C2 <2> Dimitrije asks why Jaspers is not more widely discussed. Prior to that though it was easy to encourage rambling on about origins. It was easier because Herbert considered Jaspers difficult. In answer to Dimitrije, whom I thought asked why more time was not given to Jaspers; Herbert takes the question to be a learner’s question. So he gives two reasons why Jaspers is avoided: he is comprehensive, and his concepts are difficult. Here we see that Herbert understands the popularity of one-liner, well at least short comments. He understands that short comments draw more attention. Then he refers to Jaspers’ periechontology as another reason (see 1.1. above). Here in <10> is where he misinterprets Jaspers periechontology and shares the risk for blame with <11> Richard Owsley, a recognized expert on Heidegger and Jaspers, whose interpretation was based primarily on Jaspers’ 1947 work and neither his General Psychopathology or Philosophical Faith and Revelation. In <19> Herbert attempts to present Jaspers as dated, saying that since General Psychopathology, more effective treatments have become available in psychiatry. I challenged the idea that Jaspers could be that easily avoided. But it was easier to get lost in the babbling crowd. Contributing largely to the evolutionism onslaught was, and continues to be, Hugh Bone:
2. Hugh Bone avoids Jaspers, i.e., to my awareness he has never made reference to Karl Jaspers though it appears he had studied philosophy and history at Bethel College and/or UCLA. Not pivoting around Jaspers on a “Jaspers’ forum” has consequences hostile toward his views, and the therapeutic process of his writings is not recognized. Hugh, in essence, has been a conciliatory support for Herbert’s Website since May of 1999. Hugh fluctuates between Herbert’s psychological idealism and a realism of convenience, but both coincides in their ontology, i.e., they “know” the origin of humankind and that the mind evolved and God is conjured in shoe string fashion.
2.1. Hugh’s fluctuation in thinking about origins is seen in his statement that “What we mean when we speak of ‘mind’ is a phenomenon that arrived in the universe as a feature of human intelligence…[continued below]”. If one applies the principle of granting another the benefit of trust, that statement could be interpreted as a reasonable expression of serious transcendental thinking, serious thinking out of an unknown source. But then the word “phenomenon” encompasses and consumes reason in the rest of statement: “[cont. from above]…the product of evolution of life on planet earth” (TA32C1). Note the repose taken in ultimate-origin thinking, the substitute for I-don’t-ideally-or-really-know.
2.2 Hugh mentally fluctuates between learned ignorance and oratorical didactics about origins and occasionally moves toward feeling-states and settles down on Heidegger-like-verbalizations about “concern” for the pathos of the human situation: “…theories of science and physiology that inform medical doctors, scientists and scholars who endeavor to improve the lives of the 6 billion persons who live in the 21st century” (TA51 C13). There is here a numerically enhanced seriousness and contemporized meaningful concern about origins for it is empirically based on needs arising from the pain and discomfort...of the many. But, what is taken most seriously is that alleviating pain and suffering, i.e., research successes, is used to elevate one presumptuous-ultimate-knowledge about humankind’s origin. He has an unquestionable right to propound that faith but not unduly propagate it within the context of a Jaspers’ frame of reference, a reference he wholly disregards.
2.3. Pivoting around Dawkins--Hugh’s opining about origins is more than musings. Jaspers refers to thinking about origins at the limit of knowledge as “play”. Normally as leisure permits we all do this sort of wondering-wandering, but not all remember to be critical. If Hugh had pivoted around Jaspers he would not have forgotten either. Hugh’s opining is indistinguishable from undue-certainty as seen in that he knows there are more recent answers to (Moore’s) question “What is the nature and origin of that which is?” (TA51C29). What Hugh is referring to is the product of modern recent research from subatomic physics through microbiology and of course cosmology and cosmogony. The production gamut ranges from exploring in and beyond micro/macro-cosmos’ frontiers. But Hugh goes beyond origins in nature-thinking such as about diseases and emphasizes the one absolute concept of origin that has kept him on a level of thinking with and in good tolerable standing with Herbert. The word of course is “evolution” and its emotive significance is exploited. But the emotional contentment the word evokes is disturbed by the open-ended gamut of complex reality, which keeps getting in the way of uncritical thinking. To maintain seriousness rather than giving in to musings about absolute origin, Hugh does the supernatural thing, he searches for and finds an utilizable vatic authority in a popular verbal and DNA discriptionist Richard Dawkins--similar to what Herbert does except the latter went directly to Karol Wojtyla. Richard Dawkins can make clear DNA descriptions, but he takes undue advantage of the popularity of an emotively complex word and thereby limits communication (see my extract on Bill Moyer and Glasersfeld relative to Dawkins).
2.4 Cont. See my TA78, C35--
3. Hugh has a comforting Comment for Sid. Hugh’s support for Sid Barnett’s criticism of Herbert may be due to my last week’s Update bringing back awareness of “David Hume” and the Vanity press. He agrees with Sid on questioning Herbert’s infringing upon the bounds of the subjective bubble by Herbert’s daring “collective bubble” language. But Hugh does it with compromising finesse; he triples the value of the question: Is there knowledge beyond the collective bubble???. It appears to be an attempt to encourage Sid to respond with statement of gratitude. But mostly perhaps the “???” is also a signal to Herbert that Hugh, though at time a realist, can be depended upon to oppose inherited values. He concludes his statement by saying the public depends on the media to structure our worlds. But in another place he says, in effect, there is no hypnotic Internet influence, but then yields all critical consciousness to Herbert’s judgment. Such as:
4. Hugh gives Herbert a vote of confidence--This judgment about the effect of the media on the public does not match with his vote of confidence for Herbert’s cognizing: “We have accepted your judgment of what is fit to print for years, and I hope we continue to do so but the opportunity to discuss this matter is appreciated.” (See my Front Page answers to Hugh and other critic on the question of my censoring.) Though it would take some effort to rectify this apparent contradiction, one ought not avoid the easy idea that Hugh, functioning as a protector of Herbert and the moderators, etc., has gratified both Herbert and Sid, and preserved and reserved the chance to propagate his personal worldview rather than relate to Jaspers. I could not find a Hugh Bone Website, thus the value of the blog.
5. Hugh’s Target Article--Hugh begins his TA 56 with the question as to whether creation was necessary and proceeds immediately into talk about initial conditions and how/that the big bang (which is capitalized) “produced 15 billion years of random evolution”, but he also occasionally uses the word creation to modify an evolutionary ontological religious bit of thinking. He continues asking questions that reveals he sees the depth of the issues, but his answers are disappointing as he pulsates between the uses of the words “creation” and “evolution.” (See Cite Map for Jaspers on creation.) The TA 56 amounted to a manifested conglomeration, an example of why Jaspers would say “knowledge of the many leads to distraction” and
Here Jaspers shows how immanental transcendental thinking can result in fixations and how such can be shattered by the Encompassing of encompassings and Transcendence of transcendence involved in the idea of creation.