THE “KARL JASPERS FORUM”, UPDATE 19 (5-2-06),
FIRST NOTATION: This week Herbert’s Website includes Hugh Bone’s atheistic Comment (TA84 C24. It should not be taken as indicative of Jaspers theistic views. To my recollection Hugh has never mentioned Jaspers. Hugh reaffirms his position that true reality is fiction and that God is fiction too. But yet Hugh says, “claims of truth may be inaccessible…but eventually resolved.” Then he assists in steering thinking toward consensus as the determinate of truth. He is commenting with a certitude enhanced by the consensus results of Herbert’s…referendum.
SECOND NOTATION: But the important contribution worthy of immediate consideration is that by Myron M. Arons. He responds to the “referendum” results and the interpretation thereof.
A THEORETICAL SCENERIO:
01. Playing With Phenomenological Links--Myron (or Mike) Arons has contributed to Herbert’s Website previously (1999) through submissions by Louise Sundararajan, one of the Editors of DIALOGUES. The Editors, directly and/or indirectly, provide a highly determinate and influential link to Herbert’s Website. Links attract Google search engines and can be misused in smart Google precision bombing (more to come on this at another time). And Herbert’s Website is more than less questionably associated with McGill University, a significant link in itself. One could hope the DIALOGUES editors’ moderating of Herbert’s Website is a worthy moderating to protect the credibility of the link with DIALOGUES, for after all the reputation of the APA (psychological) is involved--as is the reputation of the Editors’ Universities (including University legal-counsel). If and as Herbert’s Website drifts from the auspices of McGill, less risk is shared and allocated within the corporate education industry. Currently Herbert’s Website links to DIALOGUES through favorable comments about his Forum’s processes and standards being comparable to the performance of Louise as Editor of DIALOGUES. The comparison transfers the risk of Herbert’s decisions to Louise, and the continued link from DIALOGUES becomes the test and sign of approval or disapproval. The links to varying degrees are associated with multiple establishments and, like corporations, they have the advantages of individuals’ rights, but individualistic misbehavior is absorbed and protected by the corporate legal buttress. Recently it appears Herbert attempted to strengthen that weakening link by associating the reality test-survey-referendum with Louise Sundararajan and Alexander Riegler. Herbert expressed his indebtedness to them for their assistance in promoting an involvement of their constituents in what turned into a referendum. Louise is apparently interested too in the missive link with Herbert’s now more private Website. There are upfront and hidden reputations under momentum and at stake. It will take a basic realist to reasonably fix or cleanly break a weakening link. Within this scenario Myron miraculously reappears after the first and last time since 1999.
02. Joan S. Ingalls--Louise seems to be the out-front point person with more than a fair share of risk in this editor/moderating responsibility. Herbert uses Louise’s name whenever referring to submissions made to his Website from DIALOGUES. Louise is credited for submitting at least part of a discussion between Myron and Joan S. Ingalls (including their responses to Maureen O’Hara). The submissions were among the most appropriate and potentially relative to Karl Jaspers, but also the most disregarded. The postings were Comments under Glasersfeld’s TA17. Joan’s response to Maureen O’Hara was outstanding (TA17 C22) and is worthy of inclusion in a Karl Jaspers’ frame of reference. However in C 20 there appears to be a straining on Joan’s part to appropriate a “Constructivist” perspective perhaps not quite realizing the full significance of the constructivist/constructionist distinction (something to which normal thinking to grasp must abnormally bend). As a naïve bit of capitulating, it was debasingly compounded by ending up within a “Radical Constructivism” community in a Target Article by Ernst Glasersfeld (perhaps an unfortunate and irreconcilable title attracting radical sympathizers and justifiable opponents). Myron appeared to me to have seen Constructivism’s perils and in turn alerted Joan. Myron and Joan’s discussion was posted on Herbert’s Website in 1999.
REALITY TEST, SURVEY, CONSTRUCTIVISM’S REFERENDUM
1. Introduction to Myron M. Arons—As far as I know, Myron has never mentioned the name of Karl Jaspers in the contributions Herbert indicates Louise submitted. But that does not mean Myron’s contributions occurred out of thin air but rather within a certain fine particulate atmosphere. It is that particulate-atmosphere that I’m going to spin, for it in fact pivots substantially around Jaspers.
1.1. At Sorbonne Myron had studied under Paul Ricoeur who was a student of Karl Jaspers--though I don’t think Paul studied under him directly. Ricoeur apparently did receive a Karl Jaspers Award from Heidelberg. This Award was given though Jaspers had essential disagreements with Paul. Though reared a protestant, though having studied Jaspers works (including time while a prisoner of war), though having received the Karl Jaspers Award form Heidelberg, all that does not mean he grasped Jaspers’ philosophical faith and faith in revelation. For my spin purposes here it only needs to be seen that Jaspers and Ricoeur had disagreements. For instance, Jaspers answered Paul’s critique about exclusive thinking in general. (p.788, Schilpp’s Library…) Paul incorrectly stated that Jaspers held to an exclusive view of both (philosophical and religious faith) as separate categories. Jaspers defended himself from Paul’s claim that he held exclusive separate views, and refused to be identified with such an exclusive polarity. Rather Jaspers said “I defend myself rather against every kind of claim to exclusiveness on the part both of any ecclesiastical creedal truth and of any philosophical truth”.
1.2. In that critiquing context above, Jaspers’ reasoning, i.e., philosophical thoughtfulness is the prevailing wind of connectivity and not obedience to commands and prohibitions in the wake of understanding’s waning. As regard the limits of reason, to Jaspers there remains no more sacrifice for guilt (a biblical concept) and one must stand alone (not dropping the name of a Louise or Mary, Alexander or Anaximander) responsible for mistakes and making restitution while in a constant state of self-criticism enlightened by biblical type of faith. That is guilt encompassed by reason not reason encompassed by guilt. No positivism, no confessional institution needs to be constructed. Jaspers reply to the critique was “I cannot agree with Ricoeur, therefore, when he places the problem of guilt in the center.” Guilt, to Jaspers, includes awareness of limitations but measurable to an essential extent by the biblical-like faith. Another disagreement is, or was, that Paul sees symptoms of vanity in what he designates as Jaspers subjectivism, to which Jaspers says that Paul conjures these up. (Ibid. p 781) But the reality is that Jaspers and Paul had disagreements and whether they were resolved somewhat I don’t know. His critique might have occurred at the low point in his life. But, if anyone alive today that is included in Louise Sundararajan’s mailing list, or Alexander Riegler’s mailing list, that breathed Jaspers’ reasonable air, it is possibly Myron. He, by reputable links with Jaspers through Ricoeur, is the hoped for rescuer of…at-risk links.
1.3. In view of these disagreements, Myron’s association with Paul Ricoeur certainly does not disqualify him from having a respectable objectivity regarding reality. But he has more basic qualifications for speaking to…reality.
1.4. Myron’s reality and Muller’s Reality Referendum—Myron’s qualifications for reality thinking deserves a fair hearing. For years he did factory work, and was a cabbie in Detroit. I did not find a comment listing him as the author in the Herbert’s Survey answers. So there is no way of knowing whether he condescended to the test’s hypnotic compliance. That anonymity part of Herbert’s reality test laid the ground for wondering and distrust as to who, if anybody, said what. To me the most impressive anonymous answer was that provided by one lone individual (# 29) who opted for reality as mind independent and accessible but needing sorting out and involves feedback mechanisms, depicted effectively by the emphatic “in Los Angeles Traffic!” My own guess is that Myron was apparently bumped into openly participating in Herbert’s reality test. Anyway, the author of “in Los Angeles Traffic!” and Myron’s C22 reality-comments are of like knee-jerk ilk. My guess is that Myron received a return-to-active-duty call to defend what he referred to as “philosophical parsimony” regarding the verbalizations in the formation of the reality test, the limits of its restricted survey, and the brazenness of referring to it finally as a “Referendum” as some sort of final solution—and in the name of Karl Jaspers. I suspect it was such critiquing done by Myron that influenced Herbert the next day to admit he had done something wrong—in so far as a proponent of constructivism can confess error and take remedial action. Radical Constructivism must be bumped into a state of pouting, a nuance quickly hidden in rationalizations and a projectivity of blame along links.
1.5. Myron saw it coming--To rescue the linkage (DIALOGUES’ linking to Forum) the recall of Myron’s expertise leads also to the rearview mirror recognizance of his unheeded and prophetic warning back in 1999, a warning that was not so much to rescue Jaspers but the linkage: He said “But to make a philosophy (a metaphysic) of the relative (which I think constructivists do) is to intellectualize (make it a metanarrative) and absolutize it, which is my sense of what is on the verge of happening these days in the Jaspers group discussion.” (Discussion between Arons and Ingalls on Constructivism TA17C20.)
1.6. Herbert’s attempt overcompensates for a violation—In what Herbert calls an “Extended version” of “Reality referendum results” (TA84, C 16) he states he is indebted to Louis Sundararajan and Alexander Riegler for their help in the “referendum”. Other than dropping the name of Louise Sundararajan, one editor of DIALOGUES, he compounded the predicament by saying he did not participate in the “referendum”. One can take this to mean that to protect his objective reality he did not vote. He simple prepared the ballot and knew well the predictable bloc. On April 22, 2006 he finally decided it best to admit that “in part” the referendum was successful because the voting bloc was within a district dominated by Radical Constructivism (wherein wander the wanna-be something popular and groupish). He seemed to have begun seeing the limits of his test-survey-referendum on the 22cd, the day after receiving Myron’s questioning about the “reality” itself. (Yes, I know he…assigned…an earlier date for its preparation.) Now, spinning off this complex phenomenological scenario, let’s pivot briefly around Jaspers and some realities that have inspired and revealed something to the segment of humankind not inhibited by “constructivism”.
2. Spin-off and pivoting around Jaspers—Jaspers must be allowed to speak to this matter of reality. Detroit traffic or LA reality, terror traffic, is easy to spin off into historical traffic and on the West Coast it is easy to spin off ground quaking to the ground shaking documents such as those by John Foxe or Groethuysen, namely; that there is a reality independent of the priests of radical constructivism. Jaspers: “They [priests] felt the ground shake under their feet, for this evidence of the ability to die was the existential refutation of their method of coercing souls. Giordano Bruno spat at the crucifix which his priestly murderers held up to him at the stake, supposedly for his salvation.” (p. 43 Phil. Faith and Rev.) The point here is not that “constructivists” referred to in this UPDATE 19 would crucify or burn anybody; the point is pointing at the potential for minimizing meaningful experience not personally experienced and hopefully not needing to be experienced. The problem pointed at is the initiation of a movement that diminishes identification with others and the quashing of empathetic feelings already repressed by the conscience-suppressing widespread use of drugs.
2.1. Realities Herbert and Constructivism have not experienced—This week Herbert puts a question to Mr. Weedon (TA 86-87 C 10): Can two or two million transcend their experience? Then Herbert answers in the negative. Though he is correct in applying the standard of experience to the brain-positivism movement, he is more wrong than right for the reality is that experience is not transcended or extrapolated by something as cold and emotionless as solipsist shoestring escalations. Experience is transcended by revelation/inspiration that shatters corporeal-processes gone astray and crystallized. Two phenomenal situations not experienced by Radical Constructivism are the crucifixion and burnings at the stake, i.e., the creative guilt involved in violating the urge for unconditional life even if it means suffering and death. Here is a reality that is revealing: John Foxe (edited by Berry) reports that John Hooper suffered burning at the stake for commitment to what is more inspiration and revelation than corporeally imposed authoritative experience: he denied the corporal presence of Jesus in the symbols of the Lord’s Supper, refused to wear priestly vestures of distinction, and married and affirmed his intention to remain married until death. Of course the whole picture is more complex for his preaching was causing some discombobulating in the Oxford “Catholic” and “Rabbinic” cloisters, a collaboration solidified by the fear of losing ground to Arabian and other influences. Be that as complex as it may be, if one wants to extent reality beyond personal experience, then read the account and feel the heat, smell the odor, hear the prayerful screams for mercy, and see the flailing arms till they drop off…a belated preview for recent and coming terror.