THE “KARL JASPERS FORUM” UPDATE 26 (July 6, 2006)—René Girard’s “mimeses”, Richard Dawkins’ “meme”, e.g. and Greg Nixon/Sid Barnett’s mimicking.
NOTATION: Greg Nixon and Sid Barnett are distracting from meaningful references to Jaspers on a forum exploiting his name, and this affects somewhat my “Karl Jaspers Applied to Richard Dawkins” Web Page. Sid continues to align himself with the “Constructivists” as though it’s imperative to belong to some group’s movements. Such imitative, such replication is not characteristic of genuine philosophy; he attempts to hide that need by claiming to be “philosophical”. By philosophical he means the conventionality that reduces to convenient verbalizations about having a preference for discarding the high case C from “Constructivism”. It would be too obvious if his philosophy extended to dropping the term Radical as well (Glasersfeld’s Radical Constructivism). Sid shows this need in a rather unique way. He claims DK Johnson who teachers philosophy now chooses to argue with Sid rather Glasersfeld. Sid is manifesting some gang-like mentality hoping to get approval from Herbert/Ernst and associates. That gang-convention is symptomatic of the mimicking essential to propagating the catholicity of evolutionism. Suspicion like this may seem paranoid, but it is justified by the forces for the propagation of catholicity, forces enhanced by such as Simonyi’s financing the propaganda through a Dawkins-Oxford-Chair. In this UPDATE greater effort will be exerted toward Greg’s Commentary than to Sid’s manifestations of abnormal mimicking (whether mimicking Ernst or David Hume), for, it is my impression that DK Johnson is capable of holding up his end of the dialogue as an individual--if he chooses, perhaps unwisely, to participate in Sid’s syndrome’s defensive maneuvers. My critique of Greg’s comments and tactics will include making an application to my Web Page on Dawkins. His case is another good example for the study of the mimicking pathos.
Greg Nixon and Herbert in the sidestepping dance--Herbert Muller has left a few indicators of Greg’s tactics. Note the dates of these postings. Herbert posts Eugene Webb’s’ essay on June 24th and after having received, apparently, conditional permission. Now note the date Herbert shows he received Greg’s “Commentary 1”. It is June 23rd. From those dates one can see that Herbert had Greg’s reaction prior to posting of Eugene’s Target Article, and probably prior to his seeking the author’s permission. At the easy risk of being corrected, and even wishing for it, one could guess that when Herbert obtained permission from Eugene to post his essay, he did not inform him about the manipulating that Greg was doing. Nor would Herbert or Greg have informed him of the effort to exploit Jaspers name through sidestepping tactics to disregard and misuse Jaspers under the pretense of posting an essay that references one of Jaspers’ works. Eugene could easily have assumed that any blog bearing the name of Jaspers must be forthright. He may not have known about Herbert’s need to show some justification for the use of Karl Jaspers’ name, and thus Eugene falls into Greg’s vectoring suggestions. Herbert allows Greg to set Eugene in a defensive posture where he must give undeserved attention to Greg as a worthwhile critic. Greg almost begs for responses from Eugene. Herbert in apparent desperation tolerates Greg’s accusations that Eugene rambles.
Greg hides behind another to relate to Jaspers--Greg is attempting to oust Jaspers’ influence from Muller’s blog through attempts to show he is dated. He recommends a paper by someone (Eugene) whose presupposition is that Jaspers is dated and that the only relevancies are references to Eros in a book not yet translated into English. That is a plausible excuse for Greg to say that he is in agreement with Eugene! He means that is he agrees with Eugene that Jaspers is dated, but Eugene means Jaspers is to be classified somewhere between being deceased and technically uninformed. Greg appears elated that Eugene has found something exploitable (albeit misinformation) from a German-work by Jaspers. But then Greg, agreeing with his miss-emphasis on Eros, then tends to disagree, as a good critic must find something disagreeable, with Eugene’s “existential Eros.” Neither Greg nor Eugene can understand Jaspers’ Existenz philosophy and psychology. Greg has to find something to justify manipulating Herbert into expressing gratitude for bringing to Herbert’s attention something so useful though distracting and damaging to the image of Jaspers. Greg is good at setting up paper tigers. He attempts to establish his opponent’s worth by referring to Eugene as very learned, but the tiger immediately mutates into something rambling, all within the same clause. (Parenthetically, let it be emphasized, that Sid Barnett continues to ingratiate himself to Herbert and Ernst by distracting too from any reference to Jaspers except for demonstrating respect for professor von Ernst, though under the guise of saying he speaks for himself and not for “von Glaserfeld [as is]”. Here we have another case of mimicking; he mimics Ernst agnosticism through some philosophical verbalizations. He mimics Ernst’s agnostic-gnosticism through the pretensions of being purely objective about the subject-object dichotomy; his pretensions are merely linguistic conventions and not matters of philosophical truth. He wants be allowed to sit somewhere near Ernst, the multi-linguist.)
Incapable of understanding Jaspers’ Existenz, Greg sets Eugene up as scapegoat—Greg says that Eugene’s work reminds him of an “undergraduate primer”. Remember the most important thing for Greg is to show that Jaspers is dated. That’s like attempting to show the prophets and Plato are dated. Greg sets-up Eugene first as a learned person and second as one who rambles; the world is fortunate to have Greg who knows both too. Greg imitates a façade of learning and an incomparable degree of rambling. Who is Greg but a great distracter from Jaspers! Greg wants “professor Webb” to respond. The appellation “professor” elevates Greg by association—especially if Eugene is unwise enough to participate in this vectoring process (for it would mean defending his position through the misuse of technical German linguistics, something Herbert would find gratifying and distractible from Jaspers’ concepts). Then Greg attempts to cash-in on Jaspers’ name by speaking to the quality of dialoging favored by the “Karl Jaspers Forum”. Without reference to the precursor Jaspers, Greg continues to snub Jaspers’ value by saying that a psychology of worldviews is important. What reassurance! Then to endear himself to professor-Herbert, Greg speaks about the importance of avoiding serious mind-independent thinking. Of course this amounts to assuring Herbert that Greg has never been unfaithful to the MIR and 0-D formulae, i.e., there is no mind-independent reality and any objective reality must be reduced to zero-derivation in the mental state of each individual (as in the idea that the mind has predeterminately “evolved” along with the brain). Greg wants to show that pivoting around Jaspers on a Karl Jaspers’ forum is anything but mimicking Jaspers awareness of the limits of science. Greg must try to fit this apparent contradiction (dated Jaspers and yet using Jaspers adaptively and selectively) into an evolutionism of adaptation and selection; he must somehow show that the brain, mind, and behavior progresses by adaptation and selection by way of immanence, an ontologism or metaphysic more than less mysterious than transcendent thinking and philosophical individualistic faith. Greg has to show that humankind has an innate predetermined need to imitate others, and show that need to be confined epiphenomenologically. He has to show a deceased Jaspers cannot be as “evolved” as current contributors to a forum he wants to dominate. As regards mimicking and scapegoating, it is edifying to describe complex reality in terms of those who mimic others and those who mimic those needing to burn martyrs, but it is not proper to elevate such scapegoating to a matter of principle in the name of Jaspers.
René Girard’s mimesis and Richard Dawkins meme, an approach to Jaspers’ clinical-based views on mimicking—Greg’s contributions have characteristically and consistently short-circuited because of his fundamental evolutionism. It is seen in such comments as “those living in early mythic time were immersed in the sacred…” (<8>) Greg talks as though “they”, the pronoun, is renounced by a technically advanced pro, and “they” were not yet advanced in some adaptive-selective process, that early means retardation of potential. That is bias more than knowledge, but by intentional design it makes convenient room for the “church of evolution”. It’s seen in Greg’s words: “more primitive state of consciousness…” (<9>) as though Greg has less potential for his view of primitive thinking due to a grandiose mutation from transcendence to immanence, a mutation to a level of consciousness which allows him with vatic authority to conclude “Commentary 1” with talk about the “soul’s” immanental confines, as though some ‘evolving’ encompassing catholicity redeems the soul from captivity where “thousands of years of internalized symbolic culture has placed it”. Greg ends by admitting that he is verging on the mystical. But he never left the mystic-of-certitude in his fundamental originism. It was in his final paragraph that he sees it, as though, having won a battle, his critical-guard and hilt-hand is relaxed and his ontological mimicking almost seen objectively. Greg’s setting-up of Eugene’s “context” is a designed distraction from Jaspers’ worth, while simultaneously exploiting all to the hilt. That is the “hilt” into which Greg “embeds” his “voice” into complex being to distract from his lack of what it takes to understand and make reference to Jaspers’ works. Greg almost views objectively the involuntary mimicking gestures of his thinking, the imitating of some presumptive adaptive-selective determinism. He reaches the point of seeing it in the context of Eugene’s consideration of Girard’s ideas about mimesis, but Greg here continues to mimic, to mimic Girard and Andrew McKenna’s catholic evolutionism. The fact that Greg does not use any form of the word “evolution” (i.e., begging the question nominally) is to his credit, for it makes it easier to confront the process of thinking.
Jaspers Applied to Greg’s misuse—The quality of Jaspers’ thinking that encompasses mimicking phenomena shows his depth of clinical experience. Those attempting to show some adaptive and selective predeterminations of certitude comprehend the issue; it is that mimicking has something to do with inherited consciousness and conscience, and they have a sense that vatic-tradition v. book-accounts is a primary conflict. Jaspers points out the limits of determining meaningful connections between human physiognomy and mimicking in his General Psychopathology. It is not too much of a stretch to relate the grimaces and the flailing burning arms of the martyrs to voluntary and involuntary mimicking. The type of thinking that Greg falls back into, the rut traveled by Girard and the like, especially and currently the popular thinking on Dawkins (though I’ve not yet studied his works), that form of thinking Jaspers refers to as bad intuitive insights, where correlations replace essential connections: “Correlations can exist between phenomena which have no observable or essential relationship to each other. When we find correlations, the next question is ‘why?’ The unity of the human physiognomy cannot provide a cause, because its nature is not causal; it is a plasticity that we somehow understand. In the second place, if it were the cause, no exceptions must be found in the coincidence of the effects.” (268) These exceptions are where Greg bogged down but not due to the exceptions, those frying martyrs, that one still aflame before the Oxford Chair, that one protesting the propaganda of correlations. Greg’s mire is mimicking the causal thinking of others who must be first saluted and then diluted to show an ascending on the “evolutionary” ladder. He mimics others and mimics the mimicking of evolutionism fundament. Dawkins’ cause, the propagation of the truth of causal science depends on the mass mimicking of Dawkins verbalizations, and one such word that Dawkins has conjured to that end is the word “meme”. It is designed to distract from the supernatural commitment of protesting martyrs.