THE “KARL JASPERS FORUM” UPDATE 30 (APRIL 30, 2007)– The significant contributions of J.D. Johnson and Phillip Benjamin are considered. Their Comments were posted 28, April 2007, on Herbert Müller’s Website



email me.

1. Need for this Update
2. J.D. Johnson’s avoidance of Jaspers and what it means
3. The ground of Cartesian schizophrenia
4. Succumbing to ABREV, the subtle acronym powers
5. J.D.’s typical clear style
6. Academic guesses about his style
7. Phillip Benjamin’s momentum contribution
7.1. Jaspers on what is currently known about dark matter
8. Herbert’s egocentric manifestation
9. Herbert slip on religiosity and the use of “dogmata”

1.This Update is needed because a few significant recent contributors to Herbert Müller’s Website are not referencing Jaspers’ works. The problem is compounded in that Herbert makes frequent and negligible use of two of Jaspers’ concepts, the “encompassing” and “periechontology”. His misunderstandings of these concepts are embarrassingly limited. It almost seems like an attempt to justify a Link with the Karl Jaspers Society of North America, and to rationalize the masthead “Karl Jaspers Forum”. His blog amounts to an occasion for the expounding of personal agendas. Some of them are worthwhile, and their worth though is not the issue. Amidst all the other agendas espoused the primary schema is Herbert’s expounding formulae: a negative “MIR” (mind independent reality) and “0-D” epistemic zero-derivation. While using the name “Jaspers” he affirms his opposition to the theistic and protestant Jaspers, and consistently uses Radical Constructivism to categorize religious faith as irrational constructions and of value if enforced by “dogmata”—a term peculiar to one Church. The growing influence of Jaspers’ works is dangled at the peripheral rim of a black hole and entices others to approach. Bluntly restated again is this call to ethical action: Herbert needs to take down the “Karl Jaspers” masthead! After all, he affirms his disagreement with a conjured “later” Jaspers, and uses a conjured “early” Jaspers to create an ambiguity as an excuse for the exploitation of his name.

This Update will briefly examine a few most recent, frequent, and significant contributors’ worthwhile but ill placed arguments.

2. J.D. Johnson’s avoidance of Jaspers and what it means--Though capable J.D. continues to abstain from making his Comments relative to Jaspers’ works. He also demonstrates a willingness to join Herbert in bashing Descartes as the instigator of all that has befallen Descartes’ Church. Jaspers shows why Descartes in this fashion is used as a whipping boy: “It is characteristic of his ambiguity that in a later day some have regarded him as a devout Catholic, others as the first Protestant philosopher, and still others as a revolutionary of reason. Such availability for the use of every conceivable faith…is characteristic of mere rationalism.” (Three Essays, 172) After finding an anti-Cartesian concord--a common rationalism immersed in a personified objectified ambiguity--J. D. then prostrates further: Herbert was not wrong in finding a weakness in J. D.’s TA 75. It almost seems like he wants an invitation to do another TA as though Herbert can be educated. Noting J.D.’s second paragraph, we may have some indication of ulterior motivation for contributing to a “Karl Jaspers Forum” with no intention of referencing Jaspers’ works. In the first sentence he parenthetically reminds us that his TA 75 was originally published in the journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing. (Parenthetical statements often expose powerful undercurrents of interest.)

3. The ground of Cartesian schizophrenia--J. D. seems to attempt to distance himself from Herbert’s charge of having succumbed to the Cartesian “primordial [Herbert’s word] subject-object split” —that ambiguity where rationalism can flail about in paranoiac relativism (see Jaspers’ quote above). J.D. wants to ignore Descartes in one sentence but yet accepts the Cartesian accusation as truly significant in another sentence. Yet J.D. wants to close the gap between Descartes influence on Herbert’s negative mind-independence reality. In the final analysis, J. D. is sucked into the no-mind independent reality and zero-derivational vortex, while perhaps also wanting to avoid being clearly and distinctively critical of Vatican history by projecting too much blame onto Descartes. I mean one cannot bring up Descartes without getting religiously involved and remain intellectually and humanly dependent and wholesome. Escaping in part or whole into Cartesianism is a safe departure from direct confrontation with Descartes’ Church’s force, because Descartes was censured at Sorbonne, which was also influential in consigning John Huss to burning. That is an unavoidable consideration if one approaches Descartes and his angst environment. Making a shallow verbal showing of standing against Descartes is like reassuring Church authorities that the forcefulness of the inquisitional spirit is still revered.  Sorbonne was oppressing protestant influences and primarily through cleansing administrations rather than doctrines. In other words Descartes was told to obey “dogmata” even if he had to exhibit schizophrenic symptoms while prostrating. He was so anxious about offending his Church that ambiguity was unavoidable. Now, criticizing Descartes, without acknowledging the cause of his institutionally induced schizophrenia remains the worse part of the shyness that prevents critiquing Descartes’ thought-confusing situation. J.D may never be able to remove the Cartesian pacifier from Herbert.

4. Succumbing to ABBREV, the abbreviated-formula force--It appears that in as much as Herbert persists in efforts to establish his acronyms, the formulae MIR (mind-independent reality does not exist) and epistemic zero-derivation (0-D), J. D. begins by apologizing for using the phrase “the independence of thought and being”. So he introduces “subject-independent reality” (SIR) and “human-independent reality” (HIR) as more than friendly toward realistic thinking and even accommodating toward Müller’s use of the MIR and 0-D formulae [I placed the hyphens in this previous sentence]. I am suggesting that J. D. has sensed a rift between Glasersfeld and Müller, and is out to exploit it. Of course Herbert will puts things in such a way as to attempt to coax Ernst to blog. J. D. and Herbert seem to need a corporeally vital Glasersfeld to feed on.

5. In typical clear style J. D. displays the limits of MIR, a Herbert styled RC, and 0-D. Nothing can be too wrong about that sort of falsification procedure. My complaint is this: He demonstrates high caliber clear arguments clarifying the issue except where he admits to having been inadequate rather than admitting from the start that it is not his problem but that of Herbert’s use of RC and something systemic wrong with Herbert’s formulae. J.D. then consistently follows through by assuming there is something correctible and demonstrable about the MIR formula and devises  “SIR-HIR” as a procedure to show how some nuance sequences can match. My next complaint is that he violates his anti human-independent reality. The objection is that, as in zero-derivation thinking he shows no regard for Karl Jaspers works’ but yet as a professor he is dependent largely on such precursors’ works.  It would therefore be easy for him to make some quick adjustments and thereby cease exploiting quietly the influential works of Jaspers via omission. In effect J.D. contributes to drawing attention away from Jaspers and unto Herbert and via himself and consequentially to himself nonetheless.

6. Academic guesses--What sense can be made of this aversion to admitting living high on the reputation of Karl Jaspers? It might be that a professor needs outlets to improve his personnel portfolio to the satisfaction of the institution’s expected productions—ergo the response to Müller’s blog. To feed the academic expectations he casts his pearls of objective reasoning to the egocentricity of the author of zero-derivation. Avoiding the works of Jaspers is a pure fulfillment of the Formula “0-D”. So, based on this stupendous evasion of Jaspers’ works, some guesswork leaves one wondering if J. D. has to some degree ridden to fame by saddling and riding the reputation of the author of Radical Constructivism and even further on Herbert’s use of it too. And that is the constant we find when looking for something that makes sense of J.D.’s kudos to Herbert for being fair enough to allow J.D. to blog, even though he confrontationally disagree with Glasersfield while Herbert was hoping for a big bro.

7. Phillip Benjamin’s dark matter is contributing momentum to Herbert’s poorly designated “Karl Jaspers Forum”, i.e., blog, at a point when it was nearly deflated. I don’t want its demise but rather the clear acknowledgment that the blog’s owner needs to replace the masthead with something that makes a distinction between Jaspers’ works and Herbert’s perspective. I’m sure there’s an interesting history in the details about how Herbert’s formation of the Website came about. But the history of Phillip’s involvement with Herbert’s blog is also interesting, and includes wondering why there are no references to Jaspers’ works. The problem is that he too can be jury rigged to what J.D. refers to as bad thinking, i.e., human-independent reality (HIR), because Phillip appears to ignore the ethical question of omitting references to Jaspers’ works. Using J.D.’s less than simple formula, human-independent reality, a type of an applied anti-anthropic principle, does not mean one can escape ethical responsibility though being human-independent of reality tends toward subjectivity that avoids the guilt that results from being so inhumanely independent that precursors are ignored. So, it is interesting that one can find in Jaspers’ works theoretical movements similar to what Phillip is proposing in regard to dark matter. Stephen Hawking also speaks to dark matter, but later than Jaspers’ comment below under item 7.1.

Phillip keeps the manipulation of Jaspers name rolling probably unintentionally. Phillip manifests no obvious concern, i.e., there are none posted on the blog, about whether Jaspers’ works are more than less correct or wrong, and has no stated problem with the masthead. I mean to my knowledge no objections were posted. There may have been something on those served by the List’s e-mails but it did not make it to the Website. My name was removed from the List, that is, I no longer receive the weekly e-mails. Anyway, Phillip contributes to a blog owned and inflated by an affirmed nemesis to the theistic Jaspers. So it is up to someone else to make the connection with Jaspers works, as follows:

Phillip displays no awareness that Jaspers has already in principle taken Phillip’s position. And that is a compliment for Phillip. I mean Jaspers as a medical practitioner took public risks fearlessly on the subject pertinent to the dimension of dark matter. Here is why I say that Jaspers has already said what Phillip is talking about:

7.1. Jaspers on the essence of current knowledge about dark matter--Speaking about the unity of modern physics, Jaspers says, “Great discoveries constitute tremendous leaps into what used to be darkness. They tempt us to think we have reached the goal in principle, even though much may remain to be done in detail.” (PF&R p. 170) It seems fair to think that Phillip does also not want science to rest on its accomplishments. He is poised to leap into that darkness where the devil lives in the details; for, based on empirical history, he has the scientific faith that there is more there to soften the landing of the adventurous leaping theoretical physicist. That is the human-inclusive reality spirit of protesting against “dogmata”. He and Hawkins theorize about leaping into the black hole and dark matter; and both leap off some empirically recognize platform.  I personally would not be as cautious as Jaspers is; I’d say more than “more needs to be done in detail”. Though I think Jaspers has a bit of tongue-in-cheek here, for he knows too that regarding the microscopic (subatomic) and quantum mechanical theory that the substratum in included in the cosmos-macrocosm too. That is, whereas there are the cosmic black holes (and white holes for that matter [sic pun]) there are no less equal conceptual theoretical qualities pertinent to organism’s cells—and there are encompassings of encompassings that DNA research and sequencing has not touched upon. Phillip is trying to touch base in those dimensions.

If I may continue to be presumptuous, Phillip is speaking with some certitude and motivated by the allegation that science has reached a final goal, and may become a universal “dogmata”. I think he thinks he is more empirically secure, has scientific ground, because of cosmic black-hole phenomena. Jaspers said that “Today it is considered self-evident—as once with the atoms—that science knows the last particles and neither can nor need search any further” (Ibid. 170).  He goes on to say that “[i]f we tend to doubt this we cannot point to scientific results, only to the meaning of scientific research into matter: that it is the nature of science to have to proceed ad infinitum”. I think Phillip is saying there are substantial grounds for saying there is something there beyond finitude and now scientific results can be pointed to that expands the boundary of meaning. He refers to it as dark matter, dark-matter energy, dark-matter chemistry’s particle spins, but matter only in the most imaginary sense conducive to an infinite attitude.

Phillip is not more advanced than Jaspers but he has a mere current rudimentary point, though perhaps merely stylistically novel. The point simply catches up with Jaspers’ point, i.e., the “plausible point” in this quote:

Whenever I asked physicists about the chance that still smaller structures will appear, that each finite conclusion will be encompassed by a new infinity, they either replied, ‘We’re obviously at the end; I don’t see how we could go farther,’ or they would say, ‘I don’t know; there may be a point to the question, but scientifically it is fruitless as long as we see no rudiments of further advance.’ The second answer struck me as plausible. (Ibid. p. 170f)

By “stylistically novel” I mean that there remains more of an ontological argument rather than empirically grounded certainty for plausibility. It is still a dialectical argument that leans into the winds of dialectical realism rather dialectical idealism and for good reason. We want to avoid dialectical materialism’s pop movement.

Dialectical reasoning works like this:  When black-hole books were hitting the bookstores, I was preparing a Sunday sermon designed to cope with the fatalism suggested by visions of a black hole sucking and crushing life as we know it—though in long-time more than short-time units but humanely relevant to the golden rule that includes concern for future distant descendants. It seemed to me that there ought to be a stylistic expansion of the thesis-antithesis dialectic; there ought to be a book on white-hole phenomena. So, in the bookstore, looking at black-hole books on shelves at eye-level, I started to leave but gave a glance to the top shelf and sure enough there was one book entitled “White Holes”.

Just as there are black-hole and white-hole matter-phenomena there are dark-matter phenomena with no less empirical grounds for believing. That involves a similar dialectic theoretical process of conceptualization, but Phillip is motivated by what seems to me to be light or white dark matter “of negligible mass” but like Jaspers cautiously talking about in so far as he is open to enlightenment through the attitude that science must proceed ad infinitum—as Jaspers said. But, of course, Jaspers might risk saying that such an attitude is the constant in the biblical imageless God, whereas, Phillip wants to remain objective, but perhaps mostly independent and especially removed from associating with Jaspers’ works.

8. Herbert’s egocentric point--What is the frequent “oh, by the way” point Herbert remembers parenthetically or conclusively? His last posting’s paragraph is like the counselee’s departing oh-by-the-way words to the therapist; it can suggest or reveal even the real issue or perhaps the real mission. In Herbert’s case it seem to be paraphrased like this: “I don’t agree with two “vons” one being Glasersfeld and I hope he defends himself on my blog”. He includes verbalizations about some structures that are deliberate or invented and  ‘others are not’ such as toothaches--a sensitive subject indeed and designed to get reactions from two newcomers to his blog. It’s a Herbert familiar method, it’s that old toothache-compared-to what-is-not-a-toothache schemata “dogmata”. It confuses the issue more than admits a complexity of the multi-causal and prevention structures relevant to toothaches, and gives the opportunity to mutter something as he shuts the therapist’s door. He says: “In religion the rules are posited and enforced by dogmata, etc.” (See [11] TA 93, R 4 to Greindl and Krieg)

9. The term “dogmata” is a special “postmodern” modernity-like spin on the reasonable etymology of the word “dogma”. Protestant dogma leaves room for protesting “dogmata”.  The history of dogma has to do with biblical orthodoxy, which historically involves the proper meaning of being faithful to a principle rather than an ecclesiastical principal—i.e., Church personages. If pop culture can be enticed into using “dogmata” rather than a more self contained, critical and independent “dogma” then such success is a measure of the feedback effectiveness of the society for the propagation of catholicity. That departing word may not have been the intent Herbert had wrapped up in his thought and linguistic structures, but it is not unreasonable to consider it was an invented slip if not a slip showing that he has succumbed to coercive and covert propaganda: “[A]nd finally, a deep-rooted nihilism in the guise of this or that dogmatism”, and I suggest a predicament alien to Descartes but secretly and passionately structured by Herbert. (Three Essays, p. 172.


Site Map

Back to Front Page