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Nelly last won the day on January 23 2006

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  1. It probably wasn't your intention, but this made me think about Heidegger's notion of readiness-at-hand (Zuhandenheit) in relation to capital. Certainly it's a form of appropriation, certainly it could be used to rationalize capitalism - but for Heidegger (I think) it need not be socially embedded. Is pre-social appropriation even possible? I'm certainly finding it difficult to imagine, but then again thinking about pre-social anything tends to be challenging.
  2. Homo Sacer is in part a critique of Foucault. I think you need to read Foucault if you haven't already - or read him again if you have. Also, while justifications (1) and (2) could use fleshing out, (3) is so incredibly vague it could be a tagline for a kritik alternative. You can't just throw around "paradigms beyond biopolitics" and "new ontological spaces" without some attempt at explanation.
  3. I don't know if Heidegger is right or wrong on this issue. Yours doesn't seem like a good counterexample, however. Social bees build a "home" that they "intend to protect from outsiders," and are presumably informed by certain "needs" (like sheltering bee larvae, allowing them to mature). Bees, however, are a paradigmatic example of organisms that act on instinct - they do not respond to their environment in a way comparable to relatively cognizant mammals, let alone humans. Learning, in the human sense, is beyond them. Even if you disagree about the cognitive capacities of bees, are your bird observations really enough to unseat Heidegger's claims?
  4. Possibility for a destabilization of the person, certainly, but what sort of community are you talking about? It seems that you're accepting the Heideggerian framework about animals, then cherry-picking one aspect of it and running through the implications. I've really only read Agamben on this, but I can't imagine his interpretation is too far from Heidegger's original. Agamben writes that (animal) "captivation is a more spellbinding and intense openness than any kind of human knowledge; on the other, insofar as it is not capable of disconcealing its own disinhibitor, it is closed in a total capacity." I can't imagine such a state at all, and I think that's supposed to be precisely the point: animal captivation is just not something that humans can reach into and extract elements at our leisure. One thing I know Heidegger does say is that "Dasein's essence...lies rather in the fact that in each case it has its Being to be, and has it as its own" (SZ 12, or 32-33 in Macquarie/Robinson). Now, I don't understand much of Heidegger, but I think it's pretty clear that the specific way of Being of other entities is just not accessible to us (it doesn't seem to fall under either the "existentiell" or "existential" modes of understanding). Of course there's this other way of understanding Being, the pre-ontologicical. While the pre-ontological is most definitely "non-transcendent" (better yet, it's not even expressible propositionally) I think it's a precondition for Dasein's openness and thus irretrievably different from anything an animal might experience in captivation. I bet I colossally misunderstood Heidegger, or your argument, in there somewhere.
  5. Nelly

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  6. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. There are so many old books I'd like to read that I never seem to get around to new ones.
  7. true. but that doesn't necessarily imply this: certainly nietzsche puts an emphasis on self-overcoming. but those members of society outside of the elite have at best an instrumental value for the elite. of course, nietzsche does have a notion of obligation to the subordinated other, but it's a fairly radical ethics: an affirmation of the world at large that itself relies on an irreducibly narcissistic affirmation of self. think what you will of nietzschean ethics, they involve a profound social elitism, at least at the conceptual level.
  8. i should hope not, considering 90% of it is this chris mcmillan's thesis.
  9. zack is correct; nietzsche is a great elitist. gifted enough to make elitism seem almost ethical (see: zarathustra), but an elitist all the same. on life and death, from twilight (you should read the whole passage, which i did not want to type up; it's section 36): "The sick are the parasites of society. In certain conditions it is improper to live any longer....To create a new responsibility, the physician's responsibility, for all cases where the highest interest of life, of ascending life, requites the remorseless crushing down and thrusting aside of degenerating life....To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death selected voluntarily, death at the write time, consumnated with brightness and cheerfulness in the midst of children and witnesses: so that an actual leave-taking is possible where he who is yet present takes his leave, as also an actual appraisement of what has been realized and aspired after, a summing up of life....When someone does away with himself, he does the noblest thing in the world; by doing so he has almost entitled himself to live..."
  10. Nothing - but it requires a certain flexibility on the part of the reader that some find difficult.
  11. you're missing the point. the idea that claims about the meaning of life are anything but non-falsifiable is precisely what nietzsche is critical of.
  12. the enchantment of modern life. it's not much of a book for solutions, and bennett can be quite naive about certain things, but i think she raises some interesting questions about the affective dimensions of ethics. the sentence of yours that i quoted is almost verbatim one of the central concerns of the book.
  13. it was eminently skimmable.
  14. i like to distinguish works that are difficult from those that are intentionally ambiguous(though some can be both). reading a work that is merely difficult is more or less a matter of decoding. analytic philosophers have perfected a concise and arid variety of difficult writing, of which carnap's logical structure of the world and davidson's "radical interpretation" are prime examples. many philosophers, while basically within this category, fall into a certain amount of unintentional ambiguity. critique of pure reason is one example of a work considerably less systematic than its author thinks it is. i think the practice of intentional ambiguity or anti-systematic writing was largely inaugurated by nietzsche. aphoristic writing clearly does not have the rigor of a structured, logical proof. adorno's minima moralia, horkheimer and adorno's dialectic of enlightenment and a good deal of lacan's work are fine examples of this mode (lacan, unfortunately for the reader, is extremely 'difficult' as well). i found a thousand plateaus, at least, to be a prime example of highly ambiguous writing; anti-oedipus less so.
  15. truly radical conclusion. why does this article wank around with camus instead of talking about, say, nietzsche?
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