Another Philosophical Stab At Philosophy

I’m going to take another stab at talking about something strictly philosophical. It has to do with the previous post, The repost of seven ways to read philosophy with my commentary of how I read philosophy, how I go about it.

I’m going to give you the philosophy behind my reading of philosophy.

I am going to attempt to describe and give an example of the difference between what one is able to do, compared to what is being done.

Take the example of a philosophical work. It doesn’t matter what it is, I am going to read this philosophical work so I can understand it.

The first way that I can go about this has to do with what I am able to do as a human being that is involved with consciousness in someway. It doesn’t matter how we define consciousness because no matter how I would define it you are already understanding implicitly what consciousness is; that is to say, regardless of if we have the same definition, I may use of the word “consciousness” and you implicitly understand something of the nature of what I’m talking about. Just as if I say “dog”. “Rock” or “el hermano”

Any argument which would propose something different, as though you don’t understand what I mean by the word consciousness, is a contradiction. For, you would have no basis from which to ask me what ‘consciousness’ meant, or more precisely, what I mean by ‘consciousness’, if you did not already have an understanding of what it meant. But further; if we both already did not have a common understanding of what ‘consciousness’ means, we would not be able to have any conversation about what you mean or what I mean. Hence, I’m not beginning a philosophical conversation about what each of us might mean by consciousness, I am merely drawing upon the fact that we both already understand what it means. If you absolutely don’t understand what “consciousness” means, then you have simply to go find out. It doesn’t matter what definition you have because if indeed you are talking about consciousness, you must be talking about consciousness. If you are using the word consciousness but you were actually talking about the moon, then you would not actually be talking about consciousness, by the sheer fact that indeed you were talking about the moon. Again, it doesn’t matter what argument you make about all the possibilities involved in whatever you would want to talk about, because you would be relying upon the fact that I already understand what you were talking about in order to make the argument about how it is relative, how we make our own meaning, how symbols are arbitrary, etc.

*



So here I go. I pick up a philosophical writing and I am going to be involved in understanding it.

I start to read it and I begin to notice that it is somewhat difficult to understand what this person, the author, is saying.

It is at this point in this philosophical essay that I make a notice to what consciousness is able to do.

Because the reader is involved with consciousness in someway, regardless of what way we are defining it, the reader is able to slow down and analyze word by word, clause by clause, sentence by sentence, put together and construct the meaning out of the text what the author is trying to say. My point here is entirely that people are able to do this.

My question would be, how am I able to be able to do this? From where is the contents of any piece of text taken from or located? Is it in my mind? Is it in the other persons mind, the author’s mind and she is bestowing or infusing the contents of the text (somehow ) into the symbols themselves such that the content can there by be extruded from the text, from the symbol, by the reader?

My question has to do with where the idea resides. Does it reside in some sort of energy or some sort of ethereal space between two individuals, such that each individual can summon and motivate particular energies that traverse the space between individuals? What is occurring that one person can have an idea and it can be moved across space such that another person can have the same idea, the idea which the first person has?

I’m just gonna leave that sit for a little bit. And while it’s sitting, I’m going to place that little tidbit of being “able” beside it. Indeed there is some ability going on, something that we can call an ‘ability’ that has something to do with what we are calling ‘consciousness’. And this ability has to do with me, or the reader, being able to dive deep, do a close reading, a close analysis of a text to find out what exactly the author is saying.

I make notice of an ability, to draw a distinction between what can actually occur despite ability, which is to say, accounting for that ability.

Again, making reference to the previous post about ways to go about reading Philosophy, The way that I read philosophy is that I start reading it, and if I don’t understand it I might take a few minutes and see if it starts to resonate after 5-10 or 20 pages, and if it doesn’t, I make no effort to try and understand it at all. In fact I set the book aside, and I come back to it at some random time in the future whether it be a few days a few weeks sometimes even years go by. De facto, I am not able to understand it.

So I pick up a different book, and I continue in this process until I find a book that poses Philosophy that is easy for me to understand. It takes no effort, and actually it is quite astounding as I’m reading it that I understand intuitively what the Philosopher is saying so easily.

I read that book, it makes perfect sense. I didn’t have to try to understand it, indeed I could say that I was not able to understand it, but I just understood it automatically.

I do this over and over again with different books. Some books make no sense to me at all and I set them inside. Other books make absolute instant sense to me, or with maybe some effort of pushing through then suddenly makes sense to me, say after 10 or 20 pages usually. It is through this method that I then go back eventually to encounter those first books that I did not understand, and often enough at some point I suddenly understand them as clear as day.

 I call this latter approach an encounter with what is already being done. And it is consistent with what Heidegger calls the work of art, as indeed the answer to the question of the “in-itself”, in response to the critique of pure reason and practical reason, among many other “impossible tasks”, that is: if we have indeed yet begun to think. 

But as well, we come to answer the question and solve the debate around Plato and his “remembrance”. 

Yet, We are totally able to continue the debate!

I’m just not sure that gets us anywhere. 😆. It might, but I’m not sure.

Are you sure? xx

Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

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