> > "Monism pays attention only to the unity and tries either to deny or to > slur over the opposites, present though they are. Neither of these two > points of view can satisfy us, for they do not do justice to the facts. > Dualism sees in spirit (I) and matter (World) two fundamentally different > entities, and cannot, therefore, understand how they can interact with one > another. How should spirit be aware of what goes on in matter, seeing that > the essential nature of matter is quite alien to spirit? Or how in these > circumstances should spirit act upon matter, so as to translate its > intentions into actions? The most ingenious and the most absurd hypotheses > have been propounded to answer these questions. Up to the present, however, > monism is not in a much better position. It has tried three different ways > of meeting the difficulty. Either it denies spirit and becomes materialism; > or it denies matter in order to seek its salvation in spiritualism (see > fn > 1<http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA004/English/RSP1964/GA004_c02.html#fn1>); > or it asserts that even in the simplest entities in the world, spirit and > matter are indissolubly bound together so that there is no need to marvel > at the appearance in man of these two modes of existence, seeing that they > are never found apart. > > Materialism can never offer a satisfactory explanation of the world. For > every attempt at an explanation must begin with the formation of *thoughts > * about the phenomena of the world. Materialism thus begins with the * > thought* of matter or material processes. But, in doing so, it is already > confronted by two different sets of facts: the material world, and the > thoughts about it. The materialist seeks to make these latter intelligible > by regarding them as purely material processes. He believes that thinking > takes place in the brain, much in the same way that digestion takes place > in the animal organs. Just as he attributes mechanical and organic effects > to matter, so he credits matter in certain circumstances with the capacity > to think. He overlooks that, in doing so, he is merely shifting the problem > from one place to another. He ascribes the power of thinking to matter > instead of to himself. And thus he is back again at his starting point. How > does matter come to think about its own nature? Why is it not simply > satisfied with itself and content just to exist? The materialist has turned > his attention away from the definite subject, his own I, and has arrived at > an image of something quite vague and indefinite. Here the old riddle meets > him again. The materialistic conception cannot solve the problem; it can > only shift it from one place to another. > > What of the spiritualistic theory? The genuine *spiritualist* denies to > matter all independent existence and regards it merely as a product of > spirit. But when he tries to use this theory to solve the riddle of his own > human nature, he finds himself driven into a corner. Over against the “I” > or Ego, which can be ranged on the side of spirit, there stands directly > the world of the senses. No *spiritual* approach to it seems open. Only > with the help of material processes can it be perceived and experienced by > the “I”. Such material processes the “I” does not discover in itself so > long as it regards its own nature as exclusively spiritual. In what it > achieves spiritually by its own effort, the sense-perceptible world is > never to be found. It seems as if the “I” had to concede that the world > would be a closed book to it unless it could establish a non-spiritual > relation to the world. Similarly, when it comes to action, we have to > translate our purposes into realities with the help of material things and > forces. We are, therefore, referred back to the outer world. The most > extreme spiritualist — or rather, the thinker who through his absolute > idealism appears as extreme spiritualist — is Johann Gottlieb Fichte. He > attempts to derive the whole edifice of the world from the “I”. What he has > actually accomplished is a magnificent *thought-picture* of the world, > without any content of experience. As little as it is possible for the > materialist to argue the spirit away, just as little is it possible for the > spiritualist to argue away the outer world of matter. > > When man reflects upon the “I”, he perceives in the first instance the > work of this “I” in the conceptual elaboration of the world of ideas. Hence > a world-conception that inclines towards spiritualism may feel tempted, in > looking at man's own essential nature, to acknowledge nothing of spirit > except this world of ideas. In this way spiritualism becomes one-sided > idealism. Instead of going on to penetrate *through* the world of ideas > to the *spiritual* world, idealism identifies the spiritual world with > the world of ideas itself. As a result, it is compelled to remain fixed > with its world-outlook in the circle of activity of the Ego, as if > bewitched. > > A curious variant of idealism is to be found in the view which Friedrich > Albert Lange <http://wn.elib.com/Bio/Lange.html> has put forward in his > widely read *History of Materialism*. He holds that the materialists are > quite right in declaring all phenomena, including our thinking, to be the > product of purely material processes, but, conversely, matter and its > processes are for him themselves the product of our thinking. > > The senses give us only the *effects* of things, not true copies, much > less the things themselves. But among these mere effects we must include > the senses themselves together with the brain and the molecular vibrations > which we assume to go on there. > > That is, our thinking is produced by the material processes, and these by > the thinking of our I. Lange's philosophy is thus nothing more than the > story, in philosophical terms, of the intrepid Baron Münchhausen, who holds > himself up in the air by his own pigtail. > > The third form of monism is the one which finds even in the simplest > entity (the atom) both matter and spirit already united. But nothing is > gained by this either, except that the question, which really originates in > our consciousness, is shifted to another place. How comes it that the > simple entity manifests itself in a two-fold manner, if it is an > indivisible unity? > > Against all these theories we must urge the fact that we meet with the > basic and primary opposition first in our own consciousness. It is we > ourselves who break away from the bosom of Nature and contrast ourselves as > “I” with the “World”. Goethe has given classic expression to this in his > essay *Nature*, although his manner may at first sight be considered > quite unscientific: “Living in the midst of her (Nature) we are strangers > to her. Ceaselessly she speaks to us, yet betrays none of her secrets.” But > Goethe knows the reverse side too: “Men are all in her and she in all.” > > However true it may be that we have estranged ourselves from Nature, it is > none the less true that we feel we are in her and belong to her. It can be > only her own working which pulsates also in us. > > We must find the way back to her again. A simple reflection can point this > way out to us. We have, it is true, torn ourselves away from Nature, but we > must none the less have taken something of her with us into our own being. > This element of Nature in us we must seek out, and then we shall find the > connection with her once more. Dualism fails to do this. It considers human > inwardness as a spiritual entity utterly alien to Nature, and then attempts > somehow to hitch it on to Nature. No wonder that it cannot find the > connecting link. We can find Nature outside us only if we have first > learned to know her *within* us. What is akin to her within us must be > our guide. This marks out our path of enquiry. We shall attempt no > speculations concerning the interaction of Nature and spirit. Rather shall > we probe into the depths of our own being, to find there those elements > which we saved in our flight from Nature." > http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA004/English/RSP1964/GA004_c02.html
On Tuesday, January 1, 2013 6:15:29 PM UTC-5, Craig Weinberg wrote: > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dlBROdVjjI > > Same as mine, really, except I use the concept of 'sense' rather than > 'spirit'. > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msg/everything-list/-/atfJpMiXuaUJ. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.