Philosophy of the human person(final)Presentation Transcript
Philosophy of the Human Person Robert A. Mayonila FACULTY ATENEO DE ZAMBOANGA UNIVERSITY
The Anatomy of Wonder By Sam Keen
To philosophize is to wonder about life
About love and loneliness
Birth and death
About Truth, Beauty and Freedom
To philosophize is to explore Life
By asking painful Questions
When Man is confronted with Mystery, or with Something whose causes are still unknown, he wonders why. Such for Socrates, was the beginning of Wisdom.
In the Theaetetus, Socrates says :
“ Wonder is the feeling of a Philosopher, and
Philosophy begins in Wonder”.
( Plato, Theaetetus, 155 B. Benjamin Jewett in vol. 7of Great Books, p. 519 )
The Anatomy of Wonder
I. Sam Keen in Chapter I of his book The Apology of Wonder, outlines the Anatomy of Wonder and illustrates how it is like or unlike awe, curiosity, reverence and other related experiences and its role towards authentic life.
II. The Objects of Wonder
1. Ontologic Wonder
The primal source of wonder is not the object but the fact that something exists rather than nothing. With considerable shock, the mind is sometimes jarred into the realization that there is no necessary reason for the existence of the world or anything in it. As Wittgenstein has said. “ it is not how things are in the world that is Mystical, but that it exists”.
Ontologic wonder continue…
It is this primal or ontologic wonder that philosophers have traditionally thought of as the wellspring of man’s quest for an explanation of his place under the sun. When the brute givenness of reality is experienced in wonder, certainties give way to the questions which, so long as wonder remains, Man can never receive final answer.
2. Mundane Wonder
A second type of wonder which is elicited primarily by what a thing is rather than it existence (it is). In such encounters, the structures and meaning of the object rather than its bare existence are the occasions for wonder. There could be no adequate catalogue of the objects that produce such mundane wonder: a loved person, beautiful stone, a miraculous event, and so on…
Most frequently, mundane wonder is evoked by encountering something novel and sensational. If we take common linguistic usage that wonder had to do primarily with objects or events of a prodigious nature. We speak frequently of the “ wonders of nature” or the “ wonders of science “.
III. The Formal Characteristics of the objects of Wonder
The philosophical term “contingency “ most accurately describes one characteristic of objects as they are given to us in wonder. As used here, contingency means that in raw experience the object we apprehend in wonder comes to us without bearing its own explanation. Why it is, perhaps even what it is, is not immediately obvious. In less philosophical but more modern terminology, wonder-events are happenings, revelatory occurrences which appear, as if by chance, bearing some new meaning (value, promise ) which cannot immediately be integrated into the past pattern of understanding and explanation.
2 . Mystery
The more intimately known and ardently loved place, thing or person is, the more mysterious it is, because it is so homogenized into psychological fabric of the knower, that the knower and the known form one reality.
By understanding the positive relationship between mystery and knowledge, we see the fallacy of the romantic notion that an increase of knowledge leads to an eclipse of wonder. Knowledge destroys mystery and wonder only when it is used hostilely to reduce the dimensions of meaning in an object to those that can be manipulated and controlled.
The other, which we encounter in wonder, is a presence rather than an object. In a wondering encounter, the initiative is with the object. The manner in which we are grasped by something that strikes us as wonderful is very unlike the way in which we grasped an object by abstraction, analysis, and categorization. In the wondering encounter, the subject is primarily passive, while in the analytical relationship, he is active.
One of the chief characteristics of an encounter between persons is that significant meeting takes place only when each party gives of himself. Persons are, in our experience, are beings who can give and withhold knowledge of themselves. Some knowledge of “:objects” has the same quality of interchange. In wonder something gives itself to us…. in wonder we are presented with a gift of meaning.
IV. Subjective Aspects of the Experience of Wonder
The Stimulus as Experienced
Wonder begins with the element of surprise. The now almost obsolete word, “wonderstruck” suggests that wonder breaks into consciousness with dramatic suddenness that produces amazement or astonishment. Because of the suddenness with which it appears, wonder reduces us momentarily to silence… the language and categories we customarily use to deal with the experience are inadequate to the encounter, and hence we are initially immobilized and dumfounded. We are silent before some new dimension of meaning which is being revealed.
When something explodes into awareness and shatters our ordinary categories of understanding, it quite naturally creates mental and emotional dis-ease and puzzlement… at the same time a new meaning is revealed, new questions begin to emerge.
The ambivalence connected with wonder is structurally the same as that associated with the experience of the holy. The idea of the holy, Rodolf Otto showed that the holy is always experienced as once “Tremendum et Fascinosum” as awful, fearful, threateningly powerful, and at the same time fascinating, desirable, promising and compelling. Wonder partakes of this same ambiguity.
Insofar as it disrupts our proven ways of coping with the world, it is menacing; insofar as it offers the promise of renewing novelty, it is desirable and fascinating…we may describe the heart of the experience of wonder as an awful-promising surprise.
Reality as it is given to us in wonder, is not only a shock and surprise, but it is “a pleasant surprise”. It present itself to us as something having dignity, worth, meaning or value which calls for admiration and appreciation.
In wonder we experience the other as inexhaustible, as the locus of meanings which are only revealed as we cease to be dominated by the impulse to utilize and posses the other and learn to rejoice in its presence. To wonder is die to the self, to cease imposing categories and to surrender the self to the object. Such a risk is taken only because there is the promise of a resurrection of meaning.
2. Response to the Stimulus
a. Curiosity and Explanation
The first response moves from puzzlement to curiosity to a search for explanation, although wonder begins in silence, it does not remain forever dumb. As the shock of astonishment wears away, the mind begins to search for some way to dispel the dis-ease. Puzzlement gives way to curiosity and the search for an explanation begins. This quest begins with the formation of questions.
There are continues line of development from puzzlement to curiosity to reasoning to scientific investigation… Kant said “ the essence of science was putting nature on the rack “ and forcing her to answer the questions we desire to have answered by designing experiments to yield knowledge that cannot be gained by observation or contemplation. The object of Scientific thought is not a presence, a thou or a mystery, but a problem to be solved… creative scientist, the abstractions and explanations which arise out of desire to understand and control the world do not prevent a return to the object in a spirit of wonder. Investigations need not to destroy respect for the object being studied. Indeed, for the creative thinker, wonder and humility grow in proportion to knowledge. Abstraction is used to deepen knowledge of the concrete, and thus there is a continuing dialectic between investigation and admiration.
b. Contemplation and Celebration
Contemplation is no less a mode of thought or reason than scientific investigation. However, it does differ in both structure and intent. The chief characteristic of contemplation is its receptive passivity. This passivity is not to be confused with inertness or languor, but is, rather, the calm and disciplined effort of thought to be open to the uniqueness and novelty of its object.
This willingness to stand in a relaxed receptivity before an object involves a certain reverence, epistemological humility and willingness to appreciate… out of such admiration grows gratitude and the impulse to celebrate, or possibly even to worship.
What does it mean then to wonder?
“ To wonder means to realize that there is something strange behind the things that we ordinarily perceive. To wonder is to notice something extraordinary in the ordinary things we see”.
( For the love of Wisdom by Chris John-Terry, An explanation of the meaning and purpose of Philosophy )
“ Philosophy is for those who are willing to be disturbed with a creative disturbance……Philosophy is for those who still have the capacity to WONDER….”
( Philosophy an introduction to the Art of Wondering by James L. Christian, prelude. )
“ Philosopher can be best described as one who loves truth in its deepest meaning. This is in keeping with the literal meaning of the word “Philosophy” as love of wisdom. The study of Philosophy is a continual encounter, a dialogue carried on in search of truth wherever it maybe found. Philosophy can be termed as an inquiry which seeks to encompass the whole of reality by understanding its most basic causes and principle in so far as these are acceptable to reason and experience. It is characterized as ‘beginning in wonder and ends in mystery” .
( Reflections on Man by Jesse Mann et al. P2-4 )
“ Philosophy of man is an overview on the nature, activities and destiny of man. It attempts to asses his place in and his relationship to the world. Through such an overview, an understanding of what man is and who he is will emerge. In some respect, Philosophy of man constitutes a metaphysics of man, for it is a probe of the deepest causes and meaning of man”.
( Reflections on Man by Jesse Mann et. al p.13)
What Does it mean to Philosophize?
1.0 We shall not begin with a definition of Philosophy. Philosophy is easier to do than to define.
1.1 At this stage, it is safe to say that we associate philosophy with thinking.
1.2 Crucial element in thinking is insight.
2.0 Insight is seeing with the mind. E.g. insight into a joke.
2.1 Two things to be considered regarding
a. the insight itself
b. what do I do with insight
2.2 I can analyze the insight., but if I am merely enjoying the joke, analysis can kill my enjoyment, but if I am to the joke to others, analysis can deepen and clarify the original insight and help in the effective delivery.
3.0 Another example: death of a grandfather at 110 years old. I listen to the story of my
grandfather in his youth, think of myself as full of high spirits, dashing, popular, but
high spirits are not inexhaustible. Insight: Generations of men start life full of vigor,
then wither away and die after they have given life to their own sons.
3.1 Homer made a metaphor of this insight: “ As the generations of leaves, so the
generations of men”.
3.2 Metaphor sharpens the insight and fixes it in the mind.
3.3 Also, one portion of reality casts light on another: by contemplating the fall and return of leaves, we understand also the rhythm of the generations of men.
4.0 Another example: number 4 can be analyzed into 2+2=4 or 1+1+1+1=4.
4.1 How did we gain an insight into “4”? By counting, e.g. cars, abstracting the common and prescinding from the individual characteristics car.
4.2 Abstraction is one of the tools for analysis of insights. An abstract thought is a concept. An analysis by abstraction is a conceptual analysis.
4.3 My insight into the generations of men can be analyzed conceptually, but note that conceptual analysis can desiccate an insight: the throbbing, tumultuous generations of men become an abstract fund of energy and high spirits. It is then necessary to return to the original insight.
5.1 Insight is seeing with the mind: only you can do it. I cannot see it for you but I can help you see it.
5.2 There are many ways of doing with insight. Some insights are so deep they cannot be exhausted.
5.3 It takes insight to do something with insight, like the metaphor of Homer.
5.4 Insight brings us to the very heart of reality, and reality is so deep and unfathomable.
Why do we Philosophize?
1.0 Philosophy is an activity rooted on lived experience.
1.1 Experience is the life of the self: dynamic inter-relation of self and the others, be it things, human being, the environment, the world grasped not objectively but from within.
1.2 Self is the “I” conscious of itself, present to itself.
1.3 Presence to itself entails also presence to other, the not “I”.
2.0 This relatedness of the self to the other is characterized by tension, disequilibrium, disharmony, incoherence.
3.0 Tension calls for Inquiry, Questioning, Search.
4.0 Philosophy is an activity rooted on lived experience.
4.1 Experience is the life of the self: dynamic inter-relation of self and the others, be it things, human being, the environment, the world grasped not objectively but from within.
4.2 Self is the “I” conscious of itself, present to itself.
4.3 Presence to itself entails also presence to other, the not “I”.
5.0 This relatedness of the self to the other is characterized by tension, disequilibrium, disharmony, incoherence.
6.0 Tension calls for Inquiry, Questioning, Search.
C. Beginnings of Philosophizing (When do we begin to Philosophize?)
1.0 Wonder: For Plato, the poet and the Philosopher are alike in that both begin from
2.0 Doubt can also impel man to ask Philosophical Questions. Descartes’ Philosophy started from doubting the existence of everything. Adolescents also doubt their identity.
3.0 Limit Situations are inescapable realities which cannot be change but only acknowledged e.g. failure, death of a beloved. We may not be able to control them but we can control our response to them through reflection. They provide opportunities and challenges for us to make life meaningful. (existentialists)
4.0 Metaphysical Uneasiness is to be unsure of one’s center ( Gabriel Marcel) equivalent to Soren Keirkegaard’s “Angst”.
5.0 Metaphysical Uneasiness is contrasted with Curiosity. To be curious is to start from a fixed external objects ( outside of me) which I have a vague idea of. Metaphysical Uneasiness is beyond the physical (external ) but more of internal.
6.0 Curiosity tends to become metaphysical uneasiness as the object becomes part of me.
7.0 Philosophizing here begins from the inner restlessness which is linked to the drive of fullness.
8.0 Philosophical Questions ultimately can be reduced to question of “WHO AM I?”
6.1 Philosophical Inquiry is inquiry into the Coherence, Sense of human life as totality, as a whole, Comprehensive reality and ultimate (final) value. E.g. I have a terminal case of stomach cancer; I am given only three months to live, so I ask “ What is the meaning of my Life?”
7.0 “Sens de la Vie”: “Sens” can mean the direction of a river, the texture of a cloth, the opening of a door, the meaning of a word. Likewise, my life can have a direction, texture, opening (possibilities), meaning.
D. Philosophical Approaches to the study of Man
1.0 Ancient Greek : Cosmocentric Approach
1.1 The Greek were concerned with the Nature and Order of the Universe.
1.2 Man was part of the cosmos, a microcosm. So like the Universe, Man is made up of Matter (body) and Form (soul).
1.3 Man must maintain the balance and unity with the cosmos.
2.0 Medieval ( Christian era: St. Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas ) Theocentric Approach
2.1 Man is understood as from the point of view of God, as a creature of God, made in His image and likeness, and therefore the apex of His creation.
3.0 Modern ( Descartes, Kant) Anthropocentric Approach
3.1 Man is now understood in his own terms, but basically on reason, thus rationalistic.
4.0 Contemporary Philosophies arose as a reaction against Hegel.
4.1 One reaction is Marx who criticized Hegel’s geist, spirit, mind and brought out his dialectical materialism.
4.2 Another reaction is Soren Kierkegaard who was against the system of Hegel and emphasized the individual and his direct relationship with God. Kierkegaard led the existentialist movement which became popular after the two world wars.
1.0 The father of Existentialism is a Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard ( 1813-1855 )
1.1 Three events in Kierkegaard’s life influence his philosophy:
a. unhappy childhood, strict upbringing by his father
b. break-up with the woman he loved
c. quarrel with a university professor
1.2 These events and his criticism of the rationalistic Hegelian system led him to emphsize the individual and feelings.
1.3 The aim of Kierkegaard is to awaken his people to the true meaning of Christianity.
1.4 Two ways to achieve his aim: a. the direct confrontation ( which is risky ) b. indirect: to start from where the people are and lead them to the truth.
1.4.1. example 1: two ways to help a friend who fell in a ditch.( a ) direct: pull him out from above which he may refuse or he may bring you down. ( b ) indirect: to jump into the ditch with him and lead him up.
1.4.2 example2 : two ways to help a jilted friend: a ) direct: tell him to forget the woman because there are other women, in which case he may avoid you. b ) indirect: sympathize and share the hurt with him and gradually lead him to the realization that it’s not the end of the world.
1.5. Kierkegaard chose the indirect way and saw himself as another Socrates: The indirect way is the Socratic Method.
1.6. Kierkegaard started from where the people were, the aesthetic stage, the stage of pleasure, so he wrote his first aesthetic works.
1.7. The next stage is the ethical stage, the stage of morality
( of good and evil )
with reason as the standard.
1.8 The highest stage is the religious, where the individual stands in direct
immediate relation ( no intermediary ) with God.
1.8.1 Here, because God is infinite and man is finite, the individual is alone, in angst, in fear and trembling.
1.8.2 What comes here is faith, the individual’s belief in God, going beyond reason.
1.8.3 The favorite example of Kierkegaard here is Abraham who was asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac (by his wife Sarah) to test his faith. The command was between God and Abraham alone, cannot be mediated by others (Sarah would not understand it), and to apply the ethical would be a murder .
2.0 Existentialism is not a philosophical system but a movement, because existentialists are against systems.
2.1 There are many different existentialist philosophies, but in general they can be grouped into two camps: Theistic (those who believe in God) and Atheistic (those who do not believe in God.
Martin Heidegger ( he is in-between the two camps because he refuses to talk about God)
Jean Paul Sartre
Maurice Merleau Ponty
2.2 In spite of their divergence, there are common features of existentialist philosophies to label them as existentialist.
2.3 First, existentialist emphasize man as an actor in contrast to man as spectator.
2..3.1 Many existentialists used literature like drama, novel, short story, to convey this idea.
2.4 Second, existentialists emphasize man as subject, in contrast to man as object.
2.4.1 Being as Object is not simply being-as-known but known in a certain way: conceptually, abstractly, scientifically, its content does not depend on the knower. It is the given, pure datum, impersonal, all surface, no depth, can be defined, circumscribed.
2.4.1 Being as Subject is the original center, source of initiative, inexhaustible. The “I” which transcends all determinations, unique, the self, in plenitude, attainable only in the very act by which it affirms itself.
2.4.2 Man is both Subject and Object, as can be shown in reflexive acts (e.g I brush myself, I wash myself, I slap myself) where there is the object-me(changing and divisible) and the subject-I (permanent and indivisible).
2.4.3 The existentialists, however, while not denying the reality of man as object, emphasize the Subjectivity of man, of man as unique, irreducible, irreplaceable, unrepeatable being. E.g. as a passenger in a crowded bus, I am treated like a baggage, but I am more than that.
2.4.5 The subjective must not be confused with subjectivism or being subjectivistic.
2.4.6 The subjective merely affirms the importance of man as origin of meaning (in contrast to the emphasis of ancient & medieval periods on truth)
e.g. God , not the object proven but God-for-me.
e.g. values both objective and subjective (value-for-me )
2.5 Thirdly, existentialists stress man’s existence, man as situatedness, which takes on different meaning for each existentialist.
2.5.1 for Kierkegaard, existence is to be directly related to God in fear and trembling.
2.5.2 For Heidegger, existence is Dasein , There-being, being thrown into the world as self-project.
2.5.3 For Jaspers, to exist is not only to determine one’s own being horizontally but also vertically, to realize oneself before God.
2.5.4 For Marcel, esse est co-esse, to exist is to co-exist, to participate in the life of the other.
2.5.5 For Sartre, to exist is to be free.
2.5.6 For Merleau-Ponty, to exist is to give meaning.
2.5.7 For Camus, to exist is to live in absurdity.
2.6 Fourthly, existentialists stress on freedom which means differently for each existentialist.
2.6.1 For Kierkegaard, to be free is to move from aesthetic stage to ethical to religious.
2.6.2 For Heidegger, to be free is to transcend oneself in time.
2.6.3 For Sartre, to be free is to be absolutely determine of oneself without God.
2.6.4 For Marcel, to be free is to say “yes” to Being, to pass from having to being in love.
2.7 Fifth, Existentialists propagate authentic existence versus inauthentic existence.
2.7.1 Inauthentic existence is living the impersonal “they” in the crowd, in bad faith (half conscious, unreflective)e.g. D’etranger of Camus, functionalized man of Marcel, monologue of Buber.
2.7.2 Authentic existence is free, personal commitment to a project, cause, truth, value. To live authentically is to be response-able .
2.8 All existentialists make use of the PHENOMENOLOGICAL METHOD which does not explain deductively or inductively but simply describes the experience of man as he actually lives it.
1. Traditional study of philosophy begins with logic, then metaphysics, then cosmology and ends with philosophical psychology or philosophical anthropology (philosophy of man)
1.1 Man defined by traditional scholastic philosophy as rational animal, a composite of body of soul.
1.1.1 Under the aspect of body, man is like any other animal, a substance, mortal, limited by time and space.
1.1.2 Under the aspect of soul, man is rational, free, immortal.
1.1.3 The soul is deduced from the behavior of man to think and decide.
2. Our critique of the traditional definition of man is that (a) it is dualistic; ( b) it looks at man more as an object, an animal; (c) it proceeds from external to internal.
3. The phenomenological approach, on the other hand, is: (a) holistic;
(b) It describes man from what is properly human; (c) proceeds from internal to
4. Phenomenology was started by Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) whose aim was to arrive at “philosophy as a rigorous science”
4.1 By “ philosophy as a rigorous science ” Husserl meant “presuppositionless philosophy ”, a philosophy with the least number of presuppositions.
4.2.1 Unlike Descartes, Husserl was dissatisfied with the sciences of his time because they start with a complex presuppositions.
4.3.2 In particular, he was reacting against the naturalistic psychology which treats mental activity as causally conditioned by events of nature, in terms of S-R relationship (stimulus-reaction). Presupposition here is that man is a mechanistic animal.
5. So, Husserl wanted philosophy to be “ science of ultimate grounds ” where the presuppositions are so basic and primary that they cannot be reduced further.
6. How does one arrive at Philosophy? By transcending the natural attitude.
6.1 The natural attitude is the scientific attitude which was predominant in Husserl’s time and carried to the extreme to become scientistic.
6.2 The scientific attitude observes things, expresses their workings in singular judgments, then by induction and deduction, arrives at concrete result.
7. But this attitude contains a lot of assumptions:
7.1 It assumes that there is no need to ask how we know.
7.2 It assumes that the world (object) is out there, existing and explainable in objective laws, while man the subject is pure consciousness, clear to itself able to know the world as it is.
7.3 It takes for granted the world-totality.
8. In short, the natural attitude looks at reality as things, a “ fact world ”.
8.1The way of knowing in the natural attitude is fragmented, partial, fixed, clear, precise, manipulative, and there is no room for mystery. It was moving away from the heart of reality.
9. So, the motto for Husserl and the Phenomenologists was “back to things themselves !”
9.1 By “back to things Themselves ” Husserl meant the entire field of original experience.
9.2 The ultimate root of philosophy was not to be found in a concept, nor in a principle, not in Cogito.
9.3 Phenomenology attempts to go back to the phenomenon, to that which presents itself to man, to see things as they really are, independent of any prejudice. Thus phenomenology is the “ Logos of the Phenomenon”.
IMPORTANT STEPS IN THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL METHOD
Epoche literally means “bracketing” which Husserl borrowed from Mathematics and applied to the natural attitude.
What I bracket in the Epoche is my natural attitude towards the object I am investigating, my prejudice, my clear and conceptual knowledge of it that is unquestioned.
When I bracket, I do not deny nor affirm but simply hold in abeyance: I suspend judgment on it.
Epoche is important in order to see the world with “ new eyes ” and to return to the original experience from where our conceptual natural attitude was derived.
Eidetic Reduction is one of the important reductions in the phenomenological method.
“ Reduction” is another mathematical term to refer to the procedure by which we are placed in the “transcendental sphere ” the sphere in which we can see things as they really are,independent of any prejudice.
“ Eidetic” is derived from “ eidos ” which means essence. In eidetic reduction I reduce the experience to its essence.
I arrive at the essence of the experience by starting out with an individual example, then finding out what changes can be made without ceasing to be what it is. That which I cannot change without making the object cease to be the thing it is, is the invariant, the eidos of the experience
For example, I am doing a phenomenology of Love. I start bracketing my biases on love. Then I reduce the object love to the phenomenon of love. In eidetic reduction, I begin with an example of a relationship of love between two people. I change their age, race, social status and all these do not matter in love. What is it that I cannot change? Perhaps, the unconditional giving of self to the other as he is. This then forms part of the essence of Love.
Phenomenological Transcendental Reduction
Phenomenological Transcendental Reduction reduces the experience further to the very activity of my consciousness , to my loving, my seeing, my hearing ..etc.
Here I now become conscious of the subject, the “ I ” who must decide on the validity of the object.
I now become aware of the subjective aspects of the object when I inquire into the beliefs, feelings, desires which shape the experience.
The object is seen in relation to the subject and the subject in relation to the object.
Phenomenological Transcendental Reduction
In our example of love, maybe I see the essence of love as giving of oneself to the other because of my perspective as a lover. If I take the perspective of the beloved, maybe the essence is more receiving than giving. If I take the perspective of a religious, maybe love is seen as activity of God.
It is the Phenomenological Transcendental Reduction that Edmund Husserl came up with the main insight of Phenomenology : “Intentionality of consciousness
Intentionality of consciousness means that consciousness is intentional, that consciousness is always consciousness of something other than consciousness itself. There is no object without a subject, and no subject without an object. The subject-of-the-object is called noesis ; the object-for-the-subject is called noema. There is no world without man, and no man without a world.
Gabriel Marcel uses a Phenomenological Method less technical than Husserl. He calls it Secondary Reflection
The kind of reflection in which I place myself outside the thing I am inquiring on. An
“ ob-jectum ” (“ thrown infront ”). It has nothing top do with my self nor I have anything to do with it.
The kind of reflection in which I recognize that I am part of the thing I am investigating , and therefore , my discussion is ‘ sub-jective” (“thrown beneath” ). I have something to do with it and It has something to do with me. Because I participate in the thing, I cannot tear it apart into a clear and fixed ideas; I have to describe and bring to light its unique wholeness in my concrete experience.
Man as Intermediary
as being in the world
as being at the world
Man as Intersubjectivity
as being through others
as being with others
as being for others
Man as a Self Project
Man as being unto death
Man as being unto God
Three Basic Orientation of One’s Existence
“ I exist as “Sentio Ergo Sum” ( “I feel therefore I am ”) is the indubitable touchtone of one’s existence, it must be taken as indissoluble unity: the “I” cannot be separated from the “exist”, pertaining essentially to sense experience.
Marcel invokes an image, that of a child coming up to him with shining eyes, saying: “Here I am! What a Luck!. The statement of the child cannot be separated from its act of existing. This is in the word ‘exist’ or ‘existere’ which in Latin means “to stand out,” or “to manifest ”. The indubitable touchtone of one’s existence is linked to kind of exclamatory awareness of oneself, as in the expression of the child ( the leaps , the cries..etc.
The immediacy of self awareness in the case of the ADULTS maybe restrained, crusted over by habits, compartmentalized life: it is pretty certain, in fact, that we are are tending to become bureaucrats not only with our outward behaviors but in our relation with ourselves, and because of bureaucracy we interpose thicker and thicker screens between ourselves and existence .
This feeling that makes known my experience is what Marcel calls: “SYMPATHETIC MEDIATION”
The experience is what Marcel calls: “ NON-INTRUMENTAL COMMUNION”
If we want to be faithful to the experience, we need to use concept that points to this feeling: “DIRECTIONAL CONCEPTS”
The whole process can be fulfilled only if we inter into “ SECONDARY REFLECTION ” and humbly returned to the experienced reality of ordinary life.
Reflection is rooted inexperience, but there are two kinds: Primary and secondary. Primary Reflection breaks the unity of experience and is the foundation of scientific knowledge. This is equivalent to the Natural Attitude in Husserl. Secondary Reflection recuperates the unity of original experience. It does not go against the data of primary reflection but refuses to accept it as final.
Example#1: Who am I? Primary Reflection: I am so and so…,born on this day…, in such a place…, with height and weight…etc.. items on the I.D. card. Secondary Reflection: I am more than the items above.. I enter into my inner core. Example#2: My Body Primary Reflection: a body is like other bodies.., detached from the “I” , the body examined by a doctor, studied by medical students, or the body sold by the prostitute. Secondary Reflection : I am my body, I feel the pain when my dentist pulls my tooth. I feel a terrible feeling when I sell my body( prostitute).
Phenomenology as a Method is a method in which the relation between the investigator and the investigated object is considered to belong essentially to the object itself.
In cases where the object of investigation is Human Being , phenomenology becomes the Method in which all relevant items of research are exclusively considered only with regard to the totality of Human Being .
MAN AS LIBERTY ( FREEDOM)
I. Two extreme positions on the issue on Human Freedom:
B.F. Skinner: Man is Absolutely determined.
Jean Paul Sartre: Man is Absolutely Free.
II. Middle position: Phenomenology of
Freedom of Maurice Merleou-Ponty/Abraham Maslow
III. Freedom and Person: Gabriel Marcel.
Two Types of Freedom: Pier Fransen; Jose A. Cruz S.J.
Freedom of Choice
Freedom and Responsibility:
Robert Johann S.J.
Freedom and Justice
B.F. SKINNER: MAN IS ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED
We begin our Phenomenology description of Freedom by using EPOCHE, bracketing two extreme positions on freedom: Absolute Determinism and absolute Freedom.
The behaviorist psychologist B.F. Skinner holds that man is absolutely determined.
1. Man’s behavior is shaped and determined (caused) by external forces and stimuli:
a. Genetic, biological and physical structure.
b. Environmental structures: culture, national and ecclesiastical ( Church )
c. External forces and demands
Our behavior, being conditioned by these factors, is manipulable: man can be programmed like machine. e.g. governmental, educational and propagandistic techniques.
Against Skinner, we hold that there other levels of experience which cannot be explained by or reduced to external factors and stimuli, such as:
1. I can make myself aware of my biological and physical limitations,
2. I can question my own environmental structures, revolt or validate them.
3. I can achieve a distance from external demands and forces: hesitate, reflect, deliberate and challenge them.
There are difficulties with Absolute Determinism:
1. Explaining away self-questioning and self- reflection is doing self- questioning and self-reflection.
2. Not all causal motives are necessitating causes because the goods that we face and
the motives we use are limited, conditioned and mixed.
3. If the feeling of freedom is rejected, then no basic human experience is trustworthy, which would lead to total skepticism and inaction.
4. If the statement “man is absolutely determined” is true, then the statement is also determined, and the opposite “man is absolutely free” would also be determined, and so, there would be no truth value anymore to the statement.
5. If Human Beings are manipulable like machines, there would be no problem in making the society just.
JEAN PAUL SARTRE: ABSOLUTE FREEDOM
Jean Paul Sartre, in His early stage, holds that man is absolutely Free.
In His essay “Existentialism is Humanism”, Sartre discusses his position by stating that with man, “Existence precedes essence” ( He develops absolute freedom in metaphysical terms in his book “Being and Nothingness)
Man first exists and then creates his own essence.
There is no pre-existing essence that man has to conform when he exists.
There is no God, because if there is God, He would be a creator and essence would exist first before existence, thus man would be determined.
“ Man is what he is not (yet), and he is not what he is “ because he can be what he wants to be.
Man cannot be free in some things only and not free in others; he is absolutely free or not at all.
1. Objection: to Sartre: How can you say I am absolutely free when I am not free to be born in such in such a place, parents, , day…….etc.
2. Answer of Sartre: You can Always live as if you were not born in such and such a place, parents, day…….etc.
2. Objection to Sartre: How can you say I am absolutely free when I cannot climb a big rock or pass through it? So I am limited.
2. Answer of Sartre: The rock is the obstacle to your freedom only because you freely want to climb or pass through it.
For Sartre: Freedom is a negation, a negating power of consciousness.
In interpersonal relationship, this means reducing the other person to an object, described as: “SARTREAN STARE”.
The other person, because he is also free, also reduces me to an object. So for Sartre: “HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE” ( from the Play “NO EXIT” )
Structured Freedom Abraham Maslow
If man is free, his freedom involves both realms: historicity/given structure and transcendence in free questioning
Freedom and structures are complementaries than contradictories
Structure is fundamental to all human growth, evolution and process
Structures are the offerings of the human world to which I come: historicity,environment, etc.
Structure is also the internal constitution of being a man with human potentialities: basis for my being a questioning self.
My own freely created life project is also a structure, that is the structure of being a man
Freedom is operative on all levels: operative not as a force against structure but as a force emerging from structure and merging with structure inorder to further actualize human potentials
Man, therefore is neither absolutely free nor absolutely determined
Man is freedom within structure
Final words on freedom
The problem is not proving the freedom of the will but rather it is in accepting its true meaning and consequences
In the exercise of freedom, we are definitely a and ultimately alone: As Sartre says “ we are condemned to be free.”
Only we can possess ourselves: No one else can do it for us.
Our choices are irrevocable, since the present moment is never repeated. We cannot undo what we have chosen.
We can only summon ourselves to manage making new choices
I must freely create a life-project which is myself
I alone am accountable
Freedom is both terrible and beautiful: a two-edged sword
With freedom, he can make choices but creates anxiety and uncertainty( terrible)
With freedom he can know himself and be in control of his destiny(beautiful)
However his destiny and meaning is other-oriented, open in his potentialities to know and love
As a result, man’s meaning is not only to possess himself freely
His identity is not fully achieved until, having possessed himself, he gives himself to the other.
MAURICE MERLEAU-PONTY: SITUATED FREEDOM
Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his last chapter of the phenomenology of perception, criticizes Sartrean Absolute Freedom and holds the middle position of structure freedom.
For Merleau-Ponty, if freedom is absolute, always and everywhere present, then freedom is impossible and nowhere.
There would be no distinction between freedom and unfreedom. E.g. The slave in chains is just then as free as the one who revolts and breaks his chains. We are free when we control our situation as well as we are powerless.
Such freedom as Sartre’s cannot embody itself in any form of existence, because once freedom has realized something, we have to say at once that it lies outside its so-called embodiments.
In such kind of freedom, it is difficult to speak of choice, because choice implies value, and seeing values is impossible from the standpoint of a freedom which transcends all situations.
For Merleau-Ponty, our freedom is SITUATED FREEDOM.
Freedom is interwoven with a field of existence. Our choices are not made from absolute zero, but from this field of meanings.
Outside myself, there is no limit to my freedom, but in myself, there are limits.
We have to make distinction between :
1.Explicit Intention: I plan to climb the mountain
2. General Intention: Whether I plan to climb the mountain or not, it appears high to me.
Underneath me is a Natural “I”, which does not give up earthly situation and from which is based my plans.
In so far as I have hands, feet, body… I bear intentions which do not depend on my freedom but which I find myself in.
I find myself in a world of meanings. E.g. I cannot structure the data of perception in arbitrary fashion, like: habits, tiredness; historical situation.
It is true that I can change habits or I transcend Facticity, but I can only do so from these standpoints.
A good example of situated freedom is a revolution: it is neither purely determined nor completely free.
GABRIEL MARCEL: FREEDOM AND THE PERSON
Gabriel Marcel understands freedom in relation to PERSON.
The Person is characterized by DISPONSABILITY, AVAILABILITY, in contrast to the EGO which is closed.
Out in existence as an EGO, having freedom and grow to BEING a Person.
Marcel’s Philosophy can be systematized in terms of HAVING and BEING: having and being are two realms of life.
HAVING pertains to things, external to me, and therefore autonomous (independent of me)
1. Things do not commune with me, are not capable of participation, closed and opaque, quantifiable and exhaustible.
2 . The life of Having therefore is a life of instrumental relationship.
3. Having is the realm of problem. A problem is something to be solved but apart of me, the subject.
4. Having is also applicable not only to things but also to ideas, fellowman, faith. I can have my ideas, posses other people, have my religion. Here I treat my ideas, other people, religion as my possessions, not open for sharing with others.
BEING, on the other hand, pertains to person, open to others, able to participate, creative, non-conceptualizable, a plenitude.
1. The life of BEING is the life of communion.
2. The realm of BEING is the realm of MYSTERY. A mystery is a problem that encroaches on the subject, that is part of me.
3. BEING is also applicable not only to persons but also to things (art), ideas, faith. I am my painting; I am my ideas, I am my faith. Here my art, ideas, religion are part of me which I can share to others.
FREEDOM for Marcel belongs to the realm of BEING, because freedom is not distinct from us, not a possession. Freedom is a mystery not a problem.
1. A thing possessed may be used or neglected by the owner without losing its character, but with freedom, when I deny, abused or betray it, it loses its character as freedom.
2. Freedom then, as belonging to the realm of Being, freedom breaks the confines of having to affirm my being which is essentially openness, participation, creative belonging with other beings and with fullness of BEING ITSELF.
Man is gifted with freedom ( freedom as fact ), and that is why he experiences a lack, but which is really an exigency of BEING.
1. In an answer to this appeal of BEING, man either fulfills or betray his freedom.
2. To fulfill freedom is to affirm, to be in communion with others, with BEING.
3. Therefore, freedom as a fact points to freedom as VALUE. I am free in order to become free (freedom as achievement), to become fully a person.
TWO KINDS OF FREEDOM
1. FREEDOM OF CHOICE (Horizontal Freedom)
2. FUNDAMENTAL OPTIONS (Vertical Freedom)
1.1 Our first and commonly understood experience of freedom is the ability to choose, goods, e.g. I choose to study instead of watching a movie, I choose to buy a cheap pair of shoes instead of an expensive one, because I am supporting my siblings education.
But if we reflect deeper, our choice implies a prior or may lead to a preference of VALUES. When I choose to study instead of playing, I value learning more than pleasure. When I choose to buy a cheap pair of shoes, I value helping my sister/brother more than my comfort.
2.1 This Freedom is called FUNDAMENTAL OPTIONS, because it is our general direction or orientation in life, it reflects our value in life.
2.2 It is called VERTICAL FREEDOM, because values form a hierarchy; some values are higher than others.
2.3 For the German Phenomenologist Max Scheler, preferring and realizing Higher Values is LOVE, and preferring and realizing lower values is hatred or egoism.
In the ultimate analysis, there are Two Fundamental Options: LOVE and EGOISM.
1. It is LOVE which makes me a PERSON, which makes me truly FREE.
2. FREEDOM OF CHOICE and FUNDAMENTAL OPTIONS are interrelated: Our Choices shape our Fundamental Options, and our Fundamental Options is exercised and concretized in our particular choices.
FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
These Two Types of Freedom can be seen in the corollary of Freedom which is RESPONSIBILITY. Responsibility is the other side of Freedom.
Just as there are two kinds of Freedom, there are also two meanings of Responsibility.
1. The First Meaning of Responsibility corresponds to the First Type of Freedom, Free Choice , namely ACCOUNTABILITY.
I am accountable for an action that is free, whose source is the “I”, I acted on my own, I decided on my own. I am free from external constraints.
Being Responsible, Accountable for my action, however, does not necessarily make me a responsible person. Here we encounter a second meaning of responsibility corresponding to the second type of freedom: RESPONSE-ABILITY.
RESPONSE-ABILITY means the ability to give an account, the ability to justify my action as truly responsive to the objective demands of the situation.
1. A response that meets the objective demands of the situation is a response that meets the demand of JUSTICE.
2. A responsible action then from a RESPONSE-ABLE person requires putting the Other in the forefront in place of myself. I am free from internal constraints, like egoism and whims (arbitrariness).
3. Greater Freedom then is not just being able to do what I want to do but being able to do and wanting to do what the situation objectively (versus subjectively) oblige me to do.
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE
The relation between FREEDOM and JUSTICE can be seen when we take into consideration the network of relationships with FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS and the goods intended by Freedom.
JUSTICE is giving what is due to the other.
When we choose goods (things, money, political power…etc.), we must consider that they are finite and exhaustible, and that the other also needs them.
Absolute Love for finite goods leads to corruption, in the object and in the subject.
If the Human Being is to keep his Freedom, He must assess the real needs with respect to what is available around his world and the equally real needs of his fellowman.
This requires an objective order of Values, like balancing measurement, LIBRA.
What is due to the other is all that he needs to preserve and enhance his dignity as a Human Being.
We are obligated to give to the other what the other needs to enhance his Dignity.
His Dignity includes His Being and becoming Free.
But we are obliged to give only what we can give within the limited matrix of possibilities.
Freedom then conditions Justice, and Justice is a condition of Freedom.
Freedom conditions justice, because giving what is due to the other means allowing him to use his talents to fulfill his Humanity, giving him Freedom. So, to violate the Freedom of the other is to deny him Justice.
Justice is a condition of freedom, because I can only use my Freedom for the promotion of Justice, of what is due to the Human Being. In the exercise of my Freedom, I must observe Justice so that the resources of fellow Human Beings and the World of nature are not exhausted and totally lost, otherwise there will be no more goods to choose from.
This relationship of Freedom and Justice is applicable to society.
In a society, there must be a balance of Freedom and Justice.
This means that there must be structural order in society such that higher Values are not subordinated to lower values.
The social structure must be such that exchange of economic goods and distribution of political power is geared towards enhancement of the Human Being.
The practical norm to follow for that ideal is : “ to each according to his needs
( Acts 2:45 )….. from each according to his means ( Acts 11:29 ).
In case of conflict between Freedom and Justice, the use of Violence must be avoided. Instead structure for deliberations are needed. People must be able to participate is Dialogue to settle their differences.
INTERSUBJECTIVITY ( MAN AND FELLOWMAN )
The noted Jewish Philosopher on dialogue, Martin Buber, makes a distinction between the HUMAN and INTERHUMAN.
1.1 The Social is the life of the group of people bound together by common experiences and reactions; in short, a group existence.
1.2 The Interhuman is the life between persons, the interpersonal, the life of dialogue, The “I-THOU”.
1.3 For example, Buber joins a procession for the sake of a comrade (social ), then suddenly he sees someone in the café he had befriended a day before ( Interhuman ).
1.4. The Interhuman can happen to persons with opposing views, like a boxer in the boxing match.
“ I-THOU” ( dialogue ) is to be distinguished from “I-IT” ( monologue )
2.1One way of distinguishing dialogue from monologue is to describe the obstacles to dialogue which would be the characteristics of monologue.
We must note first that our life with other persons is in reality never pure dialogue nor pure monologue but a mixture. It is the question of which predominates
3.1 The first obstacle to dialogue is”SEEMING”, in contrast to “BEING”.
3.1.1 Seeming proceeds from what one wishes to seem. I approach the other from what I want to impress on the other.
3.1.2 The look of seeming is “made-up”, artificial.
3.1.3 Being proceeds from what one really is. I approach the other from what I really am, not wanting to impress on the other.
3.1.4 The look of Being is spontaneous, without reserve, natural.
3.1.5The Seeming that is an obstacle to dialogue must be distinguished from the “Genuine Seeming” of an actor who is playing a role and of a lad who imitates a heroic model.
3.1.6 Seeming that attacks the “I-THOU” is a lie in relation to existence, not a lie in relation to particular facts.
3.1.7 For example: Two men , Peter and Paul, whose lives are dominated by seeming:
Peter as he wants to appear to Paul, Paul as He wants to appear to Peter,
Peter as he actually appear to Paul, Paul as he actually appears peter,
Peter as He appears to Himself, Paul as He appears to himself.
Six appearances and two bodily bei ngs!!!
3.1.8 In “I-THOU”, persons communicate to each other as they are, in Truth.
3.1.9 Objection to Buber: Is it not natural for man to seem.
Answer of Buber: No, what is natural for man is to seek confirmation of his being, a
“ yes” from the other for who he is, but this is difficult and so he resorts to seeming
because seeming is easier.
3.2 The second obstacle to dialogue is speechifying, in contrast to personal making present.
3.2.1 Speechifying is talking past one another. For Sartre, this is the impassable walls between partners in conversation. Most conversations today are really monologues.
3.2.2In dialogue, on the other hand, I personally make present the other as the very one he is, I become aware of Him, that he is different from me, unique, maybe even with opposing views.
3.2.3 To be aware of a person is different from becoming aware of a thing or animal. It is to perceive his wholeness, determined by spirit. It is to perceive his dynamic center.
3.2.4 In our time, we have the following tendencies that make dialogue difficult:
Analytical: We break the person into parts.
Reductive: We reduce the richness of a person to a schema, structure, concept..
Deriving: We derive the person from a formula..
Thus: the Mystery of a Person is Leveled down.
3.3. The third obstacle to dialogue is IMPOSITION, in contrast to UNFOLDING.
3.3.1 Imposition is interaction between persons, they influence one another. But there are two basic ways to influence another: Imposition and Unfolding.
3.3.2 Imposition is dictating my own opinion, attitude, myself on the other.
3.3.3 Unfolding, on the other hand, is finding in the other the disposition towards what I myself recognized as true good and beautiful. If it is true, good and beautiful, it must also be alive in the other person in his own unique way. All I have to do in dialogue is to bring him to see it for himself.
3.3.4 A typical example of imposition is the propagandist. The propagandist is not concerned with the unique person he wants to influence but with certain qualities of the person that he can manipulate and exploit to win the other to his side. He is concerned simply with more members, more followers. Political methods are mostly winning power over the other by depersonalizing him.
3.3.5 A Typical example of unfolding is the Educator. The Educator cares for his students as unique, singular, individual. He sees each as capable of freely actualizing himself. What is right is established in each as a seed in a unique personal way. He does not impose.
3.3.6 The educator trust in the efficacy of what is right. The propagandist does not believe in the efficacy of his cause, so he must use special methods like the media.
3.3.7 This idea of Buber has influenced a Theologian of Liberation, Paolo Friere, who wrote the Pedagogy of the oppressed. According to him there are two ways of teaching:
banking Method: a teacher “deposits” information in his students’ minds and he “withdraws” it during examinations.
Dialogical Methods: the teacher teaches by learning from his students their unique situation, and from there, he unfolds what is right. Both the teacher and students are responsible to what is true, good and beautiful.
To summarize, genuine dialogue is turning to the partner in all truth.
4.1 To turn to the other in all truth also means imagining the real, accepting the wholeness of the other, including his real potentialities and the truth of what he cannot say.
4.2 To confirm the other does not mean approval. Even if I disagree with him, I can accept him as my partner in genuine dialogue; I affirm him as a person.
4.3 Further, for genuine dialogue to arise, every participant must bring himself to it. He must be willing to say what is really in his mind about the subject matter.
4.3.1 This is different from unreserved speech, where I just talk and talk.
4.4.2 Silence can also be dialogue. Words sometimes are the source of misunderstanding (Zen Buddhism)
LOVE Introductory Note: There are many kinds of Love ( Love of Friendship, Marital Love..etc.). Our Phenomenology of Love here is not a description of a particular kind of Love but of love in general between persons
We begin our phenomenology of love by first using epoche, braketing the popular notion of Love as a pleasant sensation, as something one “ falls into “. 1. According to Erich Fromn in his book, “ The Art of Loving” , Love is an art that requires knowledge and effort. 2. Erich Fromn cites three reasons for this wrong popular notion of Love as “Falling in Love”.
3.The first reason is that now a days the problem is stressed on “being loved” rather than “on loving”. Note the proliferation of books on “how to win friends and influence people”, “how to be attractive”. 4.The second reason is that nowadays the problem is focused on the “object” rather than the “Faculty”. Nowadays people think that to love is easy but finding the right person to love or be loved is difficult. So love is reduced to sales and follow the fad of the times.
5.The third reason is the confusion between the initial state of “falling-in-love” and the “permanent state of being-in-love”.
6.The experience of love starts from the experience of “Loneliness” 6.1. Loneliness is one of the basic experience of the human being because of “self awareness”.
7. Thrown out of the situation which was definite and secure into a situation which is indefinite, uncertain, open, the human being experiences separation. 8. This experience of separation is painful and is the source of shame, guilt and anxiety. 9. There is then the deep need in man to overcome loneliness and to find “at-onement”.
9. Some answers to this problem are the following: A. Orgiastic States: trance induced by drugs, rituals, sexual orgasm, alcohol etc. The characteristic of this states are: violent, intense, involving the total personality, but transitory and periodical. They are addictive
B. Conformity with groups: joining a party or organization. The characteristics of these groups are calm, routine dictated. In our society today, we equate “equality” with sameness rather than “oneness” where differences are respected
C. Creative Activity: a productive work which I plan, produce and see the result, which is difficult nowadays.
10. All the above are not interpersonal. 11. Love is the answer of Loneliness, but Love can be immature. 12.Immature love is symbiotic union where the persons lose their individuality. The following are immature forms of Love: A. Biological: the pregnant mother and the fetus: both live together.
B. Psychic: two bodies are independent but the same attachment psychologically. C. Passive: masochism. The masochist submits himself to another. D. Active: sadism. The sadist is dependent on the submissiveness of the masochist.
13. Loneliness ends when the loving encounter begins, when the person finds or is found by another. 14. The loving encounter is a meeting of persons. 15. The meeting of persons involves an “I-Thou communication”. 16. This meeting of persons happens when two persons are free to be themselves yet choose to share themselves.
18. This meeting of persons is not simply a bumping into each other, nor an exchange of pleasant remarks, although this can be an embodiments of a deeper meaning. 19. This meeting of persons can happen in groups of common commitments although social groups can impose roles.
20. The loving encounter presupposes the appeal of the other to my subjectivity. 21. The appeal of the other is embodied in a word, gesture or glance. 22.The appeal of the other is an invitation to transcend myself, to break away from my occupation with the self.
23. I can ignore the causal remark of the other as a sign for the meeting. 24. My self-centeredness makes it difficult for me to understand the other’s appeal to me. 25. I need more than eyes to see the reality of the other, to see his goodness and value.
26. I need an attitude that has broken away from self –preoccupation. If I am absorbed in myself, I will not understand the other’s appeal but will just excuse myself. 27.I must get out of the role I am accustomed to play in my daily life to understand the other’s appeal.
28. What is the appeal of the other? It is not the corporeal or spiritual attractive qualities of the other.
29. Qualities can only give rise to enamoredness, a desire to be with the other, but love is the firm will to be for the other.
30. Once the qualities ceases to be attractive, then love ceases. 31. Also, the person is more than his facticity. 32. The appeal is not any explicit request, because the other may go away dissatisfied, because my heart was not in fulfillment of his request. 33. The other’s appeal is HIMSELF.
34. The call of the other is his subjectivity: “be with me, participate in my subjectivity”. The other person is himself a request. 35. The appeal of the other makes it possible for me to liberate myself from myself. 36. The appeal reveals to me an entirely new dimension of existence: that myself realization maybe a destiny-for-you. “ Because of you , I understand the meaninglessness of my egoism”.
37. What is my reply to the other’s appeal? It is not the outpouring of my qualities to the other. 38. Compatibility of Qualities is not necessary in love. 39. Neither is my reply the satisfaction of his request or desire. 40. Sometimes refusal to grant his request or desire maybe the way of loving him if granting it will do him harm.
41 . My reply of the other’s appeal is MYSELF. 42. As a subject, the other is free to give meaning and new dimension to his life. 43. His appeal then to me is an invitation to will his subjectivity, to consent to his freedom, to accept, support and share it.
44. My reply then is willing the other’s free self realization, his destiny, his happiness. It is like saying: “I want you become what you want to be . I want you to realize your happiness freely. 45. This reply is effective. 46. Love is not only saying but doing, since the other person is not a disembodied subject, to love him implies that I will his bodily being, that I care for his body, his world, his total well being.
47. Willing the happiness of the other implies I have an awareness, a personal knowledge of his destiny. 48.1 Love is not only saying but doing, since the other person is not a disembodied subject, to love him implies that I will his bodily being, that I care for his body, his world, his total well being.
49. My Love will open possibilities for him but also close others, those that will hamper his self realization. 50. I can be mistaken in what I think will make other happy or I may impose own concept of happiness so Love requires RESPECT for the OTHERNESS of the other. 51. This respect the other necessitates PATIENCE, because the rhythm of growth of the other maybe different from mine.
52. Patience is harmonizing my rhythm with the other’s, like melody or an orchestra. 53. Is love concerned only with the other and not at all myself? No, because in love I am concerned also with myself. 54. This does not mean to be loved but in the sense that in love, I place the limitless trust in the other, thus delivering myself to Him.
55. This TRUST, this defenselessness, is a CALL upon the love of the beloved, to accept my offer of myself. 56. The appeal of the lover to the beloved is not to will to draw advantage from the affection for the other. 57. The appeal of the lover to the beloved is not compelling, dominating or possessing the other. Love wants the other’s freedom in that the other himself choose this safe way and avoid that dangerous path.
58. There is indeed that element of SACRIFICE in loving the other which is often (mis)understood as loss of self. 59. I renounce motive of promoting myself, abandoning my egoism. 60. But this does not mean loss of self. On the contrary, in loving the other I need to love myself, and in loving the other I come to fulfill myself. 61. I need to love myself first in loving the other because in loving I offer myself as a GIFT to the other, so the gift has to be valuable to me first, otherwise I am giving a garbage to the other.
62. This loving myself takes the form of being-loved: I am loved by the other. 63. I come to fulfill myself in loving the other because when my gift of self is accepted, the value is confirmed by the beloved, and I experience the joy of giving in the process I also receive. 64. Thus, there exist in loving the other the desire to be loved in return. But this desire is never a motive in loving the other.
The primary motive in LOVE is the YOU-FOR-WHOM-I-CARE. 65. The “you” is not the “he” or “she” I talk about. 66. The “you” is not just another self. ( “not just a rose among the roses” Little Prince) 67. The you is discovered by the lover himself, not with the eyes nor with the mind but with the heart.(“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eyes” Little Prince.) “I love you because you are beautiful and lovable, and you are beautiful and lovable because you are you”.
68. Since the you is another subjectivity, He is free to accept or reject my offer of self. Love is a risk. 69. What if the other does not reciprocate my love? 70. The rejection of the beloved can be a test of how authentic my love is. 71. If I persist in loving the other in spite of the pain, then my love is truly selfless. 72. The experience of rejection can be an opportunity for me to examine myself, for self-reparation, for emptying myself , allowing room for development.
73. when love is reciprocated, love becomes fruitful, Love becomes creative. 74. Loving although it presupposes knowing, it is different from knowing. 75. In knowing I let reality be, but in loving I will the other’s free self realization, I somehow “make” the other be. 76. In any encounter, there is a “making” of the other: e.g. the teacher makes the student a student; the student makes the teacher a teacher.
77. In loving encounter, the making of the other is not causalistic because love involves two freedoms. 78. To understand the creativity of love, let us do a phenomenology of being-loved. 79. When I am loved, I experience a feeling of joy and sense of security. 80. I feel joy because I am accepted as myself and a value to the lover. I feel free to be just myself and what I can become. 81. I feel secure because the other participates in my subjectivitry, I no longer walk alone in the world.
82. So, What is created in love is “we”. 83. Together with the “we” is also a “new-world”—our world, one world. “ My life is monotonous, he said, I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All chickens are just alike. And , in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine in my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground
Yours will call me, like music, out of burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat-fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have the hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat….” The Fox to the Little Prince
84. Again, the creative influence of the lover is not causalistic because the beloved must freely accept the offer of the lover. 85. Only when the beloved says “yes” will the love becomes fruitful,: e.g. the teacher’s love is fruitful only when student accepts freely the education. 86. The “we” created in love is a union of persons and their worlds. Therefore, they do not lose their identities. 87. In the union of things, the elements lose their identities.
88. In love, a paradox exists: The “I” becomes more an “I” and the “YOU” becomes more of Himself. 89. We can clarify and deepen this paradox in love by describing the nature of love as a “Gift of Self”. 90. A gift is “something” I cause another to posses which hitherto I posses myself, a giver. 91. The other has no strict right to own the gift.
92. The giving is disinterested, unconditional: There is no “string attached” to the giving. I do not givein order to get something in return; otherwise the giving is an exchange or selling. 93. In love, the giving is not a giving up in the sense of being deprived of something because the self is not a thing that when given no longer belongs to the giver but to the given. 94 Nor the giving in love coming from a marketing character because I do not give in order to get something in return.
95. The giving in love is also not of the virtuous character. I dot give in order to feel good. 96. Why do I give myself in love? Because I expereince a certain bounty, richness, value in me. 97. I can express this disinterested giving of self to the other as other in the giving of sex, material things…. But when I do so, the thing becomes unique because it has become a concrete but limited embodiment of myself.
98. To give myself means to give my will, my ideas, my feelings, my experiences to the other--- all that is alive in me. 99. Why do I love this particular other? Because you are lovable, you are lovable because you are you. 100. The value of the other is his being unique self. Therefore, since every person is unique, everyone is lovable.
101. If I am capable of loving this particular person for what he is, I am also capable of loving the others for what they are. 102. From this nature of Love as disinterested giving of oneself to the other as other, we can derive other essential characteristics of love.
103. Love is Historical because the other is a concrete particular person with history. 104. I do not love abstract Humanity, but concrete persons. 105. I do not love ideal persons, nor do I love in order to change or improve the other. e.g the friends of Jesus, His Apostles, were not ideal people.
106. We always associate the person we love with concrete places, things, events: like songs, e.g. In the Gospel of St. John, The old St John recounts his first meeting with Jesus and ends that account with “It was about four o’clock in the afternoon”(John1:39)
When friendship is breaking down, we want to reconcile, we recall the the things we did together: “You are beautiful, but you are empty, he went on. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passer-by would think that my rose looked just you—the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than the hundrds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; Because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars(except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose….” The Little Prince in passing by a garden of roses.
107. In Love, I do not surrender my liberty to the other, I do not become a slave to the other. The wife’s submission to her husband is done in freedom in recognition of his position in the family. 108. Rather, in Love two freedoms become one and each becomes more free.
109. The union of several freedoms in love results in a community, which is different from a society. In community, persons are free to be themselves.
110. Persons are Equal in Love because persons are free.
111. The equality in love is the equality of being, not of having.
112. Love is Total because the person in love is indivisible. I do not say, “you are my friend only insofar as you are my colleague”. 113. Love is Eternal because love is not given only for a limited period of time. 114. Love is Sacred because persons in love are valuable in themselves.
MAX SCHELER’S PENOMENOLOGY OF LOVE
The most important sphere in a human being’s life is the heart.
The heart is the core and the essence.
The heart is destined to love; the human person is destined to love.
Loving is the most fundamental act of the human person.
Loving is the primordial act.
The human being is first and foremost a being who loves
WHAT LOVE IS NOT
Love is not benevolence.
When one loves, it is not necessary that one seeks the material benefit of its object.
When loving non-persons, for example, one does not need to be benevolent to the object of the loving act. E.g. Loving God, nature, art, career.
Loving persons, on the other hand, coupled with benevolence implies condescension and distance.
Benevolence makes an effort towards the well-being of the other, to realize something in the other.
Love exerts no effort to do something in the object loved.
Love is not a fellow feeling
Fellow feeling is value blind.
O can fellow feel for a person we do not love e.g. one can fellow feel for a person’s joy over his or his rival’s misfortune but when one loves, one would see that this is not in line with one’s higher possibilities of being.
Love is not a feeling.
Feeling is passive-rweceptive and reactive.
Malebranche: we do not necessarily love a fruit that gives the feeling of pleasure?
Even if love is not a fellow feeling, one fellow feels for a person when one loves that person.
Fellow feeling is founded on love.
Fellow feeling varies in the measure and depth of love.
Love is not the same as feeling states.
Feeling state change, love endures.
Love does not alter.
Love is the cause of feeling states, not feeling states causing love.
There is no such thing as falling out of love.
One does not love for limited periods of time.
Love is not the same as preference and rejection of values (values apprehension or judgments)
One can feel something of positive value without loving the object possessing that value e.e. Respect for a person- respect is directed towards a value of a person that we respect.
Respect necessitates a value judgment which entails a certain detachment; this absent in love.
Love is not directed towards a value but to objects possessing that value.
Preference and rejection as value apprehension are founded on love.
Love is a movement-higher values can flash forth and be preferred.
Love is a primitive and immediate mode of emotional response to the core of persons and objects.
One does not apprehend a value first and then love.
It is possible for a person and object to fulfill our preconceived preferred values but we still do not love them.
But the valuations that we give are never enough for justifying our love.
Most people find it unreasonable to apply conceptual categories of valuations to the objects that we love e.g. Judging a loved one’s letter because of the style and grammar.
Love is not blind.
Misconception because of the primitiveness of love and the adequacy reasons.
Love has an evidence of its own which is not strictly judged by reason
Scheler says: “Love sees something other in values, high or low, than that which the eye of reason can discern.”
The beloved has its own worth. The beloved is reason enough for the lover.
Blaise Paschal says: “The heart itself has its own reasons which reason itself does not know.’
Love is not relative to the “polar-coordinates of myself and the other”
Love is not a social disposition like altruism.
One can love oneself genuinely without falling into egoism but one cannot fellow feel for oneself.
Scheler says: “Love does not first become what it is by virtue of its exponents, their objects or their possible effects and results.”
THE ESSENCE OF LOVE
Love (and hatred) as acts cannot be defined but only exhibited.
Hatred is not the opposite of love, indifference is.
Hatred is a disorder of the heart, a movement to the direction.
“ Hatred looks for the existence of a lower value…and to the removal of very possibility of a higher value.”
Love is an act and a movement of intention.
From a given value in an object, its higher value is visualized.
This vision of a higher value is the essence of love.
Love is not a reaction to a value already felt, nor a search for the value already given in an object or person.
Upon seeing that the value is real in the object, one moves in intention to higher values.
One can be aware of the positive values in an object without loving the object.
Love is creative.
It sets up an “idealized paradigm of value” for the objector person loved.
This idealized paradigm of value is not an imposition; it is implicit in the object or person loved .
This paradigm of value is neither a creation or an enhancement of values.
The creativity of love brings into appearance the higher possibilities of value in the beloved.
This paradigm of value is true and real in the object loved, they only wait confirmation.
Karl Jaspers says: “In love, we do not discover values, we discover that everything is lovable.”
Love relates to what has value rather to value itself.
Love is not limited to human beings.
One can love nature, vocation, God.
Love is an intentional movement from a lower to a higher value of the object love.
Love is basically a movement.
“ Love at first sight” is not real love. Real love moves to the higher possibilities of value in the object.
Intentional is not the same as purposeful, motivational or striving towards a goal.
Intentional means directional in the phenomenological sense.
Phenomenological Intentionality- consciousness is consciousness of, loving is loving something or someone.
Love is concerned with the existence or non-existence of higher values.
Without indifference, love can become an “attitude of constantly prospecting, as it were, for new and higher values in the object.”
Prospecting for higher values can be due to unsatisfied love.
Without indifference, love can be misunderstood as an attempt to raise the value of the object loved, to improve the beloved and help the beloved acquire a higher value.
A desire for improvement implies a pedagogic attitude – “I love you because I want to make you into a better person.”
A desire for improvement necessitates making necessitates making a distinction between what a person is now and what he or she should be. Love does not make this distinction.
Scheler says: “ Love itself in the course of its own movement, brings about the continuous emergence of ever higher values in the object- just as if it was streaming out from the object of its own accord, without any sort of exertion on the part of the lover.”
THREE MISUNDERSTANDING OF LOVE
When one loves, one does not seek for new values in the object loved.
When love opens one’s eyes to a higher values in the object loved, it is a consequence of love not because of a “seeking.”
An active seeking indicates an absence of love.
Genuine love is loving a person for all that he or she is, including the weaknesses and even during disillusionment.
Higher values are not given beforehand as an ideal “to be looked for” in the object loved; they are disclosed and discovered in the very movement of love.
Love is an occasion for promoting higher values like educating a person.
Love does not desire to change the beloved.
A desire to change the beloved is rooted in a love that is conditional.
Example of unconditional love:
Mary Magdalene ( not “thou shalt not sin no more; promise me this and I will love thee and forgive thy sins” BUT “go, and sin no more.”)
The Prodigal Son
We love being as they are.
Love does not create higher values in the beloved.
Creating higher values is a projection of one’s values into the other.
It is due to a failure to free oneself from being partial to one’s own ideas, feelings, interests, in short from egoism.
“ Love is that movement wherein every concrete individual object that possesses values achieves the highest value compatible to its nature and ideal vocation; or wherein it attains the ideal state of value intrinsic to its nature”
LOVE AND MORAL VALUES
Love includes the moral value of goodness.
Love of nature and love of art also involve moral value.
They contribute to the perfection of person.
They are spiritual acts.
There is no such thing as love of goodness.
Love of goodness is Pharisaism: loving people because they are good.
Loving people not because of concern, but because of the desire to appear good.
Love has the value of goodness.
A person moral goodness is determined according to the measure of his or her love.
It is in the movement from lower to higher values that goodness appears as values.
HIERARCHY OF VALUES
What are values?
Values precede feeling state.
Values are the foundation of feeling states and their completion.
Values do not exist only because they are felt.
In feeling a value, the value is given as distinct from the act of it being felt.
Values have an a-priori character.
Values are not goods. Goods are carriers of value. Goods change, a value does not change. E.g. the value of friendship is still a value even if a friend is being unfaithful.
Values are independent of our striving. E.g. The value of health.
There is a hierarchy of values.
This hierarchy also has an a-priori character.
There are positive and negative values. A value cannot be both positive and negative.
Agreeable, pleasant versus disagreeable, unpleasant.
Values that are objects of sensory feelings (corresponding to subjective states of pleasure and pain).
Values connected with general wellbeing.
Feelings of health and sickness, ageing, exhaustion.
Vital values are irreducible to the pleasant or unpleasant values.
Independent of the body and environment.
Values of the beautiful and the ugly, aesthetic values.
Values of the just and the unjust.
Values of pure knowledge.
Spiritual values are linked with the feeling state of spiritual joy.
Holy and the Unholy.
Values of the holy are independent of the things, objects and persons held to be holy at different times.
Values of the holy are higher than spiritual values, vital values are higher than sensory values.
The movement of Love commences only at the level of spiritual value.
WHEN IS A VALUE HIGHER?
A value is higher if it endures: Loving not just today or tomorrow.
A value is higher if it is less divisible: value of bread versus the value of work of art.
A value is higher if it generates and finds other values: Value of Life.
Spiritual value: Life has value because there are spiritual values.
Depth of contentment or fulfillment: Sensory Values compel one to search for more enjoyment.
A value is higher if it is not relative to the organism experiencing it: Spiritual Love does not depend on physical characteristics versus sensory values.
Moral Values of good and evil refer to the bringing about of values into existence.
Only person can do good and evil.
Moral Tenor of a person: directness of willing a higher value.
MOVEMENT TO HIGHER VALUES IS A MOVEMENT OF LOVE AND DOING GOOD.