Early Conclusions on Sartre

by phil on Friday May 2, 2003 1:50 AM
Sartre, existentialism

Finished Existentialism is a Humanism and I've learnt a lot about the particular mosaic of a construction of human life that Sartre has painted. Out of the philosophies I've seen out there, this is the most consistent. It tip-toes out of the way of a lot of questions and doesn't suffer from a lot of recursive problems. By recursive problems, I'm talking about statements which sound good at first but when they are taken as a rule and applied to themselves, defeat themselves. Sartre's statements suffer little from self-duping if you will.

However, there is a lot of things that are conjecture and a lot of things that are just description. It's confusing, of course, but that doesn't invalidate it.

What it does teach me is that EVERYTHING, all knowledge, all information, comes laden with an imperative. At least in the human mind. Uh...well, that "EVERYTHING" I mentioned will be revised or explained later...if I become a philosopher.

No, but the specific question I ask about Sartre, and I should ask about Nietzsche and others, is, what is it that I should do? I read Sartre's essay, and I think, what is he suggesting I do? Is he suggesting I take a particular attitude toward my life? For example, should look at all my decisions up to now in a super-positive way, going, well, I made my action, I invented my subjectivity, and I'll invent it now saying it was all good, or bad or whatever? Is he suggesting I just do things and stop having doubts or judging them because there is a reason behind everything?

What is the imperative? What is the desired effect of reading X? If I seek internal consistency, then THIS is one consistent view?

It seems answering these questions kind of do self-dupe his paper. If man invents himself and determines what is good and bad, then what the heck is "good faith" etc. And why must I feel anguish if I make a decision that I don't believe the rest of mankind should do? I agree in his assumptions that there is no God and that indeed, everything IS permitted on some level for we do make ourselves, but the conclusions he derives from it are more his free conjecture. You don't have to suffer from anguish and not everybody is in self-delusion about their anguish because they don't give a damn what the rest of mankind does.

I find philosophy kind of iffy when it seems confused about itself. There's practical psychology, like ways of thinking that operate on conclusions of our mental states and how to move them in certain directions. There's the study of life, such as looking at actions, at human existence, and drawing conclusions ABOUT it. Then there's the love of wisdom, (which is where the word philosophy comes from), that involves good advice, wise-sayings, or things loaded with smarts in them.

All three of these things get lumped into the word "philosophy" and a philosophical paper that is confused about all three of them well, is well, terrible, disingenuous, etc.

So, that furthers my critique on "philosophy" which raises my support of Philosophistry even more. :-)

The more I read in philosophy, the more I find it futile to come up with a consistent system. Hence, in the battle for my endorsement, I'd still give Nietzsche a better high-five because if he always knew that inconsistency was the rule and that man's attempts to do otherwise were just bunk. He, unfortunately, had to recursively dupe himself all the time, even duping his desire for duping. So what is his strength, probably the fact that he was willing to bare everything. This, I think, is very nice of him.

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