Text fragments Seminar 2

  1. Plato, Sophistes, 249b-d

Stranger
And it must be conceded that motion and that which is moved exist.

Theaetetus
Of course.

Stranger
Then the result is, Theaetetus, that if there is no motion, there is no mind in anyone about anything anywhere.

Theaetetus
Exactly.

Stranger
And on the other hand, if we admit that all things are in flux and motion, we shall remove mind itself from the number of existing things by this theory also.

Theaetetus
How so?

Stranger
Do you think that sameness of quality or nature or relations could ever come into existence without the state of rest?

Theaetetus
Not at all.

Stranger
What then? Without these can you see how mind could exist or come into existence anywhere?

Theaetetus
By no means.

Stranger
And yet we certainly must contend by every argument against him who does away with knowledge or reason or mind and then makes any dogmatic assertion about anything.

Theaetetus
Certainly.

Stranger
Then the philosopher, who pays the highest honor to these things, must necessarily, as it seems, because of them refuse to accept the theory of those who say the universe is at rest, whether as a unity or in many forms, and must also refuse utterly to listen to those who say that being is universal motion; he must quote the children’s prayer, “all things immovable and in motion,” and must say that being and the universe consist of both.

Theaetetus
Very true.

Stranger
Do we not, then, seem to have attained at last a pretty good definition of being?

Theaetetus
Certainly.

Stranger
But dear me, Theaetetus! I think we are now going to discover the difficulty of the inquiry about being.

 

  1. Whitehead, Process and Reality

But civilized intuition has always, although obscurely, grasped the problem as double and not as single. There is the double problem: actuality with permanence, requiring fluency as its completion; and actuality with fluency, requiring permanence as its completion.  (Process and Reality, part V)

 

  1. Bergson, Introduction to Metaphysics

It follows from this that an absolute could only be given in an intuition whilst everything else falls within the province of analysis. By intuition is meant the kind of intellectual sympathy by which one places oneself within an object in order to coincide with what is unique in it and consequently inexpressible. Analysis, on the contrary, is the operation which reduces the object to elements already known, that is, to elements common both to it and other objects. To analyze, therefore, is to express a thing as a function of something other than itself. All analysis is thus a translation, a development into symbols, a representation taken from successive points of view from which we note as many resemblances as possible between the new object which we are studying and others which we believe we know already. In its eternally unsatisfied desire to embrace the object around which it is compelled to turn, analysis multiplies without end the number of its points of view in order to complete its always incomplete representation, and ceaselessly varies its symbols that it may perfect the always imperfect translation. It goes on, therefore, to infinity. But intuition, if intuition is possible, is a simple act.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: