Saturday, October 08, 2011
Negation as privation, in the January 21, 1965, Zollikon seminar.
[T]he state of rest is not a mere negation of motion but its privation, that is, it is a kind of motion. Otherwise, no new motion could ever originate from rest. The number 5, which cannot move, cannot also be something at rest.

It took Greek thinkers two hundred years to discover the idea of privation. Only Plato discovered this negation as privation and discussed it in his dialogue The Sophist. This happened in connection with the insight that not every instance of nonbeing simply means not existing but rather that there is nonbeing which, in a certain sense, is. The shadow is such a nonbeing in the sense of privation because it is a lack of brightness. Thus, not being healthy, being sick, is also a mode of existing in privation. The nature of being sick cannot be adequately grasped without a sufficient determination of being healthy. You will immediately see that we encounter this remarkable phenomenon of privation even more often in the context of the phenomenon of time. It is an ontological phenomenon, that is, it refers to a possibility of being and not merely to the logic of a propositional negation.

P. 47
Shadows are my favorite nonbeings.
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Does Heiid. get the Sophist right,Enk?

Klassicist I'm not but recalling some of that ancient murky disputation...."the Stranger" suggests or alludes to something like privation ...but finally objects to it, in favor of unity of ..the one and many.

(the motion issue's a bit different from privation, ..and somewhat difficult. Maybe Guru Pseudi might respond. Heraclitus was closer to the physical actuality than Parmenides .IMHOO--at time Plato seems to conflate the logic issue with the physics issue)
"It is an ontological phenomenon, that is, it refers to a possibility of being and not merely to the logic of a propositional negation."

In her discussion of the Beiträge in The Finitude of Being, Stambaugh links MH's struggle with the modalities in terms of his struggle with Leibniz's adoption of tendentia and MH's explanation of the etymological relation between possibility and attraction, "das Mögliche" and "mögen."

"As something which is never objectively present, being nevertheless is not just nothing, not just the total absence of any presence whatsoever. One might venture to say that being is the possibility of presencing. This might be Heidegger's understanding of the 'modality' of possibility; a liking for, an inclination to, presencing. This is not *potentiality,* not a germ that develops and comes to presence. Being as inclination and liking presences incalculably and freely in occasions, in historic deeds, great poets and writers, works of art." p. 150.
You're asking me if Heidegger's interpretation of the Sophist, is correct, as compared to Plato's intentions in writing it?

I'm not the arbiter around here, just the curator.

Shadows are interesting because they are out there in the physical world, yet shadows aren't full beings because they exist deprived of hyle. And having no mass, shadows can travel faster than the speed of neutrinos, which is kind of neat.
privation seems... qualitative--ie sickness and health are not opposites exactly. Neither Dark and light, hot cold,etc. But to say ....X is guilty, or he is not guilty is ...truth or falsity. A bit different once language enters the picture. Privation doesn't really negate the law of non contradiction itself--or say ....the binary operations in you computer. 1 or 0. the box is on ,or its off. (even with like a dimmer switch of a sort).

Personally I think the..PoMo attempt to overthrow Truth was....essentially bourgeois. Overthrowing truth--Nietzschean style--essentially helps the ..Oppressor. Didn't FN say somewhere just...like, Truth was ..will to power-- lies or falsity will do as well as truth ,etc. Mafia tactics--whether italian, jew, or french left, or Harvard literature. Recall Bernhardt calling Heidegger's a "woman's philosopher". The Qualitative helps the ....well, the qualitative. Even Marx had demanded a bit of empiricism at times--historical-economic facts.
The said on the radio the other day, regarding the death penalty, that to say someone is guility, only means: given a preponderance of the evidence, then we're pretty confident someone is guilty.

I'm not terribly keen on "privation", but it does help to think about cases where a negative is not simply a binary opposite of a positive - in between 0 and 1.
Merleau-Ponty (Viz&Inviz, pp 124-5) on "the privative." I like his description of "the thing ready to be seen...." The context is M-P's discussion of Bergon's "partial coincidence" as the closest we can come to the immediate.

"What is given, then, is not the naked thing, the past itself such as it was in its own time, but rather the thing ready to be seen, pregnant—in principle as well as in fact—with all the visions one can have of it, the past such as it was one day plus an in¬explicable alteration, a strange distance—bound in principle as well as in fact to a recalling that spans that distance but does not nullify it. What there is is not a coinciding by principle or a presumptive coinciding and a factual non-coinciding, a bad or abortive truth, but a privative non-coinciding, a coinciding from afar, a divergence, and something like a "good error."
opps. The "Bergon" should be "Bergson."
So any claim of correctness, of truth as correspondence, should always include the clause: currently, or right now.
But already when I say "what do I know?" in the course of a phrase (Que sais-je), another sort of question arises: for it extends to the idea of knowing itself; it invokes some intelligible place where the facts, examples, ideas I lack, should be found; it intimates that the interrogative is not a mode derived by inversion or by reversal of the indicative and of the positive, is neither an affirmation nor a negation veiled or expected, but an original manner of aiming at something, as it were a question-knowing, which by principle no statement or "answer" can go beyond and which perhaps therefore is the proper mode of our relationship with Being, as though it were the mute or reticent interlocutor of our questions. "What do I know?" is not only "what is knowing?" and not only "who am I?" but finally: "what is there?" and even: "what is the there is?" These questions call not for the exhibiting of something said which would put an end to them, but for the disclosure of a Being that is not posited because it has no need to be, because it is silently behind all our affirmations, negations, and even behind all formulated questions, not that it is a matter of forgetting them in its silence, not that it is a matter of imprisoning it in our chatter, but because philosophy is the reconversion of silence and speech into one another: "It is the experience . . . still mute which we are concerned with leading to the pure expression of its own meaning." (Husserl, Meditations cartesiennes, French translation (Paris, I947)» P- 33- [English translation by Dorion Cairns, Cartesian Medita¬tions (The Hague, 1960), pp. 38-39.]
--Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible, pp 128-29.

He's telling us what philosophy ought to be after Husserl. And his treatment of Being echoes MH. I like, "aiming at something" and "...which would put an end to them, but for the disclosure of a Being that is not posited because it has no need to be...." So maybe it's along the lines of General Semantics' "etc." needed for every posit.
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