Sunday, October 22, 2006

Noesis in itself

Arendt comes down against concluding on the basis of our experience of the noetic faculty, especially in dreams, that there exist things in themesleves which exist in the same way that we exist in a world of appearances (Life of the Mind, Vol. 1,p. 44). She says further:

[E]lementary logical mistakes are quite rare in the history of philosophy; what appear to be errors in logic to minds disencumbered of questions that have been uncritically dismissed as "meaningless" are usually caused by semblances, unavoidable for beings whose existence is determined by appearance. Hence, in our context the only relevant question is whether the semblances are inauthentic or authentic ones, whether they are caused by dogmatic beliefs and arbitrary assumptions, mere mirages that disappear upon closer inspection, or whether they are inherent in the paradoxical condition of a living being that, though itself part of the world of appearances, is in possession of a faculty, the ability to think, that permits the mind to withdraw from the world without ever being able to leave it or transcend it.

(p. 45)

For my part, I don't reckon that the dreaming ego under normal conditions is a good proxy for the thinking ego. I'll definitely be rereading Binswanger's "Dream and Existence" as I wrap my mind around this one.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 12:36 PM.


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