motto lotto

Monday, May 21, 2012

against narrativity, part deux

Well, not sure what part it is but it's the current part, the part the I that is now is reading. Thanks Galen.

 'We live beyond any tale that we happen to enact'

Here's Strawson's earlier piece from 2004 which I encountered a couple years ago.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the Don Juan of knowledge

The Don Juan of knowledge: he has yet to be discovered by any philosopher or poet.  He is lacking in love for the things he comes to know, but he has intellect, titillation, and pleasure in the hunt and intrigues involved in coming to know--all the way up to the highest and most distant planets of knowledge--until finally nothing remains for him to hunt down other than what is absolutely painful in knowledge, like the drunkard who ends up drinking absinthe and acqua fortis.  Thus he ends up lusting for hell--it is the last knowledge that seduces him.  Perhaps, like everything he has come to know, it will disillusion him as well!  And then he would have to stand still for all of eternity, nailed on the spot to disillusionment, and himself having become the stone guest longing for an evening meal of knowledge that he never again will receive!--For the entire world of things no longer has a single morsel to offer this hungry man.

Nietzsche Dawn §327
A Nietzschean warning for the philosopher as traveler but I don't think it's a real threat (I mean beyond the pursuit of painful knowledge (and the pain involved in the pursuit of knowledge), illusion being so much more comforting and all that). Just as Don Juan would have a hell of a time trying to conquer every woman on the planet, so too does the Don Juan of knowledge quickly encounter a nearly infinite set. The knowledge of abiding in hell would require some commitment but then in some sense he'd be abiding also in his true love, the chase.

I don't think I'm totally understanding this aphorism.  Maybe I shouldn't take the metaphor so far.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

making plans

Making plans is often the occupation of an opulent and boastful mind, which thus obtains the reputation of creative genius by demanding what it cannot itself supply, by censuring what it cannot improve, and by proposing what it knows not where to find.

Immanuel Kant - Prolegomena (1783)
If you fail to plan you plan to fail^H wait, I mean you fail to make yourself subject to Kant's criticism of planners.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

brave little thinker

I've been greeting the office folk with a little thinker Nietzsche and presenting the results at  Yeah, it's not real blogging but it'll have to do for the moment, it'll keep me sane when I need to work long hours.  

Old words for a new context --
Work and boredom.--Looking for work in order to be paid: in civilized countries today almost all men are at one in doing that. For all of them work is a means and not an end in itself. Hence they are not very refined in their choice of work, if only it pays well. But there are, if only rarely, men who would rather perish than work without any pleasure in their work. They are choosy, hard to satisfy, and do not care for ample rewards, if the work itself is not the reward of rewards. Artists and contemplative men of all kinds belong to this rare breed, but so do even those men of leisure who spend their lives hunting, traveling, or in love affairs and adventures. All of these desire work and misery if only it is associated with pleasure, and the hardest, most difficult work if necessary. Otherwise, their idleness is resolute, even if it spells impoverishment, dishonor, and danger to life and limb. They do not fear boredom as much as work without pleasure; they actually require a lot of boredom if their work is to succeed. For thinkers and all sensitive spirits, boredom is that disagreeable "windless calm" of the soul that precedes a happy voyage and cheerful winds. They have to bear it and must wait for its effect on them. Precisely this is what lesser natures cannot achieve by any means. To ward off boredom at any cost is vulgar, no less than work without pleasure. Perhaps Asians are distinguished above Europeans by a capacity for longer, deeper calm; even their opiates have a slow effect and require patience, as opposed to the disgusting suddenness of the European poison, alcohol.

Nietzsche The Gay Science §42