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A short story of good and bad ACBS Parma 2011 Rainer F. Sonntag Olpe.

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Presentation on theme: "A short story of good and bad ACBS Parma 2011 Rainer F. Sonntag Olpe."— Presentation transcript:

1 A short story of good and bad ACBS Parma 2011 Rainer F. Sonntag Olpe

2 Sorry for my English. All translations are mine.

3 „Normal“ philosophy Diverse The concept of existence

4 Sören Kierkegaard Gabriel Marcel Karl Jaspers Martin Heidegger Jean-Paul Sartre Albert Camus

5 Specifically human Behaving towards one‘s behavior Action – Existence precedes essence Freedom (– as blessing and as curse)

6 Philadelphia Philadelphia 2005 2005

7 Albert Camus (1913-1960)

8 When Karl Jaspers, revealing the impossibility of constituting the world as a unity, exclaims: “This limitation leads me to myself, where I can no longer withdraw behind an objective point of view that I am merely representing, where neither I myself nor the existence of others can any longer become an object for me,”

9 he is evoking after many others those waterless deserts where thought reaches its confines. After many others, yes indeed, but how eager they were to get out of them! At that last crossroad where thought hesitates, many men have arrived and even some of the humblest. They then abdicated what was most precious to them, their life.

10 Others, princes of the mind, abdicated likewise, but they initiated the suicide of their thought in its purest revolt. The real effort is to stay there, rather, in so far as that is possible, and to examine closely the odd vegetation of those distant regions. Tenacity and acumen are privileged spectators of this inhuman show in which absurdity, hope, and death carry on their dialogue.. (Camus: Myth of Sisiphus)

11 This citation expresses the deep experience of human ambivalence. Just when it is most important to us we do not succeed in deciding between two alternatives by rational, calculating weighing of pros and cons.

12 In a similar vein Richard Rorty characterizes a „liberal ironic“ as someone who denies that there is a rational answer to questions like: „Why not being cruel?“ Such questions are as hopeless as:

13 „Is it right to deliver n innocents over to be tortured to save the lives of m x n other innocents? If so, what are the correct values of m and n? … Anybody who thinks that there are well-grounded theoretical answers to this sort of questions – algorithms for resolving moral dilemmas of this sort – is still, in his heart, a theologian or a metaphysician.” (Rorty, 1989, p. xv)

14 Interesting, isn‘t it? Calculating thinking (Heidegger), i.e. rational thinking as theology and metaphysics! And if we can‘t calculate decisions what then?

15 Relinquish solid ground & confide

16 Present moment – and then: Jumping (Kierkegaard) with eyes open Not easy! We don‘t like to „think without bannister“ (Hannah Arendt)

17 On the other hand: Jumping can feel free (bungee jumbing) The jump voluntarily We are thrown into our freedom to decide and choose (Heidegger) How do we deal with that?

18 The way to freedom The way to freedom (to a free self)

19 Montesquieu Rousseau Diderot Voltaire Philippe Pinel Predecessors


21 Isaak Newton (1642-1726) breaks the power of theology David Hume (1711-1776): Religion cannot be justified rationally Hume again: Causality is a fiction. No way from being (science) to ought (ethics)

22 Nowhere solid ground Religion passé Even science cannot give us direction

23 „I am living in a new world since a read the ‚Critique of Pure Reason‘. Sentences I believed to be unfailable are made failed; Kant

24 things I thought to be unproofable, e.g. the concept of absolute freedom, der Pflicht etc., have been proofed for me, and about that I am much the more happy. It is unbelievable what respect for human kind, what power this system gives us!“ Kant

25 1762-1814

26 „I am writing, so I have an imagination of my writing, however, others are writing beside me. How do I know that my writing is not the writing of another one?“ … „why do I see my seeing as mine? […] Why do we count our imaginations as belonging to us?“ (zit. n. Großheim, 2004, S. 199).

27 Fichte and the wall: „See the difference between your-self and the wall“

28 „The self sets itself, and it is, by virtue of this mere setting through itself; and vice versa: the self is, and it sets its being, by virtue of its mere being.

29 At the same time it is the acting, and the product of the action; the doing, and that, what is put forth through the actions; acting and deed are one and the same; therefore is:

30 I am, expression of a deed-action; […] The self is as whatever it sets itself; and it sets itself as that what it is. Thus: I am quite, what I am“ (Fichte, 1794, S. 16).

31 That‘s it That‘s it

32 Difficult Difficult Freedom Freedom


34 „A free and educated human being should be able to arbitrary and as he likes put himself into a philosophical or philological, critiqual or poetic, historical or rhetoric, antique or modern mood, totally voluntary, just as one tunes an instrument, at any time, and at any intensity.“ Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe. Erste Abteilung: Kritische Neuausgabe, Band 2, München, Paderborn, Wien, Zürich 1967, S. 147-164.

35 Riders on the storm Into this house we're born Into this world we're thrown Like a dog without a bone An actor out alone Riders on the storm

36 Coercion to authenticity Political existentialism Adventure existentialism

37 Inauthenticity as a „sin“ Fundamental ontology as solution The „völkische“ in National Socialism Heidegger

38 Karl Jaspers & Defusion

39 Concordance therapy: Learning to bring thoughts, bodily processes, and motor actions into accordance

40 „What counts, is total dedication“ (Sartre, 1946 in his diary) Terrorism The „eerie world of absolute selflessness“ (Hannah Arendt, 1951)“

41 Glorification of war „The male‘s courage really is the most delicious“ (The fight as inner experience, 1926) Ernst Jünger

42 „Our time shows strong pacifist tendencies. This trend comes from two sources: idealism blood-dread. The first avoids war because he loves human beings, the other because he is afraid.

43 The whole life as a dare

44 „Take it lightly“ Defusion with Richard Rorty: It‘s all just stories

45 The purpose of freedom? The purpose of freedom?

46 Well, Well,

47 Love! Love!

48 „Self-knowledge is of social origin. It is only when a person’s private world becomes important to others that it is made important to him.” (About behaviorism. 1974)

49 Human Flourishing

50 Science and Ancient Ideas of What it Means to be Human: Exploring the Implicit Values Underlying ACT


52 Thank you

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