Search for an article

>

Philosophy Articles


Fact And Truth

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 1285)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

Thought experiments (Gedankenexperimenten) are "facts" in the sense that they have a "real life" correlate in the form of electrochemical activity in the brain. But it is quite obvious that they do not relate to facts "out there". They are not true statements.

But do they lack truth because they do not relate to facts? How are Truth and Fact interrelated?

One answer is that Truth pertains to the possibility that an event will occur. If true - it must occur and if false - it cannot occur. This is a binary world of extreme existential conditions. Must all possible events occur? Of course not. If they do not occur would they still be true? Must a statement have a real life correlate to be true?

Instinctively, the answer is yes. We cannot conceive of a thought divorced from brainwaves. A statement which remains a mere potential seems to exist only in the nether land between truth and falsity. It becomes true only by materializing, by occurring, by matching up with real life. If we could prove that it will never do so, we would have felt justified in classifying it as false. This is the outgrowth of millennia of concrete, Aristotelian logic. Logical statements talk about the world and, therefore, if a statement cannot be shown to relate directly to the world, it is not true.

This approach, however, is the outcome of some underlying assumptions:

First, that the world is finite and also close to its end. To say that something that did not happen cannot be true is to say that it will never happen (i.e., to say that time and space - the world - are finite and are about to end momentarily).

Second, truth and falsity are assumed to be mutually exclusive. Quantum and fuzzy logics have long laid this one to rest. There are real world situations that are both true and not-true. A particle can "be" in two places at the same time. This fuzzy logic is incompatible with our daily experiences but if there is anything that we have learnt from physics in the last seven decades it is that the world is incompatible with our daily experiences.

The third assumption is that the psychic realm is but a subset of the material one. We are membranes with a very particular hole-size. We filter through only well defined types of experiences, are equipped with limited (and evolutionarily biased) senses, programmed in a way which tends to sustain us until we die. We are not neutral, objective observers. Actually, the very concept of observer is disputable - as modern physics, on the one hand and Eastern philosophy, on the other hand, have shown.

Imagine that a mad scientist has succeeded to infuse all the water in the world with a strong hallucinogen. At a given moment, all the people in the world see a huge flying saucer. What can we say about this saucer? Is it true? Is it "real"?

There is little doubt that the saucer does not exist. But who is to say so? If this statement is left unsaid - does it mean that it cannot exist and, therefore, is untrue? In this case (of the illusionary flying saucer), the statement that remains unsaid is a true statement - and the statement that is uttered by millions is patently false.

Still, the argument can be made that the flying saucer did exist - though only in the minds of those who drank the contaminated water. What is this form of existence? In which sense does a hallucination "exist"? The psychophysical problem is that no causal relationship can be established between a thought and its real life correlate, the brainwaves that accompany it. Moreover, this leads to infinite regression. If the brainwaves created the thought - who created them, who made them happen? In other words: who is it (perhaps what is it) that thinks?

The subject is so convoluted that to say that the mental is a mere subset of the material is to speculate

It is, therefore, advisable to separate the ontological from the epistemological. But which is which? Facts are determined epistemologically and statistically by conscious and intelligent observers. Their "existence" rests on a sound epistemological footing. Yet we assume that in the absence of observers facts will continue their existence, will not lose their "factuality", their real life quality which is observer-independent and invariant.

What about truth? Surely, it rests on solid ontological foundations. Something is or is not true in reality and that is it. But then we saw that truth is determined psychically and, therefore, is vulnerable, for instance, to hallucinations. Moreover, the blurring of the lines in Quantum, non-Aristotelian, logics implies one of two: either that true and false are only "in our heads" (epistemological) - or that something is wrong with our interpretation of the world, with our exegetic mechanism (brain). If the latter case is true that the world does contain mutually exclusive true and false values - but the organ which identifies these entities (the brain) has gone awry. The paradox is that the second approach also assumes that at least the perception of true and false values is dependent on the existence of an epistemological detection device.

Can something be true and reality and false in our minds? Of course it can (remember "Rashomon"). Could the reverse be true? Yes, it can. This is what we call optical or sensory illusions. Even solidity is an illusion of our senses - there are no such things as solid objects (remember the physicist's desk which is 99.99999% vacuum with minute granules of matter floating about).

To reconcile these two concepts, we must let go of the old belief (probably vital to our sanity) that we can know the world. We probably cannot and this is the source of our confusion. The world may be inhabited by "true" things and "false" things. It may be true that truth is existence and falsity is non-existence. But we will never know because we are incapable of knowing anything about the world as it is.

We are, however, fully equipped to know about the mental events inside our heads. It is there that the representations of the real world form. We are acquainted with these representations (concepts, images, symbols, language in general) - and mistake them for the world itself. Since we have no way of directly knowing the world (without the intervention of our interpretative mechanisms) we are unable to tell when a certain representation corresponds to an event which is observer-independent and invariant and when it corresponds to nothing of the kind. When we see an image - it could be the result of an interaction with light outside us (objectively "real"), or the result of a dream, a drug induced illusion, fatigue and any other number of brain events not correlated with the real world. These are observer-dependent phenomena and, subject to an agreement between a sufficient number of observers, they are judged to be true or "to have happened" (e.g., religious miracles).

To ask if something is true or not is not a meaningful question unless it relates to our internal world and to our capacity as observers. When we say "true" we mean "exists", or "existed", or "most definitely will exist" (the sun will rise tomorrow). But existence can only be ascertained in our minds. Truth, therefore, is nothing but a state of mind. Existence is determined by observing and comparing the two (the outside and the inside, the real and the mental). This yields a picture of the world which may be closely correlated to reality - and, yet again, may not.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


Peace On Earth A Wonderful Wish But No Way

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 626)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

When asked, "If you could wish for one thing only, what would that wish be?" almost everyone; from beauty pagent contestants, to politicians, to religious leaders, to children, to the average person on the street states, "Peace On Earth" or "An end to all wars". Those wishes, while exemplary, are meaningless. As long as humans exist there will never be peace on earth.

Throughout the history of humankind there has never been peace on earth. Cavemen fought other cavemen over territory, food and even women. Cain killed Abel over God's respect. Gabriel blew down the walls of Jericho. America fought the Revolutionary War for freedom and brother fought against brother in our Civil War for more freedom. There have always been wars and there will always be wars.

As long as humans can think, there will be wars. Wars over such concepts as freedom, honor, dignity, etc.. Wars over territory, greed, power, prejudice, etc.. War is a part of human nature. For example, every human being is prejudiced. If they don't like some race, nationality or religion, they don't like short or tall or fat or skinny or smart or not smart or loud or quiet people. Some people don't like children, some people don't like old people, some people don't like people with pets, or people that play their music too loud, or bad drivers, or people that believe in God or people that don't believe in God. What is right and proper to some people can be wrong or even enraging to other people.

Religion can not stop wars, in fact many wars are fought over religion (Note: I believe that religion is used as an excuse for war not the real reason for war.). Christians fought against Muslims during the Crusades, Many Muslims want death for all non believers. The Catholic Church killed heretics during the Inquisition. The Nazis killed millions of Jews and then started killing Catholics. The Russians under Stalin killed anyone even remotly religious. Protestants killed other Protestants for being the wrong type of Protestant. Muslims killed Muslims for being the wrong type of Muslim. Don't forget about Atheists (I believe that Atheism is also a religion, it is a religion of non belief.), Stalin was an Atheist and wanted to get rid of all religion. Most of China's leaders are Atheists and have jailed and killed huge numbers of religious people. History is rife with various types of religious battles.

The main reason for war, however, is the lust for power. The power to make others do and believe as you do and believe, the power to make other people render unto you what you believe is rightfully yours, the power to make other people treat you as you believe you should be treated, the power to gain what you want (ie: money, love, respect, etc.), the power to punish others for doing things that you don't believe they should do, the power to keep other from having things or thoughts that you don't have. In other words, the power to be, in some ways God, to make everyone else in your image with you as their ruler.

As long as people have the ability to think, there will be greed, envy, prejudice and anger. As long as those things exist, there will be wars. Most people believe, either religiously or secularly, in the rules set down in the Ten Commandments, but very few people can follow those rules all of the time because our ability to think causes us to want. Wanting causes us to break some or all of the rules. Humans are not perfect. If they were they would not be human.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


A Brief History Of Creation

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 1760)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

What is the loop of Creation? How is there something from nothing?

In spite of the fact that it is impossible to prove that anything exists beyond one's perception since any such proof would involve one's perception (I observed it, I heard it, I thought about it, I calculated it, and etc.), science deals with a so-called objective reality "out there," beyond one's perception professing to describe Nature objectively (as if there was a Nature or reality external to one's perception). The shocking impact of Matrix was precisely the valid possibility that what we believed to be reality was but our perception; however, this was presented through showing a real reality wherein the perceived reality was a computer simulation. Many who toy with the idea that perhaps, indeed, we are computer simulations, deviate towards questions, such as, who could create such software and what kind of hardware would be needed for such a feat. Although such questions assume that reality is our perception, they also axiomatically presuppose the existence of an objective deterministic world "out there" that nevertheless must be responsible for how we perceive our reality. This is a major mistake emphasizing technology and algorithms instead of trying to discover the nature of reality and the structure of creation. As will be shown in the following, the required paradigm shift from "perception is our reality fixed within an objective world," to "perception is reality without the need of an objective world 'out there,'" is provided by a dynamic logical structure. The Holophanic loop logic is responsible for a consistent and complete worldview that not only describes, but also creates whatever can be perceived or experienced.

Stating that it is impossible to prove the existence of anything beyond one's perception is not saying there is nothing beyond perception, only that if there is anything, then whatever that is, is indefinite. It could be argued that the existence of physical laws, the universal perception that the apple falls to the ground is proof of an objective reality. However, this universal agreement is also our perception. It could be argued that if we cannot decide what to perceive, and everybody perceives the same physical reality, then there must be some lawfulness that dictates how we perceive and therefore, this lawfulness could be external to our perception. However, this lawfulness, as we shall see later on, is the precise lawfulness that creates perception, the process of definition, which is not external to perception (this process creates the perceived and the perceiver, which then gives meaning to this process - a loop - but about that, later). It could be argued, that hitting our knee on the table - whether we believe in the table or not - will hurt. The table is external to our body, but not to our perception. What then is perception? It is relating, a process of definition, defining and thereby rendering meaningful what has been perceived.

What then is this process of definition? It is creating borders within which one's perception gains meaning. The word "definition" comes from the Latin de finire, meaning, making finite or limited. In Hebrew, definition is HAGDARA (הגדרה), meaning, to border. Any definition necessarily implies what the definition is not, or stated differently, to have meaning, whatever is defined explicitly includes the meaning by implicitly excluding everything else. Consequently, to define means to place the defined object within borders that by default create something beyond the borders of the definition. What is this something beyond the defined? The implicitly excluded everything else, or in other words, the indefinite. The paramount importance of incorporating the indefinite within a consistent logical structure cannot be overemphasized. The indefinite itself is a paradox, and incorporating it within the Holophanic logical structure engenders the loop of Creation where the dynamic structure of paradoxes is both the creative force of existence, and also the proof of the necessity of existence.

To better grasp the impetus of Creation, let's look at the indefinite and paradoxes. What does "indefinite" mean? Anything as long as it is not specified (not defined); anything that appears both within and beyond the borders of the definition and thereby rendering the border superfluous, which means, no border, no definition. If nevertheless we would attempt to define the notion "indefinite," then that's a paradox because if we succeed, then it is defined, which contradicts its meaning - its indefiniteness - and the word "indefinite" means that it cannot be defined. This is an example of a paradox, that in essence means, if it is what it is, then it is not what it is, yet if it is not what it is, then it is what it is. A paradox is a creature that consists of a structure (how it is defined, the dynamic process on its way to stabilization) that contradicts its significance (what it is, the stabilized entity). What characterizes a paradox is the motion between its structure and significance, where the structure implies that its significance contradicts its structure, and vice versa.

Another example of a paradox would be "wholeness." Wholeness (totality, infinite, boundless) can only be wholeness if we can find a way to define it so that it includes everything and there is nothing beyond it. However, if we define wholeness, then to have meaning, it must be bordered within the walls of the definition, which implies that there is something beyond this border, in which case it is not wholeness. Or in more formal language, wholeness is only wholeness if it is not wholeness, which is an inconsistency. If we are satisfied with that, then we have completed the definition of wholeness. However, if we try to include the beyond created by our earlier definition within the borders of our next attempt at defining wholeness, then we gain a new definition of wholeness, which by the sheer structure of the process of defining creates a new beyond. In this case, the process of defining wholeness will be consistent but incomplete, and wholeness will remain indefinite.

Contemplating the paradox of Creation, the ancient Egyptian myth of Creation springs to mind, the myth of the self-creating god, Amun (or Amon). Amun masturbated and swallowed his semen, after which he spit it out in the form of a ball, thereby impregnating his mother, the sky. And only then, was he born. Thus Amun was his own father. Those pious who discovered the illustrated version of this myth in Karnak covered up the erect phallus of Amun, and with it, this story of Creation was laid into obscurity. The Holophanic model of Creation could regard this Egyptian myth as Amun retromorphously creating himself. I have coined the word retromorphous to mean, defining in retrospect, turning non-being into the potential of whatever the observation is made from, or in other words, creating the past from the present, creating the source from its outcome, which is the basis of complexity in the context of the loop logic. That is, only after Amun was born can he give meaning to his mother, the potential from which he emanated and to the process that created him (as represented by masturbation and incest) whereby he was born. Of course, neither the sky nor the masturbating Amun have meaning until Creation takes place de facto and Amun emerges. I find this an enticing illustration of the basic paradox of existence.

So how can there be something from nothing? What is "nothing?" Nothing is what didn't turn into the potential of something. If there was something from nothing, then that nothing would have turned into the potential of something, because when we ask, how is there something from nothing, we ask this question from something, when something already exists. If we take a deeper look at "nothing," we'll discover that "nothing" is a paradox. Any definition is something, so if we defined "nothing," then it would become something, which contradicts its essence of being "nothing." Another way of looking at "nothing" would be by means of it being something that is meaningless. That is, "nothing" could be something that does not relate and that no thing or no one relates to. That is, if there was something totally alone in the universe, then that would be nothing, but it would be meaningless. If such existed, its existence would be external to our perception, and as such, this "nothing" would be indefinite.

We said that the indefinite could be anything, as long as it is not specified (not defined). However, if we nevertheless tried to define "nothing" (the indefinite), what would we get then? Since "nothing" is non-definable, it is transparent as the object of our inquiry. So when we attempt to define it, all we have is what we put into it, which is the process of definition. "Nothing" stayed nothing, we didn't define it, only made the process of definition explicit. "Nothing" gains meaning when we fail to define it; but having tried, we are left with a bonus, a something, which is our process of defining "nothing." Creation of something from nothing is not a function of defining something, but a function of attempting to define "nothing." And then, if that process of definition - which already is an existence - looks back at its origins, if this process of defining investigates into its own genesis, then what does it see? It sees itself. It sees the process of definition - self-reference.

If there is nothing external to perception, then this process of definition is the overall wholeness, the creator of meaning when it can relate to itself. However, to have meaning, the process of definition has to be defined; this definition would be a self-referential quasi-infinite and continuous process of establishing borders that create the indefinite beyond that establishes borders creating the indefinite beyond that establishes borders… which means, wholeness would continuously and forever fail to define itself while succeeding to define something - anything but itself.

Of course, both the totally defined and the totally indefinite are idealized notions that would be inconsistent with the Holophanic loop logic, nor can they be found in nature. The totally indefinite would be the total meaningless nothing, the kind of non-being that cannot be fathomed because if we would think about it, it would already be something. On the other hand, there can be no total definition either. I have used the term uncertainty of sameness to describe the logical impossibility of total definition. A defined entity can be said to have reached sameness

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


Althusser Competing Interpellations And The Third Text

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 2301)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

With the exception of Nietzsche, no other madman has contributed so much to human sanity as has Louis Althusser. He is mentioned twice in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as someone's teacher. There could be no greater lapse: for two important decades (the 60s and the 70s), Althusser was at the eye of all the important cultural storms. He fathered quite a few of them.

This newly-found obscurity forces me to summarize his work before suggesting a few (minor) modifications to it.

(1) Society consists of practices: economic, political and ideological.

Althusser defines a practice as:

"Any process of transformation of a determinate product, affected

by a determinate human labour, using determinate means (of production)"

The economic practice (the historically specific mode of production) transforms raw materials to finished products using human labour and other means of production, all organized within defined webs of inter-relations. The political practice does the same with social relations as the raw materials. Finally, ideology is the transformation of the way that a subject relates to his real life conditions of existence.

This is a rejection of the mechanistic worldview (replete with bases and superstructures). It is a rejection of the Marxist theorization of ideology. It is a rejection of the Hegelian fascist "social totality". It is a dynamic, revealing, modern day model.

In it, the very existence and reproduction of the social base (not merely its expression) is dependent upon the social superstructure. The superstructure is "relatively autonomous" and ideology has a central part in it - see entry about Marx and Engels and entry concerning Hegel.

The economic structure is determinant but another structure could be dominant, depending on the historical conjuncture. Determination (now called over-determination - see Note) specifies the form of economic production upon which the dominant practice depends. Put otherwise: the economic is determinant not because the practices of the social formation (political and ideological) are the social formation's expressive epiphenomena - but because it determines WHICH of them is dominant.

(2) People relate to the conditions of existence through the practice of ideology. Contradictions are smoothed over and (real) problems are offered false (though seemingly true) solutions. Thus, ideology has a realistic dimension - and a dimension of representations (myths, concepts, ideas, images). There is (harsh, conflicting) reality - and the way that we represent it both to ourselves and to others.

(3) To achieve the above, ideology must not be seen to err or, worse, remain speechless. It, therefore, confronts and poses (to itself) only answerable questions. This way, it remains confined to a fabulous, legendary, contradiction-free domain. It ignores other questions altogether.

(4) Althusser introduced the concept of "The Problematic":

"The objective internal reference ... the system of questions

commanding the answers given"

It determines which problems, questions and answers are part of the game - and which should be blacklisted and never as much as mentioned. It is a structure of theory (ideology), a framework and the repertoire of discourses which - ultimately - yield a text or a practice. All the rest is excluded.

It, therefore, becomes clear that what is omitted is of no less importance than what is included in a text. The problematic of a text relates to its historical context ("moment") by incorporating both: inclusions as well as omissions, presences as much as absences. The problematic of the text fosters the generation of answers to posed questions - and of defective answers to excluded questions.

(5) The task of "scientific" (e.g., Marxist) discourse, of Althusserian critical practice is to deconstruct the problematic, to read through ideology and evidence the real conditions of existence. This is a "symptomatic reading" of TWO TEXTS:

"It divulges the undivulged event in the text that it reads and, in the

same movement, relates to it a different text, present, as a necessary

absence, in the first ... (Marx's reading of Adam Smith) presupposes

the existence of two texts and the measurement of the first against

the second. But what distinguishes this new reading from the old,

is the fact that in the new one, the second text is articulated with the

lapses in the first text ... (Marx measures) the problematic contained

in the paradox of an answer which does not correspond to any questions posed."

Althusser is contrasting the manifest text with a latent text which is the result of the lapses, distortions, silences and absences in the manifest text. The latent text is the "diary of the struggle" of the unposed question to be posed and answered.

(6) Ideology is a practice with lived and material dimensions. It has costumes, rituals, behaviour patterns, ways of thinking. The State employs Ideological Apparatuses (ISAs) to reproduce ideology through practices and productions: (organized) religion, the education system, the family, (organized) politics, the media, the industries of culture.

"All ideology has the function (which defines it) of 'constructing'

concrete individuals as subjects"

Subjects to what? The answer: to the material practices of the ideology. This (the creation of subjects) is done by the acts of "hailing" or "interpellation". These are acts of attracting attention (hailing) , forcing the individuals to generate meaning (interpretation) and making them participate in the practice.

These theoretical tools were widely used to analyze the Advertising and the film industries.

The ideology of consumption (which is, undeniably, the most material of all practices) uses advertising to transform individuals to subjects (=to consumers). It uses advertising to interpellate them. The advertisements attract attention, force people to introduce meaning to them and, as a result, to consume. The most famous example is the use of "People like you (buy this or do that)" in ads. The reader / viewer is interpellated both as an individual ("you") and as a member of a group ("people like..."). He occupies the empty (imaginary) space of the "you" in the ad. This is ideological "misrecognition". First, many others misrecognize themselves as that "you" (an impossibility in the real world). Secondly, the misrecognized "you" exists only in the ad because it was created by it, it has no real world correlate.

The reader or viewer of the ad is transformed into the subject of (and subject to) the material practice of the ideology (consumption, in this case).

Althusser was a Marxist. The dominant mode of production in his days (and even more so today) was capitalism. His implied criticism of the material dimensions of ideological practices should be taken with more than a grain of salt. Interpellated by the ideology of Marxism himself, he generalized on his personal experience and described ideologies as infallible, omnipotent, ever successful. Ideologies, to him, were impeccably functioning machines which can always be relied upon to reproduce subjects with all the habits and thought patterns required by the dominant mode of production.

And this is where Althusser fails, trapped by dogmatism and more than a touch of paranoia. He neglects to treat two all-important questions (his problematic may have not allowed it):

(a) What do ideologies look for? Why do they engage in their practice? What is the ultimate goal?

(b) What happens in a pluralistic environment rich in competing ideologies?

Althusser stipulates the existence of two texts, manifest and hidden. The latter co-exists with the former, very much as a black figure defines its white background. The background is also a figure and it is only arbitrarily - the result of historical conditioning - that we bestow a preferred status upon the one. The latent text can be extracted from the manifest one by listening to the absences, the lapses and the silences in the manifest text.

But: what dictates the laws of extraction? how do we know that the latent text thus exposed is THE right one? Surely, there must exist a procedure of comparison, authentication and verification of the latent text?

A comparison of the resulting latent text to the manifest text from which it was extracted would be futile because it would be recursive. This is not even a process of iteration. It is teutological. There must exist a THIRD, "master-text", a privileged text, historically invariant, reliable, unequivocal (indifferent to interpretation-frameworks), universally accessible, atemporal and non-spatial. This third text is COMPLETE in the sense that it includes both the manifest and the latent. Actually, it should include all the possible texts (a LIBRARY function). The historical moment will determine which of them will be manifest and which latent, according to the needs of the mode of production and the various practices. Not all these texts will be conscious and accessible to the individual but such a text would embody and dictate the rules of comparison between the manifest text and ITSELF (the Third Text) , being the COMPLETE text.

Only through a comparison between a partial text and a complete text can the deficiencies of the partial text be exposed. A comparison between partial texts will yield no certain results and a comparison between the text and itself (as Althusser suggests) is absolutely meaningless.

This Third Text is the human psyche. We constantly compare texts that we read to this Third Text, a copy of which we all carry with us. We are unaware of most of the texts incorporated in this master text of ours. When faced with a manifest text which is new to us, we first "download" the "rules of comparison (engagement)". We sift through the manifest text. We compare it to our COMPLETE master text and see which parts are missing. These constitute the latent text. The manifest text serves as a trigger which brings to our consciousness appropriate and relevant portions of the Third Text. It also generates the latent text in us.

If this sounds familiar it is because this pattern of confronting (the manifest text), comparing (with our master text) and storing the results (the latent text and the manifest text are brought to consciousness) - is used by mother nature itself. The DNA is such a "Master Text, Third Text". It includes all the genetic-biological texts some manifest, some latent. Only stimuli in its environment (=a manifest text) can provoke it to generate its own (hitherto latent) "text". The same would apply to computer applications.

The Third Text, therefore, has an invariant nature (it includes all possible texts) - and, yet, is changeable by interacting with manifest texts. This contradiction is only apparent. The Third Text does not change - only different parts of it are brought to our awareness as a result of the interaction with the manifest text. We can also safely say that one does not need to be an Althusserian critic or engage in "scientific" discourse to deconstruct the problematic. Every reader of text immediately and always deconstructs it. The very act of reading involves comparison with the Third Text which inevitably leads to the generation of a latent text.

And this precisely is why some interpellations fail. The subject deconstructs every message even if he is not trained in critical practice. He is interpellated or fails to be interpellated depending on what latent message was generated through the comparison with the Third Text. And because the Third Text includes ALL possible texts, the subject is given to numerous competing interpellations offered by many ideologies, mostly at odds with each other. The subject is in an environment of COMPETING INTERPELLATIONS (especially in this day and age of information glut). The failure of one interpellation - normally means the success of another (whose interpellation is based on the latent text generated in the comparison process or on a manifest text of its own, or on a latent text generated by another text).

There are competing ideologies even in the most severe of authoritarian regimes. Sometimes, IASs within the same social formation offer competing ideologies: the political Party, the Church, the Family, the Army, the Media, the Civilian Regime, the Bureaucracy. To assume that interpellations are offered to the potential subjects successively (and not in parallel) defies experience (though it does simplify the thought-system).

Clarifying the HOW, though, does not shed light on the WHY.

Advertising leads to the interpellation of the subject to effect the material practice of consumption. Put more simply: there is money involved. Other ideologies - propagated through organized religions, for instance - lead to prayer. Could this be the material practice that they are looking for? No way. Money, prayer, the very ability to interpellate - they are all representations of power over other human beings. The business concern, the church, the political party, the family, the media, the culture industries - are all looking for the same thing: influence, power, might. Absurdly, interpellation is used to secure one paramount thing: the ability to interpellate. Behind every material practice stands a psychological practice (very much as the Third Text - the psyche - stands behind every text, latent or manifest).

The media could be different: money, spiritual prowess, physical brutality, subtle messages. But everyone (even individuals in their private life) is looking to hail and interpellate others and thus manipulate them to succumb to their material practices. A short sighted view would say that the businessman interpellates in order to make money. But the important question is: what ever for? What drives ideologies to establish material practices and to interpellate people to participate in them and become subjects? The will to power. the wish to be able to interpellate. It is this cyclical nature of Althusser's teachings (ideologies interpellate in order to be able to interpellate) and his dogmatic approach (ideologies never fail) which doomed his otherwise brilliant observations to oblivion.

In Althusser's writings the Marxist determination remains as Over-determination. This is a structured articulation of a number of contradictions and determinations (between the practices). This is very reminiscent of Freud's Dream Theory and of the concept of Superposition in Quantum Mechanics.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


Philosophy As A Science

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 523)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

Philosophy is considered a science but it is difficult to say, when one has to compare with an ordinary science, for example biology, or chemistry. This is a question that turns into a burning problem among the scientists and linguists all over the world. Can philosophy be a science? What does philosophy operate with? It operates with categories, which can be as wide and as interchangeable as one can only imagine. Ordinary science operates with definitions, which are quite limited in their field of research. Ordinary science uses terms and laws of that very science to continue the research, uniting with the others in very rare cases. Philosophy gets into the sense of every science trying to achieve results.

We also can not call philosophy a supra-science, for it also uses hypothesis and arguments to state the opinion. But there is the obvious thing: there are now laws in philosophy and never will be, for the science changes with the age, the needs, beliefs and requirements of the citizens. To prove your opinion, you can write the definition essay and state all the facts and arguments you know to prove one way or another. This is also a nice way to research the problem and see what the solution is. But you have to research it carefully; otherwise definition essays will not be fruitful. As all sciences philosophy has gone through its stages of development. Some scientists believe that the crib of philosophy was mythology and religion. If to see the principles of life and some primitive morals stated in some myths we may see that the statement is quite true and philosophy still continues to develop out of social beliefs and ideas. Philosophy is a science which is obligatory learned by every college student in order for him to establish his own philosophy of life. It is quite exciting to find answers to ever existing questions: who am I? What do I know? What can I know? What am I destined to do? Here is one more interesting observation. You can see that all famous philosophers were researching other science fields also. For example, Freud, Yung, Kafka and others were doing research in linguistics and social sciences. Their numerous creations are the pride of human history for they revealed some secrets that remained undiscovered for a long time before their great contributions.

There are so many currents and branches, so many schools of philosophy that it is hard to decide, which one do you prefer and agree with. This much depends on the country, family, society you live in. This is one more difference between philosophy and other natural sciences. The law is stable for any country; gravity exists in India, same as in Brazil. Philosophy is a hard science, for it is very difficult to understand the sense of the dogma reading it only once. It is of course, not easy, but gives credit for you if you get interested and somewhere, being at the social event you quote one of the famous doctors of philosophy and make a great impression of an educated and intelligent personality.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


Unlocking The Bible Codes

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 373)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

Did you read the DaVinci Code or maybe see the movie? Did it get you interested in history and secret codes? You do not have to travel to Europe to see the true secrets from history; technology now lets us unlock the oldest secret code in the world, the bible code. For centuries there have been rumors about the secret codes of the bible. Now with the power of your home computer you can unlock the bible codes and see the truth for your self. Whether you are a true believer or a doubtful skeptic, evidence can be found with your own research on the secret codes of the bible.

Bible codes, sometimes referred to as Torah codes, have been part of the Jewish tradition and mystery for over 2000 years. In Hebrew (the language of the original bible) the bible codes are called Gematria which is a translation from ancient Greek which when translated in to English is numerology. Around the time that the Old Testament was written the Greeks were the world leaders in math, so it would be natural that they would influence the composers of the original bible codes. It is information like this that can be found in the software responsible for unlocking the bible codes.

The bible codes can also be seen in other forms of the bible not just the original Hebrew. The King James Version has hidden bible codes and mysteries just waiting to be unlocked. The Greek version of the bible was the first ever translation of the bible and it too has many secrets waiting for you.

Using your home computer you can unlock the bible codes and explore history on your own. There are plenty of wonderful programs and DVDs which reveal the secrets of the bibles codes, and let you explore the magical Holy Land from home. One program called Holy Land Journey takes you on an interactive tour of the Holy Land and matches up bible stories with pictures. There are several bible decoders which are made to work in your native language and help you to start unlocking the secrets of the bible in a simple way so that you can understand.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


Enlightenment Is Not Just One State

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 531)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

Many people has the notion that enlightenment is one state. Many also believe that when it is attained, a person is forever in that state.

The following is not a definitive article on this subject. It is just an expression of my own thoughts.

My opinion is that enlightenment is not just one state but is a progressive and gradual establishing of states of consciousness.

I, myself have not reach the end of the road. But from years on a spiritual quest, I can safely say that enlightenment happens in a series or stages of self-realisations and self-discoveries.

Usually there is a difference between an initial awakening and a later stabilisation of that stage that happens through practice or experiences. The initial awakenings are new discoveries about the dynamics of consciousness, while the stabilisation is the assimilation of what is being discovered into one's life experience. Sometimes, a new discovery can completely over-rule or modify upon an older one.

Almost all stages of enlightenment can be said to be associated with Presence. However, the enlightening Presence comes in various degrees of intensity and clarity. The degree of intensity is directly dependent on the level and depth of one's clarity as well as one's realisations/discoveries.

Also, as one progresses along, the relationship or connections of oneself to the universe and existence at large also becomes clearer.

Below very briefly illustrates the progressive and stage-based nature of enlightenment:

When one first begin meditating, one may first experience the all-pervading Presence. This Presence, is most often experienced when thoughts are momentarily suspended. This Presence which exists in the Eternal Present Moment is our true self.

However such an experience can only be classified as an awakening to the true self.. which is no-self. This is because, after the meditation, the Presence seems to have disappeared. One cannot understand and find the connection of presence to our everyday life. Therefore one will have difficulty re-acquiring the Presence. And it takes many stages and series of realisation to understand the relationship of Presence to our phenomenal world. It can be said that the prolonged sustaining of Presence is dependent on the stages and depth of realisation.

Also, during the earlier stages we may mistaken another state to be the pure presence. For example, we may mistaken 'I AM' for pure presence. This is because the thinking mind has created a reflective image of Pure Presence. This reflection of the absolute is 'I AM'.

Usually, in order to pass through the 'I AM' stage, the person must move unto even deeper understandings. These understandings may include realising that one's personality is not the doer of action. This stage may persist for a while before the person realises the illusion of subject-object division. This stage involves recognising the hypnotic impression of there being an observer and the being observed. Here is where one begins to see through the illusionary nature of our phenomenal world.

I cannot comment on the stages before me as they are beyond me. Nevertheless, one can still see from the above description that enlightenment is not so straight-forward after all.

For your necessary discernment. Thank you for reading.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 291)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

I was always somebody who felt quite sorry for myself, what I had not got compared to my friends, how much of a struggle my life seemed to be compared to others. I was caught up in a web of negativity and needed someone or something to help me to escape.

During an afternoon at work one day, aged around twenty one, a colleague I was working with started to talk to me. What he said was quite upsetting and disturbing, however would have a profound effect on my future. He said to me:

"Your quite a depressive person, aren't you?"

"Am I?"

I said in a shocked voice as I believed I was no different to anybody else. He continued:

"Yes you are. You very rarely smile, you are negative about most issues and you always seem to be carrying the world on your shoulders".

This man was aged around fifty three and continued:

"I used to be like you and then I was given some advice, of which I am now going to relay to you. When you feel down, depressed or sorry for yourself, read the newspapers or watch the news on the television. You may then realise that you are in fact one of the lucky ones."

I listened and thought about what he had said. I had never been a big reader or watcher of the news, but decided to start. The advice was totally correct, the news from around the world and even my own country was quite shocking. I realised that the worries I had were actually quite trivial and that I needed to cherish everyday and start to look on the bright side of life.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


The Basics Of Western Astrology Explained

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 550)
Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp

Introduction:

This article covers the basics of Astrology and how they are inter-related. Astrology is defined as 'the art or practice of determining the supposed influences of the planets and their motions on human affairs and human disposition'. From this practice a horoscope can be produced - a diagram (or chart) of the relative positions of planets and signs of the Zodiac at a specific time, usually the time of birth. A forecast can then be produced.

The Zodiac:

Western Astrology originated way back, around 500 BC, with a concept called the Zodiac being developed. This comprised of an imaginary sphere surrounding the earth, which followed the path of the Sun through the constellations during the year. The Zodiac was split into twelve sections, each named after the specific constellation noted in that area.

Elements:

Many ancient philosophies used a set of classical elements to explain the way nature behaved. Each sign was connected to one of the classical elements (fire, earth, air, or water) and was also related to a region of focus; social, personal or universal.

* Water signs are related to growth processes, identification and emotion. In tandem with the other elements, water feels that fire will make it boil, air will evaporate it, but earth will shape and channel it.

* Fire signs are related to action, passion, and energy. In tandem with the other elements, fire feels that earth will smother it, water will drown it, but air will fan and enliven it.

* Air signs are related to thought, perspective and communication. In tandem with the other elements, air feels that water will obscure it, earth will suffocate it, but fire will inspire and uplift it.

* Earth signs are related to sensation, stability, and practicality. In tandem with the other elements, earth feels that air will dry it, fire will dry it, but water will refresh and nourish it.

Modalities:

Each sign is connected to one of three modalities; cardinal (sometimes referred to as movable), fixed, and mutable.

There are four quadrants following the order of the zodiacal signs, with three signs in each. Each quadrant describes a season, beginning with a cardinal sign, continuing to a fixed sign, and ending with a mutable sign.

Modalities and Related Zodiac Signs:

* Mutable signs are related to adaptability, resourcefulness and holism. They are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

* Fixed signs are related to determination, focus and individuality. They are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

* Cardinal signs are related to creativity and initiation. They are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

Summary of Zodiac Sign Characteristics:

* Aries (cardinal, fire, personal): defensive, energetic, head down, assertive, impulsive.

* Taurus (fixed, earth, personal): patient, indulgent, resourceful, thorough, devoted.

* Gemini (mutable, air, personal): quick, logical, inquisitive.

* Cancer (cardinal, water, personal): clinging, protective, sensitive.

* Leo (fixed, fire, social): theatrical, generous, proud.

* Virgo (mutable, earth, social): critically, practical, efficient.

* Libra (cardinal, air, social): lazy, co-operative, fair.

* Scorpio (fixed, water, social): anxious, passionate, sensitive.

* Sagittarius (mutable, fire, universal): careless, free, straightforward.

* Capricorn (cardinal, earth, universal): suspicious, prudent, cautious.

* Aquarius (fixed, air, universal): detached, democratic, unconventional.

* Pisces (mutable, water, universal): distracted, imaginative, sensitive.

Share this article on: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp


Reload this page to get new content randomly.


More Categories

Time-Management | Loans | Credit | Weather | Finance | Weddings | Trucks-Suvs | Home-Family | Cars | Self-Improvement | Reference-Education | Insurance | Vehicles | Mortgage | Home-Improvement | Gardening | Society | Parenting | Debt-Consolidation | Womens-Issues | Relationships | Acne | Interior-Design | Nutrition | Fashion | Baby | Legal | Religion | Fishing | Clothing | Holidays | Product-Reviews | Personal-Finance | Auctions | Communications | Misc | Supplements | Marriage | Currency-Trading | Politics | Goal-Setting | Taxes | Ecommerce | Movie-Reviews | Recipes | Traffic-Generation | College | Cooking | Computer-Certification | Success | Motivation | Depression | Stress-Management | Site-Promotion | Outdoors | Home-Security | Book-Reviews | History | Entrepreneurs | Hair-Loss | Yoga | Consumer-Electronics | Stock-Market | Email-Marketing | Article-Writing | Ppc-Advertising | Science | K12-Education | Crafts | Environmental | Elderly-Care | Fitness-Equipment | Cruises | Coaching | Domains | Spirituality | Mens-Issues | Happiness | Leadership | Customer-Service | Inspirational | Diabetes | Attraction | Security | Copywriting | Language | Data-Recovery | Muscle-Building | Aviation | Motorcycles | Coffee | Landscaping | Homeschooling | Ebooks | Cardio | Psychology | Celebrities | Pregnancy | Ebay | Mesothelioma | Extreme | Ezine-Marketing | Digital-Products | Fundraising | Martial-Arts | Boating | Divorce | Book-Marketing | Commentary | Current-Events | Credit-Cards | Public-Speaking | Hunting | Debt | Financial | Coin-Collecting | Family-Budget | Meditation | Biking | Rss | Music-Reviews | Organizing | Breast-Cancer | Creativity | Spam | Podcasts | Google-Adsense | Forums | Ethics | Buying-Paintings | Gourmet | Auto-Sound-systems | After-School-Activities | Adsense | Dieting | Education | Dance | Cigars | Astronomy | Cats | Diamonds | Autoresponders | Disneyland | Carpet | Bbqs | Dental | Criminology | Craigslist | Atv | Excavation-Equipment | Buying-A-boat | Auto-Responders | Auto-Navigation-Systems | Autism-Articles | Atkins-Diet | Aspen-Nightlife | Fruit-Trees | Credit-Card-Debt | Creating-An-Online-Business | Breast-Feeding | Contact-Lenses | Computer-Games-systems | Colon-Cleanse | College-Scholarship | Golden-Retriever | Anger-Management | American-History | Bluetooth-Technology | Alternative-Energy | Closet-Organizers | Elliptical-Trainers | Electric-Cars | Black-History | Air-Purifiers | Diesel-Vs-Gasoline-Vehicles | Christmas-Shopping | Choosing-The-Right-Golf-Clubs | Dental-Assistant | Decorating-For-Christmas | Beach-Vacations | Cd-Duplication | Bathroom-Remodeling | Bargain-Hunting | Candle-Making | Backyard-Activities | Auto-Leasing | Skin-Cancer | Recreational-Vehicle | Mutual-Funds | Boats | Leasing | Innovation | Philosophy | Grief | Colon-Cancer | Prostate-Cancer | Dating-Women | Audio-Video-Streaming | Forex | Digital-Camera | Cell-Phone | Car-Stereo | Car-Rental | Running | Sociology | Multiple-Sclerosis | Leukemia | Dogs | Ovarian-Cancer