Topic: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

I.
Helmuth Plessner, an early voice of Philosophical Anthropology, said (Stufen...) that the human being lives "ex-centrically."  The human lives, that is, "away from the (or 'a' ?) center."  This essay will not contradict Plessner's conclusion; but we will qualify it.  Our purpose will be:

1. To ask:  what is meant by a "center"?

2. To ask whether there ever was, or still is, this center, as we have defined the word,  in which the human being, individually or collectively, was or is centered.

3. To ask what the advantage or disadvantage, in regard to individual or group survival, would be to being centered.  We know that an animal lives "centrically."  We suppose that the human's ancestral forms, before tools and language, lived "centrically."  Can man or animal, either one,  ever live permanently and absolutely ex-centrically. 

4. To ask whether, even assuming that the human being lives ex-centrically, this can be a permanent condition.  Or whether, that is, the human being, while living ex-centrically for a time, must eventually find a center.

In a centric world there is a seer who sees objects and what is around him.    But the seer does not see himself.  This centrism is where living nature stood before the coming of man.  I suggest that this world--perfectly centered in ego subjectivism--is rightly or wrongly perceived to be, by that seer, a secure world.


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Life is the answer to all questions.

That is only to say:  We cannot go beyond life to finally and absolutely answer any question.

What is not relevant to life simply does not exist.

Thus,  life is the final answer to any question.  That is to say, life is the only answer that there is to any question.

Wille (Schopenhauer), or life, is the ground of existence.

Life is the center of existence.

All being has life as its center.  Without life, being would not exist.

To be without being centered is a self-contradiction.

Ex-centric being is a contradiction in terms.

As an ex-centric being, the human being is a contradiction in terms.

The human being has long lived as an ex-centric--self-contradictory--being.

He must finally return to his center.

Race is the resolution of the self-contradiction of ex-centric being.

An early voice of Philosophical Anthropology, Helmuth Plessner said (Stufen...) that the human being lives ex-centrically (exzentrisch).  The human point of view, according to Plessner, is "away from the (or 'a' ?) center."  Implied in his statement is that the human being had a center, or, better, was a center, sometime in his primal past, but finally moved away from the center.   Plessner's writing is turgid and any extensive exposition of his major work would be counterproductive at this time.  I am here giving an impression of Stufen which underscores his major point and draws out the implication of that point. Simply to save time, perhaps, I want to connect Plessner's viewpoint with Platonism and Kantianism.  This is to put the so-called "essence of man" (a focal phrase used since used by Max Scheler in philosophical anthropology) outside the individual body, and outside, indeed, any heretofore evolved biological form.  The transcendence or detachment of the human being has been a theme of philosophy.   Thus Plessner's word exzentrisch is simply another way of saying transcendent.

The human being, simply speaking, has long been been regarded by philosophers and theologians as  otherworldly.  Calling man otherworldly or "transcendental" would account for many human traits--empathy, charity and so forth--that distinguish humans from animals. I want also to add to this list of ex-centrisms the phenomenon of nationalism, which delinates human relations in terms of an external, abstract line called a national border. Politically as well as philosophically the human condition would seem to be evolving, we may say, from one of centrism to ex-centrism.   We will consider nationalism and several other ex-centrisms shortly.  At present we say only that, stressed by Plessner as a recent philosophical anthropologist, was the notion that either in the human's present, somewhere, or in his near or remote past the human being was centered and centric. Derived from Stufen.. is the suggestion that centers were essential to life until the advent of humankind as an ex-centric being.

There may be alot at stake for our purposes in the distinction between "having a center" and "being a center."  We may suggest that the human being, while he has a center, also is a center.  Plessner's assertion would be radically impacted (a word?) by wondering, as we do here, whether he meant that the human being (prior to become ex-centric) has a center or, on the other hand, is a center.  If the human being is a center, we are saying, to move away from that center would be to cease to be what he, the human being is.  If he has a center, but is not a center, then he could presumably move away from that center and still be himself.  We are denying this.  We are saying, rather, that the human being is a center and cannot become exzentrisch without contradicting himself.

The human being could exist, still, both being a center and moving away from that center.  What happens in this case would be--is--simply that the human falls into a state of dialectical tension wherein, contradicting himself, he must--in order to continue to exist--resolve that contradiction.
 


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I AM SETTING THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL APART AND WILL TRY TO INTEGRATE IT LATER
Again, the subject of territory was raised in a neo-conservative treatise by the American writer Robert Ardrey, who drew upon the work of the Austrian Konrad Lorenz.  The word of the day for some time in the '70s was "territory."  When we talk about centers, however, we are not necessarily engaing in any discussion of territory, which (I aver) is something different. 

Ardrey's thesis--that the human being as other animals orients himself within a boundary that is outside and around him--could be described as "nationalistic."  In fact, the concept of a national boundary appears rather late in human history, in the period of Spanish and French nationalism circa 1500.  Before that time, human social life was oriented around centers.  The city-state was ascendant.  We are saying, contrary to Ardrey, that while human beings as other animals do orient themselves in space, and defend their spatial position as essential to their survival, this orientation begins with a notion of a center.  Any concept of an outer perimeter is vague and tenuous.  We are saying, furthermore, consistent with our philosophical-anthropological thesis--that a being's habits of life, established through instinct, become embedded as mental concepts.   The brain and mind are little more, at least in the short term, than reflexes of habits that have already been established by experience in survival.  This point was made in our section on Philosophical Anthropology.

Turning to Plessner's thesis of exzentrizitaet we see, in animal behavior but also in human life, an orienation first around a center; the human being for his part moves away from this center.  I would suggest, following what was said above, that the human tendency to move away from a "center"--a mental center or point of viewing(?)--is preceded by a physical distancing from a center of life on the part of an animal.  This statement needs careful exposition.  What we are saying is merely that, while the animal has some point of space where it, the animal, feels secure, it does venture away from this point;  the animal also looks back to make sure that it, the animal, has a clear path of retreat toward that point.   The animal never willingly loses sight of that point.  At this juncture in our argument we are saying, if an animal is territorial, it is protective not of all the ground surrounding it, rather it is protective of the space between where the animal is presently, having wandered away from its center, and the center itself.  This is the spatial orienation of an animal.  I suggest that a human being thinks this way.  Mostly he also acts this way.  That is, while the human being may mentally depart from the center that he himself is--his self itself--he does so only under the condition that he can observe himself.  He demands the certainty that he can return to his self.  Otherwise he is cut off from the basis of his existence.  This is "mental territoriality."  When we talk of the self, then, we mean something essential to life in the same way that an animal's center of existence is essential to it.  We decry, consequently, "perpetual ex-centricity." 

Human beings do not depend moment to moment on being centered.  We may reword our statement for purposes of emphasis.  The human being, while once centered, became, somehow--there remains to more precisely describe this state--"decentralized."  In clear terms, the human being can and does stand outside himself, in small matters and large, in individual concerns and social ones, to see himself at a certain mental distance.  This is how the human being, as opposed to an animal, lives. 

Our purpose here will be to ask:

1. ...  what is meant by a "center"?

2. ... whether there ever was, or still is, this center, as we have defined the word,  in which the human being, individually or collectively, was or is centered.

3. ... what the advantage or disadvantage, in regard to individual or group survival, would be to being centered.  We know that an animal lives "centrically."  We suppose that the human's ancestral forms, before tools and language, lived "centrically."  Can man or animal, either one,  ever live permanently and absolutely ex-centrically? 

4. ... whether, even assuming that the human being lives ex-centrically, this can be a permanent condition.  Or whether, that is, the human being, while living ex-centrically for a time, must eventually find a center.



Those were our questions.  The following are our propositions:

1. Life is the answer to all questions.  2. That is only to say:  We cannot go beyond life to finally and absolutely answer any question.  3. What is not relevant to life simply does not exist.   4. No thing can be known fully without knowing the relevance of that thing.  5. Relevancies all point in the direction of life.  Relevant means only--relevant to life.   Where there is no life, no thing is relevant.   6. Thus,  life is the final answer to any question.  That is to say, simply, all answering stops at the point of life.  This--that answering ceases at this point--is all we mean when we say that life is the only answer that there is to any question.  7. "Wille, or life, is the ground of existence."  (Schopenhauer)  8. Life is the center of existence.  9. All being has life as its center.  Without life there would be no being.   10. Being that is not centered, or ex-centric being (Exzentrizitaet--H. Plessner), is a self-contradiction. 11.  As an ex-centric being, the human being is a contradiction in terms.  12. The human being may live as a self-contradiction.  This paradox of human life compels that life to its high achievements. The human being has lived long and successfully as an ex-centric--self-contradictory--being   13.  But ex-centricity is not a sustainable condition.  The human must finally return to his center.  14.  Race--concentrated collective life--is the resolution of the self-contradiction of ex-centric being.

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Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-09-12 14:22:37)

Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

The first user of the stick--essentially, the first culture--intended to compel behavior in some other human being.  This was his purpose.   I began the present discussion in my section "Phenomenology of the Stick."  What I said there was that  the first use of the stick--which was the act that set humans in general apart from animals--was not for the purpose of, say, turning over a rock or hitting an animal; it was used as an instrument to bring about slavery, the essential enduring institution that virtually, even today, constitutes society.  I have already made the connection between the stick, slavery and society.  They are synonymous.  My understanding of the word slavery approximates the common meaning that we all have, despite the many contexts where the word is found.  The many uses of the word slavery can all be traced to the primal slavery that existed, for all we know, several million years ago.    But we return to the primal act within the limited familial group.  The person first consigned through the stick to slavery would  of course be a person close at hand, within reach of the primal stick.  This could be just a friend.  This could be a man of the stick-possessor's own age and physical condition, a relative, say, or perhaps some hapless bystander.    More likely this "slave" was to be the "technician's" own mate.  The first slavery of women was balanced by the first marriage, or "agreement" wherein both parties in the relationship were what we now call slaves.   We are now in an area of speculation that should cause no problems.  The perfect, total tool is the human being him- or her-self.    In other words, no doubt before culture every appeared, when prehumans lived like apes, the thought had occured to these primitive beings of leveraging their own actions, which were selfish, through other human beings.   The most perfect servant of man is potentially man him- or herself.   

Overall, and in the long run, the generality of needs that a human has approximates the generality of abilities that humans have.  But in the earliest period of society men did not know one another as general beings but only as individual beings.   In the era before the stick (essentially, before culture) there ws only the possibility of another man as individual.  An individual is not the perfect servant of another individual, because, simply, it is awkward and difficult having to match needs and abilities of individually different people.  In the collective relations among humans this difficulty in matching needs and abilities is obviated.  Generally and overall, persons with certain needs can be matched with persons with certain abilities.  In the pre-cultural area any such thought of slavery would be pointless; there was no agency wherein this reality could happen.  The stick, as mankind's earliest artifact, changed this.  Now slavery was feasible, and what is more the collective relationship became more interesting than the individual relationship.  It was in larger groups of people that one group could enslave the other; because, within this larger group abilities and needs could be matched.  Even while slavery was awkward and difficult in the individual relationship, where individualities stood in the way of perfect slavery, there was no issue with individual differences where masses of people met and interacted.  Slavery was now an obvious and compelling possibility.  Slavery became a perfect option and one that was put into practice.  In the earlier period the would-be master had no means of enslaving anyone.  Every assertion of personal dominance and force would be met with an equal force, more or less.  Acquisition of the stick created a lopsided situation wherein slavery was now possible; so that, in other words, one man could be the perfect vehicle for another man's indulgance.   

We have seen that what one man wants generally, some other man can satisfy generally.   This was the condition of the earliest humans.  We have one man satisfying, or attempting to satisfy, the needs of another man--a state of being made possible through agency of the stick.   This is the perfect rationale and formula for slavery.  I have in earlier sections of this blog outlined the steps of this process consistent with the methods and concepts of Philosophical Anthropology.  We have begun, again as Gehlen and Plessner would have us do, with the smallest possibile groups and have extrapolated to larger groups, finding in the larger groups the core of behavior that is timeless.  We see that in larger groups there are "larger"--meaning more general--relationships.  Therefore what in earliest slavery was individual--and thus awkward--became in larger groups general and therefore more logical.    In the case of individual relationships, the formula for slavery does not entirely fit the mentality of this small group.  What one human being has individually the other perhaps does not need, since individuals are individual in their needs.    It is possible however at this point to expand our concept.   When humans come together in larger groups, the generality of the needs of one half will match the combined abilities of the other half.  It was said by one economist that a group of ten workers, the capabilities of that group will match another group of ten.  That is true.  Thus, what began in the relationship of one man to another, through the agency of the stick, spread throughout the whole group.   The tool, then, or stick or stone used as an artifact, was simply an afterthought to an already established idea and, as such, merely a means to an end. 

I move on to the conclusion of this line of thinking.  Society, as an expansion of the original idea of technology--that technics is an agent used by one person, here called "master," to subdue another person we call "slave"--has the ongoing and general effect of enforcing a kind of conformist generality.  We have no intention here, nor would such a point of view have any effect on human behavior (there have been massive criticisms of society with this in mind) of pointing out the problem, if there is one, of conformity in human life.  If a person does not perceive conformity to threaten him and his individuality, then there is no real issue to be raised regarding conformity of life style and so forth.  We are not interested here (we do not happen to be interested) in human happiness or satisfaction whether individual or collective.  Our point ultimately relates to biology and the passing of forms of life one into the other and one beyond the other.  We are thinking of Nietzsche's great Satz to the effect that man is someone or something that will be surpassed.  That is the way of nature.  Society, as slavery (and this we are saying is what society is), in forcing a generality of human behavior also forces, or attempts to enforce, boundaries on the flow of life from one species to the next.  This is an impossibility.  Individual differences can of course be suppressed; but when these frustrated differences resolve themselves into the concentrated force we know as race, all social boundaries are dissolved and so existing society passes away.

Man needs society. This is a point made by Rousseau and one we have already heard in our most casual reading.  But there is more.  Sociology has it seems not advanced since Rousseau's first pronouncement.  The formulation is backwards.  It needs to be stated, rather, that society needs man.  This--the opposite of conventional ideology--is just as strue and far more problematic.  We may say that humans need society in the same way that a workman needs his hammer or chisel.  This was a primal fact of human existence since the first technology.  But the hammer and chisel need the workman.  In the course of human history, as technology and the relation of workers to technology has become more complex--actually, unfathomable--the truth that technology, and society as the reflex of technology, asserts itself over the workers themselves.  I said earlier that the stick completes the arm, and the slave completes the stick.  This is true.  But now we see, in the reversal of emphasis of sociology in view of Force Theory, that it becomes ultimately not the master of the stick who is imposed on the slave but the stick itself, which "demands" the work of the slave.  Finally, the master himself is no less required by his technics and becomes in effect the servant of those technics.  We have outlined in earlier sections of this blog some of the complications that result from this turnaround:  the agreement, for instance, and a contractual imposition of mutual force and slavery.  To review:   the idea introduced by Force Theory that is, or should be regarded as, new to sociology--a point we have not yet heard prior to New Force Theory--is one which should be the center of sociological research.  Key to our knowledge is an understanding of the real meaning of the word "humanity."  We speak here not of human beings at random but members of the human species, Homo sapiens, but a species we call humanity and one  which shows only species characteristics. 

Traits that are not purely species traits but are mutational and individual are passively tolerated by society, often, but just barely; while only species traits--those consistent with "slavery" of the paleolithic period--are actively affirmed.  These few traits were exhibited at the outset of the technological age, at the outset of the paleolithic period; and in the interaction between technics and human biology these traits were fixed for all time.  The formulaltion by Force Theory is very simple.  One man held a stick; the other "bowed" before the stick.  Such a relationship constitutes society as it always has been.  Elaborations on this theme of "slavery" should not concern us here. The  relation that began simply at the onset of history is the essential relationship that endures today in the midst of complex or mass society.   The main point to emphasize, which is the concern of this blog, is that society as an enduring human creation also enforces the "original" terms of that relationship, which I call the "authority of the stick."  Where we stand now in history it is not otherwise:  the human being centers his and her social existence around technics as technics were conceived at the outset of the now ancient era of tool use.  We are left wondering about several words of sacred writings that have been given us as schoolchildren.  I am speaking of humanity.  Humanity does not exist as a simple fact, as does the species Homo sapiens, but is created artificially with the material of the species.  Humanity is an abstraction.  But it is an idea society finds essential to its own existence.  Humanity is the social form of the species Homo sapiens.  Finally, this is not an idea that is perceived simply as a piece of empty theory but is a "law" that is actively enforced.  Society directly or indirectly imposes upon humans within its sphere of activity the idea that the categorical and absolute form of the individual is a form consistent with the absolute idea of humanity.  We have already talked about the utltimate result of such an imposition.  The species Homo sapiens is affirmed as opposed to its sporadic outcroppings.  But these mutational outcroppings are the creative side of biological nature and, as such, are irresistable.  Society, in short, as an idea based upon one conception of the human being, as an absolute Homo sapiens, is decadent insofar as the entire species Homo sapiens, as any species that has become what it is, is decadent.

The human being benefits from and needs society.  Society essentially is simply an extension or elaboration of the first tool used by the stone age workman and, as such, society benefits the worker/citizen.  The tool first enforces slavery and so is of benefit to the master.  We conclude that the relation between society and the citizen is as positive as the relation between worker and tools.   Society is for the human being.  This is as far as sociology has come since Rousseau and the Enlightenment.   But there is more.   New Force Theory states that, furthermore, society needs the human being.  We may complete our idea by saying that society needs the human being exactly as he was--in the instant of the "display" of the stick--at some precise moment in ancient time.  Society needs the human being as such.   The human being that appeared at that earliest and decisive moment, in relation to the stick and the stick's owner, was the prototypical human of all time and one that endures into the present time.  This is the original but also the enduring generic human being,  one who, alone of all beings, is suited for society.  Society "wills," we may say, to affirm that particular person.  He is affirmed for his generically human traits that appeared at the seminal moment of leveraged (technological) intimidation, while, on the other hand, his traits that are above and beyond human traits are only tolerated.  We may speak here of the issue of toleration in general.  Traits may be tolerated or, on the contrary, they may be castigated.  Society is the most general institution that is supported by, and supports in return, only the species Homo sapiens, not the particular mutational forms within the species.   But as I say it is only in its most general and abstract form--as "humanity"--that society supports and affirms the species Homo sapiens.  We speak of American society and Chinese society.  We see how there appear to be different societies throughout the world that accomodate different cultures.  These differences are only superficial.  Society is elastic enough to accomodate the human group differences that there are.  On the other hand, the best human being--the "citizen"--for all social purposes is the one that appeared first in the creation of the human being in relation to the society that there first was, of slavery that was engendered by the first use of the stick by one man toward another.  The effect of human society is to affirm "humanity" as the social form of the species Homo sapiens.  Society, through the idea of the form of humanity, affirms a species as it was from the beginning of human or social time.  In this respect, society retards the course of biological evolution. 

It is wrong to say that a society is progressive or decadent, either one.  What is decadent is not society as such; what is decadent is the species that was and is the biological foundation of society.  This is the species as it was at the beginning of social time.  Every species is by definition, as a form of life that has entirely become, is decadent.  There is a bias that has inescapably crept into all the behavioral sciences, including sociology, but first and foremost into biology.  That bias is that the species is "the" form and the mutation is an "aberant" form.  A mutation is understood solely as a variant from the established form of the species.  There is a kind of ideological conservatism in academic biology that affirms this "established" quality of the species.  This staid viewpoint would apply to Darwinists as well as academics.  Our viewpoint is more strongly influenced by Nietzsche's great pronouncement that the species is "something that will be surpassed."  This is where we stand with biology.  We stand with the mutuations, however frail, against the established decadence of the species.  We can go on in this vein.   The proposition is simply true that a mutuation is normally not viable; most mutations die out.  That is true.  But such a consideration should not bias us in considering species in general.  Even while the mutuation is a form that is tentative and liable to fail, evolution advances only through these mutations; while, on the other hand, the species--the entity in favor of which biologists and sociologists seemed bias--is decadent and already a thing of the past.  Society is decadent to the extent that the foundation of the society, which is the species, is decadent.  Society is bound to pass away as the species which supports the society makes way for new forms of life.  These new and creative forms are "racial," appearing as they do within the race.  The species comes into collision with its own particular forms and, inevitably, disappear within these new forms.  The species Homo sapiens passes away as does the social form of this species, which is "humanity."  If society is to reappear it must do so in the aftermath of the racial revolution which, as the Taoist river of life, is irresistable.

Force Theory is not a critique of existing society as such.  We leave it to the sociologists and economists that there are to provide this criticism.  Where Force Theory stands at present is with the idea that, in fact, human beings world-wide have been creative and productive in contriving institutions around and through which to structure their lives.  We do not need to fault humans anywhere on this problem, even in Africa where there seems to be no infrastructure to speak of.   Everyone is aware, of course, with the problems of global free market system as, earlier, the communist organization.  Daily newspapers and universities trade in this subject.   The argument regarding such systems goes on and on; even the Greeks at one time were arguing points of dictatorship versus democracy.  The Greeks for their part were aware of the possibilities that there are for group life.  As white North Americans we can point with a certain pride to people who were here before we were but created, by themselves, impressive civilizations.   I am speaking of the American Indians.  To repeat:  Force Theory does not propose to contribute simply another tiresome analysis of what in society could be or has been done to improve the human lot.  Social structure is not our business--once we have established that society results, originally, from a primal act of technological intimidation of one man by another.  This--primal slavery as the original and enduring society--is our only provision.  We contribute a general theory of society, in other words, but will not engage ourselves in the dispute that never ends between, that is, free market and communist apologists.   But there is more.  There is an issue, on the other hand, that has not been so readily discussed and one which Force Theory addresses as its main focus.   The real issue from the standpoint of Force Theory is not the structure of society, as such, as I just said, but the foundation upon which society as a superstructure is built. 

That foundation is the biological Homo sapiens, but a species not as a fact but as an ideal.   That is, society is built upon the idea, precisely, that the both content and basis of society is something called the human species.   Members of this species are coincidentally--through language, we are saying--capable of society.  Again coincidentally, they happen by virtue of weakness (A.Gehlen) to need society; and, again, society needs them.  Focus on this bilateral relation between humans and society is a perspective unique to Force Theory.  Also this is a consideration should give us cause for practical and everyday concern.   We are asking what the medium is upon which society floats or stands, either one; and whether this basis is solid.  A house is as solid as the ground it stands on.  This is also true of society.  It turns out that this species Homo sapiens is not a fact, as it is presented through society, but a highly vague and potentially debatable idea.  The true species Homo sapiens, while precisely or vaguely known, as science and myth, is not actually the basis of society.  Society existed before there were scientists and anthropologists to tell humans what the human species was; and this early society was, in fact, based nevertheless on a vaguely perceived human species.  Society created for itself an idea called "humanity" in which the material of the species Homo sapiens is forced into a communal form.  The heart of humanity is not in its morphology but in its interpersonal relationships.  Humanity is viewed in these terms not so much as a species, at all, but a community.  Long before there was any scientific notion of the species Homo sapiens, there was a sense that human beings everywhere could communicate through language and therefore could enter into relationships through language.  It remained for society only to overcome the language differences that there are to be the all-inclusive entity that it had always intended itself to be.  The communists are not far-fetched in imagining a true global society of humanity; indeed, this ideal has been partially accomplished, already, through free trade between nations.  The essential nature of society--coercion through technics--has not been lost in the multitude of humans and relationships that there are.  Still, in all its imposing majesty what we call society remains based on a conception of the human species that is a pure theory and not a fact.  That conception is that the human being is essentially a "slave," capable of subordination to an order higher than himself, and one who exhibits only species characteristics and never individual--or racial--characteristics.  The smallest divergence from this species form constitutes a threat to the social order.  Society can tolerate individual differences; when these are rolled together with the energy of race the issue is entirely different.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-09-27 18:38:19)

Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

IV.
The human being has made the self itself a problem.  Objectivity in this context means that the subjective self has to be recognized for what it contributes to a problem being considered.  Thus, the human must know not just the planets, say, but his own presence in the universe which knows the planets.  In knowing that one is oneself a self, and that his self is just one of man selves--and objects--the human being thereby creates a second self or "other."   This Hegel has said.   In an important way the human being is both his original self and his "other self."  We are saying this in the best traditions of Hegelianism.  We may go on to observe, simply, that the human self has to face two basic problems.  The first is, it has to know what to fear in order to avoid extermination.  Fear is the basic condition of all animal life, human included.  But with the human, there is more.  In the case of the human there is what can only be called a sense of smallness and frailty in a world of overwhelming forces.  This conception of smallness is only possible if there is, first and foremost, a reflective or external (ex-centric:  Plessner) view of the self.   Raised to the level of a concept, the subject--or self--becomes problematic.  As a phenomenon of nature the subject is a secure world unto itself, not threatened, that is, by the subject's own ponderings and self-analysis.    Unlike humans animals never do call their own selves--and their self-ishness--into question.  Nor is there a difficulty in saying that the self is selfish, any more than there would be to say a dog is dogish.  Selfish, as the word would suggest, is the perfect expression of what the self is.  It is doubtful that the animal soul, which is at the center of animal existence, even knows that it exists.   The animal has the same subjectivity that a human has; and its subjectivity is the center of its world.  But the animal is not ex-centric (Plessner) and cannot see itself as that center.  This is only to affirm the obvious, that animals have no comprehension of themselves.  This we may say without hesitation.  The subject can be threatened in its very existence, as it must flounder about dangerously in a world of hostile forces and beings.   

But the absolute self or subject cannot be "refuted" in the sense of being challenged by an oppositional idea.  Only ideas can be refuted; so long as the subject is not an idea, it cannot be challenged as an idea.  This is the security that animals are priviledged to have, but humans don't have.  Animals live secure in this sense, that they confront nothing that will "refute" them or, what is the same, deny them moral legitimacy.  We can understand the human condition in these terms.  The human raises his own self, which is to say subjective existence, to the level of a pure concept where its struggle is not biological so much as ideological and ethical.  On the level of an abstraction, the subject faces new dangers.  These dangers grow as society--as the ultimate objectification of human existence--leverage or magnify the ideological and moral warfare against the subject.  The self is construted in these terms as self-ish.  And self-assertion becomes selfishness.  What is being asserted in this essay is that nature itself, as a relationship between subject and object, itself becomes stressed.  This is to say, to raise the self to consciousness presents a danger to life, and one, finally, that must be corrected.  The essay that follows--much in the tradition of Stirner and Nietsche--will be an affirmation of subjectivity, both in its truth and in its error.

Any being in order to live has to come into a relationship with the world around itself.  Any person, in order to make a living, has to leave his house and come into contact with things and people in the outside world.  There is already in the mentality of the simplest and earliest organism an "external bias."  That is, insofar as a living being thinks at all, it thinks not of itself, directly, so much as what is going on around itself.  There, in the world in general, is the location of food and other necessitities.  The world outside is a matter of interest; the world inside--of the subject or consciousness--is not of interest.  There is practically speaking no point for the subject to reflect upon itself in some sort of causual or formal way.  Were there any point to introspection, such an inclination would have appeared in nature long before the advent of humankind.   That is the way--outward looking--that the mind originated and the way it evolves.  When we talk about "subjectivism," then, we must understand that the ordinary living creatures that there are in the world do not think of themselves at all, directly; they think only of this or that object or being that may impact their lives.  What these lives are in themselves is a matter of no concern.   But there is more.   These same beings serve only themselves.  What they acquire by way of food and so forth they acquire only for themselves.  Thus, although it is not subjective, an ordinary living being is still highly selfish.

Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

III.
This will be a defense of subjectivity.  It is dangerous, at the beginning of an essay, to provide an example that may not be helpful but might actually mislead the reader.  But I will make that attempt.   A person observing the stars, but standing on the earth to do so, does not have the vantage point that he would have in deep space.  In outer space he would have a many-sided viewpont which could be called, in our present context, objectivity.  But at what price would that objectivity come?   Were one in deep space one would cease to regard the stars as relevant at all.  There should be, in other words, some definite point where one stands, which is central to one's existence, before what is around one makes any sense at all.  That centrality is life itself, willing, feeling and being engaged with what is round one.  To consider anything relevant, I suggest, a person needs to stand where he is at home in some sense, where he evolved and where he understands, in an important personal sense, the land immediately around him.  Objectivity cannot be bought, I aver, at the expense of personal relevance.  It is in this context--personal engagement, relevance and subjectivity--that I want to raise several important issues.  Among these issues is the kind of subjectivity that underlies racism, which I have elsewhere termed collective egoism.  In all, in other words, in the affirmation (actually reaffirmation) of the subject in relation to an object, we are propounding what I will call a subjectivist point of view.  We may "justify"crime, for that matter, as a byproduct of our main argument; that is a chance I will temporarily take. 

The main point of this essay will be that, while human beings strive to rid thinking of subjectivity--because it leads to a certain kind of error--that subjectivity, or the point of view of the subject himself, is a consistent and secure vantage point. However one may regard his world, which forever changes, as a non-reflective subject the person is always at the center of that world.  There is confidence in knowing that; and life itself depends upon that confidence.  Animals are secure in this sense.    The animal, non-reflective subject that does not consider itself in considering other things is a secure frame of reference for what is perceived in the surrounding world.  An animal is always subjective; all we mean by subjectivity is an "animal" point of view.  This is precisely the stability and certainty--"complacency," often, however--that the animal has but the human being, as one who is self-knowing, does not.  Thus an animal, even though it errs in thinking, thinks always from a secure standpoint; and in that sense is always the stable center of the world around it.  The security that there is in subjectivism is also "truth" for the animal and human.  In that respect--that there is a secure and fixed point of view at all--subjectivity is a source of stability in human life. 

Now, subjectivism is both a personal and a metaphysical point of view.   There are many ways for a person to be subjective and we cannot possibly in this space deal with all of them.   In fact he is subjective if he is anywhere present, in principle, in a given line of thinking so that, in other words, the outcome of this thinking is influenced by the fact that he is part of it.  To live in a world that is known only objectively the person would have to exclude himself, in thought, from this world.   He would be subjective, on the other hand, when he unconsciously allows self-interest to influence his thinking.  In other words, the person is confusing personal motives with external principles and objects.  I emphasize that this confusion is unconscious; were he conscious of the confusion, the confusion would not exist.  The result of subjective thinking is a distorted view of external principles (etc.)     

In any case, what we are saying presently is that the the animal, which can look only outward, to see the world around it, is blind to itself.  The only thing that the animal cannot see, that human beings can see, is the self itself.  The self accounts for everything the animal knows; but the animal does not reflect on itself.  This fact--absolute centrality--is the source of animal security.  The security of the animal can be described as the animal's Selbstverstaendlichkeit ("self-evidency"); the animal in being challenged, in confronting a problem, never regards itself (the animal) as part of the problem.  The animal in that sense, although not objective in the way humans are objective, has as the basis of its existence a secure structure of subject to object.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2009-11-11 16:12:24)

Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

THIS IS MATERIAL THAT IS TOO ABSTRACT OR TOO RACIST FOR INCLUSION IN THE GENERAL FLOW BUT MAY BE OF "HISTORICAL" INTEREST:

negation is the way language purifies itself.  negation is the way civilization advances:  by actively, in every detail, negating itself.negation is anti-nature.  civilization is anti-nature.  [reference to Klages, Spengler et al]negation substitutes pure symbols--uncontaminated by anything factual--for corruptable or "positive" symbols.  an agreement "purifies" a relationship by reducing the relationship to uncorruptable symbols.dis-agreements arise from corrupted--fact-contaminated--symbols.the agreement is a "pure" relationship; but it is also a negative, fact-denying relationship.but an agreement is also temporary.  agreements come and go.the Social Contract, as described by rousseau and hobbes, is a standing agreement, one that does not come and go.  the Social Contract is cast in the same negative terms as the limited agreement.
the cosmic race is a form that unfolds through, but also in spite of, the biological race.white people are the vehicle and vessel of the cosmic race, precisely on acount of their negation not just of their culture but of their biological race.  even as they negate their present biology, they fulfill their mission as the medium of creative form in nature.  whether a prohibition is a negation (?)agreement is basically a prohibition (?)  but is it a negation?agreement is not about the specifics of cooperation.  the agreement is about the non-use of violence.try to get from agreement to social contract to anti-race (and make it a smooth, straightforward line of argumentation)culture--white culture?--negates itself, clearing way for a "rise of nature"--that is, race.race is nature that follows (self-negating) culturerace is always white, of and pertaining to the white race.true "racism" is always white.  This has been said continuously in our schools and presse; and it is true.  only white people can be racist, which means to rise to a high theoretical level.   true racism is too theoretical for any black person to comprehend.the facts of racism are not theoretical; they appear only however in the face of theoretical anti-racism, the negation of race. the term "white," in contradistinction to African, is entirely appropriate.  "white" means race-denying.  white is the carte blanche of race, the end point of white culture.  white is the absolute negation of race wherein the possibility opens for race to appear as an absolute fact.the principle of race is the highest--most formed--expression of nature.  the caucasian race, Homo albus,is, as a biological subspecies, simply one variety of Homo sapiens; as such this race is worth little.it is precisely because Homo albus contradicts itself--denies itself-- in its external features that this group is transformed finally into the principle of race.the white race most perfectly expresses the principle of race.  as preparation for this eventuality the white biological species contradicts, or negates, itself.whiteness is transformed from the highest or most arcane principle of man--that of negation-- into the highest, most formed principle of nature.whiteness is a cosmic principle, brought forth into the universe, by a process of self-negation, by the (mere) biological race.the biological white race is the agent wherein nature transforms itself from formlessness to form."humanity" is simply the material with which--and around which and despite which--the white race works.the white race is nature's--and man's--highest achievement.

Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-06-09 15:01:22)

Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

Only when presented as an abstraction does the self--itself the source of abstractions--contradict itself.   That the self appears to consciousness, and is reduced to an abstraction, is a paradox that propells human life forward or, as the case may be, backwards.  Hegel said something like this.  Hegel put self-consciousness at the center of his metaphysics.  Here we try to give his general idea a more specific application with examples from philosophical anthropologyThe very act of self-awareness is a self-contradiction.  The absolute self, or Wille in Schopenhauer's word, is absolutely selfish.  As an idea the self is not the center of a world, but only one fact among others of a world.  As an abstract fact the self is also a logical fact, and proposes, in other words (following Hegel) its own opposite.   Only by raising itself to the level of an abstraction does the self face an antithetical non-self, or in the vernacular of religion, self-less person.  In the animal world there is only the self; in the human world, a product of logic and dialectical thinking, there is the non-self which is the Widersacher of the self.  We propose that the human being, as a creature of thought, thinks his self away.  The abstract act is "against nature."  The theoretical world is one without absolute centers; and one in which, then, the subject must vie with other subjects.  Understanding the term "self" as a center, we create, nevertheless, a world without centers.  This is a contradiction.     
Only when presented as an abstraction does the self--itself the source of abstractions--contradict itself.   That the self appears to consciousness, and is reduced to an abstraction, is a paradox that propells human life forward or, as the case may be, backwards.  Hegel said something like this.  Hegel put self-consciousness at the center of his metaphysics.  Here we try to give his general idea a more specific application with examples from philosophical anthropologyThe very act of self-awareness is a self-contradiction.  The absolute self, or Wille in Schopenhauer's word, is absolutely selfish.  As an idea the self is not the center of a world, but only one fact among others of a world.  As an abstract fact the self is also a logical fact, and proposes, in other words (following Hegel) its own opposite.   Only by raising itself to the level of an abstraction does the self face an antithetical non-self, or in the vernacular of religion, self-less person.  In the animal world there is only the self; in the human world, a product of logic and dialectical thinking, there is the non-self which is the Widersacher of the self.  We propose that the human being, as a creature of thought, thinks his self away.  The abstract act is "against nature."  The theoretical world is one without absolute centers; and one in which, then, the subject must vie with other subjects.  Understanding the term "self" as a center, we create, nevertheless, a world without centers.  This is a contradiction.     


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Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

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Last edited by richard_swartzbaugh (2010-08-31 17:24:17)

Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

This will be a defense of subjectivity.  It is dangerous, at the beginning of an essay, to provide an example that may not be helpful but might actually mislead the reader.  A person observing the stars, but standing on the earth to do so, does not have the vantage point that he would have in deep space.  In outer space he would have a many-sided viewpont which could be called, in our present context, objectivity.  But at what price would that objectivity come?   Were one in deep space one would cease to regard the stars as relevant at all.  There should be, in other words, some definite point where one stands, which is central to one's existence, before what is around one makes any sense at all.  That centrality is life itself, willing, feeling and being engaged with what is round one.  To consider anything relevant, I suggest, a person needs to stand where he is at home in some sense, where he evolved and where he understands, in an important personal sense, the land immediately around him.  Objectivity cannot be bought, I aver, at the expense of personal relevance.  It is in this context--personal engagement, relevance and subjectivity--that I want to raise several important issues.  Among these issues is the kind of subjectivity that underlies racism, which I have elsewhere termed collective egoism.  In all, in other words, in the affirmation (actually reaffirmation) of the subject in relation to an object, we are propounding what I will call a subjectivist point of view.  We may "justify"crime, for that matter, as a byproduct of our main argument; that is a chance I will temporarily take. 

The main point of this essay will be that, while human beings strive to rid thinking of subjectivity--because it leads to a certain kind of error--that subjectivity, or the point of view of the subject himself, is a consistent and secure vantage point. However one may regard his world, which forever changes, as a non-reflective subject the person is always at the center of that world.  There is confidence in knowing that; and life itself depends upon that confidence.  Animals are secure in this sense.    The animal, non-reflective subject that does not consider itself in considering other things is a secure frame of reference for what is perceived in the surrounding world.  An animal is always subjective; all we mean by subjectivity is an "animal" point of view.  This is precisely the stability and certainty--"complacency," often, however--that the animal has but the human being, as one who is self-knowing, does not.  Thus an animal, even though it errs in thinking, thinks always from a secure standpoint; and in that sense is always the stable center of the world around it.  The security that there is in subjectivism is also "truth" for the animal and human.  In that respect--that there is a secure and fixed point of view at all--subjectivity is a source of stability in human life.

Re: 24. CENTRIC AND EX-CENTRIC EXISTENCE

THIS MATERIAL IS OUTSIDE THE BLOG OR IRRELEVANT OR LACKS QUALITY:  I WILL CONSIDER IT AGAIN LATER

SWARTZBAUGH'S 10 SYLOGISTIC PRINCIPLES

1.A is, then not-A is not.

2.Not-A is, then A is not.

3.An animal can think A; the animal cannot think not-A.

4.Only a human being can think not-A.

5.The human being builds his human world--culture, society, civilization--upon what only the human being can do, that is, think not-A.

6.But A is.

7. Therefore not-A is not.

8. Conclusion:  the human being builds his world--culture, society and civilization--on something that is not, not-A.

9. Culture, society and civilization do not exist.

10. Only a State of Nature exists (is):  baboon fascism, Spartan socialism and Columbian town militias.

SOCIETY IS BUILT UPON A NATURAL CONTRADICTION.
The logical contradiction of something that is real is itself unreal.  Such a principle of contradiction may be sound logically, but it cannot refer to anything real.  thus for instance if evil is real then the good cannot be real. (Hegel suggested this was the case.)   All human society is unfortunately built on this naive mistake.  Society is built upon the premise that the logical opposite of what is real is itself also real.  This cannot be the case.   What society says of itself is that it is the real opposite of uncertainty and distrust.  This is a false statement that society has made.  There is no real opposite of uncertainty and distrust, only a logical but unreal opposite.  Society cannot be the real opposite of distrust because distrust has no real opposite, only a logical one.  Again, what human beings have done in working together in a "social" way is to simply set aside the whole issue of the underlying or natural contradiction within the word trust and certainty.  These words are logicallly impossible.  That is because what is real remains real in the face of its logical contradiction.  Obviously a word containing a contradiction in its own definition cannot refer to anything real.  So, too, society is not real; it is an imagined thing without long-range viability.  Where human life finally comes, then, is to a State of Nature.  I have already talked about race as the core of this State of Nature.  Race is the form of the human personality that endures beyond society;  that in other words precedes and supercedes society.

Certainty is an effort, we are saying, to reduce or eliminate uncertainty. There is no certainty ever in human thinking other than attempted certainty.   Having said this we may go on:  we have made a statement about the basic human primal and universal condition.   Uncertainty is the human or thoughtful expression of animal hesitation.   If we say certainty, then we mean only a state of mind relative to uncertainty.  Uncertainty is what we are talking about in philosophy.   Philosophy proposes to substitute certainty for uncertainty; in effect, all human beings spend their lives in this effort. The effort fails; human life is stuck in uncertainty.   Life however must carry on in the face of this uncertainty; and so life settles--but does not resolve--issues of uncertainty. Trust is the way uncertainty is settled so that life can move past animal hesitation.   Where the human being faces uncertainty, as he always does, he settles, as I just said, this state of mind with trust.  What is being proposed here is a small list of words whereby we can move from the basic human state of mind, which is uncertainty, to a collective mode of living together appropriately called society.   Society is a settlement of issues of individual and group uncertainty by a social pronouncement of trust.    Now, certainty is "about" uncertainty.  Trust is "about" certainty and uncertainty.  Trust does not resolve the issue of certainty and uncertainty so much as it settles it.  In trust the human being takes a position which enables him to act.  Whereas the animal hesitates, but then "decides" to go in one direction as opposed to another, the human being "settles" the issue of which way to go.  Uncertainty is perhaps the basic human issue; trust is the fundamental way human beings deal with uncertainty.  This last consideration--that of the direct relationship between the concepts uncertainty and trust--is encoded into the sacred documents of our civilization.   The word trust always appears in these documents; the concept of uncertainty is always understood.  From uncertainty the human being moves, by unilateral and essentially arbitrary--meaning there is still uncertainty at in the decision--to a condition of trust.  From the primal  condition of uncertainty the human being climbs by steps to the social condition of trust.

The point and substance of trust is distrust.  I said earlier that trust settles an issue of uncertainty, it does not resolve it.  To settle an issue is simply to take one side of the issue of which there are several.  To resolve a question, on the other hand, means here that all sides of the issue are understood fully in relation to one another, that all human parties are satisfied, and points of view and underlying discrepancies are "reconciled."  This resolution is a very infrequent result; the result is most often more uncertainty, distrust and further movement on the issue. One decides the matter so that one can continue to act.  There is nothing more difficult to understand than this. The correct word for this condition of settlement is "expedited."  The mere settlement of a situation of distrust is likely to be, in the case of human beings, the agreement.  The agreement, as I have said in earlier sections in this blog, is the seminal human institution; primal society, or the Rousseauian Social Contract, is the agreement.  In contradistinction to Rousseau's Contract, on the other hand, the primal agreement is not so auspicious or imposing as an understanding between a mass of humans, who are finally enlightened enough to understand such things, and on the other hand their great ruler.   Rather the agreement spoken of here  is simply an arrangement, we may say, made between two hunters regarding their work of the next day.  This proposition--that the Social Contract existed in the Paleolithic puts the present considerations in the domain of anthropology--we are calling these speculations Philosophical Anthropology.  To continue:  The primal agreement is an everyday thing. 

I have already said that the point of the agreement is the disagreement.  What trust  is to distrust--trust is the point of distrust--the agreement is to its opposite.  The Social Contract in these terms is simply a continuation that is the basic theme of society.  Hegel said that the moving force of history is not good but evil; that is true where we speak of society.  Society is the effort to settle disagreements, but an effort that seldom if ever results in their resolution.

Uncertainty has as its practical opposite trust.  The word practical must be clarified in the present context.  This will not be difficult.  Uncertainty is real; certainty is the logical opposite of uncertainty.  Here logical means just that, logical--but abstract and ureal.  I want to put this in several ways if I can.  It is correct to say that the uncertainty that is real has no real opposite, only a logical and (as I say) unreal opposite.  Correspondingly it would be incorrect to say that simply because uncertainty is real, then it follows that uncertainty's logical opposite is also real.  It would not be the case at all that by virtue of  the reality of uncertainty, uncertainty's opposite is real.  Uncertainty is an issue demanding practical approaches which are not logical so much as necessary.   Uncertainty is the basic condition of humankind.  We may include animals also, which are hesitant or have hesitation.  This hesitancy is what in animals corresponds to human uncertainty.  Uncertaincy is the uniquely human mental reflex of animal hesitancy.  Human beings then are both hesitant and uncertain.  Uncertainty however still requires--life would otherwise be impossible--a practical "settlement." This enabling settlement we call trust.  Trust is a point of view that enables the human being to get past uncertainty and continue his life in a practical way.   In calling trust a practical response I mean that trust is essentially a course of action that "settles" the uncertaincy.  Trust in these terms is some course of action, hit upon by the human being in the midst of his hesitancy and uncertainty.  I have used the word "settle."  Trust settles the issues in uncertainty but does not resolve them.

Uncertainty is never resolved but simply "settled."   Uncertainty persists as such in the presence of trust as the (mere) settlement of uncertainty.  Trust alone does not resolve any uncertainty but simply reduces the elements of uncertainty to terms that can be used by the person to set himself on a course of action.

It is a sweeping statement, but one we will still make, that trust is the pivotal word--the virtual cornerstone--that veritably holds society and civilization together.  The word is on our money.  The word trust is a word in which people have trust.  The word trust means finally, however--distrust.  To say that we trust society is to say, essentially, that we distrust society.  Since it is impossible to logically both trust and distrust at the same time in the same way, then we must say that trust never was a logical word in the first place.  All trust means is the settlement of uncertainty, in other words a practical stance in the face of uncertainty.  As we face uncertainty we trust.  The word trust implies that there is uncertainty, because where we cannot believe, categorically or certainly, we have to trust.  Trust is a meaningful word only in the face of continued uncertainty.  But the words trust and uncertainty logically contradict each other.  The logical meaning of uncertainty is distrust.  Hence one can trust and distrust at the same time.  It is true that human beings do not trust society or civilization, but essentially must rely on themselves for survival.  This is our inescapable conclusion.

Trust is the basis of what we have called "agreements."  That is only to say that at the basis of agreements is distrust.  Let us say this logical hairsplitting is just silly (!).  It is still very plausible to say that in agreements is a high level of distrust; that seems to be commonly the case.  If we call agreements "full" of distrust we are only saying what we intuitively believe.  On the other hand, it is necessary for people to come to some common point of view; this is true if they want to embark on a common course of action.  Rousseau and Locke saw this; every social philosopher has seen this.  We do not want to exist in a so-called State of Nature.  So, for some moment of time, the contradictions between certainty and uncertainty, trust and distrust are simply overlooked (it appears).  There are various possibilities at this point.  We may invoke the idea of pure energy and enthusiasm in mass movements to temporarily set aside the problems inherent within the words uncertainty and certainty, and trust and distrust.  Nevertheless, the purely logical contradictions in these words--that certainty exists where uncertainty also exists--is a contradiction that runs through all society and compels the breakdown of this society.  What destroys the agreement, finally, or renders it highly temporary, is the contradiction that finally destroys society.  This is entirely a human phenomenon.  The logic of agreements--and the fact that trust and distrust etc.--can coexist within an agreement--is made not merely possible, it can be said, but necessary by the operation of the human mind itself.  Society is one attempt to "resolve" the problems of the agreement--but only by creating more and larger agreements.  This attempt fails.Certainty is an effort, we are saying, to reduce or eliminate uncertainty. There is no certainty ever in human thinking other than attempted certainty.   Having said this we may go on:  we have made a statement about the basic human primal and universal condition.   Uncertainty is the human or thoughtful expression of animal hesitation.   If we say certainty, then we mean only a state of mind relative to uncertainty.  Uncertainty is what we are talking about in philosophy.   Philosophy proposes to substitute certainty for uncertainty; in effect, all human beings spend their lives in this effort. The effort fails; human life is stuck in uncertainty.   Life however must carry on in the face of this uncertainty; and so life settles--but does not resolve--issues of uncertainty. Trust is the way uncertainty is settled so that life can move past animal hesitation.   Where the human being faces uncertainty, as he always does, he settles, as I just said, this state of mind with trust.  What is being proposed here is a small list of words whereby we can move from the basic human state of mind, which is uncertainty, to a collective mode of living together appropriately called society.   Society is a settlement of issues of individual and group uncertainty by a social pronouncement of trust.    Now, certainty is "about" uncertainty.  Trust is "about" certainty and uncertainty.  Trust does not resolve the issue of certainty and uncertainty so much as it settles it.  In trust the human being takes a position which enables him to act.  Whereas the animal hesitates, but then "decides" to go in one direction as opposed to another, the human being "settles" the issue of which way to go.  Uncertainty is perhaps the basic human issue; trust is the fundamental way human beings deal with uncertainty.  This last consideration--that of the direct relationship between the concepts uncertainty and trust--is encoded into the sacred documents of our civilization.   The word trust always appears in these documents; the concept of uncertainty is always understood.  From uncertainty the human being moves, by unilateral and essentially arbitrary--meaning there is still uncertainty at in the decision--to a condition of trust.  From the primal  condition of uncertainty the human being climbs by steps to the social condition of trust.

The point and substance of trust is distrust.  I said earlier that trust settles an issue of uncertainty, it does not resolve it.  To settle an issue is simply to take one side of the issue of which there are several.  To resolve a question, on the other hand, means here that all sides of the issue are understood fully in relation to one another, that all human parties are satisfied, and points of view and underlying discrepancies are "reconciled."  This resolution is a very infrequent result; the result is most often more uncertainty, distrust and further movement on the issue. One decides the matter so that one can continue to act.  There is nothing more difficult to understand than this. The correct word for this condition of settlement is "expedited."  The mere settlement of a situation of distrust is likely to be, in the case of human beings, the agreement.  The agreement, as I have said in earlier sections in this blog, is the seminal human institution; primal society, or the Rousseauian Social Contract, is the agreement.  In contradistinction to Rousseau's Contract, on the other hand, the primal agreement is not so auspicious or imposing as an understanding between a mass of humans, who are finally enlightened enough to understand such things, and on the other hand their great ruler.   Rather the agreement spoken of here  is simply an arrangement, we may say, made between two hunters regarding their work of the next day.  This proposition--that the Social Contract existed in the Paleolithic puts the present considerations in the domain of anthropology--we are calling these speculations Philosophical Anthropology.  To continue:  The primal agreement is an everyday thing. 

I have already said that the point of the agreement is the disagreement.  What trust  is to distrust--trust is the point of distrust--the agreement is to its opposite.  The Social Contract in these terms is simply a continuation that is the basic theme of society.  Hegel said that the moving force of history is not good but evil; that is true where we speak of society.  Society is the effort to settle disagreements, but an effort that seldom if ever results in their resolution.

Uncertainty has as its practical opposite trust.  The word practical must be clarified in the present context.  This will not be difficult.  Uncertainty is real; certainty is the logical opposite of uncertainty.  Here logical means just that, logical--but abstract and ureal.  I want to put this in several ways if I can.  It is correct to say that the uncertainty that is real has no real opposite, only a logical and (as I say) unreal opposite.  Correspondingly it would be incorrect to say that simply because uncertainty is real, then it follows that uncertainty's logical opposite is also real.  It would not be the case at all that by virtue of  the reality of uncertainty, uncertainty's opposite is real.  Uncertainty is an issue demanding practical approaches which are not logical so much as necessary.   Uncertainty is the basic condition of humankind.  We may include animals also, which are hesitant or have hesitation.  This hesitancy is what in animals corresponds to human uncertainty.  Uncertaincy is the uniquely human mental reflex of animal hesitancy.  Human beings then are both hesitant and uncertain.  Uncertainty however still requires--life would otherwise be impossible--a practical "settlement." This enabling settlement we call trust.  Trust is a point of view that enables the human being to get past uncertainty and continue his life in a practical way.   In calling trust a practical response I mean that trust is essentially a course of action that "settles" the uncertaincy.  Trust in these terms is some course of action, hit upon by the human being in the midst of his hesitancy and uncertainty.  I have used the word "settle."  Trust settles the issues in uncertainty but does not resolve them.

Uncertainty is never resolved but simply "settled."   Uncertainty persists as such in the presence of trust as the (mere) settlement of uncertainty.  Trust alone does not resolve any uncertainty but simply reduces the elements of uncertainty to terms that can be used by the person to set himself on a course of action.

It is a sweeping statement, but one we will still make, that trust is the pivotal word--the virtual cornerstone--that veritably holds society and civilization together.  The word is on our money.  The word trust is a word in which people have trust.  The word trust means finally, however--distrust.  To say that we trust society is to say, essentially, that we distrust society.  Since it is impossible to logically both trust and distrust at the same time in the same way, then we must say that trust never was a logical word in the first place.  All trust means is the settlement of uncertainty, in other words a practical stance in the face of uncertainty.  As we face uncertainty we trust.  The word trust implies that there is uncertainty, because where we cannot believe, categorically or certainly, we have to trust.  Trust is a meaningful word only in the face of continued uncertainty.  But the words trust and uncertainty logically contradict each other.  The logical meaning of uncertainty is distrust.  Hence one can trust and distrust at the same time.  It is true that human beings do not trust society or civilization, but essentially must rely on themselves for survival.  This is our inescapable conclusion.

Trust is the basis of what we have called "agreements."  That is only to say that at the basis of agreements is distrust.  Let us say this logical hairsplitting is just silly (!).  It is still very plausible to say that in agreements is a high level of distrust; that seems to be commonly the case.  If we call agreements "full" of distrust we are only saying what we intuitively believe.  On the other hand, it is necessary for people to come to some common point of view; this is true if they want to embark on a common course of action.  Rousseau and Locke saw this; every social philosopher has seen this.  We do not want to exist in a so-called State of Nature.  So, for some moment of time, the contradictions between certainty and uncertainty, trust and distrust are simply overlooked (it appears).  There are various possibilities at this point.  We may invoke the idea of pure energy and enthusiasm in mass movements to temporarily set aside the problems inherent within the words uncertainty and certainty, and trust and distrust.  Nevertheless, the purely logical contradictions in these words--that certainty exists where uncertainty also exists--is a contradiction that runs through all society and compels the breakdown of this society.  What destroys the agreement, finally, or renders it highly temporary, is the contradiction that finally destroys society.  This is entirely a human phenomenon.  The logic of agreements--and the fact that trust and distrust etc.--can coexist within an agreement--is made not merely possible, it can be said, but necessary by the operation of the human mind itself.  Society is one attempt to "resolve" the problems of the agreement--but only by creating more and larger agreements.  This attempt failsCertainty is an effort, we are saying, to reduce or eliminate uncertainty. There is no certainty ever in human thinking other than attempted certainty.   Having said this we may go on:  we have made a statement about the basic human primal and universal condition.   Uncertainty is the human or thoughtful expression of animal hesitation.   If we say certainty, then we mean only a state of mind relative to uncertainty.  Uncertainty is what we are talking about in philosophy.   Philosophy proposes to substitute certainty for uncertainty; in effect, all human beings spend their lives in this effort. The effort fails; human life is stuck in uncertainty.   Life however must carry on in the face of this uncertainty; and so life settles--but does not resolve--issues of uncertainty. Trust is the way uncertainty is settled so that life can move past animal hesitation.   Where the human being faces uncertainty, as he always does, he settles, as I just said, this state of mind with trust.  What is being proposed here is a small list of words whereby we can move from the basic human state of mind, which is uncertainty, to a collective mode of living together appropriately called society.   Society is a settlement of issues of individual and group uncertainty by a social pronouncement of trust.    Now, certainty is "about" uncertainty.  Trust is "about" certainty and uncertainty.  Trust does not resolve the issue of certainty and uncertainty so much as it settles it.  In trust the human being takes a position which enables him to act.  Whereas the animal hesitates, but then "decides" to go in one direction as opposed to another, the human being "settles" the issue of which way to go.  Uncertainty is perhaps the basic human issue; trust is the fundamental way human beings deal with uncertainty.  This last consideration--that of the direct relationship between the concepts uncertainty and trust--is encoded into the sacred documents of our civilization.   The word trust always appears in these documents; the concept of uncertainty is always understood.  From uncertainty the human being moves, by unilateral and essentially arbitrary--meaning there is still uncertainty at in the decision--to a condition of trust.  From the primal  condition of uncertainty the human being climbs by steps to the social condition of trust.

The point and substance of trust is distrust.  I said earlier that trust settles an issue of uncertainty, it does not resolve it.  To settle an issue is simply to take one side of the issue of which there are several.  To resolve a question, on the other hand, means here that all sides of the issue are understood fully in relation to one another, that all human parties are satisfied, and points of view and underlying discrepancies are "reconciled."  This resolution is a very infrequent result; the result is most often more uncertainty, distrust and further movement on the issue. One decides the matter so that one can continue to act.  There is nothing more difficult to understand than this. The correct word for this condition of settlement is "expedited."  The mere settlement of a situation of distrust is likely to be, in the case of human beings, the agreement.  The agreement, as I have said in earlier sections in this blog, is the seminal human institution; primal society, or the Rousseauian Social Contract, is the agreement.  In contradistinction to Rousseau's Contract, on the other hand, the primal agreement is not so auspicious or imposing as an understanding between a mass of humans, who are finally enlightened enough to understand such things, and on the other hand their great ruler.   Rather the agreement spoken of here  is simply an arrangement, we may say, made between two hunters regarding their work of the next day.  This proposition--that the Social Contract existed in the Paleolithic puts the present considerations in the domain of anthropology--we are calling these speculations Philosophical Anthropology.  To continue:  The primal agreement is an everyday thing. 

I have already said that the point of the agreement is the disagreement.  What trust  is to distrust--trust is the point of distrust--the agreement is to its opposite.  The Social Contract in these terms is simply a continuation that is the basic theme of society.  Hegel said that the moving force of history is not good but evil; that is true where we speak of society.  Society is the effort to settle disagreements, but an effort that seldom if ever results in their resolution.

Uncertainty has as its practical opposite trust.  The word practical must be clarified in the present context.  This will not be difficult.  Uncertainty is real; certainty is the logical opposite of uncertainty.  Here logical means just that, logical--but abstract and ureal.  I want to put this in several ways if I can.  It is correct to say that the uncertainty that is real has no real opposite, only a logical and (as I say) unreal opposite.  Correspondingly it would be incorrect to say that simply because uncertainty is real, then it follows that uncertainty's logical opposite is also real.  It would not be the case at all that by virtue of  the reality of uncertainty, uncertainty's opposite is real.  Uncertainty is an issue demanding practical approaches which are not logical so much as necessary.   Uncertainty is the basic condition of humankind.  We may include animals also, which are hesitant or have hesitation.  This hesitancy is what in animals corresponds to human uncertainty.  Uncertaincy is the uniquely human mental reflex of animal hesitancy.  Human beings then are both hesitant and uncertain.  Uncertainty however still requires--life would otherwise be impossible--a practical "settlement." This enabling settlement we call trust.  Trust is a point of view that enables the human being to get past uncertainty and continue his life in a practical way.   In calling trust a practical response I mean that trust is essentially a course of action that "settles" the uncertaincy.  Trust in these terms is some course of action, hit upon by the human being in the midst of his hesitancy and uncertainty.  I have used the word "settle."  Trust settles the issues in uncertainty but does not resolve them.

Uncertainty is never resolved but simply "settled."   Uncertainty persists as such in the presence of trust as the (mere) settlement of uncertainty.  Trust alone does not resolve any uncertainty but simply reduces the elements of uncertainty to terms that can be used by the person to set himself on a course of action.

It is a sweeping statement, but one we will still make, that trust is the pivotal word--the virtual cornerstone--that veritably holds society and civilization together.  The word is on our money.  The word trust is a word in which people have trust.  The word trust means finally, however--distrust.  To say that we trust society is to say, essentially, that we distrust society.  Since it is impossible to logically both trust and distrust at the same time in the same way, then we must say that trust never was a logical word in the first place.  All trust means is the settlement of uncertainty, in other words a practical stance in the face of uncertainty.  As we face uncertainty we trust.  The word trust implies that there is uncertainty, because where we cannot believe, categorically or certainly, we have to trust.  Trust is a meaningful word only in the face of continued uncertainty.  But the words trust and uncertainty logically contradict each other.  The logical meaning of uncertainty is distrust.  Hence one can trust and distrust at the same time.  It is true that human beings do not trust society or civilization, but essentially must rely on themselves for survival.  This is our inescapable conclusion.

Trust is the basis of what we have called "agreements."  That is only to say that at the basis of agreements is distrust.  Let us say this logical hairsplitting is just silly (!).  It is still very plausible to say that in agreements is a high level of distrust; that seems to be commonly the case.  If we call agreements "full" of distrust we are only saying what we intuitively believe.  On the other hand, it is necessary for people to come to some common point of view; this is true if they want to embark on a common course of action.  Rousseau and Locke saw this; every social philosopher has seen this.  We do not want to exist in a so-called State of Nature.  So, for some moment of time, the contradictions between certainty and uncertainty, trust and distrust are simply overlooked (it appears).  There are various possibilities at this point.  We may invoke the idea of pure energy and enthusiasm in mass movements to temporarily set aside the problems inherent within the words uncertainty and certainty, and trust and distrust.  Nevertheless, the purely logical contradictions in these words--that certainty exists where uncertainty also exists--is a contradiction that runs through all society and compels the breakdown of this society.  What destroys the agreement, finally, or renders it highly temporary, is the contradiction that finally destroys society.  This is entirely a human phenomenon.  The logic of agreements--and the fact that trust and distrust etc.--can coexist within an agreement--is made not merely possible, it can be said, but necessary by the operation of the human mind itself.  Society is one attempt to "resolve" the problems of the agreement--but only by creating more and larger agreements.  This attempt fails..