Friday, February 05, 2010

Man, did I ever mess that one up: the Schlegel post from a few days ago

Talking about More ideas from Friedrich Schlegel, that talks about the section devoted to him in "The Romantic Imperative" by Friedrich Beiser.
In it, I said that asked in a note he wrote why not have the non-ego posit itself as absolute? This is in reference to the philosopher Fichte, who started out with the idea that the ego posits itself as absolute. I made a distinction between parts of the mind that we'd recognize as the ego or self and parts of the mind that we'd recognize as the non-ego, saying that the mental processes that aren't directly concerned with the self are what Schlegel was putting forward as being absolute in his one off note. It appears that by non-ego he meant things outside of the mind and outside of personal subjectivity. Next, there's a problem with what is meant by positing. Fichte seems to mean by positing that what's posited could be seen as absolute reality. This is different from what I was talking about in that my concept was more along the lines of what's most fundamental in reality, or what's the essential basis for reality. Fichte additionally bases all of this in Kantian philosophy such that taking something as the Absolute has a different meaning than it might otherwise have. What Fichte seems to mean, and I'm leaning on Beiser here, is that interior mental activity, both the kind I labeled ego based and the kind I labeled non-egoic, is how our knowledge of the exterior world is transmitted to us. All of our senses plus our self awareness constitute the 'I'. Therefore, since our knowledge of the exterior world is filtered through our senses, and since we ourselves, in our interior self awareness are the only example of an object sensing itself from the inside out, our awareness of our self and our 'I' is primary. That last takes some explanation. Kant points out that if our senses transmit (to an unknown degree of veracity) information about the exterior world to us it's impossible to really and truly know the nature of something outside of our senses. But there's one thing whose nature we can know, and that's ourselves. So if we take what we can look at our interior realities it may be possible to generalize from that to how exterior realities operate. If our experience of our selves is primary, then no matter what we experience, our personal knowledge of how our interior universe reacts to it will always be the ultimate standard for assessing the total meaning of it.

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