ANAMNESIS


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Analytical Table of Contents ix
Editor's Preface xxi
 

PART I: ANAMNESIS

1: Remembrance of Things Past (1977) 3
2: On the Theory of Consciousness (1943) 14
3: Anamnetic Experiments (1943) 36
 

PART II: EXPERIENCE AND HISTORY

4: What Is Right by Nature? (1963) 55
5: What Is Nature? (1965) 71
6: Reason: The Classic Experience (1974) 89
7: Eternal Being in Time (1964) 116
 

PART III: WHAT IS POLITICAL REALITY?  (1966)

Prefatory Remarks: Science and Reality 143
 8:  The Consciousness of the Ground 147
 9:  Linguistic Indices and Type-Concepts 175
10: The Tensions in the Reality of Knowledge 183
11: The Concrete Consciousness 200
12: About the Function of Noesis 206
 
Index 215
 

Analytical
Table of Contents

ix

PART I.  ANAMNESIS

Chapter 1:  Remembrance of Things Past

3
The default of the contemporary school philosophies in the face of perplexing political movements—why do ideological thinkers prohibit the important questions?—the default due to a similar restriction—a desirable analysis of consciousness could refer only to the concrete consciousness of the analyst—the concrete consciousness as the specifically human mode of participation in reality—the content of consciousness could be recovered through historical restoration and original perception—also to be explored: the problem of the resistance to truth.
The conflict between open and restrictively deformed existence dominates our time—the violence of mentally diseased ruling cliques—academically, the restrictive school-philosophies and methodologies, refusing rational discourse—on the other hand: the study of man's normal life in open existence, as a revolt against the dominating forces—the philosopher's task: to find a theory of consciousness that fits these facts—the answer emerging from the study of Husserl's phenomenology— Husserl's concepts of "apodictic beginning" and "horizon of apodictic continuation" as a restrictive vision of existence, abolishing history—the alternative had to reintroduce the historical dimension—history is the permanent presence of the process of reality in which man participates with his conscious existence—man's conscious existence is an event within that reality—such statements could be accepted only if true in the concrete—verification had to penetrate from the engendered symbols to the engendering experiences—why was a consciousness constituted by reality preferable to a reality constituted by a transcendental ego?—the answers had to be sought in anamnetic analysis of a concrete consciousness, my own.

Chapter 2:  On the Theory of Consciousness

14
Philosophizing about time and existence as a residue of Christian meditation—there is no experience of a stream of con sciousness except in observing a particular process of perception—the flow of time experienced as sensual awareness of breathing or noises—the "fleetingness" of sense perception contrasted with the nonflowing consciousness—modern attention to the body had balanced our views of consciousness—it tends, however, to an exaggeration that makes a wasteland of consciousness—consciousness cannot be constituted thusly.
The starting point for a description of consciousness is attention—consciousness as the experience of a finite process between birth and death—tensions between the finite process and other, "infinite" processes—Kant's antinomies—since available symbols stem from the experiences of finite processes, the experience of the infinite leads to conflicts of expression—the phenomenon of myths—the problem of the "adequacy" of myths—the "deliberate" myth in Plato—the transcending process called "the others"—unsatisfactory treatment of this by Husseri—the capacity for transcendence is a fundamental character of consciousness—the problem of acknowledging the other as one like myself, as an equal—historical myths of equality— the function of the myth: to finitize transcendence—Vico's understanding of politics as struggles for the myth—the "de-sensualization" of myths in the West and the resulting loss of orientation—their replacement by "the movements."
Process-theology, the third problem area, seeks to express the tensions between human consciousness and transcendence in the language of an immanent process—Schelling's question:
"Why is Something?"—the dismissal of this question is a restric tion of transcendental reflection to the structure of subjectivity constituting the objective world—resistance to such restriction issues from two experiential complexes—man's structure as animalic, vegetative, and inorganic being is the ontic structure for his transcending into the world—the experience of meditation, at the climax of which consciousness apprehends the con tents of the world nonobjectively—from this is inferred the substantive identity of the levels of being—Schelling's "Something" is a justified symbol of the experienced real ground of being.
Past and future as illuminations of a process—is the present a mere point?—while the moment is radically immanent, its ordering requires process-transcending consciousness—human consciousness as "pure" is an illusion—we can "grasp" only a consciousness in a body and in the world—experienceable only as a process—Kant's thing-in-itself overlooks that we experience only consciousness itself—being as a ground is not a datum but approachable only through meditation—neither idealistic nor materialistic metaphysics is possible.
There is no absolute starting point for a philosophy of consciousness—neither can consciousness be made into an "object"—why did there arise an attempt to construct the world out of the subjectivity of the I?—it seems to have sprung from a desire for a new beginning—not all "new beginnings" are of equal value—Plato's "new beginning" was based on the fundamental experiences of thanatos, eros, and dike —the creation of the transcendental I, however, implied the destruction of the cosmic whole in the subjectivity of the egological sphere.

Chapter 3:  Anamnetic Experiments

36
PREFATORY REMARKS
The variety of transcendences of consciousness—the reflection of them is a biographical event—recalling experiences which have excited consciousness to the "awe" of existence:
1. Months, 2. Years, 3. The Fools' Parade, 4. The Monk of Heisterbach, 5. The Oelberg, 6. The Old Seamstress, 7. The Cloud Castle, 8. The Petersberg, 9. The Freighter, 10. The Koeln-Duesseldorfer, 11. The Netherlanders, 12. The Dutchmen, 13. The Comet, 14. The Loaf of Bread, 15. The Book of Realities, 16. The Kaiser, 17. The Song of the Flag, 18. The Emperor's Nightingale, 19. The Cannons of Kronburg, 20. First Emigration.
 

PART II. EXPERIENCE AND HISTORY

Chapter 4:  What Is Right by Nature?

55
I. PHYSEI DIKAION
"Natural law" and Aristotle's "right by nature"—the connection of justice with the polis—the divisions of justice—the layers of meaning: life in the polis and beyond the polis—justice of the polis as essential law—essential law changeable among men, though not among gods—Aristotle's various meanings of physika and nomika —the question of the right order of society—tensions between what is right by nature and the changing modes of its realization.
II. PHRONESIS
Phronesis as the mediation between the poles of tension—the ontology of ethics—concrete actions as having higher truth than generalizations—the truth of existence in the reality of action— the wise man and the unwise "fortunate one"—ethics as " kineton ," being moved cosmically by the cause of all movement— the spoudaios , the man who is permeable for the movement— what is right by nature cannot become a set of immutable propositions—phronesis as the virtue of right action and right speech about action—Plato's phronesis as the virtue of the man who exists in the vision of the good— phronesis , like philia , is neither a moral nor an intellectual virtue but rather an existen tial virtue—summary of Aristotle's investigation of phronesis : it possesses the same character as political science but differs from wisdom—in Aristotle's cosmos man is not the highest ranking being— phronesis as distinct from knowledge of right action.

Chapter 5:  What Is Nature?

71
Aristotle used "nature" in a traditional meaning that comprised constant structures in the movement of being, gods, and men—the definitions in Metaphysics delta—"form" and "matter" are not directly applicable to man in society—similar difficulties with the soul as form and the body as matter—other philosophers experienced the body as an imprisoning form— the saints experienced the transformation of their form, or a new creation within the same identity—a wider philosophical concept of nature thus is opposed to a narrower metaphysical one—why was the concept narrowed?
The background of Ionic speculation, between myth and philosophy—comparison of the Ionic speculation with Egyptian myths—the Ionic arche is a concept that functions like a god but already contains the experience of the soul-before-god—the problem of the relation between the divine and being—the world-transcendent God must be included in the order of being—dangers of separating God and the world—the relation between the order of being and the knowing human—the experience of the correspondence of mind and being—the philosophic concept of nature still preserves the nature of being as coming-to-be, as given in the primary experience of the cosmos—this aspect was shoved aside in favor of the form— because of the emotional block stemming from the fact that the experience of being is also an experience of God.
When the experience of being differentiates itself from the primary experience of the cosmos, there emerges the image of the demiurge—Plato, Aristotle, and Anaxagoras on the demiurge—the experience of being has attained clarity about the relation of being and knowledge—still, the wider philosophical horizon remains open in Aristotle—his discussion of the aitia —three meanings of aitia —the subject is the disposition of human order through the accord of the human nous with the divine nous —the disappearance of limit from action— questioning knowledge and knowing question—the limit of causalities concerns the coming-to-be from the ground of being—the experience of being not grounded-in-itself does not require proof—the proofs of the existence of God are myths sui generis arising when the nous is demoted to world-immanent ratio .

Chapter 6:  Reason: The Classic Experience

89
Reason as a historical event—the epochal consciousness of the philosophers—Plato's and Aristotle's balance—classic reason sees no apocalyptic end—the newly experienced force of the now.
I. THE TENSION OF EXISTENCE
The definition of man as a zoon noetikon referred to the reality of order in man's psyche—to it corresponded the definition zoon politikon —the definitions should have included zoon historikon —man is not a divine causa sui —characteristic of man is the unrest of wondering, the beginning of philosophy—feeling moved or drawn—the desire to escape ignorance.
The underlying experience is the key to an understanding of the now in the classic sense—the experiences of Parmenides and Anaxagoras—the exploration of the soul contributes the dimension of critical consciousness—the ground is a divine presence that becomes manifest in human unrest—the unrest becomes luminous to itself in Plato and Aristotle—this unit of meaning is man's tension toward the divine ground.
II. PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
The nous symbols express the reality of man attuned to the divine order in the cosmos—reason has the existential content of openness toward reality—closure toward the ground of reality affects the rational structure of the soul—the analyses of Heraclitus, Aeschylus, the Stoics, and Cicero—anxiety as a variety of ignorance—in the states of both health and unhealth—mental disease as a disturbance of noetically ordered existence—there is no Aristotelian term for "anxiety"— Heidegger, Hobbes, Hegel, Marx built alienation into their system, and Freud and Sartre reject the openness to the ground—modern writers claim for their mental disease the status of mental health—Schelling's modern characterization of this condition as "pneumopathology," and Doderer's term "refusal of apperception."
III. LIFE AND DEATH
The "in-between" character of human existence—a construction of man as a world-immanent autonomous entity destroys the meaning of existence—distortion of the classic analysis through a restrictive concentration on the conflict between reason and the passions—a corresponding differentiation of Life and Death—a fully developed rejection of reason requires the form of an apparently rational system—Hegel, Schiller as examples—the distinction between dialectics and eristics by Plato—modern deformations as object-lessons of eristics— Hegel's misuse of an Aristotelian passage—and of a Pauline passage—the modern egophanic revolt against reason—Hegel's construction of "dialectical process" belonging to an imaginary "consciousness"—the contemporary preoccupation with depth, death, anxiety.
IV. APPENDIX
The classic insights were gained as the exegesis of the philosophers' resistance against the climate of opinion—reason is not a treasure to be stored away—principles to be considered in the study of human affairs: principles of completeness, of formation and foundation, of metaxy reality.

Chapter 7:  Eternal Being in Time

116
History is not a given object of analysis—the reality of being divisible into four relations: philosophy as a phenomenon in time, philosophy as a constituent of history, history as a constituent of philosophy, history as a field of philosophically analyzable phenomena.
I. PHILOSOPHY AS A PHENOMENON IN THE FIELD OF HISTORY
Philosophy appears as a phenomenon in a context of other structuring phenomena—the minimum range consists of:
spiritual outburst, ecumenic empire, historiography—Jasper's concept of the "axis time of mankind"—the Daniel Apocalypse and speculations about the translatio imperii —the accumulation of empires from China to Rome not to be construed as an autonomous determinant of history—historiography in Hellas, Israel, China, connected with imperial conflicts—spiritual outbursts preceding historiography, and exceptions.
II. PHILOSOPHY AS A CONSTITUENT OF HISTORY
Philosophy as an ontic event and a noetic experience—the resulting two tensions of the soul—the soul as the place where the tensions between time and eternity is experienced—the subject of this experience—the content of the experience: loving urge and graceful call—the experience itself, objectless and possibly subjectless?—the alternative: hypostatization of being—the difficulties stemming from language—the symbols in Plato's Symposium—fullness and neediness—wisdom and ignorance— Plato's type-concepts—what is a "field of history"?—the personal experience of being—the tension of being, experienced as a process—eternal being not an object in time, temporal being not transposable into eternity—the concept of the flowing presence —the tension of being not an intersubjective object—it is a personal experience and thus influenced by personal attitudes—it is also not a disordered multiplicity but manifests traits of order—giving rise to direction and a character of irreversibility.
III. HISTORY AS THE CONSTITUENT OF PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy, related to the preceding primary experience of the cosmos, is a historical event—it discovers not new objects but relations of order in an already known reality—the context of being replaces the older cosmos —"the world" not an object but rather an index for the relations within a nondivine, autonomous structure—the ensuing concern with the transcendence of God.
IV. HISTORY AS THE FIELD OF PHENOMENA OF PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATION
Philosophy as the event in history through which history is recognized as the field of tension between the phenomena— why have no attempts been made to construct a material universal history?—preoccupation with the polemical situation created by the event of history—types of historical polarization— philosophy, not a one-time event, is rather a continuing process of actualizing noetic potentialities for the investigation of phenomena in history—barriers to this development have fallen in recent times—an experience of the metaxy cannot dwell exclusively on either the human or the divine pole—ensuing attitudes toward the temporal sequence of experiences: the condemnation of the past as "false", or the past as compatible by means of interpretation—Augustine's symbol of exodus as the principle for a material philosophy of history.
 

PART III. WHAT IS POLITICAL REALITY?

Prefatory Remarks: Science and Reality 143
Mathematics is a science based on fundamental principles (axioms)—political science is not because of the special relation between science and political reality—the noetic knowledge of political order deals with an object already structured by another kind of knowledge—nonnoetic knowledge precedes noetic knowledge—noetic knowledge arises in a relation of tension with society—this relation can be made transparent—today this is difficult because of nonnoetic, ideological interpretations of society—which is why political science cannot be defined as a corpus of propositions and principles.

Chapter 8:  The Consciousness of the Ground

147
No objective propositions are possible with regard to the ex perience of order in consciousness—noetic and nonnoetic interpretations conceive order in terms of their ground—noetic interpretations arise when consciousness seeks to become explicit to itself—Aristotle's vocabulary—the direction of consciousness: desire for knowledge, questioning in confusion, awareness of ignorance—this directional factor called ratio—the mutual participation of two entities called nous —here myth enters into the exegesis—"human nature" the symbol of an experience of the ground—the myth and its symbols a residue of prenoetic knowledge.
Four aporias arising in the objectivization by noesis— "objectivization" referring to the difference of truth arising in the search for the ground—there is no "objective" beyond— there is a "past" phase of the quest—the personal field of history generates a social one.
Three dimensions: the direction-giving ratio , the luminosity of the tension toward the ground, the process of a quest leaving behind phases of the past—Aristotle's criticism of the Ionic speculation—the new luminosity as the substance of the critique—a new aporia: the relegation of the past to "falsehood"—disappearing as Aristotle traces both philosophy and myth to "wondering"—the comparison constitutes a rudimentary philosophy of history—history constituted by consciousness—the field of history is always universally human—the equivalence of symbolisms.
Aristotle's noetic work left partly unfinished—the vocabulary about being insufficiently differentiated—the case of the symbol ousia —its later dogmatization and the resulting cleavage between language and reality—Flaubert and Karl Kraus on modern cliché language—differentiating the reality represented compactly by ousia —the manifold meaning of "reality" is a necessary ambiguity—the different "images" of myth and noesis expressing respective experiences of participation in the same reality—the changeability of the human reality of participation.
Consciousness always consciousness of something—being, thinking, and symbol constituting both an identity and three distinct objects—the danger of consciousness drawing the reality of the ground into itself—the freedom of consciousness entailing the possibility of a cleavage between form and content of reality—images of reality should be examined for traces of a closed system as well as categorized, and analyzed by form and content—the problem of the loss of reality— ersatz images of reality—the meditation of Camus as a recovery of reality— summary of the analysis of consciousness—the derailment into propositions unmotivated by experience.

Chapter 9:  Linguistic Indices and Type-Concepts

175
Unlike knowledge of the natural sciences, noetic knowledge is knowledge "from within"—of a reality that is "nonobjective"— the terms developed in the process not defining objects but rather creating linguistic indices—an "immanent world" or a "transcendent being" do not "exist"—other indices: "man," "philosophy," " metaxy "—constituting no quantitative increase of knowledge but introducing a new mode of knowledge—which has the character of rationality and science—science consists of methods compatible with the ratio of noesis—"history" as an index of a field of rational structure.
Plato's type-concepts stemming from the "objectivization" of other interpretations of order—various meanings of "object"— consciousness, though discrete, creates an intelligible field of history—its structure is the structure of reality—the sole meaning of the "field of history" is that discovered through the ratio of noesis—the material and the historical dimensions of consciousness interacting with a tendency toward objectivization— type-concepts formed around all kinds of "positions."

Chapter 10:  The Tensions in the Reality of Knowledge

183
Noetic knowledge is concrete knowledge of participation illuminating the divine ground of being as the ground of man and world—thus the reality of participation is knowledge— which goes beyond the knowledge of reason to the knowledge of faith, hope, and love—the complex of knowledge being effective as a whole—man's existence ordered by knowledge prior to noesis— ratio both a component and an instrument of criticism.
Three phases in the process of tension: the hellenic one, the dogmatism of the philosophic schools and of theology, and the dogmatic ideologies—ideologies block man's access to reality— the solution consists in a turning again toward reality—which is rendered difficult by the historical background of theological and metaphysical dogmatisms—one must push on to the pre dogmatic reality of knowledge—the example of Camus—the study of predogmatic realities a strong recent movement— alternatively, there is resort to works of literature—the paradigm of mysticism.
Necessary distinctions: metaphysics in Thomas, Descartes, Voltaire, Baumgarten, Wolff—mysticism in Bodin and Bergson—Pico della Mirandola, Ficino, Pseudo-Dionysius—the dimension of the ineffable.

Chapter 11:  The Concrete Consciousness

200
Human consciousness is always concretely personal—man's synthetic nature—his corporeality the basis of social existence—political theory must cover man's entire existence— omitting parts of it results in spiritualistic or naturalistic distortions—there is no collective consciousness—social fields of concrete consciousness are not identical with organized societies—the phenomenon of civilizations as the minimum intelligible field of study—the phenomenon of empires—the concept of the ecumene, both as contemporaneous cultured humanity and universal humanity—history as the interpretative field of a consciousness experiencing its essential humanity— history as a field of interpretation of acts of self-understanding—the total structure of the universal Field of history is no possible object of knowledge—the pneumatic experiences of eschatology.

Chapter 12:  About the Function of Noesis

206
A more differentiated language than that of classical philoso- phy required—noetic experience differentiates structures which change the image of reality as a whole—experiences be- yond the polis having to be symbolized as a wider context of order—this context to be called the realm of man —it is empirically determined by the history of the knowledge of participation and the historically respective level of noetic exegesis—the move- ment of noetic consciousness moving along certain objective lines—along which are found certain objective areas—which are related to reach other—in man's synthetic nature various levels of being are distinguished—their relations not reversible—the entire pattern ruling study procedure.
Violations against the rule of relations, as shown by Ricoeur—violations against the structure of the whole— common sense, in Thomas Reid's philosophy—why political theory cannot rise above an "empirical" level of politics— relations between common sense and Aristotle—common sense a genuine residue of noesis—its relative inadequacy.

		

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