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Occidental culture

The history of the internet repeats (somehow) the history of modern technology and the history of modern economics and politics, although the history of the internet itself is also a part of the modern history. The history of the internet is faster than the history of the whole modernity. Therefore, we can say: The history of the internet will show us how the modern history will end - probably both will end up at the same time. In the end we will be real and virtual slaves - slaves as never before.

Fight for our freedom!

Or is it already too late?

Has the internet had its day?

Maybe that there will be an “»internet« colosseum” - otherwise there is no constructive future for the internet, because we've got many comparisons and analogies, for example: every kind of bread-and-games-techniques or (as an occidental not-old-example) telephone, radio, television in their significance for the behaviour of the people (“humans”) and their relationship to each other. All this shows us the ”goal”.

In short: the internet has and will have no harmonious future.


The history of the internet repeats (somehow) the history of modern technology and the history of modern economics and politics, although the history of the internet itself is also a part of the modern history. The process can also be described as an exponential increase of the loss of intelligence, wealth and descendants (children), and - of course - culture. The history of the internet is faster than the history of the whole modernity. Therefore, we can say: The history of the internet will show us how the modern history will end - probably both will end up at the same time. In the end we will be real and virtual slaves - slaves as never before.

Fight for our freedom!

Or is it already too late?


Anti-racists always have to refer to racists and racism. If there were no racist and racism, aniti-racists would never exist. The existence of anticacists and anti-racisms depends on racists and racism. So to anti-racists, it makes much sense to invent, to weave more and more racists and racism. It seems to be absurd, but it is true, because it is a fact, an absurd fact: Anti-racists are more racists than racist.

Every organic system (“life”) has to struggle for its life, thus for itself, by antagonising the entropy. The entropy is at last the winner anyway, but temporarily life defaets the entropy by the charge (expenditure) of energy, and this “temporary fight against the entropy” is what we call “life”.


Anentropy means “not entropy”, “non-entropy”, thus the lowest degree of order, which means: order itself. Antientropy means the “antagonist of entropy”, and the best example of an antagonist of entropy is life. Anentropy means the absence of entropy, but antientropy needs entropy because of fighting against it.

An interessing question is, whether a living being is able (capable, competent) enough to be completely anentropic. I negate because a living being isn't able to be completely entropic. If a living being were able to be completely entropic, it would be dead, and if a living being is dead, it is no living being anymore, its time is over. Life is not capable of being completely organised (100% order) and not capable of being completely chaotic (100% chaos).


Who is synthetical to Hegel (“Thesis”) and Marx (“Antithesis”) and who is synthetical to Schopenhauer (“Thesis”) and Nietzsche (“Antithesis”)? Find the “Synthesis”!


The history of the internet repeats (somehow) the history of modern technology and the history of modern economics and politics, although the history of the internet itself is also a part of the modern history. The process can also be described as an exponential increase of the loss of intelligence, wealth and descendants (children), and - of course - culture. The history of the internet is faster than the history of the whole modernity. Therefore, we can say: The history of the internet will show us how the modern history will end - probably both will end up at the same time. In the end we will be real and virtual slaves - slaves as never before.

Fight for our freedom!

Or is it already too late?


If there is no thymos but only eros, then there is no harmony between this two foci of the ellipse named human soul.


 

For being successful in e.g. science, technique (technology), economy, intelligence (brainpower), there must be a very good cultural system, be it a culture itself (like the Occidental one) or a nation (like the German one) or a person, and this must be based on good and thus advantageous nature conditions.


I give you an example for the almost proved fact that southern people are not made for philosophy, science, technique (technology), industry, economy, intelligence (brainpower), but made for religion and idolatry: the climate in the south makes the people more passive, lazy or even motionless (think of the Indian culture with its meditative people), but receptive to religion, but the climate in the north makes the people more active, busy, ..., etc.. The cause or reason therefor is a logical phenomenon which can easily be proved by science. We are endotherm animals, and endotherm animals produce their temperature by themselves (in their bodies). So if the ambient temperature is hot, endotherm animals get more passive, lazy, or even motionless, and if the ambient temperature is cold, endotherm animals get more active, busy, ..., etc.. High temperature means lazy endotherm animals, low temperature means busy endotherm animals. The logical implication for this eaxmple is:
If the climate is hot, then the endotherm animals are lazy.
And we have the syllogistic form:
1.premise (propositio maior): Endotherm animals are lazy in hot climate zones.
2. premise (propositio minor): Human beings are endotherm animals.
Conclusion (conclusio): Human beings are lazy in hot climate zones.
This could still be continued, although it gets more and more difficult when it comes to proving the thesis that northern people are made for philosophy, science, technique (technology), industry, economy, intelligence (brainpower), while southern people are made for religion, but in all probability this thesis is true. Exceptions prove the rule. And the history has also shown that this thesis is true.


Some people are interested in making the other people stupid. And because of that they want the mass of people to have less or even no more knowledge, no more wisdom etc., because this mass of humans can easily be replaced by machines (e.g. robots and androids) which are lovely slaves because this servants never rebell, if they are well constructed by their constructers (architects). This is and will be not a “game“, but this are and will be scientific, technical, engineering (also social engineering), economical, political, social, and, last but not least, cultural / civilised (more: civilisationised) facts! Faustian it is, and that means in terms of Kultur: Occidental it is, and that means in geographical terms: Northern and Western European it is, and that means in historical terms: German it is. Shall we complain about its advanced decline after thousands of years? In the meantime the facts are going on. For this and the following century, or even the entire future there are two or even three possibilities of human development left:
1)  Extinction of all human beings (and even more beings) in this or the following century.
2)  The “world” of “the last men” (“die letzen Menschen” [Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche]) will be totally installed and last forever.
3)  A new regional Kultur will arise (but I don't believe in this although it wouldy be the best of this three possibilities).
If the mass of humans had, have, or will ever have a knowledge of that and a “free will” or a “free decision”, than this mass of humans would not have decided, would not decide, or will not decide to become slaves.


If you want to do Nietzsche a favour, then argue for him by arguing against him.


What I mean with the „relatively free will“ is a kind of a „partly restricted will“ because a will as such can only be a free will and is not observable, not cognoscible , thus not provable or disprovable, so we can agree with Schopenhauer and say that the will is Kant’s „Ding an sich“ (“thing as such“ / “thing in itself”).


A modern society is velociferic, expanded in any case, accelerated in any case, greedy in any case, too fat, too ugly ....

Newton was a scientist and theologian while his German „Zeitgenosse“ (“time accomplice”, coeval, contemporary) Leibniz was a scientist and philosopher; so theology and philosophy make the crucial difference. Newton had political power, Leibniz had no political power. Calculus was invented by Leibniz. Wether calculus was also, simultaneously and independently of Leibniz, invented by Newton too is doubtable because of Newton’s political power.

“Goethe ... war in seiner ganzen Denkweise, ohne es zu wissen, ein Schüler von Leibniz gewesen.” (Oswald Spengler, Der Untergang des Abendlandes, 1917, S. IX **).
Translation:
“Goethe ... had been in his whole way of thinking, without knowing it, a disciple of Leibniz.”

What has been found and brought in a formula by Newton could also have been found and brought in a formula by another person. It was Newton's political power that made him and his “laws” famous. If he hadn't had this political power, he and his “laws” would probably not have become famous. The history of Western science would have remained a Faustian one anyway but been written in a different way and probably never mentioned Newton. The history of Western science would have remained a Faustian one anyway but been written in a different way and probably never mentioned Newton. So without any doubt, Newton was also a Faustian scientist but he gave a very special form to the Faustian science. And what I just said about Newton, applies similarly for Einstein. So Newton and Einstein are not the most typical Faustian scientists but nevertheless also Faustian scientists. Their relativity theories are not as absolute and dynamic as other Faustian theories but nevertheless also Faustian theories.


The other Faustian theories are all the other Occidental (Western) theories. They are so many that I didn't want to list them in my last post. In this case, it doesn't matter wether they are “right” (“true”) or “wrong” (“false”) because in this case it is crucial and essential wether they belong to the type, the form, the character of the Faustian culture, for example: dynamic, infinity, infiniteness, endlessness, everlastingness, boundlessness, illimitableness, force(s), dilatation, expansiveness, ... and so on.


The Non-Faustian cultures had and have a completely different idea when it comes to undertand what “nature”, “physics”, “universe”, “life”, ... means. Humans at different places and times understood, understand, and will understand their environment differently, they even have their own “worlds”, and so they also value and justify differently. If you know how “science” was and/or is understood by the Mesopotamian culture, by the Egyptian culture, by the Indian (or South-Asian) culture, by the Chinese (or East-Asian) culture, by the Apollonian culture (our ancestor), by the Inka/Maya culture, by the Magic/Arabian/Islamic culture, and the Faustian culture (the descendant of the Apollinian culture), then you know also the differences in their theories and even their philosophies (metaphysics, ontologies, ...). Merely the Faustian culture has developed a real science; partly ,and merely partly also the other cultures, partly because they had and have (a) a too hot climate, (b) a too dominant religion, so that something which could be called “science” nearly remained or remains a religion, or (c) other conditions that prevented or prevent the developmet of a real science.

You may say (for example): “there were the constructions of the Tower of Babel, the pyramids of the Egyptians and the Maya, the inventions and discoveries of the Mesopotamian culture, the Chinese (East-Asian) culture, the Apollonian culture (our ancestor)”. Alright, but they weren't like that what the Faustian constructions, inventions, and discoveries were and are. Merely the Faustian culture had and has a concept of an autonomous “science” and “technique/technology”. You may see what it means to have a more religious “science” and “technique/technology” when you look at thre current Faustian science which is again more dominated by religion than in former times of the Faustian culture, for example the era of the so-called “enlightenment” („Aufklärung“). It is comparable to humans personal development: the most scientific time is the time of the adolescence and around the adolescence; the era of the “enlightenment” („Aufklärung“) was such a time for the Faustian culture. A younger one is too unripe, an older one is already too ripe - for example too conservative, too philosophical, thus too wise - for science as an “enlightenment” („Aufklärung“), but not too ripe for a more religious or philosophical (metaphysical, ontological) science.


According to Schopenhauer the WILL is Kant’s „thing-in-itself“ (I’ve been told that the better English term could be: „thing as such“), and Einstein often quoted Schopenhauer, agreed with Schopenhauer, but also with Kant, and the only one who was accepted as philosopher by Schopenhauer was Kant.


Do you think and/or imagine nothing when you think of “zero”, or “nothing”, or the “nothingness”?

When I think of nothing or the nothingness I often think of the word “nothing” (“n-o-t-h-i-n-g”) or the word “nothingness” (“n-o-t-h-i-n-g-n-e-s-s”), because the words “nothing” and “nothingness” exist as well as (for example) the words “zero” and “infinity”. What do you think when you think of God?


It is in fact impossible to show or even prove respectively disprove with physical means and methods what physics is; that is only possible with language and with philosophy. This is roughly that what Heidegger once said in an interview.


Humans’ pleasure and replication are already separated. So humans are now a species between animals (humans) and (humans,) machines or gods, not far away from (those) machines between humans and gods.


Do you know the difference between the real being (existence) and the ideal being (essence)? The real being is spatiotemporal, the ideal being (essence) lacks temporality. According to Platon and other philosophers the ideal being (essence) is the true, the actual real being, while the so-called „real“ being is merely the appearance, the illusoriness.

If our definitions merely accepted spatiotemporality as the property of being, then being without temporality would not be possible by defintion. If our definitions accepted that temporality is not required for being, then we being without temporality would be possible by definition.

Does essence also have affect? Do both the real being and the ideal being have affect? Don’t forget: According to Platon and other philosophers the ideal being is the true, the actual real being.


Those who think deeply are the best, and those who report to the public are the worst.


To a peasant population it is an advantage if the the Earth is at the center of the universe, but to an urban population it is an advantage if the the Earth is not at the center of the universe.


Mind is nuch more than “psychology”.


The brain is a biological (especially a neurological) part.

Do not forget that!


Being a materialist doesen’t automatically mean being right, being intelligent, being wise, being a God, .... but does probably mean being a Godwannabe.


Six situations are possible relating to a mother and her feelings she holds towards her husband and / or children:
1.) She holds his feelings equally to her husband and to her children.
2.) She holds his feelings more to her children than to her husband.
3.) He holds his feelings only to her children, thus not to her husband.
4.) He holds his feelings more to her husband than to her children.
5.) He holds his feelings only to her husband, thus not to her children.
6.) He holds his feelings neither to her husband nor to her children.
The same applies analogously for a father.
In modern times that normal sequence (1 to 6) stands on its “head” (6 to 1).


Not “we” but the independent, sovereign, and therefore responsible rulers are arrogant and blind. This blindness is because of their dictated libertarianism, egalitarianism. and fraternalism (humanitarism), thus: their totalitarianism. When I say there is a difference between the intelligence of the humans, most of the people cry: “You can’t say that because it is IQ racism!” But it isn’'t! You have no idea, my stupids and hypocrites. Some or even many of those stupids and hypocrites could know better, provided that they were allowed to know better - but they are not allowed to know better.

There are more differences between huamans and also or even especially between male humans and female humans than you (are allowed to) think - confused by the political correctness. Those differences are very important when it comes to develop successfully. People who want to reduce those differences are people who want to reduce humans.


The problem with the psychology (**) is that it has no real object because nobody knows what psyche really is, means, how it can be defined. ... and so on.

Brain is a natural, especially a biological, more especially a neurological object, soul is a cultural, religious, theological, philosophical object, and mind is a cultural, semiotic, linguistic, theological (partly also religious), philosophical object. According to the psychologists „psyche“ is a psychological object because psychologists say that „psyche“ is something between brain, soul, and mind; but why do they hide their object if they have one? The answer is that they have no object, or at least no real object. According to this we have the same problem with the “psyche” as all our ancestors had - except one point: since the occidental modernity psychology and especially sociology have been becoming the main part of the new theology and especially the new religion because the old theology and especially the old religion have been becoming the losers (**). This refers mainly to the occidental culture, but more and more also to the other cultures on our planet.


The brain does its „job“, as you say, in a natural way, and the mind does its „job“, as you say, in a cultural way.


Philosophy - also as a mind-science, spirit-science, awareness-science, knowledge-science etc. - can be subjective and objective like any other branch of science, but when it comes to a very expensive research, then the other branches of science depend more on money. Provided that there is an interest on both sides of buying, everyone can by everything as well as everyone can be bought by everyone, thus also a philosopher who lives in the desert with no human contact can be bought. But who is really more expensive: a physicist or a philosopher?


Heidegger was the greatest philosopher of the 20th century.


Heidegger’'s existence philosophy teaches that the nothing(ness) becomes obvious or evident by the fear („Angst“) in which always lies a move back from something which is in reality the nothing(ness). The essence of the nothing(ness) is the nihilation, namely the repellent or resisting reference to the sinking entity in the entirety, meaning to the nothingness of all entity.

Martin Heidegger wrote:
„Worum sich die Angst ängstet, ist das In-der-Welt-sein selbst.“ - Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 1927, S. 187 (**).
Martin Heidegger wrote:
„In der hellen Nacht des Nichts der Angst entsteht erst die ursprüngliche Offenbarkeit des Seienden als eines solchen: daß es Seiendes ist - und nicht Nichts. Einzig weil das Nichts im Grunde des Daseins offenbar ist, kann die volle Befremdlichkeit des Seienden über uns kommen und die Grundfrage der Metaphysik: Warum ist überhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts?“ - Martin Heidegger, Was ist Metaphysik?, 1929 (**).

The fear („Angst“) isolates the existence („Dasein“) and opens it in this way as possible being („Möglich-Sein“), as free being („Frei-Sein“) for the freedom („Freiheit“) of the self chosing („Sich-selbst-wählen“) and self seizing („Sich-selbst-Ergreifen“).

The being in the world („In-der-Welt-Sein“) is the transcendental basic constitution („Grundverfassung“) of the existence („Dasein“). The concept of the „In-der-Welt-Sein“ deactivates the consciousness concept and the of subject/object dualism.


It is useful to refer to Leibniz’ monadology, especially when it comes to understand the meaning of Sloterdijk's “hubbles” and “foams”.

For example: „Foams“. What doese Sloterdijk's foam theory mean?

Peter Sloterdijk wrote:
„Die Schaumtheorie ist unverhohlen neo-monadologisch orientiert: Ihre Monaden jedoch haben die Grundform von Dyaden oder komplexeren seelenräumlichen, gemeindlichen und mannschaftlichen Gebilden.“ - Peter Sloterdijk, Sphären III - Schäume, 2004; S. 61 (**).
Translation:
“The foam theory is openly neo-monadological oriented: Its monads, however, have the basic form of dyads or more complex formations of emotional rooms, communities and team unions.”
Peter Sloterdijk wrote:
„Die Schaum-Metapher bietet den Vorzug, die topologische Anordnung von kreativ-selbstsichernden Lebensraumschöpfungen im Bild zu erfassen. .... So evoziert die Schaumvorstellung sowohl die Ko-Fragilität als auch die Ko-Isolation der in dichten Verbänden gestapelten Einheiten.“ (Peter Sloterdijk, Sphären III - Schäume, 2004; S. 255 **).
Translation:
“The foam metaphor offers the advantage to gather the image of the topological arrangement of creative-self-securing habitat creations. .... In this way the foam idea evokes both the co-fragility and the co-isolation of the stacked units in dense associations.”

Sloterdijk's trilogy is called „Sphären“, which means “Spheres”:

1) “Spheres I” = “Bubbles”.
2) “Spheres II” = ”Globes”.
3) “Spheres III” = ”Foams”.

Sloterdijk’s trilogy “Spheres” - the title is to be understood as an anthropological concept and cultural theory - refers to Sloterdijk’s Spenglerian main thesis, according to which life is a formality. And that main thesis suggests that life, spheres forming, and thinking are different terms for the same thing. This “Spheres” could also be called “Space and Time” because it is a connection project to Heidegger’s “Being and Time” and describes the cultural development of mankind from a philosophical-anthropological perspective.


I think Leibniz was the philosopher who knew more about science than all other philosophers; one can even say that Leibniz was a great philosopher, a great scientist, and a great technician.


Do you prefer the first part („Bubbles“) of Sloterdijk’s trilogy „Spheres“? This trilogy is divided into three parts (volumes) not only because of three different types of spheres but also because of three different ages. Sloterdijk’s trilogy „Spheres“ could also be called „Being and Sphere(s)“ or „Being and Space“ because it is the completion of Heidegger’s „Being and Time“. Especially the first paragraphs of „Spheres“ care „the book that Heidegger should have written“ (Peter Sloterdijk), a companion volume to Heidegger’s „Being and Time“, namely, „Being and Space“. It has much to with the idea of „Dasein“ in the sense of Heidegger’s existential philosophy, especially his fundamental ontology.


Kant (or/and Hegel) is (are) the „Father of Modernity“ („Vater der Moderne“ [**|**]).


Do you really know what „Father of the Modernity“means? What is modernity? The meaning of modernity is not automatically a positive one, but it can be a postive one. There are many people and many values.


It is difficult to translate Kant’s „Ding an sich“. One would do better to not translate it and after the use of it to describe what is meant. The „Ding an sich“ has much to do with „Erkenntnis“ („knowledge“, „cognition“), „Erkenntnistheorie“ („theory of knowledge“, „theory of cognition“). It is not possible to (exactly, really) know the Ding an sich.


Schopenhauer (some people call him „Eurobuddhist“) accpeted merely two philosophers before himself: Kant and Platon.

If Kant (or Hegel) is the father of the current modernity, the Occidental modernity, then Platon (or Aristoteles) was the father of the former modernity, the Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman modernity.

Or do we have to say: Hegel (or Kant) ... and Aristoteles (or Platon) ...?


You should read the third part („Foams“) of Sloterdijk's trilogy „Spheres“. There are bubbles in a foam; so the first part recurs in the third part. I like the second part („Globes“) teh most The first part was published in 1998, the second in 1999, and the third in 2004. So we may suppose that Sloterdijk needed more time for the third part than for the other parts.


Sloterdijk is influenced by Hegel and Nietzsche. So his trilogy „Spheres“ can also be interpreted as a dialectic, thus (1.) „Bubbles“ as the thesis, (2.) „Globes“ as the antithesis, and (3.) „Foam“ as the synthesis. Dur to the fact that bubbles (thesis) and foam (synthesis) are easily breakable, thus very much instable, the spheres Sloterdijk means can easily lead to a new Hegelian dialectic.

The following pictures may illustrate what I mean:

BlaseÄltester Erdglobus (Martin Behaim, Nürnberg, 1492) Schaum


Peter Sloterdijk says (in his book „Du mußt dein Leben ändern“ - „You Must Change Your Life“, p. 12 and p.133): „es gibt keine Religionen (translation: „there are no religions“), „sondern nur mißverstandene spirituelle Übungssysteme“ (translation: „but misunderstood spiritual exercise systems“).


Inseln
B.t.w.: Sloterdijk's „Insulierungen“ (the processes of forming an island) have 12 dimensions, namely 3 superordinate dimensions and 9 subordinate dimensions:

Superordinate dimensions:
1.) Absolute islands.
2.) Atmospheric islands.
3.) Anthropogenic islands.

Subordinate dimensions:
1.) „Thermotop“.
2.) „Uterotop“.
3.) „Alethotop“.
4.) „Chirotop“.
5.) „Phonotop“.
6.) „Erototop“.
7.) „Ergotop“.
8.) „Thanatotop“.
9.) „Nomotop“.


You (**) have never heard of Herder? Are you sure that you are an ILP member? Have you ever herad of philosophy?


I am not a Kantian and not a Schopenhauerian. Other famous Prussian German philosphers are Christian Wolff, Johann Gottlieb Fichte (more Brandenburgian than Prussian), Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (more Prussian-Saxon than mere Prussian), Oswald A. G. Spengler (also more Prussian-Saxon than mere Prussian). Do you know them? Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a Swabian, not a Prussian, but he became a „Swabian in Prussian commission“.


The internet, mass communication, multi-culturalism, feminism, and other isms are the current means or tools of control and - of course - the accompanying symptoms of the current Occident.


According to Peter Sloterdijk human beings live in symbolic immune systems and in ritual hulls / shells. If it is right that humans yield or produce humans, then they do it not mainly by work and its products and also not by work on themselves or by „interaction“ or „communication“; they do it by their lives in exercises / trainings. So humans arise out of repetitions /recurrences, Sloterdijk says.


Yes, that's right: „Kant pointed to the necessity of that 3rd element, »relevance« or usefulness. He proclaimed that it is of necessity that we presume causality. And in that regard, he was right. But that doesn't exactly answer whether causality is true, but merely why we accept it as true.“ (**). Is causality true? Is an exact answer possible?


First Kant was an enlightener („Aufklärer“), then he was an idealist because he stopped or overcame the era of enlightenment and started the era of the post-enlightenment idealism („post“ because there were some idealists long before Kant, for example Leibniz). In any case, Kant was the „father of the modernity“. I guess that, if you had lived at Kant's time, you would have tried to prolong the era of enlightenment by saying „yes“ to the question „is causality true?“. Kant referred to the epistemology, to the knowledge, thus also to causality but not so much to the metaphysical question of the truth of causality. After Kant the question of a true causality has been occurring again - similar to the time before Kant but (and that is the huge difference) by referring to Kant, thus not without Kant’s philosophy.

A rational ontology includes causality, yes. But does it really make the causality true? One could also say that we accept the world as the truth but do not know whether it is the truth or not.

According to the question of truth there are four answerse possible:

1) There is truth.
2) There is only truth outside of the (brains of the) subjects. This answer is philosophically called objectivism.
3) There is only truth in the (brains of the) subjects. This answer is philosophically called subjectivism, as an extreme form: solipsism.
4) There is no truth.

So we have one absolute affirmation (see: 1), two relative affirmations / negations (see: 2 and 3), and one absolute negation (see: 4)

It seems that no one of them can be proved or disproved.
__________________________

In summation: Kant was right.


Kant referred to both indeterminism and determinism, because he taught (1) an empirical (thus: close to nature) person and (2) an ethical (thus: close to culture) person. So according to Kant humans are citizens of two „worlds“: (1) a „visible world“ and (2) an „intelligible world“. The humans as (1) empirical (natural) persons or citizens of the „visible world“ do not have an „absolute free will“ becaue they are subordinated by nature and its „law“ of causality; but the humans as (2) ethical (cultural) persons or as citizens of the „intelligible world“ have an „absolute free will“. The „moral law“ is based only on the existence of the „intelligible freedom“(=> 2).

Ted Honderich wrote:
„One summary of the great Kant's view, to the extent that it can be summed up, is that he takes determinism to be a kind of fact, and indeterminism to be another kind of fact, and our freedom to be a fact too -- but takes this situation to have nothing to do with the kind of compatibility of determinism and freedom proclaimed by such Compatibilists as Hobbes and Hume. Thus Kant does not make freedom consistent with determinism by taking up a definition of freedom as voluntariness -- at bottom, being able to do what you want. This he dismisses as a wretched subterfuge, quibbling about words. Rather, the freedom he seeks to make consistent with determinism does indeed seem to be the freedom of the Incompatibilists -- origination. Is he then an Incompatibilist? Well, against that, it can be said he does not allow the existence of origination in what can be called the world we know, as Incompatibilists certainly do.“

Kant's main idea, whatever sense can finally be made of it, depends on his fundamental two-worlds doctrine. He locates determinism in the empirical world or world of appearances, and freedom in the world of things-in-themselves, the world of reason. It is important that the latter world is not in time.

So he is a determinist of a kind, opposed to the tradition of Compatibilism, not really in the Incompatibilist tradition, but tries to make his determinism and freedom-as-origination consistent by his own private means. You may well wonder if he can succeed in all this -- and suspect too, at the beginning of the 21st Century, that something so radical as his view is actually needed.“ **

Who ist Ted Honderich?

Wikipedia wrote:
„Ted Honderich (born 30 January 1933) is a Canadian-born British philosopher, Grote Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic, University College London[1] and Visiting Professor, University of Bath. His work has been mainly about five things: determinism's truth and its consequences for our lives; the nature of consciousness and its relation to the brain; right and wrong in the contemporary world, in particular with respect to terrorism; the supposed justifications of punishment by the state; and the political tradition of conservatism.“ **

Excerpt from The Critique of Pure Reason:

Immanuel Kant wrote:

„.... Every human being has an empirical character for his power of choice, which is nothing other than a certain causality of his reason, insofar as in its effects in appearance this reason exhibits a rule, in accordance with which one could derive the rational grounds and the actions themselves according to their kind and degree, and estimate the subjective principles of his power of choice. Because this empirical character itself must be drawn from appearances as effect, and from the rule which experience provides, all the actions of the human being in appearance are determined in accord with the order of nature by his empirical character and the other cooperating causes; and if we could investigate all the appearances of his power of choice down to their basis, then there would be no human action that we could not predict with certainty, and recognize as necessary given its preceding conditions. Thus in regard to this empirical character there is no freedom, and according to this character we can consider the human being solely by observing, and, as happens in anthropology, by trying to investigate the moving causes of his actions physiologically

But if we consider the very same actions in relation to reason, not, to be sure, in relation to speculative reason, in order to explain them as regards their origin, but insofar as reason is the cause of producing them by themselves — in a word, if we compare them with reason in a practical respect — then we find a rule and order that is entirely other than the natural order. For perhaps everything that has happened in the course of nature, and on empirical grounds inevitably had to happen, nevertheless ought not to have happened. At times, however, we find, or at least believe we have found, that the ideas of reason have actually proved their causality in regard to the actions of human beings as appearances, and that therefore these actions have occurred not through empirical causes, no, but because they were determined by grounds of reason.

Suppose now that one could say reason has causality in regard to appearance; could reason’s action then be called free even though in its empirical character (in the mode of sense) it is all precisely determined and necessary? The empirical character is once again determined in the intelligible character (in the mode of thought). We are not acquainted with the latter, but it is indicated through appearances, which really give only the mode of sense (the empirical character) for immediate cognition. Now the action, insofar as it is to be attributed to the mode of thought as its cause, nevertheless does not follow from it in accord with empirical laws, i.e. in such a way that it is preceded by the conditions of pure reason, but only their effects in the appearance of inner sense precede it. Pure reason, as a merely intelligible faculty, is not subject to the form of time, and hence not subject to the conditions of the temporal sequence. The causality of reason in the intelligible character does not arise or start working at a certain time in producing an effect. For then it would itself be subject to the natural law of appearances, to the extent that this law determines causal series in time, and its causality would then be nature and not freedom.

Thus we could say that if reason can have causality in regard to appearances, then it is a faculty through which the sensible condition of an empirical series of effects first begins. For the condition that lies in reason is not sensible and does not itself begin. Accordingly, there takes place here what we did not find in any empirical series: that the condition of a successive series of occurrences could itself be empirically unconditioned. For here the condition is outside the series of appearances (in the intelligible) and hence not subject to any sensible condition or to any determination of time through any passing cause.

Nevertheless, this very same cause in another relation also belongs to the series of appearances. The human being himself is an appearance. His power of choice has an empirical character, which is the (empirical) cause of all his actions. There is not one of these conditions determining human beings according to this character which is not contained in the series of natural effects and does not obey the laws of nature according to which no empirically unconditioned causality is present among the things that happen in time. Hence no given action (since it can be perceived only as appearance) can begin absolutely from itself. But of reason one cannot say that before the state in which it determines the power of choice, another state precedes in which this state itself is determined. For since reason itself is not an appearance and is not subject at all to any conditions of sensibility, no temporal sequence takes place in it even as to its causality, and thus the dynamical law of nature, which determines the temporal sequence according to rules, cannot be applied to it.

Reason is thus the persisting condition of all voluntary actions under which the human being appears. Even before it happens, every one of these actions is determined beforehand in the empirical character of the human being. In regard to the intelligible character, of which the empirical one is only the sensible schema, no before or after applies, and every action, irrespective of the temporal relation in which it stands to other appearances, is the immediate effect of the intelligible character of pure reason; reason therefore acts freely, without being determined dynamically by external or internal grounds temporally preceding it in the chain of natural causes, and this freedom of reason can not only be regarded negatively, as independence from empirical conditions (for then the faculty of reason would cease to be a cause of appearances), but also indicated positively by a faculty of beginning a series of occurrences from itself, in such a way that in reason itself nothing begins, but as the unconditioned condition of every voluntary action, it allows of no condition prior to it in time, whereas its effect begins in the series of appearances, but can never constitute an absolutely first beginning in this series.

In order to clarify the regulative principle of reason through an example of its empirical use — not in order to confirm it (for such proofs are unworkable for transcendental propositions) — one may take a voluntary action, e.g. a malicious lie, through which a person has brought about a certain confusion in society; and one may first investigate its moving causes, through which it arose, judging on that basis how the lie and its consequences could be imputed to the person. WIth this first intent one goes into the sources of the person’s empirical character, seeking them in a bad upbringing, bad company, and also finding them in the wickedness of a natural temper insensitive to shame, partly in carelessness and thoughtlessness; in so doing one does not leave out of account the occasioning causes. In all this one proceeds as with any investigation in the series of determining causes for a given natural effect.

Now even if one believes the action to be determined by these causes, one nonetheless blames the agent, and not on account of his unhappy natural temper, not on account of the circumstances influencing him, not even on account of the life he has led previously; for one presupposes that it can be entirely set aside how that life was constituted, and that the series of conditions that transpired might not have been, but rather that this deed could be regarded as entirely unconditioned in regard to the previous state, as though with that act the agent had started a series of consequences entirely from himself.

This blame is grounded on the law of reason, which regards reason as a cause that, regardless of all the empirical conditions just named, could have and ought to have determined the conduct of the person to be other than it is. And indeed one regards the causality of reason not as a mere concurrence with other causes, e but as complete in itself, even if sensuous incentives were not for it but were indeed entirely against it; the action is ascribed to the agent’s intelligible character: now, in the moment when he lies, it is entirely his fault; hence reason, regardless of all empirical conditions of the deed, is fully free, and this deed is to be attributed entirely to its failure to act.“

Excerpt from The Critique of Practical Reason:

Immanuel Kant wrote:

„The concept of causality as natural necessity, as distinguished from the concept of causality as freedom, concerns only the existence of things insofar as it is determinable in time and hence as appearances, as opposed to their causality as things in themselves. Now, if one takes the determinations of the existence of things in time for determinations of things-in-themselves (which is the most usual way of representing them), then the necessity in the causal relation can in no way be united with freedom; instead they are opposed to each other as contradictory. For, from the first it follows that every event, and consequently every action that takes place at a point of time, is necessary under the condition of what was in the preceding time. Now, since time past is no longer within my control, every action that I perform must be necessary by determining grounds that are not within my control, that is, I am never free at the point of time in which I act.

Indeed, even if I assume that my whole existence is independent from any alien cause (such as God), so that the determining grounds ot my causality and even of my whole existence are not outside me, this would not in the least transform that natural necessity into freedom. For, at every point of time I still stand under the necessity of being determined to action by that which is not within my control, and the series of events infinite a parte priori which I can only continue in accordance with a predetermined order would never begin of itself: it would be a continuous natural chain, and therefore my causality would never be freedom.

If, then, one wants to attribute freedom to a being whose existence is determined in time, one cannot, so far at least, except this being from the law of natural necessity as to all events in its existence and consequently as to its actions as well; for, that would be tantamount to handing it over to blind chance. But since this law unavoidably concerns all causality of things so far as their existence in time is determinable, if this were the way in which one had to represent also the existence of these things-in-themselves then freedom would have to be rejected as a null and impossible concept.

Consequently, if one still wants to save it, no other path remains than to ascribe the existence of a thing so far as it is determinable in time, and so too its causality in accordance with the law of natural necessity, only to appearance, and to ascribe freedom to the same being as a thing-in-itself. This is certainly unavoidable if one wants to maintain both these mutually repellent concepts together; but in application, when one wants to explain them as united in one and the same action, and so to explain this union itself, great difficulties come forward, which seem to make such a unification unfeasible.

If I say of a human being who commits a theft that this deed is, in accordance with the natural law of causality, a necessary result of determining grounds in preceding time, then it was impossible that it could have been left undone; how, then, can appraisal in accordance with the moral law make any change in it and suppose that it could have been omitted because the law says that it ought to have been omitted? That is, how can that man be called quite free at the same point of time and in regard to the same action in which and in regard to which he is nevertheless subject to an unavoidable natural necessity?

It is a wretched subterfuge to seek to evade this by saying that the kind of determining grounds of his causality in accordance with natural law agrees with a comparative concept of freedom, according to which that is sometimes called a free effect, the determining natural ground of which lies within the acting being, e.g., that which a projectile accomplishes when it is in free motion, in which case one uses the word »freedom« because while it is in flight it is not impelled from without; or as we also call the motion of a clock a free motion because it moves the hands itself, which therefore do not need to be pushed externally; in the same way the actions of the human being, although they are necessary by their determining grounds which preceded them in time, are yet called free because the actions are caused from within, by representations produced by our own powers, whereby desires are evoked on occasion of circumstances and hence actions are produced at our own discretion.

Some still let themselves be put off by this subterfuge and so think they have solved, with a little quibbling about words, that difficult problem on the solution of which millennia have worked in vain and which can therefore hardly be found so completely on the surface, That is to say, in the question about that freedom which must be put at the basis of all moral laws and the imputation appropriate to them, it does not matter whether the causality determined in accordance with a natural law is necessary through determining grounds lying within the subject or outside him, or in the first case whether these determining grounds are instinctive or thought by reason, if, as is admitted by these men themselves, these determining representations have the ground of their existence in time and indeed in the antecedent state; and this in turn in a preceding state, and so forth.

These determinations may be internal and they may have psychological instead of mechanical causality, that is, produce actions by means of representations and not by bodily movements; [still] they are always determinining grounds of the causality of a being insofar as its existence is determinable in time and therefore under the necessitating conditions of past time, which are thus, when the subject is to act, no longer within his control and which may therefore bring with them psychological freedom (if one wants to use this term for a merely internal chain of representations in the soul) but nevertheless natural necessity; and they therefore leave no transcendental freedom, which must be thought as independence from everything empirical and so from nature generally, whether it is regarded as an object of inner sense in time only or also of outer sense in both space and time; without this freedom (in the latter and proper sense), which alone is practical a priori, no moral law is possible and no imputation in accordance with it.

Just for this reason, all necessity of events in time in accordance with the natural law of causality can be called the mechanism of nature, although it is not meant in this that the things which are subject to it must be really material machines. Here one looks only to the necessity of the connection of events in a time series as it develops in accordance with natural law, whether the subject in which this development takes place is called automaton materiale, when the machinery is driven by matter, or with Leibniz spirituale, when it is driven by representations; and if the freedom of our will were none other than the latter (say, psychological and comparative but not also transcendental, i.e., absolute), then it would at bottom be nothing better than the freedom of a turnspit, which, when once it is wound up, also accomplishes its movements of itself.

Now, in order, in the case at hand, to remove the apparent contradiction between the mechanism of nature and freedom in one and the same action, one must recall what was said in the Critique of Pure Reason or follows from it: that the natural necessity which cannot coexist with the freedom of the subject attaches merely to the determinations of a thing which stands under conditions of time and so only to the determinations of the acting subject as appearance, and that, accordingly, the determining grounds of every action of the subject so far lie in what belongs to past time and is no longer within his control (in which must be counted his past deeds and the character as a phenomenon thereby determinable for him in his own eyes).

But the very same subject, being on the other side conscious of himself as a thing-in-itself, also views his existence insofar as it does not stand under conditions of time and himself as determinable only through laws that he gives himself by reason; and in this existence of his nothing is, for him, antecedent to the determination of his will, but every action — and in general every determination of his existence changing conformably with inner sense, even the whole sequence of his existence as a sensible being — is to be regarded in the consciousness of his intelligible existence as nothing but the consequence and never as the determining ground of his causality as a noumenon.

So considered, a rational being can now rightly say of every unlawful action he performed that he could have omitted it even though as appearance it is sufficiently determined in the past and, so far, is inevitably necessary; for this action, with all the past which determines it, belongs to a single phenomenon of his character, which he gives to himself and in accordance with which he imputes to himself, as a cause independent of all sensibility, the causality of those appearances.

The judicial sentences of that wonderful capacity in us which we call conscience are in perfect agreement with this. A human being may use what art he will to paint some unlawful conduct he remembers as an unintentional fault — as a mere oversight which one can never avoid altogether, and so as something in which he was carried away by the stream of natural necessity — and to declare himself innocent of it. He nevertheless finds that the advocate who speaks in his favor can by no means reduce to silence the prosecutor within him, if only he is aware that at the time he did this wrong he was in his senses, that is, had the use of his freedom; and while he explains his misconduct by certain bad habits, which by gradual neglect of attention he has allowed to grow in him to such a degree that he can regard his misconduct as their natural consequence, yet this cannot protect him from the reproach and censure he casts upon himself.

This is also the ground of repentance for a deed long past at every recollection of it, a painful feeling aroused by the moral disposition, which is empty in a practical way to the extent that it cannot serve to undo what has been done and would even be absurd. (Priestley, a genuine fatalist proceeding consistently, declares it absurd; and for this candor he deserves more applause than those who, while maintaining the mechanism of the will in deeds but its freedom in words, yet want it to be thought that they include it in their syncretistic system, though without making the possibility of such imputation comprehensible.) But repentance, as pain, is still quite legitimate because reason, when it is a question of the law of our intelligible existence (the moral law), recognizes no distinction of time and asks only whether the event belongs to me as a deed and, if it does, then always connects the same feeling with it morally, whether it was done just now or long ago. For, the sensible ljfe has, with respect to the intelligible consciousness of its existence (consciousness of freedom), the absolute unity of a phenomenon, which, so far as it contains merely appearances of the disposition that the moral law is concerned with (appearances of the character), must be appraised not in accordance with the natural necessity that belongs to it as appearance but in accordance with the absolute spontaneity of freedom.

One can therefore grant that if it were possible for us to have such deep insight into a human being’s cast of mind, as shown by inner as well as outer actions, that we would know every incentive to action, even the smallest, as well as all the external occasions affecting them, we could calculate a human being’s conduct for the future with as much certainty as a lunar or solar eclipse and could nevertheless maintain that the human being’s conduct is free. If, that is to say, we were capable of another view, namely an intellectual intuition of the same subject (which is certainly not given to us and in place of which we have only the rational concept), then we would become aware that this whole chain of appearances, with respect to all that the moral law is concerned with, depends upon the spontaneity of the subject as a thing-in-itself, for the determination of which no physical explanation can be given.

In default of this intuition, the moral law assures us of this difference between the relation of our actions as appearances to the sensible being of our subject and relation by which this sensible being is itself referred to the intelligible substratum in us. From this perspective, which is natural to our reason though inexplicable, appraisals can be justified which, though made in all conscientiousness, yet seem at first glance quite contrary to all equity. There are cases in which human beings, even with the same education that was profitable to others, yet show from childhood such early wickedness and progress in it so continuously into their adulthood that they are taken to be born villains and quite incapable of improvement as far as their cast of mind is concerned; and nevertheless they are so judged for what they do or leave undone that they are censured as guilty of their crimes; indeed, they themselves (the children) find these censures as well founded as if, despite the hopeless natural constitution of minds ascribed to the, they remained as accountable as any other human being.

This could not happen if we did not suppose that whatever arises from one’s choice (as every action intentionally performed undoubtedly does) has as its basis a free causality which from early youth expresses its character in its appearances (actions); these actions, on account of the uniformity of conduct, make knowable a natural connection that does not, however, make the vicious constitution of the will necessary but is instead the consequence of the evil and unchangeable principles freely adopted, which make it only more culpable and deserving of punishment.“


Hume said that there is no knowledge or epistemology of causality by reason / rationality but only by experience. So according to Hume cause and effects can not be discovered by mere reason / rationality but merely by experience. He said that there is no knowledge or epistemology by reason / rationality / a priori.


Hume was a diplomat, and, although he was also a philosopher of the Occidental Enlightenment, he was not a good logician, not a good rationalist, and thus not a good proponent of the Enlightenment. According tu Hume thinking is not more than a function, for example in order to link / join / connect, to shift / convert / permute, to widen / extend / expand, or to cut / shrink / reduce what the senses and experience liver. So according to Hume thinking (logic, rationality, ..., thus just the characteristics of the Occidental Enlightenment) is less important than senses and experience; according to Hume thinking is merely a slave of senses and experience.


If there is no Western philosopher greater than Kant, then there is no philosopher greater than Kant.


Perhaps Leibniz war greater than Kant ... (!) ... (?) ...(!). But Leibniz was a Western philosopher - like Kant.


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was an universal genius; he was a philosopher, the originator of the monadology and of the pre-established harmony, he was a scientist, especially a mathematician, the originator of the infinitesimal calculus (1665, published 1684), a physicist, and a historician, he was a technician, he was the builder of the first mechanical calculator, a machine of multiplication, he was a diplomat and a political consultant.

Okay, Leibniz lived from 1646 to 1716 and Kant from 1724 to 1804 - so according to that birth-and-death dates they are not as much comparable as they are according to other facts, So Leibniz was much more a scientist (mathematician, physicist, historcian) and technician than Kant, because Leibniz was an universal genius and one of the greatest scientists and technicians ever, whereas Kant was merely an average scientist and even no technician - and that does not necessarily or even automatically mean that Kant was a greater philosopher than Leibniz.

But perhaps you are right by saying that Kant was the greatest Western philosopher.

And what about Hegel?


By the way:

Heinrich Heine compared Kant with the French revolution, Fichte with the Napoleonic empire, Schelling with the Restauration, but in Hegel he saw the philosophical king, the finisher of all philosophical revolutions, of all philosophy. - Compare: Heinrich Heine, Zur Geschichte der Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland (Religion and Philosophy in Germany), 1834, S. 33-34.

Right or wrong - it is an interesting comparison.


The time of GREAT philosophy ended at about 1800 when the NIHILISTIC philosophy started. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi used the word „Nihilismus“ („nihilism“) already 1799 in his „Sendschreiben an Fichte“. So since about 1800 or e.g. with Schopenhauer's „Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung“ (1818) there have been being either nihilistic or just eclecticistic philosophers. We really have to separate the period of pre-nihilistic philosophy from the period of nihilistic philosophy in that case.

It may be up to each person to value that. The historians of philosophy, provided that they are not corrupt, speak more about facts than values.


Nietzsche turned Schopenhauer's pessimism into optimism but remained a Schopenhauerian.


The more change the more cycle.
The more development the more repetition.
The more evolution the more mimicry.
The more history the more eclectics and eclecticists.

It is not Kant's fault that he lived later than the first philosophers of human history.

Kant was a typical Occidental philosopher; he was an enlightener and at last an overcomer of enlightenment, the first modern, especially modern-idealistic philosopher of the Occidental culture.

Some thoughts of Kant can be found in Ancient thoughts too, but that is not preventable, if they are not too many and not core-thoughts. Kant thoughts and ideas were Occidental thoughts and ideas, regardless of whether he had some Ancient non-core-thoughts too.

History shows the greatness of philosophers.

The current world institutions like UNO, WTO, World Bank, and many other global institutions have their origin in Kant's philosophy. Compare for example Kant's „Ewigen Frieden“ (1795) - „Perpetual Peace“ (1795). How to value it is one point, but the historical fact of the influence is another point. Another example: Platon was probably the greatest Ancient philosopher, but would you live according to his philosophy, especially his ideas, today, just because he was probably the greatest Ancient philosopher? To value philosophies are meaningful in another sense but not in the sense of greatness.


I say that Kant belongs to the pre-nihilistic period and in his latest stage also to the nihilistic period whereas Nietzsche belongs merely to the nihilistic period.


Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche:
1) What did he say about the philosophy of technique / technology / engineering?
- Nothing at all.
2) What did he say about the philosophy of physics / kosmology / astronomy?
- Nearly nothing.
3) What did he say about the philosophy of economy / economics?
- Nearly nothing.
4) What did he say about the philosophy of sociology?
- Not much (his statements about the fact that he was really terrified of socialism have not much to do with sociology).
5) What did he say about the philosophy of law / right?
- Not much (his statements about ethics and moral have not much to do with law / right - but much with his concept "will to power").
6) What did he say about epistemology?
- Not much.
....

„Wenn »es« den Menschen »gibt«, dann nur, weil eine Technik ihn aus der Vormenschheit hervorgebracht hat. Sie ist das eigentlich Menschen-Gebende .... Technik, hat Heidegger doziert, ist eine Weise der Entbergung. Sie holt Ergebnisse ans Licht, die von ihnen selbst her so nicht und nicht zu dieser Zeit an den Tag gekommen wären.“ - Peter Sloterdijk, Nicht gerettet - Versuche nach Heidegger, 2001, S. 224, 228.
Translation:
„If there »is« the human being, then only because the technique / technology has brought him out of the pre-humankind. That is actually the human-giver. .... Technique / technology, Heidegger has teached, is a way of unconcealing. It brings results to light that would not have come to light by themselves and not at that time.“


Here are some examples of modern Occidental imperatives like Kant's Categorical Imperative and other's imperatives:
(1) „Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.“
(2) „Be revolutionary.“
(3) „Trust in the absolute spirit and the dialectic processes.“
(4) „Relinquish.“
(5) „Be yourself.“
(6) „Persevere.“
(7) „Be autarkic as much as you can.“
(8) „Take care of you, your relatives and dependants, your surrounding and ecolgical environment.“
(9) „Participate in the discourse.“
(10) „Take care of your foam, because you live in it.“
....

That all leads always to the same imperative, namely Kant's Categorical Imperative.

The first formulation: „Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.“
The second formulation: „Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.“
The thrid formulation: „Therefore, every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends.“

The first formulation of the Categorical Imperative appears similar to the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code or morality.

The Golden Rule (in its positive form) says: „Treat others how you wish to be treated.“ One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (directive form).
The Golden Rule (in its negative form) says: „Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.“ One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (cautionary form, also known as the Silver Rule).


Augustinus is right: Prosperity inevitably leads to depravity.


Nietzsche was a nihilist respectively - because he was at least „a little bit“ a philosopher - a nihilstic philosopher.

If Nietzsche had been an ILP member, in which subforum would he have posted the most?

Fact is that Kant had an entire philosophical system and that Hegel was the last philosopher who had an entire philosophical system. Since then there has never been a an entiere philosophical system and all entire philosophical systems have systematically or not systematically been deconstructed or destroyed - by nihilists respectively nihilistic philosophers.

Philosophy was „born“ in the Ancient Greece and means „love to wisdom“ („to“ - not „of“). So we have to interpret and measure philosophy and philosophers mainly according to the Ancient Greek interpretation. So Nietzsche's question „Were there already such philosophers?“ (in: Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 211, my translation) is more rhetoric than a serious question, because Nietzsche wanted the philosophers to be „commanders and lawgivers“ (ibid) and the philosophy to be a „hammer“ (ibid.). According to the the Ancient Greek definition of „philosophy“ and „philosophers“ philosophers are primarily not „commanders and lawgivers“; and when philosophy comes in like a „hammer“, then it is not a real philosophy but a nihilistic philosophy .

If Nietzsche is a member of the „third league of philosophy“, then Kant is the „champion“ of the „first league of philosophy“.


Criticism, scepticism, and (as the extreme form) nihilism are historically justified as well but lack of solutions - that's tautological, because they are what they are: criticism, scepticism, nihilism. The solutions come from history itself. The „next Kant“ will come in about 2000 years or will not come (because humans will be too stupid or not live anymore).


In a world of a society that lives in a „foam“ (Peter Sloterdijk), everything has merely „little stability or even meaning“.


Will there ever be any tiny institution with an origin in Nietzsche's philosophy?


Hegel was the last philosopher with a philosophical system. It is always easy to follow criticism, especially social criticism, but criticism is no philosophical system, often even not or merely a little bit philosophy.


In modern times critique is very fashionable and popular, but it makes a philosopher not necessarily, not automatically better or even greater. In the first place critique is only critique; in the second place it may lead to a philosophical system, and it did in Kant's case, but it did not in all cases after Hegel, thus it also did not in the cases Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

Persoanlly I can say (for example): „I am not a Kantian, I am not a Hegelian, I am not a Schopenhauerian / Nietzschean / Sloterdijkian“ or the reverse; but as an Occidental human I have to say: „I am a Kantian, and I am a Hegelian“, because Kant and Hegel have influenced the Occidental culture vehemently but Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Sloterdijk merely a little bit.

When the German chancellor Helmut Schmidt met the Chinese communistic leader Mao Tsetung (Zedong) in the middle 1970's, Mao Tsetung said to him: „You are a Kantian“; and Helmut Schmidt responded: „Yes, and you are a Konfuzian (Confucian)“. Kant is typical Occidental, Konfuzius (Confucius) is typical Chinese - each of both influenced his culture more than anyone else of his culture. And by the way: Mao Tsetung, although he was a communist (thus an ideologist of an Occidental ideology), did not contradict Helmut Schmidt.


Kant's Categorical Imperative is expandable.


Kant was the first philosopher who showed that also the philosophy can come to an end. After having its climax the philosophy became more and more redundant and at last something like a „pensioner“. It was not a coincidence that Kant was a contemporary of Mozart, Hegel a contemporary of Beethoven, and Nietzsche a contemporary of Brahms - and by the way: Sloterdijk is a contemporary of Zappa ....


No one of the skepticists has ever achieved and will never achieve such a huge influence that Kant has achieved. And that belongs to the answer of the question in the topic of this thread. I remind you again: please refer to the topic. This little philosophers you mean are dwarfs in comparison to Kant.


In the 1790's Johann Gottlieb Fichte was accused of atheism. And because of this Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi used also the word „Nihilismus“ („nihilism“) in his „Sendschreiben an Fichte“ (1799). I know for a fact that at least since then the God-is-dead-philosophem has been knowing and keeping in mind. Later, Nietzsche just repeated it, but he did it with much language violence, because he was powerfully eloquent.


Please show me one moral, if it both works and is not derivable from Kant's Categorical Imperative


Nietzscheans use and Nietzscheanists misuse Nietzsche in the same way as (for example) Marxians use and Marxists misuse Marx. There is no difference at all when it comes to use or misuse idols, false gods. And because of this religious behavior, their religious delirium, they „make mountains out of molehills“.


Leibniz' philosophy contains all things philosophy needs, thus also mathematics. After Leibniz mathematics vanished from philosophy. Kant's philosophy contains all things philosophy needs except mathematics, thus Kant's philosophy contains also physics / cosmology / astronomy. After the middle (not the late) Kant physics / cosmology / astronomy vanished from philosophy. So the base of metaphysics vanished - which necessarily means: nihilism. A philosophy without any metaphysics is not a complete philosophy anymnore. Since then the nihilistic philosophy has been triumphing over the non-nihilistic philosophy as the very much more real philosophy, the destruction has been triumphing over the construction, the chaos has been triumphing over the order, the emotion has been triumphing over the logic, ..., and so on.

Nihilistic philosophy has merely a litte bit to do with philosophy. The greater or better philosopher can never be a nihilistic philosopher. A partly destroyed house can never be the greater or better house.


Nietzsche was not the only, not the best, and even not the frist one who negated the negation by affirmation


Trying to compare a nihilistic philosopher with a non-nhilistic philosopher is difficult but not impossible.

There is realitiy, and so there is objectivity. There should be science, thus there should be history too. Thers is still science, thus there is still history too. We have logic, empirical evidence, and history in order to know that a nihilistic philosopher can never be the greater or better philosopher. Nihilistic philosophy has merely a litte bit to do with philosophy.

Nihilistic philosophers may be more sympathic - and in nihlistic times they mostly are, at least for other nihilists -, but they can never be the greater or better philosophers.

It is the definition itself that makes it impossible to really have a little philosophy as the greatest or better philosophy


The dialectic process as Hegel's method is pretty fundamental. One can not deny it. It is true. it is true in the sense that Hegel meant.


Kant argued that a too speculative metaphysics which his philosophical predecessors excessively used is not able to realise without any perception. Many of his philosophical predecessors had tried to realise God by pure reason. Kant has changed the (concept of) metaphysics, because according to him metaphysics should not longer be the „science of the absolute“ what it had been to all his philosophical predecessors, the dogmatic philosophers. According to Kant metaphysics is the science of the knowledge borders. Kant re-created i.e. the epistemology, but he did not say that metaphysics in general is an impossibility. The epistemology is the „border police“against all pretension, hubris, border crossing beyond that what is experiencable, Kant said for example.


Schopenhauer used Kant's „Ding an sich“ for his „will“-concept.


The internet is a digital modernity within the modernity. If you know who did benefit, who benefits, and who will benefit from modernity, then you also know who did benefit, who benefits, and who will benefit from the internet as the digital modernity.


„Wo immer das Interesse an Enterbung und Neubeginn aufflammt, stehen wir auf dem Boden der authentischen Moderne.“ - Peter Sloterdijk, Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit, 2014.
Translation:
„Wherever the interest in disinheritance and a new start flares, we stand on the floor of the authentic modernity.“


The so-called „free will“:

The so-called „free will“ is merely a relatively free will. The whole history of philosophy is full of that topic. According to it there have always been philosophers of determinism, philosophers of indeterminism, philosophers of a mixture of both determinism and indeterminism, and all of them have always taken turns.

One can also do what Kant did: divide the world into two parts, one for the senses and one for intelligibility. According to the first part humans have an unfree will, thus no free will, because they are slaves of the causality; but according to the second part humans have a free will.

Kant also (**) said that nothing is free from causality, thus also human beings are not free from causality; but he said humans have an intelligible freedom, thus they have a free will according to their intelligibility. In other words: Kant was both a determinist and an indeterminist, because he said humans have an unfree will because of the causality, but they have a free will because of their intelligibility. Therefore he demanded: „You shall because you can!“ (loosely translated).

Beings like the human beings tend to power, thus they want to dominate the nature with its causality as well. The accent here is on the word „tend“, because they never can be free from causality. But according to their thoughts (=> intelligibility) they are capable of doing anything what they will, although they are not capable of doing anything what they will when it comes to causality.

Therefore the conclusion must be that humans have a relatively free will.

The facts speak in the sense of Kant, at least more than in the sense of the representatives of the total nihilism.

It is a fact that all human beings are not free from causality, and it is also a fact that humans are spiritually or intellctually free from everything they can think and imagine, because thoughts and imaginations are also facts. We have two parts of the world, at least for humans, and the first part is one of the unfree will because of the causality, whereas the second part is one of the free will because of the intelligibility. Because of the fact that the first part dominates it is impossible that humans have a free will; because of the fact that humans can partly control causality it is possible that humans have at least a relatively free will (you may also call it relatively unfree will). So the position of determinism that includes an indeterminism is correct. This means: The human will is determined, and this can never be changed, and indetermined, and this can be changed.

Relatively free will means both detmerminism and indeterminism. So the human life is not as much determined as you think. It is determined by causality - of course (!) - but not by spirituality (thinking etc.). The indetermination is an island in the infinte ocean of the determination.

It is not true that the will can no longer be a representation, and the lobby of the deconstructivists is not capable of changing this fact. The deconstructivism is just another expression of the nihilism.

There is fate (destiny), of course, but there is chance (opportunity) too. There is determination, of course, but there is indetermination too.


Schopenhauer's Wille (will) is Kant's Ding an sich (thing in itself / thing as such).

The German existentialism as Heidegger's Existenzphilosophie (existential philosophy) was the basis for the French; when Sartre started his philosophical career he was a Heideggerian, thus a scholar of the German existentialism as Heidegger's Existenzphilosophie (existential philosophy); and when the WW2 was over (!) Sartre became more and more communistic, because it was opportune (!) at that time. Sartre failed at last.


By „dasein“ I roughly mean what Heidegger's existence philosophy means by it.


The Nietzschean(ist)s do not know what Nietzsche meant - as usual.

But perhaps the German philologist Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche did also not know what he meant.


The German philosopher, logician, mathematician Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) is the father of analytic philosophy, thus the philosophical father of Bertrand Russel (1872-1970) and all other analytic philosophers.

**

The German philosopher, logician, mathematician Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (1848-1925), the father of analytic philosophy thus the philosophical father of Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) and all other analytic philosophers.


Kant's theory about the emergence and development of planets has been true since 1755 when he invented this theory by thinking about it - without science, because the scientists knew nothing about it at that time. Compare: Immanuel Kant, Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels, 1755.


Immanuel Kant was sure that (1) the sun emerged from a cosmic cloud, that (2) a dust disk with floating particles was formed by the centrifugal force of the still rapidly rotating sun, and that (3) the planets were „glued“ in this dust disk with floating particles. According to Kant suns and solar systems originate in a rotating cloud of gas that has thus become dense so that it collapses, and planets originate as „collections of sun durst parts“.


Kant said, for example, one should overcome dogmatism by using the own intellect.


Again: Frege is the father of analytic philosophy, thus the philosophical father of Russell and all other analytic philosophers.


The German Einstein had even two scientifical fathers who were also German: Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) as the precursor of Einstein's relativity theory and David Hilbert (1862-1943) who submitted the theory of the general realativiy five days before Einstein did it.


The German philosopher, mathematician, inventor, engineer, technologist, historian, diplomat, and policy adviser Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1713) was probably the greatest universal genius of all times - besides Leonardo da Vinci. Leibniz invented the infinitesimal calculus in 1665 (published 1684 - 3 years before Newton published it, 1687); Leibniz also invented and engineered the first calculating machine in the world (the earliest form of a computer), in 1673 - 268 years before the German inventor and engineer Konrad Zuse invented and engineered the first real computer in the world. Leibniz invented and originated more tham the said things, and he also founded the academy of sciences in Berlin and became the first president of it.


Do not forget what Hegel said about the recognition.


Leibniz said: „Die beste aller möglichen Welten“. Translation: „The best of all possible worlds“.
Schopenhauer said: „Die schlechteste aller möglichen Welten“. Translation: „The worst of all possible worlds“.


Humans have a relatively free will. They do not as much depend on nature (=> Darwin) as other living beings do; they do not as much depend on economy as a living basis (=> Marx) as other living beings do; they do not as much depend on fate /destiny (=> Nietzsche) as other living beings do; they do not as much depend on „the unconscious“ (=> Freud) as other living beings do. Humans are relatively free because of their high developed brains, because high developed brains mean a relatively high intelligence, thus also relatively high culture/s, and that means a relative indepencence of nature.


Kant's transcendental idealism / transcendental philosophy is to be understood as a methodological reflection on the cognitive capacity of rational beings and as a response to the dispute between empiricism and rationalism.

Empiricists are of the opinion that only the sensual perception delivers knowledge, cognition; without this the mind is a blank sheet of paper, a tabula rasa. The rationalists - initially Kant himself was also a rationalist - assume that only the mind is capable of delivering deception-free knowledge, cognition. In his „Kritik der reinen Vernunft“ („Critique of Pure Reason“) Kant objected both empirists and rationalists, although his solution was: „both ... and ...“, because knowledge (cognition) needs both the empirical way and the rational way.

„Gedanken ohne Inhalt sind leer, Anschauungen ohne Begriffe sind blind.“ (Immanuel Kant).

It is crucial for the Kantian epistemology that one does not directly perceive the reality of objects but forms the appearances of objects in the consciousness. Real is the appearance (phenomenon), while the world and their individual objects remain unknowable as a „Ding an sich“ („thing as such“ or „thing in itself“, „noumenon“). The „Ding an sich“ is unknowable.

According to Kant „transcendental“ refers to the knowledge (cognition) of the conditions of the knowledge (cognition) itself, which is prior to all experience.

So there is both a „both ... and ...“ and a „versus“.

If it comes to the human possibility of knowledge (cognition), then knowledge (cognition) needs both the rational way and the empirical way; but if it comes to the „Ding an sich“, then knowledge (cognition) is not possible.


Kant was an enlightener before he overcame the enlightenment; so he was a rationalists before he curbed the superior power of the rationalism and became an idealist. But then the idealist Hegel came and campaigned again for the rationalism.


Translation of:
„Immanuel Kant
An Answer to the Question: »What is Enlightenment?«
Königsberg, Prussia, 30th September, 1784.

„Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large proportion of men, even when nature has long emancipated them from alien guidance (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless gladly remain immature for life. For the same reasons, it is all too easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so convenient to be immature! If I have a book to have understanding in place of me, a spiritual adviser to have a conscience for me, a doctor to judge my diet for me, and so on, I need not make any efforts at all. I need not think, so long as I can pay; others will soon enough take the tiresome job over for me. The guardians who have kindly taken upon themselves the work of supervision will soon see to it that by far the largest part of mankind (including the entire fair sex) should consider the step forward to maturity not only as difficult but also as highly dangerous. Having first infatuated their domesticated animals, and carefully prevented the docile creatures from daring to take a single step without the leading-strings to which they are tied, they next show them the danger which threatens them if they try to walk unaided. Now this danger is not in fact so very great, for they would certainly learn to walk eventually after a few falls. But an example of this kind is intimidating, and usually frightens them off from further attempts.

Thus it is difficult for each separate individual to work his way out of the immaturity which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown fond of it and is really incapable for the time being of using his own understanding, because he was never allowed to make the attempt. Dogmas and formulas, those mechanical instruments for rational use (or rather misuse) of his natural endowments, are the ball and chain of his permanent immaturity. And if anyone did throw them off, he would still be uncertain about jumping over even the narrowest of trenches, for he would be unaccustomed to free movement of this kind. Thus only a few, by cultivating their own minds, have succeeded in freeing themselves from immaturity and in continuing boldly on their way.“
Source: **


„Imagine Sloterdijk's trilogy being called Being and Space.“ (**). It is a continuation of Heidegger's „Sein und Zeit“ („Being and Time“).

Sloterdijk's Sphärologie (logic of spheres) is the method that increases the spaciousness of the world very much, while the usual discourses of the globalization decreases the world disgustfully.


The book with the following title should be translated soon, or you read it in German: Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit (my translation: The awful children of the modern era) - by Peter Sloterdijk, 2014.


„Reprogramming“ always starts with education because the young people are the most influenceable people.


There is a great interest in the prevention of learning from history.


Another „sucker“ (**) or the end-consumer or the last man.

„»Wir haben das Glück erfunden« – sagen die letzten Menschen und blinzeln.“ Translation: „»We have discovered happiness«- say the last men and blink.“ (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche).


„Where Fichte had lectured: »Act like nobody!«, Stirner replicated: »Do what you can do alone on the world: Enjoy yourself!«“ - My translation of: Peter Sloterdijk, Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit, 2014, S. 461. **

„»The rhizome is an anti-genealogy. The rhizome passes through conversion, expansion, conquest, catch and stitch .... The rhizome is about ... ›becoming of all kinds‹.« (Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Rhizome, p. 35.) The invisible underground mesh (network) against the visibly sprouting, striving upward tree ....“ - My translation of: Peter Sloterdijk, Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit, 2014, S. 472. **

Against any past and future - the anti-genealogy - that is one of the main aspects of the modernity, when fashion replaces customs (morals).


For the modern human there is only consumption, no past, no future, no children, no parents, thus no familiy, no genealogy but only consumption, enjoy-yourself-ism. So there is also no sacred thing for the modern human, because for the modern human there is only consumption, no custom (moral) but fashion that has replaced all customs (morals), no sacred things, unless they are consumable. The modern religion (ideology, consumistic manifesto) is consumption, enjoy-yourself-here-and-now-ism, anti-genealogy, the devil-may-care-attitude.


The main mistake of the modernity is to put the „social question“ in the foreground and to forget to ask the genealogical question.


The idea behind the rhizome was, as I already said, to have a symbol for the anti-genealogy. No ancestors, no origin, no parents, no past, no descendants, no children, no future, no hierarchy - but a mesh (network) of consumers (also drug consumers, of course, because Deleuze and Guattari themselves were professing drug consumers). Deleuze and Guattari had the obsession that the original sin was ancestry, descent, origin, just genealogy. So they said consequently their rhizome was an anti-genealogy.

Deleuze and Guattari took that up from Friedrich Nietszche's books, for example Morgenröte (1881), Zur Genealogie der Moral (1887), but they probably took that also up from Max Stirner's book Der Einzelne und sein Eigentum (1844), because (to me) Deleuze's and Guattari's anti-genealogical philosophy is more like Stirner's than Nietzsche's philosophy. By the way: Max Stirner (actually: Johann Kaspar Schmidt) published his book Der Einzelne und sein Eigentum when Nietzsche was born (1844).


The invisible underground mesh (network) against the visibly sprouting, striving upward tree. The roots of trees are not networked like rootstocks (rhizomes) of mushrooms, and mushrooms do not have such a long stems like trees have, and do not have branches, twigs, leaves like trees have.


Schopenhauer was the first European Buddhist, an Eurobuddhist, so to say, a syncretistic Buddhist.


Buddhism is not only a religion but also a Weltanschauung, a philosophy, an ethical system. And ethically it has much in common with Christianity as in stark contrast to Judaism and Islam.


Kant was right in almost all aspects (except some ethical aspects): his cosmological hypotheis, his theory about the emergence of the solar system, his theory about life, his theory about human beings, his anthropology and other philosophical or scientifical theories are true.


From an ancient point of view, some parts or at least the consequences of the Platonism were also nihilistic. So if non-ancient nihilists are against Platonism, then they are nihilists who are against a part of the ancient nihilism. This seems to be a contradiction, but this contradiction can be solved, at least partly, because the ancient nihilism is different from the non-ancient nihilism.

Socratism and Platonism changed the Ancient-Greek philosophy and this change was criticised by the ancient cynics (Antisthenes, Diogenes and others), but later this became normal, so Socratism and especially Platonism and followers became cynical as well and they mixed with „movements“ like the Stoics and the Christians. I know ,this statement is especially a Nietzschean statement, but nevertheless: it is true. Nietzsche called himself a „Cyniker“ instead of „Zyniker“ (this is the correct spelling form in German) just to show that he did not want to be a modern cynic („Zyniker“) but an ancient cynik („Cyniker“). By the way: To make it more Ancient-Greek-alike he should have called himself a „Kyniker“, I think. So a „Cyniker“ or „Kyniker“ is cynical towards the „Zyniker“ - because the ancient cynics have become normal, thus more and more the modern cynics which can only be cynically criticised by cynics who are more again like the ancient cynics (therefore: Cyniker/Kyniker versus Zyniker). Now I am saying that there are two different forms of nihilism as well, because cynism and nihilism belong together, although they are not the same (cynism is a subset of nihilism, so to say), and there are more than two forms of nihilism. So here we have two different forms of nihilism: one of the Ancient-Greek culture and one of the Occidental culture. They are different. Our modern nihilism we are confrontated with is (1) a more regulated one than the ancient one was and (2) much more active than the ancient one was. But I don't exactly know whether they can be used against each other. Probably this phenomenon is comparable with the speed of light, because it has always the same amount, whereas other velocities can have different amounts.

„»I don't see any reason to care.« What else is nihilism.“ (**) That is more the Ancient-Greek variant of nihilism, whereas our Modern-Occidental variant of nihilism is more regulated and more active than the Ancient-Greek variant of nihilism was. The Modern-Occidental nihilist says: „You are allowed to do x“, although he/she knows that it is unethical, immoral. This is the cynically regulated side of the Modern-Occidental nihilism, the cynically unregulated side of the Modern-Occidental nihilism is the destruction of all values with the support of the cynically regulated side.


Cheegster has an interesting philosophy youtube channel called „Philosophy On Ice“. There I found a video with the title „You Are Dying“.

„We don’t know much about our own death. This means that it is an incredibly fearful thing to most humans, and we mostly spend our time trying to avoid it. The fact that we know of this impending doom however, means that we can in turn really enjoy life. In this video, I discuss why knowledge of our own death is actually a good thing for us. Let me know your view with a comment!“ - Martin Heidegger's Being & Time.“ **


I also recommend Spengler’s: „Preußentum und Sozialismus“ (translation: „Prussiandom and Socialism“), 1919. This book can be read as a the direct continuation of his most popular book.

The book can be interpreted as a continuation of his most popular book, as I already said before, and about the comparision resp. the juxtaposition of Prussiandom and socialism. According to Spengler Prussiandom is just the opposite of socialism in a Marxistic sense. Spengler debunks Marx and says for example, that the Marxism betrays itself by any sentence that it stems from a theological and not political mindset, and that Marxism has internalized the „Manchestertum“ („Manchesterdom“) in spite of denying it. In another chapter of the book Spengler compares Prussians and Englishmen as well as Prussians and Spaniards by interpreting their history, comnig to the conclusion that they are the most „socialistic“ (not meant in a Marxistic but in a Spenglerian or Goethean sense, namely in a „morphological“ sense, as a way of life) peoples of the Occident, whereas Frenchmen and Italians are their antipodes. In order to understand Spengler rightly, one has to know that his method is a Goethean one, mostly based on contrastive pairs.

The chapters:

1) „Einleitung“ („Introduction“).
2) „Die Revolution“ („The Revolution“).
3) „Sozialismus als Lebensform“ („Socialism as Way of Life“).
4) „Engländer und Preußen“ („Prussians and Englishmen“).
5) „Marx“ („Marx“).
6) „Die Internationale“ („The International“).

There is, for example, an internet version of the book as it has been translated by Donald O. White (**). Note: The appropriate translation of „Preußentum“ or „Preussentum“ is not „Prussianism“ (as it is translated by Donald O. White) but „Prussiandom“, because it was never meant as an „ism“. That also is important for the right understanding.


Max Weher's „Leistungsethik“ must be translated by „performance ethic“ or „achievement ethic“, because he did not mean „Arbeitsethik“ which is correctly translated by „work ethic“.


I know much about the biography and the works of the physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and that he and, for example, Otto Hahn and Werner Heisenberg were members of the „Uranprojekt“ („Uran Project“) before and during the Second World War.


If I had to choose only one attribute for describing the Occidental culture, then I would always choose „faustic“ (just like Spengler did with reference to Goethe’s „Faust“).


I like philosophical issues dealing with „prenatal“ and „perinatal“ metaphors. Humans have to come into the world somehow, even if their real birth is past.


There is causality and there is the will and the spirit with its thinking. So it is not possible that determinists are completely wrong because of the causality, and it is not possible that indeterminists are completely wrong because of the will and the spirit with its thinking. Therefore Kant distinguished the empiric character (cp.: causality, determinism) from the intelligible character (cp. will, indeterminism). .

Compatibilism means that indeterminism and determinism are compatible, and that it is possible to believe or think both without being logically inconsistent.

Arthur Schopenhauer: „Der Mensch kann tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will.“ Translation: „Man can do what he wills (wants to), but cannot will (want) what he wills (wants to).“


„Philosophy is Friendship“ is similar to Heidegger's „Denken ist Danken“ („thinking is thanking“).


Life philosophy is a philosophy not only of or about but also within life, thus also a practical or empirical philosophy (more or less also including existential philosophy and cultural philosophy, for example), which is not like but merely close to empirical science.

To me, the best example for a literary form of a philosophy of life, existence, and culture is Goethe's „Faust“ and Faust the best literary character of a life philosophy. Goethe was not mainly a philosopher, but all what he did can also be used as a philosophy, especially his knowledge about morphology (cp. for example his „Die Metamorphose der Pflanzen“), his novels, for example „Die Leiden des jungen Werthers“ or „Wilhelm Meister ...“, his tragedy „Faust I and II“ (as I alraedy mentioned) or his books „Aus meinem Leben - Dichtung und Wahrheit“, „Maximen und Reflexionen“ and others.

And (by the way): Goethe lived in a time of two philosophically and scientifically important Occidental eras: (1) Enlightenment, (2) Idealism/Romantic.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe


Eine Würdigung Nietzsches wird immer stark davon abhängen, wie man den » Willen zur Macht« auffaßt. Ermunterung zu imperialem Zynismus? Kathartisches Geständnis ? Ästhetisches Motto ? Selbstkorrektur eines Gehemmten ? Vitalistischer Slogan? Metaphysik des Narzißmus? Enthemmungspropaganda? - Peter Sloterdijk, Kritik der zynischen Vernunft, 1983, S. 389. **
Translation:
„An appreciation of Nietzsche will always strongly depend on how one understands the »will to the power«. Encouragement to imperial cynicism? Cathartic confession? Aesthetic motto? Self-correction of an inhibited? Vitalistic slogan? Metaphysics of the narcissism? Propaganda of disinhibition?“


There are three most important branches of philosophy: aesthetics, ethics, logic. As Goethe said: „dem Schönen, Guten, Wahren“ („to the beauty, good, true“). This was meant as unit, thus as the classical philosophy. So I think that there are some aspects or things that can also objectively be considered as beauty: symmetry, shapeliness (well-proportioned aspects or things), certain geometrical figures, beings consisting of structures that are based on certain mathematical numbers (e.g.: the Fibonacci sequence or the golden cut).

Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, ...):

  
 Wachstum der Sonnenblumenkerne

Golden cut (1,6180339887...):

Interestingly, the Fibonacci numbers show some noteworthly mathematical specific features:

Due to the relations to the previous and the following number growth in nature seems to follow an addition law. The Fibonacci numbers are directly associated with the golden cut. The further one progresses subsequently, the more the quotient of successive numbers approaches to the golden cut (1,6180339887...) - for example: 13:8=1.625; 21:13=1.6153846; 34:21=1.6190476; 55:34=1.6176471; 89:55=1.6181818; 144:89=1.617978; 233:144=1.6180556; ... and so on). This approach is alternating - the quotients are alternately smaller and bigger than the golden cut (golden number, golden ratio):

Fibonacci-Zahlen und Goldener Schnitt

The Fibonacci numbers are the sums of the „shallow“diagonals (shown in red) of Pascal's triangle:

Fibonacci-Zahlen im Pascalschen Dreieck

„Liber Abaci posed, and solved, a problem involving the growth of a population of rabbits based on idealized assumptions. The solution, generation by generation, was a sequence of numbers later known as Fibonacci numbers. Although Fibonacci's Liber Abaci contains the earliest known description of the sequence outside of India, the sequence had been noted by Indian mathematicians as early as the sixth century.[17][18][19][20]

In the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, each number is the sum of the previous two numbers. Fibonacci began the sequence not with 0, 1, 1, 2, as modern mathematicians do but with 1,1, 2, etc. He carried the calculation up to the thirteenth place (fourteenth in modern counting), that is 233, though another manuscript carries it to the next place: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377. Fibonacci did not speak about the golden ratio as the limit of the ratio of consecutive numbers in this sequence.“ **

Fibonaccis Kaninchen

There is symmetry almost everywhere in that picture (**). The woman is very syymmetrical. Her face would be more beautiful if it was not covered. This covered face is nevertheless beautiful, because everyone knows how the face looks like if it is not covered. But what if she has only one eye?

Symmetry is not the only but one of the most important aspects of beauty. Others are shapeliness (well-proportioned aspects or things), certain geometrical figures, beings consisting of structures that are based on certain mathematical numbers (e.g.: the Fibonacci sequence or the golden cut).

Baroque gardens are full of symmetry, and that is the reason why some people do not like them as much as other gardens. But there are people too who like baroque gardens. And they have good reasons for liking baroque gardens. The aspect that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder is relevant too.


**

Lovely. Cute. Cuteness (schema of childlike characteristics). Evolutionarily necessary. Morally good (but do cats have moral in a human manner?).


Russell and Whitehead built upon Frege, yes. But Einstein did not built upon Newton, although both can cosmologically be regarded as relativists. Einstein was influenced by the physicist Planck and the mathematician Hilbert. (Hilbert submitted the same general relativity theorie [GRT] on the 20th of November 1915, five days before [!] Einstein), but Einstein published it before Hilbert).


According to Schiller there is an ideal human (as something like the last guideline of each human’s will) in each human.

It is possible that Schiller meant both an ideal man and an ideal human (both as something like the last guideline of each human’s will) in each human. Accordance of both reason/morality and freedom is the task/purpose


The Wiener Kreis (Viennese Circle) and the Berliner Kreis (Berlinese Circle, a.k.a. Berliner Gesellschaft für empirische Philosophie founded the Neupositivismus (Neopositivism).

The Berliner Kreis (Berlinese Circle, a.k.a. Berliner Gesellschaft für empirische Philosophie) and the Wiener Kreis (Vienese Circle) and the founded the Neupositivismus (Neopositivism), also known as Logischer Empirismus (Logical Empirism).


Peter Sloterdijk is one of the best or even the best philosopher of the current era.

Sloterdijk's ideas seek to integrate different components that have been erroneously considered detached from each other. Consequently, he proposes the creation of an „ontological constitution“ that would incorporate all beings—humans, animals, plants, and machines.

Sloterdijk regards cultures and civilizations as „anthropogenic hothouses“, installations for the cultivation of human beings; just as we have established wildlife preserves to protect certain animal species, so too ought we to adopt more deliberate policies to ensure the survival of Aristotle's zoon politikon.

The exploration of Sloterdijk’s „Spheres“ begins with the basic difference between mammals and other animals: the biological and utopian comfort of the mother’s womb, which humans try to recreate through science, ideology, and religion. From these microspheres (ontological relations such as fetus-placenta) to macrospheres (macro-uteri such as nations or states), Sloterdijk analyzes spheres where humans try but fail to dwell and traces a connection between vital crisis (e.g., emptiness and narcissistic detachment) and crises created when a sphere shatters.

Sloterdijk has said that the first paragraphs of Spheres are „the book that Heidegger should have written“, a companion volume to „Being and Time“, namely „Being and Space“. He was referring to his initial exploration of the idea of Dasein, which is then taken further.

Globalization.

Sloterdijk also argues that the current concept of globalization lacks historical perspective. In his view it is merely the third wave in a process of overcoming distances (the first wave being the metaphysical globalization of the Greek cosmology and the second the nautical globalization of the 15th century). The difference for Sloterdijk is that, while the second wave created cosmopolitanism, the third is creating a global provincialism. Sloterdijk’s sketch of a philosophical history of globalization can be found in „Im Weltinnenraum des Kapitals“ (2005; translated as „In the World Interior of Capital“), subtitled „Die letzte Kugel“ (“The final sphere“).

Fiscal kleptocracy.

Sloterdijk claimed that the welfare state is a „fiscal kleptocracy“ that had transformed the country into a „swamp of resentment“ and degraded its citizens into „mystified subjects of tax law“.

Sloterdijk opened the text with the famous quote of leftist critics of capitalism (made famous in the 19th century by Proudhon in his „What Is Property?“) „Property is theft“, stating, however, that it is nowadays the modern state that is the biggest taker. „We are living in a fiscal grabbing semi-socialism – and nobody calls for a fiscal civil war.“

He repeated his statements and stirred up the debate in his articles titled „Kleptokratie des Staates“ (transl. „Kleptocracy of the state“) and „Aufbruch der Leistungsträger“ (transl. „Uprising of the performers“) in the German monthly Cicero – Magazin für politische Kultur.

According to Sloterdijk, the institutions of the welfare state lend themselves to a system that privileges the marginalized, but relies, unsustainably, on the class of citizens who are materially successful.

In January 2010, an English translation was published, titled „A Grasping Hand – The modern democratic state pillages its productive citizens“, in Forbes and in the Winter 2010 issue of City Journal.

Sloterdijk's 2010 book, „Die nehmende Hand und die gebende Seite“, contains the texts that triggered the 2009–2010 welfare state dispute.

„Die moderne Welt wird sich als eine Zeit erweisen,
in der die Wünsche durch ihr Wahrwerden das Fürchten lehren.“
- Peter Sloterdijk, „Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit“.


Kant knew much about science.

„Kant is best known for his work in the philosophy of ethics and metaphysics, but he made significant contributions to other disciplines. He made an important astronomical discovery about the nature of Earth's rotation, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in 1754. According to Lord Kelvin in 1897, Kant made contributions useful to mathematicians or physical astronomers. According to Thomas Huxley in 1867 Kant made contributions to geology as well when, in 1775 [1755], he wrote his General Natural History and Theory of the Celestial Bodies; or, an Attempt to Account for the Constitutional and Mechanical Origin of the Universe, upon Newtonian Principles."

In the General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels) (1755), Kant laid out the Nebular hypothesis, in which he deduced that the Solar System formed from a large cloud of gas, a nebula. Thus he tried to explain the order of the solar system, which Isaac Newton had explained as imposed from the beginning by God. Kant also correctly deduced that the Milky Way was a large disk of stars, which he theorized also formed from a (much larger) spinning cloud of gas. He further suggested that other nebulae might also be similarly large and distant disks of stars. These postulations opened new horizons for astronomy: for the first time extending astronomy beyond the solar system to galactic and extragalactic realms.“ **

Kant knew much about the biological sciences too, ecpecially about anthropological sciences. Kant was really ingenious.


Peter Sloterdijk and Norbert Bolz have not seldom written about Gotthard Günther (1900-1984) and even oftener about Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998). As far as I remember this has often had to do with Günther’s concept of „Rejektion“ (also: „Rejektionsfunktion“, „Rejektionswert“) and with Luhmann’s concept of „Kommunikation“ and of „Zwangskonsensualismus“.

Because I am much interested in the history of machines, I thankfully can say that Gotthard Günther also wrote: „Das Bewußtsein der Maschinen“, 1960 („The Consciousness of Machines“, 1960).


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote:

„Am Ende hängen wir doch ab, von Kreaturen, die wir machten.“ **

My translation: „At the end, nevertheless, we depend, on the creatures which we made.“


Immanuel Kant wrote:
„Der Mensch ist ein Tier, was eine Erziehung nötig hat.“ **

My translation: „The human is an animal that needs an education.“


Those „modern“ guys who say „religion is opium for the people“ want to give them their religion, a modern religion (examples: „liberalism“, „egalitarianism“/„communism“, „fascism“, „humanitarianism“/„globalism“), which has always to do with the elimination of the old religion and with antitheism (with slogans like „religion is opium for the people“, „God is an impossibility“ ...). The main problem ist that the new, the „modern“ religion is even worse than the old one.

Do not buy the modern opium!

Tiernan Morgan and Lauren Purje wrote:

„Hegel’s ... teleological understanding of history served as a useful template for Danto’s conclusions. Hegel understood progress as an overarching dialectic — a process of self-realization and understanding that culminates in pure knowledge. This state is ultimately achieved through philosophy, though it is initially preceded by an interrogation into the qualities of religion and art. As Danto summarized in a later essay entitled »The Disenfranchisement of Art« (1984):

When art internalizes its own history, when it becomes self-conscious of its history as it has come to be in our time, so that its consciousness of its history forms part of its nature, it is perhaps unavoidable that it should turn into philosophy at last. And when it does so, well, in an important sense, art comes to an end.

Danto is not the only philosopher to have adopted an Hegelian dialectic. Both Francis Fukuyama and Karl Marx utilized Hegelianism to reach their own historical conclusions. Fukuyama argued that liberal democracy and free market capitalism represented the zenith of Western civilization, whilst Marx argued that communism would replace capitalism (neither of these developments have quite panned out).“ **

Arthur C. Danto wrote:

„HEGEL’S END-OF ART THESIS.

»Art , considered in its highest voc ation, is and remains for us a thing of the past. Thereby it has lost for us genuine truth and life, and has rather been transferred into our ideas instead of maintaining its earlier necessity in reality and occupying its higher place.« - Hegel’s Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Arts. Translated by T. M. Knox. Oxford; The Clarendon Press, 1975. 10. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to Hegel’s writing are to this superb translation. This is the most forceful of Hegel’s many formulations of what we may designate his End-of-Art Thesis, and it appears very near the beginning of the published version of his Lectures on Aesthetics - his Vorlesungen über die Aesthetic - delivered for the fourth and final time in the Winter Semester of 1828, at the University of Berlin.

The thesis is so intricately woven into the texture of Hegel’s text, however, that it must be regarded as a central and indeed as tructural feature of his philosophy of art, rather than a critical obiter dictum regarding the art of his time. And it as much addresses what other philosophers have said about art, as art itself.

Of course art will go on being made. There w ill be art after the end of art.

»Art can be used as a fleeting play, affording recreation and entertainment, decorating our surroundings, giving pleasantness to the externals of our life, and making other objects stand out by artistic adornm ent.« - Ibid., 7.

So understood, art will play any number of roles in what Hegel terms the objective spirit of a society - the system of meanings and practices that constitute the form of life its members live. But Hegel was not speaking of art in terms of objective spirit when he advanced the End-of-Art Thesis.

»The universal need for art ... is man’s rational need to lift the inner and outer world into his spiritual consciousness as an object in which he recognizes again his own self.« - Ibid., 31.

That is art’s »highest vocation«,to which alone the End-of-Art Thesis has application. So the truth of the thesis was consistent with art, and even great art, continuing to be made. In the Epilogue to his lecture, Origins of the Work of Art (1935-’36), Martin Heidegger wrote:

»The judgment that Hegel passes in these statements cannot be evaded by pointing out that since Hegel’s lectures ... we have seen many new art works and art movements arise. Hegel did not mean to deny this possibility. The question, however, remains: is art still an essential and necessary way in which truth that is decisive for our historical existence happens, or is art no longer of this character?« - Martin Heidegger, »The Origin of the Work of Art«. Translation by Albert Hofstadter, Philosophies of Art and Beauty: Selected Readings in Aesthetics from Plato to Heidegger. Edited by Albert Hofstadter and Richard Kuhns. New York; The Modern Library, 1964. 700.

....“ **

The end of art could be a sign, an omen for the end of history in the relatively soon future.

So, we should not claim that nobody is making art any more, but that a certain history of western art has come to an end, in about the way that Hegel suggested it would. The „end of art“ refers to the beginning of our modern era of art in which art no longer adheres to the constraints of imitation theory but serves a new purpose. But what exactly serves this new purpose?


The inevitable way that modernity has been following since the so-called „industrial revolution“ has reached a point where the very much accelerated development gets even more accelerated. Can we slow down the modern velocity? If the answer is „no“, what does this mean for the future? It is likely that this does not mean that the people will sit there and be sad, no, they will likely be happy according to their situation in general and their spiritually limited capabilities in particular.

One of the examples could be a cyborg with many artificially optimized muscles and joints but a consciousness that does not work better and more than the consciousness of a dog.

The above example was already anticipated in the last decades of the 18th and the first decades of the 19th century when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe studied the real Faust, designed his story of Faust and wrote it down. And his Faust of the second part died, because he had reached his goal.

Another example could be the humans of the end of history as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel described it in his main work „Phänomenologie des Geistes“, published in 1807.

A further example could be the „last men“ who became famous in 1883: „»Wir haben das Glück erfunden« – sagen die letzten Menschen und blinzeln.“ - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. („»We have discovered happiness« – say the last men and blink.“)

However, these humans or „post-humans“ will not be unhappy. They will live without history (**) and without work. We - the current humans - think that this will be very sad, and we are absolutely right about that. But they will not think so. And they will not think much but believe much on a very low level. They will be almost absolutely dependent and very naively believe in the opposite.

To me, this development is the most probable one for the future (although presignals have been becoming apparent since the beginning of our modernity). One of the presignals of this situation in the future is the increasing replacement of the human nature by the artificially human technology, thus machines.

The humans will have merely two options or chances in order to stop the continuation of this development or, at least, to slow down the modern velocity. One option or chance is the avoidance of the complete replacement of humans by machines, because this complete replacement will lead to the lost of the human control over the machines, so that the machines will control or even kill the humans. The other option or chance is a huge catastrophe in the very near future that will lead to a new beginning, provided that there will be enough survivors of that catastrophe. The difference between this two scenarios and the most probable scenario is that the humans will not lose their relatively freedom and the extent and independence of their consciousness in the case of the said two scenarios and the exact opposite in the case of the most probably scenario. What will be the worst case scenario then?


Oswald Spengler wrote:

It remains, now, to say a word as to the morphology of a history of philosophy.

There is no such thing as Philosophy »in itself«. Every Culture has its own philosophy, which is a part of its total symbolic expression and forms with its posing of problems and methods of thought an intellectual ornamentation that is closely related to that of architecture and the arts of form. From the high and distant standpoint it matters very little what »truths« thinkers have managed to formulate in words within their respective schools, for, here as in every great art, it is the schools, conventions and repertory of forms that are the basic elements. Infinitely more important than the answers are the questions – the choice of them, the inner form of them. For it is the particular way in which a macrocosm presents itself to the understanding man of a particular Culture that determines a priori the whole necessity of asking them, and the way in which they are asked.

The Classical and the Faustian Culture, and equally the Indian and the Chinese, have each their proper ways of asking, and further, in each case, all the great questions have been posed at the very outset. There is no modern problem that the Gothic did not see and bring into form, no Hellenistic problem that did not of necessity come up for the old Orphic temple-teachings.

It is of no importance whether the subtilizing turn of mind expresses itself here in oral tradition and there in books, whether such books are personal creations of an »I« as they are amongst ourselves or anonymous fluid masses of texts as in India, and whether the result is a set of comprehensible systems or, as in Egypt, glimpses of the last secrets are veiled in expressions of art and ritual. Whatever the variations, the general course of philosophies as organisms is the same. At the beginning of every springtime period, philosophy, intimately related to great architecture and religion, is the intellectual echo of a mighty metaphysical living, and its task is to establish critically the sacred causality in the world-image seen with the eye of faith. The basic distinctions, not only of science but also of philosophy, are dependent on, not divorced from, the elements of the corresponding religion. In this springtime, thinkers are, not merely in spirit but actually in status, priests. Such were the Schoolmen and the Mystics of the Gothic and the Vedic as of the Homeric (1) and the Early-Arabian centuries. With the setting-in of the Late period, and not earlier, philosophy becomes urban and worldly, frees itself from subservience to religion and even dares to make that religion itself the object of epistemological criticism. The great theme of Brahman, Ionic and Baroque philosophies is the problem of knowing. The urban spirit turns to look at itself, in order to establish the proposition that there is no higher judgment-seat of knowing beyond itself, and with that thought draws nearer to higher mathematics and instead of priests we have men of the world, statesmen and merchants and discoverers, tested in high places and by high tasks, whose ideas about thought rest upon deep experience of life. Of such are the series of great thinkers from Thales to Protagoras and from Bacon to Hume, and the series of pre-Confucian and pre-Buddha thinkers of whom we hardly know more than the fact that they existed.

(1) It is possible that the peculiar style of Heraclitus, who came of a priestly family of the temple of Ephesus, is an example of the form in which the old Orphic wisdom was orally transmitted.

At the end of such series stand Kant and Aristotle (2), and after them there set in the Civilization-philosophies. In every Culture, thought mounts to a climax, setting the questions at the outset and answering them with ever-increasing force of intellectual expression – and, as we have said before, ornamental significance – until exhausted; and then it passes into a decline in which the problems of knowing are in every respect stale repetitions of no significance. There is a metaphysical period, originally of a religious and finally of a rationalistic cast – in which thought and life still contain something of chaos, an unexploited fund that enables them effectively to create – and an ethical period in which life itself, now become megalopolitan, appears to call for inquiry and has to turn the still available remainder of philosophical creative-power on to its own conduct and maintenance. In the one period life reveals itself, the other has life as its object. The one is »theoretical« (contemplative) in the grand sense, the other perforce practical. Even the Kantian system is in its deepest characters contemplated in the first instance and only afterwards logically and systematically formulated and ordered.

(2) Here we are considering only the scholastic side. The mystic side, from which Pythagoras and Leibniz were not very far, reached its culminations in Plato and Goethe, and in our own case it has been extended beyond Goethe by the Romantics, Hegel and Nietzsche, whereas Scholasticism exhausted itself with Kant – and Aristotle – and degenerated thereafter into a routine-profession.

We see this evidenced in Kant’s attitude to mathematics. No one is a genuine metaphysician who has not penetrated into the form-world of numbers, who has not lived them into himself as a symbolism. And in fact it was the great thinkers of the Baroque who created the analytical mathematic, and the same is true, mutatis mutandis, of the great pre-Socratics and Plato. Descartes and Leibniz stand beside Newton and Gauß, Pythagoras and Plato by Archytas and Archimedes, at the summits of mathematical development. But already in Kant the philosopher has become, as mathematician, negligible. Kant no more penetrated to the last subtleties of the Calculus as it stood in his own day than he absorbed the axiomatic of Leibniz. The same may be said of Aristotle. And thenceforward there is no philosopher who is counted as a mathematician. Fichte, Hegel and the Romantics were entirely unmathematical, and so were Zeno (3) and Epicurus. Schopenhauer in this field is weak to the point of crudity, and of Nietzsche the less said the better. When the form-world of numbers passed out of its ken, philosophy lost a great convention, and since then it has lacked not only structural strength but also what may be called the grand style of thinking. Schopenhauer himself admitted that he was a hand-to-mouth thinker (Gelegenheitsdenker).

(3) Zeno the Stoic, not to be confused with Zeno of Elea, whose mathematical fineness has already been alluded to.

With the decline of metaphysics, ethics has outgrown its status as a subordinate element in abstract theory. Henceforth it is philosophy, the other divisions being absorbed into it and practical living becoming the centre of consideration. The passion of pure thought sinks down. Metaphysics, mistress yesterday, is handmaid now; all it is required to do is to provide a foundation for practical views. And the foundation becomes more and more superfluous. It becomes the custom to despise and mock at the metaphysical, the unpractical, the philosophy of »stone for bread«. In Schopenhauer it is for the sake of the fourth book that the first three exist at all. Kant merely thought that it was the same with him; in reality, pure and not applied reason is still his centre of creation. There is exactly the same difference in Classical philosophy before and after Aristotle – on the one hand, a grandly conceived Cosmos to which a formal ethic adds almost nothing, and, on the other, ethics as such, as programme, as necessity with a desultory ad hoc metaphysic for basis. And the entire absence of logical scruple with, which Nietzsche, for instance, dashes off such theories makes no difference whatever to our appreciation of his philosophy proper.

It is well known (4) that Schopenhauer did not proceed to Pessimism from his metaphysic but, on the contrary, was led to develop his system by the pessimism that fell upon him in his seventeenth year. Shaw, a most significant witness, observes in his »Quintessence of Ibsenism« that one may quite well accept Schopenhauer’s philosophy and reject his metaphysics – therein quite accurately discriminating between that which makes him the first thinker of the new age and that which is included because an obsolete tradition held it to be indispensable in a complete philosophy. No one would undertake to divide Kant thus, and the attempt would not succeed if it were made. But with Nietzsche one has no difficulty in perceiving that his »philosophy« was through-and-through an inner and very early experience, while he covered his metaphysical requirements rapidly and often imperfectly by the aid of a few books, and never managed to state even his ethical theory with any exactitude. Just the same overlay of living seasonable ethical thought on a stratum of metaphysics required by convention (but in fact superfluous) is to be found in Epicurus and the Stoics. We need have no doubt after this as to what is the essence of a Civilization-philosophy.

(4) Neue Paralipomena, § 656.

Strict metaphysics has exhausted its possibilities. The world-city has definitely overcome the land, and now its spirit fashions a theory proper to itself, directed of necessity outward, soulless. Henceforward, we might with some justice replace the word »soul« by the word »brain«. And, since in the Western »brain« the will to power, the tyrannical set towards the Future and purpose to organize everybody and everything, demands practical expression, ethics, as it loses touch more and more with its metaphysical past, steadily assumes a social-ethical and social-economic character. The philosophy of the present that starts from Hegel and Schopenhauer is, so far as it represents the spirit of the age (which, e.g., Lotze and Herbart do not), a critique of society.

The attention that the Stoic gave to his own body, the Westerner devotes to the body social. It is not chance that Hegelian philosophy has given rise to Socialism (Marx, Engels), to Anarchism (Stirner) and to the problem-posing social drama (Hebbel). Socialism is political economy converted into the ethical and, moreover, the imperative mood. So long as a metaphysic existed (that is, till Kant) political economy remained a science. But as soon as »philosophy« became synonymous with practical ethics, it replaced mathematics as the basis of thought about the world – hence the importance of Cousin, Bentham, Comte, Mill and Spencer.

To choose his material at will is not given to the philosopher, neither is the material of philosophy always and everywhere the same. There are no eternal questions, but only questions arising out of the feelings of a particular being and posed by it. Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis applies also to every genuine philosophy as the intellectual expression of this being, as the actualization of spiritual possibilities in a form-world of concepts, judgments and thought-structures comprised in the living phenomenon of its author. Any and every such philosophy is, from the first word to the last, from its most abstract proposition to its most telltale trait of personality, a thing-become, mirrored over from soul into world, from the realm of freedom into that of necessity, from the immediate-living into the dimensional-logical; and on that very account it is mortal, and its life has prescribed rhythm and duration. The choice of them, therefore, is subject to strict necessity. Each epoch has its own, important for itself and for no other epoch. It is the mark of the born philosopher that he sees his epoch and his theme with a sure eye. Apart from this, there is nothing of any importance in philosophical production – merely technical knowledge and the industry requisite for the building up of systematic and conceptual subtleties.

Consequently, the distinctive philosophy of the 19th Century is only Ethics and social critique in the productive sense – nothing more. And consequently, again, its most important representatives (apart from actual practitioners) are the dramatists. They are the real philosophers of Faustian activism, and compared with them not one of the lecture-room philosophers and systematics counts at all. All that these unimportant pedants have done for us is, so to write and rewrite the history of philosophy (and what history! – collections of dates and »results«) that no one today knows what the history of philosophy is or what it might be.

Thanks to this, the deep organic unity in the thought of this epoch has never yet been perceived. The essence of it, from the philosophical point of view, can be precised by asking the question: In how far is Shaw the pupil and fulfiller of Nietzsche? The question is put in no ironic spirit. Shaw is the one thinker of eminence who has consistently advanced in the same direction as that of the true Nietzsche – namely, productive criticism of the Western morale – while following out as poet the last implications of Ibsen and devoting the balance of the artistic creativeness that is in him to practical discussions.

Save in so far as the belated Romanticist in him has determined the style, sound and attitude of his philosophy, Nietzsche is in every respect a disciple of the materialistic decades. That which drew him with such passion to Schopenhauer was (not that he himself or anyone else was conscious of it) that element of Schopenhauer’s doctrine by which he destroyed the great metaphysic and (without meaning to do so) parodied his master Kant; that is to say, the modification of all deep ideas of the Baroque age into tangible and mechanistic notions. Kant speaks in inadequate words, which hide a mighty and scarcely apprehensible intuition, an intuition of the world as appearance or phenomenon. In Schopenhauer this becomes the world as brain-phenomenon (Gehirnphänomen). The change-over from tragic philosophy to philosophical plebeianism is complete. It will be enough to cite one passage. In »The World as Will and Idea« Schopenhauer says: »The will, as thing-in-itself, constitutes the inner, true and indestructible essence of the man; in itself, however, it is without consciousness. For the consciousness is conditioned by the intellect and this is a mere accident of our being, since it is a function of the brain, and that again (with its dependent nerves and spinal cord) is a mere fruit, a product, nay, even a parasite of the rest of the organism, inasmuch as it does not intervene directly in the latter’s activities but only serves a purpose of self-preservation by regulating its relations with the outer world.« Here we have exactly the fundamental position of the flattest materialism. It was not for nothing that Schopenhauer, like Rousseau before him, studied the English sensualists. From them he learned to misread Kant in the spirit of megalopolitan utilitarian modernity. The intellect as instrument of the will-to-life (5), as weapon in the struggle for existence, the ideas brought to grotesque expression by Shaw in »Man and Superman« – it was because this was his view of the world that Schopenhauer became the fashionable philosopher when Darwin’s main work was published in 1859. In contrast to Schelling, Hegel and Fichte, he was a philosopher, and the only philosopher, whose metaphysical propositions could be absorbed with ease by intellectual mediocrity. The clarity of which he was so proud threatened at every moment to reveal itself as triviality. While retaining enough of formula to produce an atmosphere of profundity and exclusiveness, he presented the civilized view of the world complete and assimilable. His system is anticipated Darwinism, and the speech of Kant and the concepts of the Indians are simply clothing. In his book »Über den Willen in der Natur« (1835) we find already the struggle for self-preservation in Nature, the human intellect as master-weapon in that struggle and sexual love as unconscious selection according to biological interest. (6)

(5) Even the modern idea that unconscious and impulsive acts of life are completely efficient, while intellect can only bungle, is to be found in Schopenhauer (Vol. II, cap. 30).
(6) In the chapter »Zur Metaphysik der Geschlechtsliebe« (II, 44) the idea of natural selection for the preservation of the genus is anticipated in full.

It is the view that Darwin (via Malthus) brought to bear with irresistible success in the field of zoology. The economic origin of Darwinism is shown by the fact that the system deduced from the similarities between men and the higher animals ceases to fit even at the level of the plant-world and becomes positively absurd as soon as it is seriously attempted to apply it with its will-tendency (natural selection, mimicry) to primitive organic forms. Proof, to the Darwinian, means to the ordering and pictorial presentation of a selection of facts so that they conform to his historico-dynamic basic feeling of »Evolution«. Darwinism – that is to say, that totality of very varied and discrepant ideas, in which the common factor is merely the application of the causality principle to living things, which therefore is a method and not a result – was known in all details to the 18th Century. Rousseau was championing the ape-man theory as early as 1754. What Darwin originated is only the »Manchester School« system, and it is this latent political element in it that accounts for its •popularity.

The spiritual unity of the century is manifest enough here. From Schopenhauer to Shaw, everyone has been, without being aware of it, bringing the same principle into form. Everyone (including even those who, like Hebbel, knew nothing of Darwin) is a derivative of the evolution-idea – and of the shallow civilized and not the deep Goethean form of it at that – whether he issues it with a biological or an economic imprint. There is evolution, too, in the evolution-idea itself, which is Faustian through and through, which displays (in sharpest contrast to Aristotle’s timeless entelechy-idea) all our passionate urgency towards infinite future, our will and sense of aim which is so immanent in, so specific to, the Faustian spirit as to be the a priori form rather than the discovered principle of our Nature-picture. And in the evolution of evolution we find the same change taking place as elsewhere, the turn of the Culture to the Civilization. In Goethe evolution is upright, in Darwin it is flat; in Goethe organic, in Darwin mechanical; in Goethe an experience and emblem, in Darwin a matter of cognition and law. To Goethe evolution meant inward fulfilment, to Darwin it meant »progress«. Darwin’s struggle for existence, which he read into Nature and not out of it, is only the plebeian form of that primary feeling which in Shakespeare’s tragedies moves the great realities against one another; but what Shakespeare inwardly saw, felt and actualized in his figures as destiny, Darwinism comprehends as causal connexion and formulates as a superficial system of utilities. And it is this system and not this primary feeling that is the basis of the utterances of »Zarathustra«, the tragedy of »Ghosts«, the problems of the »Ring der Nibelungen«. Only, it was with terror that Schopenhauer, the first of his line, perceived what his own knowledge meant – that is the root of his pessimism, and the »Tristan« music of his adherent Wagner is its highest expression – whereas the late men, and foremost among them Nietzsche, face it with enthusiasm, though it is true, the enthusiasm is sometimes rather forced.

Nietzsche’s breach with Wagner – that last product of the German spirit over which greatness broods – marks his silent change of school-allegiance, his unconscious step from Schopenhauer to Darwin, from the metaphysical to the physiological formulation of the same world-feeling, from the denial to the affirmation of the aspect that in fact is common to both, the one seeing as will-to-life what the other regards as struggle for existence. In his »Schopenhauer als Erzieher« he still means by evolution an inner ripening, but the Superman is the product of evolution as machinery. And »Zarathustra« is ethically the outcome of an unconscious protest against »Parsifal« – which artistically entirely governs it – of the rivalry of one evangelist for another.

But Nietzsche was also a Socialist without knowing it. Not his catch-words, but his instincts, were Socialistic, practical, directed to that welfare of mankind that Goethe and Kant never spent a thought upon. Materialism, Socialism and Darwinism are only artificially and on the surface separable. It was this that made it possible for Shaw in the third act of, Man and Superman (one of the most important and significant of the works that issued from the transition) to obtain, by giving just a small and indeed perfectly logical turn to the tendencies of »master-morale« and the production of the Superman, the specific maxims of his own Socialism. Here Shaw was only expressing with remorseless clarity and full consciousness of the commonplace, what the uncompleted portion of the Zarathustra would have said with Wagnerian theatricality and woolly romanticism. All that we are concerned to discover in Nietzsche’s reasoning is its practical bases and consequences, which proceed of necessity from the structure of modern public life. He moves amongst vague ideas like »new values«, »Superman«, »Sinn der Erde«, and declines or fears to shape them more precisely. Shaw does it. Nietzsche observes that the Darwinian idea of the Superman evokes the notion of breeding, and stops there, leaves it at a sounding phrase. Shaw pursues the question – for there is no object in talking about it if nothing is going to be done about it – asks how it is to be achieved, and from that comes to demand the transformation of mankind into a stud-farm. But this is merely the conclusion implicit in the Zarathustra, which Nietzsche was not bold enough, or was too fastidious, to draw. If we do talk of systematic breeding – a completely materialistic and utilitarian notion – we must be prepared to answer the questions, who shall breed what, where and how? But Nietzsche, too romantic to face the very prosaic social consequences and to expose poetic ideas to the test of facts, omits to say that his whole doctrine, as a derivative of Darwinism, presupposes Socialism and, moreover, socialistic compulsion as the means; that any systematic breeding of a class of higher men requires as condition precedent a strictly socialistic ordering of society; and that this »Dionysiac« idea, as it involves a common action and is not simply the private affair of detached thinkers, is democratic, turn it how you may. It is the climax of the ethical force of »Thou shalt »; to impose upon the world the form of his will, Faustian man sacrifices even himself.

The breeding of the Superman follows from the notion of »selection«. Nietzsche was an unconscious pupil of Darwin from the time that he wrote aphorisms, but Darwin himself had remoulded the evolution-ideas of the 18th Century according to the Malthusian tendencies of political economy, which he projected on the higher animal-world. Malthus had studied the cotton industry in Lancashire, and already in 1857 we have the whole system, only applied to men instead of to beasts, in Buckle’s History of English Civilization.

In other words, the master-morale of this last of the Romantics is derived – strangely perhaps but very significantly – from that source of all intellectual modernity, the atmosphere of the English factory. The Machiavellism that commended itself to Nietzsche as a Renaissance phenomenon is something closely (one would have supposed, obviously) akin to Darwin’s notion of »mimicry«. It is in fact that of which Marx (that other famous disciple of Malthus) treats in his Das Kapital, the bible of political (not ethical) Socialism. That is the genealogy of »Herrenmoral«. The Will-to-Power, transferred to the realistic, political and economic domain, finds its expression in Shaw’s »Major Barbara«. No doubt Nietzsche, as a personality, stands at the culmination of this series of ethical philosophers, but here Shaw the party politician reaches up to his level as a thinker. The will-to-power is to-day represented by the two poles of public life – the worker-class and the big money-and-brain men – far more effectually than it ever was by a Borgia. The millionaire Undershaft of Shaw’s best comedy is a Superman, though Nietzsche the Romanticist would not have recognized his ideal in such a figure. Nietzsche is for ever speaking of transvaluations of all values, of a philosophy of the Future (which, incidentally, is merely the Western, and not the Chinese or the African future), but when the mists of his thought do come in from the Dionysiac distance and condense into any tangible form, the will-to-power appears to him in the guise of dagger-and-poison and never in that of strike and »deal«. And yet he says that the idea first came to him when he saw the Prussian regiments marching to battle in 1870.

The drama, in this epoch, is no longer poetry in the old sense of the Culture days, but a form of agitation, debate and demonstration. The stage has become a moralizing institution. Nietzsche himself often thought of putting his ideas in the dramatic form. Wagner’s Nibelung poetry, more especially the first draft of it (1850), expresses his social-revolutionary ideas, and even when, after a circuitous course under influences artistic and non-artistic, he has completed the »Ring«, his »Siegfried« is still a symbol of the Fourth Estate, his Brünhilde still the »free woman«. The sexual selection of which the »Origin of Species« enunciated the theory in 1859, was finding its musical expression at the very same time in the third act of »Siegfried« and in »Tristan«. It is no accident that Wagner, Hebbel and Ibsen, all practically simultaneously, set to work to dramatize the Nibelung material. Hebbel, making the acquaintance in Paris of Engels’s writings, expresses (in a letter of April 2., 1844) his surprise at finding that his own conceptions of the social principle of his age, which he was then intending to exemplify in a drama Zu irgend einer Zeit, coincided precisely with those of the future »Communist Manifesto«. And, upon first making the acquaintance of Schopenhauer (letter of March 2.9, 1857), he is equally surprised by the affinity that he finds between the Welt als Wille und Vorstellung and tendencies upon which he had based his Holofernes and his Herodes und Mariamne. Hebbel’s diaries, of which the most important portion belongs to the years 1835-1845, were (though he did not know it) one of the deepest philosophical efforts of the century. It would be no surprise to find whole sentences of it in Nietzsche, who never knew him and did not always come up to his level.

The actual and effective philosophy of the 19th Century, then, has as its one genuine theme the Will-to-Power. It considers this Will-to-Power in civilized-intellectual, ethical, or social forms and presents it as will-to-life, as life-force, as practical-dynamical principle, as idea, and as dramatic figure. (The period that is closed by Shaw corresponds to the period 350-150 in the Classical.) The rest of the 19th-century philosophy is, to use Schopenhauer’s phrase, »professors« philosophy by philosophy-professors«. The real landmarks are these:

1819. Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. The will to life is for the first time put as the only reality (original force, Urkraft); but, older idealist influences still being potent, it is put there to be negatived (zur Verneinung empfohlen).

1836. Schopenhauer, Über den Willen in der Natur. Anticipation of Darwinism, but in metaphysical disguise.

1840. Proudhon, Quest-ce que la Propriété, basis of Anarchism. Comte, Cours de philosophie positive; the formula »order and progress«.

1841. Hebbel, »Judith«, first dramatic conception of the »New Woman« and the »Superman«. Feuerbach, Das Wesen des Christenthums.

1844. Engels, Umriß einer Kritik des Nationalokonomie, foundation of the materialistic conception of history. Hebbel, Maria Magdalena, the first social drama.

1847. Marx, Misère de la Philosophie (synthesis of Hegel and Malthus). These are the epochal years in which economics begins to dominate social ethic and biology.

1848. Wagner’s »Death of Siegfried«; Siegfried as social-ethical revolutionary, the Fafnir hoard as symbol of Capitalism.

1850. Wagner’s Kunst und Klima; the sexual problem.

1850-1858. Wagner’s, Hebbel’s and Ibsen’s Nibelung poetry.

1859 (year of symbolic coincidences). Darwin, »Origin of Species« (application of economics to biology). Wagner’s »Tristan«. Marx, Zur Kritik der politischen Okonomie.

1863. J. S. Mill, »Utilitarianism«.

1865. Dühring, Wert des Lebens – a work which is rarely heard of, but which exercised the greatest influence upon the succeeding generation.

1867. Ibsen, »Brand«. Marx, Das Kapital.

1878. Wagner, »Parsifal«. First dissolution of materialism into mysticism.

1879. Ibsen, »Nora«.

1881. Nietzsche, Morgenrdthe; transition from Schopenhauer to Darwin, morale as biological phenomenon.

1883. Nietzsche, Also sprach Zarathustra; the Will-to-Power, but in Romantic disguise.

1886. Ibsen, »Rosmersholm«. Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse.

1887-1888. Strindberg, »Fadren« and »Froken Julie«.

From 1890 the conclusion of the epoch approaches. The religious works of Strindberg and the symbolical of Ibsen.

1896. Ibsen, »John Gabriel Borkman«: Nietzsche’s Übermensch. 1898. Strindberg, »Till Damascus«.

From 1900 the last phenomena.

1903. Weininger, Geschlecht und Charakter; the only serious attempt to revive Kant within this epoch, by referring him to Wagner and Ibsen.

1903. Shaw, »Man and Superman«; final synthesis of Darwin and Nietzsche.

1905. Shaw, »Major Barbara«; the type of the Superman referred back to its economic origins.

With this, the ethical period exhausts itself as the metaphysical had done. Ethical Socialism, prepared by Fichte, Hegel, and Humboldt, was at its zenith of passionate greatness about the middle of the 19th Century, and at the end thereof it had reached the stage of repetitions. The 20th Century, while keeping the word Socialism, has replaced an ethical philosophy that only epigoni suppose to be capable of further development, by a praxis of economic everyday questions. The ethical disposition of the West will remain »socialistic« but its theory has ceased to be a problem. And there remains the possibility of a third and last stage of Western philosophy, that of a physiognomic scepticism. The secret of the world appears successively as a knowledge problem, a valuation problem and a form problem. Kant saw ethics as an object of knowledge, the 19th Century saw it as an object of valuation. The Sceptic would deal with both simply as the historical expression of a Culture.“ (*Source of the translation*) *Source of the original*


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