Thursday, January 19, 2006

Oxygen, nurse, quickly!

Right, then. It's the dawn of reality in the house of illusions. I've started looking at the basics of philosophy: what it's about, what I'll be expected to do. And as anticipated, the dense texts are going to be a problem. Look, for example, at this:

A human being is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation's relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relation's relating itself to itself. A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity, in short, a synthesis. A synthesis is a relation between two. Considered in this way, a human being is still not a self.
Written (if you could call it that; was the man speaking or spitting??) by Søren Kierkegaard and quoted by the Sophia Project**. I keep looking at it and laughing, a reaction not too far from mild hysteria.




However! (slapping myself about the face and sitting up straight) It's time for action! From now on I have to read slowly. Very very slowly.





** A great introductory site provided by the Department of Philosophy, Molloy College, NY USA. The Reading a Philosophical Work section has some (presumably) great advice, such as:
5. Just Keep on Trucking
In the event that slowing yourself down and rereading a passage several times does not help you to make sense of a text, don't despair. After all, no one profits if you hurl your philosophy text against a wall, screaming obscenities about how stupid Kierkegaard is.
I need that on a poster.

The Sophia Project has some great resources and links. God bless the internet.