Sunday, May 10, 2009

11 Sarah Margaret Fuller

"By Man I mean both man and woman; these are the two halves of one thought. I lay no especial stress on the welfare of either. I believe that the development of the one cannot be effected without that of the other.

My highest wish is that this truth should be distinctly and rationally apprehended, and the condition of life and freedom recognized as the same for the daughter and the sons of time; twin exponents of a divine thought. "

A quote from the preface of the book "Woman in the nineteenth Century" by Sarah Margaret Fuller, published in 1845.Like Harriet Martineau she was fighting for the rights of women. Like Martineau not a philosopher but a great thinker.

Another charming quote from the same book: "I think women need, especially at this juncture, a much greater range of occupation than they have, to rouse their latent powers.

A party of travellers lately visited a lonely hut on a mountain.There they found an old woman, who told them she and her husband had lived there forty years. "Why," they said, "did you choose so barren a spot?" She "did not know; it was the man's notion."

And, during forty years, she had been content to act, without knowing why, upon "the man's notion." I would not have it so.

In families that I know, some little girls like to saw wood, others to use carpenters' tools. Where these tastes are indulged, cheerfulness and good-humor are promoted. Where they are forbidden, because "such things are not proper for girls," they grow sullen and mischievous. "

It all sounds so familiar now, but in those days to some people these were even shocking words. Sarah Margaret Fuller was a hippie avant la lettre. Besides that she was part of a typical American cultural movement, called "The Transcendentaltst".

The New England transcendentalists were an influential but decidedly heterogeneous group of young writers, critics, philosophers, theologians, and social reformers whose activities centered in and around Concord, Massachusetts, from about 1836 to 1860.

Apart from Platonism and Unitarian Christianity, the chief formative intellectual influence on the group was German idealism. It was not, however, the l dense and difficult epistemological works of Kant, Fichte, I Schelling, and Hegel that primarily attracted the transcendentalists;

although nearly all had made some attempt to read the German philosophers, very few had persevered to the point of mastering them. Rather, it was the more personalized and poetic expressions of Goethe, Novalis, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Carlyle, that attracted them.

Far from being in any strict sense a primarily philosophical movement, New England transcendentalism was first and foremost a literary phenomenon. The term "transcendental" was derived from the use made of it by Kant.

This however didnt make it a philosopical movement. The technical or epistemological idealism of the post-Kantian philosophers, as we have learnt to understand it, was often confused with a vague idealism or like Emerson, one of the representatives of this hippie movement described it: "whatever belongs to the class of intuitive thought, is popularly called at the present day Transcendental."

Here, of course, the word "intuitive" is being employed in its most general sense, quite dissociated from any philosophical use, so that Emerson could immediately go on lamely to characterize the "Transcendentalist" as one who displays a predominant "tendency to respect intuitions."

Since 1650, and it is obvious and a logical consequence of their postition in society, we see, that almost all women philosophers fight for their right on education. In the beginning they used the argument of education increases the virtuousness.

Two hundred years later, when the power of the church had deminished, we see in women thinkers like Harriet Martineau and Sarah Margaret Fuller women, who based their views on materialism or transcendentalism, which doesn ot lead to virtues but to rights.

To be continued next year (^_^)

....thank you

The Discussion

[13:24] FelixSr Bloch: haha - great ending
[13:24] herman Bergson: if you have anyquestions...go ahead :-)
[13:24] oola Neruda: can you mention some of the names of people who were contributing to society at that time
[13:24] FelixSr Bloch: what is the philosophical sense of intuition ?
[13:24] Anne Charles: What right did Harriet have to criticise Margaret as being all talk and no action?
[13:25] herman Bergson smiles
[13:25] Cailleach Shan: Do you think the term 'Trancendental' has the same meaning today?
[13:25] herman Bergson: That was mentioned in Wiki, Anne..:-)
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: lololol
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: all at once
[13:25] herman Bergson: I dont know why the ladies didnt appreciate eachother that much
[13:26] hope63 Shepherd: and just the girls.. we men are still pondering our questions..
[13:26] AristotleVon Doobie: hello corona
[13:26] Corona Anatine: hi Arius
[13:26] herman Bergson: The philosophical sense of intuition..a good question Felix, for it makes no sense at all..:-)
[13:26] ChatNoir Talon: lol
[13:27] herman Bergson: The thing is that to some extend you might regard it as a reference to a rationalist approach
[13:27] herman Bergson: but dont forget...these people were romanticisits
[13:27] Cailleach Shan: Hey Rodney
[13:27] herman Bergson: Hi Rodney have a seat
[13:27] Rodney Handrick: thanks Herman
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: early
[13:28] Rodney Handrick: Hi Cal
[13:28] herman Bergson: so this concept of intuition was more a reference to some enthusiams about life
[13:28] FelixSr Bloch: curious
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: yet, the transcentalist were from the intellectual crowd
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes..Aristotle..the cultural elite
[13:29] herman Bergson: but it is that group in society that expresses often the general feelings
[13:30] hope63 Shepherd: don't forget not everyone knew how to read those days..
[13:30] Anne Charles: Wouldn't a transcidentalist's ideal spiritual state vary from person to person because it was determined by a person's intuition?
[13:30] Corona Anatine: are you saying that enhusiasm for life is intuitive
[13:30] AristotleVon Doobie: maybe they just wanted to have a 'club' of their own...their own special group
[13:31] ChatNoir Talon: Like a book club
[13:31] herman Bergson: no..Hope...but science and development arent created by the is a small group that goes ahead of it
[13:31] hope63 Shepherd: or like the philosophers club here?
[13:31] herman Bergson: same in art and literature..
[13:31] herman Bergson: or in journalism
[13:31] hope63 Shepherd: the fact that journalist
[13:31] Corona Anatine: this is true
[13:32] Corona Anatine: however
[13:32] hope63 Shepherd: write doesn't make them intellectual..there you are right herman..
[13:32] Corona Anatine: science is analytic
[13:32] Corona Anatine: whereas things like art are not
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: Emerson was definitely an intellectual
[13:32] herman Bergson: indeed Corona..
[13:32] FelixSr Bloch: science is also filled with emotion and all its pitfalls
[13:32] Corona Anatine: this is true
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: Thoreau not far behind him
[13:33] herman Bergson: Indeed Felix....that is why a number of scientisct cheat for instance..
[13:33] Corona Anatine: (recommend 'bones of contention by
[13:33] Cailleach Shan: Cheat?? How so Herman
[13:34] Corona Anatine: by roger lewin
[13:34] herman Bergson: What is interesting is that this group of Transcendentalists stood at the beginning of an American cultural movement
[13:34] FelixSr Bloch: and why they sometimes become dogmatic towards a favorite theory - even if evidence points to another direction
[13:34] Corona Anatine: isbn 0 671 52688
[13:34] herman Bergson: Oh yes Caileach...there is a lot of cheating in science..manipulating figures...and evidence..things like that
[13:34] AristotleVon Doobie: the abolitionist movement was fostered by this group
[13:35] oola Neruda: yes there is
[13:35] Cailleach Shan: That seems counter-productive to me....
[13:35] FelixSr Bloch: also with profesional scientist on occasion
[13:35] FelixSr Bloch: remember cold fusion ?
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes Cailleach but not to someone's carreer
[13:35] Corona Anatine: not in the context of the cheats that occurred
[13:35] Corona Anatine: some were done to deilb cause confusion
[13:36] herman Bergson: Back to Aristotle's remark..
[13:36] Corona Anatine: other to make scientists look bad
[13:36] Rodney Handrick: yes, what ever happened to cold-fusion?
[13:36] herman Bergson: The abolisionist movement was a typical example of the mentality of social reform of this group
[13:36] Corona Anatine: because science gets money grants
[13:37] FelixSr Bloch: the transcendents were a precursor to abolitionist ?
[13:37] herman Bergson: That is why I dare to say they were the hippies of their time
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: yes, radicals :)
[13:37] Corona Anatine: do you consider it then that hippy=radical ?
[13:37] ChatNoir Talon: But what made them so radical? The fact that they let women into their inner circle?
[13:38] ChatNoir Talon: Or the fact that they could actually read?
[13:38] herman Bergson: Good question ChatNoir....
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: their culture was radically different from the status quo
[13:38] herman Bergson: It was a group that respected women as equals..yes..
[13:38] Rodney Handrick: I agree Ari
[13:38] herman Bergson: where did the development come from?
[13:39] herman Bergson: I dont know..that needs some research..
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: yes. what were the sparks to ignite such thoughts....
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: New England had a great sense of individual liberty
[13:39] Corona Anatine: what decade are we referring to ?
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: Connecticut especially
[13:39] herman Bergson: But it is how it felt in those many new developments..also in science, but also in production of goods
[13:40] herman Bergson: 1850 Corona
[13:40] Corona Anatine: thanks
[13:40] Corona Anatine: a time of some change in societies
[13:40] oola Neruda: around the time of the civil war
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: the events that generated the ill feelings between the states
[13:41] Corona Anatine: just before the american civil war
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes...the transcendentalists didnt make the next step..the step Marx or Phroudon made
[13:41] Corona Anatine: but around the time of the first railways
[13:41] Corona Anatine: and there was considerable social change in England
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: assisted in the division
[13:42] Corona Anatine: some of the first trade unions were emerging
[13:42] ChatNoir Talon: Industrial revolution too
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: England was strictly anti-slavery at the time
[13:42] Corona Anatine: on paper maybe
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: in international relations
[13:43] herman Bergson: Well....I think we now have a good notion of that moment in history in relation to women philosophers....
[13:43] herman Bergson: after 200 years they finally got a voice
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: and to think that the women were still not considered as deserving a vote
[13:43] herman Bergson: access to education was obtained....
[13:44] herman Bergson: this period is the breaking point for the emancipation of the woman philosopher..
[13:44] ChatNoir Talon: About time
[13:44] Cailleach Shan: I see in Wiki she was the first woman allowed to use the library at Harvard...
[13:44] herman Bergson: what is interesting to see is that there hasnt been any development....a historical line....of women philosophers
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: I think those seeds of emancipatiom for all humans were fertilized greatly then
[13:45] herman Bergson: the women who paved the way made no reference to the women of 1650 or 1750 at all
[13:45] herman Bergson: They werent even genuine philosophers, but writers, journalists social reformers
[13:45] Cailleach Shan: Was there any access to the work of the women before them though?
[13:45] herman Bergson: the woman philosopher had no academic history yet
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: in a way there were more genuine philosophers than many so called philosophers of those days..
[13:46] herman Bergson: I would think so yes, Cailleach...the books were on the shelves
[13:46] ChatNoir Talon: Well, considering most historians were men...
[13:46] herman Bergson: But these women looked from a different angle..
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: good point Chat
[13:46] Rodney Handrick: those damn "male" historians
[13:46] Cailleach Shan: mmmmm..... were the women allowed into the libraries?
[13:47] hope63 Shepherd: someone has to do the job rod:)
[13:47] herman Bergson: I dont know, Cailleach , but they could have sent their husband for a book..:-)
[13:47] Corona Anatine: and if they were - would they have recieved openly
[13:47] Rodney Handrick: that's true Hope
[13:47] Cailleach Shan: Haahahhahahahahaha ROFL...
[13:47] Corona Anatine: would they have been helped in their studies
[13:47] ChatNoir Talon: Lol, Why are you getting married, Mary? Oh I just need a book from the library"
[13:48] Cailleach Shan: Hehehehe
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:48] herman Bergson: lol
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: hahaha
[13:48] Corona Anatine: there will alwasy be those who resent newcomers into a priveleged elite
[13:48] Rodney Handrick: lol
[13:48] FelixSr Bloch: an excellent thinker does not need help in their studies
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: yes Corona
[13:48] Corona Anatine: perhaps not felix
[13:48] herman Bergson: That is another aspect Corona, yes
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: 'those folks are getting high and mighty'
[13:48] Cailleach Shan: True Felix..... I think some of the best lateral thinkers I know are the uneducated ones.
[13:49] hope63 Shepherd: thank you cal:)lol
[13:49] Cailleach Shan: :)
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: well, there is formal education and self education, Cailleach
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: one alwyas needs to self educate
[13:49] Rodney Handrick: I agree Cal...they don't have those societal filters to navigate
[13:50] Rodney Handrick: I agree Ari
[13:50] Corona Anatine: the point of a formal education is that it dierct the thought
[13:50] Corona Anatine: rahter than have it repeat the old ground anew
[13:50] FelixSr Bloch: the point of a formal education is to help those who can help themselves
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: I agreed Corona, a guidepost for self dscovery
[13:50] herman Bergson: This period it the period formal education became available for boys and girls
[13:51] FelixSr Bloch: who can't help themselves*
[13:51] oola Neruda: i found that when a "teacher" has the broad picture... the overview... they can point the thinker in a direction they might not have even been aware of... yet is exactly what they are looking for
[13:51] Corona Anatine: available - but not yet widespread to all socail classes
[13:51] herman Bergson: All women thinkers so far had obtained their knowledge and skills in private ways
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: yes oola
[13:51] Rodney Handrick: In many case around the world they still do today
[13:51] hope63 Shepherd: oola.. you bring up the question of indoctrination..
[13:52] Corona Anatine: that should really be a side issue
[13:52] oola Neruda: as an artist, hope... i see it differently...
[13:52] oola Neruda: creativity can have people guiding also
[13:52] Corona Anatine: all education is indoctrination at some level
[13:52] oola Neruda: without indoctorination
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: smile.. see it.. but look at reality..
[13:52] herman Bergson: stop....
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: indoctirnation is when the receiver does not ask for the knowledge forced on them
[13:52] herman Bergson: this discussion makes no sense...
[13:52] ChatNoir Talon: I think its sad one out of 10 girls in high school in the US never finish college because they get pregnant... the female philosophers should be turning in their graves
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: OMG!!!
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: omg that is not true
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: when you stood in first clas before the flag ari.. you didn't ask for that i think..
[13:53] Corona Anatine: that is a flaw of the college system - not the women
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: that is a hormonal issue Chat
[13:53] herman Bergson: stop!
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: it is also not true
[13:53] ChatNoir Talon: I agree.. but still. I find it sad
[13:53] Rodney Handrick: hmm...
[13:53] Cailleach Shan: lol..... SHOUT LOUDER HERMAN!!!!!!
[13:53] herman Bergson: 1.Hold on.....
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: too bad wisdom and homones are not better coordinated
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: we donj't hold you responsible for the statistics rod:)
[13:54] herman Bergson: 3. Silence plz
[13:54] Rodney Handrick: true Ari
[13:54] Corona Anatine: where was 2
[13:54] Cailleach Shan: Hahahahah..... Corona was paying attention..
[13:54] herman Bergson: this discussion is a waste of time...
[13:54] Rodney Handrick: HA HA HA HA HA
[13:54] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:54] Gemma Cleanslate: i think we need a vacation
[13:54] Ze Novikov: lol
[13:55] herman Bergson: I mean just throwing in a word 'indoctrination' and then starting a debate...
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: it's christmas coming..let's have some fun too:)
[13:55] herman Bergson: not here plz
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: no
[13:55] herman Bergson: So I think it is a nice moment to finish this class
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: ok... the shepherd retires to his fields:)
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: have a nice time out of class Herman and all here
[13:55] Corona Anatine: it is a later end tthan some you have done herman
[13:55] Cailleach Shan: Hop fields Hope???
[13:55] Ze Novikov: Happy Holidays everyone!!!
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you Herman
[13:55] herman Bergson: Very good have a job to do there...and you'll get lots of angels to play with
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: we must remember to stay on topic
[13:56] Corona Anatine: thanks herman
[13:56] Ze Novikov: yes, TY herman
[13:56] CONNIE Eichel: yes, happy holidays :)
[13:56] Rodney Handrick: Thanks you Herman
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: oh geeze... i've been very absent minded :-(
[13:56] ChatNoir Talon: Thank you Herman
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: when we come back
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: we went throught this problem last year
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:56] Cailleach Shan: When are we starting up again Herman..
[13:56] herman Bergson: Fisrt of all I want to wish you all a Merry Xmas...and happy holidays.
[13:56] FelixSr Bloch: thanks herman and enjoy your holidays
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: ty
[13:56] Cailleach Shan: ta.
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: *(`'·.¸(`'·.¸ * ¸.·'´)¸.·'´)*
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: «´·.¸¸.• Merry •.¸¸.·`»
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: *** Christmas ***
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: *(¸.·'´(¸.·'´ * `'·.¸)`'·.¸)*
[13:56] Rodney Handrick: HAPPY HOLIDAY'S TO ALL!!!
[13:56] Corona Anatine: blessings for yule Herman
[13:56] CONNIE Eichel: ty herman, and for your family too :)
[13:56] herman Bergson: and for the new year...if we dont speak eachother before that..I have prepared something...
[[13:57] Corona Anatine: cant a wait : )
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: *(`'·.¸(`'·.¸ * ¸.·'´)¸.·'´)*
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: «´·.¸¸.• * ★ * ☆ * ❤ * •.¸¸.·`»
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: «´·.¸¸.• * ★ * ☆ * ❤ * •.¸¸.·`»
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: *(¸.·'´(¸.·'´ * `'·.¸)`'·.¸)*
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
[13:57] herman Bergson: I have visualized the idea how that year should look like for you all
[13:57] Rodney Handrick: hmm
[13:57] Ze Novikov: LOL
[13:57] Corona Anatine: ??pyschedelic ??
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: colourful :-)
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: cool...LSD
[13:57] ChatNoir Talon: Hippies! ^^
[13:57] Rodney Handrick: any tidbits...Herman?
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: and vivid
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: lol
[13:58] herman Bergson: SO THANK YOU ALL for giving me this good time with philosophy
[13:58] Cailleach Shan: WHEN DO WE START AGAIN HERMAN.
[13:58] Corona Anatine: just what are you smoking in that pipe
[13:58] ChatNoir Talon: Jan 6
[13:58] CONNIE Eichel: kiss herman
[13:58] Cailleach Shan: Hey Felix is burning.

Posted by herman_bergson on 2009-01-02 01:26:43

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