Sunday, May 10, 2009

19 Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir was one of the two women who were on the 100 philosophers list. So there is an entry in the blog, which I could repeat again, but I think that that isnt possible now

I lecture in a new context now. This is about Women Philosophers and about their presence in this "male profession" as the interviewer of Hannah Arendt called it.

It isn't a male profession at all. What a nonsense. It is only that so many males could speak out as philosopher and women could not. Not because women are less suited for thinking than men, but simple because they were denied education.

When we entered the 20th century we also learn about women who had an education equal to the education of the men. And then it shows that there is no difference at all between female and male philosophers.

The women philosophers equally write interesting books, come up with original ideas, influence the thinking of their time, like Hannah Arendt was a main stream philosopher on politics.

In the case of Simone de Beauvoir there is an additional aspect: she is associated with feminism. So, she is not just a philosopher, a female thinker, but she also shows explicit concern with the position of the woman in our world.

Don't misunderstand me....other women philosophers did too, to begin with Anna Maria van Verschuur, but now it has become an -ism.... feminism. The thinking about the position of women in society has got its own chapter now in the Book "Rules of Life". That means: before we appoint a new employee, we also HAVE to check that chapter too for instance.

Although it doesn't make sense to repeat what I said in the lecture on Simone de Beauvoir in the 100 series, in a way I have to repeat myself, because she didnt change her mind at all.

You can read that in and
There were two lectures on her.

The second one I ended thus:
"Grown up with Sartre since I was 18...and in the years I have read the autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir, now I see what she really meant in regard of existentialism. It is in the emotion that we really can meet eachother."

And I was thinking how right Simone de Beauvoir is: in the emotion you meet the other. It made me think of Second Life and our situation. We all are persons in front of a screen at a keyboard.

What we do is read text, typed in by someone else. On screen an avatar is only a bunch of animated pixels. But yet..... didn't it happen to you too, that you got irritated by annoying behavior of an avatar (human at keyboard)

[13:21] Cailleach Shan: lol
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:21] herman Bergson: or really felt sadness when you heard that some avatar will never show up again because the perosn at the keyboard passed away ( and here I mean real verifiable information about a person)
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont: happens ;-)
[13:21] Ze Novikov: yes
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont: really does..yes
[13:21] Daruma Boa: yes
[13:21] herman Bergson: Didn't we all make friends here in SL. Friendship, one of the basic feelings Simone de Beauvoir refers to. And she was right. What brings us to SL? A rational existentail choice for which we are fully responsable, like Sartre would have said?
[13:21] Paula Dix: sure
[13:22] bergfrau Apfelbaum: :-))
[13:22] herman Bergson: Or is it emotion ... the feeling of joy and pleasure. It is just fun to be in SL. Or even more.... feelings of true friendship with people you met in SL, where in the conversations SL and RL concerns sometimes even mix easily?
[13:22] Alarice Beaumont: yes :-))

And re-reading my lectures on Simone de Beauvoir brought another thought to my mind. I think, I mentioned it recently, the primacy of rationality. Is Being primarily rational being or is rationality just a neat tool to keep our primary (i.e. emotion driven) being organized?

Just imagine ...ok..theoretically, that very first moment an organism becomes conscious of its existence. Let's call it the "I think, so I am" event. What would be the very fist thing that would happen to the organism?

I would say: surprise.....fear....panic..."geeez where am I ?" In other words, the primary relation of an organism with its environment is driven by emotion. While Sartre would emphasize the primacy of our acts and conscious choices,

Simone de Beauvoir sees the person as a unitiy of body, mind, consciousness and emotions. She regards the drive to create a unity of all these separate elements as the primary task of life for a human being.

The Discussion

[13:25] herman Bergson: That is Simone de Beauvoir in SL ^_^
[13:25] herman Bergson: thank you
[13:25] ChatNoir Talon claps
[13:25] herman Bergson: and one naughty touch....
[13:26] herman Bergson: look at the wall ..the pictures
[13:26] Daruma Boa: hey cool;-)
[13:26] Daruma Boa: i have that too^^
[13:26] herman Bergson: She was the only female philosopher ever photographed inthe nude
[13:26] Alarice Beaumont: oh
[13:26] ChatNoir Talon: That we know of, of course
[13:26] herman Bergson: That is where she beats men ^_^
[13:26] Cailleach Shan: What a shame I would have loved to see Plato in the nude.
[13:26] Daruma Boa: LOL
[13:26] Ze Novikov: lol
[13:27] Paula Dix: lol
[13:27] ChatNoir Talon: LOL
[13:27] hope63 Shepherd: socrates.would have fascinated you
[13:27] Alarice Beaumont: hahahaahha
[13:27] ChatNoir Talon: But back to the old reason vs emotion thing... can we discuss that?
[13:27] Cailleach Shan: I liked this clip, which is in English.
[13:27] herman Bergson: Well I agree...the Greek had their way with men
[13:27] Samuel Okelly: “She regards the drive to create a unity of all these separate elements as the primary task of life for a human being.” Doesn’t this contradict the idea of the purposelessness in existentialism?
[13:29] ChatNoir Talon: It sounds like it to me, Sam
[13:29] Elia Scribe: I don'tknow why my hand is up.
[13:29] ChatNoir Talon: lol
[13:29] Paula Dix: emotion cant also be purpose?
[13:29] hope63 Shepherd: well.. i think we should not regard them as separate elements.. they are necessarily connected..
[13:29] herman Bergson: I dont know why Samuel
[13:29] ChatNoir Talon: Conencted BUT different
[13:30] hope63 Shepherd: yes.. but different elements in the same system interact..
[13:30] Laila Schuman: maybe i am wrong...but i thought in existentialism... you needed to take responsibility for your life... and these are all parts of one's life
[13:30] herman Bergson: man is his own design...
[13:30] Paula Dix: yes, i like a lot that idea of unifying all
[13:30] herman Bergson: in terms of Sartre it was only the collection of choices you make
[13:31] herman Bergson: For Simone de Beauvoir it was more..
[13:31] Elia Scribe: Why is this in opensourcebuddhism?
[13:31] herman Bergson: not only your choices but also your personal history
[13:31] Samuel Okelly: " the primary task of life for a human being." presupposes a purpose which in turn implies order and therefore contradicts existential ideas of simply "being"
[13:31] Cailleach Shan: Why not Elia?
[13:31] Elia Scribe: Is she Buddhist?
[13:32] Laila Schuman: does he necessarily mean they have to be rational choices.. there are emotional choices too... heroism falls into that category for example
[13:32] Paula Dix: and rational can lead emotions and emotions can lead rational
[13:32] ChatNoir Talon: Quitting your job in a fit, fits in that category too
[13:32] herman Bergson: I dont agree Samuel..
[13:33] herman Bergson: the experience of Being is a purpose in itself
[13:33] ChatNoir Talon: I believe the balance in which we take in emotions, rationalization and instinct to make choices define a persosn's character
[13:33] hope63 Shepherd: and does not imply order..
[13:33] herman Bergson: yeah
[13:34] Samuel Okelly: seems like the existentialists want it both ways… either there IS order and purpose or there ISN’T
[13:34] Mickorod Renard: but I seem to agree with Sam
[13:34] Samuel Okelly: there can not be a task without order
[13:34] herman Bergson: No....
[13:34] herman Bergson: the order is being in itself
[13:34] Paula Dix: cant we say there is always some kind of order and purpose? even if we cant define them?
[13:34] Samuel Okelly: how can i give you a task without some idea of rules?
[13:34] Laila Schuman: i feel that many things are done without order
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: self profits from order
[13:35] herman Bergson: That is so fundamemtal in the ideas of de Beauvoir...
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: can we come back to the realtionship rational-emotional?
[13:35] ChatNoir Talon can't follow this conversation unless someone explains what they mean by "order" and"purpose"
[13:35] herman Bergson: in the way you design your life you also design your ethical rules
[13:35] Cailleach Shan: I think an aspect of our 'being' is surrender to chaos.
[13:35] Daruma Boa: thats true
[13:36] Samuel Okelly: that is a big assumption herman
[13:36] Laila Schuman: i agree with Caille
[13:36] Mickorod Renard: cail,,that is having faith
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: in chaos
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes Cailleach...we are born in chaos
[13:36] Cailleach Shan: If you choose to 'give it a name' that's ok
[13:36] ChatNoir Talon: Are we doing Chaos Theory now? :s
[13:37] herman Bergson: No..:-)
[13:37] ChatNoir Talon: I thought we'd talk SL vs RL or somehting
[13:37] herman Bergson: Just the fact that the organism adjusts itself to its environment
[13:37] Elia Scribe: The paralells to Buddhism seem naive.
[13:38] herman Bergson: I dont think there is an SL vs RL...
[13:38] Cailleach Shan: Neither do I.
[13:38] Paula Dix: i agrree
[13:38] herman Bergson: I think most of us know there is an SLRL
[13:39] herman Bergson: and to get back to the issue....emotion
[13:39] ChatNoir Talon: But should we define it as Real versus Second or Virtual vs Physical?
[13:39] herman Bergson: No is all just real life...
[13:39] Samuel Okelly: are we forgetting that for existentialists like SdB, we are in a completely meaningless and "absurd" world?
[13:39] herman Bergson: without our real lives there wouldnt be anyone to switch on the computer
[13:40] Paula Dix: the meaning we create ourselves
[13:40] Samuel Okelly: the point is paula that there IS no meaning
[13:40] Elia Scribe: Buddhism is not fundamentally about the freedom of mankind. There are other profound differences that are incorrectly subsumed in the use of words like "positive".
[13:40] Cailleach Shan: Hahahaha now that would generate an emotion Herman.
[13:40] Paula Dix: not a Big Meaning, but personal meaning there is
[13:40] Samuel Okelly: that precisely THAT meaning that we give it IS initself meaningless
[13:41] Samuel Okelly: "absurdity"
[13:41] ChatNoir Talon: Yes.. I agree with Paula. I use the analogy of a painting... We can all argue what the artist Meant to express.. but ultimatelly we all have our own interpretation. our own meaning, don't we?
[13:41] herman Bergson: so funny....we talk about meaningless....and that statement has meainign in itself
[13:41] Paula Dix: exact!
[13:41] Laila Schuman: there is a lot of meaning... i know a person with cancer... another whose son was killed and now she is dealing with it.... and there are MANY stories... we can be supportive of each other... it is not just games...
[13:41] herman Bergson: we cant escape meaning...
[13:41] herman Bergson: all we do has meaning...
[13:42] Paula Dix: many meanings i guess
[13:42] herman Bergson: just being is a meaning in itself
[13:42] Samuel Okelly: my only point is that people like SdB can not be allowed to have it both ways as anything else is not logical
[13:42] Laila Schuman: investing oneself
[13:42] herman Bergson: as you cant escape being..unless you like to commit suicide
[13:43] Samuel Okelly: that is a contradiction herman
[13:43] Cailleach Shan: Looking at this again Herman.... Simone de Beauvoir sees the person as a unitiy of body, mind, consciousness and emotions. She regards the drive to create a unity of all these separate elements as the primary task of life for a human being...... do you think she is talking about letting go of the ego.
[13:43] Paula Dix: Samuel, once a friend asked a mystical to give him an example of something not logical... can you?
[13:44] ChatNoir Talon: Any Catch-22's?
[13:44] Elia Scribe: You might not be able to escape it even then, Herman.
[13:44] hope63 Shepherd: lol
[13:44] Samuel Okelly: paula as you have on previous occasion insulted me (either knowingly or not) i hope you understand if i choose not to respond to you
[13:44] herman Bergson: Letting go of the I dont see the point
[13:44] herman Bergson: and a contradiction what way?
[13:44] Paula Dix: Samuel, please say when, im not aware of that
[13:44] Elia Scribe: Maybe integrating ego, Caill?
[13:44] ChatNoir Talon: "The next phrase is false. The above phrase is true"
[13:45] hope63 Shepherd: oops.. paula.. sam is definetively notr ready to forget his
[13:45] Cailleach Shan: mmmmm.. yes, you could be correct Elia
[13:46] Laila Schuman: Samuel has some of the most on target comments to make in this class... ones that show substance and real thinking... whether you agree with the statement or makes you think
[13:46] herman Bergson: simple IS...we are here..that is all
[13:46] Paula Dix: Samuel, once you were very clear i couldnt talk to you via IM, please respect your own rules
[13:46] Cailleach Shan: Please.... let's not get personal.
[13:47] ChatNoir Talon: I like it when things are simple like that, herman. Very Thoreouistic
[13:47] herman Bergson: YEs Cailleach...I agree
[13:47] Samuel Okelly: SO AS TO AVOID DIGRESSION IN MAIN CHAT I OFFERED THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE TO PAULA IN PRIVATE IM" its not a problem paula but maybe we can discuss that at another time maybe? :)" SADLY THIS WAS UNAVOIDABLE
[13:47] herman Bergson: Well ChatNoir..I cant make more of it
[13:48] Elia Scribe: I agree that Freedom is the fundamental moral value. But Buddhists would not consider it the most fundamental basis of existence.
[13:48] Cailleach Shan: lol human chaos.
[13:48] ChatNoir Talon: :)
[13:48] ChatNoir Talon: People, keep the tone down, please. This is a class. Let's get on with the debete in a friendly matter
[13:48] herman Bergson: Hold on....
[13:48] Elia Scribe: The speaker is a Buddhist? Doing a report on Simone?
[13:48] herman Bergson: hold on..
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: babel..
[13:49] herman Bergson: something is going on related to Samuel it seems
[13:49] herman Bergson: I guess I missed it
[13:49] herman Bergson: So let this get cleared
[13:50] herman Bergson: What is the point Samule
[13:51] herman Bergson: ok
[13:51] herman Bergson: point issue cleared then
[13:51] Samuel Okelly: 13:42] Samuel Okelly: my only point is that people like SdB can not be allowed to have it both ways as anything else is not logical
[13:51] herman Bergson: Today I introduced Simone de Beauvoir into SL
[13:52] Elia Scribe: I think that the notion that you cannot have it both ways is an error, Sam.
[13:52] Elia Scribe: Mysticism does enjoin opposites. Perhaps that is what Paula was suggesting.
[13:52] herman Bergson: Which ways do youmean Samuel?
[13:53] Elia Scribe: With meaning and without meaning?
[13:53] herman Bergson: Anyway...
[13:54] Elia Scribe: He's typin.
[13:54] herman Bergson: I hope you got the notion that meeting the other is meeting him/her inemotion
[13:54] Samuel Okelly: if the existentialist (such as SdB) view the world without meaning and completely absurd ...., then to speak of the primary task of life is a logical contradiction
[13:54] herman Bergson: and in that sense Simone de Beauvoir freed us from the prison of our ow skin, I would say
[13:54] Elia Scribe: I think they view the world without apriori meaning, but beleive that meaning can be found subjectively.
[13:55] Laila Schuman: isn't that where our responsibility to ourselves (and others??) comes in?
[13:55] Laila Schuman: because it is meaningless?
[13:55] Elia Scribe: This might be the sense in which she sees the world with and without meaning.
[13:55] herman Bergson: But Samuel....what means absurd??
[13:55] herman Bergson: no philosopher ever said that
[13:56] herman Bergson: neither meaingless
[13:56] hope63 Shepherd: and again: some of you should read kafka..
[13:56] herman Bergson: as an existentialst you create your own meaning
[13:56] ChatNoir Talon: Methamorphosis?
[13:56] hope63 Shepherd: as a starter chat:9
[13:57] Elia Scribe: Positive attitude versus pessimism is not a good basis to compare two philosophers.
[13:57] Elia Scribe: Surely there must be deeper concepts.
[13:57] ChatNoir Talon: I think SdB would be a great subject to talk about women in a men-controleld world.. her essay on The Others is sublime
[13:57] Samuel Okelly: Existential philosophy is the explicit conceptual manifestation of an existential attitude[5] that begins with a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. Robert C. Solomon, Existentialism (McGraw-Hill, 1974, pages 1-2)
[13:57] Rosamoo Mendelsohn: It can be without purpose but that does not necessarily mean without meaning
[13:57] Samuel Okelly:
[13:57] Elia Scribe: Right, Sam. Can that evolve into anything else?
[13:57] Cailleach Shan: Oh dear...
[13:58] Paula Dix: and there is an "apparently" there...
[13:58] herman Bergson: this Mister Robert C. Solomon makes a big mistake
[13:58] ChatNoir Talon: Reeally/ Do we need a bibliography to debate here now?
[13:58] Laila Schuman: helps
[13:58] hope63 Shepherd: i feel sick..
[13:58] Elia Scribe: Where Paula?
[13:58] Samuel Okelly: isnt this precisely what satre was reffering to as the nauseating feeling?
[13:58] hope63 Shepherd: read sams text elia..
[13:58] herman Bergson: it is nice to use the word 'absurd" and it is appealing to the public...but as a statement it is complet nonsense to me
[13:59] Paula Dix: Elia, on the citation Samuel made
[13:59] herman Bergson: the word' absurd' already presuposes so many things ....
[13:59] Samuel Okelly: it is all to convey the clear idea of a lack of purpose
[13:59] herman Bergson: who invented them...what does it mean ..what is its reference?
[13:59] Samuel Okelly: we exist by chance
[13:59] Elia Scribe: Ahh, Paula. I read it Hope. I am referring to what he said previously.
[14:00] Samuel Okelly: now it seems that this is the existentialist "bending" the philosophy to suit?
[14:00] Laila Schuman: and there is the point of view that we do not exist by chance...that there is purpose as we arrive... another way to see it
[14:00] Anne Charles: Thank you Professor, good bye all, time for me to go
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: im afraid i must leave folks
[14:01] Cailleach Shan: Yawn.... I need a cup of tea and a little lie down to contemplate my existence. Bye everyone.
[14:01] ChatNoir Talon: Are we really defining the meaning of the word Absurd, now?
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: thanks for the discussion every1 :)
[14:01] ChatNoir Talon: By Cal!
[14:01] Daruma Boa: bye anne
[14:01] Elia Scribe: Bye Call.
[14:01] herman Bergson: Bye Anne
[14:01] hope63 Shepherd: bye manne..
[14:01] Elia Scribe: Bye Anne
[14:01] Laila Schuman: baieee Anne
[14:01] Daruma Boa: bye calli
[14:01] herman Bergson: Even to say that we exist by chance is a complete metaphysical theory
[14:01] Paula Dix: the idea is to create your own meaning after the initial "i know nothing" surprise...
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: i would have ex[plained how you were insulting paula but i think youve demonstarted that to every1 now :0
[14:01] Samuel Okelly:
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: †
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: † (( take care everyone )) †
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: †
[14:01] Samuel Okelly:
[14:01] ChatNoir Talon: AHHH im late to class!
[14:02] herman Bergson: I only can say that I exist....period
[14:02] Paula Dix: i guess this guy lacks some screws...
[14:02] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye class :-)) tyvm! herman
[14:02] Daruma Boa: bye bergfrau
[14:02] bergfrau Apfelbaum: bye :-) Daruma
[14:02] Ze Novikov: bb everyone
[14:02] Anja Amaterasu: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[14:02] herman Bergson: no personal remarks paula...argumets...only that
[14:02] Daruma Boa: bye ze
[14:02] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[14:02] bergfrau Apfelbaum: herman
[14:02] Jared Simondsen: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[14:02] Elia Scribe: Sam, I don't see her being insulting.
[14:03] bergfrau Apfelbaum: BRAVA BRAVA BRAVA!!!
[14:03] Paula Dix: well, he made some about me :)
[14:03] Daruma Boa: '" "'
[14:03] Daruma Boa: {^ -"-/ ^}
[14:03] Daruma Boa: " """ "
[14:03] Daruma Boa: { <0> _ <0> }
[14:03] Daruma Boa: ==_.:Y:._==
[14:03] Daruma Boa: '..^..'
[14:03] herman Bergson smiles
[14:03] herman Bergson: thank you
Posted by herman_bergson on 2009-02-20 07:02:29

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