KARL JASPERS FORUM
Commentary 3 (to R2)
( I AND EXISTENCE )
by Michael Schwartz
25 February 2009, posted 28 February 2009
Müller's comments below are helpful, but they are always missing one same item...
Best illustrated by responses to his items 14 and 15.
HFJM  Indeed there is no ready-made I, you have to create it. You are left to your own devices, and you have to make sure that that works properly. And you don’t have to replace your mind by your body. That would be a clear example of inversion of thinking - in which you become a mind-less appendage to your physiology, or else to your own mental tools, to your own products such as what you say (language).
But can anyone - has anyone ever "created one's own I" without being in a world with worldly (mundane) things and other people? No one is "left to their own devices" except for the briefest of intervals (perhaps).
It is not an "either-or" - one's consciousness is embodied, as far as we know, but also open-to-the world. I would go on here with Husserl's primary notion of the intentionality of consc, and M-Ponty's etc elaboration, etc, had I more time. Constructs correlate - taken apart, they are all of them "abstractions." It is easy to commit the "fallacy of misplaced concreteness," is it not - to see an abstract part as fundamental reality.
HFJM  As I have asked before : does a poem (yours or someone else’s) ‘exist’ ? if so, where and when ? in your body? in your environment ? before, or after, it has been written down ? electronically recorded ? printed in a book ? a book which is objective enough to put it under the leg of the kitchen table in your environment to prevent it from wobbling ? The evidence for the ‘existence’ of mind, of subjectivity (subject-inclusive experience) is of the same kind. Experience is something you do (a process, in Whitehead’s expression); its structures emerge (or at least should emerge) as needed within it while doing; they are not there without our structuring.
Poem's have their own story - if we know of them. They have an origin, in a time, and a place, etc. Once again, they are always in relationship.... There is no need to invoke a "place."
Michael Schwartz, M.D.
Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (www.peh-med.com)
e-mail < michael.schwartz (at) mas1.cnc.net>