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PostSubject: Aletheia Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:15 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aletheia

"Aletheia (ἀλήθεια) is a Greek word variously translated as "unclosedness", "unconcealedness", "disclosure" or "truth". The literal meaning of the word ἀ–λήθεια is "the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident" and it also implies sincerity, as well as factuality or reality."

Heidegger and aletheia

In the early to mid 20th-century, Martin Heidegger brought renewed attention to the concept of aletheia, by relating it to the notion of disclosure, or the way in which things appear as entities in the world. While he initially referred to aletheia as "truth", specifically a form of which that is pre-Socratic in origin, Heidegger eventually corrected this interpretation, writing:

To raise the question of aletheia, of disclosure as such, is not the same as raising the question of truth. For this reason, it was inadequate and misleading to call aletheia, in the sense of opening, truth."[1]

Heidegger gave an etymological analysis of aletheia, and drew out an understanding of the term as 'unconcealedness'.[2] Thus, aletheia is distinct from conceptions of truth understood as statements which accurately describe a state of affairs (correspondence), or statements which fit properly into a system taken as a whole (coherence). Instead, Heidegger focused on the elucidation of how an ontological "world" is disclosed, or opened up, in which things are made intelligible for human beings in the first place, as part of a holistically structured background of meaning.

Heidegger also wrote that "Aletheia, disclosure thought of as the opening of presence, is not yet truth. Is aletheia then less than truth? Or is it more because it first grants truth as adequatio and certitudo, because there can be no presence and presenting outside of the realm of the opening?"[3]
Further reading

Heidegger began his discourse on the reappropriation of aletheia in his magnum opus, Being and Time,[4] and expanded on the concept in his Introduction to Metaphysics. For more on his understanding of aletheia, see Poetry, Language, and Thought, in particular the essay entitled "The Origin of the Work of Art", which describes the value of the work of art as a means to open a "clearing" for the appearance of things in the world, or to disclose their meaning for human beings.[5] Heidegger revised his views on aletheia as truth, after nearly forty years, in the essay "The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking," in On Time and Being."
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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:26 pm

And now we live with the Roman translation of αληθεια...veritas.
Veritas become "truth".

To unconcealed is to reveal what is already there.
Veritas is to shelter, to protect...to conceal.
According to Heidegger the word ver, from which veritas comes, is rooted in the Indo-Germanic words for wehren [to resist], das Wehr [to dam], die Wehr [defense]...and Italic-Oscic veru the gate.

Heidegger wrote:
Thus ver means to hold one's position, hold one's place.
Veritas, now becomes a more imperial, Roman, concept...losing its Hellenic nature.
This is then taken up by the Christians.

For the Hellenes, "truth" was that which, with effort, agon, was unconcealed...and since the unconcealed is not protected, it is not hidden, it is not a damming up, it changes.
The "truth" is what us unconcealed constantly...not imposed.

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:57 pm

Satyr wrote:

The "truth" is what us unconcealed constantly...not imposed.

Beautiful!
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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:02 am

The real question is:

In what way was this Roman redefinition of the Hellenic term, truth/alitheia, influential, both to the Christians, who were an amalgamation of Roman and Jewish philosophy, just as Jesus was a child of rape (a Roman soldier raping a poor, innocent, Jewish girl...or was she so innocent and not a willing participant seduced by a more virile male?).
Why do we side with the cuckolded male, just as we always side with the victims of natural selection?

Why is Aristotle and Plato, two of the most prominent Hellenic thinkers in our time?
What place does Parmenides hold, when he precedes both, and influences them immensely?
Is the Socratic self-sacrifice, reminiscent of the Jesus crucifixion?
Are they not personalities, disputed as being real, and why did Platonic thought become the Hellenic philosophy that got mixed with Jewish spirituality, to bring about Christianity?

What happened to Heraclitus, and those other pre-Socratic Greek thinkers, and why were they so casually dismissed, until Nietzsche reintroduced them into the Renaissance discourse?
Why was Nietzsche, according to Heidegger, unable to escape the modern interpretations of Hellenism, responding to the Roman variants?

Why did Heidegger join Nazism, and why were females so attracted to him, despite his physical presence and his past?

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:35 am

Satyr wrote:
The real question is:

In what way was this Roman redefinition of the Hellenic term, truth/alitheia, influential, both to the Christians, who were an amalgamation of Roman and Jewish philosophy[...]?

In the sense of missionaries definitely. Veritas seems to be the "truth" of the priestly type. The missionaries forced this "truth" on the pagans and other in their eyes non-believers or false-believers.

Quote :

Why is Aristotle and Plato, two of the most prominent Hellenic thinkers in our time?

I know very little about Aristotle, but get the fascination with Plato.

Quote :

What place does Parmenides hold, when he precedes both, and influences them immensely?

It's like the term: "History is written by the winners." Aristotle and Plato were also political thinkers. Parmenides wasn't. But he was a THINKER. Thinking is not so popular, why Heidegger is much less popular than Nietzsche for example.

Quote :

What happened to Heraclitus, and those other pre-Socratic Greek thinkers, and why were they so casually dismissed, until Nietzsche reintroduced them into the Renaissance discourse?

Because they were just thinkers and not political theorists at least.

Quote :

Why was Nietzsche, according to Heidegger, unable to escape the modern interpretations of Hellenism, responding to the Roman variants?

Heidegger was smarter than Nietzsche. We owe Heidegger this knowledge about Aletheia. I haven't read Parmenides. He dug deeper. He wasn't satisfied with Nietzsche. He built on Nietzsche, but went further.

Quote :

Why did Heidegger join Nazism, and why were females so attracted to him, despite his physical presence and his past?

You should watch those interviews and such on youtube, some have english subtitles. Heidegger was raised Catholic. Lower middle class. He studied with Husserl, but came from a village. So he had that sense for quietness and always looked at interior and exterior. "Eigenheit" and "Uneigenheit", he called them. What belongs to me and what doesn't.
He always stayed within his Eigenheit (What belonged to him. A connection to his past in the small village and his people there.) Unlike Nietzsche who let himself be irritated by all sorts of cultural and society issues.
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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:39 pm

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:40 pm

The Romanization of Truth: From Aletheia to Veritas:

"As Heidegger puts it elsewhere, in Plato and Aristotle beings win the gigantomachia, the struggle between Being and beings, for Being is now understood as the highest or first being (G [Gesamtausgabe] 33 24, 43-44; cf. The End of Philosophy 9-10). As he explains in his wartime Parmenides lectures, in and with the philosophical tradition's understanding of truth and falsehood, aletheia is opposed to pseudos, to falsehood in the sense of incorrectness, which displaces the inceptive Greek senses of unconcealing and concealing (G 54 24-56). The translation of aletheia as veritas is related to the political-moral economy of ancient Rome, and therewith, Heidegger makes clear, to the manifold successors to Rome: medieval Christianity, modernity, Nietzsche, and--I agree with William V. Spanos on this point--National Socialism (57-72).

The Latin falsum has the sense of "bringing to a fall" or "downfall," which is "only a subsequent effect [Wesensfolge] within the essential domain [Wesensbereiches] of dissembling and concealing which makes up the essence of psuedos" (58). "Imperium" and the "imperial" constitute the "essential domain" decisive for the "experiential domain" (Erfahrungsbereich) in, from, and for which "bringing to a fall" acquires its status as the designation for the counter-essence of "what the Greeks experience as alethes, the 'unconcealing' and the 'unconcealed.' " The experience of imperium is that of "command," of the taking over of a territory, which is ruled by commandment. "Command," then, is the "essential ground of sovereignty" (Wesensgrund der Herrschaft) and, moreover, describes the characteristic actions of the god of the Old Testament and the gods of Rome, but not those of Greece (59). In a further specification, "command" determines Roman law and right, ius and iustum; iustitia "has a wholly other [ganz anderen] essential ground than that of dike, which arises from aletheia." "Being superior" (Obensein) belongs to "command" and is the "constant surmounting [Überhöhung] of others, who are thereby the inferiors [Unteren]."

Surmounting requires the power to "oversee" (übersehen), which means, therefore, to "dominate" (beherrschen) (59-60). The "overseeing" of imperium requires constant "action," by which enemies or rivals will be brought to fall through " 'direct' attack" (Ansturm) or "subterfuge" (Hintergehen) or "trick," which, "not accidentally," is an "English" word (60). Those who fall are not destroyed but rather "raised up" (aufgerichtet) within the boundaries established by those who rule; this "fixing" (Abstecken) is Roman peace. Indeed, the greatness of the imperial, Heidegger writes, lies in the subterfuge by which it secures its dominion. The expansion of early Rome through treaties and treachery shows this (60-61).

The "Romanizing" of the Greeks conditions not only all subsequent understanding of them in the history of the West but also the historical and metaphysical Auseinandersetzung of the modern world and antiquity. Even Nietzsche's metaphysics, as a modern attempt to recover antiquity, is conditioned by Rome and thus is ultimately "unGreek." The Roman experience of beings, encountered under the "Roman stamp" (der Romisch Prägung), reaches into Christianity and hence to the medieval and modern ages (64-72; cf. The End of Philosophy 13). "Romanization in the essential sense of the Greco-Roman historical domain," Heidegger writes, must be understood as a "change in the essence of truth and Being"; it is an "authentic event [Ereignis] in history". The transformations of aletheia and pseudos as correlates with the imperial experience mark an epochal boundary.

"The imperial as a mode of Being of historical collectivities [Menschentums]," Heidegger explains, is not the ground for the essential change of aletheia into truth as correctness but is rather a following of the enfolding of truth into the meaning of correctness . Heidegger makes clear that there is something "make-shift" (Notbehelf) in the phrase "change in the essence of truth," which does not speak clearly enough of the way "in which it unfolds itself and history 'is' (wie sie selbst west and die Geschichte 'ist']" (63). This process exhibits the inner connection of the coherent modes of action which ground Western history, and is not to be understood causally." [James F. Ward, Heidegger's Political Thinking]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:43 pm

Satyr wrote:
The real question is:

In what way was this Roman redefinition of the Hellenic term, truth/alitheia,

Heid. is quoted as having rectified that statement:

"There are accordingly two distinguishable senses of the word aletheia at work in Heidegger's story. In the first, let us call it the phenomenal sense, aletheia means the phenomenally of being, its self-showing (what is present in its unconcealment, on/aletheia), prior to its reduction to an object of an assertion or, later on, to an object for a thinking subject. That is, according to Heidegger at least, a historical, Greek experience. In the second sense, let us call it here its more radical, structural, antehistorical sense, aletheia means the opening up of the realm of the unconcealed, the very granting of the presence of the present.

…In the first sense, aletheia means the unconcealment which adheres to the presence of what is present, the self-showing being, phainesthai. In the second sense, which is withheld from the Greeks, a-letheia means that granting which bestows presence in its phenomenally, that opening which, always out of sight, is that within which every epoch of presence takes place. In this sense, a-letheia means that a-lethic process which grants the epochs of presence. …More simply still, in the first case it means presence; in the second, that which grants presence.

To put it somewhat pointedly, we might say that in the first sense aletheia is a Greek word that describes the Greek epoch of presence as unconcealment (= phenomenally). But in the second sense, the hyphenated sense, it is no longer a Greek word and cannot be enclosed within Greek experience, for it is no longer a quality of their experience, no longer a feature of the Greeke experience of presence, but rather that which grants (gives, bestows, lets be, opens up) the Greek experience of presence as unconcealment/phenomenality. In short, a-letheia is no longer a Greek word.  
…A-letheia is not a historical word or concept but that which makes historical words and concepts possible.
This distinction between the two senses of aletheia puts us in a position to understand the controversy about the etymology of aletheia and Heidegger's supposed retraction of his interpretation of Plato. In the 1930s Heidegger developed the view that prior to Plato aletheia meant unconcealedness, whereas in Plato himself a transition begins in which aletheia as unconcealment comes to mean orthotes or correctness. But in 1969 Heidegger concedes that the use of aletheia in the sense of the correctness of statements can be found as far back as Homer:

"In the scope of this question, we must acknowledge the fact that aletheia, unconcealment in the sense of the opening of presence, was originally only experienced as orthotes, as the correctness of representations and statements. But then the assertion [in Plato's Doctrine of Truth, 1943] about the essential transformation of truth, that is, from unconcealment to correctness, is also untenable."
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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:59 pm

Satyr wrote:
The real question is:

Why do we side with the cuckolded male, just as we always side with the victims of natural selection?


""Scapegoat—Any material object, animal, bird or person on whom the bad luck, diseases, misfortunes and sins of an individual or group are symbolically placed, and which is then turned loose, driven off with stones, cast into a river or the sea, etc., in the belief that it takes away with it all the evils placed upon it." (Maria Leach 1950)

Tyndale’s reading of Leviticus, chapter 16 verse 10, is as follows:

"But the goat, on which the lot fell to be scapegoat, shall be
presented alone before the Lord, to make an atonement with him and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness."

And verses 21–2 offer:

"And Aaron shall lay his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat and shall send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go into the wilderness."

It is generally accepted that Tyndale invented the word ‘scapegoat’ to express what he understood to be the literal meaning of the Hebrew word ‘azazel’...
Part of the ancient ritual among the Hebrews for the Day of Atonement laid down by Mosaic Law...two goats were brought to the altar of the Tabernacle and the high priest cast lots, one for the Lord and the other for Azazel. The Lord’s goat was sacrificed, the other was the scapegoat; and the high priest having, by confession, transferred his own sins and the sins of the people to it, was taken to the wilderness and suffered to escape.

Most authorities, when writing about the scapegoat of the Day of Atonement, actually describe the goat as being ‘driven’ into the wilderness. If Tyndale had read into the Hebrew the idea that the goat was ‘suffered to escape’, then his coining of the word ‘scape’ goat becomes much clearer.
The word ‘scape’ is what the dictionary describes as an ‘aphetic’ form of the common word escape, i.e. it has lost its first letter and was a form used in the thirteenth century. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology records that Tyndale ‘intended to render the supposed literal meaning of the Hebrew Azazel... “the goote on which the lotte fell to scape” ’.

The ancient Jewish belief system
The society in which the scapegoat of Leviticus existed had a belief system which combined most of the factors discussed in this chapter. To enumerate them, as did Cuppitt (1985:58), is in effect to summarise the chapter.

• Words were forces in their own right and could be used to modify events, create and alter situations and guide behaviour.

• Thinking was a process of deciding what to do on the basis of given ethical code.

• The idea of truth was contained in moral constancy and reliability.

• Knowledge was knowing the difference between what was right and what was wrong and being an obedient member of the
community.

• Nothing about existence in the community was neutral—the whole of life was subsumed in the belief system.

• No theoretical knowledge existed in the belief system—all wants and people, all behaviour was enmeshed in the beliefs.

• Thus no explanations were available, just an acknowledgement that the world was as laid down in the scriptures and a complete

What is relevant here to the process of scapegoating relates to the discovery of unacceptable parts of the self, the projection of them onto others and ultimately the banishment and punishment of those others for possessing those unacceptable traits, behaviours and intents. If one adds to this some of the factors of cognitive dissonance (Aronson 1980)—which would imply that if, when needing to feel good, the individual discovers that he or she possesses ‘bad parts’—a dissonance of that individual’s perception of self is established which is distressing, and by far the simplest method of discharging that distress is to punish others for having the same kind of ‘bad parts’. Thus, the act of scapegoating, i.e. transfer of blame or of badness, takes place.

What is true of individuals is equally true of groups and organisations. They, too, can split the complexity of human experience into either good or bad parts, can feel the same distress at seeing that they are hosts to both and can endeavour to discharge the bad by transferring it to others by a process of believing these others to be possessors of the ‘bad parts’.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this form of explanation of the scapegoating process is the fact that it points up what would seem to be an innate need of human beings to discharge the tensions engendered by the development of a recognition of the possession of unacceptable attributes. If what is revealed about human need in this way by modern forms of investigation into behaviour is supposedly devoid of any belief in mystical or religious causation, then there is a strong case for suggesting that the ancients also possessed this need in equal measure. Thus the factor which shaped their response to the need was the belief system in which they lived. This, in turn, has something to say about the belief system, if such a unitary entity can be said to exist, of today’s scapegoaters. At first glance this would seem to imply that a modern belief system would be constructed round the primacy of self-preservation in much the same way as was that of the ancients. However, the threat that was being defended against is no longer the punishment of a god but of a society and, indeed, what may be only a selected part of a society.

"The scapegoat has always had the mysterious power of unleashing man’s ferocious pleasure in torturing, corrupting and befouling."
(Françis Mauriac 1961)


Such people tend to show certain characteristics, viz.:

• Their beliefs are held with great rigidity and inflexibility.

• Their value system is ordinary and conventional.

• They cannot tolerate what they describe as ‘weakness’ either in themselves or in others.

• They believe that people should be punished for transgression of the conventional social code and that we should make no attempt to understand them.

• They show a high level of suspicion, particularly with regard to the unfamiliar.

• Constituted authority is regarded with an enormous degree of respect and entails a high degree of obedience to its order.


Johnson (1961) describes the role of scapegoat as ‘integrative and tension-managing’. Thus by implication he is suggesting that the process has a sustaining and positive effect. Essentially this thesis is prepared to accept the victimisation of some of its members as a valid cost of maintaining a group or organisation as a functioning entity. It is, however, a cost that those members may not be so willing to pay.

Storr (1968) believes that pariahs ‘serve a valuable function in human communities for the discharge of aggressive tension’. In this sense scapegoats tend to be pariahs. The valuable service they offer is to free communities from debilitating tensions, which is achieved by the scapegoats becoming the focus of the discharge of aggression.

Hinshelwood (1979:218), in a book titled Therapeutic Communities, wrote: ‘the emotional life of a community consists to a large extent of a wide ranging exchange system for unpleasant emotions’. Later he added that a therapeutic community ‘usually contains special individuals who act as a kind of a sump into which negativity and bad feelings tend to drain, and who become scapegoats or prophets of doom’.
The value of maintenance techniques is that the group or community survives, but unless, as noted earlier, the group then uses at least some of the time gained by the manoeuvre to consider not only the costs but also the causes and methods of coping in the future, then the ‘some must die that others may live’ syndrome will be repeated as being the most effective gambit on offer, no matter what it costs the victims. Maintenance in this case then sets off a system in which it becomes more important to find a suitable victim than to discover the actual causes of difficulty.

To continue the ‘sump’ analogy, it might be worth while taking a passing glance at the concept of deviancy.
Dentler and Erikson (1970) put forward several propositions about the function of deviancy in groups which, if we are prepared to accept that scapegoats are group deviants, may be worth considering. Their propositions covered the following behaviour:

• ‘Groups tend to induce, sustain, and permit deviant behaviour.’

• ‘Deviant behaviour functions in enduring groups to help maintain group equilibrium.’

• ‘Groups will resist any trend towards alienation of a member whose behaviour is deviant.’

Dentler and Erikson are stating that deviants have a maintenance function in a group; indeed, they go so far as to equate deviants with high status leaders as being on the margins of the group and as possessing specialised status. Like leaders, deviants are regarded as giving the group structure or ‘shape’ in that the deviant is a focus, an individual about whom the group constantly reminds itself that some action should be taken and because of whom the group is more certain of what it stands for and what it can or cannot do.

Deflection:
The motif of the malefactor scapegoat does not derive from the belief that evil is something concrete and indestructible, but from the belief (or theory as we might prefer to call it today) that evil is a quality of intended behaviour.
(Kraupl-Taylor 1964:14)

Most modern words used to describe the process of scapegoating indicate an attitude of contempt for those who become or are forced into the substitute position of victim. They appear to suggest that if people are so unwary, so stupid, so unsophisticated as not to realise that they are being made use of, then that is their misfortune. Truly it is part of the belief that there is one born every minute and they are gullible and there to be taken advantage of, so that the streetwise, the knowing ones can gain advantage or, at the very least, survival.

This attitude has a long history, but it tends to show most clearly in two areas: first, the change from the ritual and mystical element of classical scapegoating to the deliberate and intentional victimisation of the so-called gullible for personal advantage or survival; second, the marked increase in what can be called the individual use of scapegoating rather than its use as a communal cleansing process.
The expectation of punishment, which was so prevalent among the ancients, is no less prevalent today with the major difference that today’s punishing agents are the society in which the individual lives and the individual himself. In some sense this might give individuals the idea that society is more fallible than an all-seeing god, so modern scapegoating procedures possess much less of a bargain struck with the punishing agency and infinitely more of a plot to deceive. Thus the communication system, which was such an essential part of the classical scapegoat procedure in opening up the prospect of being able to plead for forgiveness, to offer expiation and to accept penance, is used to obfuscate and hide, to deflect scrutiny away from the culprit onto his or her selected victim.

This in turn leads to another major difference between old and new forms: the public acceptance of fault allied to the means to get rid of it as opposed to the private acceptance of fault and the means to deflect its consequences. In each case survival is at stake, but whereas the former carried with it the essential fact of cleansing, the modern process seems to produce no such effect, merely the desire that guilt shall remain hidden and unexpiated, with the damaging consequences of wrong-doing being meanwhile evaded. The transfer system no longer works in that sense, because there is no longer the belief that it will." [Tom Douglas, Scapegotas]


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:21 pm

Satyr wrote:

In what way was this Roman redefinition of the Hellenic term, truth/alitheia, influential, both to the Christians, who were an amalgamation of Roman and Jewish philosophy...
Why is Aristotle and Plato, two of the most prominent Hellenic thinkers in our time?


""Humanitas, explicitly so called, was first considered and striven for in the age of the Roman Republic. Homo Humanus was opposed to homo barbarus. Homo humanus here means the Romans, who exalted and honored Roman virtus through the “embodiment” of the paideia taken over from the Greeks. These were the Greeks of the Hellenistic age, whose culture was acquired in the schools of philosophy. It was concerned with eruditio et institutio in bonas artes [scholarship and training in good conduct]. Paideia thus understood was translated as humanitas. The genuine romanitas of homo romanus consisted in such humanitas. We encounter the first humanism in Rome: it therefore remains in essence a specifically Roman phenomenon, which emerged from the encounter of Roman civilization with the culture of late Greek civilization." (Heidegger 1993:224)


Like thinking, Heidegger implies that the Greek paideia was, in some fundamental degree, “errant”—a matter of prioritizing the par- ticular over the whole (what the humanist tradition came to conclusively identify as the [merely] “apparent” over the “real”)—not in the sense of a binary opposition between them, but of a belongingness, the imperative of which was antagonistic dialogue (Auseinandersetzung) (Heidegger 1959:62,105–106).

If inquiry into the phenomena was never presuppositionless for the Greeks, the presuppositions they brought to bear were put at risk, that is, understood as “forestructures” subject to the destruc- tive resistance of the singularity of events (Heidegger 1962:188–92). (This is what Heidegger means by the “hermeneutical circle” of the existential analytic, which he opposes to the “vicious circularity” that lies hidden behind the “objectivity” or “disinterestedness”—the prejudice against “presuppositions”—of modern humanistic and scientific inquiry [Heidegger 1962:315,363–364].) Fearing its destabilizing consequences, the Romans reduced this kind of radically dialogic—and peripatetic— education to a technological/disciplinary pedagogy: one, in other words, that transformed a way of learning committed to the instigation of questioning into one that would guarantee the production of dependable citizens of the metropolis. To invoke Foucault’s biopolitical extension of the meaning of Heidegger’s notion of the “disposable reserve” (Bestand), to which the modern (humanistic) “age of the world picture” threatens to reduce human beings, this “correction” of the “errant” Greek paideia was deployed to produce “useful and docile bodies” at the service of empire (Heidegger 1997; Foucault 1977:135– 69): “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori ”(Horace Odes 3.2).

It is also implicit in his assertion that the end of Roman pedagogy is the “embodiment” of virtu (from vir, “man”). For, in suggesting that virtu is the biologistic essence of homo romanus (the antithesis of homo barbarus), he is also suggesting that the relay of positive qualities inhering in this honored Latin word— ”man as animal rationale” (the Roman translation of zoon logon echon), “manliness,” “power deriving from piety and obedience to a higher cause,” and “goodness”—were understood by the Romans as the binary opposites of the effects of the Greek paideia: man as ec-static/in-sistent being-in-the world, effeminateness, errancy, and irresponsibility, if not exactly barbarism. This anthropo-logical and imperialist reading is consonant with the common Roman attitude towards Greek learning (especially philosophy). “In an effort to turn his son against Greek culture,” Plutarch says of Cato the Elder, this Roman sage “allowed himself an utterance which was absurdly rash for an old man: he pronounced with all the solemnity of a prophet that if ever the Romans became infected with the literature of Greece, they would lose their empire” (Plutarch 1965:146).

The so-called Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth-centuries in Italy is a renascentia romanitatis. Because romanitas is what matters, it is concerned with humanitas and therefore with Greek paideia. But Greek civilization is always seen in its later form and this itself is seen from a Roman point of view. The homo romanus of the Renaissance also stands in opposition to homo barbarus. But now the in-humane is the supposed barbarism of gothic Scholasticism in the Middle Ages. Therefore a studium humanitatis, which in a certain way reaches back to the ancients and thus becomes a revival of Greek civilization, always adheres to historically understood humanism. For Germans this is apparent in the humanism of the eighteenth century supported by Winckelmann, Goethe, and Schiller. On the other hand, Hölderlin does not belong to “humanism,” precisely because he thought the destiny of man’s essence in a more original [i.e., Greek] way than “humanism” could.” (Heidegger 1993:125)

What needs to be underscored in this remarkably suggestive, if tantalizingly brief, history is that Heidegger identifies Winckelmann, Goethe, and Schiller—and by implication the entire body of Enlightenment German scholarship: Woolf, Schlegel, Herder, Hegel, Humboldt—as those responsible for the revival and institutionalization of classical Greek studies in modernity with the anthropo-logical Roman para- digm. This humanistic frame of reference (what Bernal calls “the Aryan model”) is that which has determined the interpretation of classical Greek culture ever since. The names to which this scholarship refers—Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle—are Greek, but, Heidegger implies, they are Greeks medi- ated through imperial Roman eyes. This will become tellingly clear if, for example, the circular destinarian structure of Virgil’s Aeneid (and the enormous popularity of this Latin epic in European history before the advent of the “Aryan model”) is recognized to be, as it should, the Roman “visionary’s” “correction” of the “adolescent” errancy of “blind” Homer’s Odyssey that was intended to justify the Roman imperium sine fine.

The end of the pursuit of knowledge, according to this devel- oped—“postcolonial”—form of imperial practice, is to produce peace. But, this “peace” will be achieved only by the total colonization and pacification of the “Other.” To put it in terms of Foucault’s “repressive hypothesis”—a strategy that along with the appropriation of the “Roman model” was invented by the Enlightenment “reformers” to escape the fate of the ancien regime’s overt use of power—this duplicitous peace will only come when those “others” upon whom power is practiced become, by way of the inscription of the “truth” (of the West) in the “other,” the bearers of their own incarceration:

He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play spontane- ously upon himself; he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection. By this very fact, the external power may throw off its physical weight; it tends to the non-corporeal; and, the more it approaches this limit, the more constant, profound and permanent are its effects: it is a perpetual victory that avoids any physical confrontation and which is always decided in advance. (Foucault 1977:202–203)"

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:49 pm

Satyr wrote:

Why was Nietzsche, according to Heidegger, unable to escape the modern interpretations of Hellenism, responding to the Roman variants?


Nietzsche according to Heidegger:

"Prefigured here as well is Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche as having failed to "twist free" of Platonism (N1 148210). Nietzsche's sensuous inversion of Platonism fails to change the "ordering structure of Western thinking" be- cause as an inversion it remains Platonism (210). Put briefly, Nietzsche understands art and creativity as an exhibition of the body. What be- gins in and with Plato and Platonism as an un- derstanding of Being as idea and of knowing as the conforming of some higher attribute of hu- man beings"reason,'' ''mind," or an equivalentto the ideas culminates in and as the triumph of the body, of animality. Truth is understood as conditioned by "life," which means that the schem- atizing activity of the mind, thus conditioned, is determined more fundamentally by nature un- derstood as "chaos" (N1 21420; N3 6876, 7783). The doctrine of eternal return, thought in these contexts, is intended to oppose a "humanization" of the world, but the deeper dependence of thought on the needs of life, of the body, ensures the failure of this opposition (N2 7783; N3 8489). The operations of the Kantian schemat- ism, calculation, and the law of contradiction, to name the most important instances of thought, amount to commands, which is to say, exhibi- tions of will to power, itself in turn an exhibition of the body, of animality (N3 90127, 15556, 193200). Finally, overman exhibits the triumph of the body, and Nietzschean politics, politics in the "grand style," is intelligible as the politics of the body (N3 21232). Platonism, if not Plato, begins with the ideas and ends with animality, for both overman and last man are animals dif- fering only in the degree of will to power they are."

"Thus, in inverting Plato, Heidegger states that for Nietzsche 'the vacant niches of the "above and below" are preserved, suffering only a change in occupancy, as it were. But as long as the "above and below" define the formal structure of Platonism, Platonism in its essence perdures.' The overcoming of Platonism is successful only when the "above" in general is set aside as such, when the former positing pf something true and desirable no longer arises, when the true world - in the sense of the ideal - is expunged.' To the extent that Nietzsche's understanding of will to power is such that it is what is real, what is true, then Nietzsche does not successfully escape platoons.
This is exactly how Heidegger, in his book Parmenides, interprets Nietzsche's understanding of the will to power. Here, too, Heidegger argues that the entire thinking of the Occident from Plato to Nietzsche thinks in terms of this delimitation of the essence of truth as correctness.'" [J.Bell, Philosophy at the edge of Chaos]

Heidegger's faulty interpretation was noted both by Eugen Fink [a student of Heidegger], and Sloterdijk.

"Fink understands the overman not as a world-dominator, but as one who, in orienting himself toward the playing cosmos, in turn becomes one who plays. Although this might seem like a mere euphemism for Heidegger’s treatment of the overman as an unrestrained, violent creator, Fink sees this figure as bound by the necessity of the play to which he is receptive:

"the playing man who remains ecstatically exposed to the formless and forming God Dionysos does not live in the wandering willfulness of absolute freedom. He is a participant in the play of the cosmos and wills profoundly that which is necessary.""

To Heidegger, aletheia presences the polis as the site of originary struggle and confrontation in which ranks come out on their own. Nietzsche's ER was designed as this very unconcealing in which the immorality of the slaves' good and evil would be exposed and in such confrontation, ranks would fall into place on their own:

"...freedom, "understood as letting beings be [Sein- lassen des Seienden]," exhibits the essence of truth, understood as "disclosure of beings through which an openness essentially unfolds," truth "is in essence freedom," and freedom has "already attuned [abgestimmt] all comportment to beings as a whole" [Heidegger, ET 12931]."

"Not to make men "better," not to preach morality to them in any form, as if "morality in itself," or any ideal kind of man, were given; but to create conditions that require stronger men who for their part need, and consequently will have, a morality
(more clearly: a physical-spiritual discipline) that makes them strong!" [N., WTP, 981]


"It was morality that protected life against despair and the leap into nothing, among men and classes who were violated and oppressed by men: for it is the experience of being powerless against men, not against nature, that generates the most desperate embitterment against existence. Morality treated the violent despots, the doers of violence, the "masters" in general as the enemies against whom the common man must be protected, which means first of all encouraged and strengthened. Morality consequently taught men to hate and despise most profoundly what is the basic character trait of those who rule: their will to power. To abolish, deny, and dissolve this morality-that would mean looking at the best-hated drive with an opposite feeling and valuation. If the suffering and oppressed lost the faith that they have the right to despise the will to power, they would enter the phase of hopeless despair. This would be the case if this trait were essential to life and it could be shown that even in this will to morality this very "will to power" were hidden, and even this hatred and contempt were still a will to power. The oppressed would come to see that they were on the same plain with the oppressors, without prerogative, without higher rank.

Nihilism as a symptom that the underprivileged have no comfort left; that they destroy in order to be destroyed; that with- out morality they no longer have any reason to "resign themselves" -that they place themselves on the plain of the opposite principle and also want power by compelling the powerful to become their hangmen.
...It is the value of such a crisis that it purifies, that it pushes together related elements to perish of each other, that it assigns common tasks to meu who have opposite ways of thinking-and it also brings to light the weaker and less secure among them and thus promotes an order of rank according to strength, from the point of view of health: those who command are recognized as those who command, those who obey as those who obey." [N., WTP, 55]


According to the leftist Sloterdijk, N.'s WTP itself is an un-idealistic degree of 'A' will-to-power, far from any Platonism. [See Sloterdijk's really excellent book, which also highlights N.'s pro-Socrates/anti-Socratism relation: [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]

Sloterdijk in fact critiques Heidegger for critiquing N. this way:

"However, Sloterdijk repeatedly stresses an important similarity between Heidegger’s ontological project and post-Kantian subject-object dialectics. In both cases, an existing form of subjectivity is unmasked as not emancipatory enough. This is done in the name of a more proper, teleologically defined Bei-sich-Sein, respectively an essential auto- or onto-nomos, which ultimately turns out to be – as Derrida has repeatedly demonstrated – a metaphysically and thus morally informed theo-nomos. In post-Kantian dialectics, this order has been that of the essence of man, which is not yet fully realized; for Heidegger, it is the voice of Being, which is not yet fully heard. Both anthropological difference and ontological difference are conceived of as ultimate differences which, once appropriated, legitimate a denial of the actual state of affairs in the name of something that is yet to come...The same can be said of Heidegger, for whom the original Verfallenheit or Irre must be overcome in order to bring humanity into its proper relation of listening to the voice of Being and letting itself be tuned by it."

Heid. critiques N. for philosophizing everything from the point of view of Life / self-preservation [Dionysian being a degree of this],,, while Sloterdijk critiques Heid. for philosophizing everything from the point of view of a being "Proper To"... /attunement-with. ...which is still keeping in with life as long as Man is an essential part of the fourfold nature of Being.



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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:54 pm

Anyways. I do have to add this, that Nietzsche himself, irrespective of Heid.'s misinterpretation was actually pro-Greek and anti-Roman in the sense Heid. accuses him.
If N. was Roman, and he was, it is in the sense of that saying "politics is war by any other means." Likewise to N., "Romanism is Hellenism by any other means."

Dionysos is the epiphanic god.
"In The Poetics of Epiphany, Ashton Nichols traces the etymology of the word “epiphany.” According to Nichols, the word “epiphany” is derived from the Greek phainein “to show” and the prepositional prefix epi, which means variably “on,” “over,” “at,” and “after.” Phainein can also be translated “to bring to light” or to “cause to appear,” and is the root of “fantasy,” “phantom,” and “phenomenon.” The Greek forms epiphainein and epiphaneia mean respectively “to manifest” and “appearance” or “manifestation”.
The Dionysian as the degree of "how much 'truth' can one endure" is the "bringing to light" of the naure of Aletheia.

Self-Assertion is the aggressive-Balance of being open to as many perspectives as one can endure, allowing as many presences from concealed abysses one can endure. It is the opposite of rigid certainty.

N. positioned himself as pro-Greek between scientific Rome with over-expansive drive and mystical India with its over-diminishing drive:


"In Nietzsche's scheme, an unmastered drive for knowledge results in the scepticism of all meaningful cultural distinctions, while an unmastered drive for mysticism is related to widespread pessimism. Both scepticism and pessimism are active in modernity's social crisis; hence, Nietzsche finds that both conditions need to be held at bay, and that the Greeks could serve to inspire modernity with the image of a culture that mastered itself effectively.

Several non-Greek societies prior to pre-Platonic times had advanced noteworthy discoveries in the sciences of navigation, mathematics, astronomy, civil engineering and the like. How, then, was Greek society unique in its development and deployment of the sciences? We can begin to answer this question by asking: how did these less successful societies fail to cultivate with their new technologies a more noble kind of existence?
In Nietzsche's view, distinctions between the Greeks and other ancient societies are related to differences between philosophy and science. The early Nietzsche offers several views on these differences: for example, in a footnote from the pre-Platonic lectures, he argues that

"Sophia indicates one who chooses with discriminating taste, whereas science founds itself, without such picky tastes, on all things knowable.
Philosophical thinking is, specifically, of the same sort as scientific thinking, only it directs itself toward great things and possibilities. The concept of greatness, however, is amorphous, partly aesthetic and moralistic. Philosophy maintains a bond with the drive for knowledge, and therein lies its significance for culture. It is a legislating of greatness, a bestowal of titles in alliance with philosophy; they say, 'This is great,' and in this way humanity is elevated."

In a notebook entry recorded in 1870-71, Nietzsche compares the Roman Empire's unrestrained physical expanse to that more considered development of Athens, suggesting that states such as Rome, founded upon the most narrow-minded of practical aims, may very well 'swell to an unnaturally large size'. He also observes that such an expanse occurs when a state 'cannot obtain its ultimate goal'; in response to this failure the expansive state discharges its energies in outward displays of force, while attempting to dominate its neighbours. Regions of the political landscape promoting only the struggle for survival fail to produce the kind of flourishing culture most proper to the true aims of political organization, even if it is true that the expansive state accumulates the greatest wealth of goods. Nietzsche concludes, then, that 'the strength that really should go into the flower here remains in the leaves and stem' which expand instead. Such expansive societies will remain needlessly entangled, then, in the most ignoble form of the war of each against all, and some of them, we can observe, grow to be quite large. For this reason, Jaspers notes, Nietzsche denounces the Roman type of 'expanse', finding in the Empire 'nothing sublime ... when he compares it with the Athenian city-state'.
Early Nietzsche's ideal for the 'expansive state' is drawn from his understanding of the Romans - compared to the Greeks, the Romans are neither artists nor philosophers.

In The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche lays out three distinct responses to humanity's sociopolitical requirements, exemplified once again by the historical paths of 'Indian Buddhism', the Greeks and the Roman Empire. In the context of Nietzsche's early discourse on the Dionysian and Apollonian impulses of the human spirit, we find that the 'Roman Empire' represents 'the greatest but also the most frightening expression' of a people taking the path towards 'extreme secularization' and the unconditional endorsement of 'political impulses' (politischen Triebe), following exclusively the impulse represented by Apollo, the founder of states. Against this path, 'Indian Buddhism' represents 'a diminution, to the point of indifference or even hostility, of political feelings'. The Indian response thus embraces the orgiastic impulse without measure, seeking 'ecstasy with their elevation over space, time, and individuation'. Such mystical and sectarian-communal yearnings, 'anti-political' as they may be, prove hostile to life, in Nietzsche's view, as is indicated by his judgement of the Greek response:
Placed between India and Rome, and compelled to make a seductive choice, the Greeks managed to find a third form in classical purity .. ,38
By responding to the human social requirement with this third form of the sociopolitical landscape, the Greeks exhausted 'themselves neither in ecstatic brooding nor in the consuming spirit of worldly power and glory'. This is to say that neither were they discontent nor did they merely attempt to expand their borders and material holdings. Instead, one finds in the Greeks, 'the glorious mixture [of the Dionysian and Apollonian instincts] that one finds in a fine wine, which both fires the blood and turns the mind to contemplation'.

The influence of Nietzsche's pre-Platonic studies is manifest in his conceptualization of the doctrine he calls 'will to power', as the following passages from 1886's Beyond Good and Evil illustrate:

"Imagine a being like nature, wasteful beyond measure, without purposes and consideration, without mercy and justice, fertile and desolate and uncertain at the same time: imagine indifference itself as a power - how could you live according to this indifference? Living - is that not precisely wanting to be other than this nature? Is not living - estimating, preferring, being unjust, being limited, wanting to be different (Different-sein-wollen)."Tl

Indifference, according to Nietzsche, is a power; it is the originary violence that brings forth its antinomy - the exception, wanting to be different. Hence, Nietzsche attempts to answer the foundational 'philosophical prob- lem' of variation, formulated today as it was two thousand years ago. 'How can something arise from its opposite?' Originary violence, in this view, brings forth a life of combat and victory, which must be transformed in the sociopolitical and cultural lives of individuals.
Once again, Nietzsche describes, here, a mythical region beyond the human horizon: bare nature's 'wastefulness', its measurelessness, its excesses, its lack of certainty, purpose, consideration, mercy and justice, most fully express nature's existence in a kind of mythical violence, resisting compre- hension through anthropomorphism. Because of the human being's instinctual will to draw out determinations, distinctions, exceptions, differ- ences, humanity cannot fully exhaust bare nature's indifference with mere calculation. 'Let us beware', Nietzsche warns, of claiming to have done so.

In struggling to stamp all of these variations on the agonal instinct, and in bringing forth all of those particular cosmological variations that followed, the Greek exemplar extended his egoism in the image of himself to the undistinguished mass of humanity, and in doing so he affirmed measures of distinction in the appearance of something great. Thus, 'he made danger his calling'.

In order to resist the 'power of indifference', in order to make distinctions, the human being had very early in its evolution developed an instinct for rank, for re-presenting to itself a world of 'indifference' through various forms of fixed identities. A heightened taste for distinction characterizes the genius of the pre-Platonic philosophers and establishes them as the most extraordinary men of their times. It is a distinction born out of the cultivation of human instincts, of a mastery that sculpts the image of the self as the first form among an otherwise equally measureless and formless mass. It is a distinction that transforms the violence of its opposition. It is char- acteristically and paradoxically human - against nature, from out of the essence of nature:

"And some abysmal arrogance finally still inspires you with the insane hope that because you know how to tyrannize yourselves ... nature, too, lets herself be tyrannized . . . But this is an ancient, eternal story: what formerly happened . . . still happens today, too, as soon as any philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise. Philosophy is this tyrannical drive itself, the most spiritual will to power, to the 'creation of the world'."" [Dale Wilkerson, Nietzsche and the Greeks]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:55 pm

Satyr wrote:
Is the Socratic self-sacrifice, reminiscent of the Jesus crucifixion? Are they not personalities, disputed as being real

I do not know about the historical authenticity of Jesus or Socrates, but one big difference being Socrates was pro-Political for which he was sentenced, and Christ was anti-Political for which he was 'slaughtered' like a scapegoat.

Quote :
why did Platonic thought become the Hellenic philosophy that got mixed with Jewish spirituality, to bring about Christianity?

It sold Optimism to the Weak and Hopeless; reason = virtue = happiness.

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:58 pm

Satyr wrote:

Why did Heidegger join Nazism,

Must read book: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:50 pm

Well, we need this on a PDF file...and for free.

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:29 am

Heidegger, Martin wrote:
History declines insofar as it
falls back into the concealedness of
its beginning – i.e., it does not decline in the sense of perish, because
it can never “decline” that way.
If, in order to elucidate the δαιμονιον, we point here at the essence of the Greek divinities, then we have
in mind not antiquated things, or the objects of historiography, but
history. And history is the event of the essential decision about the
essence of truth, which event is always a coming one and never something past.
In forgetting, however, we are subservient to the past in the most dire
way.

Heidegger explores existence from a Hellenic perspective.
To achieve this looking back, this historical, convergence, he uses Hellenic language as an indication; a way of seeing through Hellenic eyes.

His claim is that what we consider Greek - Greek being a term the Romans gave to the Hellenes - is only how the Romans adapted Hellenism to their own culture.

History, therefore, coming from the Hellenic Ιστορια 'to bring into view'.
The θειον, commonly referred to as the "divine," is based on the term for to see, to observe.
The theion was that which brought being into appearance...the "looking one"...theos being that which shines through being.
Atheon, atheist, is that which has been concealed from the seeing eye, which has been concealed, the unobserved, the oblivion of Being.

Living in this age where the gods have subsided, have fallen into oblivion, history becomes a blind recitation of events.
It does not come into view, appearance as divine, as the theion.
This disconnection of Modernity form history is a loss of being, as it constitutes a shining upon Becoming, a light guiding Becoming.

God, the monotheistic authoritarian Roman-like Imperial, ONE, stands as oblivion....the unobserved, the unhistorical.
He is not about lighting, but darkening...a God of the forgetting...the ληθες rather than the α-ληθες.
Heidegger explores how the Romans turned the unconcealedness of alitheia into their concealing, sheltering, imposing, authoritarian, Imposing-Imperial veritas.
Christianity was inevitable as a mixing of Judaism and this bastardization of Hellenism, particularly Platonism, by the Romans.

History becomes a concealing from view...and when we speak fo history we do not mean human texts, human perceptions, but the entirety of the past, shining forth in the present, in a presence.
History lived in the Becoming...not as some forgotten past with no value and no application in the here and now.

As such, we can define popular culture, with its secular, non-spiritual, atheistic, political-correctness, as a forgetting - a forgetfulness
The "individual" is redefined as cut-off from the past, and only studies historiography, not history.
He does not wish to bring into view but to cover up, to deny and dismiss.

What are these "racism", "sexism" shaming accusations, but a peer-pressuring forgetfulness?
What shines through these appearances is to be denied; one must close one's eyes to the presence....and fall into lithe.
With each birth the child is baptized so as to wash away these memories.
The "individual, in the modern, western, usage of the term, is an organism with no past. (S)He decides what he will become, by denouncing the past as non-applicable.

Modern man as the unhistorical man.
The organism with no past.

----------------
Istoro, History, is to bring into view...observe is to comply, to attend to.
The difference produces the un-Hellenic age we call Modernity.

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:30 pm

satyr wrote:
History, therefore, coming from the Hellenic Ιστορια 'to bring into view'.
The θειον, commonly referred to as the "divine," is based on the term for to see, to observe.
The theion was that which brought being into appearance...the "looking one"...theos being that which shines through being.
Atheon, atheist, is that which has been concealed from the seeing eye, which has been concealed, the unobserved, the oblivion of Being.

Pages 20, 21:
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Theion - divine:
"From different Indo-Germanic roots (div, "to shine" or "give light"; thes in thessasthai "to implore") come the Indo-Iranian deva, Sanskrit dyaus (gen. divas), Latin deus, Greek theos, Irish and Gaelic dia, all of which are generic names; also Greek Zeus (gen. Dios, Latin Jupiter (jovpater ), Old Teutonic Tiu or Tiw (surviving in Tuesday), Latin Janus, Diana, and other proper names of pagan deities."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:33 pm

Satyr wrote:
Well, we need this on a PDF file...and for free.

Tried, but couldn't find a free pdf. I have a hard copy of the book; let me see if I can scan it.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:18 pm

Satyr wrote:
Why did Heidegger join Nazism, and why were females so attracted to him, despite his physical presence and his past?


"We must acknowledge," Faye says in one fierce conclusion, "that an author who has espoused the foundations of Nazism cannot be considered a philosopher." Finally, he reiterates his opposition to the Heidegger Industry: "If his writings continue to proliferate without our being able to stop this intrusion of Nazism into human education, how can we not expect them to lead to yet another translation into facts and acts, from which this time humanity might not be able to recover?"
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Such hatred... lolz, I must get Faye's book!


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Thu May 30, 2013 4:11 am

Continuing with Veritas, Nietzsche remarks in Genealogy of Morals, 8, how current Justice evolved from calculable-adequation...

Quote :
"To resume the path of our enquiry, the feeling of guilt, of personal obligation has, as we saw, its origin in the oldest and most primitive personal relationship there is and has been—in the relationship between seller and buyer, creditor and debtor. Here for the first time one person encountered another person and measured himself against him. We have not yet found a civilization at such a low level that something of this relationship is not already perceptible. To set prices, measure values, think up equivalencies, to exchange things—that preoccupied man’s very first thinking to such a degree that in a certain sense it’s what thinking is.

The very oldest form of astuteness was bred here—here, too, we can assume are the first beginnings of human pride, his feeling of pre-eminence in relation to other animals. Perhaps our word “man” [Mensch](manas) continues to express directly something of this feeling of the self: the human being describes himself as a being which assesses values, which values and measures, as the “inherently calculating animal.” Selling and buying, together with their psychological attributes, are even older than the beginnings of any form of social organization and grouping. It is much rather the case that out of the most rudimentary form of personal legal rights the budding feeling of exchange, contract, guilt, law, duty, and compensation were first transferred to the crudest and earliest social structures (in their relationships with similar social structures), along with the habit of comparing power with power, of measuring, of calculating. The eye was now at any rate adjusted to this perspective, and with that awkward consistency characteristic of the thinking in ancient human beings, hard to get started but then inexorably moving forward in the same direction, people soon reached the great generalization “Everything has its price, everything can be paid off”—the oldest and most naïve moral principle of justice, the beginning of all “good nature,” all “fairness,” all “good will,” all “objectivity” on earth.

Justice at this first stage is good will among those approximately equal in power to come to terms with each other, to “understand” each other again by compensation—and in relation to those less powerful, to compel them to arrive at some settlement among themselves."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:11 pm

Oath, Adequation & Blasphemy:  How the Monotheistic God - "In the Beginning was the Word" -  came about.


Quote :
"Now we call oath [horkos] that which conserves [diaterousan] all things in the same state and renders them stable in such a way that, as they are held in the guarantee of the oath and maintain the order of the law, the immutable stability of the order of creation is the completion of the creating law" (Hirzel, 74; see also Aujoulat, 109—10).

It is necessary to pay attention to the words that express the function of the oath in the two passages. In both Lycurgus and Hierocles the oath does not create anything, does not bring anything into being, but keeps united [synecbo] and conserves [diatereo] what something else (in Hierocles, the law; in Lycurgus, the citizens or the legislator) has brought into being.

An analogous function seems to be assigned to the oath by what Prodi considers the fundamental text concerning this institution that has come down to us from Roman juridical culture, namely, the passage from De officiis (3.29.10) in which Cicero defines the oath thus:
[But in taking an oath it is our duty to consider not what one may have to fear in case of violation but wherein its obligation lies: an oath is an assurance backed by religious sanctity; and a solemn promise given, as before God as ones witness, is to be sacredly kept. For the question no longer concerns the wrath of the gods (for there is no such thing) but the obligations of justice and good faith.]

Affirmatio does not signify simply a linguistic utterance but what confirms and guarantees. (The phrase that follows, "affirmate . . . promiseris," does nothing but reaffirm the same idea:
"That which you have promised in the solemn and confirmed form of the oath.")
And it is this function of stability and guarantee that Cicero draws attention to, writing at the beginning, "In the sacrament it is important to consider not so much the danger that it generates, but its own efficacy [vis]; and the answer to the question of what this vis consists in appears unequivocally in the etymological definition of the fides that, according to Cicero, is at stake in the oath: quia fiat quod dictum est appelatam fidem ("good faith [fidem] is so called because what is promised is "made good [fiat] [ibid., 1.23]).

It is with this specific vis in mind that one must reread the words with which Emile Benveniste, at the beginning of his 1948 article "L'expression du serment dans la Grece ancienne" (The Expression of the Oath in Ancient Greece), defined its function:
[The oath] is a particular modality of assertion, which supports, guarantees, and demonstrates, but does not found anything.
Individual or collective, the oath exists only by virtue of that which it reinforces and renders solemn: a pact, an agreement, a declaration. It prepares for or concludes a speech act which alone possesses meaningful content, but it expresses nothing by itself. It is in truth an oral rite, often completed by a manual rite whose form is variable. Its function consists not in the affirmation that it produces, but in the relation that it institutes between the word pronounced and the potency invoked. (Benveniste [1], 81-82)

The oath does not concern the statement as such but the guarantee of its efficacy: what is in question is not the semiotic or cognitive function of language as such but the assurance of its truthfulness and its actualization.
All the sources and scholars seem to agree that the oaths primary function, in its various forms, is that of guaranteeing the truth and efficacy of language.

It is possible, then, not only that what was originally at issue in the oath was the guarantee of a promise or of the truthfulness of an affirmation but that the institution that we know today by that name contains the memory of a more archaic stage, in which it was concerned with the very consistency of human language and the very nature of humans as "speaking animals."
The "scourge" that it had to stem was not only the unreliability of men, incapable of staying true to their word, but a weakness pertaining to language itself, the capacity of words themselves to refer to things and the ability of men to make profession of their condition as speaking beings.

The connection between oath and perjury seems, however, to be from the very beginning so essential that the sources speak of a veritable "art of the oath"—in which, according to Homer (Od. 19.394), Autolycus excelled—which consisted in uttering oaths that, thanks to verbal tricks, could, if taken literally, signify something different from what the person to whom they were given could understand. It is in this sense that one should understand the observation of Plato according to which Homer "praises Autolycus, Odysseus' grandfather on his mother's side, and says that 'in swearing oaths and thieving he surpassed all men " {Rep. 334b).

Something like a human language was in fact only able to be produced in the moment in which the living being, who found itself co-originarily exposed to the possibility of both truth and lie, committed itself to respond with its life for its words, to testify in the first person for them.
...the oath express the demand, decisive in every sense for the speaking animal, to put its nature at stake in language and to bind together in an ethical and political connection words, things, and actions. Only by this means was it possible for something like a history, distinct from nature and, nevertheless, inseparably intertwined with it, to be produced.

It is in the wake of this decision, in faithfulness to this oath, that the human species, to its misfortune as much as to its good fortune, in a certain way still lives. Every naming is, in fact, double: it is a blessing or a curse. A blessing, if the word is full, if there is a correspondence between the signifier and the signified, between words and things; a curse if the word is empty, if there remains, between the semiotic and the semantic, a void and a gap. Oath and perjury, bene-diction and male-diction correspond to this double possibility inscribed in the logos, in the experience by means of which the living being has been constituted as speaking being. Religion and law technicalize this anthropogenic experience of the word in the oath and the curse as historical institutions, separating and opposing point by point truth and lie, true name and false name, efficacious formula and incorrect formula." [Agamben, The Sacrament of Language]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:12 pm

Quote :
"Blasphemy is an oath, in which the name of a god is extracted from the assertorial or promissory context and is uttered in itself in vain, independently of a semantic content. The name, which in the oath expresses and guarantees the connection between words and things and which defines the truthfulness and force of the logos, in blasphemy expresses the breakdown of this connection and the vanity of human language. The name of God, isolated and pronounced "in vain," corresponds symmetrically to perjury, which separates words from things; oath and blasphemy, as bene-diction and male-diction, are co-originarily implied in the very event of language.

The originary form of blasphemy is not, then, injury done to God but pronouncing his name in vain (cf mataioomai, "to rave, to speak haphazardly").


This is evident in the euphemisms that intervened to rectify the blasphemous utterance of the name by changing one of its letters or substituting a similar nonsense term for it (as in French par Dieu became pardi or parbleu / cf. the English gosh and similar).

Contrary to the common opinion, in paganism as well there existed, even if for different reasons, the interdiction of uttering the name of the gods, which took its extreme form in the custom of carefully keeping the true name of a city's patron god unknown in order to avoid its evocatio. Plato thus informs us that the Greeks preferred to call Hades by the name of Pluto "because they feared the name [phoboumenoi to onoma] (Cra. 403a).

As the awareness of the efficacy of the pronunciation of the divine name was lost, the originary form of blasphemy represented by uttering it in vain took second place to the pronouncing of injury or falsity on God. From male dicere de deo [speaking badly of God], blasphemy thus became mala dicere de deo [saying bad things about God]. In Augustine, who, significantly, treats blasphemy in his treatise on lying, the evolution is already complete. If the originary proximity to the oath and to perjury is still present, blasphemy is now defined as saying false things of God.

That which was "badly said" became in this way a curse in the technical sense, and fidelity to the word became an obsessive and scrupulous concern with appropriate formulas and ceremonies, that is, religio and ius> The performative experience of the word is constituted and isolated in a "sacrament of language" and this latter in a "sacrament of power."
The "force of law" that supports human societies, the idea of linguistic enunciations that stably obligate living beings, that can be observed and transgressed, derive from this attempt to nail down the originary performative force of the anthropogenic experience, and are, in this sense, an epiphenomenon of the oath and of the malediction that accompanied it.


Prodi opened his history of the "sacrament of power" with the observation that we are today the first generations to live our collective life without the bond of the oath and that this change cannot but entail a transformation in the forms of political association. If this diagnosis hits at all upon the truth, that means that humanity finds itself today before a disjunction or, at least, a loosening of the bond that, by means of the oath, united the living being to its language. On the one hand, there is the living being, more and more reduced to a purely biological reality and to bare life. On the other hand, there is the speaking being, artificially divided from the former, through a multiplicity of technico-mediatic apparatuses, in an experience of the word that grows ever more vain, for which it is impossible to be responsible and in which anything like a political experience becomes more and more precarious.

When the ethical—and not simply cognitive—connection that unites words, things, and human actions is broken, this in fact promotes a spectacular and unprecedented proliferation of vain words on the one hand and, on the other, of legislative apparatuses that seek obstinately to legislate on every aspect of that life on which they seem no longer to have any hold.


The age of the eclipse of the oath is also the age of blasphemy, in which the name of God breaks away from its living connection with language and can only be uttered "in vain."" [Agamben, The Sacrament of Language]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:29 pm

Quote :
"The Sondergotter [special gods] are known to us only through their names, and, to judge from the silence of the sources, they live only in their name, whenever the priest ritually invokes them {indigitabai). Even an elementary etymological competence permits one to reconstruct the meaning of these names and the function of the "special gods" that they named:

Vervactor refers to the first tilling of May (vervactum);
Reparator to the second plowing;
Inporcitor to the last plowing that traces theporcae, that is the elevations of earth between furrows;
Occator to the working of the earth with the harrow (occd);
Subruncinator to the pulling out of weeds with the hoe (runco);
Messor to the carrying out of the harvest (messis);
Sterculinius to fertilization with dung.

"For every act and situation that could be important to the men of that time," writes Usener, "special gods were created and named with distinct verbal coinages - in this way, not only are the acts and situations as a whole divinized, but even their parts, singular actions, and moments".
Usener shows that even divinities who have entered into mythology, like Persephone and Pomona, were originally "special gods" who named, respectively, the breaking through of buds (prosero) and the maturation of fruits (poma).

All the names of the gods — are initially names of actions or brief events, Sondergotter who, through a long historico-linguistic process, lost their relationship with the living vocabulary and, becoming more and more unintelligible, were transformed into proper names. At this point, when it had already been stably linked to a proper name, "the divine concept gains the ability and impetus to receive a personal form in myth and cult, poetry and art".

But this means that, as is evident in the Sondergotter, in its originary core the god who presides over the singular activity and the singular situation is nothing other than the very name of the activity and the situation. What is divinized in the Sondergotter is the very event of the name; nomination itself, which isolates and renders recognizable a gesture, an act, a thing, creates a "special god," is a "momentary divinity* {Augenblicksgoti).

The nomen is immediately numen and the numen immediately nomen. Here we have something like the foundation or the originary core of that testimonial and guaranteeing function of language that, according to the traditional interpretation, the god came to assume in the oath. Like the Sondergott, the god invoked in the oath is not properly the witness of the assertion or the imprecation: he represents, he is the very event of language in which words and things are indissolubly linked. Every naming, every act of speech is, in this sense, an oath, in which the logos (the speaker in the logos) pledges to fulfill his word, swears on its truthfulness, on the correspondence between words and things that is realized in it. And the name of the god is only the seal of this force of logos—or, in the case in which it falls into perjury, of the male-diction that has been brought into being.

One can thus understand the essential primacy of the name of God in monotheistic religions, its identification with and almost substitution for the God it names. If, in polytheism, the name assigned to the god named this or that event of language, this or that specific naming, this or that Sondergott, in monotheism God's name, names language itself. The potentially infinite dissemination of singular, divine events of naming gives way to the divinization of the logos as such, to the name of God as archi-event of language that takes place in names. Language is the word of God, and the word of God is, in the words of Philo, an oath; it is God insofar as he reveals himself in the logos as the "faithful one" (pistos) par excellence. God is the oath-taker in the language of which man is only the speaker, but in the oath on the name of God the language of men communicates with divine language.
Hence, in Maimonides and in rabbinic Judaism the persistency with regard to the status of the proper name of God, the Tetragrammaton. To pronounce the name of God means to understand it as that experience of language in which it is impossible to separate name and being, words and things.
Considered in this perspective, the ontological (or onto-theo- logical) argument simply says that if speech exists, then God exists, and God is the expression of this metaphysical "performance." In it, sense and denotation, essence and existence coincide, the existence of God and his essence are one sole and identical thing.

The co-originarity of the performative structure and denotative structure of speech ensures that the "Indo-European scourge" is inscribed in the very act of speaking, which is to say, is consubstantial with the very condition of the speaking being. With the logos are given both—co-originarily, but in such a way that they cannot perfecdy coincide—names and discourse, truth and lie, oath and perjury, bene-diction and male-diction, existence and non- existence of the world, being and nothingness.
This performative power of the name of God explains the fact, which is at first glance surprising, that the polemic of the Christian apologists against the pagan gods did not concern their existence or nonexistence but only their being, in the words that Dante puts in the mouth of Virgil, "false and lying" {Inferno 1.72). The pagan gods exist but are not true gods; they are demons (according to Tatian) or human beings (for Tertullian).


In correspondence with a potentially infinite multiplication of their names, the pagan gods are equivalent to false oaths, are constitutively perjurers. On the contrary, the invocation of the true Gods name is the very guarantee of every worldly truth (Augustine: Thee do I invoke, God, Truth, in whom and by whom and through whom are all things true which are true].1.3).
Once the performative power of language was concentrated in the name of the one God (which had become, for this reason, more or less unpronounceable), the individual divine names lose all efficacy and fall to the level of linguistic ruins, in which only the denotative meaning remains perceptible (in this sense, Tertullian can mention sarcastically Sterculus cum indigitamentis suis [Some Sterculus, I suppose]—Apol. 25.10)." [Agamben, The Sacrament of Language]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:09 pm

The Shift from Mythos to Logos.


Watkins wrote:
"The Poet's truth: The power, particularity, and preservation of the word.

The "power of the word", the poet's formula, his truth, has a simple corollary, which we may call the "particularity of the word". One must pay attention to it in its specificity, to the precise wording, the verbal expression of the text. To alter the expressed word is to deprive it of its power.
This is the essence of Brahman -'Formula; Proper, Appropriate Form',
Old Persian BRAZMAN- (if related).
Without the proper Form, Ritual Fails (origin of karma), "prayer" is useless. But the proper form of a hymn, the proper ordering of ritual speech, compels the divinity to grant the wishes of the maker or commissionar of the hymn." [How to Kill a Dragon]


Nietzsche wrote:
"When one lets rhythm permeate speech - the rhythmic force that reorders all the atoms of a sentence, bids one choose one's words with care, and gives one's thoughts a new colour, making them darker, stranger, and more remote... Rhythm was meant to impress the gods more deeply with a human petition, for it was noticed that men remember a verse much better than ordinary speech.
...rhythm is a compulsion; it engenders an unconquerable urge to yield and join in; not only our feet follow the beat but the soul does too - probably, one surmised, the soul of the gods as well! Thus one tried to compel the gods by using rhythm and to force their hand: poetry was thrown at them like a magical snare.
...It is not only on the cult song but also in worldly songs of the most ancient times that it is assumed that rhythm has a magical power. As one draws water or rows, for example, a song is supposed to cast a spell pver the demons that one imagines ay work in such cases; it makes them pliant and unfree so that they become man's instruments.
...As the formula is pronounced, with literal and rhythmical precision, it binds the future. But the formula is the invention of Apollo who, being the god of rhythm can bind even the goddess of fate.
...rhythm... enabled one to do anything - to advance some work magically; to force a god to appear, to be near, and to listen; to mold the future in accordance with one's will; to cleanse one's own soul from some excess... - and not only one's own soul but also that of the most evil demon: without verse one was nothing; by means of verse one almost became a god." [JW, 84]


-


Quote :
"Vernant, in The Origins of Greek Thought, connects the genesis of Logos to the “social and mental structures peculiar to the Greek city” (130) and shows how concepts such as arche [command] and agon [competition], and significant changes in the function of speech, contributed at once to the rise of the city state and to the emergence of moral thought and human wisdom.
With the “disappearance of the king” during the centuries after the Dorian invasion, the concept of power was redefined and it was the struggle towards balance and accommodation between the two social forces left behind - the village communities, or demes, and the aristocratic gene – out of which Vernant sees the earliest forms of wisdom, or sophia, arise in the early seventh century. With the movement of social affairs away from the privacy of the palace to the open spaces of the city which this new arrangement required, the spirit of agon [competition] which had animated the old aristocratic families now played itself out in the public space of the agora and took form in oratorical contests. Speech thus moved from ritual word or precise formula, as it had been under the palace structure, to the preeminent instrument of power in the emerging system of the polis. In its transformation from private to public function, from incantation or specialty of scribes to public debate and written laws, speech not only presupposed a public whose choice would determine the validity of the arguments posed, but also laid open to debate the critical social issues facing the population. It was not only matters of practical concern that were thus disclosed, however, but, as Vernant points out, “Knowledge, values, and mental techniques, in becoming elements of a common culture, were themselves brought to view and submitted to criticism and controversy."

Out of such a milieu and promoted by the persistence of religious sects on the fringes of the city, which were themselves driving a democratization of religious privilege, the earliest sages emerged. In their desire to transmit a higher truth that would transform the individual from within, these early lovers of wisdom prefigured the earliest philosophers. Their teachings also provided refined interpretations of traditional concepts such as arête [excellence, virtue] and sophrosyne [self-mastery or control] which resonated with the increasing social pressures towards moderation and balance.
Parallel advances were playing themselves out in the political and spiritual universe of the polis where concepts such as philia [spirit of community] and isonomia [equality] gained primacy as the result not only of the increasingly public conduct of affairs but also the tendency of citizens to consider themselves homoioi [alike or equal]. Mirroring similar developments in the military which, moving away from the Homeric ideal of the noble mounted warrior in search of aristeia, set up as a model the disciplined hoplite who eschewed personal glory and submitted himself to the overarching goals of the phalanx, the city bred citizens who “conceived of themselves as interchangeable units within a system whose law was the balance of power and whose norm was equality.

Singular figures emerged at this time as exemplars of those who would hold the city to a higher standard under which the discordant elements could be reconciled. Men such as the “purifying sage,” Epimenedes, and the lawgiver, Solon, are illustrative of those who recognized the need to “harness the new group sensibility arising from the threat of violence” and, in the case of Solon, reform the judicial and legislative institutuions in such a way that the elements of judicial activity – evidence, testimony, and judgment – could arrive at an objective truth. It was the development of this notion that indeed there was an objective truth to be discovered that further laid the ground for the emergence of rational thought.

With the rise in sixth century Greece of abstract concepts such as equality, justice, law, and community, and the continuing evolution of virtues such as arête and sophrosyne, both of which increasingly lent themselves to defining standards of civic behavior and which emphasized, on the one hand self control and discipline and on the other moderation and proportion, a new class of people took shape – the hoi mesoi – literally, the middle class. The emergence of a distinct social group which served to provide equilibrium between the opposing factions coincided with the evolution of the role of the lawgiver, Solon, who stood at the center of the social order as mediator, arbiter
and reconciler, promulgating a law that was the expression of the middle. This concept of the middle, which embodied the ideas of reciprocity and balance, equilibrium and equality, not only attained a political and social significance but came to define not only the sphere of human affairs but that of the cosmos as well.

In conceptualizing a concrete substance as the primary material, Thales did not achieve the leap to abstraction that would shortly follow but his thought influenced.
Anaximander, whom Vernant considers the best example of the magnitude of the intellectual revolution taking place, was the first to attribute to the basic stuff of the universe properties different from any in the observable world (Baird and Kaufmann 10). Although his idea of the apeiron [the unlimited, boundless infinite] still posits a “one” out of which all has differentiated, and echoes the earlier theogonical concepts of Chaos, Nyx, and Tartaros, his conceptualization of the basic stuff of the universe as “the source of coming-to-be for existing things” and “that into which destruction too happens, according to necessity” (Simplicius qtd in Kirk and Raven) incorporated the more abstract concepts of justice, dike and isonomia which were being worked out in the social and political sphere of the polis.

Anaximander’s conceptualization of the universe which placed a motionless earth at the center of a cosmos ruled by the law of equilibrium and continuous reciprocity. In the polis as in the cosmos, order was no longer hierarchical but lay in “the application of all its parts to a single order of isonomia consisting of equilibrium, reciprocity and symmetry” (Vernant)

Once unleashed, this radical shift in thinking from Mythos to Logos, which made of nature a detached and impersonal object of investigation, fueled a century of unprecedented intellectual advances. Not only would ideas about the basic stuff of the universe be posited but explanations would be advanced for the form of all things, the processes by which they change, and the patterns by which they operate. Pythagoras, who found an explanation for the physical world in abstract mathematical formulas and ratios; and Heraclitus who, using such concrete metaphors as fire, war, and flowing water, forwarded the abstract idea of process and change as the underlying one truth or Logos, and proposed the unity of opposites as a fundamental pattern of the universe, would pave the way for arguments on the nature of time and being itself. In the space of 150 years, in a reflection of the polis out of which it sprang, rational thought asserted itself."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:10 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:19 pm

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Quote :
""Explication, elsewhere termed “thematization” (after Heidegger, Being and Time 412-15), is making implicit or “latent” things “explicit” or manifest. In his dichotomy of explication and latency, Sloterdijk plays on Heidegger’s correlative characterisation of truth as aletheia (αλήθεια: from alethes, true, lit. not concealing, thus unconcealment, i.e., openness or remembering), and lethe (λήθη: “forgetfulness, oblivion,” thus concealment, i.e., closure or forgetting [N.B. the word "latency" derives from lethe also]). Hence, explication is “a rephenomenalization of the aphenomenal”, and it answers “the [modern] need to perceive the imperceptible".

Sloterdijk and Heidegger’s etymological readings of their respective terms suggest that they see unfolding truth as primarily textual, something which is implicit in the root word of explication: “explicit.” Explicit comes from L. explicitus, past participle of explicare “unfold, unravel, explain,” from ex- “out” + plicare “to fold.” Unfolding is indeed a textual metaphor: “explicitus” was written at the end of medieval manuscripts, short for explicitus est liber,“the book is unrolled”—or unfolded. Hence, Heidegger primarily thinks of truth as etymological, hermeneutic or poetic, as deep explanation akin to reading; so, to a degree, does Sloterdijk.

But unfolding can also be a textile (“woven”), or even textural (“of the visual and, especially, tactile surface of” or “of the characteristic physical structure of”), metaphor. Sloterdijk’s idea of explication is in the main textural. It aims to get at the characteristic physical structure of “reality,” as it is taken to be (we could say “metaphysical structure of reality,” if it weren’t illegitimate to speak in such a way). Sloterdijk adds to the temporal aspect of truth a spatial one (not unlike Heidegger with his notion of truth as “clearing“).

Bruno Latour explains explication, which he calls “explicitation,” in this way in “A Plea for the Earthly Sciences,” the keynote lecture at the annual meeting of the British Sociological Association (Apr. 2007), to be published in Judith Burnett, Syd Jeffers and Graham Thomas (eds), New Social Connections: Sociology’s Subjects and Objects(London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010):

[H]istory was never about “modernization” or about “revolution,” but was rather about another phenomenon, . . . “explicitation.” As we moved on, through our technologies, through our scientific inquiries, through the extension of our global empires, we rendered more and more explicit the fragility of the life support systems that make our “spheres of existence” possible. Everything that earlier was merely “given” becomes “explicit.” Air, water, land, all of those were present before in the background: now they are explicitated because we slowly come to realize that they might disappear—and we [sic] with them.

So this shift is about how we understand how we exist both in the world and with others (these dimensions of existence being inseparable):

[T]he whole idea of “social connections” was linked to a moment in history, that of modernization and of emancipation. What happens if we have shifted to another period, one of explicitation and of attachments?

[Or rather, s]ince “we have never been modern”, we have always been living through a completely different history than the one we kept telling ourselves about: until the ecological crisis began to strike hard and tough, we could go on as though “we” humans were living through one modernization after another, jumping from one emancipation to the next. After all, the future was one of greater and greater detachment from all sorts of contingencies and cumbersome ties. Free at last!

What happens to our identities, if it finally dawns on us that that very same history always had another meaning: the slow explicitation of all of the attachments necessary for the sustenance of our fragile spheres of existence? What happens if the very definition of the future has changed? If we now move from the taken into account of a few beings, to the weaving of careful attachments with an ever greater and greater list of explicitated beings? Attached at last! Dependent! Responsible!""


Fabric and Folds:

Brahman - Aletheia.

Quote :
"Already Rigveda, the oldest text of Vedic period, presents us with Vedic man positioned within the fourfold (here we are following Mehta’s philosophical intuition) – i.e. the world of man, inhabitant of earth, a mortal (martyas) who, however, in the capacity of Inspired Poet is Open to the heavenly world and its inhabitants, gods (devatas). Vedic Indians called the ten thousand stanzas of rig vedic hymns mantras, which in Sanskrit means “instrument of thought” ["techne is a mode of knowing or revealing aletheuin"], prayer and the (sacred) speech of Vedic poets.

Hence, a hymn is a mental act, and speech comes to the poet/seer – through bráhman(n.), i.e. that which he has grasped and expressed in the hymn.
A brahmán (m., poet, priest; brăhma, m., who knows/chants Vedic texts) is thus one who, in his mind, ‘hears’ the mantra and formulates it poetically. According to Thieme, the original Vedic meaning of bráhman (which later became the Upanishadic and Vedăntic absolute) is “poetic formulation” (dichterische Formulierung), an activity in which the poet is assisted by gods: the god Indra is the greatest poet, while the god Bťhaspati is the greatest master of speech. However, by being brought and beautifully formulated into hymns (“well recited”), bráhman brings truth (rta) into the world.

Taittriya samhita III, 5, 2, 1 says, in Indra’s voice, to the poet Vasishta: “I will reveal bráhman to you!”, and through the divine gift of poetry, the god Indra brings to man – the mortal – the truth, whose spring is in the highest heaven.The guardian of truth is Varuna, and its spring is the origin of both gods and humans. This truth is discerned as luminous, its highest symbol being light.

Thus, according to Thieme, bráhman is an act on the borderline of being inspired with thought/intuition and articulating it – first in voice and only later (after remembering it in mind) in the written form of a text –, and rigveda is an epiphany of this truth, the truth which, however, according to Mehta is not grasped through the representational relation of some correspondence theory of truth, but rather in the sense of a Clearing (Lichtung), the opening up of space and the bringing of truth (the rta; by bráhman) into the world.

Bráhman is speech, and what is true in this speech is bráhman.

Gradually, bráhman evolved from the original rigvedic meanings of a power –manifesting itself as sacred speech (Gonda), ‘speaking in riddles or enigmas’ (Renou), or the already mentioned ‘poetic formulation’ (Thieme) – into the Upanishadic first principle and the later Vedãntic absolute. However, for the early Vedic thought, if related to Heidegger’s and Mehta’s hermeneutic thought, the important analyses are those made by J. A. B. van Buitenen in relation with another important term of Vedic tradition, akshara (‘the syllable’): in addition to bráhman, this word can guide us towards that locus within the course of Vedic-Upanishadic thought where we are, as earth-inhabiting mortals, presented with speech.

If according to Indian scholarly research, bráhman in its original sense may be understood as the mysterious power of poetic formulation or hearing by the inspired Vedic poets, and if the related akshara is understood as a manifestation of the formationof speech/word in the silence of the dawn of the universe, is it not that their coming about (Ereignis), to which Vedic poets respond when forming their words into mantras, is the locus from which we can set off on the long-expected hermeneutic return?"

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Heidegger wrote:
"The Greek for ‘to bring forth or to produce’ is tikto. The word techne, technique, belongs to the verb’s root tec. To the Greeks techne means neither art nor handicraft but rather: to make something appear, within what is present, as this or that, in this way or that way. The Greeks conceive of techne producing, in terms of letting appear. Techne thus conceived has been concealed in the tectonics of architecture since ancient times. We think of creation as a bringing forth. But the making of equipment, too, is a bringing forth. Handicraft.

The word techne denotes rather a mode of knowing. To know means to have seen, in the widest sense of seeing, which means to apprehend what is present, as such. For Greek thought the nature of knowing consists in aletheia, that is, in the uncovering of beings. It supports and guides all comportment toward beings. Techne, as knowledge experienced in the Greek manner, is a bringing forth of beings in that it brings forth present beings as such beings out of concealedness and specifically into the unconcealedness of their appearance; techne never signifies the action of making."

J.L.Mehta wrote:
"A building, a Greek temple, portrays nothing. It simply stands there in the middle of the rock-cleft valley. The building encloses the figure of the god, and in this concealment lets it stand out into the holy precinct through the open portico. By means of the temple, the god is present in the temple. This presence of the god is in itself the extension and delimitation of the precinct as a holy precinct. The temple and its precinct, however, do not fade away into the indefinite. It is the temple-work that first fits together and at the same time gathers around itself the unity of those paths and relations in which birth and death, disaster and blessing, victory and disgrace, endurance and decline acquire the shape of destiny for human being. The all-governing expanse of this open relational context is the world of this historical people. Only from and in this expanse does the nation first return to itself for the fulfilment of its vocation.

Standing there, the building rests on the rocky ground. This resting of the work draws up out of the rock the mystery of that rock’s clumsy yet spontaneous support. Standing there, the building holds its ground against the storm raging above it and so first makes the storm itself manifest in its violence. The lustre and gleam of the stone, though itself apparently glowing only by the grace of the sun, yet first brings to light the light of the day, the breadth of the sky, the darkness of the night. The temple’s firm towering makes visible the invisible space of air.

The steadfastness of the work contrasts with the surge of the surf, and its own repose brings out the raging of the sea. Tree and grass, eagle and bull, snake and cricket first enter into their distinctive shapes and thus come to appear as what they are. The Greeks early called this emerging and rising in itself and in all things phusis. It clears and illuminates, also, that on which and in which man bases his dwelling. We call this ground the earth. What this word says is not to be associated with the idea of a mass of matter deposited somewhere, or with the merely astronomical idea of a planet. Earth is that whence the arising brings back and shelters everything that arises without violation. In the things that arise, earth is present as the sheltering agent.

The temple-work, standing there, opens up a world and at the same time sets this world back again on earth, which itself only thus emerges as native ground. But men and animals, plants and things, are never present and familiar as unchangeable objects, only to represent incidentally also a fitting environment for the temple, which one fine day is added to what is already there. The temple, in its standing there, first gives to things their look and to men their outlook on themselves. This view remains open as long as the work is a work, as long as the god has not fled from it. It is the same with the sculpture of the god, votive offering of the victor in the athletic games. It is not a portrait whose purpose is to make it easier to realize how the god looks; rather, it is a work that lets the god himself be present and thus is the god himself..." [Heidegger]
803.

"In view of the attention recently given to the concept of 'text' by literary theorists and philosophers, it may not be out of place to mention, the very notion of 'text' is for the first time mentioned by the seer­poets who composed the hymns. Etymologically, a text is a piece of cloth: textus, from which the word derives, means 'woven', the Latin verb ‘texo,—ere’ meaning weaving of cloth, intertwining or interlocking of any kind of material.
As Roland Barthes said, 'Text means tissue; but whereas hitherto we have always taken this tissue as a product, a ready­made veil, behind which lies, more or less hidden, meaning (truth), we are now emphasizing, in the tissue, the generative idea that the text is made, is worked out in a perpetual interweaving'.

The Vedic poets, while composing their mantras, were aware not only that they were weaving together a fabric but also what was involved in such activity. Addressing this fire within men, the rsi * says, 'I do not know how to stretch the thread and weave the cloth; he, Fire, is the one who knows how to stretch the thread and weave the cloth; we will speak the right words, for he is the immortal light within mortals, the light in the hearts of men, the one source of all thought.'

Another rsi* prays to Varuna* 'May we attain the fountainhead of the Truth that you guard. Do not let the thread break while I am still weaving this thought, nor let the measuring­stick of the workman shatter before its time'.

The ritual offering of this fabric of words to the gods is the sacrifice and this, too, is conceived by these poets as a text 'woven out of seven threads'. A hymn describing the primordial creation of sacrifice by the Cosmic Purusa* says, 'The sacrifice that is spread out with threads on all sides, drawn tight with a hundred and one divine acts, is woven by the fathers as they come near: 'weave forward, weave backward', they say as they sit by the loom that is stretched tight. The Cosmic Man stretches the warp and draws the weft; the Man has spread it out upon the dome of the sky. These are the pegs that are fastened in place; they made the melodies into the shuttles for weaving. That was the model for the human sages, our fathers, when the primeval sacrifice was born.

The verb taksa* is used to describe the poetic activity of making, fashioning or forming; both a poem and a sacrifice are 'made', with heart and mind, as a carpenter works with a chisel." [Reading the Rig Veda]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:48 pm

Quote :
"An examination of Homer, Hesiod and archaic poetry leads Detienne to the conclusion that aletheia is conferred through the authority of the just king and the divinely inspired poet. But aletheia in the archaic period is defined in terms of what can and should be remembered. This close association between aletheia and remembering (mnemosune) means that the archaic conception of `truth' is primarily opposed, not to notions of falsehood or deception, but to notions of obscurity, silence and forgetting (lethe).

For Detienne, archaic aletheia is bound up with a set of semantic relationships which emphasise what he calls `the ambiguity of speech'. Aletheia is involved in an ambiguous relationship with lÅethÅe because the poet's conferral of truth through memory also confers truth's opposite, namely the forgetting of pain and sorrow among his audience. At the same time Detienne recognises that archaic poetic aletheia is involved in an ambiguous relationship with apate and pseude:

Thus, in the notoriously difficult couplet of the proem to Hesiod's Theogony, the Muses tell Hesiod that they know how to tell many lies like true things, but that when they wish, they also know how to speak true things. Detienne hints that this equation between poetry and `lies like the truth', and the use of the same formula in Homer and Theognis might approximate a positive notion of apate as `fiction' which was later theorised by the author of the sophistic Dissoi Logoi.

Detienne also seems to suggest that this and other archaic reflections on speech's ambiguity (truth or lies masquerading as truth?) constitute a developing awareness that language is an unreliable me- dium for the maintenance of just and fair social exchange.

In the rhetorical and sophistic culture of the fiffth-century polis, the `magico-religious' authority of king and poet to select truth in terms of what should be remembered and memorialised, is challenged. Detienne marks the beginning of this challenge with the fragments of the poet Simonides and the doxography surrounding him. Simonides appeals to the notion of doxa (seeming, appearance) as having greater force than alÅetheia. And according to one anecdote he represented his poetry as a form of apate. For Detienne, Simonides anticipates a new climate of secularised dialogue and debate in the fifth century where the unstable realm of doxa (seeming and appearance) becomes a reference point which rivals the archaic concept of truth. Detienne rightly locates this valorisation of doxa in the concerns of sophistic inquiry and the areas of rhetoric and argumentation. The new democratic culture of 5fth-century Athens creates an interest in techniques of verbal persuasion and a realisation that, because men's moral and epistemological knowledge is incomplete, questions of fact and value are open to debate through opposing arguments. In the areas of rhetorical and sophistic theory, the idea that there are two contradictory arguments on any issue is complemented by the idea that persuasion (peitho) or apate are the goals of debate or inquiry. Within this agonistic framework, the sophist as intellectual or teacher of rhetoric emphasises the mortal condition of controvertible and unstable doxa and the power of persuasion or deception to take advantage of that condition.

At the same time as sophistic thought is excluding a notion of truth in favour of doxa, peitho and apate, Detienne argues that Orphic and Pythagorean texts are maintaining the priority of aletheia. In this `philosophico-religious' domain aletheia becomes the positive term in what he calls a `logic of contradiction'.

Truth becomes unambigu- ously opposed to the ambiguous world of deception, falsehood, persuasion and opinion. This valorisation of truth as a difficult privileged knowledge to be attained and maintained is found in its most developed form in the fragments of the Eleatic philosopher Parmenides.  Whilst Parmenides' views remain obscure and complex, it is clear that he promotes an ontological framework which constitutes aletheia and he opposes this truth to the doxai of mortals. Furthermore, he associates mortal doxa with deceptive communication. This `logic of contradiction' replaces the `logic of ambiguity' which constitutes the archaic `aletheia-lethe' relationship." [Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Ancient Greece]


Given this and the above post, there are two trends.


1. Modernism:
Xt. Veritas - the Imposition of truth displacing the uncovering of truth - Aletheia. [Heidegger, Sloterdijk]

2. Post-Modernism:
Secular Aletheia - the constant uncovering and ex-plication of truth emptying the value of truth - Simulacra. [Baudrillard, Latour]

"After all, the future was one of greater and greater detachment from all sorts of contingencies and cumbersome ties. Free at last!
What happens to our identities, if it finally dawns on us that that very same history always had another meaning: the slow explicitation of all of the attachments necessary for the sustenance of our fragile spheres of existence?" [Latour]


Nietzsche is in between and shows a route of balance.
Truth as a poeisis...  a Fabric-ation, a cooking up...
(To the ancient I.Es, the cosmos was akin to a sacrificial kitchen)

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"Truth is a woman." [N.]

Perhaps the myth of Apollo's chase of Daphne and her turning into a tree to escape his grasp is a telling tale of the petrification of Truth and the abuse of Aletheia...  earth closing back up from a dis-closure.

The mind a dark cave again...

Space-withdrawal - a de-Aryanization.


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:35 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Oath, Adequation & Blasphemy:  How the Monotheistic God - "In the Beginning was the Word" -  came about.



Quote :
"Now we call oath [horkos] that which conserves [diaterousan] all things in the same state and renders them stable in such a way that, as they are held in the guarantee of the oath and maintain the order of the law, the immutable stability of the order of creation is the completion of the creating law" (Hirzel, 74; see also Aujoulat, 109—10).

It is necessary to pay attention to the words that express the function of the oath in the two passages. In both Lycurgus and Hierocles the oath does not create anything, does not bring anything into being, but keeps united [synecbo] and conserves [diatereo] what something else (in Hierocles, the law; in Lycurgus, the citizens or the legislator) has brought into being.

An analogous function seems to be assigned to the oath by what Prodi considers the fundamental text concerning this institution that has come down to us from Roman juridical culture, namely, the passage from De officiis (3.29.10) in which Cicero defines the oath thus:
[But in taking an oath it is our duty to consider not what one may have to fear in case of violation but wherein its obligation lies: an oath is an assurance backed by religious sanctity; and a solemn promise given, as before God as ones witness, is to be sacredly kept. For the question no longer concerns the wrath of the gods (for there is no such thing) but the obligations of justice and good faith.]

Affirmatio does not signify simply a linguistic utterance but what confirms and guarantees. (The phrase that follows, "affirmate . . . promiseris," does nothing but reaffirm the same idea:
"That which you have promised in the solemn and confirmed form of the oath.")
And it is this function of stability and guarantee that Cicero draws attention to, writing at the beginning, "In the sacrament it is important to consider not so much the danger that it generates, but its own efficacy [vis]; and the answer to the question of what this vis consists in appears unequivocally in the etymological definition of the fides that, according to Cicero, is at stake in the oath: quia fiat quod dictum est appelatam fidem ("good faith [fidem] is so called because what is promised is "made good [fiat] [ibid., 1.23]).

It is with this specific vis in mind that one must reread the words with which Emile Benveniste, at the beginning of his 1948 article "L'expression du serment dans la Grece ancienne" (The Expression of the Oath in Ancient Greece), defined its function:
[The oath] is a particular modality of assertion, which supports, guarantees, and demonstrates, but does not found anything.
Individual or collective, the oath exists only by virtue of that which it reinforces and renders solemn: a pact, an agreement, a declaration. It prepares for or concludes a speech act which alone possesses meaningful content, but it expresses nothing by itself. It is in truth an oral rite, often completed by a manual rite whose form is variable. Its function consists not in the affirmation that it produces, but in the relation that it institutes between the word pronounced and the potency invoked. (Benveniste [1], 81-82)

The oath does not concern the statement as such but the guarantee of its efficacy: what is in question is not the semiotic or cognitive function of language as such but the assurance of its truthfulness and its actualization.
All the sources and scholars seem to agree that the oaths primary function, in its various forms, is that of guaranteeing the truth and efficacy of language.

It is possible, then, not only that what was originally at issue in the oath was the guarantee of a promise or of the truthfulness of an affirmation but that the institution that we know today by that name contains the memory of a more archaic stage, in which it was concerned with the very consistency of human language and the very nature of humans as "speaking animals."
The "scourge" that it had to stem was not only the unreliability of men, incapable of staying true to their word, but a weakness pertaining to language itself, the capacity of words themselves to refer to things and the ability of men to make profession of their condition as speaking beings.

The connection between oath and perjury seems, however, to be from the very beginning so essential that the sources speak of a veritable "art of the oath"—in which, according to Homer (Od. 19.394), Autolycus excelled—which consisted in uttering oaths that, thanks to verbal tricks, could, if taken literally, signify something different from what the person to whom they were given could understand. It is in this sense that one should understand the observation of Plato according to which Homer "praises Autolycus, Odysseus' grandfather on his mother's side, and says that 'in swearing oaths and thieving he surpassed all men " {Rep. 334b).

Something like a human language was in fact only able to be produced in the moment in which the living being, who found itself co-originarily exposed to the possibility of both truth and lie, committed itself to respond with its life for its words, to testify in the first person for them.
...the oath express the demand, decisive in every sense for the speaking animal, to put its nature at stake in language and to bind together in an ethical and political connection words, things, and actions. Only by this means was it possible for something like a history, distinct from nature and, nevertheless, inseparably intertwined with it, to be produced.

It is in the wake of this decision, in faithfulness to this oath, that the human species, to its misfortune as much as to its good fortune, in a certain way still lives. Every naming is, in fact, double: it is a blessing or a curse. A blessing, if the word is full, if there is a correspondence between the signifier and the signified, between words and things; a curse if the word is empty, if there remains, between the semiotic and the semantic, a void and a gap. Oath and perjury, bene-diction and male-diction correspond to this double possibility inscribed in the logos, in the experience by means of which the living being has been constituted as speaking being. Religion and law technicalize this anthropogenic experience of the word in the oath and the curse as historical institutions, separating and opposing point by point truth and lie, true name and false name, efficacious formula and incorrect formula." [Agamben, The Sacrament of Language]




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Basanos.


basalt definition: noun - a dark, fine-grained, usually extrusive igneous rock … Gr basanitēs, species of slate used to test gold < basanos, touchstone, test

Quote :
"The word "basalt" is ultimately derived from Late Latin basaltes, misspelling of L. basanites "very hard stone," which was imported from Ancient Greek βασανίτης (basanites), from βάσανος (basanos, "touchstone") and originated in Egyptian bauhun "slate". The modern petrological term basalt describing a particular composition of lava-derived rock originates from its use by Georgius Agricola in 1556 in his famous work of mining and mineralogy De re metallica, libri XII. Agricola applied "basalt" to the volcanic black rock of the Schloßberg (local castle hill) at Stolpen, believing it to be the same as Pliny the Elder's "very hard stone"." [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]



Foucault wrote:
"As in the Apology,Alcibiades Major, or the Gorgias, where we also find the idea that to be led by the Socratic logos is to "give an account" of oneself - we see very clearly that what is involved is not a confessional autobiography. In Plato's or Xenophon's portrayals of him, we never see Socrates requiring an examination of conscience or a confession of sins. Here, giving an account of your life, your bios, is also not to give a narrative of the historical events that have taken place in your life, but rather to demonstrate whether you are able to show that there is a relation between the rational discourse, the logos, you are able to use, and the way that you live. Socrates is inquiring into the way that logos gives form to a person's style of life; for he is interested in discovering whether there is a harmonic relation between the two.

Later on in this same dialogue[190d-194b] for example, when Socrates asks Laches to give the reason for his courage, he wants not a narrative of Laches' exploits in the Peloponnesian War, but for Laches to attempt to disclose the
logos which gives rational, intelligible form to his courage. Socrates' role, then, is to ask for a rational accounting of a person's life. This role is characterized in the text as that of a "basanos" or "touchstone" which tests the degree of accord between a person's life and its principle of intelligibility or logos.
Socrates will never let [his listener] go until he has thoroughly and properly put all his ways to the test [188a].The Greek word basanos refers to a "touchstone", i.e., a black stone which is used to test the genuineness of gold by examining the streak left on the stone when "touched" by the gold in question. Similarly, Socrates' "basanic" role enables him to determine the true nature of the relation between the logos and bios of those who come into contact with him." [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]

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Quote :
"In non-biblical Gk. [basanos] is a commercial expression, or is used in relation to government. It then acquires the meaning of the checking of calculations, which develops naturally out of the basic sense of [basanos, basanizein]
In the spiritual sphere it has the figur[ative] sense, which is closely related to the original concrete meaning, of a means of testing...
The word then undergoes a change in meaning. The original sense fades into the background. [Basanos] now comes to denote “torture” or “the rack,” espec[ially] used with slaves… [Basanos] occurs in the sense of “torment”…

The change in meaning is best explained if we begin with the object of treatment. If we put men instead of metal or a coin, the stone of testing become[s] torture or the rack. The metal which has survived the testing stone is subjected to harsher treatment. Man is in the same position when severely tested by torture. In the testing of metal an essential role was played by the thought of testing and proving genuineness. The rack is a means of showing the true state of affairs. In its proper sense it is a means of testing and proving, though also of punishment. Finally, even this special meaning was weakened and only the general element of torture remained." [Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament; vol. I, pp. 561, 562]



Quote :
""Torture is senseless violence, born in fear." "The purpose of torture is not only the extortion of confessions, of betrayal: the victim must disgrace himself, by his screams and his submissions, like a human animal." (Jean-Paul Sartre)

DuBois wishes mainly to elucidate the relationship between torture and truth from Greek society up to the present day and to show that our view of the truth as unitary, residing "always somewhere else and out of reach" (Sartre), and therefore best extractable by torture proves a link to Greek practice that we would rather disavow. Her study of torture starts with an investigation of the Greek word basanos, first and most literally "touchstone," but then extended to the metaphorical meaning, "a test to determine whether someone or something is genuine." DuBois examines the use of basanos in Greek authors from Theognis to Sophocles, Herodotus, and Aristophanes. All use the word to refer to some sort of a testing or interrogation, but duBois stresses that violence or physical intimidation is always present in the passages. This combination of violence and interrogation suggests that physical torture was a fact of daily life both in the democracy of ancient Greece and in the relations between Greece and other countries.

There is a particular connection made between torture and slaves. Indeed, physical punishment and torture were institutionalized with slavery (and thus become almost numbingly routine and commonplace in this context).

where duBois looks at basanos in its legal context, the connection between the truth, torture, and slaves is made clear. The slave is like a bit of metal, a thing to be tested by the touchstone or torture. Slaves are assumed to lie (as opposed to free, noble men) and therefore cannot speak the truth unless they are put to torture. Unlike aristocrats, slaves do not have the fortitude to maintain a silence under torture and can therefore be expected to produce the truth under duress. Furthermore, Aristotle claims that, whereas the master of the slave possesses reason and so can choose to tell or to conceal the truth, the slave, who can apprehend but not possess reason, must tell the truth under coercion. Demosthenes regards evidence under torture as the only reliable means of producing truth, and he even claims that, whereas free witnesses sometimes give untrue evidence, no statement made under torture has ever proven to be untrue. DuBois describes evidence produced under torture as temporally estranged, institutionally, conventionally marked "evidence of another order" and indeed as belonging to a higher order than truth freely offered.

However, Antiphon points out the pitfalls of an argument like Demosthenes'. Slaves will change their testimony, he says, to gratify their torturers and to try to save themselves. There might be more than one "truth" at issue, according to Antiphon; duBois classifies these truths as essentialist and pragmatic, that is, the "truth" of a statement and the "truth" of the power relationship and context in which the truth is told. Slaves can be bribed by promises of freedom, for example, to say what the torturers wish to hear.

Thus ancient opinion about the usefulness and credibility of freely-produced versus coerced evidence varied widely. Constant, however, is the idea that "torturability" (a rather horrifying neologism) demarcates a clear boundary between slave and free (Greeks -- free foreigners are equal in their status to slaves in this context). Always present too is the idea that the truth within slaves is buried, inaccessible, elsewhere, veiled, hidden. The slave is a sign, concealer of the truth that must be elicited with violence. The terms used to describe the associations of slaves with hidden truth are closely allied to the images of interiority linked to women. Like slaves, women's bodies were signs, "metaphorically inscribed by their masters", veiled, full of potential truth. DuBois' discussion of the similarities between slaves and women as sites of hidden meanings leads her into an extended examination of the word alêtheia in Homer, the pre-Socratics (Heraclitus and Parmenides), Plato, and Heidegger. Two main paradigms of alêtheia exist: the more archaic view of truth as something hidden, buried, and recalled through interrogation, an act of memory, divine aid, or violence and the view espoused by Heraclitus that sees truth as process, dialectic, and marked by temporal difference. Plato appears to present both paradigms in his dialogues, but duBois posits, in one of her most central and important theses, that the apparent intellectual interchange in the dialogues, in which truth appears to be produced through elenchus and thus to be a democratic process, may simply be "the mask of debate", an appropriation of democratic practices that are assimilated only to be discredited. DuBois here compares the process of cross-examination (elenchus) and philosophy itself to torture in its use of interrogation accompanied by violence. The truth is located in the mind of the philosopher and can only be discovered by coercion and labor. This kind of truth, originally the truth of the religious tradition that was later secularized, defines the oligarchy and aristocracy that ultimately held sway in the polis. The Heraclitean model of a temporal, historical truth produced in time and space and accessible to many, is rarely seen in the Athenian city; indeed, duBois claims that "the ancient democracy must be mapped as an absence"

Torture always has the elements of control and dominance and always seeks to create an "other," a victim who is constructed as the locus of the "truth" sought and who must be destroyed or used as an example, a display. The Amnesty International definition of torture, while necessarily somewhat reductive, is a useful starting point: "Torture is used to gain information, to obtain a confession, to punish, to intimidate, and to terrorize. Whatever its immediate purpose, torture degrades the victims and at the same time it dehumanizes the torturer" (AI Handbook, December, 1991, p. 32). Another useful point made elsewhere in the Amnesty International definition that is absolutely essential for a historical understanding and a social and intellectual erasure of torture, is that torture is not special or unique; it is an everyday occurrence, common, and systematic, and it happens in many countries (including the United States) regardless of political ideologies and economic systems. It is institutionalized, forming an integral part of a government security strategy and justice system. It is routine."

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Dubois wrote:
""Plato returns to the pre-classical notion of the basanos as a proof of loyalty and truth; but even more importantly, he presents both a paradigm of truth as recollection, the recalling of time -- buried truth -- and a paradigm of the production of truth through the elegkhos, the philosophical conversation, a version of truth as dialectic, as process, as the making of a truth in time, between people, not as the revelation of something lost in the past but as the production of something in the present. This latter element seems to me the trace of the democratic in Plato, a trace that may be represented only to be disavowed within the larger corpus of Plato's arguments."

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Aside:
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Quote :
"In the chapters that follow, I hope to show how Achaemenian Persia perceived itself as God's chosen instrument for the project of world   salvation, and, as such, supreme benefactor of the peoples it conquered. Beyond this, I am led to argue that such a perspective led the Achaemenians into severe contradictions, which they attempted to suppress and deny, using some rather desperate measures toward that  impossible end. This analysis suggests comparison to certain contemporary data.

This book takes on a very weighty project, one presenting both historical arguments and reflections on empire in general. Working backward through the thesis, the book attempts to contemplate the Achaemenid empire in a way that sheds light on current events--particularly the American occupation of Iraq starting in 2003. Although this is only a small part of the book, it frames the argument (and appears in the title) and therefore deserves careful consideration.

The unifying theme of this book is the use and justification of torture as an instrument of imperial control, and Lincoln bookends his argument with two shocking descriptions, the first Achaemenid: According to Ctesias (in Plutarch Artaxerxes 16.1-4), Artaxerxes II subjected a Persian soldier to the ordeal of the troughs for revealing how Cyrus the Younger died in the battle of Cunaxa. The second is the American treatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The parallels between these two forms of torture, especially when juxtaposed against the lofty ideals of empire ("the pursuit of paradise," p. 2), led Lincoln to investigate the relationships among religion, torture, and empire."

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Reviewer wrote:
"The author argues that Achaemenid religious dualism, in combination with the idea that a good Creation had been disturbed by Evil and the idea that the king had to restore the world's original goodness, could only create an imperialistic culture in which torture was common. After all, once the king had defeated his enemies, the original goodness of the world was restored, and those who still objected were, consequently, evil. Punishing them was a good thing to do, and doing bad things to bad people was considered to be a good thing.
The trouble is that we already knew this. Lincoln applies one of the lessons of Adorno and Horkheimer's famous Dialektik der Aufklärung: any ideology claiming universal applicability, even a rational system like Enlightenment, can turn into irrationalism and become extremely inhumane."

Modern Judaeo-Xt. American politics as a historical continuity of Zoroastrian Moral Dualism and practice of Truth as Basanos.
This Torture has now mutated into what we know as Truth as Political Correctness... and the System and its maintenance of the status-quo as the Basanos...


N. on Torture and Memory..
In the larger view, Hades is not under 'there';,, but the accompaniment of the sur+plus [wealth] from the 'terms' the form and spirit revive As each other. Its why well-being, or real wealth or weal or self-joy is so 'communicative' and cannot be hidden - skin glows. Plutonic is the geo-metry of pure posture, an attitude, a circum-Stance. [N.: 'style is character'.]

Genealogy of morals links pain, promise, money and memory [all plutonic] that made man Man. He was the 'promising animal'. Man could become measure.

"To breed an animal which is able to make promises - is that not precisely the para­doxical task which nature has set herself with regard to human beings? Is it not the real problem of human beings? . . . The fact that this problem has been solved to a large degree must seem all the more surprising to the one who can fully appreciate the countervailing force, forgetfulness." [GM II:l]

"The creditor is compensated for the injury done by the pleasure he derives from the infliction of cruelty on the debtor. Hence the concept of guilt (Schuld) derives from the concept of debt (Schulden). Pain is a festering wound, being in 'hell'..."

In-debtedness to ancestral inheritance, the sur-plus you cannot pay back is acc. to N. the origin of the formation of the State. State-craft has its invisible scaffolding here;

"The masters need only punish some for the others to punish themselves - a memory was burned into pre-civilized humans: this memory is fixed not by selection of those who can remember, but by the acquisition of pain-associations that are inheritable. Memory is intimately linked to the use of violence to enforce conformity — branding both literally and figuratively the obligations of humans to each other in early society.

There are analogies, for instance our memory may suggest another memory, which makes itself felt in heredity, development and forms. Our inventive and experimentative powers suggest another kind of inventiveness in the applications of instruments to new ends etc”. - See N., WTP 646, 647, 673.

Two kinds of inventiveness: of new tools and then of new uses for them..."
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Associate here tool-forging with the underworld furnace of the black-smith,,, Haphaestos, etc. So we have two kinds of inventiveness - a weapon-making [adapting itself to the world as an instinctive survival memory] as well as a weapon-shaping [exploiting the world to its aims as a new meme]. Metal and mettle. Mind is minted.
"Two fires." or as they say, the Noble one is the Twice-born.

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:19 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Aletheia Wed May 25, 2016 10:57 am

Oath and the Duel.

Interesting history at the end.

Brian Collins wrote:
"The institutions of the oath and the duel not only derive their structure from the sacrificial logic of substitution and exclusion, they also represent two competing models of sacrifice in ancient India: the classical single-sacrificer model and the archaic two-sacrificer model, respectively.

Using the medievalist Henry Charles Lea’s 1866 work The Duel and the Oath as a starting point, I will argue that the duel and the oath both derive from an early stratum of Vedic ritual in which two sacrificers contended with one another instead of one sacrificer who enlisted a Brahmin priest to perform the ritual on his behalf. But, I will claim, when Brahmin ritualists abandoned the two-sacrificer model, they were left with the problem of integrating the now superfluous second sacrificer into the new ritual system. This second sacrificer, transformed into the always-already defeated party, is the basis for what I have identified as the Indian wolfwarrior cycle, visible in fragmentary references to groups of heterodox ascetics like the Vrātyas, in myths of sacred kingship, and in the story of Śunaḥśepa, the sacrificial victim who miraculously escapes his fate.
Lea gives this definition of an oath:

"In its most simple form the oath is an invocation of some deity or supernatural power to grant or withhold his favor in accordance with the veracity of the swearer, but at all times men have sought to render this more impressive by interposing material objects dear to the individual, which were understood to be pledges or victims for the divine wrath."

For Lea, the notion of sacrificial substitution (it is hard to see what he describes as anything else) does not belong to the oath proper but is a supplement to it, albeit a supplement that exists “at all times.”

Closely related to the oath and equally ubiquitous in the Indo-European world is the duel. In his conversations with Benoît Chantre in Battling to the End, Girard gives the archaic institution of the duel his first lengthy treatment.
Discussing Hegel’s ideas on war, Girard says: “Dialectic is not first and foremost the reconciliation of humans with one another; it is simply the same thing as the duel, the struggle for recognition, and the ‘opposing identities.’” Countering what he sees as Hegelian thought’s all too easy movement “from dialectic to reconciliation, from reciprocity to relationship,” Girard embraces instead Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz’s insight that “the oscillation of contradictory positions, which become equivalent, can very well go to extremes.”

Besides the kind of duel Girard and Clausewitz have in mind, the kind that tends toward the reciprocal and endless blood feud, there is another kind of duel: the judicial. Lea is careful to draw the distinction between what we commonly call a duel and the duel as judicial combat. “The object of the one,” writes Lea, “was vengeance and reparation; the theory of the other was the discovery of truth and the impartial ministration of justice.” The duel calls down the vengeance of the deities, but gives them an opportunity to mete it out in single combat, either on the swearer, his opponent, or a chosen champion/victim. It is this kind of duel that concerns us for the moment.

Aside from stemming the spread of violence, both the oath and the judicial duel are tools for maintaining difference and averting the undifferentiation of the sacrificial crisis. In the case of ancient India, the texts make sure that the bonds into which oath-takers enter when they take their oaths correspond to their place in the social hierarchy. The Mānavadharmaśāstra, or “The Laws of Manu,” is a rechtsbuch that dates to around 100 C.E., a period in which India was subject to Scythian, Bactrian, and Greek invasions from Central Asia and in which Buddhism was gaining state support. It is in part an ideological document meant to shore up post-Vedic social stratification and privileges in the face of cultural erosion, making it a text that overlaps Vedic and classical religion. The philologist and jurist Sir William Jones first translated the Mānavadharmaśāstra into English in 1797. Three years later, J. Christian Huttner translated Jones’s English into German, and it was this translation that inspired Nietzsche to write, “The presupposition for a codification of this sort is the insight that the means of assuring authority for a truth, which has been won slowly and at considerable expense, are utterly different from the means needed to prove it.”

In Mānavadharmaśāstra 8.113, the three functions of Indo-European society are required to swear by the thing that defines them: the Brahmin by the truth, the Kṣatriya by his weapons, and the Vaiśya by his “cows, grain, and gold.”

The difference between swearing by Varuṇa, punisher of oath breakers, and swearing with the word “Varuṇa” is not an insignificant one. In The Sacrament of Language, a continuation of his work on the religio-juridical category of the homo sacer, Giorgio Agamben quotes Philo’s exegesis of Deuteronomy in Legum allegorae: “Moses, too, let us observe, filled with wonder at the transcendency of the Uncreated, says ‘And thou shalt swear by His Name’ (Deut 6:13), not ‘by Him. . . .’” The name of Varuṇa is not sacred in the same way that the Tetragrammaton is in Hebrew, but the spoken name of a god has other significance in the Indian tradition: Calling on the gods by all their names is the way in which the priests summon them to be present at the sacrifice. Swearing with “Varuṇa” also affirms that the oath is a speech act.

It is on the question of the well-spoken oath and the badly spoken curse that Agamben brings us back to the Veda. As Jan Heesterman has convincingly argued, the development of Vedic ritual is a process of displacing violent death from the sacrificial arena and replacing it with rules and regulations. Heesterman maintains that “sacrifice generally turns on the act of violence, on death, by which its opposite, life, may be won,” but that by the time of the classical sacrificial ritual “violent death was replaced . . . by the non-violent ritual error, to be avoided or expiated in a ‘technical’ way.” In other words, Vedic sacrifice is the site on which violence is displaced by truth; saying the words properly becomes the focus of the ritual as violence is moved farther and farther away. The primacy of the binding power of words completely effaces the threat of violence that was once central to the sacrifice.

Agamben argues that the oath is similarly bereft of its binding power, and with similar consequences:

"[Humanity] finds itself today before a disjunction, or, at least, a loosening of the bond that, by means of the oath, united the living being to its language. On the one hand, there is the living being, more and more reduced to a purely biological reality and to bare life. On the other hand, there is the speaking being, artificially divided from the former, through a multiplicity of technico-mediatic apparatuses, in an experience of the word that grows ever more vain, for which it is impossible to be responsible and in which anything like a political experience becomes more and more precarious. When the ethical—and not simply cognitive—connection that unites words, things, and human actions is broken this in fact promotes a spectacular and unprecedented proliferation of vain words on the one hand and, on the other, of legislative apparatuses that seek obstinately to legislate on every aspect of that life on which they no longer seem to have any hold. The age of the eclipse of the oath is also the age of blasphemy, in which the name of God breaks away from its living connection with language and can only be uttered “in vain.”"

The Agambenian model of sacred speech, comprising the duality of the oath and the curse, is as present in Vedic ritual as is the Girardian model of sacrifice. But we can also say that one seems to precede the other, as we examine Heesterman’s argument that this oath-form of the ritual is an innovation laid on top of an older pre-classical agonistic form of Vedic sacrifice that is based not on the oath, but on the duel.

The second volume of Lea’s work, The Wager of Battle, is a treatment of the duel. In understanding the duel, Lea returns again to the triangle of the oath in which a swearer swears to another while a vengeful deity holds the swearer to the truth. The Wager of Battle begins with the pronouncement that “[there] is a natural tendency in the human mind to cast the burden of its doubts upon a higher power and to relieve itself from the effort of decision by seeking in the unknown the solution of its difficulties.” As much as it does in the oath, the sacrificial logic also inheres in the duel, which medieval scholastics traced back to the “duel” between Cain and Abel, a sacrificial mise-en-scène if ever there was one. The problem with this line of thought is the fact that in the duel between Cain and Abel, the winner is expelled and cursed rather than exonerated by God. For Girard, the story of Cain and Abel is the story of mimetic doubles, their rivalry, and the murder that becomes the foundation of the community. But, he argues, unlike other such myths (like that of Romulus and Remus), the Biblical narrative takes the side of the victim, who is Abel.

The judicial duel or combat, like the oath, produces a truth. But how does it relate to the other type of duel, the type used to repay an injury or an insult? Judicial combat and the agonistic duel have a complicated relationship. Both of them belong to a religio-judicial system whose function is to contain conflict. But the purpose of a duel is to settle disputes between two parti without calling in a third, while judicial combat necessitates a triangle composed of the two disputants and a deity to grant victory to the party in the right. The judicial duel, like the oath, breaks up a pair of combatants  by introducing a third (divine) figure to be the arbiter of justice, a role to which Varuṇa is especially  suited since he observes everything at all times. As Sukumari Battacharji nicely puts it, “[When] two  persons conversed, he was the invisible third.”

In medieval Europe, the institution of judicial combat began to experience a kind of crisis when it became polluted through contact with the undisguised sacrificial combat of the gladiatorial arena. Lea lays the blame partly at the feet of clerics like the twelfth century French cardinal Pierre de Fontaines, who began translating the Latin arenarius and athleta with the French champion, no doubt because of the etymological association with the late Latin campio, from campus, or “field.” Consequently as the word champion entered the French language in the thirteenth century, champions by dint of association came to have the same kind of outsider status as gladiators, actors, and prostitutes had in Rome.

By the thirteenth century, the occupation of champion had thus become infamous. Its professors were classed with the vilest criminals, and with the unhappy females who exposed their charms for sale, as the champion did his skills and courage. They were held incapable of appearing as witnesses, and the extraordinary anomaly was exhibited of seeking to learn the truth in affairs of the highest moment by a solemn appeal to God, through the instrumentality of those who were already considered as convicts of the worst kind, or who, by the very act, were branded with infamy if successful in justifying innocence, and if defeated were mutilated or hanged.

In Germany in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, champions and their children were also barred from inheriting property. But in Italy, champions were raised in status rather than denigrated and laws were passed preventing criminals from becoming champions and preventing champions from being classed as criminals for practicing their profession. At this point, the champions begin to look very like what Agamben calls the homo sacer, made sacred by their participation in the violence of the judicial duel
." [The Head Beneath the Altar]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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