Reply To: Oct 20: Kenneth Worthy Seminar

Author Replies # Posted on October 23, 2014 at 13:38

First of all I would like to apologise to everyone for my late reply; as you all probably know I was busy with an event yesterday.
Ok, second: wow, thanks to everyone for your replies to my rant that was written when I was in quite a bitter mood but I still do stand behind my words but would rephrase them now probably haha

Sarah I’m very interested in the unpublished, “unknown” sides of thinkers; I know it’s not popular in postmodern theory to think about biographies and it’s just the text that matters, but as the case of Newton shows, we have to think about his preoccupation with the occult to actually understand him. Or another example, Worthy mentions Copernicus revolution, when he posited the heliocentrical system and how that affected that the universe lost its centre. But I’ve read a book by Koyré where he discusses how it was Copernicus’s neoplatonic belief in the Sun as the embodiment of the Idea of good and beauty that made him think about the Sun as something else than a celestial body accompanying the Earth. So, Copernicus was in a phenomenal relation with the Sun and even though this intentionality with the Sun might not have been scientific, it is valid as a relation. But for example when I look at the sunset, it does seem to me that the Sun is circling around the Earth and it is still a valid experience, even if I know it’s false. Now, a lot of you mention phenomenology of the natural world and I think that it is a valid mental experiment to try and relate to a certain object, say a pencil and try to see how you relate to the pencil, whether you can see it as something other than just a tool, how do you know it’s the same pencil when you turn it around etc. To me that is a phenomenal experience I just don’t see how I might feel this other kind of relation that many of you obviously do feel, this feeling of Oneness (on a side note, Freud has interesting points on this, he calls it “the oceanic feeling”). But here I go again with the class; there cannot be an authentic, primordial relation to Nature, it’s just not happening, the relations are mediated by social constrains.
Michael, I don’t understand how you digging potatos is related to what I said. If I understand you correctly, you do not purchase organic because you plant your own potatos and you also with your example show that you can provide food for yourself and show you do not need big structural changes in order to be food secure? I have a feeling I’m missing something here. I respect people who plant their own potatos but I also respect people who don’t want to plant their own potatos, there is just too much romanticizing of this relation to earth and getting your hands in the mud etc.