Approaching "Empathy"

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Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 9:37:29 AM7/20/10
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Folks, 

Approaching is accurate...I have now had two goes at the Translator's Introduction. flitting between mc Intyre, Calcagno and Marianne's paper on our home-page, which I am now reading for the fourth time...

I have just read a paragraph (page XXI) of stunning simplicity which seemed like a door with a key in it:

"Furthermore, this psycho-physical individual only becomes aware of its living body as a physical body like others when it empathically realizes that its own zero point of orientation is a spatial point among many. Thus, it is first given to itself in the full sense in reiterated empathy:"

"reiterated empathy" contains so much.

So almost ready to fully start on the main text itself...

Philip Brownell

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Jul 20, 2010, 10:52:44 AM7/20/10
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This reminds me of Jean-Louis Chrétein's treatment of the call and the response.  We only know the call in our response.

Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 10:07:42 AM7/20/10
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Steinians:

This also reminds me of the awareness-consiousness continuum in which contact begins in the biological body as an organic function of the o/f field and develops further through sensation as phenomenal awareness and consciousness. 
Situate this in the world necessarily inclusive of others and we add the meeting of perspectives. 

I like the quote, below.

I hesitate over her word “spatial.” Is she referring to my physical body within the co-ordinates of mappable space or my livedbody as a phenomenon with spatiality?

Does she mean that reiterated empathy anchors me in the former much as looking in the mirror and seeing myself touching myself while I experience my livedbody “doing” the established me as one organization?

Is reiterated empathy similar to Mead’s “I see you seeing me”? That is the touchstone for the emergence of self.

Good stuff, Seán.

Now if this conversation would only pay my bills.

Dan
On Jul 20, 2010, at 9:37 AM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 11:10:51 AM7/20/10
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Phil,

Just so that I can keep within the current parameters of my understanding, could Chrétein's call and response be paraphrased as "reiterated calling" in as much as the resonse is itself a call?

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 11:25:48 AM7/20/10
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Dan,

Your response to my call...maybe our "reiterated calling"...or me seeing you seeing me... evokes memories of our minor altercations in a 2009 issue of Gestalt Review. In my response, I regretted that neither of the two formulations we use in Gestalt therapy - the organism/environment field, or person/environment field - adequately the wholeness of our experience. I proposed psycho-organism as a possibility. I think I prefer "psycho-physical" as  used in the quote. Anyway, yes. worth looking further at.

As for the questions you raise, I can only refer you to the Translator's Introduction, xviii onwards to the quote on xxi.

I can also hope that one or other of our more established Steinian colleagues may give it a go!

I agree: doesn't pay the bills, but sure makes being alive more interesting!

Seán

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 11:36:35 AM7/20/10
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Seán:

Thanks for referring me back to the Translator’s introduction.
What happens if we substitute “contacting” for “Fusion”?

I like your “psycho-physical.” “Psycho-organism” not so much.
But I have a problem with both in that they do not privilege the human organism.
You know my objections to person/environment. I would restate my objections differently today. Are they third person descriptors?

Dan

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 12:10:52 PM7/20/10
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See below...

On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 5:36 PM, Dan Bloom <d...@djbloom.com> wrote:
Seán:

Thanks for referring me back to the Translator’s introduction.
What happens if we substitute “contacting” for “Fusion”?
Where exactly? 

I like your “psycho-physical.” “Psycho-organism” not so much.
Actually, "psycho-physical" is Stein's...
 
But I have a problem with both in that they do not privilege the human organism.
By which you mean?? Please, I'm interested... 
You know my objections to person/environment. I would restate my objections differently today. Are they third person descriptors?
Let us return here at some future point. my sense is that we are building on our knowledge-base, adding dimensions to gestalt therapy that seem worthy of exploring: not exactlyHusserl, more than Lewin, a different direction than Heidegger...



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Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 12:38:06 PM7/20/10
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I can’t get to the office it seems:

When we use the term “psycho-physical,” what are we saying about the relationship between the phenomenal, the psychical, and the physical? 
What is “psycho”?

(I have some ideas. But not now.)

By the way, Heidegger led to the Daseinanalysis etc. He has an important application to “subjectivity” and psychotherapy despite his insistence in B and T that he was not addressing the personal. 
His seminars to the psychiatrists in Switzerland were clearly about psychotherapy.
So we or I are not going in different direction. 

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 12:53:20 PM7/20/10
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Phenomenal is physical. 
Or to put it differently, to parse the phenomenal into material and non-material aspects is problematic.
I’d prefer to avoid this.
The biological body and the livedbody are properties or even dimensions of the human being. Contacting is a process that transcends property distinctions or crosses the dimensions. 


On Jul 20, 2010, at 12:45 PM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

Dan,

How about "phenomeno-physical"? 

And it is Stein and Heidegger who (maybe) went in different directions. You are always of us.

Seán

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 1:01:14 PM7/20/10
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So, back to the drawing-board.

Though I must admit the thought of "phenomeno-something" energises me.

I was going to write "fires" me, but then that would cast you as the NYFD - and even you might blanch at such an accolade!

Seán

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 1:04:22 PM7/20/10
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Remember that I am sketching as I write. None of this is in ink!

NYFD!
Am I Irish enough?

Philip Brownell

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Jul 20, 2010, 2:09:27 PM7/20/10
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Related to our sojourn into authenticity I ran across Des Kennedy's Marianne Fry Lecture on authenticity.  It's pretty good.  Do you guys have it?

Phil

On Jul 20, 2010, at 1:01 PM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 1:09:44 PM7/20/10
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Well, you can always claim that you know me. Might work...anyway, any thoughts about "phenomeno-something" or even if you think it's worth pursuing?
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Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 1:11:55 PM7/20/10
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To our home page, to our home page! Des "Merleau-Ponty" Kennedy, former Jesuit, fluent Gaelic speaker, yeah - to the home page files!

And thank you.

Seán

Philip Brownell

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Jul 20, 2010, 3:03:59 PM7/20/10
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I have just uploaded some more resources if anyone is interested (the
Marianne Fry lecture by Des Kennedy on Authenticity and several
articles from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Adolf Reinach,
Phenomenological Approaches to Self-Consciousness, Empathy, Emmanuel
Levinas). These are relevant to our study of intersubjectivity and
empathy as we encounter them in Stein.

Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 2:06:16 PM7/20/10
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Remind me how to get them, Phil.

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 2:08:32 PM7/20/10
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Never mind.. Got it.

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 2:23:48 PM7/20/10
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Des’s article is lovely. Where did you find it?


On Jul 20, 2010, at 3:03 PM, Philip Brownell wrote:

Haydn

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Jul 20, 2010, 2:32:56 PM7/20/10
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Stein has a technical meaning for 'psyche' which she develops in
particular in the 'Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities'. So
I'll just say it's a term that will become more apparent in its
meaning for Stein (Lebech discusses it in her study guide pp.1-2).

Stein sees the human individual (psycho-physical) as comprised of four
realms (well in terms of analysis not in terms of reality as we are an
integrated whole), Sawicki gives an overview of these realms on p.
XVII of the 'Editor's Introduction' to Stein's 'Philosophy of
Psychology and Humanities'. These four realms (psycho and physical)
are:


Realms lawfulness that imparts
coherence with each realm

The physical - mechanical causality -(here
we are causally connected to the physical world, but not to other
sentient beings as such).

The sensory or sensate - sentient causality - (open
to causal influences among sensate individuals).

The mental or intellectual - rational motivation - (open
to motivational influences among intelligent individuals)

The personal or individual - personal motivation -
(motivationally connected to the world of value, but not to

other personal beings as such).

So 'person' is a technical term for Stein. A person is value-tropic or
open to the 'world of values', and motivation also plays a key role
with regard to Stein's analysis. But this comes after Stein's
constitution of the psycho-physical individual in 'On Empathy'.

All this should be made more apparent in due course, but just to give
an outline of the road ahead.

Best,
H.

Dan Bloom

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Jul 20, 2010, 2:35:31 PM7/20/10
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Thank you.

Philip Brownell

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Jul 20, 2010, 3:54:59 PM7/20/10
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At a site for all the Marrianne Fry Lectures; there are several of them.

croc...@aol.com

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Jul 21, 2010, 7:22:23 PM7/21/10
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"Phenomenal" is not only physical. Any revelation and any event of any
kind is phenomenal. We as bodied persons are constantly engaged in
revealing-events (revealing and receiving revelations), in n
dimensions. The physical is only one kind of dimension. Phenomenology
is about discovering the interrelationships among revelations in the
several dimensins in which they (and we) occur. I believe that empathy
is one such event.

Sylvia


Dan,


How about "phenomeno-physical"? 


Seán


See below...

Seán:

Where exactly? 

Dan


Dan,


Seán

Steinians:


Good stuff, Seán.


Dan


Folks, 


Seán

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croc...@aol.com

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Jul 21, 2010, 7:27:31 PM7/21/10
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This seems like an anti-holism position. Too many partitions to suit
me.

Sylvia

Dan Bloom

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Jul 21, 2010, 7:46:08 PM7/21/10
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Sylvia:


I didn’t say it was ONLY physical. I regret my brevity.
It seems that you are implying that I did and then paraphrasing some of what I actually said.

Actually, concerning “phenomena,” I am most drawn to thinking that the concept is outside considerations of the physical and non-physical. Phenomena are. They show themselves as themselves.
We “dismember” them according to the manner of our inquiries into them. If we look for the physical/non-physical dimensions, we might find it.

I do not think that phenomenology is only about finding interrelationships among several dimensions. This is one of Husserl’s projects.
Phenomenology is also an interpretative stance. It is a way of understanding being-in-the-world, that is, how that which is in-the-world discloses itself.

One of the wonderful things about the history of phenomenology is that the field has gone through many different developments. Not only has its original source in Husserl offered different points from which it could develop (he was hardly consistent), but the field ramified over time and over place. Different intellectual cultures developed it differently. And it continues to develop.Even in the United States now there is the East and West Coast schools of phenomenology!

So I won’t make any statements that begin “Phenomenology is....”.

Dan

Dan Bloom

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Jul 21, 2010, 7:49:42 PM7/21/10
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Interesting point.
I wonder if she brings it together.

I also have questions about the partitions themselves.
Of course I would. I need to read a whole lot more. :)

Philip Brownell

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Jul 21, 2010, 9:53:14 PM7/21/10
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An event of "any kind" is phenomenal? Really? What about a synapse in the amygdala? That is an event. What about the rains in Haiti. They are an event for the people in Haiti, but right now in Bermuda its dry and we need more rain. Perhaps there is a butterfly connection, but I don't think it rises to the level of a phenomenal event (for me).

I am interested in what you are saying about other possible dimensions, but I don't know of these are phenomenal.
Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 21, 2010, 9:04:33 PM7/21/10
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Phil:

If it ain’t experienced or experienceable, it ain’t phenomenal.

Any event is not phenomenal to my way of understanding how we use it here. We could call something “phenomenal” as a colloquial way of saying it would be amazing IF we could be able to experience (“Black holes are phenomenal”), but that is not the “phenomenal” of phenomenology. :)

Dan

CROC...@aol.com

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Jul 22, 2010, 2:59:19 AM7/22/10
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Hi Dan,
 
You said:
"Phenomenal is physical. 
Or to put it differently, to parse the phenomenal into material and non-material aspects is problematic.
I’d prefer to avoid this."
 
Then in your response to what I wrote, you have essentially paraphrased my point.  Intentionality is central to phenomenological process, and intentionality is all about discovering how what is present in experience "points to" other factors to which it is connected (there are several senses of "connected", depending on what the experience is about).  Since we hold that meaning is about the relation of figure to ground, as we try to understand/interpret present experience, we attempt to discover the relationships of this-here-now to what--prior to the inquiry--was in some sense hidden in the ground.  Our way of interpreting experience is NOT about imposing meanings on experience, but of hermeneutically allowing/helping the meaning to emerge into new experience.  In other words, our way of interpreting  involves exploring and experimenting with what appears, following out the connections/intentions of what appears.  Hence we discover the meaning by a phenomenological/hermeneutical process of tracking the figure to its wider context, its ground.
 
I agree that we should avoid thinking in terms of "material and non-material" since this is far too limited.  It's better to think in terms of the many forms experience takes.  It's better to speak in terms of experience in terms of dimensions, since we know there are many kinds of experience.  Non-material covers: personal, interpersonal, social, aesthetic, spiritual, and many more (many of which we haven't yet either discovered or don't understand well enough to give it a name).  And the physical itself is complex, comprehending not only sensory but also extra-sensory, living and non-living, simple and complex, and so on.
 
Further our experience is holistic, simultaneously involving numerous dimensions reciprocally influencing each other, often in ways so complex that we do not yet understand.
 
Love, Sylvia

CROC...@aol.com

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Jul 22, 2010, 3:22:56 AM7/22/10
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Hi Phil,
 
My ontological view (with Aristotle) is that anything that has an effect is real, and there are many kinds of effects, many of which are essentially non-material even if they happen to involve materiality.  Anything that happens is in principle open to being experienced (become a received appearance), whether it is experienced or not.  Moreover, how it is experienced may be by means of instruments of various kinds. The rains in Haiti were certainly experienced. The firings in the brain are, in principle, experiencable by means of instruments.  The flapping of a butterfly's wings could, in principle, be experienced and its effects mapped.   This is the old issue of: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there does it make a sound?  If we mean by "sound" that someone actually hears it, then no, if no one is there; but if we mean that the air is affected by sound waves such that any hearing person could hear it if there were someone there, then yes, it makes a sound.  Explosions in outer space and light emitted from distant planets and suns is experienced, but many years later; and such things were happening long before there were any seeing beings.  But if there had been seeing beings they could have seen it.  In other words, whatever happens can, in principle, be experienced in some form or another.  An "appearance" is something that "appears," and as such is an event-term.
 
As for many dimensions, we know that love and honor and shame cannot be essentially reduced to the physical. Being fully present with another person in an intimate experience in which each person reveals his/her inmost truth is not essentially physical.  Feeling the presence of another person is not reducible to sensory experience or to the merely physical. The experience of something intrinsically mysterious,  and interacting with that mystery in ways that do not try to reduce it to a controllable thing is not essentially physical.  The thrill and elation of seeing your baby look up and smile at you the first time is not essentially physical.  Being moved by a great singer or hearing a familiar piece of music played in a startlingly and wonderful way is not reducible to the merely physical.  In our lives we constantly live in numerous dimensions, and the events in these dimensions constantly interact reciprocally and holistically.    
 
Warmly, Sylvia
 
In a message dated 7/21/2010 6:55:28 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time, philbr...@logic.bm writes:
An event of "any kind" is phenomenal? Really?  What about a synapse in the amygdala?  That is an event.  What about the rains in Haiti. They are an event for the people in Haiti, but right now in Bermuda its dry and we need more rain.  Perhaps there is a butterfly connection, but I don't think it rises to the level of a phenomenal event (for me).

I am interested in what you are saying about other possible dimensions, but I don't know of these are phenomenal.
Phil

On Jul 21, 2010, at 7:22 PM, croc...@aol.com wrote:

> "Phenomenal" is not only physical.  Any revelation and any event of any kind is phenomenal.   We as bodied persons are constantly engaged in revealing-events (revealing and receiving revelations), in n dimensions.  The physical is only one kind of dimension.  Phenomenology is about discovering the interrelationships among revelations in the several dimensins in which they (and we) occur. I believe that empathy is one such event.
>
> Sylvia
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dan Bloom <d...@djbloom.com>
> To: edith-stein...@googlegroups.com
> Sent: Tue, Jul 20, 2010 10:53 am
> Subject: Re: Approaching "Empathy"
>
>
> Phenomenal is physical.
> Or to put it differently, to parse the phenomenal into material and non-material aspects is problematic.
> I’d prefer to avoid this.

CROC...@aol.com

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Jul 22, 2010, 3:29:44 AM7/22/10
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Dan,
 
Yet astronomers do experience black holes indirectly as they cause the bending of the light emitted from other spatial objects.  A phenomenon is, by definition, is something that appears.  If something actually appears it has effects of some kind whether those effects are experienced by a conscious being or not.  Whatever happens is, in principle, experiencable by a sensient being, whether there is actually a sentient being there to have the experience of not.  Our interest, however, is in what we learn from experience and how these appearances affect us.
 
Love, Sylvia
 
In a message dated 7/21/2010 7:04:39 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time, d...@djbloom.com writes:
Phil:

If it ain’t experienced or experienceable, it ain’t phenomenal.

Any event is not phenomenal to my way of understanding how we use it here. We could call something “phenomenal” as a colloquial way of saying it would be amazing IF we could be able to experience (“Black holes are phenomenal”), but that is not the “phenomenal” of phenomenology. :)

Dan


On Jul 21, 2010, at 9:53 PM, Philip Brownell wrote:

Philip Brownell

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Jul 22, 2010, 6:17:14 AM7/22/10
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Dear Sylvia,
You write from what I understand to be a critically realistic perspective, and I share that perspective.  Thing happen whether or not anybody is there to experience them happening.  They are events in the real world.  As such, they are ontic.  As such, to me, they are not necessarily phenomenal.  While the ontic field is one size fits all, there is no one-for-all phenomenal field.  There are as many phenomenal fields as there are people who have experiences.  The world of potential experience seems to be one of your dimensions, but potential experience is not actual experience.

I agree that there is something, a dimension, that people throughout the writing ages have called "spirit."  It overlaps the mental and the psychological (where psyche = soul).  I believe spirit permeates both soma and psyche, but that's because I can't escape it.  I can't explain it.

Phil

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 5:27:34 AM7/22/10
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Sylvia,

When you write: In our lives we constantly live in numerous dimensions, and the events in these dimensions constantly interact reciprocally and holistically - then you are for me describing precisely that which Stein set out to explore. Her schema of "realms" - as presented here by Haydn and available also in Marianne's writing - is for me a way of understanding this complexity rather than a description of an individual. Marianne Sawicki says it better than I can:

"Borrowing from Scheler, Stein identifies four phenomenal divisions of activity within any human individual: the physical, the sensate, the mental, and the personal."

I am enjoying the contributions of your incisive mind.

Seán

Philip Brownell

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Jul 22, 2010, 6:32:57 AM7/22/10
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Dear Sylvia,
I agree with you that intentionality is central to phenomenological process.  However, I don't think intentionality in itself is "all about" how what is present points to other factors to which it is connected.  Wouldn't that be the hermeneutical process?  

To me intentionality is the aboutness of experience. It is simply the observation of the valence of experience.  It is about something.  Period.  To me, that is also what makes intentionality basically paradoxical and what makes what we do as gestalt therapists experimental. We simply observe what is, what is currently going on.  We do this IN the natural attitude, accepting what is given as given, without conducting a reduction.  That is the phenomenal tracking we have, until now, been calling the phenomenological method, but it really is not the philosophical phenomenological method at all.  It is a paradoxical and experimental process.  When a person starts making sense of "what is," he or she has shifted to still something else.  That would be the hermeneutics of experience.

There are also two ways in which this whole process (intentionality and hermeneutics) is thematizing.  The intentional object is a construction of the transcendental ego, the constituting ego–the therapist's observation.  Thus, when in the presence of the client, the therapist begins to "see" what the client's experience is "about," the therapist forms an intentional object of the client, and that objectifies him or her.  The simple aboutness is thematizing even without the meaning making.  If, on top of that, a therapist begins making meaning of his or her intentional objects / client features, then that is a further and more elaborate thematizing.  It is this thematizing that Levinas abhors.

How do we escape thematizing?  In one sense we cannot, but in another sense we can if we accept the intentional object/the client's experience as an icon pointing to something more mysterious that we cannot fully grasp.  It is not an end in itself.  It is an incomplete and somewhat saturated phenomenon that we allow to overwhelm our usual ways of knowing and making meaning.  We simply experience the client as he or she reveals and as she or he is given. And that cannot be done if there is any kind of reduction being carried out; it has to be in the natural attitude.

Phil

Philip Brownell

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Jul 22, 2010, 6:35:48 AM7/22/10
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Yes and yes. But. What Stein says still seems to relate to the actual as opposed to the simply potential.

Phil

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 5:51:27 AM7/22/10
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Phil,

I find myself hooked by your use of "potential".

It is so different to "possible", yet often gets used as if it were a synonym.

"Potential" for me is closer to "probable".

Let me try it: "What Stein says still seems to relate to the actual as opposed to the simply probable."

Now, I want to try replacing "actual": "What Stein says still seems to relate to the realised as opposed to the simply probable."

Am I making any sense - or are you making any sense of me?!!!

I can still sense a piece of meaning waving at me from these variations...and all I can do is wave back, for the moment.

Seán

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 6:11:13 AM7/22/10
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Sylvia:

The indirect experience of a black hole is phenomenal, of course!!!!!
What a microbiologist sees through a microscope, a radiologist on an X-ray, and so on, are experiences.
 
Experience is experience, direct or indirect. 


You missed my point entirely.

Dan

Philip Brownell

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Jul 22, 2010, 7:13:22 AM7/22/10
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Me too, and I have to get work.  Damn.  Work.
Later,
Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 6:27:48 AM7/22/10
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Sylvia:

As I said, I regret the brevity of my initial comment that implied I meant phenomenal is ONLY physical. I thought the sentences following that comment made it clear what I meant. 

You only responded to the first three words of my message
And paraphrased the rest of my message!

So we paraphrase one another.

That means we were in agreement.

Is there such a thing as a “paraphrastic circle”

I’m not sure if your comments about interpreting and intentionality are directed toward what I wrote. 
Is it? It doesn’t seem to be.
I understand what you say and understand what you mean. I have a somewhat different take on this, as you can tell from the way I described it in my message. I approach this from a worlded orientation.  
We could tickle out our differences elsewhere.

Dan

On Jul 22, 2010, at 2:59 AM, CROC...@aol.com wrote:

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 7:20:22 AM7/22/10
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Phil (and Sylvia):

Who on earth would willing step into a hornets nest?
No on. 
But here I go. 
In a limited way, though

“Intentionality” is a horse of so many colors that we need to bring in a biologist to be sure we aren’t confusing different species.
Sylvia and I had a tussle over a misunderstanding about this. I talked about one definition of intentionality in Husserl (intentionality as the directedness of consciousness and as that which constitutes objects of consciousness, etc) and she another (intentionality as part of the formal structuring of mental objects such as geometric planes and so on — H’s Third Cart. Med I think). We talked at cross purposes. 

In Husserl, intentionality could be said to be the aboutness of experience and how experiences are logically structured.  There are other meanings of intentionality in Husserl, too.

Heidegger was critical of Husserl’s intentionality for exactly the reason, you, Phil discuss when you say we remain in the “natural attitude.” Husserl’s intentionality is revealed via the reduction. Heidegger said that reduction was a mistake. We must remain as beings-in-the-word. The natural attitude our worldedness. He understood “intentionality” to be a function of the way Dasein is in-the-world, that is, part of the understanding of you and me together, embodied, historical, relational. 

Phil, the phenomenological method that is gestalt therapy is not the method of Husserl’s reduction, but the method of Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenological method. (I was on the way to this in my GR article.) This is a worlded or situated intentionality, which is of the patient AND the therapist. The interpretation is achieved through therapeutic dialogue, not otherwise. This includes intentionality as the directedness of experience, or contact, and sees intentionality as emergent of the therapist/patient relationship, field, or world. 

Thematizing is inevitable. I have a lot to say about this. I did in Philadelphia and I will in Berlin. It is an inauthentic way of being (in Heidegger’s term), everyday, and inevitable. And we move through it in our therapy via contacting and dialogical contacting. We relate to one another as other outside of this inevitable thematizing. You know this.

I could continue for pages.

I hope this discussion doesn’t become a fight about the right meaning of intentionality or the phenomenological method. 
As I said, there are many different and correct meanings. 
(I was once accused of not understanding phenomenology when I  wrote that the description was central to the phenomenological method. Then I found about 6 quotations from Husserl in support…..)
If anyone needs me to cite references for what I offer now, I will.

Dan

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 7:23:54 AM7/22/10
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I am haunted by the precision  philosophers bring to “actual,” “real,” “existent,” and “potential.”

I need to study more before I wade into this!!!

There is a limit to my amateur-ity


On Jul 22, 2010, at 5:51 AM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

Philip Brownell

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Jul 22, 2010, 8:40:45 AM7/22/10
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I understand.  I get the worlded sense of things: dasein, or being there among others.  Fits with contact.  Also with the givenness of phenomena.

Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 9:59:34 AM7/22/10
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Yes.

I was thinking about what makes me prefer Heidegger to the Husserl tradition. I came up with 3 things, immediately.
One is how Heidegger presents worldedness.  He really is straight forward and explicit. Husserl and Co are inconsistent, convoluted, and sometimes Cartesian. 
The second is that Heidegger is process oriented. Throwness is a continuing process. Dasein is an entity continuously moving in time. 
Three: He bases thi on a well-developed concept of being that includes such things as mood and understanding — from which we can frame an existential aspect of gestalt therapy

Husserl and his followers have some of this, but so far I haven’t seen it as fully developed as in Heidegger. I’ve seen psychotherapies based on Heidegger, but few based on Husserl and Co — except for his method. (Spinelli may be an exception. He actually incorporates noema and noesis in his approach.)

I am open to learn more. None of my ideas are conclusions to which I am personally loyal.

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 10:12:55 AM7/22/10
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So now let us see if Edith Stein has anything to offer us...apart from the incidental possibility on this site of maybe, just maybe, having corrected the lazy slide into a more and more meaningless use of "phenomenological" as a core characteristic of Gestalt therapy. I have found this very useful and supportive.

Maybe Scheler with his Sympathy and Stein with her Empathy will open a path towards therapy...

Seán

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 10:14:44 AM7/22/10
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The givenness of phenomena is relatedness to thrownness.
The world is given to us. We don’t form it through intentionality, reason, or any suprasensible Kantian faculties or intuitions. At the same time, in our being as beings-in-the-world we change and are changed our worldedness.
Otherwise there couldn’t be psychotherapy.

This is a Stein Group. Otherwise I’d explain to you how I currently understand gestalt therapy as a modified Husserlian and Heideggerian psychotherapy. We were an existential phenomenological psychotherapy from the beginning. 

Dan


On Jul 22, 2010, at 8:40 AM, Philip Brownell wrote:

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 10:24:49 AM7/22/10
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Except for your use of the word “meaningless,” I concur.

Fire away. I want to learn!

By the way, Laura claimed to have been influenced by Scheler. And Klages.
So we gestalt therapists are can trace our lineage to Lebensphilosophie?

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 10:37:53 AM7/22/10
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Dan,

HELP! Without the word "meaningless" the sentence is...well...meaningless, surely.

As for Lebensphilosophie, wasn't Bergson part of that movement? And isn't Bergson referenced in PHG (a bit of Gestaltspeak, Haydn, if you're reading)? So yes, maybe so. Dilthey, Bergson...Laura Perls into Fritz Perls...Goodman would have had knowledge of Dilthey and Bergson surely also...

Anyway, back to Empathy. 

Seán





Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 10:51:33 AM7/22/10
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Seán:

Bergson? For sure. He was one of the most popular philosophers of early 20th C philosophers.
Why Dilthey? 

I just read some Shutz.
I take back some of what I said about the post-Husserlians….
I learn….

Dan

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 11:03:34 AM7/22/10
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In his book on HD, Cassirer, and Davos, Gordon says that beneath all thinkers is an unaware organizing metaphor that shapes their thinking and actually makes it appealing to those whose thoughts have a similar unaware shaping metaphor. 

Interesting.

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 11:19:14 AM7/22/10
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Ah! isn't this what some of us would call "field"?
--
www.egenart.info/gaffney

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 11:20:22 AM7/22/10
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Dilthey? In at the thick of it! Even if Heidegger became critical of him later...
--
www.egenart.info/gaffney

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 11:25:44 AM7/22/10
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Sure. 
Bur explicitly?

I am waiting to read Bernd Bocian’s book on Fritz.

Laura never mentioned Dilthey.

When was Heidegger critical?
When he threw away “metaphysics”?

I read last night about Heidegger’s theories on Nietzsche. Very interesting.
You see how hard it is for me to leave Heidegger.
I read an article by Stolorow in the currrent issue of the J of Phenom Psychology. On HD, Nietzsche and psychotherapy.

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 11:30:56 AM7/22/10
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I finally know the meaning of “field.”
“Can of worms.”

Philip Brownell

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Jul 22, 2010, 12:38:20 PM7/22/10
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is that the ontic can of worms or the phenomenal can of worms?

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 11:40:03 AM7/22/10
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Let me get back to you on that.

If you recall, I don’t distinguish between the phenomenal and the ontic.

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 3:06:28 PM7/22/10
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Can of worms? NO. 

"Nothing unconnected ever happens" (Malcolm Parlett). YES!

Haydn

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Jul 22, 2010, 3:27:52 PM7/22/10
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That's right Seán,

I'd see these realms as coming out of Stein's descriptive analysis of
human experience as such, and from the perspective her own 'holistic'
individual working from within the phenomenological reduction. Thus,
the essence of the act of empathy is itself defined within the
reduction (one is experiencing the other individual from 'within', not
that one steps into another person's shoes as is traditionally
understood by empathy - empathy is Ein-fühlung (i.e. in-feeling), here
she also seems to epistemologically demonstrate the probable existence
of other individuals (given that the existence of the other is
suspended from within the reduction) from 'within'. That is, our
experience of the other within seems to point to their existence (e.g.
if I am happy, my primordial experience is of happiness, it fills me,
but then I notice a girl on the street crying, the non-primordial
experience that now arises primordially in empathy is sadness, the
sadness was not emerging from me primordially, but now 'arises'
because of the 'other', otherwise why should I feel this sadness?, as
Stein states

'In my non-primordial experience I feel, as it were, led by a
primordial one not experienced by me but still there, manifesting
itself in my non-primordial experience' [On Empathy, p. 11].

So this aims to give epistemological credence to an external world
beyond the 'reduction'. She reaches out to 'reality' from within the
epoche.

The Four Realms:

Through the descriptive analysis of 'her' experience Stein is
confronted with 'causal experience' (such as when she gets hungry, or
tired ), she has no control about getting hungry it is 'caused', e.g.
the cells want to be fed, the mitochondria need to create some power
etc. The sensate, here she is describing feelings of joy, sadness
etc. that she encounters as an individual, the mental, at this level
she describes how she as an individual can understand or is motivated
by particular objects etc), the personal, here she describes her
experience of being open to valuation.

Later she will talk about the experience of 'lifeforce'. Stein
believes we experience 'lifeforce' in the following ways, e.g. when we
get tired our lifeforce goes down, when we sleep it goes up.
Motivation can affect our lifeforce, e.g. if a mother is in a car
accident and her child is stuck in the car, she may be physically
exhausted from injury, but she may gain energy from 'outside' via
'motivation' and 'values' (love of child) to gain an immense amount of
energy to break open the car to save her child (here we are moving to
mental/personal realm -motivation/value). This is, as outlined before,
the subject of Stein's 'Phil. of Psy and Humanities'.

Mutually Permeable:

These four realms are mutually permeable within an individual. We have
to be careful to say individual rather than 'person' as person is a
realm open to motivation and value. The causal realm and the personal
realm are mysterious on some accounts, we can't exactly access
someone's personal realm but we can uncover what the values of a
person are by virtue of their acts, their decisions etc., but we can
never fully access the personal or the causal.

We gain access via the sentient and mental realms. I'll try an
example, e.g. someone puts their hand in a fire, (causal), the person
roars, we can understand the 'roar' - the feeling is of pain
(sentient), we expect the person to run and put their hand in water
(intelligent/mental), but the individual decides to put their hand
deeper into the fire (personal valuation) - we are perplexed as to
why the individual would do this ... it is not as such open to us ...
here the 'rational' aspect of values come into play which again is
discussed later in the 'Phil of Psych. and Humanities'.

In terms of Methodology:

Of course Stein is dealing with the method of phenomenology that
existed at the time of her writing, 'On Empathy' was defended in 1916.
She, as part of the Göttingen group kept with what they considered
Husserl's early realist phenomenology rather than going with him
towards transcendental idealism.

It must be kept in mind that Heidegger's development and Merleau-
Ponty's advancements in Phenomenology (these developments often with
much disappointment from Husserl) were not there during the writing of
'On Empathy'.

Intentionality is (as you quite rightly pointed out) a hugely
difficult subject also - an interesting article on Brentano's
revaluation of the Scholastic concept of intentionality into a root-
concept of descriptive psychology which influenced Husserl is
available here ... http://eprints.nuim.ie/997/


I am reading Seán, the Gestalt information I'm afraid is beyond me,
there's certainly a lot going on in this group, it's hard to keep up
at times.

Incidentally, Scheler's term for sympathy is (Einsfühlung, i.e. Eins-
fühlung, one-feeling, there is only an 's' that makes the difference
between Einfühlung (in-feeling) and Einsfühlung (one-feeling)).

H.

Dan Bloom

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Jul 22, 2010, 3:32:12 PM7/22/10
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“Nothing unconnected ever happens” is absurd.
It is one of those flights of fancy sentences of lovely rhythm and seeming profundity that makes no sense at all to me.

Let me see.
Oh yes. 
Maybe in the mind of God.
Or on the brow of Gaia.
“He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

How about this? We can create one huge set of occurrences whose members shall be those events with one thing in common -- that they have occurred. Then we can say they are connected by virtue of their membership in the set.
Ta da!

Pardon me for going off on Malcolm’s mysticism. 
But when it is used as a basis for gestalt therapy or as a predicate of our metatheory, I cannot let it pass.

Dan

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 22, 2010, 4:08:42 PM7/22/10
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Haydn,

First and foremost, my warm appreciation to you for hanging on in here with us and providing such supportive responses. Sylvia, Dan, Phil and I are well used to a mixture of personal banter and profundities, often a breakneck speeds.

You have no doubt noticed that I usually note when we are in "gestaltspeak"for your benefit - and usually in brackets...of course!

See my comments etc. below - in blue (Dublin's colours, of course!).

On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 9:27 PM, Haydn <h.gu...@gmail.com> wrote:

That's right Seán,

I'd see these realms as coming out of Stein's descriptive analysis of
human experience as such, and from the perspective her own 'holistic'
individual working from within the phenomenological reduction. Thus,
the essence of the act of empathy is itself defined within the
reduction (one is experiencing the other individual from 'within', not
that one steps into another person's shoes as is traditionally
understood by empathy - empathy is Ein-fühlung (i.e. in-feeling), here
she also seems to epistemologically demonstrate the probable existence
of other individuals (given that the existence of the other is
suspended from within the reduction) from 'within'.
This is complex. I am utterly fascinated when I read "the essence of the act of empathy is itself defined within the reduction" and "here she also seems to epistemologically demonstrate the probable existence of other individuals". I am cognitively breathless at the implications of these phrases as they unfold in my mind... 
That is, our
experience of the other within seems to point to their existence (e.g.
if I am happy, my primordial experience is of happiness, it fills me,
but then I notice a girl on the street crying, the non-primordial
experience that now arises primordially in empathy is sadness, the
sadness was not emerging from me primordially, but now 'arises'
because of the 'other', otherwise why should I feel this sadness?, as
Stein states

'In my non-primordial experience I feel, as it were, led by a
primordial one not experienced by me but still there, manifesting
itself in my non-primordial experience' [On Empathy, p. 11].

So this aims to give epistemological credence to an external world
beyond the 'reduction'.  She reaches out to 'reality' from within the 
epoche.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. So you mean, she really did it...a phenomenological study of an event that presupposes the existence of an other, and shows from within her study that, yes - the other does exist and I can connect with her through empathy.

The Four Realms:

Through the descriptive analysis of 'her' experience Stein is
confronted with 'causal experience' (such as when she gets hungry, or
tired ), she has no control about getting hungry it is 'caused', e.g.
the cells want to be fed, the mitochondria need to create some power
etc.  The sensate, here she is describing feelings of joy, sadness
etc. that she encounters as an individual, the mental, at this level
she describes how she as an individual can understand or is motivated
by particular objects etc), the personal, here she describes her
experience of being open to valuation.

Later she will talk about the experience of 'lifeforce'. Stein
believes we experience 'lifeforce' in the following ways, e.g. when we
get tired our lifeforce goes down, when we sleep it goes up.
Motivation can affect our lifeforce, e.g. if a mother is in a car
accident and her child is stuck in the car, she may be physically
exhausted from injury, but she may gain energy from 'outside' via
'motivation' and 'values' (love of child) to gain an immense amount of
energy to break open the car to save her child (here we are moving to
mental/personal realm -motivation/value). This is, as outlined before,
the subject of Stein's 'Phil. of Psy and Humanities'.
Is the term "lifeforce" Edith's own or a borrowing from Lebensphilosophie? Or even Scheler?
Great - and thanks! NUIM certainly seems to be a goldmine of treasures these days. Must be interesting for you to be there, and I hope to visit you - maybe in December when I come home for Christmas? 



I am reading Seán, the Gestalt information I'm afraid is beyond me,
there's certainly a lot going on in this group, it's hard to keep up
at times.

Incidentally, Scheler's term for sympathy is (Einsfühlung, i.e. Eins-
fühlung, one-feeling, there is only an 's' that makes the difference
between Einfühlung (in-feeling) and Einsfühlung (one-feeling)).
I love the way you kept this priceless little tid-bit 'til last. I'm likely to stay awake pondering the implications....

Again, thank you.

Seán
 

H.



--
www.egenart.info/gaffney

CROC...@aol.com

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Jul 22, 2010, 4:32:37 PM7/22/10
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Hi Phil,
 
If we make a distion between phenomenal field as (1) involving someone's awareness, and 2) appearances as real events, then the confusion goes away.  If, on the other hand, we accept the premise that the only reality we have the "right" to talk about is the awarenesses of sentient beings, then we can't talk about events in which no one is present to experience them.  Since we both take the position/assumption of critical realism we can talk about the two kinds of fields of phenomena.  Any event can, at least in principle, be experienced by some method (directly or through implements).  It's important to be clear about which definition one is using in a given discussion.
 
As for the experience of "spirit," many, many people report having had spiritual experiences.  So there is something real there (in what ever way "there" is to be understood).  For me there exist real and significant mysteries: existents that are intri