About this Weblog

I am the word – the word is I. I live so as to write, and I write so as to live. I do not know whether this be true, but it does sound good. To be sure, it almost sounds a bit too good to be true. It suggests a certain grandeur on my part which I refuse. I do not want to raise above others, but to stand out from them. Indivual and community only seem to contradict each other. Ever since Immanuel Kant’s categorial redefinition of the word in his Critique of Pure Reason, we speak in cases like this one of ‘dialectics’.1 Kant himself speaks of ‘a natural and unavoidable dialectic of pure reason’2, of ‘a natural and inevitable illusion’3, ‘which rests on subjective principles, and foists them upon us as objective’4. Dialectics is no longer, as in antiquity, understood as the art of examining arguments in a conversation, which stands in contrast to the sophistic eristic, the art of persuading someone to any opinion.5 Instead, dialectics now becomes a ‘logic of illusion’, that is, of contradictions, which serves to determine the relationship between subject and object in the process of acquiring knowledge.6 With Hegel, dialectics eventually becomes the principle of all processes in the world in general. 7 Therefore, by emphasizing my uniqueness, I do not necessarily isolate myself from community8 and society8. Existence as an individual make community and society possible in the first place. Where there be no individual, there is neither community nor society. This insight neutralizes the contradiction between individual and community or society. It is, borrowing an expression from Hegel, the negation of negation. With the first negation, the individual deems itself to constitute a contradiction to community and society. It rejects them accordingly. With the second negation, the individual then realizes that it indeed is part of community and society; that, even more so, without it community and society are nothing. It recognizes them as something which originates from it in the first place. We see that the negation of negation does not reinstate the original condition. Rather, it creates, as a process, a higher level. The dialectic movement is complete. ‘Higher’ does, by the way, in this case not mean ‘better’ in an evaluative sense, but only serves to describe the result of the process of development.
I am the word – the word is I. To a certain extent, it is true, after all. The word does not, in virtue of me, determine what I am, yet in virtue of the word I determine, largely, what I am. The word is not merely an accidental noise but a tool. By means of it I can create – sentences, texts, messages, social relationships, worlds – and destroy. The word allows one’s own imagination to become omnipotent. At the same time, this poses the risk of getting lost in one’s own imagination, or of becoming sick in face of the real world, where one is not omnipotent. To those who create too big a utopia in their imaginations, everything outside of it must appear despicable and corrupt. Actual, permanent change takes place in small measures, although greater upheavals are required at times, too. The two are interdependent. What is difficult is to find the right balance.

The contents of my articles lie beyond the popular cultural mainstream. They may therefore provoke, especially because of their consequent unwillingness to compromise. Yet I do not write so as to please. I write so as to learn and so as to communicate. In this sense, Wolfgang Sofsky excellently remarked: ‘Not consensus but dispute, not tolerant indifference but truth is the first principle of free debate. Only by learning facts humans can judge what is the case and what is merely fiction, what they can do and what they cannot do.’9 Somewhere else he writes:

Laziness, cowardice, and indifference are still the most important causes of mental immaturity. Not social conditions, not the ailing education system, not the secular devaluation of all values are responsible for ensuring that people remain in the twilight of conformism. Mental immaturity is self-inflicted. Many people prefer a convenient dependence. They are too lazy to use their own understanding, and rather leave the judgment to others. Not the cognitive work exhausts them but the habit of doing nothing. They allow others to speak, think, and act for them, and retreat to the cage of passivity. The cowards, in turn, immediately take to their heels, when a dispute breaks out somewhere. If they sense opposition, they complain about a lack of tolerance. The hypocrite always prefers peers and equals. He rather drops to the floor than to withstand an attack.10

Only via opposition there can be progress. Without opposition, there is as much progress possible as in evacuated space without a ground. In this sense, I finish with Kant: ‘Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding! is therefore the dictum of enlightenment.’11

Notes
1. Confer: Kant, Immanuel: Critique of Pure Reason; translated by Norman Kemp Smith; Boston, New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2007; A 298/B 354.
2. Ibidem.
3. Ibidem.
4. Ibidem.
5. Confer Schwemmer, Oswald: „Dialektik“. In: Jürgen Mittelstraß (Hrsg.): Enzyklopädie Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie; Sonderausgabe, Bd. 1; Stuttgart/Weimar: J. B. Metzler, 2004; p. 463 and the very same: „Eristik“. In: ibidem; Bd. 1, p. 574.
6. Confer the very same: „Dialektik“. In: ibidem; Bd. 1, p. 465.
7. Confer: Hegel, Georg Friedrich Wilhelm: Phänomenologie des Geistes; Sonderausgabe der Philosophischen Bibliothek; Hamburg: Meiner, 2006.
8. Community and society are not necessarily the same (the linguistical problem rather arises in German than in English). Max Weber defines them in his Economy and Society by the terms »Vergesellschaftung« (societization, as it were) and »Vergemeinschaftung« (communization, as it were) as follows:

A relationship is supposed to be called ‘societization’ if and inasmuch as the attitude of a social act be based upon rationally (valuative or purposive) motivated reconciliation of interests or, motivated in the same manner, upon connexion of interests. Societization can typically in particular (but not: only) be based upon rational agreement by mutual promise. […] The purest types of societization are a) purposive free dealt exchange on the market: […]
2. Communization can be based upon any kind of affectual or emotional or else traditional foundation: a pneumatic band of brothers, an erotic relationship, a reverence-based relationship, a ‘national’ community, a combat unit sticking comradelily together. (Weber, Max: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft; Paderborn: Voltmedia, without year; p. 50. Emphases in the original.) (Translation by me.)

He hastens to add, however: ‘The great majority of social relationships bears characteristics of both communization and societization.’ (Ibidem.) (Translation by me.)
9. Sofsky, Wolfgang: Verteidigung des Privaten. Eine Streitschrift; München: C. H. Beck, 2009; p. 155.
10. Ibidem; p. 146.
11. Kant, Immanuel: »Was ist Aufklärung?«. In: the very same: Was ist Aufklärung? Ausgewählte kleine Schriften; Hamburg: Meiner, 1999; p. 20. (Emphasis in the original.) (Translation by me.)

19 thoughts on “About this Weblog

    • If there be any mystery, I certainly have not found its solution – if there be any such thing in turn. Words fascinate me, both written and spoken: I tend to see many a word spelt out in letters before me while speaking to someone. Perhaps it is a mild form of obsession, perhaps it is weird, or perhaps it is just another fluctuation in whatever may be supposed to be the standard of an assumed normality.

    • The question would be: Can we find that which we do not expect in principle? For what, precisely, would the core of a word – or, say, the shared core of several words – be, and, in consequence, where would we look for it?
      I think that words equally serve to confuse as they do to explain.

    • this is the main character of words and in more universal form, literature…
      we do not decide where to go with words.. they bring us wherever they want, decide and select..

    • Well, I rather think that there is a mutual relationship between words, thoughts, and feelings. Each of the three influences the other two, respectively, and it is rather pointless, if not impossible, to entangle any one of them from the others.

    • and even more than it…
      something like a specific frequency…
      it seems that words are able to vibrate the hidden boundaries of our world…
      if I say Miracle, it is not too far …

    • Even though words are powerful, I have my fair doubts that they are – or even in principle could be – this powerful, though. When metaphors and allegories turn into metaphysics, I am usually reluctant to follow. Besides, does our world actually have hidden boundaries, or are boundaries rather historically and evolutionarily temporary limitations to our means of perception and understanding? There also arises the question whether a scientific theory must be vari- or falsifiable only in principle, or rather with contemporary means of doing so. Thus, in principle, it would have been possible to fly to the moon in antiquity or the middle ages, but at the time, there were no means to prove the validity of this theory. An advocate of strong or strict relativism may argue that that theory would have been wrong at the time, whereas it is now true, but I find this unconvincing. In my view, it suffices for a theory to be vari- or falsifiable in principle to be scientific and sound because a theory as defined in the sciences cannot be logically wrong at one point in time and logically true at any other point. This standpoint is not affected by a theory’s actually being endorsed or rejected by anyone at any one point.

    • hi
      thanks you for your comprehensive explanation..
      about hidden boundaries,,, I just follow from the signs.. hidden boundaries are not necessity boundaries, they are our fell land to get close or far from people..
      for example, by these words and these blogs, i am able to talk with you.. because these words omit boundaries between us.. suppose without these words.. In a sterrt , you are walking and i am a stranger.. would you give me permission to talk to you without previous introduction?

      but, now.. these words cause us to be closer.. with less boundary.. this is the function of words.. It is big achivement.. isn’t it?

    • Ah, now I see what you mean. Why would I not grant someone permission to speak to me unless they are rude?
      While words can bring us closer together, they can as well create a distance or increase a distance already there. It is not only the words themselves, however, but both that which they are intended to mean (sender) and that which they are taken to mean (recipient) which renders them powerful.
      If I remember correctly, the verbal aspect is only one part in ten of human communication, though. Reducing communication to the verbal aspect, then, may be a reason for the kinds of conflict created on the internet because nine parts out of ten are missing from any one text message.
      Thus, while the internet brings people closer, it also creates distances that outside of the internet would not be there.

    • Uhum…
      I think it needs to discuss more to betrer understand. Hope to see you one day in Hannover..
      I will continue to read your worlds to discover new worlds…
      Thanks for your patient and time

    • No.. ‘
      I believe in words..
      Each word decode the writer’s world…
      You kindly share your ideas and it is great..

  1. I live in Hannover, with my girlfriend..
    I do not know it is custom in Germany to invite sb in this way..
    but, I invite you for a discussion about literature and also, mysteries of words… and also, a Persian food..
    whenever you come Hannover, let me know, if you are interested…

    • Oh, it so happens that I wish to meet someone from Hannover, anyway, but I do not know when and where exactly this will happen. It may very well happen somewhere outside of Hannover.
      It is not the normal custom in Germany to invite strangers like this, but then again, I am unconventional and open-minded, anyway. If I should get to Hannover any time, I shall make sure to let you know and would be glad to accept your invitation.🙂

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