Skip to content

Beauty is not Abstraction, but Result

January 22, 2013

Nature (actual growing, making, producing) moves in a slow cycle–much slower than the cycle of the mind and its flittering, flashing thoughts. Real thoughts, like real fruits, grow too slow for us to watch them gestate and mature, and so always take us gently by surprise, one day announcing their own rightness and ripeness.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why attention sustained through boredom & dullness–the daily, weekly, yearly round, etc–is so important: It puts a drag on the cycle of the mind, a yoke that pulls thought back toward the cycle of life, and makes it fruitful.

(Edit: this post is, in part and first of all, a response to some provoking lines from an article about Oscar Wilde’s visit to America which a good friend pointed out to me:

‘When he ventured the starchy observation that he, Wilde, couldn’t bear “to listen to anyone unless he attracts me by a charming style, or by beauty of theme,” the older poet put him in his place. “Why, Oscar,” said Whitman, “it always seems to me that the fellow who makes a dead set at beauty is in a bad way. My idea is that beauty is a result, not an abstraction.” Wilde quickly retreated. “Yes,” he said, “I think so too.”’)

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Pseudonoma permalink
    January 22, 2013 10:27 pm

    I very much enjoy the direction I perceive your (possibly flittering? possibly not?) thoughts to be heading. And I wonder about their result. Do thoughts, or nature, reach a result? We are told natural motion, as contradistinguished from violent motion, comes to rest, a peace which is not the elimination of the motion but the fulfillment of it. I suppose I want to think of your “result” as fulfillment, or perhaps more precisely, as vollendung. But that is only what I WANT to think. If, in keeping with all this, “real thoughts” are natural thoughts, that is to say, thoughts OF nature, could it also be true that they are yet always wanting? Could the fulfillment of this want be also its extreme intensification (perhaps this is even true of the rest of natural motion)? I add this last question with the possibility in mind that their may be only one real thought –only one thought, not ours but belonging to nature, which hesitates in its fruition for more than two millenia…only to then shy away altogether into perfect concealment.

  2. January 25, 2013 9:52 pm

    You say “you want” to think of result as vollendung–you say “you want,” but aren’t you really talking about a kind of objective “want” into which thought is ineluctibly drawn and can’t really interpret, or think out for itself? Or is that just the problem you’re trying to point to, how thought’s “I want” wants to be saying that “the wanting” is bigger than the “I,” that the “I” is just a place where it’s being felt, experienced, happening. But that to say that would be to pretend to be able to step onto the far side of want and say what’s there, say that want is not vain; but that that’s just what wanting can’t do and say no matter how much it wants to? Indeed, to pretend to do so might be to violently foreclose wanting rather than prepare toward its destined vollendung.

    Is there something perverse about this kind of thinking, writing?

    On a possibly related note, I was reading in Summa Contra Gentiles something that Dante must have loved: that “we love something not less but more when we have it … [and] a motion to an end becomes intensified from nearness to that end.”

  3. Pseudonoma permalink
    January 28, 2013 11:04 pm

    Funny, I had been listening to the final Cantos of the Paradiso the day I wrote that first comment. Of course, my original reference regarding natural and violent motion is directly from Aristotle’s Physics, so your quote from Thomas is, understandably, very much in keeping with what I had in mind. But there is a difference –and it lies in the fact that the consummation of what is wanting in thought is –in accord with this want –only possible. And this satisfies the ambiguity of “the consummation of what is wanting”.

    Which brings me to your rather spontaneous and isolated question.

    “Is there something perverse about this kind of thinking, writing?”

    I wonder why you did not mention saying –indeed this first and foremost. Be that as it may allow me to reference some “current affairs.” Reviewing Campbell’s book “The Early Heidegger’s Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language,” Daniel Tate writes the following:

    “Campbell emphasizes the ambiguity in Heidegger’s description of factical life. On the one hand, the world distracts us with worldly concerns that block us off from ourselves; on the other hand, it is replete with meaningful contexts that constitute our openness to the world. Campbell argues that this ambivalence regarding factical life simply reflects the human condition in its inherent ambiguity. On his reading, “Heidegger presents a realistic description of life, one that is prone to mistakes, and even perversity, but which is nonetheless open to meaning.”

    Now I, for one, happen to hate when people write phrases like “open to meaning” unless they prepare for such otherwise vacuous language with a meditative momentum worthy of the task. But nonetheless I think the last sentence’s little caveat –“and even perversity” –is relevant to your question. I would identify this ambiguity with “die Irre des Denkens”. This errancy is not a faculty flaw, as it were, but is a problem in the very thing we have been given to think –and it is that thing. So when you ask if there is “something perverse about this kind of thinking”, my response must necessarily be: possibly.

    • February 5, 2013 6:59 pm

      I feel woefully unable to give your comments the responses they deserve. Maybe, I am just not made for the exertion of that this way of saying seems to demand.

      Let me though do the violence of transposing some of your questions/possibilities into declarative sentences. Then I’ll try and express what I understand, and my difficulties, both with what is said and the way of saying–a separation which may of course be a second violence. I hope to leave open the possibility of some response from you that would say: here’s why your transposition of question/possibility into declaration, or your separation of what is said from the way it was said, is inappropriate.

      Real thoughts are Nature’s thoughts.

      That makes some kind of sense to me. “We never come to thoughts, they come to us.” Thinking is like an impersonal verb with which we are obliquely construed. “A thought is taking shape for me.” “It plunges me in thought.” “A thought occurred to me.” “Perhaps, you can sense where this train of thoughts is headed.” Or as I said above, real thoughts take us gently by surprise, announcing their own rightness & ripeness.

      But what is gained by the formulation your emphasis seems to insist on: “thoughts OF nature”? I don’t like to say this because the common-sense of the words feels unduly violated–so that one is forced to fight against thinking of nature as a thinking mind. You may say, that’s just because this phrasing forces the problem on you–the hard-to-think strangeness of how thinking belongs to nature. Is it wrong of me to want to acknowledge that strangeness without contorting the language in a way that makes my head hurt?

      All thoughts are wanting.

      As you say, natural motion ends in a fulfillment, not an elimination of motion–a stillness or a still self-moving which sustains within itself the movement that passed into it. It would seem that, other than the activity of God (which I don’t know whether you can call a natural movement or not) that gives itself to itself in an entirely perfect and eminent way, all natural movements register (with a peculiar pure and calm intensity at their moments or periods of fruition) the fact of their having been given to themselves from outside themselves, centered, drawn, and guided from outside the circles of their planetary ways.

      There is only one real thought.

      Well, my first thought would be to say: yes, well, that is the thought of God, a thought each other thought is cued by, moved by, and generally gets in the way of, except in its moment of ripeness, radiance, glory when it offers the crown of its fulfillment back to all thoughts’ crowner. That’s a thought that possesses and is never possessed. But I don’t really know if that’s what you’re aiming at.

      I’ll quote your last, tantalizing sentence: “I add this last question with the possibility in mind that there may be only one real thought –only one thought, not ours but belonging to nature, which hesitates in its fruition for more than two millenia…only to then shy away altogether into perfect concealment.”

      From what moment are you counting two millenia: more than two millenia have passed for us since the Incarnation? more than more two millenia led up to the moment of Greek thinking?

      Finally, can you say what you mean by “perfect concealment”; is this the vollendung of thought’s longing?

  4. Pseudonoma permalink
    February 18, 2013 1:35 am

    Adam, some of the questions you raise above are, in my own estimation, so important as to be deemed prerequisite to a thorough understanding of Heidegger’s basic position. Unfortunately they are –even by some advanced scholars –sometimes perceived to be tangential or of secondary importance. It is not uncommon that ‘certain parts’ of Heidegger’s thought are parsed out and placed aside under the false assumption that they are not issuing from what I might be inclined to call the quiet center of that spiraling thought, but are rather the result of a superfluous religiosity or dabbling in art or poetry or a temporary flirtation with ‘politics’ (one easy example of this would Dermot Moran’s excellent “Introduction to Phenomenology,” which nevertheless –in its worst moment –recommends (blatantly) that Heidegger’s talk about destiny be separated from his supposedly very different serious phenomenological work. The answers I shall try to offer to your questions I will constrain to a certain brevity –not because more need not be said on the matter, but because more necessarily need be said. My answers are the distillation than a decade of thinking upon Heidegger’s corpus, but some if not all of them are by no means representative of the general consensus of sound scholarship. I offer them as you have asked for them –freely and in a spirit of good faith —with the necessary expectation that they will be in some way distortive of truth. Accordingly, in response to your generous “hope to leave open the possibility of some response from [me] that would say: here’s why your transposition of question/possibility into declaration, or your separation of what is said from the way it was said, is inappropriate,” I must already say that what is appropriate con only be found in what is already inappropriate. Because of that I must also give answers that are inappropriate. They are as follows.

  5. Pseudonoma permalink
    February 18, 2013 3:20 am

    “Real thoughts are Nature’s thoughts.” You immediately turn to Heidegger’s own adage to shed some light on this: ““We never come to thoughts, they come to us.”

    What does Heidegger’s adage mean? The answer will also tell us *how* it means. On the way toward the answer you cite a whole host of ways we commonly refer to our experience of thinking –ways which seem to suggest that we do not produce our own thoughts. In this sense we may conclude that our thoughts are not, as the old distinction goes, something artificial, even something technical. Instead they issue forth of their own accord. They are natural, physical, i.e. the bringing forth that is phuein. In this sense, thoughts –our thoughts –belong to nature –and are indeed a natural happening, a happening of nature. This is a good initial way to attune one self to what Heidegger’s adage is trying to give voice to. But we must also try to hear it even more precisely.

    ““We never come to thoughts, they come to us.”

    The central question we must ask is whether the distinction being made here is simply one of direction and agency (either the thought moves toward us or we toward it) or if something else is being distinguished. The latter is the case. Therefore we may freely remove the first part of the quote and now ask only “how do thoughts come to us?” Thoughts do not arrive. Instead, they come to us. It is only on the way of their coming that we can think them. What Heidegger wants us to realize is that even when, for example, we say to a friend while walking somewhere, “So, the other day this thought came to me…” what we mean without thinking about it is not that we had a thought –unless that thought is a thought that approached us. Thoughts finally come in their approach. Thoughts, by their very nature, come to us, and only then and for so long do we have them.

  6. Pseudonoma permalink
    February 19, 2013 12:56 am

    Thoughts only come to us. But what of these coming thoughts? Perhaps we can understand them more clearly by considering the terminus of their peculiar –nay, unique –motion. But this is just what we cannot do. For what happens when they arrive? Like death (and we may know of an old story or two that also links or likens death and knowledge “in the beginning”) , in their eventual arrival thoughts are missed altogether –or as I might say, missed “perfectly’. Just as in death, in the arrival of thought, thinking is no longer present, we are left in utter need of thought –indeed, in *the* utter need of thought. Like death, when a thought fully arrives, we are stripped of all possibility of thought. The reality of thought, like the reality of death, lies precisely in its approach, and therefore also in what is yet to be thought. Another name for what is yet to be thought is, Heidegger tells us, ever primal and mysterious “φύσις”. In his essay devoted to the *concept* of φύσις in Aristotle, Heidegger makes so bold as to claim that the hidden ground of all of Western thought is what is thought in Aristotle’s Physics. I paraphrase: concealed in Aristotle’s concept is the coming thought of φύσις. The movement of thought, its incitement and approach is natural motion.

    “Real thoughts are Nature’s thoughts—that is, thoughts OF nature”

    What makes thoughts real, is the manner in which, in their coming and going, they *belong* to nature. Nature, thought as φύσις, is the hidden reality of thought. As the source of thought, nature is what thoughts come after. This is why when thinking comes to that point of fruition where it is compelled to seek after the sources (ἄρχαι) of all that is, namely when it becomes philosophic, it is also compelled to give thought to the nature of things. This point, where the natural movement of thought begins to make its arrival for the first time, and so begins to make a resting place, i.e. to dwell upon its own sources (thereby allowing nature to bring itself forth), is the time of Greek thinking. Solely unique to Greek thinking is the fact that, in and through it, thinking arrives at its most extreme possibility, namely philosophy. When you ask “more than more two millenia led up to the moment of Greek thinking?” the answer must emphatically be “yes”. And yet, this seemingly clear response in its very meaning questionable. What marks this time? The chronologically reckoned years of Plato and Aristotle’s lives? Is this when thought first arrives as philosophy? Speaking more precisely we must say “yes and no.” Why? Because thought does not arrive as some actual finished thing whose arrival can then become a dated fact. To the contrary, as we said before, insofar as it arrives, the thought that comes is also missed. Now we return to another of your focus points.

    “There is only one real thought.”

    The thought, which each thinker of an age must think (or as Heidegger says, “Every thinker thinks only a single thought”), is precisely the thought that came to ancient Greece —came but did not arrive. Or to put it another way, perhaps no more appropriate. In so far as thought arrived –in a definitive way — in ancient Greece, it remained still to come. For this reason Western history began. On this view, which is essentially understood from out of what Heidegger calls Seynsgeschichte, history proceeds after its own beginning. Thinking which arrives philosophically as this beginning of history, is then a “thinking which holds on to the coming of what has been, and is remembrance.” Philosophy, however, thinks only to the extent that a thought comes to it. It lives in search of this remainder that is has missed; it live in (what) remains of Greek *thinking.* It dies when what came to Greek thinking no longer comes. Then philosophy reaches its ending. But the proper end of thinking, which is a natural motion, is not cessation but the repose of fulfillment of motion. Such vollendung is the time not of an end but of ripeness, i.e. complete readiness.

    “can you say what you mean by “perfect concealment”; is this the vollendung of thought’s longing?”

    Perfect concealment must mean not one thing, but rather one of two things. It must mean: either the want of thought altogether or the consummation of this want –i.e, the perpetuation of the movement of what was first missed in the arrival of though in Greek philosophy. Perfect concealment is the end of philosophy —and the task of thinking.

    • February 20, 2013 8:19 am

      by the way one correction: more than two millenia = the time which has elapsed since thought first arrived in ancinet greece, i.e the time of the history of the Abend-land

    • February 20, 2013 7:17 pm

      one correction: more than two millenia=the time *since* the arrival of thought in the Greek inception of Western history. (Not ttwo millenia leading up to that inception)

  7. February 22, 2013 6:12 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for the (so characteristic!) generosity and fullness of your response. I wish you were giving lectures somewhere!You think and write with the muses; and I think you’ve justified “this way of saying” precisely in the mode in which such a way can be shown true: by following after it and letting it take you the way it is going. Let me try and do the same.

    One thing you’re saying is that the way of thinking (like death) goes away simultaneously it approaches–it is ripe and ready while maintaining itself at that approaching-departing limit. A movement that holds itself–playing, dancing, reposing–athletically at its limits in this way reminds one of Greek’s most potent words for natural, “physical” form: “entelecheia” and “energeia.”

    Physis, it seems to me, is fateful, giving “a way” to beings (to us, and to birds and beasts, and to trees and stones)–fateful such that we *want* to say also that “it gives a goal for beings,” but necessarily add to that “possibly”–in two ways. (1) By giving us as our fate–almost as a command but, indeed, more authoritatively than any command, as our nature–*to be* : so that we are necessarily self-preserving, self-actualizing, self-fulfilling precisely as the beings we are given to be. (2) By giving us as our fate *to cease to be* : so that we necessarily give ourselves back, or rather are taken back, are robbed not of this or that possession but of ourselves. (I think I begin to see the way in which “the appropriate must be sought in the already inappropriate.”)

    Achilles recognizes both contrary necessities as a single necessity: the need that his life’s fated-to-be-cut-shortness be somehow essentially bound up with his drive to be beautifully, to fill out the limits of his form. Ripeness as readiness, readiness as ripeness.

    Two meanings of telos try to converge in the enetelecheia of Achilles: completion and limit. He holds forth as a being that is radiantly its own, quietly & unsoundibly self-possessed, gracefully poised, fiercely charged, invulnerable (according to the story his skin was steeped in the Styx). But he is all these things *because* of his having totally digested the fact of his limit, because the violence of his approaching death hangs over him, defines him from the beginning of his story. He prays that his self-fulfillment and his death, his being-given-to-himself and his-being-robbed-from-himself, may belong to each other in a way that is beyond the limit of what he can see or know but not perhaps beyond the limit of what he is–for his being becomes this prayer.

    A third meaning of telos arises as the possible, prayed-for convergence of telos as nature’s self-fulfilling and telos as nature’s self-limiting. In this third meaning, telos means goal; this third meaning holds the necessary hope or *want* of thinking that nature’s self-contradiction have (somewhere) a resolution. But this third meaning is like a ghost, a shade, something necessarily only approached as possible–a shadowing-forth of what is beyond nature, what is metaphysical. I guess philosophy, thinking, like Achilles, learns to be the contradiction of fulfillment and limit, learns to be the prayer for that contradiction’s resolution, learns to take shape on and as the way of thought’s approaching and departure, of thought’s approaching as departure. To say of what is necessarily possible no more than that it is necessarily possible, and to *be* the “wanting” that such a way of saying implies.

    • February 23, 2013 12:33 pm

      I think I started talking about Achilles because what you say here–

      “Like death, when a thought fully arrives, we are stripped of all possibility of thought. The reality of thought, like the reality of death, lies precisely in its approach, and therefore also in what is yet to be thought.”

      –reminds me of that essay on the Iliad you wrote in the Grackle way back when: “how does death appear? by disappearing” (something like that).

  8. Pseudonoma permalink
    March 3, 2013 11:12 pm

    Sorry to let the thread go a little cold…

    It’s a very interesting proposal you make about the ἐντελέχεια of Achilles. As an aside, I wanted to say your reference to that Grackle essay makes sense. I suppose that essay was the first time I deliberately –and not without a certain amount of unrequired force –tried to translate Homer (or really, in this case, only the Homeric meaning of hero) into the language of post-philosophic thought (which thought is, for me, in a single word, “Heidegger”). I was egged on to try it by that wonderfully suggestive essay of Glenn Arbery’s, which unapologetically draws on Heidegger in its analysis of Achilles. And I remember the resonating epithet Dr. Arbery gave to Heidegger with an intuitive non-chalance: “Heidegger, that philosopher of the underworld.” When it was first received into English scholarship the identification of Heidegger’s thought with death quickly became a truism. But this was death understood from a Sartrean existentialist vantage point, which afforded a view within the confines of a discontent individualism, and to my mind, a drastically more superficial rehearsal of properly Nietzschean tropes. Over the past few years I have come to see far more how much Heidegger truly is a thinker of the underworld and a thinker of death –but not the death o f an alleged ego or individual subjective consciousness, not (to paraphrase mutatis mutandis a favorite line of Eliot) the death “of one man only, but of old stones that cannot be deciphered..” Heidegger’s thought is intimately dependent on death. The problematic of Sein-zum-Tode, to be sure, but also the problematizing of the death of god., and above all the death of history itself –a death that is perfect concealment. Death, as the defining doom of mortals, is even more intimately and accurately a mysterious single event of history. But let me respond directly to what you have said (which is quite a lot!) in my next comment…

  9. Pseudonoma permalink
    March 5, 2013 4:33 am

    “Physis, it seems to me, is fateful, giving “a way” to beings (to us, and to birds and beasts, and to trees and stones)–fateful such that we *want* to say also that “it gives a goal for beings,” but necessarily add to that “possibly”–in two ways. ”

    I particularly like this formulation because it offers the opportunity to consider how the distinction between history and nature (and thus also the derivative distinction between the geisteswissenschaften and the naturwissenschaften) does not comprehend or categorize but rather presupposes φύσις, provided we, as Heidegger wold instruct us to do, “think φύσις in a Greek way. Of course this injunction is both crucial and not at all self-evident. Nevertheless, permit me to let it stand without elucidating it further for the moment. φύσις, thought from out of its utterly Greek essence, does not mean the “ahistorical realm of nature.” Instead, as you have rightly emphasized, φύσις also –in a manner so surreptitious, so…”natural” —bestows upon each its own fate. The word “nature” is still sometimes used in a manner indicative of this in our English, as when we say “It is his nature to be that way” or “Don’t be angry with him, that’s just his nature.” The “nature” so bestowed upon a thing, animal, or person as to constitute their limits (and therefore also the limit of what can be expected from them) is their way, the fateful bounty of φύσις itself. Aristotle’s word for nature in the sense of essence –τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι, or as I would now translate: ” the way something has been in order to keep on being” –is also illuminating, since it tells us what something φύσει, i.e. because of the way conferred upon it by φύσις, is.

  10. Pseudonoma permalink
    March 7, 2013 12:37 am

    I would like to turn, now, to your consideration of these physically conferred “ways” in terms of their τέλος. And at this juncture I believe I cannot avoid observing a point regarding the method of any attempt to read the pre-philosophical in philosophical terms. It will be readily be surmised, however, that this brief observation is not one of method at all, and that its detour is a direct route.
    Our scruples should be awakened whenever the desire arises in us to consider the poetic hero of Achilles in terms of something so foreign to poetry as philosophy. One may, after conceding this maxim, yet alleviate its range of its application by adding the following stipulation: that the more effort we make to use the terms of a more historically proximate philosophy, the less scrupulous we have to be. But it is just as easy to advance the counterclaim; if we are to concede that the terms of current philosophy are distortive of the poetry to which they may be applied, it is not clear that these same distortions are not in some measure operative in the attempt to differ our modern philosophical language to that of the ancient Greeks. If the distortion of the pre-philosophical by the philosophical is not identical to that of the Greek by the modern, then it would at least seem to be analogous. It would seem that we are compelled to ask in our present discussion regarding the ἐντελέχεια of Achilles, and the τέλος pre-contained in it, “what does τέλος, in this case, mean? Consider the following typical remark made by Heidegger in one of his retrievals of Aristotle’s four causes:

    “But there remains yet a third that is above all responsible for
    the sacrificial vessel. It is that which in advance confines the
    chalice within the realm of consecration and bestowal. Through
    this the chalice is circumscribed as sacrificial vessel. Circum-­
    scribing gives bounds to the thing. With the bounds the thing
    does not stop; rather from out of them it begins to be what,
    after production, it will be. That which gives bounds, that which
    completes, in this sense is called in Greek telos, which is all too
    often translated as “aim” or “purpose’ and so misinterpreted.
    The telos is responsible for what as matter and for what as aspect
    are together co-responsible for the sacrificial vessel. ”

    The Greek τέλος, Heidegger forewarns, must not be misinterpreted as “aim or purpose.” When we so misinterpret it, τέλος is an idea, that is to say a being of intentionality, a being referring to but lacking substance. Such an idea, as an intentional being, can also be thought of a thing’s “nature,” e.g. the nature of things as the perfect species to which each individual thing strives –or in other words, the scholastic “Ideas in the Divine Mind.” Even so considered, these Ideas are in an interesting way properly intentional, not only because real individuals strive toward them (as you write of Achilles’ physicico-intentional drive “his drive to be beautifully, to fill out the limits of his form [or Idea as eidetic perfection]”), but also because, as Aquinas would have it, essentia is potentia to esse as the actus essendi. The primacy of esse over the Ideas unto and through which it is conferred still hold the trace of τέλος as “aim or purpose” which Heidegger wishes to avoid.

  11. Pseudonoma permalink
    March 7, 2013 12:57 am

    Heidegger is here above all concerned that the interpretation of τέλος as aim in its most extreme and self-mirroring version, namely, Hegel’s interpretation of Aristotle, be avoided. In that version, τέλος not only means, generally, aim in the sense that can then be specifically applied to nature or man or motion, etc. It also in itself primarily means, concretely and specifically, the beginning of Thought as the Idea, which id only an immediate objective and goal, and has not yet to be come the actual τέλος, the self-mediating subjectivity of the Concept arrived at in Hegel’s Logik. τέλος is thus approached not only as a Greek term to be translated into Hegelian philosophy, but as one whose very meaning asks for and is completed by such a translation. The method is necessitated by that over which it arbitrates.

  12. Pseudonoma permalink
    March 10, 2013 11:15 pm

    So let me bring all of this to greater concision:

    1.) When τέλος is thought as aim it is understood as a “possible” which may be perfected, that is, which may be actualized. This is true of the explicitly intentional aims of men (ideas of intention), the implicitly intentional aims of all natural beings (“drives” and natural movements or tendencies), and even those divine Ideas which serve to give the former (ideas of intention, drives) their teleological ground, in so far as even these divine Ideas are, if not possible, then yet potentia to the act of existence (they are, as it were, intended-to-be in a preeminent sense. The marks of this interpretation of τέλος may be summed up thusly: A.)τέλος as aim presupposes the priority of actuality over potentiality, and B.)τέλος as aim requires the grounding of mind, i.e. the aspiring intentionality of the human subject or the creative intentionality of the divine subject (the implicit intentionality of nature being grounded by both subjects, since aspiring intentionality is in some measure endowed with freedom).

    2.) Hegel is the most extreme representative of this interpretation of τέλος, since he proposes that all of these different intentionalities are themselves teleologically directed to the insight that they are in actuality only one inentionality, one subjectivity or Mind. Importantly, for Hegel, this actual unity of the different intentionalities is not simply the case, but must be teleologically achieved, i.e. brought from the potentiality of an abstract Idea to the actuality of a concrete concept.

    3. )Finally, my point: you have set up Achilles’s very being as the recognition of “contrary necessities as a single necessity.” Later you further characterize the relation of these two necessities as contradictory when you say Achilles “learns to be the contradiction of fulfillment and limit.” You obviously (I feel safe to assume) are not proposing a Hegelian Homeric hero, but my question is: why not? Why can’t we construe your three consideration of the τέλος of the ἐντελέχεια of Achilles dialectically. Why isn’t the contradiction of limit and fulfillment sublatively actualized in your third meaning? By what necessity should the ambition of this third meaning be so tempered and modified, as when you say Achilles “learns to be the prayer for that contradiction’s resolution, learns to take shape on and as the way of thought’s approaching and departure, of thought’s approaching as departure. To say of what is necessarily possible no more than that it is necessarily possible, and to *be* the “wanting” that such a way of saying implies.” Hegel might respond that this Achilles has not become bold enough, heroic enough for the courage of Thought, i.e. that his modest hope or “prayer” is itself the impediment to recognizing the necessity of its actualization and truth, as when he chides the popular pious imagination for considering personal events to be the designs of providence while refraining from applying the same principle to the larger, more fittingly “divine”, scale of the events of history.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: