2/20 Meeting!

Hello, sleepy friends and family! I am projecting a little, as I myself am sleepy. I am also sorry for the extremely late message update; I got caught up with current events, but I am here now!

We will be meeting tomorrow (2/20), from 3PM-4:20PM, at KH C2096A. Last meeting, we talked about material constitution: what it means to say that things are made out of other things. This meeting, we’ll wrap up some points we left unfinished last time. Afterwards, it seems appropriate to do a complete 180 and talk about nothing, and about nothingness! It is easy enough to talk about things and different things in the world, but what does it mean when we talk about something like nothingness? It’s not something, but it seems that we can say many things around nothingness, vaguely showing around it. What is that feeling of being almost nothing we have when we think about the vast universe beyond us? What is the feeling of nothingness we fear when we think of dying? We do have the word for it, so what are we talking about when we invoke that word?
That’s all! Lots of love and well wishes to you.


One thought on “2/20 Meeting!

  1. Here is what I’ve been looking through in preparation to the five minutes I end up actually participating, if I remember to come that is.

    Parmenides: http://philoctetes.free.fr/parmenidesunicode.htm
    Hegel: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/hlbeing.htm
    Heidegger: http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/7b.htm

    Be sure to bring up the historical social-political background relationship to a metaphysics of nothingness! Otherwise the question is trivialized. Why philosophers, past and present, go back to categories of nothing, non-being, or negation is not reducible to a purely logical approach to the efficacy of a specific metaphysics.

    To continue with what I said last week about how properties are understood as having a certain being as discrete entities, that through the lack of essence* – or more accurately a complete and fixed being – for modern subjects, the predicates of subjects are rendered as independent beings in-themselves. The Subject is dead, and we killed Him! For Hegel and Heidegger, being and nothing are synonymous insofar they both express becoming as being-there in the modern world, as the nothingness that is foundation for our being as moderns constitutes our ability to become, or change our being. Contrast this to the ancient Parmenides, where being is constant and whole, instead of constantly changing and individuated – as is for us today as bourgeois subjects.

    *I initially was going to use “substance”, since that word is more accurate as referring to the being in which the subject is grounded/stands-above, but didn’t want to conflate its use as meaning “content”. So, I used “essence” since that also means being without implying a set of particulars.

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