Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Philosophy 118: 05 January, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 05 January

.:Points Of Emphasis For Marx:.

On Self-Deception.

The False Consciousness and Ideology results in self-deception. Capitalists truly believe in the ability of the economy to make itself work, compensating the worker in being competitive, rather than according to his needs. This false consciousness persists both for the capitalists and the workers.

On Alienation.

Coming from the Latin “alienus”, that is, “not himself”. For Marx, the worker is alienated because he does not get the fruits of his labor. The product that he has, for example, had a stake in, goes to the factory owner. While the worker is the source of the surplus value of the raw material, this added value is enjoyed by the factory owner. What it means to be a worker is bastardized in favor of the owner.

On History.

For Marx, not everything is possible at one time. For everything, there is a proper time, such that the atomic bomb cannot possibly supersede gunpowder, for example. In contrast, ahistorical thinking attempts to just do away with a temporal progression, as it is mythical in a sense, that one can jump from one point to another, rather than progress from one point to another gradually. The historical point of view believes that what we do now has an effect on what we would do further onwards.

In effect, Marxism is a secularization of Christianity, as they are both historical. The classless society could not possibly come until we go through the other phases of production, from the nomadic to the feudal to the township to the capitalist to whatever subsequent phases afterwards.

On Praxis.

In the past, there has been a seemingly arbitrary division between thought and action. For Marx, this is questionable. Consider in Greek Philosophy how only in grasping the logos can everything be revealed, only after that total view are you then justified in acting. Marx criticizes this inevitable slippery slope towards inaction. Marx finds it glaring that the class of thinkers are separate from the class of workers. For Marx, they should go hand in hand. Thinking action, and acting thought.

When you choose to act a certain way based on a particular thought, you arrive at a new insight. This new insight will not have arisen had you not acted in the first place. Thus, it is a sequence of thinking to acting, then acting to thinking, and so forth. This is how it is done in life. We do not start off with an all-encompassing theory for action. We have to make things up as we go along. Strangely enough, this is also how Christianity works. Life is from moment to moment, or from kairos to kairos.

Is there really one universal Truth? Or is it merely a praxis: that we make things up as we go along.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

Would you believe? None for this one. =(

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