Dynamite!

by Sofia

Just got out of classical social theory class. Today, prof. gave a great lecture on Kant and Nietzsche.

Here are the notes:

KANT
-truth, morality, beauty –> all connected
-absolute truth exists and it is not merely social conventions
-human reason has the power to rise above individual interest to find universal truth and true morality
-Kantean idealism claims that there exists one Truth and one objective world that is ahistorical and acultural
-ignorance is dangerous
-what is enlightenment? emergence from self-incurred immaturity. that is, using one’s understanding without direction or courage. one must have the courage to use one’s own understanding, to challenge the illogical things we see in the world. we must DARE TO BE WISE
-dialogical relations develop understanding, and can elevate societies; theory and practice depend on each other
-volition –> debate –> active =/= automatic, passive, irresolution

NIETZSCHE
-people are herd animals; there exist superior human beings. what sets these apart is determined by their will power to go beyond others
-the world is not what it is. rather, it is continually becoming something else
-looks back to ancient Greek culture and casts light on the aspect of this society that was ignored by the Renaissance: the Dionysian creativity and the balance between mind and body
-philosophy needs be historical
-there is no absolute truth; even so, the search for truth becomes embedded in our human nature
-although the scientific method is a manifestation of this search, belief in this system is simply another faith, similar to that of religion
-there is no single point from which truth claims can be made
-power decides truth. trust claims represents vested interests that the powerful convince others of
-“I am not a man. I am dynamite!”
-the ubermensch has Dionysian creativity that puts him beyond good and evil
-irrationality > science. imagination > logic.

Feel like dropping everything stupid I do (all the things that waste my time uselessly like Facebook, SASU, checking e-mails, getting caught up in the small details that gradually take over one’s life), in order to sit and read to get to the good stuff, get to the fiery ideas, the crazy ones that shake it up. Let’s get out and explore the implications of what’s being said here. It’s dynamite because this philosophy, this epistemology, added to the critical and proactive legacy of sociology is explosive. For some reason playing rugby makes itself felt as important. So does learning to play songs by silvio rodriguez. So does hanging out with people. Making contact with other critical, intelligent people with brilliant minds, spending time with them. Sharing stories, meals, and ideas: ideas to grow from, ideas to build on, ideas to break walls and change realities. Change what? To what extent? I don’t know, but better to try than not to.

I am by far the most terrible human being that has existed so far; this does not preclude the possibility that I shall be the most beneficial. I know the pleasure in destroying to a degree that accords with my powers to destroy–in both respects I obey my Dionysian nature which does not know how to separate doing No from saying Yes. I am the first immoralist: that makes me the annihilator par excellence.

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