Comic Relief (2) --
for the pathologically philosophical


WEIGHTLESS PHILOSOPHY

A.I. of UBC announces a contest open to all phlosophers.

Background: NASA regularly invites amateur scientists, adults and children both, to submit proposals for experiments to be conducted in near-earth orbiting satellites. The experimental materials must be capable of being stored within a small box or locker.

Entry Submissions: Should be made to A.I., Philosophy Dept., University of British Columbia.

Entries Submitted so far:

Feld: 1) A hedonic calculator will measure variations in the bearability of being as correlated with gravitational flux

2) We know that the law of distribution fails for very small objects. This experiment tests the effects of weightlessness on modus ponens.

3) Virtual robots on an unsinkable raft test the Danielson co-operation thesis

4) Hidden cameras record the presence, or absence, of the null set

5) We test Berkeley as follows: in a weightless vacuum a bell is struck; does it produce the ding an sich?

6) Two Black balls are ejected into space; astronauts are challenged to distinguish them.

7) In hard, zero-gravity vacuum we attempt to synthesize a necessary truth.

8) Once weightlessness is achieved, the experimenters remove the barrier separating salt-water baths containing, respectively, a space-time worm and a space-time rock cod.

9) An is plate and an ought plate are slotted into opposite ends of the accordion-sided box; air is progressively exhausted until nothing separates the plates; the apparatus is then examined to discover whether a gap remains.

10) We insert into the closed, to-be-weightless box: a random-number generator, a triggering mechanism, cyanide, and a cat.


The following manuscript was retrieved from a waste basket at the New School for Social Research in 1970:

One of the most vexing questions raised by Husserl's yet unpublished Seventh Cartesian Meditation is that of the relation between the familiar (and -- in spite of some recent positivistic carping about trivialities like consistency and meaningfulness -- obvious) principle of the noematico-epochosynthetic correleticity and the Seventh Meditation's new and radical (1) [see endnote] principle of analysis-by-systematic-destruction-of-all-meaning (destitutive analysis). As is well known, Husserl scholarship in this area is sharply divided between the followers of Husserl's last and most faithful assistant, Johann Lebenswelter, and those of Husserl's most acute French critic, Marcel Gaston-Gaston. Until recently it was thought that this polar opposition stemmed from the different interpretive principles employed by the two scholars: Lebenswelter faithfully taking as fundamental the principle that "Husserl always means what he says, even when he says he doesn't," (2) and Gaston-Gaston, on the other hand, asserting that "Husserl never means what he says, especially when Lebenswelter thinks he does." (3) However, recently (4) the two men both agreed with Husserl's own assertion (5) that the two principles are equivalent for texts written after 1859. (Husserl regards his works prior to that year as mere "juvenile exercises.")

However, the disagreement remains and, to get to the heart of the conflict, let us at once examine a passage in the Seventh Meditation that has been the focal point of the dispute. (6)

"By referring to destitutive analysis, we must not be understood as intending (in the sense of radical directedness-to-a-preliminary-perceived objectivity) to imply that, speaking -- as always -- strictly within the finite-infinite limits of transcendental apodicticity, the object 'part-whole synthesis' is even partially reducible to the noematic correlate of affective suspension (in the sense of ideally intended noesis subsumed and founded by the epoche). (7) For, although this is, of course, the case, _our_ concern is this realm of a fully concrete living of the a priori, is, as we have repeatedly said, solely to lay bare the horizontal quasi-content of this analysis' _teleology_. Here we may invoke Descartes' realization (fundamentally uninformed and absurd as it was, being formulated in a reasonable and intelligible way for the first time in our Logische Untersuchungen and even there still lacking the proto-foundation of a full scale synthetic analysis on the level of transcendent egologicism) that some things (res) are hard to understand." (8)

According to Lebenswelter, we can understand this pregnant (9) passage only by applying a destitutive analysis to its _own_ thought (what Lebenswelter acutely calls a "constitution-by-springing-back-upon-oneself"). This leads to a formation of a destitutional noema expressing, as Lebenswelter says, the essential _destitution_ of the passage. As those familiar with the unwritten Ideen IV (perhaps Husserl's clearest work) will immediately realize, this destitution implies the eidetic mutual transcendence of _all_ principles, including that of noematico-epochosynthetic correlaticity relative to that of destitutional analysis. The implications of this are as radical as they are obvious. Lebenswelter further supports his interpretation by appealing to certain passages as yet untranscribed (10) in the MSS in the Husserl Archives at Louvain and to Husserl's last words (allegedly directed to Lebenswelter): "You're always right, Johann." (11)

Gaston-Gaston accepts, as he says in a daring adaptation of terminology, "the _hyle_ but not the _morphe_ of this analysis;" that is, "What it says is correct, but what it does not say is not corrrect." (12) According to him, we can remedy this deficiency only by trying to not-say, not what Husserl said or did not say, but what he did not not-say. However, this is not as easy as it seems. The proposed analysis cannot be carried out until Husserl's texts are expressed in maximally clear form; hence, according to Gaston-Gaston, we must begin by translating the entire Husserlian corpus into French. After this has been done (13) it will be necessary to make a detailed application of Gaston-Gaston's technique of _analyse aneant_ (a more radical version of Lebenswelter's destitutive analysis which is designed to destroy destitution). This application will, according to Gaston-Gaston, result in an apocalyptic vision of phenomenology in which Husserl's true meaning will be revealed. (14) (However, he does not agree with the view of the Dutch theologian, Fr. van Vlumpt, that this will effect the conversion of the Jews.)

The dispute between Lebenswelter and Gaston-Gaston will very likely come to a head this July in Vienna when, at the annual convention of the Phenomenologists International, the two men will meet in the finals of the world-wide Eidetic Intuition Competition. (15) Whatever the outcome, we may confidently expect a revindication of Husserl's classic dictum: "It is bad to be wrong, but it is worse to be understood."

NOTES

1. For a discussion of the highly interesting and important question of whether this principle is radically radical and -- if it is -- if this is so in a radical sense, cf Brunhilde Jackson, "The Roots of the Radical," Harvard, 1959, unpublishable doctoral dissertation.

2. First stated in his early and perhaps over-enthusiastic Jarbuch article "Phenomenologie uber alles." p.15.

3. Asserted in this form in his recent "Phenomenologie et les Evenement du Mai," p. 85.

4. At the Louvain "Conference on World Population Control by the use of the Phenomenological Method."

5. The remark is contained in a ms. discovered belatedly by Van Breda in the pocket of an old pair of pants. Husserl recently told me that the ms. is genuine (August 3, 1968, private communication).

6. Both Lebenswelter and Gaston-Gaston agree that the fact that the secretary who transcribed the only copy of this text from Husserl's oral presentation did not know German is of historical but not philosophical interest.

7. (Husserl's note) "I would have hardly thought that the elementary caution expressed in this sentence would have to be stated. But I now find it necessary because of numerous and repeated misinterpretations by critics who seem incapable of understanding the simple and direct statements of my Logische Untersuchungen (not to mention the almost popular form given my thought in Ideen I)."

8. (Husserl's note) "In this regard, I am happy to refer to the preliminary sketch of an approach to this analysis which was developed in part by my student, the late Herr Strenge Wissenschaft, in the 27 volumes of his unfinished doctoral thesis."

9. Cf. above, footnote 4.

10 The transcription has been unaccountably delayed. Perhaps there is something to the rumors (curent in Gaston-Gaston's camp) that the messages in question are Frau Husserl's grocery lists?

11. Cf. Lebenswelter's very moving "I Remember Husserl," Bonn, 1969.

12. Here, of course, Gaston-Gaston is referring to his own (Sartrean-inspired) definitions of hyle as "that which a thing itself is not insofar as it is not itself," and morphe as "that which a thing (as no thing) is insofar as it is not itself itself." Unfortunately, our translation cannot fully reproduce the poetic quality of the French original.

13. The project is underway but has been slowed by diputes over Gaston-Gaston's demand that, once the translation is completed (if not before), all German versions of Husserl's work be destroyed.

14. Two American television networks plan to provide live coverage of the vision as it occurs.

15. Each philosopher will be shown three essences (chosen by an impartial panel of experts from the Husserl Archives); the first to correctly identify and completely constitute all three will be the winner. Such a competition is, to my mind, the best possible demonstration of the objective, scientific character of phenomenology.

###

Lance Fletcher The Free Lance Academy (a Platonic BBS) 201-963-6019 for Internet access: gopher to: lance.jvnc.net or anonymous ftp to: world.std.com /ftp/pub/freelance


make.tenure.FAST

Dear Fellow Scientist:

This letter has been around the world at least seven times. It has been to many major conferences. Now it has come to you. It will bring you good fortune. This is true even if you don't believe it. But you must follow these instructions:

- include in your next journal article the citations below. - remove the first citation from the list and add a citation to your journal article at the bottom. - make ten copies and send them to colleagues.
Within one year, you will be cited up to 10,000 times! This will amaze your fellow faculty, assure your promotion and improve your sex life. In addition, you will bring joy to many colleagues. Do not break the reference loop, but send this letter on today.

Dr. H. received this letter and within a year after passing it on she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Prof. M. threw this letter away and was denied tenure. In Japan, Dr. I. received this letter and put it aside. His article for Trans. on Nephrology was rejected. He found the letter and passed it on, and his article was published that year in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the Midwest, Prof. K. failed to pass on the letter, and in a budget cutback his entire department was eliminated. This could happen to you if you break the chain of citations.

1. Miller, J. (1992). Post-modern neo-cubism and the wave theory of light. Journal of Cognitive Artifacts, 8, 113-117.

2. Johnson, S. (1991). Micturition in the canid family: the irresistable pull of the hydrant. Physics Quarterly, 33, 203-220.

3. Anderson, R. (1990). Your place or mine?: an empirical comparison of two models of human mating behavior. Psychology Yesterday 12, 63-77.

4. David, E. (1994). Modern Approaches to Chaotic Heuristic Optimization: Means of Analyzing Non-Linear Intelligent Networks with Emergent Symbolic Structure. (doctoral dissertation, University of California at Santa Royale El Camino del Rey Mar Vista by-the-sea).

-- >From the newsgroup rec.humor.funny. Apparently written by David DeMers (demers@cs.ucsd.edu)


Monolithic Biavicide updated 12/92 ===============================================================

Agametic pusillanimity ...................................... Faint heart never won fair lady

Amedical diurnal pomiance .............................. An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Amorous terricircumflexion ................................... Love makes the world go around

Arboreal silvanoscope ............................. What to see the forest for the trees with

Autoproctolepsy ............................................. Make an rear of oneself

Bimanual ablutionary reciprocity .................................. One hand washes the other

Bonumeration ...................................... Count your blessings

Chronocide ............................................. Killing time

Chronopantraumatherapy ......................... Time heals all wounds

Contralaterograminal hyperviridiance ................. The grass is greener on the other side

Cornotaural tenacity ................................... Taking the bull by the horns

Dorsal mordancy ................................... Backbiting

Dorsoreciprocal abrasion ............................... You scratch my back, I scratch yours

Eluopetric abryolexy ............................... A rolling stone gathers no moss

Equidulcent rosaliance ................................... A rose by any other name

Equinavicularity ............................. To be in the same boat with

Equine chromatic disparity ....................................... Horse of a different color

Excapillary homolavation ....................... I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair

Exocardial autoprandiation ............................ Eat your heart out

Exsartagous inflagration ........................... Out of the frying pan, into the fire

Extritial neo-adventism ............................. Out with the old, in with the new

Fabial effusion ..................................... Spill the beans

Felinolingual seizure ................................ Cat got your tongue

Felinophonic similitude ................................ The cat's meow

Fumoincendiary juxtaposition .............................. Where there's smoke, there's fire

Hippospectral diversion ............................ Horse of a different color

Horticultural circumflagellation .................................... Beating around the bush

Hyperculinary putrefaction .............................. Too many cooks spoil the broth

Hypermordant mandency ......................... Biting off more than you can chew

Hypoclimatosis ................................. Under the weather

Infracaninophilia ........................... Love of the underdog

Lactoprofundant lachrymosis ............................ Crying over spilled milk

Literolachrolepsy ................................. Read 'em and weep

Maternocaligal calceation ...................................... Your mother wears army boots

Monolithic biavicide ......................... Killing two birds with one stone

Nondissipatory nonpenuriance .............................. Waste not, want not

Nonparticipatory nonsuperance ............................... Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Octoglobular postolepsy .................................. Behind the eightball

Optical simiomimicry ............................. Monkey see, monkey do

Opticredulous equivalence ............................ Seeing is believing

Ortectomy .............................. Taking out the garbage

Ovular polycorbulation ............................. Putting your eggs in many baskets

Pedal endojugulepsy .......................... Putting your foot in your mouth

Postovular gallinomics ......................... Counting your chickens before they hatch

Presaltoscope ......................... What you look thru before you leap

Proctalgia .......................... A pain in the rear

Rubrocervix ........................................ Redneck

Saxovolvant amuscation ................... A rolling stone gathers no moss

Scapular frigidity ...................................... Cold shoulder

Scapulorotary apposition ................................... Shoulder to the wheel

Simioavunculosis ...................................... A monkey's uncle

Simioluminosity ................................... Monkeyshines

Superaquatic hemoviscosity ........................ Blood is thicker than water

Ultimoglobular succulence ................................ Good to the last drop

Unifacial millenavicular ejaculation ........................ The face that launched a thousand ships

Vitrodomopetrojection ..................... Throwing a stone from a glass house

Xanthodorsal striatosis ......................... A yellow stripe down one's back

Xanthogaster .............................. Yellowbelly




Causes of Death for some of the great philosophers...

(From Jan94, "From the Editor", Ethics
-------------------------------------------------------------

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?

Plato: For the greater good.

Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.

Machiavelli: So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained.

Hippocrates: Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its pancreas.

Jacques Derrida: Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!

Thomas de Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Timothy Leary: Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.

Douglas Adams: Forty-two.

Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.

B.F. Skinner: Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will.

Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (Early): The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (Late): Because it had reached bedrock, and its spade was turned.

Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

Aristotle: To actualize its potential.

Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken- nature.

Salvador Dali: The Fish.

Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Emily Dickinson: Because it could not stop for death.

Epicurus: For fun.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.

Johann Friedrich von Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway: To die. In the rain.

Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.

David Hume: Out of custom and habit.

Saddam Hussein: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road?

The Sphinx: You tell me.

Henry David Thoreau: To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life.

Mark Twain: The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Molly Yard: It was a hen!

Gene Roddenberry: To boldly go where no chicken ...

Zeno of Elea: To prove it could never reach the other side.


Definition: Seminary: A place in which a civilization's knowledge of itself and that of an ultimate being is divided, affirmed, and acclaimed into exclusive territories/denominations.

The principal occupation of the academic community is to invent dialects sufficiently hermetic so as to prevent knowledge from passing between territories. By maintaining a constant flow of written material among the specialists of each group, academics are able to asset the acceptable technique of communication intended to prevent communications. This, in turn, establishes a standard that allows them to dismiss those who seek to communicate through generally accessible language as dilettantes, deformers, or popularizers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Defn: Subcutaneous sorority - sisters under the skin.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr and James Cone found themselves all at the same time at Caesarea Philippi. Who should come along but Jesus, and he asked the four the same Christological question, "Who do you say that I, the Son of Man, am?"

Karl Barth stands up and says: You are the totaliter aliter, the vestigious trinitatum who speaks to us in the modality of Christo-monism.

Not prepared for Barth's brevity, Paul Tillich stumbles out: You are he who heals our ambiguities and overcomes the split of angst and existential estrangement; you are he who speaks of the theonomous viewpoint of the analogy of our being and the ground of all possibilities.

Reinhold Niebuhr gives a cough for effect and says, in one breath: You are the impossible possibility who brings to us children of light and children of darkness, the overwhelming oughtness in the midst of our fraught condition of estrangement and brokenness in the contiguity and existential anxieties of our ontological relationships.

Finally James Cone gets up, and raises his voice: You are my Oppressed One, my soul's shalom, the One who was, who is, and who shall be, who has never left us alone in the struggle, the event of liberation in the lives of the oppressed struggling for freedom, and whose blackness is both literal and symbolic.

And Jesus writes in the sand, "Huh?"

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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