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Posted by km on Saturday, December 07, 2002 at 15:24:45 :
In Reply to: Re: Where does Existentialism get you? posted by David D. on Saturday, December 07, 2002 at 12:07:11 :
I am not sure that "I exist", taken alone, is really a substantial "conclusion" at all. What I mean is that if we take this platitude as fundamental, as a sort of simple concept upon which all others are founded (as Descartes did), then it, in turn, becomes both uninformative and dogmatic.
The question, i think, is not "Do i exist?" but rather "What does it mean to say, 'I exist'"? Obviously, many thinkers have come to different conclusions on this question. Interesting, an "existentialist" such as Heidegger-- who can be interpreted as claiming that there really is no such thing as an internal "ego" or "I" that is seperate from an external or objective reality--undermines the very question to the extent that there is no "I" in any way that it has been traditionally concieved. To say "I exist" becomes superfluous when the distinction between the "I" and the "Other" is blurred (or, similarly, the subject and the object), or simply eliminated.
It is for reasons like this that I think existentialist can sometimes be best understood in relation to more Eastern ways of thinking, and, at least in the case of Heidegger, directly opposed to the Western/ Christian/ Cartesian paradigm.
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