Non-objectivity in Thinking an in Reality Winter sem. 1999-2000
Intentionality: every our thouhgt is related, or better actively oriented to something – „outside” itself. (We are not interested in its ”objective” relation to anything else, seen from outside, but in its own ”inner” or ”subjective” aim – e.g. Whitehead.)
The term ”intention” used here should be understood otherwise than usually in English speaking world. It was used in philosophy in the later scholastics and used as a special term by Franz Brentano and, later, with certain important corrections, by his disciple Edmund Husserl. To understand it well, we have to accept the difference precisely made by Husserl (Logische Untersuchungen) between the intentional act and the intentional object.
The problem of Brentano can be simply formulated as follows: if I mean a dog, i.e. if I am intending a dog, what makes me sure to be intending a dog and not e.g. a cat? Brentano interpreted this certainty so that within my intentional act there is something as a special ”image” or ”icon” of a dog which is orienting all my execution of the intentional act. And Bretano describes this ”intentional object” as ”immanent” or ”inherent” part of the intentional act. His view was, as you see, consensual with the majority of his contemporary philosophers of logic, who saw psychic acts as the only basis of logic – i.e. with the so called psychologism in logic.
Husserl started his academic career as mathematicien. As such he was not able to accept that such geometrical models as triangle or circle etc. or that such mathematical models as number one or eight or π etc., not to speak about logical norms, could have their basis in any psychical elements, especially in our sensations or impressions, as presupposed in the tradition of the anglo-saxon empiricism. And so he decided to make definitly an end with this psychologism in logic. And he wrote his Logische Untersuchungen.
There, he elaborated a thoroughful and precise series of argumentations proving that the intentional object cannot be any part nor fraction of the intentional act, but that it is something different and special an ”existing” apart from any psychical activity of man. It seemed to represent a new form of ”platonisme”: our psychical activity has to organise itself according the intentional objects, which on the other side cannot be thought of otherwise, if at all. You cannot think (mean) a triangle or circle differently, you can only think (mean) something else.
It was really a great discovery or even invention. Let us interprete it, now, to a certain degree independently of Husserl. The first great ”idea” in this domain was the invention of old Greek philosophers, namely the invention of concepts and conceptual thinking. Only conceptual thinking is able to discover that there is something important between our consciousness, i.e.conscious thinking (= or mental activity) and the ”reality” thought about (or meant). So the invention of concepts and conceptuality had to precede the discovery that there are some ”concepts”. Of course, the way how these concepts were understood and interpreted was for long ages unsufficient and today even unacceptable.
We can see it on words (terms) used for translating the Greek word LOGOS in Latin or later in further European languages. Conceptus is derived from con-capio, and capere means ”to catch” or to take by force. There is something signifying violence in such words. Who is responsible for that violence? The Greeks, already, or only the Romans? In any case, it is really significant; in German or in Czech (both languages are not derived from Latin), it is similar: be-greifen – er-greifen; pochopit – uchopit, pojetí – zajetí; apod.
Our new concentration on non-objective intentions and their intentional non-objects, but especially their ”real” non-objects. Two different types of non-objects: pure ones and con-crete ones (concrescere – to grow together; concretion, concrescence). The ”concrete” non-objects have both ”sides”, both aspects, the non-objective one a the objective one. Only this objective aspect can be objectified; the non-objective aspect must not be objectified, but it must be acknowledged and respected.
How can we respect the non-objective aspect of a concrete non-object in our thinking? With the non-objective intentions, only. And we have to know, that there is nothing like a pure object (but as a construct of our thinking ”ideal” models). So, how can we think a pure non-object?
We have to develop a new way of thinking by constituting or constructing new types of models, new types of ”intentional non-objects” – events. Importance of Alfred North Whitehead.
14 Event: never before us – as a whole. Presence: never a point, everytime has an extension – so a co-presence. Melody: how can we hear a song? A presence circum given and ”embraced” by the not-given (own) past as well as the not-given (own) future. You cannot hear a song as a whole, i.e. all tones at once – yous have to ”understand” it.
15 Circum-givenness: PERIECHON, PERIECHEIN (e.g. Heraclit). Heraclit speaks about NOYS – understanding, which is embracing us and which gives us to understand by breathing it, by taking it in by our breath. But any whole is embracing a series of changing actual presences. PERIECHON as non-object: Jaspers (philosophical discipline – PERIECHONTOLOGY; this term was not accepted by other philosophers).
Actual problem of classification of philosophical disciplines, especially of the so called ”first philosophy” (PROTÉ PHILOSOPHIA in Aristotle). On the beginning of the IV. chapter of Metaphysics – definition of ”ontology”: there is a discipline concerned in what is as far as it is. Heidegger´s critics: forgetting ”being” in ontological sense by meaning (understanding) ”being” as somothing which ”is”. Our problem is, therefore, a classification of philosophical disciplines which not only do not forget the ”real”, but non-objective ”being”, but which in the first line are concerned with these non-objective, not being ”realities” as e.g. LOGOS, but also COSMOS (universum) etc. – and especially the Truth, understood no more as ALÉTHEIA in the Greek original.
A philosophical science dealing with the problem of LOGOS cannot be given the name ”logic” – it has its own meaning, already. So we may provisionally use the name ”logology”. The term ”philosophical cosmology” can be used without problems. Serious problems will arise in connection with a discipline dealing with the problem of the Truth, if we accept that the Truth is purely non-objective ”reality”. The result of this decisive acceptance is, first, that no ”alethology” is possible (as a philosophical discipline). Why? And if not at all, haw is it possible to found ”logology” as a philosophical discipline? We shall discuss these two problems, now.
Impossibility to found any philosophical discipline ”about” the Truth: we never can have the Truth ”before” us, not even an aspect of it. Our only possible approach is – in the contrary – to things, events and situations. We cannot meet the Truth in any way, if it is not coming to us – and it is coming not as an ”objective reality”, as something existing and given, but as giving oneself to us. We can never have the Truth – on the contrary, it is the Truth which ”has” us. The Truth cannot be any object of our exploration. It is appealing, challenging and calling us for approaching things, events, situations, living beings and especially other men in its ”sense”, in its own intention.
So, we cannot found any philosophical discipline ”about” the Truth, but we can and have to found another discipline dealing with our responding to the various challenges of the one single, but living Truth. All such our responses have something in common: it is our respect and our obedience in our relation to all the challenges of the Truth. So, we can try to found a discipline about our being actively and practically oriented in consent with the intentions of the Truth itself. Such an orientation which is based on our being relied on the Truth as the only one reliable, has been called PISTIS by the Jewish translators of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Consequently, we can name such a philosophical discipline ”pisteology”. We can understand this discipline as a philosophical ”reflection” (in the German sense of the word) of faith, of course in this original Jewish understanding.
Now, we can understand, why a ”logology” is possible, while any ”alethology” is not. What is needed: to understand what we are doing when reflecting our activities, our deeds. So, we have to make some first steps in analysing reflexion (not ”reflection”, normally understood as consideration, contemplation, speculation, meditation, deliberation, rumination, thought in general – according to Webster).
Reflexion: any understanding of one´s activities as well as of oneself presupposes a certain distance of those activities as well as of oneself. And this is a deep problem: