Rosa Lichenstein and Anti-Dialectics?

May 2024 Forums General discussion Rosa Lichenstein and Anti-Dialectics?

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  • #88014
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Alan:
    “The ruin done by Leninism to Marxism (and the working class) has been historically far greater than any influence of Hegelian dialecticalism has ever been. You direct your criticism at the wrong ism when it comes to the future of the planet.”
    Not so; it is possible to show that this damage is a direct result of several factors, one of which is dialectics.
    “But you refuse to debate the issue of Leninism and its relevancy to the REAL world, preferring to indulge in discussions that are better left “to the gnawing criticism of the mice” to steal a quote from Engels.”!
    Again, not so; I have debated, and will debate Leninism on the internet; but not in this thread, or at this site.


    #88020

    OK, I’ll admit I was wrong, there is still a little fresh mileage in this:

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I’m sorry, but we define ‘things’ all the time without ever once thinking of ‘No-thing’ — whatever that is.For example, here is a definition of ‘horse’:

    But that defines horse in terms of other Things: that slippery chain of metaphors and metonyms eventually leads to no-thing.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I’d like to see the non-metaphorical proof (which, if you are correct, will have to be written in a non-human language) that “human language…[is]…ultimately metaphorical.”

    Since there is no intrinsic connection between signifier and signified the only real reference is to historical locutions – every word is meaningful only in the context of where it has last/usually been used, and is thus a metaphor for itself.  As I’m sure you’ll know, denotations are actions of naming, simply to refer to a cigarrette is to enact the fact that the object in question is like unto the object previously referred to by the term cigarrette.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    2) I didn’t snip it. I apologised later for missing it — did you alter your original post on edit?

    Apologies, I read your next post after I finished mine.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    3) The point about gravity does not alter my argument in any way. Unless you think gravity acts instantaneously across all regions of space and time, then most things in the universe, past, present and future, can’t be connected, let alone interconnected.

    They can be connected, over time, but, if space/time is absolute, then not  synchronically.  However, that does no disprove connection (or, rather, interconnection), if I were tied to you by a (very long) piece of elastic, that was incredibly stretchy, we could go our whole lives without ever feeling any effect from such a laggy band, except one day, after many years, when it reaches its limit.  We would still have been connected for all that time.Now, as for connected, I would say I’m using it in the sense that my actions will have an effect upon another object through transmission: connection does not have to be direct or immediate.  Or, put another way, I equate connection with casuality, which, in the context of the big bang theory means everything is connected in common cause and its transmission through the cosmos.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    So, let’s imagine that you move house, and want to be connected with the internet. You ring your favourite IP and ask them to connect you with the web. The person on the other end of the phone, who has read Dietzgen and believed far too much of it than is good for any human being, tells you that since all things are connected, you are still connected to the world-wide web, so why are you ringing her.

    She would be right, in a banal sense, that since the humans I interact with are connected to the web, and I can (and do) use it through them, I am connected regardless of whether I am in possession of a portal or not.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I think you need to re-read the material on light cones, since that tells us that there are vast regions of space that we will never be connected with each other or with us — unless, once more, you are using ‘connected’ in a new, and as-yet-unexplained sense.

    And I think you need to re-read it, those points are synchronous space/time co-ordinates of absolute position, in the ‘real’ universe, over time the effect does spread, and, if the universe is limited, then all points in space will be eventually effected by an event in space/time.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Unfortunately, you neglected to prove that light is everywhere — or why this shows everything is connected — except in your odd sense of ‘connected’, which you have yet to explain.

    I don’t need to prove that, since I’ve never asserted it.  So much for linguistic philosophy.

    #88021
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    YMS:
    “But that defines horse in terms of other Things: that slippery chain of metaphors and metonyms eventually leads to no-thing.”
    So, in other words, we can define ‘horse’ without referring to ‘no-thing’ — a term, by the way, you have yet to explain, and one that does not occur in the dictionary (so even dictionary makers don’t use this mythical word of yours).
    To see how far removed from reality this idea of yours is, try explaining to a child what a horse is. You will find that at no point will you refer to ‘no-thing’.
    Moreover, is there anything that is, has or could be defined by reference to ‘no-thing’ (especially if we do not yet understand ‘no-thing’)?
    “Since there is no intrinsic connection between signifier and signified the only real reference is to historical locutions – every word is meaningful only in the context of where it has last/usually been used, and is thus a metaphor for itself. As I’m sure you’ll know, denotations are actions of naming, simply to refer to a cigarrette is to enact the fact that the object in question is like unto the object previously referred to by the term cigarrette.”
    You seem to think all words are names. They aren’t..
    But, how does this provide the proof I requested? Here it is again:
    “I’d like to see the non-metaphorical proof (which, if you are correct, will have to be written in a non-human language) that “human language…[is]…ultimately metaphorical.””
    Now, if all language is metaphorical, then so is your ‘proof’ (which you unwisely expressed in language). This means that your ‘proof’ isn’t a proof.
    On the other hand, if your ‘proof’ is literal, then not all language is metaphorical (since at least this ‘proof’ is not metaphorical), and hence your ‘proof’ isn’t a proof after all.
    Either way, your ‘proof’ is not a proof.
    “They can be connected, over time, but, if space/time is absolute, then not synchronically. However, that does no disprove connection (or, rather, interconnection), if I were tied to you by a (very long) piece of elastic, that was incredibly stretchy, we could go our whole lives without ever feeling any effect from such a laggy band, except one day, after many years, when it reaches its limit. We would still have been connected for all that time.”
    Once again, this is not so. The light cone argument shows that they can’t be causally connected, ever.
    “Now, as for connected, I would say I’m using it in the sense that my actions will have an effect upon another object through transmission: connection does not have to be direct or immediate. Or, put another way, I equate connection with casuality, which, in the context of the big bang theory means everything is connected in common cause and its transmission through the cosmos.”
    So, you are using ‘connected’ to mean ‘causally connected’ — your problem is now to show — as opposed merely to assert or assume — that everything is now causally connected with everything else in the entire universe, and for all of time.
    Good luck gathering the almost infinite amount of data you will have to collect to prove that one!
    “She would be right, in a banal sense, that since the humans I interact with are connected to the web, and I can (and do) use it through them, I am connected regardless of whether I am in possession of a portal or not.”
    In that case, save yourself some money and cancel the engineer’s call. Or, throw your phone away. After all, even without a phone, you are connected with everything in the universe, including the internet, and your friends.
    In fact, you could ruin the entire internet and phone economy — for if this good news got out, we could all throw our phones and computers away. Even without them we would still be connected to the internet and to one another.
    “And I think you need to re-read it, those points are synchronous space/time co-ordinates of absolute position, in the ‘real’ universe, over time the effect does spread, and, if the universe is limited, then all points in space will be eventually effected by an event in space/time.”
    Well, as far as I can see, this will never happen; here is the relevant section (bold added):
    “Because signals and other causal influences cannot travel faster than light (see special relativity), the light cone plays an essential role in defining the concept of causality- for a given event E, the set of events that lie on or inside the past light cone of E would also be the set of all events that could send a signal that would have time to reach E and influence it in some way. For example, at a time ten years before E, if we consider the set of all events in the past light cone of E which occur at that time, the result would be a sphere (2D: disk) with a radius of ten light-years centered on the future position E will occur. So, any point on or inside the sphere could send a signal moving at the speed of light or slower that would have time to influence the event E, while points outside the sphere at that moment would not be able to have any causal influence on E. Likewise, the set of events that lie on or inside the future light cone of E would also be the set of events that could receive a signal sent out from the position and time of E, so the future light cone contains all the events that could potentially be causally influenced by E. Events which lie neither in the past or future light cone of E cannot influence or be influenced by E in relativity….
    “Keep in mind, we’re talking about an event, a specific location at a specific time. To say that one event cannot affect another, that means that there isn’t enough time for light to get from one to the other. Light from each event will eventually (after some time) make it to the old location of the other event, but since that’s at a later time, it’s not the same event.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_cone
    YMS:
    “I don’t need to prove that, since I’ve never asserted it.”
    Here is what you posted:
    “If light is everywhere (and when) at once, then we are all simultaneously bathed in the same universal sea of light, which touches us all.”
    This is indeed a hypothetical proposition, the truth of which does not depend on the truth of the antecedent.
    But, this is what you posted before that:
    “It was a source, IIRC, for where I got the notion that light could be everywhere at once.”
    Now, it seems to me that you are trying to support your claim that light is everywhere all at once in order to support your other idea that everything is connected. In that case, there doesn’t seem to be any other way you could support the consequent of the above hypothetical than by asserting the truth of the antecedent.
    If that isn’t the case, and I misinterpeted you, I apologise, but I hope you can see that this was the only way I could make sense of your enigmatic/metaphorical prose.
    “So much for linguistic philosophy.”
    Well, this has nothing to do with linguistic philosophy, but has more to do with your enigmatic way of expressing yourself.
    In fact, a crash course in Linguistic Philosophy would help you express yourself more clearly.


    #88022
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Rosa, i have been following this debate, particularly since i have little expertise in the field and have been learning from it. I have seen your debates on Libcom and from your links to other discussion lists and i may be wrong but there appears to be a different attitude in your exchanges here. Dare i say it, comradely argument and not an acrimonious one,  which those involved. You and ALB and YMS and Stuart appear to be taking a certain amount of enjoyment and satisfaction from it even when you all disagree. One concensus, though appears to be is no truck with Hegelian gobblygook if i recall rightly one posters description of its philosophy. And again i may be wrong but i have a feeling it is also refreshingly different for you from your previous philosophical polemics with your other protagonists. My point is surely you made the wrong decision when you said earlier in reply to me “that you used to read your publications when I was deciding which version of Marxism appealed to me back in the early 1980s. Needless to say, I decided against your view.” Perhaps, taking into account our non-dogmatic attitude in contrast to many of the Left’s adherence to dialectics as political canon plus our open and receptive response and commitment to discussion and debate it is now time for you to review your earlier decision. But perhaps i am being too presumptious…a personal failing of mine , i know  ;-) 

    #88023
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Alan, yes the atmosphere here is far more comradely, even though one or two comrades here have preferred posting personal remarks rather than reasoned arguments.The comrades over at LibCom were hostile from day one, which began way back in 2007:http://libcom.org/forums/thought/thesis-antithesis-synthesisIndeed, several of them were happy to post blatant lies about me, and refused even to attempt to substantiate the allegations they made about me or my ideas: http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/Poseur%20001.htmhttp://anti-dialectics.co.uk/libcom_circles_the_wagons.htmThe same has happened at most of the places I debated this topic on the Internet over the last seven years; I have listed the many sites where this has occured here:http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/RevLeft.htmAlthough it’s titled ‘RevLeft’ it contains links to the scores of forums and threads where I have debated this doctrine.I have to say that in the early days I was very abrasive and aggressive in my own defence; I have mellowed somewhat of late.”My point is surely you made the wrong decision when you said earlier in reply to me “that you used to read your publications when I was deciding which version of Marxism appealed to me back in the early 1980s. Needless to say, I decided against your view.””Well, I made this decision back in the early 1980s long before I was subjected to this sort of sustained abuse, but I also understand why comrades are like this.  If you can stand another link, I have explained why they behave in this emotive and irrational way, here:http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2009_02.htm”Perhaps, taking into account our non-dogmatic attitude in contrast to many of the Left’s adherence to dialectics as political canon plus our open and receptive response and commitment to discussion and debate it is now time for you to review your earlier decision.”I don’t think so; I am committed to Leninism, and have been for over 25 years, and will be for the rest of my life.But thanks anyway for the comradely sentiments. :)


    #88024

    I think we are, almost, argued out now.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    “And I think you need to re-read it, those points are synchronous space/time co-ordinates of absolute position, in the ‘real’ universe, over time the effect does spread, and, if the universe is limited, then all points in space will be eventually effected by an event in space/time.”Well, as far as I can see, this will never happen; here is the relevant section (bold added):

    Again, I think you’re misreading the light cone stuff.  Lets take a real world example.  My computer monitor is outside the light cone of my keyboard.  It is 60 centimetres away.  For2.00138E-09Seconds it is outside the light cone.  That is, the time it takes light to travel 60 cm (give or take a few extraneous quibbles).  Now, in the duration of that time period, characters cannot appear on my screen following a keystroke, because the speed of light is the cosmic speed limit of effects/information.  Characters cannot appear before I have struck a key, because that would be effect preceding cause.  Now, the key point is that time vectors can only go one way in a causal universe, we cannot go backwards in time. Now, the other point is that my monitor is 60 centimetres away in space, but it actually represents two (or more) points in space time, in this case, 60cm/0s and 60cm/2.00138E-09s.  Now, those space/time co-ordinates (and those within that range) cannot be subject to effect by electric impulses from my keyboard, and yet eventually, I am able to make characters appear on the screen.  Characters which form perfectly commonplace philosophical terms.

    #88025
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    YMS:
    “Seconds it is outside the light cone. That is, the time it takes light to travel 60 cm (give or take a few extraneous quibbles). Now, in the duration of that time period, characters cannot appear on my screen following a keystroke, because the speed of light is the cosmic speed limit of effects/information. Characters cannot appear before I have struck a key, because that would be effect preceding cause. Now, the key point is that time vectors can only go one way in a causal universe, we cannot go backwards in time. “
    In other words, given your ‘causal interpretation’ of ‘connection’, most things in the universe aren’t connected, and never will be — as I asserted.
    And we still await your explanation of ‘no-thing’.


    #88026
    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    YMS:”Seconds it is outside the light cone. That is, the time it takes light to travel 60 cm (give or take a few extraneous quibbles). Now, in the duration of that time period, characters cannot appear on my screen following a keystroke, because the speed of light is the cosmic speed limit of effects/information. Characters cannot appear before I have struck a key, because that would be effect preceding cause. Now, the key point is that time vectors can only go one way in a causal universe, we cannot go backwards in time. “In other words, given your ‘causal interpretation’ of ‘connection’, most things in the universe aren’t connected, and never will be — as I asserted.

    And yet 2.00138E-09 seconds after I hit a key, a character appears on the screen that was previously outside the light cone, connected in a direct chain of causation.  If I stab a man and he dies of the stab wounds an hour later, you wouldn’t say the two things were unconnected.  All points in space are connectable.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    And we still await your explanation of ‘no-thing’.

    I wouldn’t wait, it’s nothing, really. Anyway, we’re going no-where fast here.

    #88027

    Anyway, just came across this useful quotation:

    Schopenhauer wrote:
    Dialectic, on the other hand, would treat of the intercourse between two rational beings who, because they are rational, ought to think in common, but who, as soon as they cease to agree like two clocks keeping exactly the same time, create a disputation, or intellectual contest. Regarded as purely rational beings, the individuals would, I say, necessarily be in agreement, and their variation springs from the difference essential to individuality; in other words, it is drawn from experience. Logic, therefore, as the science of thought, or the science of the process of pure reason, should be capable of being constructed à priori. Dialectic, for the most part, can be constructed only à posteriori; that is to say, we may learn its rules by an experiential knowledge of the disturbance which pure thought suffers through the difference of individuality manifested in the intercourse between two rational beings, and also by acquaintance with the means which disputants adopt in order to make good against one another their own individual thought, and to show that it is pure and objective.

    The Art of Controversy by Arthur Schopenhauer (link)That is all dialectic is: indeed, Rosa has been engaging in dialectics on this forum from the off. (I’ll have to go off and read the rest of the book now).

    #88028
    Hic Rhodas
    Participant

    May be some interpretations of dialectics have been methaphisical, even between honest revolutionaries, in that way: ‘as we have dialectics we have a superior method of analisis” and then then proceed ignoring the real data of reality, even when they obviosly are instead their “dialectical and superior analysis”. That its not a scientifical use of dialectics; that is a “bíblical exegesis” of scriptures of Marx. The method don’t excuse us to examine and study reality even with rigour and detail. But that don`t disqualify all the dialectic methot but “exegesis”.
    For exemple, Alan Woods that thinks Big Bang is impossible acording to Engels Dialectics. !!!!!!!!!
    For exemple, if you have read Prygogine or in general about “chaos theory”, you could be experimental and mathematically treated results that agree with insights of dialectics.
    Salud.

    #88029
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    YMS:
    “And yet 2.00138E-09 seconds after I hit a key, a character appears on the screen that was previously outside the light cone, connected in a direct chain of causation. If I stab a man and he dies of the stab wounds an hour later, you wouldn’t say the two things were unconnected. All points in space are connectable”
    And how is that character outside the light cone?
    But, you interpret ‘connected’ to mean ‘causally connected’, and yet there are countless events in history that aren’t now causally connected with, say, you. For example , the death of Julius Caesar isn’t now causally connected with you, since it no longer exists.
    “I wouldn’t wait, it’s nothing, really.”
    But, we don’t define anything in relation to nothing, as you seem to believe.
    “That is all dialectic is: indeed, Rosa has been engaging in dialectics on this forum from the off. (I’ll have top go off and read the rest of the book now).”
    I’m OK with the classical definition of ‘dialectic’ (connected with argument), although I prefer to avoid it since it creates confusion when I say such things; what I am not Ok with is the metaphysical version of the dialectic many of you seem to have accepted. Moreover, I have yet to see a good reason to accept it — and I have only been looking for nigh on 30 years! Certainly, and with all due respect, no one here has come up with even so much as a weak reason.
    Anyway, Schopenhauer is wrong about logic; it isn’t the ‘science of thought’. If it were, logicians would do brain scans, psychometric testing and conduct surveys; they’d not waste their time with all those useless proofs and defintions.


    #88030
    DJP
    Participant

    If time permits me I would like to contribute properly to this debate.But in the meantime:http://www.ditext.com/quine/quine.html

    #88031
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Hic Rhodas, as I have just pointed out to Young Master Smeet, I have yet to see even so much as one aspect of ‘the dialectic’ that is of any use at all, in science or anywhere else for that matter. So perhaps you can enlighten me: which parts of ‘the dialectic’ are of any use?
    Moreover, I deny that Prygogine’s work is an example of ‘the dialectic’ in use — that is, any more than Quantum Mechanics is an example of Buddhism at work (as some phsyicists claim).
    Maybe you can say which parts of his work (or even which aspects of  ‘chaos theory’) are examples of dialectics at work?


    #88032
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Thanks for that DJP; but Quine’s argument was effectively answered by Grice and Strawson’s paper “In Defence of a Dogma”:
    http://www.hist-analytic.org/Gricestrawson.pdf


    #88033
    stevead1966
    Participant

    Personally I have a lot of time for Hegel although he is ultimately an apologist for conservative Prussian state. I have not read a lot of his works but just parts of his tome ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ where I admit his language is rather off-putting. My favourite part is the small section ‘Independence and dependence of self-consciousness: Lordship and Bondage’ which contains the “master-slave dialectic” which was hugely influential on Marx. Georg Lukacs found it a rich seam.  This dialectic is also important for the ‘existential’ aspects that can be drawn from it – see Jean Hyppolite and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Hegel has to be admired for being a proto-feminist ! Yes, it is true. His defence of Antigone from the Sophocles play identifies gender politics and male chauvinism. See David MacGregor.Still, ultimately Hegel is standing on his head and needed Marx to turn him the right way up.

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