Study Course Steps 8.1 - 8.12

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Chapter 8 The Factors Of Life
Self Knowledge

CHAPTER THEME: Self Knowledge - Feeling and willing (action) are something we perceive just like other percepts. All percepts are incomplete realities until they are understood by adding their concept. Self knowledge requires understanding our feeling and willing.

Theme: Self-Knowledge
topic 8.1: Feeling Personality
topic 8.2: Reality Of Personality
topic 8.3: Knowledge Of Feeling
topic 8.4: Concept Of Self
topic 8.5: Prioritize Emotional Development
topic 8.6: Feeling Insight
topic 8.7: Philosopher of Feeling (felt union with things)
topic 8.8: Mysticism (subjective feeling)
topic 8.9: Willing Personality
topic 8.10: Voluntarism (will is principle of reality)
topic 8.11: Naive Knowledge Of Feeling And Willing
topic 8.12: Universal Will

8.0 Knowing Personality
From knowing personality To feeling and willing personality

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Thinking
Outer Truth: Let us briefly review the results gained in the previous chapters. The world appears to me as a multiplicity, a sum of separate details. As a human being, I am myself one of these details, a thing among other things. We call this form of the world simply the given. Insofar as we just encounter it and do not explain it through our conscious activity, we call it percept. Within the world of percepts we perceive our Self. This perception of Self would simply remain as one percept among the many others, if something did not emerge out of this self-perception capable of connecting all percepts, and also the sum total of all percepts with the percept of our own Self. This something that emerges is not mere perception. Neither is it, like percepts, simply given. It is produced by our activity. It seems at first to be bound up with what each of us perceives as his Self. But its inner meaning reaches beyond the self. It adds conceptual definitions to the single percepts. These conceptual factors relate to each other and form a whole. This something conceptually defines what we gain in self-perception in the same way as it defines all other perceptions, and places it as subject, or “I,” over against the objects. This “something” is thinking, and the conceptual factors are concepts and Ideas.

  

Knowing Personality
Inner Truth: Thought, therefore, first manifests itself in connection with the percept of self. But thought is not merely subjective, for it is only with the help of thought that the Self can define itself as subject. How the Self relates to itself in thought determines our personality. Through it, we lead a purely conceptual existence. Through it, we are aware of ourselves as thinking beings. This determination of our lives would remain a purely conceptual (logical) one, if it were not supplemented by other determining factors of our Selves. Our lives would be spent in establishing purely conceptual relationships between percepts themselves, and between them and ourselves. If we call the establishment of a conceptual relationship an "act of cognition," and the resulting change achieved in the self “knowledge,” then, according to the above assumption, we would have to consider ourselves as only cognizing or knowing beings.

 
STEP 8.1 Feeling Personality
From relate percept to feeling To feeling personality
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Relate Percept To Feeling
Outer Truth: However, this assumption does not hold up to the facts. As we have already seen, we do not relate percepts to ourselves only through concepts, but also through our feelings. We are not beings with solely a conceptual content.

  

Feeling Personality
Inner Truth: In fact, the Naive Realist sees in the life of feeling a more genuine life of the personality than in the purely conceptual activity of knowledge. From his standpoint he is entirely right to interpret it in this way.

     

STEP 8.2 Reality Of Personality
From perception of feeling To reality of personality

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Perception Of Feeling
Outer Truth: The way a feeling first appears on the subjective side, is exactly the same way as a percept appears on the objective side.

 

Reality Of Personality
Inner Truth: Therefore, according to the basic principle of naive realism — that everything that can be perceived is real — it follows that feelings guarantee the reality of one's own personality.

     

STEP 8.3 Knowledge Of Feeling
From incomplete feeling To knowledge of feeling

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Incomplete Reality Of Feeling
Outer Truth: Monism, however, recognizes that if a feeling is to be present in its full reality, it requires the same addition as do all percepts. A feeling as we first encounter it is an incomplete reality that lacks its second factor, the concept or Idea.

 

Knowledge Of Feeling
Inner Truth: This is why in actual life feelings, like all percepts, always appear before knowledge.

STEP 8.4 Concept Of Self
From feeling of existence To concept of self

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Feeling Of Existence
Outer Truth: At first we merely have a feeling of existence.

 

Concept Of Self
Inner Truth: It is only in the course of our gradual development that we struggle through to the point where the concept of Self emerges from within the blind mass of feelings that fill our existence. What emerges later, however, is from the beginning inseparably bound up with our feelings.

     
STEP 8.5 Prioritize Emotional Development
From direct relationship in feeling To prioritize emotional development
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Direct Relationship In Feeling
Outer Truth: This is why the naive person is led to believe that in feeling, he is directly related to what is there, what exists.

 

Prioritize Emotional Development
Inner Truth: While in thought he is only indirectly related to what exists after it is mediated through knowledge. Therefore the development of emotional life will seem to him more important than anything else.

     

STEP 8.6 Feeling Insight
From feeling connection to feeling insight (instrument of knowledge)

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Feeling Connection
Outer Truth: He must 'feel' the connection of things in the world before he believes he has grasped it.

 

Feeling Insight (instrument of knowledge)
Inner Truth: He seeks insight through feeling rather than through knowledge; he attempts to make feeling the instrument of knowledge rather than thought.

     

STEP 8.7 Philosopher of Feeling
From insert self into everything To philosopher of feeling (felt union with things)

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Insert Self Into Everything
Outer Truth: Now a feeling is something entirely individual, something equivalent to a percept. So the Philosopher of Feeling makes a principle that has significance only within his personality into a world principle. He tries to insert himself into everything.

 

Philosopher of Feeling (felt union with things)
Inner Truth: What the Monist strives to grasp in concepts, the Philosopher of Feeling tries to attain through feeling. He looks on his own felt union with objects as more direct, with nothing else coming in between.

     

STEP 8.8 Mysticism
From mystic feeling intuition To mysticism (subjective feeling)

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Mystic Feeling Intuition
Outer Truth: The tendency just described, the Philosophy of Feeling, is Mysticism. The error in the mystical form of intuition is that it wants to experience in feeling what should be attained as knowledge. The Mystic tries to elevate feeling, which is individual, into a universal principle.

 

Mysticism (subjective feeling)
Inner Truth: A feeling is completely individual. It is the effect of the external world on the subject, insofar as this effect is expressed in a purely subjective experience.

     
STEP 8.9 Willing Personality
From willing personality To perception of willing
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Willing Personality
Outer Truth: There is another expression of human personality: willing. The Self, through thought, participates in the general life of the world. By means of thinking, in a purely conceptual way, it relates the percepts to itself, and itself to the percepts. In feeling, the Self experiences the direct effect of objects on itself as subject. In willing, the opposite is the case. In willing, too, we have a perception before us, namely, the personal relation of the Self to the objective world.

  Perception Of Willing
Inner Truth: And whatever there is in willing that is not a purely conceptual factor is just as much an object of perception as are things in the external world.
     
STEP 8.10 Voluntarism
From direct experience of will To voluntarism (will is principle of reality)
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Direct Experience Of Will
Outer Truth: In spite of this, the naive realist believes that here again he has before him something far more real than can ever be attained by thought. He sees in the will an occurrence, a cause, of which he is directly aware, in contrast to thinking that only grasps the event afterwards in conceptual form. The will, by means of which the Self accomplishes things, is seen as a process that is experienced directly. The adherent of this philosophy believes that, in the will, he has really got hold of a corner of the world process. While all other events can only be followed from the outside by means of perception, he is confident that in his willing he directly experiences a real process.

 

Voluntarism (will is principle of reality)
Inner Truth: He makes the form of existence in which the will appears to him within the Self into the fundamental reality of the universe. His own will appears to him as a special case of the general world process. The general world process, then, is considered to be universal will. The will becomes the principle of reality just as, in Mysticism, feeling becomes the principle of knowledge. This way of viewing things is Voluntarism (Thelism). It makes something that can only be experienced individually into the dominant factor of the world.

     

STEP 8.11 Naive Knowledge
From real principles of feeling and willing To naive knowledge of feeling and willing

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Real Principles Of Feeling And Willing
Outer Truth: Voluntarism cannot be called a science anymore than can Mysticism. For both maintain that a conceptual interpretation of the world is inadequate. In addition to a conceptual principle, both demand a real principle as well. But since perception is the only way to comprehend these so-called real principles, it follows that what Mysticism and Voluntarism are both saying is that we have two sources of knowledge: thinking and perception, with perception appearing here as an individual, direct experience of feeling and will. Since the immediate experiences that flow from one source cannot be taken up directly into the thoughts that flow from the other, perception (immediate experience) and thought remain side by side, without any higher form of experience to mediate between them.

  Naive Knowledge Of Feeling And Willing
Inner Truth: Beside the conceptual principle that we attain by means of knowledge, there is supposed to exist a real principle that cannot be grasped by thought, but can be directly experienced. In other words, Mysticism and Voluntarism are both forms of Naive Realism, because they embrace the doctrine: What is directly perceived (experienced) is real. Compared with Naive Realism in its primitive form, they are guilty of the further inconsistency of making a particular instance of perception (feeling or willing) into the sole means of knowing reality. Since they can do this only if they hold to the general principle that everything perceived is real, they ought to attribute an equal value to external perception as a means of gaining knowledge.
     
STEP 8.12 Universal Will

From universal will To conceptually relate will to world

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Universal Will
Outer Truth: Voluntarism turns into Metaphysical Realism when it asserts the existence of will in realms where it is not possible to experience it directly in the same way as it is in one’s own subject. A hypothetical principle is assumed outside the subject, for which the sole criteria for its existence is subjective experience.

 

Conceptually Relate Will To World
Inner Truth: As a form of Metaphysical Realism, Voluntarism is open to the criticism made in the previous chapter, namely, it has to overcome the contradictory element in every form of Metaphysical Realism, and recognize that the will is a universal world-process only to the extent it is conceptually related to the rest of the world.

 

 

BOOK TEXT

8. THE FACTORS OF LIFE

8.0 Knowing Personality
[1] LET us briefly review the results gained in the previous chapters. The world appears to me as a multiplicity, a sum of separate details. As a human being, I am myself one of these details, a thing among other things. We call this form of the world simply the given. Insofar as we just encounter it and do not explain it through our conscious activity, we call it percept. Within the world of percepts we perceive our Self. This perception of Self would simply remain as one percept among the many others, if something did not emerge out of this self-perception capable of connecting all percepts, and also the sum total of all percepts with the percept of our own Self. This something that emerges is not mere perception. Neither is it, like percepts, simply given. It is produced by our activity. It seems at first to be bound up with what each of us perceives as his Self. But its inner meaning reaches beyond the self. It adds conceptual definitions to the single percepts. These conceptual factors relate to each other and form a whole. This something conceptually defines what we gain in self-perception in the same way as it defines all other perceptions, and places it as subject, or “I,” over against the objects. This “something” is thinking, and the conceptual factors are concepts and Ideas.

Thought, therefore, first manifests itself in connection with the percept of self. But thought is not merely subjective, for it is only with the help of thought that the Self can define itself as subject. How the Self relates to itself in thought determines our personality. Through it, we lead a purely conceptual existence. Through it, we are aware of ourselves as thinking beings. This determination of our lives would remain a purely conceptual (logical) one, if it were not supplemented by other determining factors of our Selves. Our lives would be spent in establishing purely conceptual relationships between percepts themselves, and between them and ourselves. If we call the establishment of a conceptual relationship an "act of cognition," and the resulting change achieved in the self “knowledge,” then, according to the above assumption, we would have to consider ourselves as only cognizing or knowing beings.

8.1 Feeling Personality
[2] However, this assumption does not hold up to the facts. As we have already seen, we do not relate percepts to ourselves only through concepts, but also through our feelings. We are not beings with solely a conceptual content. In fact, the Naive Realist sees in the life of feeling a more genuine life of the personality than in the purely conceptual activity of knowledge. From his standpoint he is entirely right to interpret it in this way.

8.2 Reality Of Personality
The way a feeling first appears on the subjective side, is exactly the same way as a percept appears on the objective side. Therefore, according to the basic principle of naive realism — that everything that can be perceived is real — it follows that feelings guarantee the reality of one's own personality.

8.3 Knowledge Of Feeling
Monism, however, recognizes that if a feeling is to be present in its full reality, it requires the same addition as do all percepts. A feeling as we first encounter it is an incomplete reality that lacks its second factor, the concept or Idea. This is why in actual life feelings, like all percepts, always appear before knowledge.

8.4 Concept Of Self
At first we merely have a feeling of existence. It is only in the course of our gradual development that we struggle through to the point where the concept of Self emerges from within the blind mass of feelings that fill our existence. What emerges later, however, is from the beginning inseparably bound up with our feelings.

8.5 Prioritize Emotional Development
This is why the naive person is led to believe that in feeling, he is directly related to what is there, what exists. While in thought he is only indirectly related to what exists after it is mediated through knowledge. Therefore the development of emotional life will seem to him more important than anything else.

8.6 Feeling Insight
He must feel the connection of things in the world before he believes he has grasped it. He seeks insight through feeling rather than through knowledge; he attempts to make feeling the instrument of knowledge rather than thought.

8.7 Philosopher of Feeling
Now a feeling is something entirely individual, something equivalent to a percept. So the Philosopher of Feeling makes a principle that has significance only within his personality into a world principle. He tries to inject himself into everything. What the Monist strives to grasp in concepts, the Philosopher of Feeling tries to attain through feeling. He looks on his own felt union with objects as more direct, with nothing else coming in between.

8.8 Mysticism
[3] The tendency just described, the Philosophy of Feeling, is Mysticism. The error in the mystical form of intuition is that it wants to experience in feeling what should be attained as knowledge. The Mystic tries to elevate feeling, which is individual, into a universal principle.
[4] A feeling is completely individual. It is the effect of the external world on the subject, insofar as this effect is expressed in a purely subjective experience.

8.9 Willing Personality
[5] There is another expression of human personality: willing. The Self, through thought, participates in the general life of the world. By means of thinking, in a purely conceptual way, it relates the percepts to itself, and itself to the percepts. In feeling, the Self experiences the direct effect of objects on itself as subject. In willing, the opposite is the case. In willing, too, we have a perception before us, namely, the personal relation of the Self to the objective world. And whatever there is in willing that is not a purely conceptual factor is just as much an object of perception as are things in the external world.

8.10 Voluntarism
[6] In spite of this, the naive realist believes that here again he has before him something far more real than can ever be attained by thought. He sees in the will an occurrence, a cause, of which he is directly aware, in contrast to thinking that only grasps the event afterwards in conceptual form. The will, by means of which the Self accomplishes things, is seen as a process that is experienced directly. The adherent of this philosophy believes that, in the will, he has really got hold of a corner of the world process. While all other events can only be followed from the outside by means of perception, he is confident that in his willing he directly experiences a real process. He makes the form of existence in which the will appears to him within the Self into the fundamental reality of the universe. His own will appears to him as a special case of the general world process. The general world process, then, is considered to be universal will. The will becomes the principle of reality just as, in Mysticism, feeling becomes the principle of knowledge. This way of viewing things is Voluntarism (Thelism). It makes something that can only be experienced individually into the dominant factor of the world.

8.11 Naive Knowledge Of Feeling And Willing
[7] Voluntarism cannot be called a science anymore than can Mysticism. For both maintain that a conceptual interpretation of the world is inadequate. In addition to a conceptual principle, both demand a real principle as well. But since perception is the only way to comprehend these so-called real principles, it follows that what Mysticism and Voluntarism are both saying is that we have two sources of knowledge: thinking and perception, with perception appearing here as an individual, direct experience of feeling and will. Since the immediate experiences that flow from one source cannot be taken up directly into the thoughts that flow from the other, perception (immediate experience) and thought remain side by side, without any higher form of experience to mediate between them. Beside the conceptual principle that we attain by means of knowledge, there is supposed to exist a real principle that cannot be grasped by thought, but can be directly experienced. In other words, Mysticism and Voluntarism are both forms of Naive Realism, because they embrace the doctrine: What is directly perceived (experienced) is real. Compared with Naive Realism in its primitive form, they are guilty of the further inconsistency of making a particular instance of perception (feeling or willing) into the sole means of knowing reality. Since they can do this only if they hold to the general principle that everything perceived is real, they ought to attribute an equal value to external perception as a means of gaining knowledge.

8.12 Universal Will
[8] Voluntarism turns into Metaphysical Realism when it asserts the existence of will in realms where it is not possible to experience it directly in the same way as it is in one’s own subject. A hypothetical principle is assumed outside the subject, for which the sole criteria for its existence is subjective experience. As a form of Metaphysical Realism, Voluntarism is open to the criticism made in the previous chapter, namely, it has to overcome the contradictory element in every form of Metaphysical Realism, and recognize that the will is a universal world-process only to the extent it is conceptually related to the rest of the world.