Mauvaise Foi

I find the notion of authenticity interesting. I believe that Heidegger was the first philosopher to promote the issue. As I have a contention with matters of identity in general, the notion of authenticity has no foundation in my eyes. As I don’t believe that the notion of identity is valid, it follows that I don’t ascribe to notions of authenticity either—the question is: authentic to what?

Essentially authenticity can be described as ‘being true to one’s own essence or true self’—whatever that might be. Heidegger presents authenticity as a response to our place in the world. An inauthentic person conforms to society and in the loses their own identity in the process to become assimilated into the society.

Carl Jung had a related concept, individuation. This is where a person strips off all of the ego and superego to get to the core of their being, to unpeel the onion, but to find a centre—and to become that true unadulterated self. This is not what Heidegger means by authentic.

To Heidegger, an authentic person remains true to themself within the constraints of society. As with Camus’ acceptance of the Absurd, Heidegger’ authenticity accepts the ‘real world’ as is it whilst retaining with awareness one’s self, even if this is more limiting than Jung’s individuation or Sartre’s freedom with no excuses.

Sartre’s vein of Existentialism contained within it the notion of authenticity. This is in common with other Continental philosophies. According to Sartre, when people hyper-constrain their identities to preclude their larger humanity, they are operating in bad faith, mauvaise foi (eidétique de la mauvaise foi). A while back, a story from an incident in 2013 was circulating on social media, where a Spanish runner, Ivan Fernandez Anaya, assisted another runner, Kenyan athlete, Abel Mutai, who errantly believed that he had already passed the finish line, so he stopped with another 10 metres to go.

The reaction was split—some praising Anaya for his humanity and other chastising him for not following the rules of the competition. These critics are guilty of mauvaise foi, of prioritising the minuscule for the larger picture. In fact, all sports do this. One might argue that all competition does this, but this is a matter of perspective. I think that Sartre’s scope was a bit narrower than this, but I believe it’s not off-point.

Evidently, I am just typing stream of consciousness, and the stream has come to an end.

And so it goes

38 thoughts on “Mauvaise Foi

    1. For me, authenticity is aligned to Identity, which I say has the same issues as Truth. You are at once many identities (personae) and none except for the now, but who that is is too complex for you to identify in that moment, that split second.

      I have identities I imagine myself as, and I imagine others as having functional identities, but these are narrow approximations and, in any case, may be wrong in both direction and scale. This is where Heraclitus’ ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man’ quote comes to mind.

      If there is no accessible core identity, there is nothing to which authenticity can bind.

      I might be able to entertain a sort of identity contained within some uncertainty principle, so in the statistical sense of ‘normal’ plus or minus some number of standard deviations, but this becomes just as theoretical, and we’re still left with which dimensions to consider and how to measure them.

      Given the above, I’d consider it to be nonsensical and an appeal to vanity. This said, I understand what people intend to mean by identity, so pragmatically, I know how to interpret it—even far enough to imagine my own identity. 😉


      1. And a paper I just did, I defined authenticity as “the process and purpose” of the negotiation with politics (social world)

        But yes I agree with you, no one ever gets to this point because, as I say, we are taught to be oriented upon things that our social. And that’s the NRA flexion some thing about ourselves that we perpetually miss

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      2. I think another Classical metaphor for your concept could be Zeno’s paradox, which was solved to understanding that the destination was beyond the target—not the target itself.

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      3. I’ve written about Saussure’s structuralism, which is Žižek’s basis, but I think it falls apart when one gets closer to a dimensioned ‘object’. If we are talking about an object like a tree or a dog, there is no notion of identity from these objects. We don’t think about identity past tree-ness and dog-ness. We don’t think about the pleasant elm in the neighbour’s yard or the uptight oak down the road.

        Humans have many more connotations thrust on them and projected (and self-interpreted) from them, so how does an n-dimensional entity gain ‘an’ identity (in the singular form)?

        Neither language nor perception work that way much deeper than a heuristic. Our identity assessment doesn’t stop at person-ness, and the rest is subjective.

        I have a background, as I’ve written, in the Buddhist tradition. One lesson I recall is that there goodness or badness is not inherent in a person. For any person you can name—Donald Trump is as apt as an example as anyone—is reviled by many and lauded by others/ How can this happen?

        Pop psychology loves applying labels such as narcissist, which I’d apply to Trump, but not everyone would apply such a label. What does this say about the value of identity? We’d agree that a tree is a tree, but we can’t agree on another person’s identity—halo effects notwithstanding.

        I’m rambling, stream of consciousness again. 😉


      4. I see the identity as meaning “the same”. A=A is an identity. It doesn’t really matter what my opinion about that definition is, because the definition is what it is. Any other thing that I might add to it it’s just saying like I’m adding these other things about this identity to the say that what I’m saying about it is likewise identical to what I’m addressing .

        To me, it doesn’t matter, very much to me , about all the variation and problems of which you speak, simply Becuase people understand what it is to have an identity. Such an identity, I see, is political. It doesn’t matter what I or anyone else would say or think about it. It doesn’t matter what I proclaim upon other people to be the case through whatever sort of argumentation that I could give to them. It’s a simple fact that people have an identity. It doesn’t really say very much to somehow deny that people have an identity when all over the place. people say they have an identity and An intersectionality about identity. It’s a fact. To tear it apart and say it’s not a fact is just kind of like an opinion. Because the plain fact of the matter is we live in a world where people have identities . It doesn’t really matter whether or not I believe it’s the case or that they shouldn’t be believing that they have identity is because it’s a misinterpretation or some sort of fantasy that they’re living in, because the fact of the matter is that people talk about their identities all the time, they understand themselves in the contacts of identities. And the plain fact of the matter is those millions of people that claim identities there’s no possibility of me going to every single one of them and convincing them that they don’t have them. 😄
        So in reference to that, I would have to consider my own opinion suspect with reference to what I think is true about their identity being some sort of fantasy or something that doesn’t exist, Simply because I’m first of all never going to convince all these millions of people, and second of all because why should I think I’m any different than any of these people in my ability to think or conceptualize things. Why should I think that what I think is so real is any more or less realthan what anyone else might think is the case, At least so far as were talking about identities.

        Zizek’s Master signifier basically says that there is this vanishing point, just like in a picture of some landscape. There’s a vanishing point that is implicit to the picture. It forms the whole composition of the picture. But indeed without that vanishing point there really is no picture that you can understand with any sort of perspective. So he says that this is indeed how reality is constructed. That there is a master signifier within any condition that is held away outside of the picture that constitutes the picture in itself such that we have this real image. The way people account for this master signifyer typically say that it’s “God” or the big bang, or the universe, or whatever it is some big grand thing in which everything exists and accounts for everything else. But it’s really just a master signifier, a vanishing point that exists somewhere out there which holds the picture of reality in its present perspective. It’s not really “out there”, but the way that the human being functions in order to understand what is real, a master signifier arises to account for the situation in so far as reality can be known as indeed real.


      5. Exactly, and this is where my Pragmatism has primacy over my Postmodernism, and even though I understand intellectually that it’s all an illusion. I just happened to have a mate link to me an Alan Watt’s clip, which didn’t resonate with me but that led me to here: (cued to his point about identity and ego).

        Decades ago, I read most of the complete works of Jung, and I found his ideas on identity interesting, but ultimately not useful.

        The part of your argument I am having the most troublesome to understand is your claim that people have identities—which is to not to say that each person has an identity but that each person has multiple identities. In discussing language and linguistics, there is the notion of coding: we alter our speech patterns as we adopt a new persona. I speak differently with my girlfriend than I do to my executives or clients. I speak differently on the Internet than I do in person. I speak differently than I write. I am more forward with my identity—to the point that I get feedback that I shouldn’t have shared this or that detail because it would alter that person’s identity of me as a ‘professional’. So the goal is to paint a caricature and present yourself as that persona. This is a classic madonna-whore split. So where is the identity?

        You could say that my core is known to me, and the interpretation is perspectival, but I’d argue—as would psychoanalysis vis-à-vis the unconscious—that the ‘real’ me is not necessarily accessible.

        So to close, yes the concept of identity is everywhere, as are concepts of freedom or justice, but this is a function of Gestalt and cognitive heuristics, but I still don’t agree there is any there there. It’s just a by=product of perception and the human need to categorise and compartmentalise, though we aren’t all that good at taxonomising.

        One issue might be that identity is not a defined taxonomy; rather, it’s like tagging on a blog, so it can mean as many things to as many people people who interpret it.

        One more thing, I guess. If I need a groecer or a police officer, these ascribed identities have value to me. But then I more think of these as attributes or roles than identity. Not to get too deep into grammars and syntax, but when we say ‘the car is green’ we are not claiming identity; we are declaring that the car has a property of colour that is green—ignoring that nothing has colour, and that is merely a language convention. When I say, ‘Mary is a police officer’, we are saying that Mary has a role attribute that she works as a police officer. I understand that this becomes a semantic language game, but it does distinguish essence (identity) with a veneer.

        I was a professional musician in my 20s. I would have argued that was part of my essence. I haven’t played music professionally in almost a decade. What does that say about my identity? Is that an old identity, or is that still part of my essence? The people who only knew me then wouldn’t be any the wiser. To my ‘business associates, I am just a management strategist. To me students, when I was teaching, I was an instructor. Of course, to my mum, I’m her son.

        So, I get the short-cutting and heuristic function of identity. I don’t agree that it’s as useful as one might push for outside of a very limited and particular context.

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      6. (1)There’s so much going on here and your comment, I may just have to sit down and write an essay which address says all these things. But if I actually do that then I’m probably going to want to submit it to somewhere rather than just post it on this blog😄. So maybe I’ll give you a short answer right here and then we can go along that line, but the more thorough answer I think it would have to be a 20 page essay. Lol

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      7. I know the feeling. I saw your longer post, and I want to read it for comprehension. I’m on my mobile, so I’ll wait until I have access to a comfy chair and a wide monitor, so I can give it my complete attention.

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      8. (2) you may have noticed throughout my blog I have developed the idea of “the two routes”. Specific to our topic right here of identity, I would have to say that this model of the two routes that I am developing is very applicable. Which is to say that we do and we don’t have identity.

        Foundational to this notion of the two routes up on things is that there are two irreconcilable routes of knowing, or ways of viewing objects. I caught objects because we already have a century and a half or two centuries of philosophy about the subject. So instead of undertaking the impossible task The dressing every single argument that has come up in that continues to come up over and over and over about the ubiquity of subjectivity, I simply concede that yes this way of subjectivity which involves send language and etc. etc. world the universes, etc. is one route up on things.

        The difficulty comes when I say that there is another route, another way of knowing, another way of saying, that is, does not have to answer to this first route, which I call phenomenological.

        The difficulty comes because people automatically assume there is some sort of phenomenological center by which we can have analyses and come to truths that are everything from a singular cause to a multiplicity of causations. And so in a way the first route really encompasses all possibilities which argue either to a first cause, or to nothingness. Which I say “nothingness“, is the idea that there are multiplicity of subjectivity’s, basically everyone gets to have their opinion, language can be analyzed in such a way that ultimately everything just reduces to nothing when we really think about what we’re talking about by using language. But also the idea of an eternal relativity is supposedly identifying some true aspect of the universe which we can never identify. And so I don’t know what that is and I tend to call it either God, or I call it nothing.

        Anyways, the problem with introducing only two routes, it’s because typically our modern way of understanding is that there is this finger. The human being who thinks and uses language. That’s basically the whole argument of phenomenalism in a nutshell.

        OK well this this argument is getting a little long which is turning into a 20 page essay, and I’m trying to keep it really short into the point.

        It is a plain fact that people identify themselves as having an identity, or in a intersection Aliti of identities. It doesn’t matter what I think about it. The analysis which would reduce to say that there is no identities is really just saying that an identity equals having no identity. Because how would I even know what to address as an identity if there wasn’t already this thing that I know of as an identity to say that it doesn’t really exist or it’s some sort of abstraction

        My point is that I just start with what’s right in front of me and then I just start talking about it. I’m not trying to say that some thing is more true because of some sort of analytical reductive logic that I can apply to it. Instead I take what is there and then start to build upon, and, and, and, as opposed to reducing, which is to say, either it is this or it is that.

        Now, in the usual philosophical sense I would be making an argument in this way to say that what I am saying is more true than the thing I’m pointing out or critiquing. That is not what I’m saying. I’m saying that what I’m pointing out is both ways are equally true, and to reduce one to the other is a conventional, or reductive, manner of finding truths of situations. And that that this particular manner or method by which people typically think they are finding the truth of things, is but one route, is but one orientation upon what knowledge is.

        And so there are only two routes. Not a multiplicity of routes, because the multiplicity would automatically fall into the reductive category, that one route, that unitive route, that one thing from which the universe is understood, what I generalize to say is subjectivity or phenomenal .

        And then the other side of it is just the sheer plain fact that there are billions of people on the planet. And so for me to think that somehow IM coming upon and ingesting and digesting some higher knowledge of these billions of people, is really a kind of arrogance on my part. To say that it is some sort of Buddhist whatever we wanna say after that, or some sort of theological one God, or the other side of it philosophical language, is just me thinking that I am able to know more about someone else than they are able to know of them selves. Essentially it’s me saying that I have such a great communion with the universe that the universe is communicating through me what everyone else should know.

        But again, this is what it is. This is what phenomenalism subjectivity is. I’m not arguing against it I’m saying that is absolutely true. And then I’m also saying, and, that there is another way which is equally as true. And that to reduce one to the other to say that one is more true than the other is a non-Sequitur.

        So to summarize; it is obvious that people have identities. It’s just obvious people talk about them all the time there’s all sorts of intellectual discussions about identity whether they exist how they exist, what they do, etc. etc. there is nothing that I could say which would deny that fact, it is a fact of the universe that there is identities. But then I can start to use all sorts of philosophical methods to chip away at that idea. And so I say again, to think that this chipping away at this thing called identity It’s really getting to some thing that is more true, it’s just me denying the fact of this other situation.

        And this comes straight out of non-philosophy, Fancious Luerelle.

        That these two routes, one excludes, or reduces, and one includes. The one that includes accounts for the exclusive situation of reality while not negating it or denying it or arguing it away, nor to say that it is somehow false.

        Idk. Does that make any sense and was that way too long?

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      9. I walk my dogs and so I get bored and then I think of things to make another reply. Lol

        “It’s just a byproduct of perception and the human need to categorize and compartmentalize”

        I suppose before I even begin to respond to people, they need to understand what I mean by the two routes. Because if you don’t understand what I mean by the two routes then the argument, as Foucault as well as Laruelle Talk about, then the argument just goes in circles. And we don’t get anywhere. So maybe look at my previous reply before you get into this reply.

        The quoteof your reply right here caught my attention, because often when I get into a philosophical discussion with people they will bring up ideas such as “perception”.

        And before you start to think that I am saying that there is no such thing is perception, again, you should really understand what I’m saying or what I’m suggesting by the two routes first.

        So, The discussion going forward you must understand I am not arguing that there’s no such thing as perception. You got to get that firmly in your mind as you go forward and read the rest of it.

        My question to your comment or your statement about it has something to do with perception is: what is perception?

        Now, again, before you move to give me a definition of what perception is, you have to understand that I agree with you. Whatever your definition is of perception, get it for me lately in your mind once again, I agree with it. Before you even say anything about it.

        My approach is difficult for people because as soon as I go to start talking now, they will immediately forget that I’ve told them many times that I already agree with their definitions. Because usually what I have to say next seems from nearest point of view that I’m arguing against the definition that they put forth, and I’m not. I am telling you before we even start that I agree with your definition of perception, and this is key, because if we both didn’t already understand what perception was we would not even be able to talk about what it is.

        And so the giving of definitions about what perception is really never tells me anything about what perception actually is.

        And yet, we use the word all the time commonly and we all know what it means. We all know what we’re talking about when we say “perception”. Dictionary’s in the sense I really just kind of placeholders, they are really for people who are learning the language to give them some point of reference about words that they don’t understand.

        Ok. So. Now I’m going to sidestep a little bit.

        The whole idea of semiotics and language and discourse and definition, and then philosophy that works within an argumentative scheme where we need to define ourselves more clearly so we can argue against each other about what our definitions are really indicating— Really don’t tell us very much about what we are actually talking about. Because in that sort of philosophical paradigm of language and signs and interpretation and perception etc., we can never find what thing any term of language is referring to. Because in the philosophical discussion, theoretically and hypothetically, you and I could just go on and on asking each other what definition we are giving about any given term, And ultimately if I tell you there’s a rock there, you could go on and on about how there is never actually in a rock right in front of me, and yet there is this rock right there. So I have a little bit of difficulty with some philosophical approaches that seek to clarify on points of definition.

        So when I ask “what is perception“ I’m really asking about what it is that any definition might refer to. I’m not really asking what the definition is, as much as I’m asking whether or not it actually refers to anything at all, or is it just some phantasmic unknown us that we draw from the ether and say that human beings live in some sort of spiritual realm that is separate from the real world around us somehow.

        So when you say that identity is a byproduct of perception in the human need to categorize, to my mind, I immediately go to what do all those things really mean? What are they indicating? Or as I say, to what object are they referring? Is it an idea? Did actually something that exists or is it just some fantasy that we believe in? If we are only believing in it, what is that thing that is the object of our belief?

        And so if I proceed down that line of reasoning, on one hand, it will lead to nothingness. It will lead to a mind that just kind of exists nowhere and encounters nothing at all except some fantasies that we can’t describe why we are involved with them at all, basically that everything is a phenomenon and we don’t know why ignore what it is. So I’m not sure how that helps me any. Similarly to how you say that Jungian psychology isn’t very useful. But in a slightly different sense.

        But nevertheless, something is happening in that kind of philosophy that just kind of ignores that it’s questioning is coming from nowhere in leading nowhere. And so I say, OK. That’s a real thing. Philosophies that posit various things and they make certain amounts of sense and etc., I just say “yes, I agree”. Because they are actually factual situation that I have to contend with in my world. I don’t qualify them except under the conditions that they create internally. Because if I ask what they referred to, then usually the answers I will get contradict the definitions that they are positing, if that makes any sense.

        So I would indeed say that there is some thing in the universe that perception itself is referring to. That indeed perception is something that exists in the universe no less than an identity. Simply because we use those words referring to something that we all know. And we know it’s so intuitively and so automatically that our whole world functions upon those things naturally and of course.


      10. I see things in terms of what human beings are able to do. Such as: identity is political/social, it is seeing oneself in the context of such political world. Inner/outer of a person is in reference to identity.


    2. Moreover, in the realm of psychology and the subdomain of self-help, that there is no identity and yet people believe there is one if they could only find it—as is to search for one’s soul or to find one’s self—is a burgeoning cash cow industry.


  1. Oh, and I love Alan Watts. One of the things also about my philosophy and work is that I turn the usual organization of things that we assume on its head. For example, Alan Watts, the way he talks about things is to say that there is something real, something more real than this limited version that we have been coerced into believing, so to speak. Where is I turn those kinds of notions which supposed to find some underlying reality that is hidden from us, I turn those kinds of arguments and notions on their head and I just say, I just point out the overwhelming reality of the fact that what is in front of me is actually real. What Alan Watts and maybe Buddhists and many philosophers are involved with is the assumption that what is in front of me is somehow illusory or deceptive or not But it appears to be. And so they say or imply that “reality“ is something that we need to scrape away the debris and mixed messages to find this actual substantial reality of our existence underneath or hidden somehow.

    I’m not sure that I really agree with that.

    I would agree with it in the sense or as much as I might believe that words are indicating or pointing to various degrees of reality, as if our language and our thinking and the things that we put into terms are indicating various degrees of truth or various degrees of reality. Then we do find an either or universe. Within that kind of paradigm of knowing things we do find that there is this thing right here, and then there is this truth or underlying reality that we missed, and we really have to search really hard and scrape away all the static noise in order to find that essential gleaming truth underneath it all. And I say, yes it’s that way if I have faith in that particular way of coming upon the world. As if there is this world and then there’s this mysterious truth that we don’t see of it. And that way viewing the world we’re going to find all sorts of hidden dichotomy is that we never knew existed, organized in whatever sort of way.

    Ok. I agree.

    I would say that the static and the noise and the material distortions and all that stuff is real. They are actual substances that arise in the universe.

    And that in so much as I might have a critique on these things, that argumentative position that I take is distinctly not real, but indeed it is true.

    For me that allows me to fully take place in reality in wholeness. I’m there by not trying to escape anything. I’m not trying to deny anything. I’m not getting frustrated, or I have a less propensity to get frustrated, with things that contradict what I think is right and true . It’s easier for me to negotiate the world if I understand it as true and real. The underlying things that I find when I scrape off the scum and algae are no less real then the algae in the scum themselves. The object encrusted with all sorts of strange appearing distortions and delusions, is no less real than the illusions and the distortions, as well as that shiny thing that I find underneath. All of it is real. If I can include myself in that reality as a true condition of this thing that I am, then I become involved with the world and the real universe in a way that I am prevented from doing, I’m prevented from accomplishing and authentic relationship when the universe when I’m constantly seeing that there is some hidden agenda that I need to find a Discover underneath the various distortions that are “not really” or not true.

    And so I say what is The fact that I exist only in reality, and that everything that I encounter truly is real. Are you there by Harbor no out. I’m not waiting for anything to occur. I’m not trying to uncover the next mystery for the great grand truth of the universe that whereby I need to convince everyone around me of its truth. I’m fully engaged in the world in the only way that I am able to be engaged in the world, I am much more comfortable with myself. I am much less fearful of encountering things that do not concord with what I think might be the case. Because everything is truly real with no exception.

    But I think I am altering the definitions, lol,Or the use of the terms real and true, then the way that you’re using them.

    But I guess I just described what I mean by authentic, what I mean by Young’s use of the word individuation, what counseling theories call congruency. I see all of those terms as indicating the same condition. They are all just terms that float along the one object underneath it. Just as the “underneath-Ness” is it self an object in this real universe.

    Because I have to ask myself: “ what is underneath?” To what does the term “underneath“ refer? To me it must refer to something that exists in the real universe.


    1. Congruency feels suspiciously like Correspondence. Lol

      I do feel that for physical matters, it’s not statistically unsafe allow for this congruency. As Kant pointed out, this is phenomenal. He also allowed for noumenal, which is where this breaks down.

      This is where the abstract concepts hide, and there is little correspondence. As a psychologist, I mave have grounds to suggest that a person who believes his partner is a hat may have a correspondence issue.

      The same psychologist does not have the same footing with a person who believes in gods or angels, though to me, these are equivalent incongruencies.

      How do you justify this incongruency, or don’t you?


      1. We may have a lot to discuss then. If you’re a psychologist. Lol. What do you think of my post a few posts ago, where I said that psychology is about finding out what is wrong with you, and counseling is finding out what is right.?

        But as to your question, I’m not even sure there’s such a thing as an unconscious, So I’m not sure that these categories of abstract and non-abstract or whatever really have anything to do with authenticity, congruency etc.

        Before I go on I have to know at what level you are engaging here with psychology and or mental health etc. and philosophy etc.


      2. As I mentioned, I am not a psychologist. Academically, my background is Finance and Economics. I studied psych in school and I have read extensively… especially where it intersects with behavioural economics.

        I’ll have to read the earlier post you cite and think about it. My default position on psychology is Foucauldian, and I’ve got no default position on counselling, per se.

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      3. I was being a little silly in my post about how psychology is where you go when you want to know what’s wrong with you. Lol

        But Innoway it kind of a lines with Foucault.

        But my kind of default position is that there’s nothing wrong with anyone ever. And so this is very Foucaultoan In the sense that One of his lines of argument is that increasingly society medicine law start to define things instead of to their correlation with some justice or some health as an approaching humanity, more and more I start to find those terms in the sense of who is included in who is Excluded. Who is human who is not.

        I guess my extended analysis is that we are not really finding anything out about disease, it is more that we cannot but live within these conventions. Because again aligned with F. The self monitoring of the gays has become affective. And I see it in a sense if that’s just what’s happening. There’s nothing wrong with it inherently. The only thing that’s wrong with it is in the sense that we are subjects and we have to have something that’s wrong, and so we point to things that are the furthest extents of ourselves : Not just another nurse, but in other than us which is such alterity that it’s true, that such prohibitions act as an essential monitor about what it counts to be human, what counts as disease and what counts as solutions for disease.

        Sorry I just keep commenting and it just gets longer and longer and longer and our discussion gets more and more dispersed. 🤣


      4. I think you can tell that I don’t mind venturing into silly and Absurd every now and again. Sometimes you need to test those boundaries.

        My son loves to find glitches in video games that allow you to go out of bounds and see things meant to be hidden. In my case, I find that some barriers are just false walls that people accept as real, yet they are easily removed and can be shown to be superficial façades.

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      5. Sure. Yes, there are many false beliefs that inform people to their realities. Both psychologically and philosophically. That’s what phenomenology is. Mixed with psychology. But I might ask you in the same way as people might have their own realities, they could likewise have their own identities?

        And how would we know if someone’s reality was exactly concordant with “the reality”?

        Do we ever find “the reality”?

        And yet we use the word all the time to mean something that we all know all too well. What is the point of thinking that reality is just some colloquialism for some thing that we don’t know about. What exactly is this “not knowing“?


      6. This becomes an epistemological question: Can we ‘know’ anything, or do we simply ‘perceive’? If we can’t know, then not knowing is a rather pointless distinction.

        About ‘reality’, my perspective is that one cannot access it. We are mired by fallible sense organs (viz Descartes) further exacerbated by cognitive deficits and biases.

        So whilst I don’t disagree that there is something ‘out there’, I don’t believe we can access it directly or trust that we have even if we do because it can’t be differentiated from any other sense experience.

        This separates me from the solipsistic lot who claim that reality is generated by cognition (not the other way around)—and I’m not particularly convinced by the ‘matrix/holograph’ model theories.

        I think that apophenia and pareidolia explains why we conjure reality into something more than ‘just some colloquialism’. We tend to make a lot of signals from noise—whether gods and angels or conspiracy theories. I’m not sure what the evolutionary benefit of this is—misperceiving—, yet here we are.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I’d say that the human being is able to function with illusions and misperceptions. That these notions are one way through which human beings function in the universe to have a universe.

        And then also the complete opposite: people have complete access to reality at all times. Not merely ‘subjective’ reality, but true and total reality.

        Yet consciousness (not necessarily the brain, but defiantly not some ‘cosmic force’ either) functions to prevent the collapse of the real world. Consciousness functions to create sensible organizations of things which then allows for choice.

        And: there is no choice.

        It is not that it is either choice or no choice: it is both. Both are true at the same time. At all times. But consciousness functions to “make room” for decision.
        Yet. Usually people insist that it Hass to be either no choice or choice, or that you have a choice sometimes and then you don’t have a choice other times. But we are talking about routes upon things. Orientations upon things which arise as what we call “knowledge”. And as I say, there are only two routes. One which is some sort of infinite possibility the truth of which we can’t possibly know, and one which is the truth of things. These occur at the same time. Two ways of knowing that cannot be reduced to either one to say that the true way negates or argues that reality is not true. No. Or that the real way offers no way to truth. No on that also.

        Both occur at the same time. At all times. The problem then is what I call “orientation” upon objects.

        For sure there is a guitar right there in front of me. There’s no way that you could possibly ever convince me through any sort of argument whatsoever that there is not a guitar right there. It is true it is fact. It doesn’t matter what any argument you could make to me, it would never convince me effectively that there is not a guitar sitting right there 10 feet away from me

        .And then also for sure there is nothing that I can ever really know the truth of the guitar. For sure, we can make all sorts of arguments, all sort of metaphysical philosophical speculations, analyze its Adams down to nothingness, to show ourselves that our perceptions are incorrect and all that stuff . and that is true also. But it doesn’t negate that they are indeed is a guitar right there that I pick up and I play every now and then. Just as that guitar that I pick up and play every now and then does not negate the fact that there is incomplete perceptions and Adams that have an infinite amount of space in between you and them and that really there is no such thing as a guitar in knowledge.

        There is the actual truth of the guitar which is true it’s right there. And then there’s the reality of it which argues that the guitar never exists ever, That somehow our perception could never grasp what the truth of the guitar is.


      8. ….Anyways, we can stay on one topic if you want. What interests you the most out of these ever sporadic and spreading topics?


  2. Discipline and punish, I believe, is my favourite from Foucault.

    Although I appreciated his work on psych and agree with the central tenets, I didn’t feel it was a good read. Nor did I find his work on sexuality very interesting. To be honest, I don’t think I got much out of those.


  3. “For me, authenticity is aligned to Identity, which I say has the same issues as Truth. You are at once many identities (personae) and none except for the now, but who that is is too complex for you to identify in that moment, that split second. “

    I think we just use different terms for things.

    Identity I see as something specifically political. Whatever it is, it has to do with being Social and it’s implicit or explicit rules.
    Yet is go further: “inner” and “outer” are also both political, or as Kierkegaard might have said, ethical.

    So that route is real, but not true.

    What is true is that which accounts for what is reality, but itself is not real.

    Authenticity I see then as the process and purpose involved with what is political.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps a definition of identity would be helpful here, so we can be sure we are talking about the same thing—or perhaps triangulate toward a common understanding.

      At first, the dictionary definition is: ‘the fact of being who or what a person or thing is’, which feels hollow.

      Next, we might see that identity is who you are, the way you think about yourself, the way you are viewed by the world, and the characteristics that define you.

      So, my first question is: is there a presumption of some sort of permanence or duration that some characteristic must remain associated.

      As I said elsewhere in this thread (I think), I was a professional musician, so that was a part of my identity. I am no longer a professional musician. Am I a different person?

      What if I get into an incident and get irreversible amnesia. Others might see me as having the same identity. Myself, I would have retained none of my identity.

      This feels like a Sorites paradox: When does a heap become a hill? How much sand does it take to make a beach?

      Or the old Ship of Theseus problem. If I commence an oceanic journey on a ship and along which I swap out every board and fixture so that when the ship arrives to its destination, is it still the same ship? [The observers at the destination would be none the wiser, but the crew would be in the know.]

      So the question that always needs answering is where is the ‘there’ in identity? What makes an object the same object.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My definition of identity is that there is a word that I know of when I say identity. And that identifies something particular that we both know of. indeed you know what it means to and you know what it identifies or you wouldn’t even be using the word. And Or else we wouldn’t be talking about it. 🙂

        The simple fact that we can look it up in a dictionary proves that it exists. That’s the definition of it whatever definition we use that’s what identity is. It doesn’t matter what definition we use. Because it’s the definition of identity. Which exists. As something we both know of before we even begin to decide what the definition is. We already know it. . how could we even be talking about this thing called identity if we both didn’t know what it was?


      2. I agree that we can pull apart identity in the way you put forth.


        I am also saying that The definition of identity doesn’t matter because we already know what it is.

        In the same way is that guitar over there. We both know what it is. It’s a fact. The identity of that thing over there is a guitar.


      3. Let’s drill down on this.

        A person is more than a guitar (says common wisdom), so on balance a guitar is a guitar is a guitar, as a tree is a tree is a tree.

        And a person is a person…, but people perceive additional differences. It doesn’t help in our constructed world that you are a person because you’ve added layers, but consider a person who is removed from his workaday life and replaced into another.

        Perhaps, a notable and wealthy executive is stranded on a desert isle. Not much of this identity is important. Say, there are only indigenous people who do not share his or her language.

        What happens to this person’s identity? Even if s/he continues to view themself as an executive, what is the purpose? There are no executive on the island. The people don’t have a word or even a notion of executives, money, or much of how this person identified.

        I won’t argue that this person can’t build up a new identity for the local purpose.

        And what happens if this person is rescued and returned into the original life? What happens to his temporary identity.

        Just rambling, identity requires multiple actors and perspectives.


      4. Identity is social-political. That doesn’t mean people don’t have identities. Didn’t we just elect in the us a president?

        For sure people actually have identities. Because tomorrow they don’t have the same identity doesn’t make it less true. “Lance” Could be said to never identify the same person that is me, just buy the simple fact that I’m constantly shedding skin cells and my hair is falling out. I’m probably a different person and a different thing in the universal sense every moment of existence.

        And yet, there is me that is Lance. This human being that arrives in the world and does various things and says certain things. These things can be associated with an identity, whether that identity lasts 100 Zeppo-seconds, or 59 years.

        “Temporary”. Does “temporary” have an identity?

        And. I am not sure that humans are any different than a guitar in a universal sense, or an atom, or a tree.

        And, we are different.

        And. No.


      5. So, my first question is: is there a presumption of some sort of permanence or duration that some characteristic must remain associated?”

        Yes and no.

        Yes: then we can develop all sorts of ideas about how it may or may not be the case. As well as repercussions of each argumentative condition.

        No: there are no illusions or deceptions. Everything arises as a real thing in the universe. Identity is real Becuase we know what it means before we even start asking questions about what it is or means.

        Just like that guitar.

        It exists truely. The identity of that thing there is a guitar.

        But also. It is not. There is no arguement which can successfully convince or prove that the other is not true, but like wise, no argument which can prove either are true.

        That guitar there is also not a guitar; it is perceptions. Wood. Metal. Atoms. Etc.

        One is not more true than the other. They are both equally true always at the same time.

        Becuase they both are true situations or aspects of that thing there that we call a guitar.


  4. I finally had time to read and now respond to your identity response about two paths, albeit as queries.

    I don’t agree that a person ‘thinking’ s/he has an identity (or even most people) means much. People share many common misbeliefs. I could be splitting hairs, but are you saying the identity is shorthand for some constellation of attributes? How do personae and identities interplay?

    To me mum, I am her son. To my son, I am his father. These are identities, right? Now I am sounding Christian, that I can be both father and son. haha


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