Re: [OPE] Spirit and self

From: Paula <>
Date: Mon Mar 30 2009 - 19:21:02 EDT

Paul C, you now appear to say that not only 'spirit' but also 'self' is an
illusion. Yes, many if not most philosophers would agree with that. No doubt
they also think 'value' is an illusion. But this is mechanical materialism,
and should be rejected.

Pashukanis did not believe the subject an illusion; in your and your
co-authors' words, for him the subject 'as currently understood was an
effect of commodity producing society rather than something fundamental to
humanity'. Note here that this is the bourgeois subject; and, further, that
even this bourgeois subject is not an illusion but an effect. Real things
have real effects - isn't that what materialists should argue?

A compromise wording I like is that spirit, self, subject, consciousness,
value, ideology, etc, are 'real illusions'.

In response to your earlier question (regarding courtly love) - "Was that an
emotion or was it an ideological interpretation of emotions?" If emotions
are historical, as I argue, then they can't be neatly separated from

You said: "Emotions are certainly induced in part by our interactions with
world, but they have an internal physical basis which, on current
understanding, is partly neurological and partly hormonal." Fine, but we
have to stress the first part if we are to understand the concrete
historical changes in human emotions (or spirit, or ideology); whereas many
current approaches single out the second part and forget the first one


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Received on Mon Mar 30 19:23:10 2009

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