Posted at 11.02.2018
"The [philosophical work] is entitled to explore what might be transformed in its thought through the practice of a knowledge that is international to it. " Michel Foucault
Through the portal into considering everything we are doing, provided by our very own tree-planting activity operations of the attention of the personal, suggest themselves that involve growing a knowledge and ethics of mastery within the home, that blossoms out in to the political agency in relation to which both Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt read the relationship to little by little and with increasing resoluteness, play out inside our lives those techniques and communities.
Philosophical thought starts with a rupture, a departure from one's safe place into the one that is foreign. It does not necessarily need to be a whole and total removal from one's everyday routine; rather, it merely needs to disrupt the daily routine that you have grown accustomed to. It has been noticed by philosophers, time and time again, that certain cannot gain a deeper understanding of life without first being segregated from the workaday regimens that dominate individual existence. Foucault himself suggests in The usage of Pleasure that philosophy requires the "practice of a knowledge that is international to it". Essentially, one cannot be content with only moving through the hours in an eternity without any intent of searching for anything beyond predetermined schedules and workaday regimens.
During the semester, we were instructed to perform an activity that was, arguably, unlike any assignment found in a academic framework. Our band of five was to plant two Norfolk seedlings on the specified weekend, armed only with a pickaxe and our bare, untrained hands. Unsurprisingly, the most immediate thought disregarded the duty as absurd. Some may have even considered it an imposition on a time allotted for relaxation, way more when the school was advised that planting unauthorized trees and shrubs was frowned upon. It was, however, only in retrospect that people students understood the profound purpose of this task, once regarded as a chore. It was, to put it simply, a rupture in the weekend regimen that most students had cultivated familiar with. Despite its ease, it was, much like Foucault suggested, an immersion in a practice that was overseas to the topic. Beyond the unquestionable simple fact that planting Norfolk seedlings benefits the environment, the task in itself benefited and is constantly on the benefit the ones that performed it.
Without a doubt, the students received the ability for quiet representation. Personally, breaking the bottom with the spike was astonishingly cathartic. Inside the immediate action of smashing the bottom and taking out the loosened ground, I found myself literally contemplating my entire life. It was as though the monotony of an repeated action cleared my head to think about the semester that has approved. Due to the rainy weather, I luckily did not have to individually water the seedlings. I really do, however, take time to walk the calm, serene journey behind Faura Hall as opposed to the conventional and noisy Red Brick Road between classes to be sure of the progress of the vegetation.
In retrospect, this exercise was much more than a deliberate catalyst for a rupture. It dished up as our very own personal "cultivation of the self, " as shown in Foucault's The Attention of the Self applied. Much like we take time to tend and watch over the expansion of the trees, so too must we devote some time out to look after our own personal expansion. Foucault cites Greek books that emphasize that the heart and soul, along with the body, must be cultivated into order to live happily. This practice is more than a necessity that benefits us currently: it is an obligation that we must fulfill to become free, such is the reason why Foucault conditions the care of the do it yourself a gift-obligation. Subsequently, this attention of the self applied is seen as a it requiring greatest attention that "implies a labor, " rather than simply a "general attitude" handling a "preoccupation. " Naturally, this technique is not instantaneous; it requires a long-term determination that looks into even the most mundane details of one's personal life. Thirdly, as may be expected, this exercise entails "medical thought and practice, " in that one must be constantly educated about the latest trends in the medical sciences. Fourthly, given the procedure of tending one's development is "simultaneously personal, " it necessitates self-knowledge, which corresponding to Foucault, must plainly "[occupy] a significant place. " Finally, working towards your final model, these practices are finally for the "conversion of the home" into one who has improved bodily, mentally, and spiritually.
It may be seen throughout these works of Foucault that the idea of self-improvement has constantly been present, even if they are not necessarily manifested similarly. It is a standard thread that works through the entirety The History of Sexuality. In 1984, prior to The Treatment of the Self, Foucault published the next installment entitled The usage of Pleasure. It really is interesting to notice that in the release, Foucault explicitly declares that his writings do neither dwell on the "history of sexual behaviors" nor an research of "the medical, religious, or philosophical ideas through which [erotic] actions are displayed"; the work of sexual intercourse was not to be the focus of the volume. In order to create a more sound research, Foucault regarded it essential to distance himself from the idea of "sexuality, " and view it not as a societal constant, but instead as a "historically singular experience. Quite simply, he cured sexuality as at the mercy of the dynamic progression of historical contexts. It had been through this that he driven that the word "sexuality" developed concurrently with the emergence and improvement of "diverse domains of knowledge" in the nineteenth hundred years. In understanding that sexuality itself is associated with "practices which have been of unquestionable importance in our societies, " the so called, "arts of existence" or "techniques of the home, " and uses "Greek and Greco-Roman culture" as a starting place of his problematization.
According to Foucault, although it can be argued that there are clear distinctions in their perceptions of human "sexuality, " the Religious view discovers its origins in pagan ideologies. He then reveals four parallels that provide as evidence of this connection. First of all, "you have the expression of fear" of the men who is actually spent from too much sex, so much so that he becomes "harmful to society, " because of the then perceived idea that "partnerless activity" resulted in "the steady exhaustion of the organism, the death of the individual, the destruction of his offspring, and lastly, harm to the whole human race. " Foucault records that this fear was "very early, " in that it preceded the belief of sexuality that old chapel teachings presented. Second of all, both early Christians and Greeks present "types of conduct" which deem certain behaviors as honorable. Foucault cites a fairly humorous written piece that praises elephantine practices of monogamy, sanitation, and discretion, which the author recommends that viewers emulate. This elephantine patterns necessarily means that of "marital conjugal fidelity, " an ideology that is clearly a key aspect of Christianity to the very day. Finally, you have the "image of a stigmatized frame of mind, " wherein homosexual relationships spotlight the frailty of the males in question. This is interesting, as the Greeks are known to have a culture that accepted homosexual activity within the norm. Foucault shows to readers that there still were threads of opposition that were woven in Greek society, particularly in books. Lastly, he recognizes "types of abstention, " wherein men, being men, should have the capacity to carefully turn from the temptations of pleasure. Apparently, for the early civilizations, "abstention was connected directly to a kind of wisdom that helped bring them for some superior factor in human aspect and gave them usage of the very substance of fact. "
The reason for the writings, according to Foucault himself, is to "suggest rules of carry out" that are rooted in the discoveries he makes in the annals of background, and the next analyses he develops from them. The rest of the volume deals closely with human being sexuality as recalled in Greek and Greco-Roman "codes, traditions, and religious prescriptions. "
In the section on Dietetics concerned with your body, Foucault identifies that the "moral reflection of the Greeks on sexual behavior [wanted to] stylize a independence - that liberty which the 'free' man exercised his activity. " As of this period with time, the interpersonal sciences got yet to emerge, and therefore, "their reflection was not concerned with examining the different pathological effects of sexual activity. " Instead of "therapeutic, " "the preoccupation was much more 'dietetic, " for the reason that a great deal of focus was positioned on the "management of health insurance and the life of the body, " rather than eliminating pathological forms. "
As can be easily discerned from the name, this section deals with the "diet" that humans had adopted in the beginning of old civilization to be able "to raised [suit] 'to their character, '" thereby setting up themselves apart from animals. Out of this, humanity developed the idea that health was straight related to the food one used, and "medicine thus happened as an appropriate 'diet' for the sick. " The 'routine' that was proposed, became, in essence, a "whole artwork of being. " This "art of living" possessed four characteristics.
Firstly, the recommendations for a proper regimen were conventionalized into a list for different facets of human life, including, but not limited by "exercises [ponoi], foods [sitia], refreshments [pota], sleep [hypnoi], and erotic relations [aphrodisia]. " These propositions even proceeded to go so far as to determine the blend of bath temp with exercise, as dependant on the season, or the processes by which one can purge the body of impurities. Second, these lists included specific measurements for different areas that required it, to be able to establish a kind of limitation, in a way that "a good pig would know. " The interesting facet of this characteristic is usually that the measurements known both to the corporeal and moral realms, "[emphasizing] the correlation between the health care given the body and the concern for conserving the purity and tranquility of the soul. " These moral implications were essentially designed to regulate the vices and "abuse connected with eating, drinking exercises and sexual activities. " Thirdly, the regimens were planned not for the unlimited expansion of life; rather they did the trick within the restrictions of mortality, and looked for to make life useful and joyful within the confines of human being mortality. Lastly, the individual that received the dietetic recommendations needed to perform the procedures deliberately. Quite simply, the patient cannot simply submit to the consequences of the "diet. "
Foucault delved deeper into human being sexuality, and analyzed the dietetics of aphrodesia as well. He creates that regardless of the existence of these regimens that "moderated their practice, [the Greeks] did not are powered by the assumption that erotic works in themselves and by nature were bad. " They were merely concerned with the negative effects of undertaking the sexual act - it experienced the tendency to make you weaker. In fact, they presumed, at least perhaps continue to be suspicious, that regular sexual activity resulted in the maltreatment and deterioration of vital organs, such as the brain, spinal-cord, or even kidneys. In relation to sexual activity, these were also concerned with the effects of excesses on the kids that were born. To place it in Foucauldian conditions, this "concern about progeny also determined the vigilance that certain needed to screen in the use of pleasures. " The Greeks needed great attention of their hereditary lineage, for they looked at it as "fragile, at least in conditions of its quality and worthwhile, " specifically because they firmly assumed in conceptual interventions by their pagan gods. One of the most striking examination Foucault sets forth in this section is the fact that for the Greeks, the concept of sexual activity was not at all evil; what they feared was the misuse that your body suffered due to the excessive use of the pleasure.
In the section Economics concerned with matrimony, Foucault problematizes the sexual relations within the framework of matrimony, between couple. His first example is of Chinese polygamous relationships, that happen to be defined essentially by gatherings' socioeconomic statuses, and the "correct erotic action" that necessarily arises from them. Much like the Greeks, the Chinese also valued the grade of their progeny, or even more aptly, the heirs with their wealth, and therefore acted accordingly. Foucault, in this chapter, goes on to neutrally examine the asymmetry in societal requirements of fidelity. In Greek modern culture, for example, while wives must be faithful to one man, "the spouse was bound by a certain range of commitments to his wife, [. . . ] but having erotic relations only with his lawful wife did not by any means form part of his obligations. " Additionally, the moral obligation of respecting the virtue of partner of another was aimed into the honor of the partner to whom she is married, alternatively to her own private dignity. Ultimately, "it was insofar as he was hitched a man had a need to limit his pleasures [and] being hitched in cases like this meant, above all, being the head of the family. " The actions and patterns of men directly portrayed the grade of the household that they ran, and was, in essence, a portrayal of the man's "economic" control within the household, and in the end, his socioeconomic position. Based on Foucault's research, the theme of intimate moderation within the framework of marriage had not been commonplace, but several texts sprung forth that proposed reciprocal conjugal fidelity, under which the notion of sexual moderation falls. The usage of pleasure in the "economics" of marital connections dealt always with the grade of the household, the frailty of the hereditary lines, and the progenies that could eventually inherit the wealth of the clan.
In the section Erotics concerned with the main topic of boys, Foucault expresses that the word, "homosexuality" does not properly, or even rather, describe a cultural occurrence that was so greatly accepted in Greek modern culture. Seemingly, in Greek thought, the intimate act with either gender had not been necessarily recognized as it is in modern times - either heterosexual or homosexual. There do exist a differentiation, and Foucault reveals his research of the lifetime of two intended theories on Grecian "love. " The gender of the individual that the intimate act is performed with was not dependant on any tendency or inclination of the average person in question. Foucault presents the difference of "Urania, " or "heavenly love, " that is "directed specifically to boys, " for it is a "more sensible love that is attracted to what gets the most vigor and intellect. "
It is important to note here that Foucault constantly reminds visitors to be wary of the words used to describe Grecian approaches to "sexuality. " On this section, for example, he implies that it would not be appropriate to describe their world as "tolerant" of "homosexual" habit because the idea of homosexuality had not been, at all, similar to that which is present in society. As he presented in the introductory volume level, the cultural sciences were a recently available development, and it was only with the arrival of the "sciences" that the idea of specifying inclinations became a required topic. The concept of eros is nicely tangled up in the fifth theme that Plato reveals with regards to Urania. Matching to Foucault, "Eros could unite humans whatever their sex happened to be. "
Hence, it could be obviously seen how Foucault's historical evaluation of the solutions of the self applied and the uses of pleasure enable you to assist in the constant care and attention and cultivation of the self applied, thus providing a better contribution to world. It could thus be interesting to take on the point of view of another writer in relation to methods to address self-improvement for the betterment of world.
Much like Foucault, Hannah Arendt looks for to offer an analysis of the facets of life, rather construct abstractions and ideas that claim to have a design under which scenarios can fit. Moreover, it is interesting to note that despite the fact that she and Foucault have never collaborated, there appears to be a convergence of ideologies - the words written by these two great thinkers, although different in words and terminology, follow a similar train of thought. Her renowned work, The Human Condition, written in 1958, as mentioned previously, is carefully analytical of the progression of humans and the introduction of our lifetime throughout the span of history. As there are many ways of doing so, she focuses on what she terms the vita activa, the effective life, or somewhat the human world which includes developed through individuals activity.
In the Prologue, Arendt creates of a meeting that would have been, for enough time that this booklet was published, a recently available occurrence. The launch of "a man-made dish" in 1957 appeared, for Arendt, a catalyst for thought on the development and development of mankind itself. She talks of the unparalleled joy that our race will need to have felt at that very point in time. For the reason that instant, there is proof that human beings had the capability to dominate not only the world that we inhabit, but potentially the entire world. Truly, that momentous triumph of technology in the natural world, for Arendt, seemed to have empowered man. This domination sought to unbind mankind from the shackles and limitations of living on the planet earth, a dangerous notion, since she herself claims that "the planet earth is the very quintessence of the real human condition. " Being bound on Earth meant that people keep our very mankind. As soon as that the first satellite tv premiered was, for her, the realization of what acquired only been dreamed before - a translation from technology fiction into research fact.
Given that this e book was written in the fifties, the 10 years directly succeeding the next World Conflict, it is of no real surprise that it triggered Arendt some alarm. Indeed, the previous time the clinical world made a great finding, a great catastrophe occurred. In the same half-century, Albert Einstein possessed proposed the idea of relativity, his famous formula, E=mc2, that managed to get conceivable to understand matter as real energy. What followed was something that he himself, despite his intellect, could not fathom - the fact that his finding had resulted in the atom bomb. Arendt articulates her get worried by stating, "the actual fact that the 'truths' of modern clinical world view, though they can be demonstrated in numerical formulas and demonstrated technologically, will no longer lend themselves to normal expression in speech and thought. "
In other words, the writer wants the visitors to realize that these scientists have "been pressured to look at a 'terminology' of mathematical icons which, though it was originally supposed only as an abbreviation for spoken claims, now contains statements that in no way can be translated back into speech. " They have grown to be so engrossed in the numerical models that so elegantly clarify the natural world, that they inevitably lose the aspect of themselves that makes them human being - talk and thought. Simply put, these scientists like to view the globe as volumes, and the increased loss of normal talk and thought, as implied by Arendt, dehumanizes them. This evaluation proposes a fascinating thought. From your author's perspective, you have the potential that knowledge and thought as we realize it will cease to exist. Instead of thoughts being distilled from untamed, unfiltered creativity, humans will count on "artificial machines to do our thinking and speaking. "
From the anecdotes written in the Prologue, it may be argued that it's for these realizations that Arendt composed this masterpiece of a volume. Releasing mankind from the shackles that tether us to the planet earth may not automatically benefit humanity, much like other developments in technology have. Out of this, she reveals three forms of human being activity, each one a higher rung on the ladder of the vita activa.
Firstly, labor is a human being activity that "corresponds to the biological processes of our body, " which involves and includes, somewhat than breaks, the natural cycles of life. Labor is monotonous and recurring, and relates to the natural aspect of the humans that perform this activity. It looks for to live through the move and ebb of the routine of life, and just functions within the dictates of its temporality. An example of labor is the mundane attainment of food. Being a requisite for human existence, the easy acquirement of nourishment is categorized as labor, for it does not necessitate the participation of a everlasting disruption of the order of any natural cycle. Indeed, despite attempts to seize the reigns from nature, the acquisition of food is still heavily dictated by seasonal cycles and natural occurrences. Even the creation of shelter in the standard sense is categorized under this form of real human activity. This, of course, will not pertain to the mass rampaging of the landscape to build an idyllic suburban community. Rather, it identifies the seek out basic shelter that delivers protection from the natural elements, like a cave or a thick canopy of leaves in the rainforest. Essentially, this form of human being activity is not significant taken off those performed by pets or animals, for they comply with the natural cycle of life, the defining temporariness of living upon this earth.
Where labor seeks to coexist under the confines of the temporary, work strives to achieve permanence. It may be grasped as the "unnatural, " "artificial" aspect of our lifestyle. This form of activity will involve the breaking of the natural order of things, as the things fabricated through human being work, are designed to outlast the lifespan of the human being. Unlike that items created by real human labor, those produced here are intentional deviations from character. Unlike objects created with labor, the consumption of objects made up of work does not deplete them - as Arendt explains it, only their strength is "exhausted. " Take, for example, the simple hammer. Before taking into consideration the inescapable fact that the hammer is intended to be utilized with nails, we must appreciate that object has the capacity to outlive its manufacturer by years. The usage of these goods does not "reduce" it rather, and therefore, it is this "durability which gives the things of the world their comparative independence from men who produced and use them. " The implications of the phenomenon are truly remarkable. Paleontologists and archeologists have, for over a hundred years, dug up tools that contain outlived their original users by hundreds, some even an incredible number of years. More than simple durability, Arendt recognizes that "the actual work of fabrication is performed under the guidance of an model in accordance with which the thing is produced. Shoes, for example, have existed in civilization for several millennia. Despite variants in its structure, composition, design, and features, it still aims to protect and reduce the wearer's toes from discomfort triggered by natural ground.
The aspect of work that means it is so interesting is the fact that although it seeks to break from the seasonal pattern and temporality imposed by nature, real human work appears to have developed its rhythm and cycle, arguably at least going back two hundreds of years. However Arendt answers this by proclaiming simply that "the impulse toward repetition originates from the craftsman's need to earn his means of subsistence, in which case his working coincides with his laboring; or it comes from a demand for multiplication in the market. " The repetition itself is not rooted in and will not follow the seasonal cycles found in nature. In fact, it might be argued that repetitive fabrication, or making, has historically created its own cycles.
In essence, work is the experience that distinguishes humans from pets. It looks, at least according to Arendt's unique variation, an increased form of activity, presuming of course that we establish ourselves above pets. The individual activity that is even higher is still action, which Arendt defines as "the one activity that goes on straight between men minus the intermediary of things or subject. " This, as the author defines it, is the condition that handles the realm of politics. Matching to her research, Romans synonymously used the verbs "to live a life, " and "to be amongst men, " and Arendt even will go as far as to recognize action in the Genesis - the Lord mentioned that it was "bad for man to be only. " 69
She sets forth that "human plurality [is] the essential condition of both action and conversation, " and is also seen as a both equality and distinction. Equality is a necessary feature for understanding, grounded on the debate that without it, there would be no regard for other human beings, both in the present and the future. Distinction is moreover essential, because if most of humankind were the same, they might need neither speech nor action to coexist in shared comprehension. This plurality is grounded on the concept of the otherness, though the capacity of humans to connect their variances, among a lot of things, elevates this concept compared to that of variation.
The interpretation of act, relating to Arendt, is "to take initiative, " much like the Greek verb archein that eventually had become used in the same framework as the verb, "to rule. " From this, readers can easily see how action, hand-in-hand with talk is applied in the politics sphere. Politics developed from what was apparently the Grecian response to individual frailty. This response, the polis, was the avenue for "sharing of words and deeds, " which is conceptually just like modern politics. It was influenced greatly by propositions of Plato and Aristotle, who in the beginning set the concept in the surroundings of family members. Arendt then recognizes that "the concept of rule, thought while it began with family members and family world [. . . ] is for us invariable linked with politics. Indeed in the modern form of politics, there is a ruler, or several rulers who must, in the Grecian sense of the word, "act" for the betterment of the culture they govern. Contextualizing this concept in current Philippine politics, it appears ironic that even though the term action relates to effort, so many politicians stay inactive once they possess the couch of electric power. Their subsequent activities are for the retention of ability, alternatively than for the betterment of the individuals who they govern.
The historical analyses by these two writers, along with the unorthodox activity of planting trees and shrubs, encourage me to contemplate techniques on how to raised world through self-improvement. In all honesty, after having been through my experience this semester, I can think of nothing more honest than a dynamic and continuous visit a more personal and close romance with God, in addition to keeping actually and mentally productive through exercise and participating in intellectually challenging efforts. This visit a romance with the divine is, for me, a faithful integration of the Foucauldian ideas shown in the section entitled "Cultivation of the Personal, " the Arendtian love of the world, particularly through the human being activity of action, and the Johanine spirituality tackled in Theology 151. First of all, it this practice clearly cultivates the spirit. Much like the allegory of the vine, aiming for a common indwelling with god, the father undoubtedly enriches one's spirit, which is in this marriage that I can seek authentic freedom. Second, it is a process that requires continuous attention, as well as a long-term commitment. Being truly a flawed man, there will constantly be battles and problems that will impede the relationship's actualization. Finally, there will always be a frequent education of the home, whether it be with the latest advancements in sport science, or in the discourse of the Reproductive Health Expenses, the third principle is well translated in this practice that I propose. Fourthly, this may take place in multiple areas, be they religious, among peers, or even both. Fifthly, the lively and continuous visit a marriage with God, as well as constant intellectual and physical enrichment is definitely geared towards a complete conversion of the self applied. Finally, it is quite visible that the practice is faithful to the Arendtian love of the world, in that it constantly entails all kinds of human activity, specifically by means of action.