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Is it not the fundamental point of existentialism that existence is prior to essence? And is that not what you, Carrol, have been describing?
Nancy

>>> Carrol Cox 02/26/13 5:52 PM >>> 
When my eyesight collapsed I was about 100 pages into Being & Nothingness. I 
had also just purchased his work on dialectics. But ... 

Carrol 

> -----Original Message----- 
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On 
> Behalf Of Peter Dillane 
> Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:48 PM 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Subject: Re: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less be 
> more? 
> 
> Hi Carrol, 
> 
> I'm just idly wondering about personal agency in this as in Sartre's 
waiter 
> who is diminished by defining himself by his waiterliness. Or in more 
> grandiose fashion some professions who state they are a > here> eg musician or thespian or pilot ie that have some particular cache 
> for them. Not that I am suggesting personal fiat will extract one from 
> historical realities. 
> 
> Cheers Pete 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On 
> Behalf 
> Of Carrol Cox 
> Sent: Wednesday, 27 February 2013 7:23 AM 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Subject: Re: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less be 
> more? 
> 
> Eliot's use of "abstract" (and it is one standard sense of the word) is 
not 
> quite the same as in the term , "abstract individual." In (say) 1300 
France, 
> a peasant was born a peasant; he was _concretely_, a peasant. But an RN 
> today is not concretely an RN: she is, abstractly, a female homo sapiens 
who 
> (provisionally, for she may change her mind or get fired tomorrow)is a 
> nurse. 
> 
> Carrol 
> 
> > -----Original Message----- 
> > From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On 
> > Behalf Of Ken Armstrong 
> > Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 6:59 PM 
> > To: [log in to unmask] 
> > Subject: Re: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less 
be 
> > more? 
> > 
> > On 2/25/2013 4:30 PM, Peter Dillane wrote: 
> > 
> > 
> > Thanks Carrol will have a proper look later. In Paediatrics it is 
> often 
> > said 
> > "there is no such thing as a baby" which suggests at least one 
> > industry 
> > recognises this. 
> > 
> > 
> > Pete, 
> > 
> > I'm not entirely unsure what "this" refers to (I'm tempted to say 
I'd 
> be 
> > more impressed if pediatrics said there was no such thing as a foetus), 
> but 
> > the exchange put me in mind of Eliot's intro to Nightwood. He says of 
> Puritan 
> > society past that, "Failure was due to some weakness or perversity 
> peculiar 
> > to the individual; but the decent man need have no nightmares. It is now 
> > rather more common to assume that all individual misery is the fault of 
> > 'society,' and is remediable by alterations from without. Fundamentally 
> the 
> > two philosophies, however different they may appear in operation, are 
the 
> > same." I can't help wondering if in trying to sniff out what is abstract 
> and 
> > what is more real in terms of individuals and society, this isn't the 
> principle at 
> > work. For Eliot, at any rate, the proper tension between real and 
abstract 
> is 
> > indicated in the observation that "so far as we attach ourselves to 
> created 
> > objects and surrender our wills to temporal ends, [we] are eaten by the 
> same 
> > worm." 
> > 
> > Ken A 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Pete 
> > 
> > -----Original Message----- 
> > From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
> > On Behalf 
> > Of Carrol Cox 
> > Sent: Tuesday, 26 February 2013 7:45 AM 
> > To: [log in to unmask] 
> > Subject: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less 
> be 
> > more? 
> > 
> > (Comment at end) 
> > 
> > Peter Dillane wrote: in the Milton essay you say: 
> > 
> > 'As Arthos notes Adam and Eve are separated from any historical 
> > context, any 
> > web of social relations, [ he] presumably sees this as reflecting a 
> > basic 
> > reality, corresponding to the human condition or the permanent 
> > (ahistorical) 
> > nature of man, rather than a powerful and necessary illusion 
> > grounded in 
> > historically determinate social relations. This latter assumption, 
> > however, 
> > would have the advantage of freeing the critic from either engaging 
> > in 
> > ideological quarrels with Milton or from attempting to defend Milton 
> > or any 
> > other poet for his moral or political profundity,' 
> >