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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 <[log in to unmask]> 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 <enter your choice
> 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,'
> >