On the point of communication, which interested all of us, I really think that confusion about the orders of monism, dualism, as well as kinds and genus is the one of the greatest cause for disrupted dialogue (the other is egoism, willfulness, or other such hubris--an ordering all the same).
Yes, confusion reigns but as noted earlier, most are not interested and so we must "count them out". To characterize this (and find an excuse for borrowing from one of my all-time favorite movies, Bull Durham), it's like a Martian talking to a Fungo.
Our discussion about passion was hurled onto the metaphors of nephesh and neshamah. Nephesh, according to A-G, is the thought-mechanism of the animal soul and the source for Marxist thought, and neshamah, the as the source from which conservatism derives power from Truth revealed to the spirit. The one source leads to relativity, the other submits to higher purposes and yielding moral absolutes.
This last metaphor, I suppose, could be in some way analogous to Scruton's tradition.
I cautioned against the usefulness of this ordering and I will tell you why. The placement of these two sources, in a sort of opposition between an "us" and "them", does not answer whether these two sources belong to the same orders, as if they belong to the same genus. Sure, they are here conveniently found together, even beginning with the letter n.
Here I would agree and disagree. I find the contrast useful and meaningful beyond the surface level in terms of its correspondence to reality because Man does have an animal, material aspect (which to me is not a negative, but more on this at some other time, perhaps) and a spiritual one (not obvious only because of pervasive popular cultural propaganda). My criticism would be that the characterization of Man cannot and should not be forced into such small and limited and thus inappropriate boxes. What we are is much more, qualitatively. The dichotomy is too pat and the words are woefully insufficient. But then, any either/or set of alternatives is too pat.
The metaphor of these two sources was furthermore complicated with the body soul dichotomy, the supremacy of common (or public) reason, as distinct from the private I presume. All of this then is found to come together in a master receptacle called the consciousness, some central nexus that lies passive to a monolithic and ubiquitous nature, or reality, which is something I don't believe.
I don't understand the underlined portion. What is it you don't believe? That consciousness is real? Or that it is central? Or what? And why?
I do believe right understanding here makes all the difference in our attempts to communicate. The unique understanding of Plato led him to record the Gorgias and suggest ways of realizing dialogue after failure. It provides a unique answer that has not yet been discussed.
I would like to hear it discussed. The implications of this statement, though (and I do not intend to put words in your mouth), seem to be that it is possible to communicate in all instances with all people and that perfect communication would lead to right action. I believe that both assumptions, if they are being made, are absolutely and demonstrably false.
Of course this is only FR, but I suspect all of you consider yourselves as a cadre of significant members, always devoted to aletheia with every sincere motive.
This raises my hackles. Should it? You are here, voluntarily, discoursing. And presumably learning. I sincerely doubt you will learn more or better in "the university". You find yourself here among some exceedingly sensitive, deep, accomplished and open-minded thinkers (betty boop comes readily to mind). In the university you will find the first 3 but not often the 4th, and that is a critical difference.
Through all this confusion, I exten[d] my mortal hope that the best and brightest could slug it out and leave "them" alone to their happily chosen perdition. : )
I suppose I would say that the brightest is not necessarily or always the best (by any stretch) and that I, for one, would not admit to much, if any, confusion.