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3 - Actual, ethical subjectivity; the subjective thinker

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2010

Edited and translated by
Alastair Hannay
Affiliation:
Universitetet i Oslo
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Summary

Existing; actuality

The difficulty with existence and one who exists never really emerges in the language of abstract thought, much less receives an explanation. Just because abstract thinking is sub specie aeterni, it disregards the concrete, the temporal, the becoming of existence, the predicament of the existing individual due to his being a composite of the temporal and the eternal situated in existence.a If, of course, you are willing to assume that abstract thinking is supreme, it follows that science and the thinkers are proud to abandon existence, leaving the rest of us to face the worst. Yes, something also follows for the abstract thinker himself, that he, also being one who exists, must in one way or another be distrait.

To ask abstractly about actuality (supposing it is correct to ask about it abstractly, since the particular, the accidental, is a property of the actual and directly opposed to abstraction) and to answer abstractly is not nearly so hard as it is to raise and answer the question of what it means that this definite something is an actuality. This definite something is just what abstraction disregards, but the difficulty lies in bringing this definite something and the ideality of thought together through wanting to think it. Abstract thought cannot even so much as concern itself with such a contradiction, since the abstraction itself prevents it from arising.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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