welcome to the site! Read the description to the left for details regarding the theory behind this site. Some may know this section as an "Abstract"
The History of Energy
the beginning is the end
Under this section is a paper written for an Honours Psychology course, the History of Psychology. The task was to trace a topic from contemperary Psychology back through various historical stages to see how that topic has grown over the course of time. The topic I chose was energy, or Energy Psychology. Enjoy research from Feinstein (most recent) all the way back to Pythagoras.
The Future of Energy
the end is the beginning. This section includes all the previous homepage fails ;) enjoy!
This is the major veiwpoint taken on this site in regard to these topics, but since the completion of my Masters degree in Gender Studies, I've been trying to go back and make it more inclusive. This link includes a proposed field theory for Psychology because the two major branches of Psychology (quantitative and qualitative) find it hard to see eye to eye. This (and the next) section is for members only.
This section proposes a Grand Unified Field theory or "theory of everything" for Physics, backed up by a mathematical equation.
This section unites all sections together to unite the branches of Science and Religion. Many different perspectives are taken and these two seemingly opposing forces are united through many different angles.
This section looks at the conflicts or cycles between New Age free thought and Orthodox dogmaticism. The feud between these two opposing forces revealed the truth regarding the story of Jesus, what he really taught and to whom he truly gave the rites to teach his faith. This section explores why the movie The Last Temptation of Christ was banned in other countries, looks at the Da Vinci Code and presents a controversial paper/theory showing the hidden meaning of world religious symbols.
This section begins with a confusing paper about taking back the spirit. If the point can be penetrated, it tells an interesting story about Modernity and the Age of Reason, with a twist by providing evidence that emotion could be considered superior to reason. It also complicates Carteasian mind/body distinctions by adding spirit back into the equation. Have fun following that one lol. I can't even follow it ;) There are other papers about explaining Mystical experiences and others comparing Western and Eastern styles of consciousness. My favourite is the book review of Kabbalah. I like how this site allows me to go back and fix/reword old papers/ideas. This section really details what it is like to have a theory in the making and shows how ideas develop over time. One day my ideas/theory will be comprehensive to others outside my wacky brain :)
This section includes research done on the importance of emotional charge on ESP communication. It proposes that it is emotion communication that makes telepathy successful. The second paper in this section addresses dreams and dream interpretation. Two Dream interpretation methods (Freud's and Jung's) were analyzed to determine which method produced the most accurate results. The third paper presents research on Understanding Altered States of Conciousness and the last paper in this section is about Western Consciousness and how we are very individualized and perhaps out of balance due to us being lost in the Grand Illusion (Maya). The next paper looks at The Implication of Eastern Concepts on Western Ideals, to propose a potential balance between the two world views.
This section includes a paper about the subject-object dichotomy in Philosophy
This section begins with a work that is a detailed analysis of the screenplay/poem found in the Art section of this site. This paper looks at the research behind the play that inspired its manifestation (or why I wrote the play). It is hard to avoid the Book of Revelations when the topic of the Apocalypse comes up, so the next paper in this section is a comparison of the similarities and differences of the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelations. Many similarities were found and the research leads one to beleive that we are in the dawning of the Age when we will see great changes in the world as we know it today.
This section includes papers on 3 pathways to happiness (physical, mental, emotional), followed by a paper on how to end prejudice, a paper on the polarization of the sexes is next (as it is hypothesized by this site that the true or pure unification of All That is in the Universe is solved by the reunification of the energy of the sexes ;). Finally, this section ends with an empirical thesis exploring the equal validation or rational and emotional styles.
This section contains a play or screenplay called the Grand Drama that is written entirely out of prose (the owner and creator of this website has personally written everything that appears on it). This work of art reveals a hidden message, one that may unlock the key to the mysteries of the universe! This page also includes a shortened poem of the Grand Drama and provides a link to a song that is about Plato's Analogy of the Cave (members only).
this is a collection of my poetry - enjoy!
This is a collection of my songs - enjoy! =)
This is my photo collection
Key to the Legend
Red = Philosophy
Blue = Physics
Yellow = mathematics
green = hard sciences
grey = psychology
the parts under construction are labeled as such or blanketed by <<< ____ >>> indicating personal notes to self to improve the site, or the layout of the information presented.
The Subject-Object Dichotomy in Philosophy
April 10, 2009
Using metaphysics and ontology, many philosophers use dichotomies to discuss the mind and its relation to the world or the body. They also postulate which is more real or has primacy. Metaphysics focuses on the “fundamental nature of being and the world” (Gage, 2000) and ontology deals with what is real or what is more real (Gage, 2000). The nature of how being interacts with the world and what elements have primacy is a common thread throughout the works of Sartre, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. This paper will compare these three philosopher’s ontology and then analyze the subject-object dichotomies of Sartre and Heidegger.
As far as ontology goes, Sartre believes that existence precedes essence (Solomon, 1974; Kaufman, 1975), giving primacy to existence and thus the body or the material world. Heidegger believes that essence precedes existence, giving primacy to essence and thus the mind (Kaufman, 1975). Merleau-Ponty (Solomon, 1974) states that the mind is in the body as the body is in the mind, and unites these in regard to the situation at hand. Merleau-Ponty may thus give primacy to the situation rather than the body or the mind.
These philosophers seem to take all sides of what is called the mind-body problem in psychology. The question that permeates the contemporary mind-body problem is which is more real, the mind or the body (Farthing, 1992). Therefore the mind-body problem is similar to the issues raised by Sartre, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty in their theories. In psychology, if the body is more real, then all behaviour and mental activity is said to be described using neurological explanations. Philosophers that would agree with this stance would be Husserl, Locke, Democritus, Kant and perhaps Sartre. These philosophers would believe in materialism and give primacy to the body or the world. If the mind is more real, then the sum of the parts does not equal the whole and thus would take a more Gestalt perspective. Philosophers that would take this position, such as Descartes, Hume, Brentano, Berkley and perhaps Heidegger would see the mind as governing the body and not necessarily the other way around (Benjafield, 2005). These philosophers would thus believe in idealism and thus give primacy to the mind. Other Philosophers like Merleau-Ponty, Spinoza and Leibniz would say that the mind and body interact equally, that both the mind and the body influence one another in a comparable fashion (Benjafield, 2005). These philosophers would thus believe in interactionism or parallelist dualism (Farthing, 1992) and may not give primacy to the body or the mind.
In regard to the ontological mind-body problem, Dualism, or idealism was accused of not being parsimonious enough, but if we were to open up the brain, there would not be seen anything that resembles the mind. Evidence however, seems to support the materialist viewpoint because damage to the brain can cause damage to the thinking mind. There is also evidence for the interactionist perspective because it is recognized in both psychology and the health industry that the body affects the mind and the mind affects the body equally in regard to healing. This is called the Biopsychosocial model of health (Santrock & Mitterer, 2004). Bringing the argument back to philosophy, it could be said that Sartre and Heidegger take opposing viewpoints and Merleau-Ponty resides in the middle.
This has interesting parallels to Taoism because their major teaching is that of the way. The way teaches one how to live in the now, uniting the dichotomies of past and future. The symbol for Taoism is the yin yang. The yin represents the passive element and the yang is the active element. The yin yang can be used to show how opposites or dichotomies can work together in a balance. If these three philosophers were to be placed in the yin yang, Sartre would be the active element, Heidegger would be the passive element and Merleau-Ponty would be the dots residing in each side, attempting a balance between the two (see Figure 1). This diagram nicely sums up these philosopher’s ontological positions. Since Merleau-Ponty has been able to reconcile these opposites and has recognized that the mind-body dichotomy and the world are situation dependent, this paper will focus on the debate between Sartre and Heidegger in regard to their struggle to resolve the subjective-objective dichotomy (thus, their metaphysics).
The Subject-Object Dichotomy
Sartre. Sartre believed in freedom. According to Sartre freedom is our right, so much so that we are essentially “condemned to be free” (Solomon, 1974; Kauffman, 1975). In any given moment, the person is free to make a choice. Even getting up in the morning and deciding not to commit suicide is considered the choice to live (Solomon, 1974). This is why, according to Sartre, a person is summed up by their actions. This is consistent with his idea that existence precedes essence. A person has not reached his or her essence until they are dead and their actions can be aggregated (lecture). This is what makes Sartre subjective, because he believes in the primacy of the richness of the individual through their ability to choose freely.
The emphasis on the richness of the individual is important to Sartre’s latest work regarding Experientialism and Marxism. In this work he attempts to introduce Existentialism into Marxism (Solomon, 1974) because Marxism focuses too much on the collective or objective side of the dichotomy. Existentialism studies the conditions of human existence (Gage, 2000) and Sartre would say that freedom is the major condition under which human beings live. This may have made him curious of Marxism and communist countries. The idea of introducing Existentialism into Marxism sounds great in theory because balance should be brought into all dichotomies, but how this could be actually applied remains a mystery (lecture). If one were to introduce Existentialism into Marxism the end result would create a hybrid, destroying the pure forms of both ways of living. If this application were to be successful, there would no longer be a pure Existentialism or a pure Marxism. Uniting these two concepts is unfathomable because they are on extreme ends of the subject-object dichotomy.
Upon further consideration of this matter, it became clear that if Existentialism were to be introduced into Marxism, one would still have to dominate the other and true equality of these two opposites would never be reached. But, to live at only one extreme does not work either. For example Mao’s China collapsed (lecture) because he imposed too much collective mentality and suppressed individuality to such a point that life was not worth living anymore. The question of how to introduce Existentialism into Marxism persisted until it was realized that there may be an answer to this riddle after all.
There is a tiny book published, written by Russell (1997). It is under six cm and bound in hardcover (see Figure 2). It is very impressive to bind a book this size. In order for it to be done, the spine cannot be bound or fastened to the rest of the book. Therefore, in order for the binding to work, there must be some free flowing space at the spine that will allow for play. Much like on a boat, items down below can have the option of being secured to the hull, or released to absorb the waves so the items, especially the stove can be upright while the ship is under way.
The size of the book is significant because its size reflects the need to reduce everything down to its simplest essence or form. Philosophers like to reduce the human being and its conditions of existence down to its simplest, smallest form, while trying to get at the essence of being. The binding represents the controlling force that objectively unites all into a collective (Marxism) and the free flowing space between the cover and the spine represents the amount of play allowed for proper functioning (Existentialism). The binding thus, also needs room for play (author’s interpretation). Therefore, it could work to have both elements united, but the amount of play or Existentialism allowed in a Marxist country may be smaller than expected (see Figure 3). Therefore, in this case the subject-object dichotomy could never be truly equal, but could be conceived to work together in a balance nonetheless (author’s interpretation).
Heidegger also utilizes a subject-object dichotomy in his metaphysical theory of how a being interacts with the world. Heidegger distinguishes between the “I am” and “it is” (lecture). According to Heidegger, the self can be either the subject or an object, depending on the circumstances or mode of being that person is in. The subject can become an object when it is immersed in the collective psyche or when a person does not want to be different from the crowd and thus follows the collective masses blindly (Kaufman, 1975; Richardson, 1963; lecture).
Heidegger would probably say that those living in a Marxist or communist country would be more likely to see themselves as objects (author’s interpretation). The term for the subject becoming an object is reification, which is to become a thing or to live in the world as an object (lecture). Heidegger calls the objective self in this reified state Das Man, being in the mode of inauthentic being or Fallenness (Kaufman, 1975; lecture). This is where Sartre is similar to Heidegger because Sartre’s concept of Self Deception could be considered like this Das Man mode of being because if one takes on roles in society (like a waiter) and if that person believes that this title sum them up as a whole, this would turn that subject into an object, an instrument, or a mere machine (lecture; Solomon, 1974).
Heidegger’s subjective side of the dichotomy is defined as Dasein as opposed to Das Man. Dasein is the true, authentic self or mode of being in the world that is able to transcend space and time (Kaufman, 1975; lecture). In contrast, Sartre would maintain that the mind and body are always confined to space and time (lecture). The Dasein mode of being is referred to as the Truth of Being because it is the most authentic state (Richardson, 1963; Kaufman, 1975). Dasein would thus be very hard to study because according to Heidegger, the Truth of Being or the basis of consciousness remains in the realm of the unseen. Therefore scientific methods of observation cannot reach it or study it, especially through metaphysics (Kaufman, 1975)
Heidegger describes this predicament using the analogy of philosophy as a tree (see Figure 4). Metaphysics represents the roots, physics the trunk and the rest of the sciences make up the branches (Kaufmann, 1975). The metaphor of the tree is that the roots get lost in the soil and are not able to absorb the soil directly. But, the roots do, in such a way get lost, disappear or become one with the soil. They abandon themselves partly to the soil, but still belong to the tree and maintain its purpose of providing to the tree first and foremost (Kaufman, 1975).
According to Heidegger, Metaphysics also does this; it puts the focus more on the tree rather than the soil (Kaufman, 1975). The soil represents the Truth of Being and where the roots abandon themselves partly to the soil represents the basis of thinking that metaphysics tries to get at but cannot fully reach because it is too focused on the rest of the tree (Kaufman, 1975). This is why metaphysics may not be the best tool for studying and describing the Truth of Being or the mode of Dasein. It could even be said that Heidegger believes philosophy itself may not be the best way to study the Truth of Being (author’s interpretation).
Further consideration into this matter revealed this interpretation to be apt because the Truth of Being or Dasein resists formulation in the material world (author’s interpretation). To bring the transcended Dasein to the material world would only objectify it thus change it into something it is not. To study Dasein through scientific or philosophical methods would be to force the authentic mode of being into the inauthentic mode of being thus changing it from its original pure state of Being. Much like how introducing Existentialism to Marxism would mutate or change these ways of living into something they are not. Perhaps in order to study or explore the Dasein mode of being, a whole new tree is needed (author’s interpretation). Perhaps a tree of spirituality that bears the fruit of transcendental wisdom would provide better investigation into the Truth of Being, rather than a tree of philosophy that bears the fruit of material world’s knowledge.
Benjafield, J. G. (2005). A history of psychology. Second edition. Toronto: Oxford
Gage, (2000). Canadian dictionary. Toronto: Gage Educational Publishing Company.
Kaufman, W. (1975). Existentialism: From Dostoevsky to Sartre. England: Plume.
Richardson, W. J. (1963). Heidegger: Through phenomenology to thought. Netherlands:
Martinus Nijhoff/ The Hague.
Russell, S. (1997). Pisces. Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel.
Santrock, J. W., & Mitterer, J. O. (2004). Psychology, second edition. Toronto: McGraw-
Solomon, R. C. (1974). Existentialism. New York: The Modern Library.
Figure 1: The yin yang: Sartre is active, Heidegger is passive and Merleau-Ponty is in between.
Figure 2: The little book analogy: Uniting Marxism and Existentialism
Figure 3: The little book analogy: Uniting Marxism and Existentialism
Figure 4: The tree of philosophy (Kufman, 1975).