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Showing posts from February, 2011

At the Edge of Love's Doom

SONNET 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
     If this be error and upon me proved,
     I never writ, nor no man ever loved.



***

Shakespeare, we can surmise, will never stake his words on something so fickle or flimsy or a mere fancy.


We have to believe the artist's own convictions and reasons as to why he creates, even if we do not understand these reasons or even if we end up disbelieving his conclusions. Verily, you can only speak because you possess certainties. Though these gems are usual…

Augenblick

One of the most exhilarating moments that a teacher can have, apart from seeing a student have an epiphany or a profound realization on his own, is when the teacher himself is surprised by a beautiful truth. Whereas you normally teach what you have already prepared, or what you have taught previously, there are still those blessed times when you find out something new, or say something beautiful--without you wanting to, or no matter how much it seems impossible for it to come from you.


As I've grown more relaxed in class through these few years, I've been able to let go of my lecture or spiel every once in a while; sometimes I leave the philosopher we were discussing alone, and I try to "philosophize," or more of just think out loud, on my own while talking to my students. While for the most part students would not be able to discern when I am the one speaking and when it's the philosopher, I know, of course, when I am already testing my own ideas or thinking on…

Report on “The Certainty and Truth of Reason” in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

In the preceding parts of the Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel was concerned with showing that the ego or the self is all reality, or is the absolute. Owing to the influence of Fichte and Schelling, Hegel at the beginning adopts, only to later on test, the idealist position that knowledge is the identity between the subject and the object. Upon testing this notion however through his description of the experience of consciousness of itself, Hegel sees that consciousness always confronts a contradiction. The contradiction was this: On the one hand, self-consciousness was premised on the identity between subject and object. But on the other hand, ordinary experiences showed that the self is also conscious of objects that were not only totally different from it, but were also free from its control and will. In other words, in becoming aware of objects outside itself, ordinary consciousness is premised on the non-identity between the subject and object.
This contradiction, as Hegel is wont t…