Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category


Not aware of the dullness between now and then
Oblivious of my existence I
Treasure the conundrums of your thoughts and
Hold on to the never-changing monotony voices of identicalness, stepping
In the dryness of an exciting
Nowhere watching the sluggishness of time
Grabbing the stillness of the wind moving soundlessly through the flatness of my thoughts
Nobody that cares, only the sameness and the harmony of my mind that
Engulfs the unanimity and wholeness of my being
Sometimes my imagination drifts in the minds of angels, then
Stumbles upon the singleness of life!
—©Nikita—18th October 2008

Image: belgers.com

What is Nothing, anyway?

It’s not anything, and it’s not something, yet it isn’t the negation of something, either. Traditional logic is no help, since it merely regards all negation as derivative from something positive. So, Heidegger proposed, we must abandon logic in order to explore the character of Nothing as the background out of which everything emerges.

Carefully contemplating Nothing in itself, we begin to notice the importance and vitality of our own moods. Above all else, Nothing is what produces in us a feeling of dread {Ger. Angst}. This deep feeling of dread, Heidegger held, is the most fundamental human clue to the nature and reality of Nothing.
Human Life as Being-There Human beings truly exist, yet our “being-there” {Ger. Dasein} is subject to a systematic, radical uncertainty. Because we know that we will die, concern withour annihilation is an ever-present feature of human experience: Death is the key to Life. The only genuine question is why we are at all. Once we experience the joy[!?!] of dread, we recognize that our lives are limited—and therefore shaped—by death.

In just the same way, Heidegger argued, so Nothing is what shapes Being generally. This reveals the most fundamental, transcendent reality, beyond all notions of what-is slipping over into what-is-not. Even in the historical tradition, according to Heidegger, Nothing is shown to be the concomitant rather than the opposite of Being. The only genuine philosophical question is why there is something rather than nothing.

Parts of this book deserve 5 stars. Much of what Sartre has to say in it is cuttingly insightful, indeed life-changing. His writing is lucid (perhaps too lucid for philosophy – this was Merleau-Ponty’s opinion) and the book is a great read. But underlying everything, with huge passages directed exclusively to it, is Sartre’s own ontology, mish-mash of Descartes (via Husserl), Hegel and Heidegger, which falls well short of Heidegger’s own subtlety. This has led to a certain contempt among serious continental philosophers for Sartre’s work. Ironically, for all that, he has had an obvious powerful influence on many of them. This is not a book to be ignored by ANYONE….amazon.co.uk….reader-review

Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980), commonly known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced [ʒɑ̃ pol saʁtʁə]), was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was the leading figure in 20th century French philosophy.

In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he declined it[1] stating that “It is not the same thing if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre or if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre, Nobel Prize winner. A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if it takes place in the most honorable form.Read more about Sartre on this link which will open in a new window.

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On the chess site today, one player posted in the chess forum a link to do this test. It was quite interesting. He wanted to know if all chess players have more or less the same personality and suggested everybody that’s interested, to do the test. And, curious me, I immediately took the test to see the outcome and to have a bit of fun…  My question about these tests…. are they really scientific proven….?

 Well, when I pressed “score” at the end…these were my results:


You are:

  • slightly expressed extravert
  • slightly expressed intuitive personality
  • moderately expressed feeling personality
  • slightly expressed judging personality

Also, when I clicked on the link that says…
ENFJ type description by D.Keirsey: It directed me to a page with the  paragraph   “Portrait of a teacher… ENFJ”…. Interesting enough… For I am a teacher, (which the test also “indicated”… I was wondering too, can one trust these tests? In this case, you would think you can, but will it show real results in all cases? The only thing with these tests, in my opinion, you must be very honest with yourself when deciding which answer is the correct one. On the other side, why this chosen set of questions….what about other questions? Isn’t there more to ask before drawing conclusions?   This next sentence really put a smile on my face when I read the paragraph….!!  “An experienced Teacher group leader can dream up, effortlessly, and almost endlessly, activities for groups to engage in, and stimulating roles for members of the group to play.”

About ENFJs (according to a link that appeared with my results)
ENFJs are the benevolent ‘pedagogues’ of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it’s usually not meant as manipulation — ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

Read more HERE about ENFJs ….the link will open in a new window.

Famous ENFJs:
David, King of Israel
U.S. Presidents:
Abraham Lincoln
Ronald Reagan

William Cullen Bryant, poet
Abraham Maslow, psychologist and proponent of self-actualization
Ross Perot
Sean Connery
Elizabeth Dole
Francois Mitterand …and many more…

 Click HERE to take the test too!! Enjoy! You will get links at the end to follow up and to read more about your type! The link will open in a new window.

The Portait of the Teacher (ENFJ)

The Idealists called Teachers are abstract in their thought and speech, cooperative in their style of achieving goals, and directive and extraverted in their interpersonal relations. Learning in the young has to be beckoned forth, teased out from its hiding place, or, as suggested by the word “education,” it has to be “educed.” by an individual with educative capabilities. Such a one is the eNFj, thus rightly called the educative mentor or Teacher for short. The Teacher is especially capable of educing or calling forth those inner potentials each learner possesses. Even as children the Teachers may attract a gathering of other children ready to follow their lead in play or work. And they lead without seeming to do so.

Teachers expect the very best of those around them, and this expectation, usually expressed as enthusiastic encouragement, motivates action in others and the desire to live up to their expectations. Teachers have the charming characteristic of taking for granted that their expectations will be met, their implicit commands obeyed, never doubting that people will want to do what they suggest. And, more often than not, people do, because this type has extraordinary charisma.

The Teachers are found in no more than 2 or 3 percent of the population. They like to have things settled and arranged. They prefer to plan both work and social engagements ahead of time and tend to be absolutely reliable in honoring these commitments. At the same time, Teachers are very much at home in complex situations which require the juggling of much data with little pre-planning. An experienced Teacher group leader can dream up, effortlessly, and almost endlessly, activities for groups to engage in, and stimulating roles for members of the group to play. In some Teachers, inspired by the responsiveness of their students or followers, this can amount to genius which other types find hard to emulate. Such ability to preside without planning reminds us somewhat of an Provider, but the latter acts more as a master of ceremonies than as a leader of groups. Providers are natural hosts and hostesses, making sure that each guest is well looked after at social gatherings, or that the right things are expressed on traditional occasions, such as weddings, funerals, graduations, and the like. In much the same way, Teachers value harmonious human relations about all else, can handle people with charm and concern, and are usually popular wherever they are. But Teachers are not so much social as educational leaders, interested primarily in the personal growth and development of others, and less in attending to their social needs.

Mikhail Gorbachev, Oprah Winfrey, Pope John Paul II, Ralph Nader, John Wooden, and Margaret Mead are examples of Teacher Idealists.

The four temperaments …… Click HERE to read an overview about the 4 Temperaments. The link will open in a new window. This is also very interesting.

Click HERE to read more. The link will open in a new window.

Dr. David Keirsey

Dr. David W. Keirsey is a veteran personologist specializing in the pragmatics of coaching children, parents, and spouses to decrease conflict and to increase cooperation. Late in his long career he set up a training program for those who sought to learn how to intervene correctively in the character defense games that children play with parents and teachers, and that spouses play with each other. His first book, the best selling book “Please Understand Me” had sold over two million copies. His completely rewritten version, an internationally bestselling book, Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese, to name a few.

Please click HERE to read more about Dr David Keirsey. The link will open in a new window.

Read HERE more about Jung…and on this link here about personality types and Kant..these links will open in a new window. What kind of person are you…a dog-type or a cat-type…I think I’m both…hehe…I’m sort of Elvis and sort of Beatles! but I think I can think for myself! Luckily, and hopefullly logical too!

There are two kinds of people. There are dog people and cat people, Elvis people and Beatles people, New York people and LA people, Aristotle people and Plato people, morning people and night people, Leno people and Letterman people, Coke people and Pepsi people, people who put the cap on the toothpaste and those who don’t, people who think that the Millennium begins in 2000 and those who think it begins in 2001, people who think that high school was the best time of their life and people who think it was the worst, people who leave lovers and people who are left by lovers, conservatives and liberals, etc. etc.

If we allow, however, that some dog people like Elvis and others like the Beatles, and that cat people are similarly divided, this really means that there are four kinds of people, and further sets of pairs will double and double again the kinds of people. And we have the further complication than other divisions of people are not in two but in three. For instance, Machiavelli says:

“Minds are of three kinds:  one is capable of thinking for itself; another is able to understand the thinking of others; and a third can neither think for itself nor understand the thinking of others. The first is of the highest excellence, the second is excellent, and the third is worthless. [The Prince, Daniel Donno translation, Bantam, 1966, 1981 p. 80]”
Similarly, Aristotle identifies three kinds of persons who attend the Olympic Games:  Athletes, who particpate, spectators, who watch the athletes, and the hawkers, who sell things to the first two kinds.

So what is it going to be? Is there a classification of personalities that is systematic and will not produce endless variations? This problem was tackled in the classic study by C.G. Jung, Psychological Types [Bollingen Series XX, Volume 6, Princeton University Press, 1971, 1976]. Jung’s typology, like the popular wisdom, is based on binary divisions, most importantly introversion and extraversion — one of the classic “two kinds of people” divisions.
Although “introvert” and “extravert” are now terms in popular usage, with “extravert” meaning “out-going” and “introvert” the opposite, Jung’s own definition is philosophically more interesting. Introversion for Jung is interest in the subject, while extraversion is interest in the object. This raises the important metaphysical question about the nature of subject and object. Although Jung would have found both question and answer in Schopenhauer, he was not interested in burdening his psychological analysis with particular metaphysical doctrines. “Interest in the subject” thus simply means the internal states, whether of one’s self or of others, are the primary way that the introvert relates to the world, while the extravert relates through objects. One consequence of this is that when introverts are interested in objects, this tends to isolate them rather than relate them to others — objects for an introvert are private rather than public.

In Psychological Types we also find two sets of “functions,” thinking and feeling, and sensation and intuition. These multiply the “kinds of people” to eight, about which Jung has separate sections. I will not review the characteristics of each here, except to note that Jung classified both thinking and feeling as “rational” and sensation and intuition as “irrational” functions. One might not ordinarily think of “feeling” as a matter of reason, but Jung does — there can be rational emotions as well as irrational ones. All the functions are actually present in each psychê, as are both subject and objects. Jung sees three of them as usually operative consciously, while the opposite of the primary function has a strong subconscious potential. This is characteristic of Jung’s overall theory, where the unconscious balances and compensates for the contents of consciousness. Read on the link I’ve given about Kant…more.

Imagea: http://www.friesian.com

Kant’s sanguine character is the one that acts from goodhearted feeling, “which is changeable and given over to amusements” [p.63]. This sounds more like the Confucian theory of moral action based on the virtue of rén, “kindness”; but Kant always regards it as then a matter of inclination rather than understanding:

Those who act out of goodhearted impulse are far more numerous [than the melancholic], which is excellent, although this by itself cannot be reckoned as a particular merit of the person. Although these virtuous instincts are sometimes lacking, on the average they perform the great purpose of nature just as well as those instincts that so regularly control the animal world. [p.74]

Kant’s choleric character is not moved by any inner drive or consideration but by a concern for the appearance he presents to others. The key terms for this type are thus honor, reputation, shame, and propriety. “He has no feeling for the beauty or worth of actions” [p.69], but is guided by standards that only exist in the estimation of others. This concern with appearances and surfaces is conformable to Paglia’s view of the Apollonian character, which only involves the surface of things, and the role of the external as the source of authority, heteronomous in Kant’s terms, is conformable to an Authoritarian viewpoint. Among the drawbacks for the type, according to Kant, is that the choleric character “is therefore very much given to dissembling, hypocritical in religion, a flatterer in society, and he capriciously changes his political affiliation according to changing circumstances” [p.69]. These are all tributes to the superficiality and lack of autonomy of the type.

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“Two Frogs” is a fantastic book. I want to share this book today and by doing this, do my “good deed” for today! I love books, even more, children’s books! I’m slowly busy building up a library! I used this book with great success during Philosophy lessons… Firstly, the pictures in this book…just look how stunning! Doesn’t it convey a lot, only by looking at it! That’s why children’s books fascinate me, you get outstanding illustrations and lifelong messages. This book is definitely one of those which you would buy and have different uses for, when teaching. I’m going to copy a few lines from the book…and the images support the text just brilliantly!

—Once there were two frogs sitting on a lily pad in the middle of a large pond. One of the frogs was holding a stick. “What’s that for?” asked the other frog. “For protection,” said the frog with the stick. “This stick is to beat off the dog.”
“What dog?” said the other frog, quickly looking over his shoulder. “I can’t see a dog. There is no dog!” “Not now there isn’t, not at this moment,” replied the frog with the stick. “But what if a dog should come swimming across the pond and try to eat us up? Better be safe than sorry.” The other frog was puzzled. “But no dogs ever come swimming in the pond,” he protested. “At least I’ve never seen one. In fact I can’t even remember seeing one on the edge of the pond. And why would a dog want to come swimming in the pond anyway? They’re not so fond of swimming as us frogs, you know.”

Now, by looking at the pics, you can imagine what happened…I put questions forward to 9 year old children e.g. Should we always be prepared? Should we always think about all the “what ifs”? Is it ridiculous thinking the worst might happen? Why would you want to be prepared for the worst? What do you need to be well prepared? What do you see as “the worst”? How else can we prepare us for the “worst”? This book lends itself to numerous questions and at least an hour’s discussion with children. One of the “what ifs” in this book really happened at the end! That was the dog…but the frogs were already gone and not there to see the dog…

If you want to leave your point of view about these questions, it would be well received!

Image: frogsonice
Please click HERE to read a story about two frogs..do enjoy

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