15 July 2013: The Analgesic of Pure Reason

20 minute workout at 5:30 AM: 200 steps and 75 supine wrist weight moves. Steps still hard, not made easier by Some Sort of Sticky Crap which stuck to my blasted shoe. Once again fell into bed making noise as I struggled for breath like Eric Liddell in the early run in Chariots of Fire…where he was tripped by the guy.

Unfortunately, the resulting exhaustion does make my eyes less sharp owing to the combination, of that exhaustion, and, chemo.

Kant Study

This German scholar, Dieter Henrich (sic, not Heinrich, Willi, ja nein!) wrote a very important article in 1969 “The Proof Structure of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction” in which he analyzes the “worst” (most complex) part of the Critique, the Analytic of Concepts, consisting of the Metaphysical deduction (aka the Clue) and then, the worst of the worst, the Transcendental deduction.

Beyond explicating the various not terribly consistent or coherent arguments Kant forgivably used, Henrich sired the move in Kant studies away from Strawson and his oversimplified notion of apperception found in Strawson’s Bounds of Sense, from a thin sense that one’s having a perception, to a thick framework consisting of all of our cognition *about* the perception that transforms it into an “I-intuition”.

Recalling that we decided, at the time of the “Evil Clown” diagram, to call a mere computerlike activity of “sensation” something more, an “intuition” when there was an “I”, a Self, in it, but it appears that I, and perhaps other commentators, perhaps Strawson, confused this “I” with the “thin” I of “hey, yo, man, *I* am having a sensation”: the “I”, then, of Cheech and Chong.

Unfortunately for these two whom I respect, the characters they portray seem to be in a “blackout” (as I have been when *I* have drank too much, or even just last winter when I screwed up on painkillers) and a blackout, alcoholic or drug-induced, is precisely where all you have, with the sensation (of having another drink or falling off the bar-stool) is the (vague, and “simple” in the sense of having no parts) “apperception” that “I” seem to be having a hell of a good time…or something.

But in sobriety, we bring much more to the experience which is good for our loved ones since they can predict what we will say, etc.

Henrich mainly seems to have been concerned with being the first person on earth to understand this material but it appears that in this effort, he also opened up the thin apperception to find the thick.

I found a copy of the 1969 Review of Metaphysics at a faciity called JSTOR, but all I can get without an organizational affiliation or credit card is a view option that lets me put 1-3 journals on a “shelf” and read them in a forward direction.

So, as “fair use” and not for profit, I selected and copied each text block in the article as an image and pasted the images into a Word file. I am now TYPING the words in the images into a searchable clone of the original journal article, which you (dear reader) cannot have because this is my personal fair use copy.

Typing the images while making an outline of what I read is my monkish way of reading the article thoroughly: my Dad told me of the monks of the middle ages and how for years they would copy books. He assumed that as they copied the manuscript they would also read, for he lacked a strong distinction, such as is today fashionable, between office head and office hand work.

He was after all the same generation as Adorno whose typists understood his work better than his managers at the Princeton project. Today, people like typists, data entry clerks, translators and interpreters are considered invisible.

Also, the work is so intense as to be analgesic, and makes me forget cancer pain, as perhaps the illumination of manuscripts helped monks forget cold and hunger. The East stressed pure Memory as in the memorization of Buddhist *sutras*: the West perhaps more pragmatically got exceedingly valuable assets from the work of the monks. Of course, there’s probably also an Asian tradition of manuscript creation that I don’t know about.

I was surprised, as your little junior executive type in my 1970s suit, to hear men say that they did not type and therefore would make these silly (and quite fragile) dictaphone loops. My boss at one firm wanted me to dictate because it was more manly. But my role model, my Dad, liked to do his own writing. He had this magnificent manual typewriter…I borrowed it once, and spilled hot and quite thick black coffee all over it, making the repair almost as expensive at $200.00 in 1970 dollars as replacing the typewriter.

But this was before the days of Best Buy so my Dad enriched our typewriter repair guy (remember them?) whilst taking the cost out of my room and board payments, if memory serves. To my Dad’s credit, when his typewriter repairman saw the humor, then so did Dad. Ha ha. Bang…zoom…

Food Patrol

Oh yes, and you heard it here first. I am so unutterably sick of most chocolate, having gorged on every day since my weight was frighteningly down to 130, that I hereby foreswear all chocolate EXCEPT for Lindt bars at 60%+. I cannot GET Lindt bars here at Grantham, so actually this is a Cunning Plan, since the intent is getting a break from a new, if benign, addiction. I shall have to like Blanche Dubois depend, Lindt-wise, upon the kindness of strang-ahs.

I shall buy some of those weird-assed buns people eat in these parts for extra calories and to keep, at least, at 153 lbs. Pocky Tomato sticks are also good. But I can be compulsive about many things, including eating.

And writing, too.


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