Treatise on Silence

Morawa Lesezirkel (Verlag)
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 26. Oktober 2017
E-Book | ePUB ohne DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-3-99070-086-0 (ISBN)
The present version is published for copyright reasons only. We shall address the contents on having recorded the present state of the project. We go through the subject of silence, based on many aspects and many perspectives. Overview treatise

Steven L. Bindeman, until his retirement in Dec. 2010, was Professor of Philosophy and Department Chairperson at Strayer University, Arlington campus. He received his Ph.D. from Duquesne University in 1978. His teaching experience reflects not only his d training in philosophy, but also his interest in film and media studies, art, music, science fiction, and comparative religion. He has been elected into Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He has published articles on Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Levinas, the creative process, and postmodernism, alongside numerous book reviews. He has published three books: Heidegger and Wittgenstein: The Poetics of Silence (University Press of America, 1981); The Antiphilosophers (Peter Lang, 2015); and Silence in Philosophy, Art and Music (Brill, 2017).
  • Englisch
  • 1,52 MB
978-3-99070-086-0 (9783990700860)


A: The Transcendental Phenomenology of Silence

sb10 1.0 When silence is examined phenomenologically, it is understood as an intentional act.

This means it has intended meaning attached to it, as part of a purposeful conscious experience that unfolds over time.

kj10 Both of the sequential numbers attached to a book are an invitation to "put me in place i if you order us by author" and "put me in place j if you order us by title". We do not yet know, which of the two voices will be heard. The other will be silent.

sb11 This intentional process takes place within a noetic-noematic schema.

In Heidegger's view, there is an order in the world, and therefore the implicit prescriptions of belonging together and having a relation between properties of symbols and how the symbols are to be arranged are valid and exist in an interpersonal fashion. E.g. gravitation is an ordering principle which doubtlessly exists. Standing upright and walking is an intentional process confronting the schema which gravitation would impose on us.

This schema divides our experience of the development of meaning of an object into an ongoing correlation between active judgments of and passive acquisitions of perceptual information concerning it.

kj11 Establishing which aspect of an object is perceived, is dependent on the urges and needs of the moment, e.g. if we are hungry, we see the edible side of many things. The object itself is the totality of its possibilities of being included in relations, so that what the object emanates does not change: what we perceive among the possibilities of being included in relations, does.

According to this schema, all expressions involving silence, including verbal, gestural, and musical, would be noemata, involving the ongoing and constantly changing intentional meaning of the object as it continues to be refined over time; while the decision to employ or refrain from employing any activity to interpret them would be their noetic correlates.

We have to do here with something that is missing, lacking, being absent, being not there, not in existence or "false." We realize that what is not there cannot have any properties: we thus speak of our wishes or expectations. If we cannot assign shelf positions to books that are not there, we can still wish for order and say "if I had that specific book, it would have its place <here> or <here>". This is a fluid situation, as we can always imagine one more book that also needs two conceptual places and may well occupy the place intended for the previous imagination. As such, silence enables the phantasy to work and develop plans and alternatives.

sb12 2.0 In order to reach clarity with regards to our intentional use of silence in common discourse, we need to establish how silence can stop the flow of ordinary consciousness.

Deep silence however cannot do this. This is because it does not expect or require a response to its call, and is therefore non-intentional.

kj12 To be able to cause the non-existence of a symbol - create an inner silence - is a many-edged sword. The Zen master's inner silence is in many ways different from the suppressed envy one hears between the lines, or one experiences as a fact of one's physiology and personality, which one mastered to counterbalance. [Note to Karl: to counterbalance what? Please clarify this] The Zero at which both arrive is in the first case the result of absence, while the latter case accomplishes a counteracting entity that causes the existing case to become useless, invalid, unheard - but not non-existing.

Being baffled or at loss responding to one's own productions may be the deep silence my learned friend describes as "deep silence". This would be an one-sided ledger, where the counter-entries are lacking, being silent for epuisement, which is the realization that one has run out of resources.

sb13 When discourse is recognized as being bounded by and stratified by silence, however, the intentional function of silence is initiated. This means that both the inauguration and termination of discourse are in accordance with a noetic (or actively engaged) approach to silence. Fore-silence, in turn, opens the way for the shift from perceptual performance to signitive performance. When these noetic cuts in the flow of the temporality of conscious experience established by the actions of silence are correlated with the noemata of the different expressions of silence, a schema for understanding how the different iterations of silence function in the world of common experience (what Husserl calls the Lebenswelt or lifeworld) is enabled.

kj13 The implicated portion of a logical sentence is the part that needs not to be spelled out, as a corollary to one of the side-consequences of a more general statement being true. For example, learning is based on unspoken assumptions. If we could not finish a child's sentence it says, or the child could not finish a sentence we say, there would be great problems with the interacting persons. To predict the future is what learning is all about.

That which remains unspoken, is in most cases self-evident. One could even argue that there exists a cultural and situational agreement on how many steps an allusion can make before it becomes high-browed nonsense, and what jumps of thoughts one could expect to be done by the listener before becoming insultingly stupid and infantile.

There is a natural shyness in logic against predicting the future, although all academics take their umbrella if it looks like it would rain. The logical mind is vain and sensitive: it cannot deal with the possibility of getting it wrong or not being infallible. Therefore it avoids looking at sequences that are a bit more complicated than 1,2,3, etc., because such sequences predict the future.

If during their conversation the partners have agreed on a pattern of ideas, they have also agreed on the possible patterns of the implications of that particular pattern having been explicitly named. Then, nothing else needs to be said. Silence begins and the consequences start to sink in.

This action leads to both the literal and the metaphorical forms of silence as discourse to be seen as irreducible yet polyvocal possibilities, and only now does the experience of silence become determinate.

The experience of silence is a conditio sine qua non for the brain to function well. Bernd Alois Zimmermann's "Requiem für einen jungen Dichter" helps to console the painful feelings that accompany mourning by presenting life as a cacophony of incessant poems, speeches, noises, fragments, talk, declamations,. one finishes by saying - yes, for a talented young poet it could very well have been simply too much. This world is not for those of such refined feelings. He did what was right for him. Now he found silence.

Transition from transcendental phenomenology of silence to perceptual phenomenology of silence.

sb14 The transcendental phenomenological approach to silence makes the assumption that the flow of time can be stopped by silence. The various stopping actions of silence open up the verticality of the timeless moment in which silence reigns. Words lose their immediately intended meanings in favor of new metaphorical possibilities. We move from saying to showing, but remain within the secure linguistic domain of predictability. We remain within the worlds of the early Wittgenstein and the early Heidegger, holding on to the enclosed world of secure knowledge.

kj14 Looking at some of my books, I may reasonably arrive at the conclusion that they are sorted by Author. Then again, it could well be, that on sampling more of the books' position, I will arrive at the conclusion, that they are sorted by Title.

The predictions, both of them, can be maintained in some cases over several of the results of observations, which book is where. The main points of the calculations are n, the number of books, I the number of books collected in the sample, and i1 which support Theory A, and i2 which support Theory B, i3 which support both. The argument i4 for number of cases, where a book has neither author nor title, can be subsumed into i3. These arguments allow us to make judgements on how alien the orders A and T are to each other.

The meaning of the word shows itself in the future, away from the word itself. That (1,3) is on place 3 shows that the sorting order is correctly to be assumed to be (a,b), that (1,3) is on place 4 shows that the sorting order is correctly to be assumed to be (b,a). The assumptions gain additional credibility, as we see that (x,y) is on place z. The meaning of the order is that we can reasonably expect that after having experienced {(x1,y1), (x2,y2), (x3,y3),.} to be on places respectively of {p1,p2,p3,.} it will be the case that (xk,yk) is on place pk. [Sorting order (a,b): (1,1), (1,2), (1,3),.(2,2), (2,3),.; sorting order (b,a): (1,1), (1,2), (2,2), (1,3), (2,3), (3,3), (1,4), (2,4),.]

What is termed silence here is a discontinuity. The truth of the prediction becomes discontinued. The path ceases for the...

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