Discovering the Four Leaps: Reason, Love, Faith, and Body | DC Schindler and Ken Lowry | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Discovering the Four Leaps: Reason, Love, Faith, and Body | DC Schindler and Ken Lowry".

1970-01-01T02:56:59.000Z

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Guest Introduction

Introducing today's guests (00:00)

Welcome everyone to another Voices with Fervakey. I am extremely excited about this. This is part two and it's not going to be the final part in a series of discussions, having with Ken Lowry and DC Schindler. And the episode one, if the series can be found on Ken's channel, Climbing Mount Sophia. This will be episode two on Voices with Fervakey. And then the plan is to do a third, one back on Ken and probably a fourth one back here. And then we'll see if we still like each other and then we'll see if we can go. Now what I can say is I do indeed, like both of these gentlemen a lot, Ken, some of you have seen his channel, so you've seen him on my channel. Ken is, and I wanted him here. Ken was of course very humbled and said, "You don't really need me here." And I think he's exactly wrong. We do need him here. I think he represents in an exemplary fashion the current seeker with respect to religion and with respect to the challenges that secularity has posed religion and how those two can be propped into a proper alignment again so that we can climb Mount Sophia so that we can cultivate wisdom. Ken, I hope that was a fair representation of why you should be here. And then of course, D.C. Schindler, many of you know he needs no announcement or introduction on my channel. I cite him frequently. I incorporate his work into my work. He's, I think he is a important, really important figure. And I think he should be a central figure for all of the people in this little corner of the internet. So welcome both to Ken and David. Ken, can you introduce yourself a little bit more and say a little bit more what you got from the episode that we did on your channel? - Yeah, first of all, I'm thrilled to be here. I made a comment to my wife just before joining that. If there were a discussion with two people in the world that I got to pick, it would probably be this discussion in this kind of setting. So I'm very grateful to be here. - Yeah, I deeply appreciate when she said Chum that I feel very deeply seen in how you characterized what it feels like to be me. And within that I'm often self-conscious or tempted to be self-conscious of the ways in which I'm still struggling through so many things. And so I'm grateful to your work for how much it's helped me through that. And so my channel, Climbing on Mount Sophia is really about trying to make sense of this all. And because your work has been so instrumental or so I don't like that word. So helpful that a lot of my work is even commentary on some of your work. So thank you. And I think from the last session for me, you're talking about love and reason and trying to experience the way in which they're in a opponent processing relationship. That's probably that sense of how the two are connected. It was probably the biggest thing that I walked away with. And I've kind of ever since that conversation been trying to notice that in my own life. And it's been really, really fruitful. So I'm just happy to be here. And thanks for continuing. - Thank you, Ken. And David, could you introduce yourself a little and why you're here and what you got from the last, last let's go. - Thank you. Yeah. So D.C. Schindler is my pen name. David is my first name. And I'm a professor at the John Paul II Institute and formerly previously I taught at Villanova University. But my interest is philosophy generally. I have always had difficulty finding a particular area of specialization because that kind of narrowing of interest tends to lessen the attraction for me. So I've been very much a generalist and have had the experience of doing a lot of my thinking kind of in isolation, just sitting in a quiet room and talking to Plato or to Nisha or Hegel. It's very different talking to live human beings. So one of the things I have to say is I'm very grateful to have been, I feel like I've been sort of invited into a conversation, a larger conversation which I find absolutely fascinating. And I had no idea what was going on and it really is a privilege to be invited into it. And to see so many of the things that I have been pursuing myself and have found interesting, that the very same things have been turning on lights for other people. And I've had this experience of just a kind of a convergence from very different starting points. And that in itself is really remarkable. So this intimation of the possibility of real fruitfulness and fortification of each of our thinking here is something that I just find very exciting and appealing. So I'm really grateful to both of you for having invited me in. Like Ken, in terms of the last conversation, because it was our first conversation, it seems to me, we were kind of breaking the ice in so many ways. I'm glad that the two of you are interested in carrying this on for a few more episodes 'cause I have the sense that we'll have an opportunity to deepen things and I think that's really important. But I was also especially interested in the theme that came up towards the end about the relationship between love and reason.


Exploration Of Love, Reason, And Their Transformative Roles

Exploring the relationship between love and reason and how they transform understanding. (06:28)

And the unity and difference of the two and how that transforms our understanding of each, especially in the light of a fundamental first principle but good. Or the more I think about it, I think beauty might be a better characterization but that could be something we talked about today. I'll just put that on the table but that's something I hope we can pursue. - Excellent. Thank you both, Ken and David. So I wanna pick up the themes, the love and reason and the relationship to some ultimate onto-normativity of some kind. And I wanna do that though by beginning from something introduced in the first essay, well the first chapter of David's excellent book, The Catholic City of Reason. I think anybody who like myself and Dan Chappie is interested in recovering and maybe inventio, a deeper, more profound sense of reason that reconnects it back to the cultivation of wisdom where that is not a hallmark card but a deep thing to say. I recommend this book. I also, as you know, always recommend David's book, Plato's Critique of Pure Reason as the single best book I read on Plato. And then for those of you who want something a little bit thinner, a little bit more topical, easy access, not easy, easier access, not overwhelmingly difficult or anything but it's not a beach book I think, but which is Love in the Postmodern for Predicament by David which I think is for many people that might be my recommended place if you wanna start to get a taste. David you may have other recommendations but that's just how it seems to me. Now in the first chapter of Reason is Catholic and David's being a little bit playful there because he wants to invoke the ancient notion of Catholic meaning towards the whole but of course there is sort of a bit of a subtext possibility that maybe Catholicism has something important to say and I'm welcome and open to both of those. But the point of that is introduced there that I wanna pick up and then I'll pose sort of three things I don't want to call them, they're not issues that makes them sound like something we have to deal with. There's sort of three reflective realizations and all four of them are very prominent in my mind right now and these are the leap of reason. This is number one, there's gonna be four and this is what comes to four in David's chapter. Reason is Catholic. The inherently ecstatic meaning to stand beyond one self-nature of reason and we'll get into what that means. I'm gonna call it that. The second one we also touched upon which is the leap of love. There's something about love, you know, that it's metaxu, it's inherent, but binds us, it's a binding of not knowing to knowing in a way that calls us beyond ourself and that's important. You have of course the famous Kierkegaardian leap of faith although it's often translated perhaps better as the leap into faith. I'm discussing this in its relationship between Socrates and Kierkegaard with Christopher Master Pietro that will show up in some episodes of after Socrates. And here I'm thinking of another kind of leap. Jonathan Pajoe talks a lot about it about, you know, the kind of leap you get when you get a leap from Gestalt, sorry, a leap from sort of features to Gestalt that takes you up to a level or a different order. And so it is rational retrospectively but it is never a rational prospectively and then right. And then something that was implicit in the first chapter, it shows up in other places especially when David invokes planning and when we were off camera, David said he was actually thinking of this. So I'm not imposing on him at all, which is the leap of the body, the leap between the body as the about, I'm not happy with these terms but just to get us started with the subjective lived body versus the objective body that is the object amongst other bodies in the world. And of course, Marlou Ponti made a good deal of sense around that in terms of that fundamental embodiment is the body having that de-hissense or what he calls the chiasm is and that leap between them because you can't derive one from the other but they're bound together is what actually fundamentally grounds the possibility of mind. It grounds the relationship between the subjective and the objective. And so just to label them, the leap of reason, the leap of love, the leap of faith and the leap of the body. And what do you think of them? How would you first give a first pass, articulation of them and then how are they related?


We were starting to pick up on that a little bit last time of a kind of an opponent processing idea between love and reason but I put it out there and I have no particular call to how people, you can respond to which one you wanna respond to first and let's just now from now on, we'll just let it flow as organically as we can. - Yeah. I think it's the way you just laid that out. It's really helpful that you bled out all four and I think maybe that would be a good thing to point out from the beginning. That in a way, the one that's most familiar probably to people is the leap of faith. But it seems to me that you're gonna misunderstand that one if you don't understand the leap of love.


Discussing the interconnectedness of the "leap of love," "leap of reason," and "leap of the body." (12:28)

And the leap of love that might mean something. The leap of reason I think would be very strange to people, leap of the body probably too. But I think the point is that unless you see that all of these are connected, you're not gonna understand any one of them properly. There's going to be some kind of a distortion in any one of them. So I think it's great that you set them all out initially and I think it'll help orient us if we, that'll be kind of on the table when we think about anyone in particular. - Yeah. To invoke something you talk about, I have an intimation of a whole that they portend to. And so that they belong together in a way that has normative in the very broadest sense implications between them. Like if we think about this one this way, we ought to think about the other ones this way and vice versa. So I have a very strong intimation of that. And so I feel like in response to what you say, I'm almost beginning to exemplify the very things we're beginning to talk about. - I also, I get an image of like, you know, like a four cylinder engine, right? And there's four pistons. And they're all particular proportional relations to each other, to like move something in reality. So that, I don't know if that's helpful, but. - It is, it is. And I'll defer this to a little bit later, maybe to the next episode. But I wanna pick up on this, like how this whole that we're already starting bringing dynamic interdependence relationships, right? Which I think is appropriate. How it relates to something else that you brought up in a couple places. The one I remember most explicitly is, in reasons as Catholic, we talk about the revival of the Neoplatonic idea of being life and thought, not as three categories, but as an intensification of a fundamental reality. And I have a sense that that Neoplatonic claim and the interdependence of the four also, they also bear important relationships to each other. - Yeah, I'd forgotten about that, but yeah, that's really provocative. But maybe just to assert that these things are interconnected, maybe it'll be helpful to your listeners to sort of be a little more specific about that. And I agree with me like just an example. So you mentioned the leap of faith is maybe better translate as leap into faith. And maybe you could say something similarly about reason, the leap, a reason is also a leap into reason. - Yeah. - And I think there's a kind of an interesting paradox already there, you wanna say, it is the leap of reason into reason. So it's not as if, yeah. It's not as if you're sort of outside of reason initially, and then you're gonna jump into something wholly new. It really is your mind that is entering into a new level of mindfulness or something like that. I mean, it's the, and this is the great paradox of it. - Yeah. - And this is the paradox of an ecstatic, precisely ecstatic that the mind is, I was just reading this to a student yesterday, Augustine's account of memory in the confessions in book 10. And at one point, he's marveling at this extraordinary, phenomenon of memory where we recall, we learn something, but we learn it in the form of it's already haven't been there. And how do we count for that? And he says that, and he's just simply marvels at this great mystery that somehow the mind is too narrow to contain itself. - Yes. - He says, and that's of course paradoxical. And I think that would be something that is intimated in this notion of a leap of reason, and a reason in a way is always more than it. It's always catching up with itself. - Yes. - If I may just connect that then, the last point about embodiment, it seems to me one of the most, and I'll just mention this, I won't go on about it, but let you take it in whatever direction, the two of you want. But the experience of embodiment in a way is a reminder to us that we have, that we have always already left into reason, because there's a, there's a, and being embodied where, where exposed, we find ourselves already out in the world in a kind of receptive mode. And, and if, to the extent that we come to realize it, that it is from within that, and Polani is so great with his notion of, I think he's crucial on this point, with his notion of indwelling. - Mm-hmm, yes. - To recognize that it's from within that, that we do the thinking that we do, we have this information right from the outset, that reason is beyond itself, that there's, it has this kind of ecstatic or leaping sort of character. Anyway, there are two things I could say, but I'll just, I'll just stop there initially.


Exploring the paradoxical tension between pairs and the interconnectedness of the four leaps. (18:06)

- Well, first of all, I just want to reinforce that. I was going to say that for me, I don't want to choose between them. I want to do a horrible, high-degrarian hyponation. The leap, leap into reason kind of thing. - Yeah. - Yeah. - 'Cause that's exactly it. It went exactly where I wanted to go. There's somewhat paradoxical nature. But, but, I want to try and, like there's various pairs that bear this paradoxical tension, this tonus, this creative tension. One in, and this is totally falling up on what you just said, about where within it, in that we are presupposing the leap, but in making the leap, we are actually constituting something, and it's, that's why I like that Latin word, "adventio" to discover and make, at the same time, right? Right? So, one in reason is Catholic, and also in other places, but it's the relationship, right, to the whole. The idea, right, and of course, you're taking great pains to, somewhat analogous to Levenos, say, I'm not talking about totalization. I'm talking about an intimation, an intimating orientation to amorness, that is always present to act as a call to self-correction, as we make any judgment whatsoever, and here, I'm almost making like a Kantian argument, any judgment whatsoever is open to self-correction, and it's open to precisely because it has an intimation of a greater whole to which it is accountable. Is that, first of all, a fair way of putting, what you're saying? Yes, absolutely, absolutely. And just to emphasize the point of about the Levenosian, I mean, there's a lot of kind of allergic responses to the concept of the whole, precisely because there's a sense of totalitarian domination, that once you have a grasp of the whole, you are in control. But I think the proper sense of this, and this is why Socrates is so incredibly helpful, he's wise because he knows that he does not know, and there's such a superficial way of interpreting that that I think people just rest content with immediately. But I mean, the fact of the matter is, you have to, being able to reach that point is an extraordinary achievement, and in a certain sense, you have to know everything to be able to know properly that you don't know. Because any time you just sort of dismiss it, it says, "Oh, I'm assuming that I don't know." That's an assumption, and it's gonna have built into it all sorts of presumptions about things that you take for granted that you know. And there's a transformation already of your disposition. So, I mean, just to put a point on it, a grasp of the whole, properly speaking, is always an openness to a greater whole. - Right, right, right. - Is it something? - It's the term mournous, right? The inexhaustible mournous, right? And not just quantitatively, but qualitatively. And you know, Socrates knowing that he did not know, is not just the empty negation function of skepticism or something. Because that knowing allows him to know, that not knowing allows him to know. He claims to know that the unexamined life is not worth living. He claims to know that practicing dialectic is a good life. He claims to know, "Tah-er-otica, how to properly love." Right? It orients him. I wanna make clear that what you said, the not knowing is not a, it's not a passive deficit. It's an active orientation. It's a very active orientation out towards that whole. - That's right, that's right. It seems like there's, okay, I'm seeing like a little bit of a paradox to start with. Like when you talk about the shallow version of that, I almost picture, like if there's the field of everything that I think I know, the first read of that is knowing that you don't know is just like, oh, the whole thing is dark. But the second version is something like, the whole thing is lit up in my awareness. It's all available to me, but because it's actually all available to me because it's actually integrated, that allows me to recognize the way in which I don't know anything because there's always something beyond something like that. - Yeah, right, I don't know in the sense of a definitive closure now to the thing. I mean, if you think of it as, I mean, that image of use of the light is really nice because the moment you capture the light, it's dark. - Right, so there, I mean, the irony there is you know it and now you don't know it. I mean, it's dark. Whereas if you think of light as you're entering into the light, precisely you're not closing it off, is another way of saying that you actually are knowing it. - Well, it's a contact epistemology kind of thing almost, right? It's like, if there's no blocks to the light from my root awareness all the way to the edge of what I know, then I never run into a block. I can actually be in touch with what's beyond me, something like that. - So that brings up the other pairings, the paradoxical pairings. So we just did like between something like the part and the whole, right? And then of course, David in Plato's Critique of Impure reason, you make a lot of this kind of paradoxical relationship between the relative and the absolute, right? And then there's another one that comes up, which is, especially when you're talking about beauty, appearance and reality, which has, these have often been used to put up blocks on T and her Cartesian blocks, right? But, and so there's that, and then of course, there's the one I invoke with the body, which is sort of the weird tone-offs between the subjective and objective balls of our embodiment. So what I wanna get at is, is there some relationship between these pairings and the leaps? Like I'm just gonna, I'm gonna make a proposal for the sake of discussion. I'm not hard and fast committed to this or anything like that. I think I wrote it down actually in the back of your book, David. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. So, what if, you know, it seems that when you're dealing with the relationship of, well, I'll say, Jonathan proposes that the leap from the part to the whole is actually faith, but right, but David, you seem to call it one of the main moves of a reason.


Mapping the transcendences of faith, reason, and love onto the leaps from part to whole, appearance to reality, and relative to absolute. (25:22)

But you might say, and love might be from appearance to reality, and that's beauty, but then you might say, but no reason, you see the problem I'm getting into? Yeah, yeah. You wanna map them, right? And I did a mapping recently, and then like today, thinking back on it, I think, well, yeah, you can do one of these mappings, and it makes sense. It's not an absurd thing to do. Right, right. But then you can see, but I could reshuffle the mappings. And then, so I, and the thing is we even recorded this, but there's nothing I can do about it, but that's the way it should be actually. You see what I'm trying to say? Absolutely, yeah. Right, right, so like I could say to you, well, you know, in the impure reason, you know, players trying to get at truth, and that seems to be about the leap of reason is the leap from the relative to the absolute, and back again as inclusive, that's certainly given in Plato's critique. The leap of love seems to be deeply bound up with beauty, which is appearance and reality, right? And then the part to the whole is faith, and that seems to be your ultimate sense of what is most good, something like that. That's what Jonathan proposes. Yeah, you see that. And I think there's insight in that. I'm not trying to be self-congratulatory, I think. That's a value, but then I could also reshuffle them. You see what I'm saying? And so there's like, we've got the three transcendence, we have the loves, we have these pairings. So I've just wondered, and I'm not asking you to provide for me on the spot on the, oh, can you please give me a completely satisfactory Hegelian synthesis? I just want to roll a momentum on that with you. No, no, thanks. You know, when you started talking about the whole, the parts in the hole, and that that would be possibly mapping onto faith. And my first thought was, well, yes, but you could also argue reason does that. And you could also argue love does that. Yes. And it occurred to me, and I think it's, again, I think it's really important because this movement from the parts of the hole, if it is a movement of faith, which I absolutely think that it is, and there's something really distinctive, it has to also be understood as a leap of reason. Because it's, or else you, you will eventually run the danger, I think, of a kind of faith reason dualism. Now, having said that, then the other question, and this is one I wouldn't be in a position to, I'll just put this on the table and see if either of you have some insight. But then I thought, OK, well, if that's the, if what I'm saying is the case that each one of these could be mapped on, as you were already suggesting, John, what then distinguishes them? What would be the difference in the way faith represents a movement from the parts to the whole and the way the reason represents a movement from the parts of the hole, and the way love represents a movement similarly? So I'd like to just describe to you what I'm seeing as you're talking, because basically what I do is just listen to you and watch things build in my head. So what I'm visualizing is the part is a sphere contained within a hole, and that on the border, there's, well, all of the elements of experience are happening on that border. And there's two sides to the border. And the side that is on the side of the part is like, let's, for one of the dichotomies, I'll use appearance and reality, is on the other side. And that there's something that has to mediate between them. So there's a horizontal aspect in which that's happening, like in my material reality. But there's also a vertical aspect to them too. So in the horizontal, there's like almost dimensions of the experience where there's the dimension of the appearance and reality. There's the dimension of whichever other one you want to pick. But then there's also a, I don't know, there seems to be like a vertical hierarchy because I want to put love for me always just goes to the top because I can never, like, I don't know. Does that kind of make sense what I'm describing? - Yeah. I mean, it might resonate with David's proposal about, if I get the order wrong, David, please forgive me. Something like the primacy of beauty, this centrality of good and the ultimacy of truth. Or did I get it? - Yeah, yeah, right, right. - And you're using a superlative for each one, but different kinds of superlatives. - Yeah, right. - And it feels like we're on that territory in some way. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, interesting, right. Right. And so love has something more to do with. - Primacy. - With beauty and faith with truth. And, or, you know, that's interesting. I mean, you could probably make an argument either way, but I see where you're going. And what's nice about that is then that, that insofar as they're convertible in some sense, they're covering the same ground. - Yes. - You know, that's why I use the word dimension 'cause it's not like they're not different. And this goes back to what we talked about at the beginning with like all four of these leaps operating together. Like there's a sense in which, you know, when they become blocks, like you've mentioned, John, right? A Kantian block or this, it's because one aspect of the, of those four pistons is out of proportion to the others. And therefore it stops working. - It's worse with Kant's three critiques. They've been made autonomous from each other and in commensurable with each other. So it's, it's, and this is Habermas's critique. And I think it's bang on. I think there's one of the, and so I, this is what, David, this is not any kind of flattery. This is why I think your work is important because you are trying to make a good case for overcoming what Kant did. And of course that means a reconsideration, which you're doing in your work on freedom about autonomy. Like I don't mean to sound pretentious, but I'm getting a glimpse of the whole of what you're doing in some ways. - No, that is, I have to say it's amazingly great. 'Cause that's exactly how I would characterize what I've been hoping to do, but you never know how it's received. - Yeah, exactly, that's it. And the point is, I mean, as you say, I mean, this is why somebody like Kant is so dangerous. And I don't mean to be sort of sensationalist saying that, but I mean, he obviously was an extraordinary genius, but the problem is that he makes a very plausible case for, you know, it's a tight, it's at least a very tight case for each of these things. And so he's able to account for pretty much most of it, you see, but now totally on a different, from a different perspective, that then insinuates this radical shift of perspective. And so far as then, you know, you're persuaded by the account. So I mean, in a way, it just sets things up for, I mean, it's, you know, Nietzsche's description of Kant is the great delayer, you know? He, he in a way keeps everything in place. And so you think that things are okay, but in fact, he's kept everything in place by room, and at the same time removed the foundation, that then it's gonna take, you know, a couple of centuries before that becomes apparent. But then once it does, you know, that's a very serious predicament. - And I think of Heidegger, or more especially of Clark in his exploration of metaphysics where he says, the Kant presupposes, doesn't even presume, he presupposes the ecstatic dimension, or why the heck is he writing the critique? And how is it that other minds could disagree with, like in all of this stuff, the presupposed and the very act of the argumentation, and the very act of attempting to persuade others, right? And so Kant ends up in a very powerful performative contradiction. - I mean, and yeah, Hegel, I mean, not to get into just intellectual history here, but I think it's actually important. Hegel's one line criticism of Kant, I think, is devastating. And that is Kant is like the young boy that refuses to go into the water until he's learned how to swim. - It's a swim, yeah, yeah. - And I mean, to bring us back, I mean, so how do you learn how to swim? It's by jumping in. I mean, so there's the leap there. That really is kind of the precondition for the very operation of reason and so forth. - Okay, but here's the thing, and this goes also, and I wanna see if this wraps back into the other question about what distinguishes them. Why aren't they just one thing, right? Here's the thing. Yeah, but you don't leap off a 300 foot cliff into the water, right? - Yeah, the trees. - Right, so there's a, there's a, there's Hegel's critique, which I agree with, and Brandon agrees with, right? I think it's right, but like, but yes, but still, there is virtue and virtuosity, even in the leaping that is gonna constitute your pursuit of virtue, right? Do you see what? - That's right. - We keep bumping into the anemnesis paradox. We seem to know it in, but before we know it, but we have to leap into knowing, like all, and I'll just utter word salad. So there's something there, and again, I have, again, I don't want to play this hard too much, but there's, I have a sense that there's a connection between trying to clarify that. I don't, maybe there might be something ultimately mysterious in Marcel sense about it.


Discussion On The Concept Of 'Leaps'

Discussing the concept of "leaps" and how we are called to specific virtues and virtuosities in different ways. (35:51)

But like what, these three, these four pairs, you know, these four leaps, they're, yes, in some ways, they're calling us to the same, and the trends of dentals are convertible, but they call us in different ways, and they expect the different virtues and virtuosities from us. They call a different kind, and I want both senses of the word, responsibility from us, a response and an ability to enter into proper comportment. And so I'm trying to get at what, maybe we could use that as trying to pair apart, what is different in the leaps? They all have this ecstatic, they all have this anemesis, they're convertible with each other like the trends and dentals, without in any way just like challenging that. I still have the fundamental sense that they're calling us in different ways. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. That, okay, there's so many, so many things to talk about here. Before the different ways point, I want to address that first point that you made about jumping off the 300 foot clip, and that's absolutely crucial. And to be honest, this is one of the reasons why I tend myself very rarely to use the word leap, because I think it overly dramatizes the point, and I think it can build into a little too much of a kind of fragmentation, but let me clarify by making another point. Seems to me, this is something I've learned from Hansers from Ball Bazaar, especially, in his notion of what he calls the mother's smile. What I would say is, when we think of a leap, we think of something that that's something that a fully grown adult does. - Right. - It's something you've already, you've been walking around for a while, and at certain point, you're able to climb up onto the 300 foot clip and make the jump if you dare. But I think what's really crucial and contextualizes all of that, is if you recognize that before we actually make a leap, we're carried over. - Yes, yes, yes. - We're actually brought into this deeper reality by another person who is caring for us. - Yes, yes, yes. - And that's really crucial, because that shows that you're already, you always already haven't trusted yourself to another from the very beginning. - Yes. - And so the leap isn't something that you work up a sweat, kind of preparing yourself to make it one moment during your life. - Absolutely, absolutely. - Every step that you make in walking, it's kind of you're falling forward. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - But we don't experience that as some great drama, we experience that as the act of walking. - Yes, no. - And I think this kind of ecstatic nature of these various things, it has something like that. There are dramatic moments. And so those things are, those things are crucially important, but that's not the whole. There's a kind of analogy to the drama that's built into every moment of our lives that in fact allows us to experience the drama properly. Anyway, that's sort of a preliminary comment. - Yeah, and I won't say much 'cause I wanted to pick up on the other thing I asked. I agree with that. The leap language, again, is perhaps, I guess there's a point here, precipitous. But, but yeah, and this reminds me of the friendly debate between L.A. Paul about transformative experience and Agnes Callard about aspiration. And to me, they're emphasizing polls on a continuum of cognition between the highly insight poll and the highly incremental poll. And most of our cognition is toggling between that in all the time. And so I think your reformulation is proper. I sometimes try to pair aspiration and inspiration together. Whenever we're aspiring, we are always relying on the fact that we're also always being inspired in some way. So let's take it, I think that's well said. Let's reformulate around that. Give it that reformulation, which I think is proper, within that. And I think it actually supports my point. We're not just called sort of blankly. We're called with a specificity that responds to us already in development, if I can put it that way. And so given that reformulating of the question, how are we called to specifically in development? What's the difference in the calling between the call, the inspirational aspirational call of reason, the inspirational aspirational call of love, the inspirational aspirational call of faith, and you just did it with walking, the inspirational aspirational call of embodiment. - Yeah, yeah. Oh, that's so interesting. Yeah, the faith thing, it seems to me that is in a certain sense, I think in the strictest sense, maybe doesn't belong in the, or it's not one among the others because it had, I think that that, to my mind, would have, it would have kind of a decisive difference in, maybe this isn't so decisive, but because I think it comes back analogically, but in God's self-revelation. And so in a way, it has already sort of a trans-cosmic transcendent origin in the way that these others can be made sense of, still with the language of transcendence, but always sort of intra-cosmically. I mean, I wonder, I wanna think about that, but in any event, yeah, maybe this is an opportunity to go back to some things that were introduced in the last conversation about the relationship between love and reason, and how they are related and distinguished. And I'd mentioned, I think of reason as a motion of taking the communication of reality into oneself, and love is this movement, towards the reality itself. And maybe that would be a way of, there's a way of connecting part and whole that is an inward contemplation of it, and then there's a way of connecting part and whole, which is an act that just hates it in it. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. - And those are not in tension with each other at all, but they are, but they're very different kinds of motions. - Maybe that would be an initial way. - And there's the proper opponent processing within that. Like, Hegel talks about like the breathing, right? - Yeah, yeah. - That's going on there. And we were using inspiration and aspiration, which is breathing in terms of, so at least metaphorically we're on the right track, and sometimes that's all we have to go on. But, so I like this idea of, you know, the reason is something like hearing the call and then love is something like a movement towards the call, but they're both on the call. - To the caller even. - Yeah, to the caller, yeah. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Yeah, okay, yes. I mean, but even a Christian would actually say that those are both true and they're somehow identical with each other, but not, and the Trinity would come in, and I'm gonna put that aside. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Because I fear I cannot say anything about the Trinity. So. - Well, but also when I say caller, I don't immediately mean God. - Well, you can mean the person too. You can mean the other person, yes. - I do think that. But what's distinctive about love is that there's. - That's right, that's right. Yeah. It looked like you've wanted to make a comment here a couple of times, but. - You were frozen just for a sec, that's all. And so I didn't hear the last thing you said. When you said like the caller could be, like I said, the caller could be another person, and then you said something after that, and I didn't hear it. - Oh, just, yeah, no, just to confirm your point. Then I mentioned that it looks like Ken has been wanting to chime in, and I didn't wanna leave him out at the conversation, but yeah, that's exactly. So analogously, there's, the point is with love, there's an agent or there's an embodied reality that we're responding to that in reason, we can think of it more in terms of taking in the message that's being communicated or the call that's being communicated. I don't know, I don't feel quite satisfied with that way of putting it, but. - Well, maybe we can play more with the dimensionality of responsibility, I'll just throw that out. - Let Ken say, I mean, Brandon makes distinctions, for example, when he talks about how Kant reconfigured things around normativity rather than predication, right? I think that's, I think Brandon's reading of Kant is one of the best I've read, but like there's the idea of, like, you know, the logos is giving an account. What am I giving an account of? What's the account for, and who is the account to? There's these three dimensions of accountability. There's the accountability of, and for me, that sounds what reason is most doing. It's getting the best account of, right? And then love is the accountability to, right? And then I'm trying to say, is faith something like accountability for, I'm like, or something, like, I'm trying to just do it right on the dimensions of accountability itself, because maybe the accountability, like, since the logos has these two aspects to it, right? The logos gathers things so they belong together so that accountability now exists in a way it did not exist before. And here's how I'm deeply influenced by Ruchik and Rousin and I try to give credit as much as I can. And I'm so trying to say, are we, like, and this is the birth, right? The birth of things belong together and now accountability has entered into existence, which is the core of all normativities, right? And I think we're saying the logos is the shared thing that reason and love and faith all have. And then I'm trying to say, does that map on perhaps to the different dimensions of accountability, the account of the account for the account to, does that? I'm just trying to help. - Ben, that is really interesting. I mean, the account too, I guess that was the point that I was making about love is the, the data there's a, that's essential to love that's kind of an interesting, but this account for is really interesting because it highlights the fact that this-- - I'm trying to get that sense of responsibility. You're not like in a confession, how you're accounting for your sins, right? You're taking up a role, which is other than stating the truth or caring for another. You're like, I'm trying to get that sense of account in the, and for me, faith touches that accounting for oneself in some profound way. But again, I'm not, I'm trying not to be presumptive either. - Yeah, no, no, the account for oneself, an account for the world that's entrusted to it. So in a way, it opens up the two beyond to a sort of a shared reality that they're, that we're all like sort of accountable for. And that's kind of interesting. I mean, to the opening comments about having three people here in our conversation, I think we've all had the experience that having a conversation with just one other person, there's a profound, Nietzsche actually has some great observations about this, but there's a profound difference between the two and then inviting a third. - Yes, it sort of opens up. - Yep. - It opens up beyond all three to a larger world. And the way that the two can become really closed in on each other. And there you have this sense of the logos as, I mean, there's an interpersonal dimension perhaps, but the interpersonal dimension is always sort of opening beyond itself to a wider horizon so that the closure is always an openness to a greater order. - Yes, yes. - That becomes part of it. Now the question is how does that, how would that map onto faith reason and love? - I have to say, I like the loving as the accounting too and reason as the accounting of. - Yeah, yeah. - Yeah. - And I'm not as happy with, but it seems like it does resonate to talk about faith as the accounting for, especially after you broadened it up. Not only accounting for myself, but accounting for my world, the stewardship sense of accounting for. - There you go. - Yeah. - Yeah. - And so, but I'm gonna shut up 'cause we both acknowledge the third person here who has another chance to speak. So I wanna hear what Ken has to say about how this proposal is sitting with him. - Yeah. - Well, I'd say first of all, my felt sense experience of this whole conversation is something like I've walked in front of a fire hydrant and opened it on myself. - So, so, forgive me if I'm a little bit mixed up 'cause I'm just like being overwhelmed. This is amazing. I would say that faith has always been like one of the hardest things. I alluded to this in our last conversation too. Faith has always been one of the hardest things for me to even feel like I can catch a glimpse of. Know how like you'll, if you're looking towards something, you'll catch a glimpse of something over here. And that's like the very peripheries paid for me. But I like that idea of, I don't know, just this accountability being the, like the thing that we're building around. I mean, the notion of justice to bring in a huge piece here. But the notion of justice resonates with that for me. And that faith kind of as being this primordial thing that I'm always riding on almost. So in the accountability for, I guess if there's a way in which that which is beyond me is accountable for me. And then I am accountable for my own position maybe in that. And so that's, maybe that's a way in which there's two levels of faith. There's one that's underneath me, that's primordial, that's carrying the whole thing. But then, you know, I always think of that the passage in Hebrews where it talks about by faith, by faith, by faith. And there's in the biblical space, there's always an emphasis on the response that is faith. Like faith is very much an action. So on that level, maybe it's that faithfulness for where I am back toward that, which has been faithful to me already. I don't know. - Augustine does both in the confessions, right? There's, he's giving an account, right? I'm not accounting for it, but like you said, and that's that upper maybe more explicit. But there's also the way faith is how he's being, that faithfulness, he's being drawn along in ways he does not understand towards God, right? There's that sense of the pull. And so I think you're in good company when you propose that. I just wanna make sure we don't lose the other thing. The logos isn't just the accountability. There's the primordial that for me is the three pairings, the appearance reality, the absolute relative, the part hold, there's the primordial gathering together so that things belong together. So though like it's that, that the logos is the fundamental. And then that within that, the accountability. - But in the word accountability, I mean, it is helpful because we tend to have such an impoverished sense of what logos-- - Yes. - And we think of it as a function, a capacity, an instrument and so forth. And the way that you're sort of flesh giving it some flesh, and I'm using that word deliberately. I wanna come back. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - It really brings out the truth, the reality that reason is a participation in a larger order that has these various dimensions. So it's not in the first place something that is just in my head as a light that I shine, but it is in me in some sense, but it precisely is my connection to this larger order. Now, and I wanna bring the body back into that. I mean, I don't know if this is quite what you had in mind when you initially introduced the idea, but what keeps coming to me as we're talking is that the fact that embodiment means that, before work, when our consciousness awakens, I mean, when your eyes open in the morning in bed, I mean, you find yourself sort of already there. You're, you know, it's not like you're this consciousness then that has to find its way into reality. It sort of opens up already having been situated and in a place inside of this configuration. - Oh totally. - That you already have a kind of implicit judgments about. And John, I mean, I don't know if this would take us way too far afield, but a notion that I've heard you talk about many times, I'd love to bring that into the conversation, namely, a relevance realization and what that has to do with the things that we're talking about and our embodied condition out of which we come to understand that we have already understood it some way. - Yes, yes. I do think it properly belongs. So thank you for the invitation, but I didn't want to be imposing about it. I think relevance realization is the primordial ecstatic relationship. And so for me, it belongs with the other ease of embodiment, extended, enacted, embedded, and also probably adaptive, right? 'Cause we're not only ecstatic, like, like, we're often using horizontal dimensions, but we're also ecstatic in that we, in an exactive sense, we take the sensory mode or navigation and we're exactly up into navigating in conceptual space. So we're also ecstatic this way, if you'll allow me the metaphor, as opposed to, like, this way forward in time. So there's a, and can you allude it to those two dimensions? And so, yeah, I think relevance realization is, I think it is constitutively, it's constituted by our embodiment, and it's part of how our body is both a subject and object. Because we are self-making beings, this is Varela and Thompson's auto-poestion, it's not merely self-organizing, we are self-organized such that we must, there's no option for us, right? We must seek out the conditions that produce, protect, and promote that self-organization. This is a defining feature of life. Now, I agree with you that I think that is an intensification of some way in which being is always beyond itself, but we can get back to that, right? Like I said, I do wanna get back to that. But what that means is we, because we are constituted in the act of caring, creating, we take care of ourselves as we're creating ourselves, and creating ourselves as taking care of ourselves. We are already always in that, and that precedes us as any kind of metacognitive, reflective, moral agent. I'm not talking about our moral status, we have moral status from the beginning, or talking about our moral agency, right? And so we have to, because we fundamentally care, we have to care about this information rather than that information, because we are finite also because, and being finite and being autopoetic, our co-determining thing. So, out of all the information, I have to care for this and not care for that, but I can't do that in an algorithmic, absolute fashion, because there is nothing inherently relevant to relevance realization other than itself. Right, because this can be relevant to me right now, and irrelevant the next moment, kind of. So what we're doing is, and I won't get into all the mechanics of the scientific theory, but the idea is, and this is why the breathing metaphor is, right, we are constantly opening to variation, and then selecting it down for what is needed here now. This is the movement towards mournness, and this is the selection into the suctionist of the situation, and you don't want to try and stop that, you don't want to try, and if you claim it as complete, total would be to say, now evolution is produced the final form of life, and if you say that, you don't understand evolution, you don't understand evolution. So relevance realization is a constant evolution of this caring, committed connectedness, and I use that word very on purpose, right? And so for me, that's the part of the logos that is the, and it's not made by me, or it's not made by me like expressed like. - Oh wait, are you still hearing me? Did the mic change? - Did the mic change? - There we go. - You're back on it. - Okay, okay, okay. So it's not expressed by me, like the romantics, or received into me, like the empiricist on the blank state, I properly participate in it, right? It, right, the world relevance is co-created, co-evolved by the world and me. We are coupled together, and for me, this is one aspect of what I sometimes think of faith as, is this sense of being coupled to reality, like da-ah, sexual intercourse, right? Right, but for me, that part of what I've been talking about, that is the place where these two parts I've mentioned are, that's their er, origin. - Yeah, yeah. - Because that relevance realization is the gathering of things so they belong together so that I belong to them. That's what I'm doing right now, making a sense of this, right? But that also is the thing that then acts as the orienting field of normativity on accounting of accounting for and accounting. - Yeah, yeah. - How is that? - That's very, yeah, and how would you put in, I mean, just to, that's fantastic. That's just, yeah. And that's, you know, I was thinking that's exactly, you know, you wake up and find yourself in bed, there's a sense in which, you know, the pillow has a certain special importance that the light switch on the other side of the room doesn't. - Yes, yes. - I mean, it's amazing. - And it's because of your physical makeup and in this particular moment. So I mean, the body is sort of co-operating, co-operating in that sort of configuration. But, but. - I wanna replace the word co-operating with co-originating. - Okay, okay. - Which I think is even, because you're not, your body is what solves Locke's problem, right? Your body is what keeps you you when you're unconscious, right, and all kinds of other things. But go ahead, go ahead. - Right, right, right. And not, and, but a, a contrary to Locke, not because the body is, it's just a physical thing that sticks around. There's, there's, there's, - Oh. - Personality is sort of embedded in it. - No, no, the point I just made is, - Yeah, yeah. - Your body is a constitutive proper part of your cognition. - That's right. That's, that's, yeah. So right now, now, how would you connect this to the theme of the leap that we've been talking about on the one hand, and then how would you connect it to the good as the ultimate? - I mean, those, those, those, okay, so. - Okay, so, I mean, it seems to me it fits, but it would be nice to kind of spell out how it fits. - So for me, the leap, the, this move towards the whole, which is not a totalizing, it's not identical to, but it resonates with what I was saying about. So what I was saying about it being evolving, so think about it this way. Relevance realization is an inherently self-correcting process. That is exactly what we mean. It's not, it's not abstractly self-correcting, it's self-correcting to be self-preserving, self-constituting. So first of all that. So it's, it's, it's involving evolution. It's not just evolution. It's also, it's not only evolving, it's involving in a really deep sense. Okay, and what that means is that it is inherently self-transcending. It is here, it is in, like I said, it is inherently open to the world is more than how I have grasped it. And that's why even in biological evolution, it depends on the openness to variation. And then, but then of course, there is also the constraint back down to the such, the here and now, the situated, right? And for me, that, and what you said, I think like what you were saying about, we are all, how the leap makes it too decisive. This is much more this looping thing. - It discreet, yeah. - Yeah, yeah, this looping thing. I see as, maybe we should call them the loops of reason and the loops of, right? It's that, right? It's that kind of move. And so that's how I, but like I said, it's not like, if you leave out the caring and the connectedness and the risky commitment of your resources, every act of relevance realization is you're committing, you're limited, but precious attention, time and resource here, rather than there. So you have to bring in the caring, the connectedness and the commitment. And then I think that, but if you put that into this involving looping, then I think that's how I would re-understand the relationship between the leaps, right? - And that shows also why it makes sense to think of something like the good or the beautiful as a first principle, because it's not, it's not a purely abstractly cognitive act or perceptive act, but it, it involves also, yeah, I mean, commitment is another way of putting, it's another word for the same sense of ecstatic movement into where you, I mean, you give your, I mean, another way to put it is a kind of a self gift. - Yes. - I think the language of gift actually can really pervade this whole conversation in ways that could be really illuminating. - I think gift is right, but it's a weird thing. It's a gift that's a binding, 'cause like, the organism is giving, it's forgiving its future to itself, but it binds itself to that giving in order to be the thing that it needs to be. Now, if I could-- - Yeah, could I just just read for a second on the binding? That dimension that I have found too often missing in conversations about the meaning of love and so forth. - Yes. - And even with the commitment, you think of this as something, okay, here I am and now I'm going to commit myself. But the binding is you find yourself already bound to attach to responsible for something that precedes your deliberate activity in a certain sense. And that dimension, I think is absolutely crucial or else, I mean, there's so many, there's so many political, economic kind of implications in fact, but only that-- - I think that's true. - And I think this is one of Plato, he doesn't have the theory of relevance realization, but one of Plato's great way, where I see a deep connection in Plato is Plato's great insight about the caring, connectedness, commitment, binding in the virtues. If there's nothing in you that is called to honesty, I can't do anything to make you honest. I can't even get you to follow my, I can't even talk to you about honesty or the same thing with courage, right? If there's nothing in you, right, that they can respond to that. But that doesn't mean you are fully honest or fully virtuous, right? And we're into that very same thing. But I think Plato was right to say, this is why you can't capture this, like with just simple rules or prescriptions or techno. This is what I think, Ruchnik is right. Like there's something about, like there's something about the virtues and wisdom in particular that is deemed paradoxical around this. - And the point that Plato makes about the good, this desire for the good is all, it's constitutive of the human soul. I mean, it's already there. And it's not something that's introduced from the outside. And it seems to me that's the fundamental principle that makes sense of them, the differentiation of the virtues and so forth is the radical presence of the first principle, constitutive presence of the first principle. - Yes, it is, but I think it's present erratically in Plato's sense of errands, right? Honesty is in me enough that I can long for how it's absent from me, right? - Yeah, that's right. - And be aware of its absence because otherwise, I mean, this is what you mean by the self-corrective. - Yes. - Or else you always have the sense that you're already honest, sufficiently honest. I mean, you wouldn't have the capacity. But it's also, this connects to the why the highest sense of wisdom for Socrates is to know that you don't know. It's not a skeptical absence. It's the full realization, the full understanding of a reality that you, the very fullness of that understanding is a grasp of the fact that it remains beyond you in some sense. And so that erotic dimension is never, it never goes away. - No. - And the moment it goes away, you've misunderstood. - Yes. - Then you're ignorant in a bad sense. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, yeah. And then you're inevitably going to become the tyrant. - Yeah. - But that might just be a tyranny over yourself too. Many people forget that possibility. They think that they only think of tyranny in a social sense. And Plato is very clear in the Republic. No, no, you can be a tyrant and the only person your tyrant over is yourself. And there's a lot of people that live that way. And because we have this lopsided notion of purely external justice, exploring this totally social, we lose the realization. And I think one way a Christian might, and I don't mean to be presumptuous, one way a Christian might talk about sin is that kind of tyranny over the self, right? - Yeah. - So there's a couple, I want to drawing it to a close or a, 'cause we're gonna go on forever. And I hope so. I wanna just, I wanna find a quote because I wanna just at least say something to you. I wanna, this is from your chapter, because it just does a preliminary thing about what I think we're talking about when I think we're talking about the good and how we can do what John Rousin is proposing, how we can bring phenomenology and Plato back together again, rather than having them as opponents, which is kind of the official position that may be. I just wanna read this to you. This is from page 15 of this translation. So the form is able to gather parts into a concrete hole only in so far as it transcends those parts. But if it transcends the physical parts, it transcends the physical thing. That is the thing is located in time and space. As a whole, which means it belongs in some sense as much to the species as it does to the individual members of the species. So I've been talking about this notion of the I-DOS as the through line. And I take from Husrell's idetic reduction and then Marlow-Punti is opening it up. And then I bring the idea of deduction. And that, so the idea that here's an object and although you think you do, you never see the whole object. You can't in fact see the whole object. The number of aspects of this is unlimited. And especially if you include relational aspects, like the way this can relate to other things. And then you immediately get a sense of this multiplying multi-aspectuality. But the relations between them are not in co-hate or incoherent. You can move between them in a way that each aspect somehow presages and gathers the aspect before it and presages the aspect after it. But you can go in many different ways. So there's a through line of all the aspects that binds them together. But precisely because of that, it is not itself any aspect. It is the through line that is constantly pointing from any particular facet to the mournness of the multi-aspectuality. And I pick up on that because Plato uses this kind of language a lot. And one of the original meanings of idos is the look of a thing, like it's particular aspect. And he's very concerned with that. And then I thought, and then what you seem to be doing is saying not only is there sort of a through line like of this, that through line explains why there can be other, this is, and there can be other books, for example, or something like that. That's what I heard you saying in that quote, that there's a sense in which we shouldn't be thinking of the idos or the form as a definition, an irisitutane essence. But we should think, we should be thinking of it right as the through line in this way, in this very mental, it's right in the guts of our phenomenology and it can be taken up into the heights of our conceptuality. And then here's the proposal I wanna make to you. The good is that the promise, that the wedding that is the through line will never be broken. - Yeah, I like it. Right, promise and fidelity. And then what's interesting there is you have a kind of absoluteness, like a definitive absoluteness that doesn't have the Cartesian form of some kind of internal self certainty. But it has to do with the ground of all meaning. And that's why the very thing that makes something, the very thing that makes it absolute is what makes it lie beyond my capacity to say it fully or to reduce it to a certain kind of concept. It's not because it's uncertain, it's because it's absolute. - Yes. - And along those lines, yeah. It occurred to me the other day about the the photonic what is question. And we so often think of that as this attempt that either succeeds or fails to give a definition of something so that you've kind of solved the problem. And then you get the rationalist read of that and the skeptical read of that. It's very different if you think that the question itself is meant existentially as a summon. - That's how I interpret it. And that's what I think third way Platonist scholarship is putting to the forefront and making the argument of Highland and Howland and Ruchnik and Gonzalez and all these people. I think they're doing a devastatingly good job. - But that and that connects with this through line kind of understanding. - Well, to my mind it also connects with yours since in the critique about, right? There's a for itselfness of something that is it's goodness that is also, it's independent realness from us. It's what preserves it from ever being completely consumed by our cognition. And I was thinking, I think David's notion of the for itselfness and the through line that I'm talking about are two different ways of talking about the same thing. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. I that sounds right to me. I think that's a, I agree it resonates. Yeah, yeah. - Okay, well, we're gonna come back and we're gonna come back everyone. We're gonna come back on Ken Lowry's channel, Climbing Mount Sophia. We'll tweet about this. We'll announce it when the date is specifically set and everything and when we release them. But I just wanted to give each one of you quickly any final things you'd like to say. And then we'll, and also give you my thanks for coming. This has been like, platonically beautiful for me. I've enjoyed it richly. - No, I love how this is progressing and deepening. And look forward to it continuing. And maybe, you know, maybe some of your audience might have a sense of problem to pose that. - Sure. - That could bear some fruit. Would be interesting to hear, but I'm enjoying it immensely and thank you both. - Well, what I'll do is I'll look through some of the comments for this video, the previous video and see if I can draw out ones. Because many of the comments are just yay, yay's and boos, right? But some of the comments are yay, the attempts to engage. And by the way, I appreciate the yay's that I don't know what to do with the boos. I feel the yay's helpfully encouraging. But I know what you mean. I wanna get the ones that could contribute to furthering the deepening of the discussion. Ken, any last words from you? - I'm grateful to be here. I think, yeah, for me, this was kind of an exercise in noticing how embedded we are. And the sense of even just the difficulty that came up with the word gift even. Right? It's so, the words are so tricky because you end up on one side or the other. And finding myself as a through line that gets to engage in a conversation like this is quite lovely. So I'm grateful. - Thank you so very much. - All right.


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