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By Hong Wu
#14802435
I imagine that some of the earliest philosophies we are aware of are a teleology of feels, then later philosophies are a combination of a teleology of feels and a teleology of results.

Communism tries to be a teleology of results only, what some people may not realize is that what we define as results is based upon our feels, or at least upon someone's feels at some point in time.

So what I'm saying here is that feels Matter, man. You can't just be like, I am a super dude who doesn't have any feels, if that was you you'd be a statue or something, not a person pushing for certain outcomes.

I think a lot of SJWs are communists because being an SJW is their hobby, not because they think this stuff is likely to work out satisfactorily in the long run.
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By Wellsy
#14802475
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I don't know about other's perspectives, but I don't get the impression that Communists are necessarily just radical types of optimistic rationalists who than presuppose an idealized sense of humanity's nature.
In another thread, I tried to emphasize that emotions are entwined with reasoning.
To more aptly summarize this: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/hsts412/doel/dvs.htm
"For students of the humanities, the key neurophysiological insight of our time is that which has been so eloquently expressed by Antonio Damasio," declared Jonathan Bate, a Shakespeare scholar at the University of Liverpool in the Times Literary Supplement last December. "The division between reason and passion, or cognition and emotion (an opposition that goes all the way back to Aristotle), is, from a neurological point of view, a fallacy."

Dr. Damasio and other researchers, he added, "have brought us close to the possibility of a scientifically verifiable investigation of the hypothesis — which in various forms has a very long history — that literature may have been genetically evolved to do cognitive work precisely by stimulating the emotions."

All the talk about affect marks the demise of a long-upheld scholarly taboo. In the late 19th century, science's leading lights regarded feelings as a natural subject for exploration. Darwin devoted a book to emotional expression in humans and animals, Freud based his theory of mental pathology on unsuccessful emotional repression, and the American psychologist William James weighed in with a body-based theory of emotion strikingly similar to Spinoza's own.

And when trying to consider human nature, I imagine it being a tension like what one might consider the unconscious and consciousness. Instincts, drives, things that propel us which are mediated through reason, people are neither one or the other but both. We aren't without reason, but we certainly aren't only of a capacity to reason. So I think it's unlikely that any reasonable person rejects that part of themselves and thus making themselves more vulnerable to the folly of being dictated by emotional responses. And by refusing to acknowledge them, fail to account for them in adjusting their behaviour.
If anything, I would personally detest those that in many cases think that a cool mind should be stock standard as it's a good thing to be roused by emotion. It's just necessary to be cautious of how emotion can disrupt the efficacy of reasoning.

I even speculate of there being things that things may only resonate as true, regardless of one's reasoning, based on one's experiences. Thus perhaps being characterize by the persuasiveness of how a thing feels.
Spoiler: show
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/positive/positi.htm
Of course, the thinking of people is formed first of all not by teachers and philosophers, but by the real conditions of their lives.

As Fichte said, the kind of philosophy you choose depends upon the type of person you are. Everyone is attracted to a philosophy which corresponds to the already formed image of his own thinking. He finds in it a mirror which fully presents everything that earlier existed in the form of a vague tendency, an indistinctly expressed allusion. A philosophical system arms the thinking (consciousness) of the individual with self-consciousness, i.e. with a critical look at oneself as if it were from the side, or from the point of view of the experience common to all mankind, of the experience of the history of thinking.

http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/fichte.htm
Fichte insisted that it was necessary to found science on a single principle, but held that such a first principle cannot be derived by philosophical means. Whether you choose a given principle to be the founding principle of your theory of knowledge or not “depends on what sort of person you are” he said. The choice of a theory of knowledge is therefore also an ethical act.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/johann-fichte/#3
It must be granted that the truth of the Wissenschaftslehre's starting point cannot be established by any philosophical means, including its utility as a philosophical first principle. On the contrary—and this is one of Fichte's most characteristic and controversial claims—one already has to be convinced, on wholly extra-philosophical grounds, of the reality of one's own freedom before one can enter into the chain of deductions and arguments that constitute the Wissenschaftslehre. This is the meaning of Fichte's oft-cited assertion that “the kind of philosophy one chooses depends upon the kind of person one is.”

That just as we internalize physical laws like gravity and inertia, so to do other things leave a sort of felt impression within us. That for some, no matter how superb the reasoning, things just don't persuade them because it doesn't feel true enough and thus sometimes it's not reasoning but reality that one has to bring forth.
https://www.unicef.org/protection/files/4_09_30_Whole_What_are_Social_Norms.pdf
The Sternins encouraged community members to design a program that would help families with malnourished children form groups to learn the new practices. The Sternins later summarized this experience with the principle: “It's easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than to think your way into new way of acting.” Another important factor in attaining sustained change was for people to see the results of their new behaviors. Every two weeks the members of a learning group would together weigh their babies and chart their growth; and village-wide weight-monitoring sessions were held every two months. Credible testimony and direct experience, in the framework of public action and discussion, overcame past practices that had contributed to malnutrition in a time of food shortage. One of the peasants remarked, “A thousand hearings aren't worth one seeing, and a thousand seeings aren't worth one doing.”


Which doesn't necessarily mean that people have to directly experience life as others, though there is that gap in understanding perhaps. But through propganda in artworks, one can rouse an empathy and understanding that perhaps isn't so readily evoked through reason.
For example, I never really felt or thought about racism as it meant for the lives of blacks in the US in the way I did after reading James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues.
It loses its true effect in the overall context of reading, but this passage in particular
Spoiler: show
"Safe!" my father grunted, whenever Mama suggested trying to move to a neighborhood which might be safer for children. "Safe, hell! Ain't no place safe for kids, nor nobody."

He always went on like this, but he wasn't, ever, really as bad as he sounded, not even on weekends, when he got drunk. As a matter of fact, he was always on the lookout for "something a little better," but he died before he found it. He died suddenly, during a drunken weekend in the middle of the war, when Sonny was fifteen. He and Sonny hadn't ever got on too well. And this was partly because Sonny was the apple of his father's eye. It was because he loved Sonny so much and was frightened for him, that he was always fighting with him. It doesn't do any good to fight with Sonny. Sonny just moves back, inside himself, where he can't be reached. But the principal reason that they never hit it off is that they were so much alike. Daddy was big and rough and loud-talking, just the opposite of Sonny, but they both had—that same privacy.

Mama tried to tell me something about this, just after Daddy died. I was home on leave from the army

This was the last time I ever saw my mother alive. Just the same, this picture gets all mixed up in my mind with pictures I had other when she was younger. The way I always see her is the way she used to be on a Sunday afternoon, say, when the old folks were talking after the big Sunday dinner. I always see her wearing pale blue. She'd be sitting on the sofa. And my father would be sitting in the easy chair, not far from her. And the living room would be full of church folks and relatives. There they sit, in chairs all around the living room, and the night is creeping up outside, but nobody knows it yet. You can see the darkness growing against the windowpanes and you hear the street noises every now and again, or maybe the jangling beat of a tambourine from one of the churches close by, but it's real quiet in the room. For a moment nobody's talking, but every face looks darkening, like the sky outside. And my mother rocks a little from the waist, and my father's eyes are closed. Everyone is looking at something a child can't see. For a minute they've forgotten the children. Maybe a kid is lying on the rug, half asleep. Maybe somebody's got a kid in his lap and is absent-mindedly stroking the lad's head. Maybe there's a kid, quiet and big-eyed, curled up in a big chair in the comer. The silence, the darkness coming, and the darkness in the faces frighten the child obscurely. He hopes that the hand which strokes his forehead will never stop—will never die. He hopes that there will never come a time when the old folks won't be sitting around the living room, talking about where they've come from, and what they've seen, and what's happened to them and their kinfolk.

But something deep and watchful in the child knows that this is bound to end, is already ending. In a moment someone will get up and turn on the light. Then the old folks will remember the children and they won't talk any more that day. And when light fills the room, the child is filled with darkness. He knows that every time this happens he's moved just a little closer to that darkness outside. The darkness outside is what the old folks have been talking about. It's what they've come from. It's what they endure. The child knows that they won't talk any more because if he knows too much about what's happened to them, he'll know too much too soon, about what's going to happen to him.

Though for something more explicitly about class, this can evoke some interesting emotions
Spoiler: show
You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe.

And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so.

Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers.

And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.

Such a work could help inspire a person to feel the wrong of such circumstances which may not be evoked when describing in detail the way in which workers are exploited. In say the terms of how workers are paid for their labour power but not their labour and capitalists can skim off the difference for a profit.

Though in regards to 'sjws', they are probably characterized by an emphasis too much on feeling over that of reasoning. They feel certain things are wrong without the corresponding examination of their world view and how it may have been shaped to neglect the necessary details to better approximate the 'what is' of things. They argue with moralizing, about how things are wrong, which Marx overcame in his immanent critique of capitalism which was still evaluative and critical, but grounded in reasoning. Word that clearly are condemning but aren't like that of Utopian socialists appeals to romantic notions of a brotherhood of man.
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By quetzalcoatl
#14802522
It's fairly obvious that, being primates, emotions matter a whole lot. Not just your physical/economic well-being but your placement in your tribe. These things contribute to your overall sense of well-being. I don't dismiss this at all. Most people want to feel that their efforts will be rewarded, and that society, while not perfect, is mostly fair. This is where politics come in. Some level of result-oriented action is necessary to enable a happy society.

There's plenty of evidence of a rising level of anger and unhappiness in Western societies. We also see it in nations of the former Soviet bloc who have undergone neoliberal shock therapy in the 90s.

Where you want to go with these observations is up to you. From my point of view, the unrestricted application of efficiency and free markets as the organizing principle of society eventually undermines the social cohesion of society, without fail. SJWs are basically irrelevant - they are magnified in the minds of the disaffected on the right, and become the source of all their unease. Remember that SJWs are a phenomenon of capitalism, not Marxism.
#14802541
quetzalcoatl wrote:SJWs are basically irrelevant - they are magnified in the minds of the disaffected on the right, and become the source of all their unease. Remember that SJWs are a phenomenon of capitalism, not Marxism.


Indeed, and I would wager that it could be argued that the "SJW" is as much a phantom as the "hipster," and in a Venn Diagram, the two probably overlap in the imagination of their critics considerably.

Wellsy wrote:If anything, I would personally detest those that in many cases think that a cool mind should be stock standard as it's a good thing to be roused by emotion. It's just necessary to be cautious of how emotion can disrupt the efficacy of reasoning

...Marx overcame in his immanent critique of capitalism which was still evaluative and critical, but grounded in reasoning. Word that clearly are condemning but aren't like that of Utopian socialists appeals to romantic notions of a brotherhood of man.


This seems accurate to me.

I've been developing a theory that the conflict comes down to where you fall on this. I don't know of a single Marxist, nor Marx himself, that would deny that human agency and emotion does not exist. But Marxism is materialist and well within the sphere of the modernist. This is to say, that there is a certain inheritance from the Enlightenment that a rational distance should be held; but more than that, it involves the conception of a universal truth that can be expressed and experienced; that your emotions run on a predictable pattern that can be ascertained and understood. Is this not what Freud and every psychologist that followed maintained? Do we not still maintain this when we prescribe drugs to regulate mood?

And if we can understand the origin of emotions, instead of embracing emotion as the origin of reality—can we not turn this around to art? To the way that we live in general?

Rochelle Rives wrote:The modernist doctrine of impersonality, most famously articulated by T.S. Eliot in his central essay of 1919, "Tradition and the Individual Talent," addresses t.he problem that personality, as a product of humanist individualism, presents for literary form. While modernist studies is currently benefiting from a much needed reconsideration of the term "impersonality," led by critics such as Tim Dean this critical tu~n has yet to consider the explicit connections between impersonality and emotion. lt has also yet to fully trace the genealogy of impersonality outside the modernist company of Yeats, Eliot, and Pound. Similarly, scholars of modernist emotion...have tended to downplay the historical specificity of aesthetic modernism in lieu of examining more generalizable features of emotion, creating a picture of modernist emotion that does not include the more historically specific question of "impersonality."

Yet, modernism aside, the word "impersonality" itself is suggestive of emotion, most logically, its absence. Although "impersonality" in its more general sense has been connected to objectivity and neutrality, I argue here that modernist theories of impersonality, authoritarian or otherwise, theorize emotional engagement by dismantling the duality between subject and object, inside and outside. In doing so, this modernist aestheticization of emotion disables the boundaries of the self-contained individual - or what Altieri terms the "romantic expressivist notions of identity, notions that emphasize getting in touch with some core self and locating basic values in how we make those deep aspects of the self articulate". This distrust of psychology enables novel modes of thinking about and understanding emotion not predicated upon the individual self.


This last line, I think, is most important. "Not predicated upon the individual self." An acknowledgement that the individual is not the centre of the universe is the centre of modernism. Freud, a modernist borrowing heavily from another modernist, du Bois-Reymond, declared this to be so:

Freud wrote:Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable; this is associated in our minds with the name of Copernicus, although Alexandrian doctrines taught something very similar. The second was when biological research robbed man of his peculiar privilege of having been specially created, and relegated him to a descent from the animal world, implying an ineradicable animal nature in him: this transvaluation has been accomplished in our own time upon the instigation of Charles Darwin, Wallace, and their predecessors, and not without the most violent opposition from their contemporaries. But man's craving for grandiosity is now suffering the third and most bitter blow from present-day psychological research which is endeavoring to prove to the ‘ego’ of each one of us that he is not even master in his own house, but that he must remain content with the veriest scraps of information about what is going on unconsciously in his own mind. We psychoanalysts were neither the first nor the only ones to propose to mankind that they should look inward; but it appears to be our lot to advocate it most insistently and to support it by empirical evidence which touches every man closely.


But the qualification Freud makes is important, we must look inward. This is not a rejection of emotion, but a way to contextualize and understand its place in the realm of our lives, our analysis, and why we think the way that we do. Though Freud is largely dismissed by his descendants, this basic standard remains agreed upon by virtually everybody today.

And it is in contrast to the postmodernists that tend to see, in the most extreme, everybody's self serving view as equally valid and immeasurable.

Were we to follow this to its conclusion, perhaps it is no wonder why those that reject scientists, reject history, and reject politics based upon how they feel instead of how they can reason has become a defining issue. However this may be, it is a contradictory impulse for those that practice such things as they are essentially alienating themselves from the very emotions that they are basing their decisions from. It is, perhaps, no surprise that they found their champion from primetime network reality television:

Rochelle Rives wrote:Contemporary popular culture often sensationalizes emotions, connecting them to the self-revelatory sentimental confessions performed on daytime talk shows. Such venues predicate emotions on the presumption of intense individuality, where one's emotions generally reveal what it means to "be oneself." Generally, these emotions are connected to a number of specific actions or psychic processes; we are often repressing, denying, dealing with, or accepting our emotions, or attempting to liberate them from some secret inner dwelling to finally be "in touch" with them. This link between emotion and popular belief in individual uniqueness and sanctity not only explains Wyndham Lewis's disillusionment with the act of "expression,"but also accounts for the poststructuralist suggestion that emotions are merely behavior, products of culture, socialization, and discourse.


While the modernist, and Marx in particular in this case, want to rely on logic and science, they also desire to understand the emotion and its place; and more importantly, to connect with it in a realistic way.
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By Wellsy
#14802681
The Immortal Goon wrote:While the modernist, and Marx in particular in this case, want to rely on logic and science, they also desire to understand the emotion and its place; and more importantly, to connect with it in a realistic way.

My impression about Marx thus far, to which I'll admit I am yet to actually read much of his work directly, let alone form in depth opinions, is that his work is partly calls for a self-awareness or consciousness by people. That his naturalism put an emphasis on the concrete world and drew our attention to how our being and consciousness is intimately tied to it. From that we could derive a approximate awareness of reality in order to be more conscious in how we live.
To follow from your last paragraph about the emphasis on emotions to the neglect of things as being some sort of means to find ones self and such. I really enjoy plugging Rick Roderick's lectures and his siege on the self. He draws on Freud to illustrate what he thinks the current predicament was for people.
http://rickroderick.org/108-philosophy-and-post-modern-culture-1990/
Freud compares the conscious mind, in the book I have – I am talking about now – he compares the conscious mind to a garrison. A captured, tiny garrison in an immense city, the city of Rome; with all its layers of history, all its archaic barbarisms, all its hidden avenues, covered over by civilization after civilization. That’s our mind, that whole thing. But the conscious part of it is that one garrison that’s clear, that holds out in this captured city. A magnificent metaphor for all the surrounding motives, motivations, motifs, desires, that drive us… that are not philosophical… that cannot, even if we talk to our therapist a long time, all be brought up at once.
...
So the goal of analytic treatment would be for those unreflected massive areas – again to go back to that metaphor of the city – to become part of the garrison as it spreads out to things we are clear about. In other words, it’s not a bad metaphor saying we shouldn’t be clear about who we are, and have an “I”, or a self, or a subject. Now, why am I bringing this up now? Well, to contrast it with my last remarks about culture, if the goal of psychoanalysis is that the unreflected parts become reflected, that the “it” become the “I”, then the goal of a mass simulational culture – and this is a remark that I am using from the Frankfurt school, don’t worry about it.

The goal of a mass telecommunication culture is psychoanalysis in reverse. It’s that the little, last remaining parts of that garrison become unconscious. It’s precisely to reverse that process of enlightenment. Mass culture is enlightenment in reverse gear. Precisely to wipe out that last little garrison of autonomy. It is a constant assault upon it…

And this seems to be an incredible attack on ourselves, where it's difficult to escape from. That your part about people's rejection of history to me even speaks to a recent sentiment I've had, wondering whether this postmodernist milieu or what ever one wants to call the present situation we're in, is in a sense timeless/ahistorical. Though I don't know what I really mean when I think this, what is meant by timelessness, other than simply stuck within the present state of things. Perhaps something I associate with the success of capitalism over socialism in the 20th century and the felt belief that there is no alternative and there is nothing beyond this, there is no future. And Rick Roderick in another lecture speaks of how we may actually enjoy apocalyptic scenarios for the sense of escape it offers, a clean slate to start again, whilst the true horror is enduring a post-apocalypse, where we're forced to endure this timeless space.

But moving on from that ramble, I do have the impression of the description above where it feels difficult to traverse through all that's happening and make any coherent sense of it. That it feels like one is just swamped in currents of emotion swelled up through events. Without any means of connecting things for a broader perspective, ones awareness is reduced to the immediate. Things are so fast and dizzying, that we're in a sort of sedation, in the sense that we are obscured from becoming conscious of our circumstance, made to quiet our minds to simple pleasures.

Following that linked page about species-being and social essence, which I read through, I felt like it affirmed certain impressions I took from some Soviet thinkers in considering psychology/consciousness. A sense of how the individual's particular consciousness is social not only in terms of being developed through existing relations but is in a sense inheritor of an entire history of humanity and it's objectified labour.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch05-s02.html.
When discussing biological factors, one should not reduce them to the genetic. More attention should be given to the physiological and ontogenetic aspects of development, and particularly to those that evoke a pathological effect, for it is these that modify the biology of the human being, who is also beginning to perceive even social factors in quite a different way. Dialectics does not simply put the social and the biological factors on an equal footing and attribute the human essence to the formula of biotropic-sociotropic determination favoured by some scientists. It stresses the dominant role of the social factors. Nor does dialectics accept the principles of vulgar sociologism, which ignores the significance of the biological principle in man.

As the highest intelligent being, man is the focal point of all forms of the motion of matter. They are represented in him hierarchically, and the highest ultimately guiding and regulative factor is the social, to which all other forms are subordinate. In other words a human being embodies and sums up, as it were, the whole development of the universe.

One section in particular stood out to me.
Consciousness is originally directed towards practice, towards the other, and towards nature. Only when it has become estranged from these relations through the division of labor does it become capable of producing fantasies, of fashioning ideological caricatures of man's actual social, practical, and natural life, in the illusion that it is self-subsistent. 30
...
The separation and fixation of activities which in their very nature are meant to reflect a total capacity for life, consolidates "our own products into an objective power above us, growing out of our control, thwarting our expectations and nullifying our calculations." 32 When the division of labor becomes, in the form of the class, the empirical reality of man's social existence, then conscious life takes flight from actual life, and finds refuge in abstract totalities disassociated from praxis and nature. For example, the State, "the social illusion in a condition of divided labor, becomes a necessity to man's personal being, while actual social existence, the class structure, becomes a barrier to the life of the individual, an antagonistic and accidental facet of his personality, instead of the essential milieu of his freedom and growth." a8 The social nexus of productive forces, in being subordinated to the demands of private interest and capital, becomes estranged from the life of the individual, and sustains his life only by 'stunting it'. 34 The 'stunting' or the 'restriction' a5 of man's practical relationship to nature that is just as much his relationship to other men, which Marx mentions in the Ideology, is nothing else than the 'alienation' of the Manuscripts. For if the human essence is to be a total need and capacity for action which is directed towards the totality of the external world, then the forced separation of man from this totality represents a cleavage in the self itself.

It affirmed something I read by Feliks Mikhailov where I think he explains in a simple and clear way, how the humanity's history and social development leads to elaboration upon our consciousness. It seems to elaborate what is summarized in the above passage, about how the more abstract consciousness and emphasis on thought comes about through division of labour.
This for example illustrates a first step to a more abstract manner of thought, because the relation to the land based on evolving social organization compelled such manner of thinking.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/mikhailov/works/riddle/riddle3c.htm
We are now faced with two directly objectified kinds of activity: the first is the working of the land, agriculture, arduous physical labour; the second is the working out of how to regulate “border conflicts” with the neighbouring agricultural or cattle-raising tribes. The head of the given tribe and his closest associates see the basis of their activity precisely in the integrality of the tribal lands. And it is this land as the possession of the tribe that they represent in their activity of border regulation. So the object of their activity is the mode of dividing, the mode of limiting the claims of neighbours on their land, on their possessions. It was not the land as such with its life-giving fertility, not the plough and the bullocks that occupied the attention of the head of the tribe and his advisers, but the way of objectively presenting to oneself and one's neighbours where their domain ends.

But how can one objectively delimit land? What does it entail? It entails a number of things. It entails putting a stone landmark at some disputed point, another some distance away, noting a solitary tree as a third “point”, the top of a hill, as a fourth, and then perhaps putting up another stone, and so on. All these “points” are only the means of expressing the border as a line. The border itself thus drawn is only the objectively formulated means of representing one's land as a single whole.

Finding such a means and formulating it is a special kind of labour. The erection of the stones or digging of divides will be done by others, namely those whose social position has now bound them to material production with all its one-sidedness, its separation from setting goals and finding ways of achieving them. Having as the object of his activity the means, methods and forms of activity as such, having people's social modes of activity as the object of his labour, the head of the tribe was confronted with a direct universality of natural processes reflected in human modes of activity. For him the border of the land was a line drawn mentally from a post to a stone. And this line made a perfectly real measurement of the land and was itself an object of his labour.

Lines, straight lines ... They may be used to draw a geometrical figure. A line is free of the sensuous immediacy of a given plot of land. It cannot and does not have to be ploughed or dug up. The real relations objectively inherent in nature are reflected in it, as they are reflected, “caught” by every mode of socially significant human action. But as soon as these modes and means as such (line, figure, angle, etc.) become the object of a person's activity, then nature is represented in them only as an idealised, “directly universal” object. Activity connected with it is no longer material but mental activity, performed as a set of intellectual operations with given idealised objects.

Thus a great revolution came about in the development of the modes of human activity. The ideal plane of people's objective activity – and this is what distinguishes man from the animals – acquired a relative independence, became a special mode of activity of a special group of people. This set the stage for intensive development of the modes of theoretical goal-setting and of everything that the intellectual culture of society was to produce.

Consequently, intellectual culture appeared on the scene out of necessity. Its emergence was determined by the social development of the property relation, which broke away from direct, material influence on the object of possession (particularly, the land). It was not the leisure of the free citizen of the ancient city-state, but the character, the content and object of his socially necessary activity that made possible and essential the “invention of free arts”.

What was the relationship between the individual's consciousness and the social forms of consciousness before the appearance of theoretical consciousness as such? The consciousness of primitive man was almost a direct unity, if not fusion, of the individual and the collective in the form of ritual with its developed “language of real life” as a mode of setting goals and ways of achieving them. The individual's obedience to ritual was the basic condition for society's survival and the handing down from one generation to another of the social modes of activity and intercourse. This was the basis of the tribal social and individual mode of goal-setting (thought).


And to this, I suspect that Evald Ilyenkov and Lev Vygotsky and works that elaborate upon theirs, would be fruitful in considering human consciousness and how it develops. I haven't the time to read their works, but I can already see that they have great insight and theorizing when it comes to things like how the material world relates to our consciousness and how its social in it's very nature.
And it seems complimentary to some basic thoughts in trying to understand the human subject and our consciousness. Where I've gone from considering the Buddhist emphasis on there being no soul, an Anatta. And hearing Kierkagaard quotes about the self being some relation relating to itself.
Which relates well to that species-being text in one quote, or at least I connect them in my mind.
The social basis for the ego extends, finally, even to the conscious and reflective relation of self to self. In both the Manuscripts and the Ideology we discover that all consciousness, both in content and form, is rooted in a social substructure.

ANd this seems complimentary to Freud, where his emphasis on things like the Ego, Superego and Id, kind of disavow a single subject, but emphasis of relations within the individual. To which I hear Zizek, having being influenced by such thinkers, about the self being like a mask. Which as I understand it, can't be removed, that it seems our consciousness adds some sort of layer on things, including ourselves, being some sort of meaning maker. Can't really see things 'directly', they're always imbued with social meaning. And with ourselves, we individuate ourselves from the external world and feel as if there is a line between us the individual and reality in a way. Also curious is how to in discussing the subject/object, mind body duality, Feliks in emphasizing what I take to be Marx's sort of praxis being a mediation between materialism and idealism, he speaks of the mind being coming about through motion.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/mikhailov/works/riddle/riddle2c.htm
The question was, what kind of organisation must living matter have and what kind of life must it lead for the organism to be able to sense external objects and experience its state and life-activity?

“Without the participation of motion our sensations and perceptions would not possess the quality of objectivity, that is, relatedness to the objects of the external world (emphasis added – F.M.), which is the only thing that makes them mental phenomena.” [Leontyev]

So the mental is not the stimulation of neurons, not the physiological activity of the matter of the brain as such.

The key to the mind lies in the relation of behaviour (motion) of an animal to the objects of the external world, in the constant assessment of the images of things by the behaviour, motion and needs of the organism.

Even from the purely psychological point of view one can understand why the mental stands in opposition not to the physiological, but to the objective world, although every movement of an animal obeys the laws of physiology. When we speak of the mental and the physiological, we are speaking of different things. I feel means I record, I reflect some external object, but the sensation itself is not the imprint of a seal on wax, not what happens in the neurons of the analyser under pressure from the object. Sensation is a need multiplied by the action of the whole organism, which actively seeks an external object and records that object in the seeking movement.

Which seems to relate well to the Marxism in that I think it affirms a sense of reality being in flux and that the treatment of things as static is an abstract ideal that isn't reflective of reality.
#14802767
I think that's really interesting. I need to look into those guys in more detail.

Something that came to mind is the reconciliation with Freud. In retrospect, I find this perfectly natural as they are both modernist tendencies (and I tend to be a student of both). In more detail, this is one of many things that Trotsky got started that the Soviet Union later quietly accepted:

Trotsky wrote:It is clear to anyone, even to the uninitiated, that the work of our physiologist, Pavlov, is entirely along materialist lines. But what is one to say about the psychoanalytic theory of Freud? Can it be reconciled with materialism, as, for instance, Karl Radek thinks (and I also), or is it hostile to it?


It's a general theme, historically, but Indo find this fascinating.

Further, as a matter of record, I do agree with what you say about Marx. As always, you're just more eloquent than I.
User avatar
By Wellsy
#14802784
The Immortal Goon wrote:I think that's really interesting. I need to look into those guys in more detail.

Something that came to mind is the reconciliation with Freud. In retrospect, I find this perfectly natural as they are both modernist tendencies (and I tend to be a student of both). In more detail, this is one of many things that Trotsky got started that the Soviet Union later quietly accepted:

It's a general theme, historically, but Indo find this fascinating.

Further, as a matter of record, I do agree with what you say about Marx. As always, you're just more eloquent than I.

And here I am thinking that I often rush my writing and leave people confused as I haven't spoken plainly enough.
But I take it that you are certainly seeing something that I see, where what ever we want to call it, dialectical materialism or what ever, Marxism seems to resolve the dualities or simply avoid them.
As it seems that under Stalinism that Marx's philosophy was strangled and was reduced to the sort of mechanist natural materialist view in the end, even though officially it sided with the dialecticians.
Because looking at that quote about how Freud is approached, it makes me think of things I just read recently where Evald Ilyenkov is targeted for causing an unwanted fluss in his emphasis on consciousness truer to Marx and that Marx's philosophy presumably captured more than what we might label as vulgar materialism.
Spoiler: show
http://www.aworldtowin.net/resources/Ilyenkov.html
The problem of cognition and of dialectical logic as a more general and concrete theory of knowledge was always to be found at the centre of Ilyenkov's attention. In the 1950s many considered this (and a few still do today) as a step away from the Marxist orthodox view which was premised on the view that material existence was primary and thinking only secondary. This basic truth of all materialism Ilyenkov never forgot. But he also realised clearly that no philosophy could grasp all materialistic existence, all nature and all of social life - it was already cramped by the numerous special sciences.

One can of course continue the argument, that from the body of material existence, parts have fallen to the lot of philosophy after the contributions of physics, chemistry, biology and cosmology. But what is beyond dispute is that thinking, in its basic forms and laws, has been, and will continue to be, the subject of philosophy. And here, as they say, there is more than enough work to go round! Concerning material existence - the most objective reality - the basic forms of thinking are in fact a form of reality itself, as it were. Ilyenkov defined them concisely, the objective forms of subjective human activity.

According to him this precise approach secured the indissoluble unity of dialectics, logic and theory of the essence of Marxism which V.I. Lenin championed. The organisation of the problem did not consist of separating the thought process from material being or the other way round, the material being from the thought process, but rather of combining the one with the other to show the "universality" of thought, to prove that it is not "transcendent" to existence, but "immanent" to it.

Today even those who have moved away from Ilyenkov (or who never agreed with him in the first place) in their attitude towards the understanding of the core of the human thought process and consciousness, cannot deny the fact that it was he who largely pointed the direction of Marxist research towards these problems in Soviet philosophy. Before him a similar approach did exist in Marxist psychology and names like L. S. Vygotsky and A. N. Leontiev represent this school. But already by the 1930s, and later in the 1940s and 1950s this was being pushed aside by the more numerous and vocal followers of Pavlov's reflexology which was officially recognised as the natural-scientific basis of the Marxist theory of perception. For many years to come, humans were reduced to the level of a dog. One should note that this was the time when the idea of operating on the basis of "natural science" predominated in the philosophical consciousness. This is quite explicable, especially judging from the recently published notes of academician V. I. Vernadsky. The majority of "nature-researchers", who were only familiar with Marxism in a second-hand fashion, understandably gravitated towards so called natural-scientific materialism and, having run into the necessity of somehow squaring this with the official "dialectical materialism", they interpreted its position in terms and ideas that were akin to natural science: reflexology, Darwinism, the latest physics, and so on. In this way "dialectical materialism" changed into natural-scientific materialism, lightly smeared with Marxist oil, with seasoning from Marxist rhetoric in line with Party dogma, the class system, the irreconcilability of idealism with materialism, and so on.

A paradoxical thing happened - something which is often observed in history: the nation-conqueror becomes assimilated into a more populous culturally enslaved nation. This was what happened in our philosophy. Vernadsky complains about the fact that natural researchers attach themselves to an ideology which is foreign to them and to the methods of the science of "dialectical materialism". He speaks of the fact that today's scientist is far closer to natural-scientific materialism.

But with this he reveals the secret of the transformation of Marxist philosophy into Stalin's dialectical materialism, which survived until recent times, by providing a purely ideological prop for all kinds of adventures in the area of natural science, plant-breeding activities, social/public life, and so on.

It was exactly this "dialectical materialism" which Ilyenkov could not accept from the very beginning, and treated at the best of times with irony. Incidentally, cosmonaut V.I. Sevastianov really did Ilyenkov a disservice when he repeated in his epilogue (in the journal Science and Religion [1988]) to the work, Cosmology of the Mind [Spirit], that the ideas in this work "do not contradict 'dialectical materialism'". The fact is, they do indeed contradict it, as they are a continuation of the Spinoza-Marx-Engels line of reasoning in the understanding of the substantial unity of thought and "extension", that is matter and thought, where the latter is understood not as an accidental phenomenon, an "accident", but as an "attribute". In other words it is a property necessarily inherent in matter, which it can never lose, as it can never lose its property of "extension", in short the capacity to be a body. This is essentially different from the "dialectical materialist" point of view, where thought as a whole is reduced to brain "function", to its purely natural scientific understanding.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/soviet-philosophy-education-and-thinking-about-reasons/
RM: Do Ilyenkov’s ideas have resonance for us today?

DB: I think so. In a recent article, Charles Taylor draws a grand distinction between, on the one hand, what he calls “mediational” conceptions of the relation between mind and world, according to which our minds are in touch with reality only via the mediation of mental representations (“ideas” in the classic Cartesian and empiricist versions), and, on the other hand, “contact theories” that hold that our minds are in immediate contact with reality. In the terms of Taylor’s dichotomy, Ilyenkov is a contact theorist, and much of my writing on Ilyenkov attempts to make sense of his distinctive view of the unity of mind and world, and to relate his work to Western thinkers on the same side of the dichotomy.

Ilyenkov’s primary influences are Spinoza, Hegel and Marx, but I have tried to bring his ideas into dialogue with Wittgenstein, Vygotsky, and McDowell, among others. In his work on “the problem of the ideal”, Ilyenkov argues that the ability of our minds to make contact with reality is enabled by the appropriation of social forms of thought embodied in culture. A human child is not simply born into a physical environment. She enters a world of meanings, norms, rules, traditions, practices, reasons, values, and so on—the ideal realm of thought, which is embodied not just in forms of social consciousness but in the very form that the humanised world takes on through our active engagement with it. And unlike the non-human animal, which is equipped to orientate itself in its natural environment by forms of life-activity encoded in its DNA, the human child is not by nature empowered to orientate herself in such a space of meanings. This facility she acquires only through initiation into culture, through upbringing and education. With this, the child attains a new form of existence or way of being: her mode of life is no longer confined by the demands of her immediate environment, but is open to and in touch with the world—to the universal, the infinite, the ideal. Or so Ilyenkov argues, at least as I read him. This is a very different picture from the “mediational” conception favoured by Descartes, the British empiricists, and Kant (at least on some readings of Kant).

Actually, I hope Taylor’s way of describing this dichotomy doesn’t catch on, because it’s wrong to imply that contact theorists like Ilyenkov hold that our relation to the world is unmediated. How could a Hegelian forswear mediation? It’s just that the “mediational means” (as Vygotskians like to say)—that is, concepts, social forms of thought and reasoning, tools of inquiry etc.—do not come between us and the world, but serve to put us in touch with reality. So I prefer a contrast between, on the one hand, what I have called “two worlds” theories, which work with an inner-outer distinction with thought and experience constituting a boundary between us and reality, and, on the other, monistic forms of realism that uphold the identity of thinking and being.

And a section on Vygotsky
RM: Tell us a bit more about Vygotsky and his significance.

DB: Vygotsky was born in 1896 into a secular Jewish family and brought up in the town of Gomel in Belarus. From 1913-17, he studied at Moscow University (at that time there was a quota on the number of Jews who could be admitted there—Vygotsky was successful in the lottery that determined who got in). In 1924, he made a huge impression when he gave a ground-breaking paper on the psychology of consciousness at a conference in Leningrad. Vygotsky sought to transcend both the introspectionist and the stimulus-response behaviourist approaches then dominant in psychology.

To this end he took a developmental perspective: if you want to understand the nature of mind, you have to comprehend how human psychological powers emerge and evolve in individual’s life. On the position he created, human beings are born with a range of elementary mental functions (involuntary memory, primitive speech and non-verbal thought, basic forms of attention, volition, desire, and emotion). These functions are essentially modular and they develop are part of the organism’s biological maturation. Each has its own path of development. In his masterpiece, Thought and Language (1934), Vygotsky argues that the crucial moment in psychological development is when the developmental trajectory of thought and speech collide. This is when the child starts deliberately to use sounds and gestures in problem-solving activity. At this point intellectual speech and linguistic thought become possible, a possibility made actual by the child’s acquisition of language. Now the child’s activity is mediated by meanings and this in turn makes possible the system of higher mental functions—propositional thinking and reasoning, voluntary memory and imagination, cognitive emotions, rational desire, and so on. Meaning makes possible the unity of this system, the unity of mind. Vygotsky is adamant that the transition from elementary to higher mental functions is facilitated by social factors. The child’s mental life takes shape as she internalizes the social forms of activity constitutive of the basic concepts and beliefs that form the background to our lives, and as she learns to manipulate the meanings that mediate her forms of thought. Here there are interesting parallels between Vygotsky and Wittgenstein, I think.

In addition to this basic picture of mind and its development, there is loads of other exciting material in Vygotsky. He died very young, in 1934, leaving behind material that fills six volumes of selected works, plus two further books (The Psychology of Art and Educational Psychology), and other writings. He has some fascinating things to say about concept development, about play, about apprenticeship models of learning, and about the state of psychology as a young, developing discipline, for example.

Feliks Mikhailov and his Riddle of the Self I think serves well as an introduction to the similar ideas of Ilyenkov and Vygotsky. I haven't read any Vygotsky really and what I did read of Ilyenkov was pretty dense in some parts where he was outlining a sort of history of philosophy to contextualize somethings. Certainly rewarding to read, particularly his examination of Lenin's philosophical conflict with the machists which is easier to read. But in another work, I read entire chapters and was just lost since I am not educated in philosophy and know little of Kant and such. To which again, Feliks' introduction seems softer and simpler though still rich in content.


I do like that thematic connection of them being modernists, and thinking back to the idea of how modernism has denigrated into postmodernism and lost it's progressive edge. I think Kenan Malik has a good piece in discussing how in reaction to modernism, people have rejected it and thus lost much of the value found within it. Citing Frantz Fanon and C.L.R. James as radicals who embraced the best in modernism and would be critical of those that reject it due to negative connotations.
Kenan Malik, 2002 - All cultures are not equal
Which to me seems to be that rather than simply destroying everything with merely skepticism, which doesn't create a positive project, people should seek to improve upon what has been developed within modernism. Not an outright rejection of everything but see the limitations and expand it. And whilst I'm not well read, the way Hegel and thus Marxism is positioned, it seems to take on a rather epic task of being a pinnacle of philosophy, or the history of thought. But then things stagnated, and rather than follow through on the project and elaborate, many have simply regressed or are stuck in problems perhaps already resolved by many thinkers long ago. So it's like being stuck in a space where capitalism is arguably no longer as progressive as it was in it's early development, but is actually barring progressive developments in it's degradation to mere apologetics and nonsense. In a limbo that is waiting to burst out, because when you're just trying to maintain a status quo, one doesn't propel things further. Which brings about stagnation, and from stagnation is self destruction.
Here's a nice video that I enjoy sharing in capturing this sentiment of humans having to progress to survive.


But then this perhaps sounds a bit bold and I can't necessarily defend this impression I have of Hegel presenting himself as the pinnacle of philosophy, but Marx having to open up his material.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/smith-cyril/works/millenni/smith4.htm
In Marx, on the contrary, the forms demonstrate in their movement the way the dialectical trick works. They show us, step by step, how the inhuman relations inside which we live our lives disguise themselves as ‘natural’. This is the direct opposite of his ‘great master’. Hegel locks the gates of our inhuman prison, fixing to them the sign ‘Freedom’. Marx wants to show us, not just that we are imprisoned, certainly not a utopian picture of what lies beyond the walls, but how we locked ourselves in and thus how to get out, that is, to live as humans.
...
Marx could not have done his job without Hegel. By exhibiting the workings of his dialectic in such detail and so comprehensively, Marx’s ‘great teacher’ had given us a faithful map of our jail. All that Marx needed to do was to turn the map upside-down and reverse the arrows on the signposts. That is why critique, in the special meaning Marx gave that term, was so important for Marx’s work. Through gaps and internal contradictions in Hegel’s system, Marx could glimpse possible routes for our escape tunnel.

And whilst there's been developments upon Marxism, I hear of it being messy, incomplete, itself perhaps stagnate. Needing new thinkers to revive it's explanatory/predictive power in the dynamic conditions of today like the great thinkers of Marxism of the past.

Eg, all rather tangential, not really touching on the OP so much now and probably drawn it back to my own personal interest. I think I can't help but be a cliche university student who tends to regurgitate only that which I've recently learnt/heard about and put my mind to.
Oh well, if the OP wants to speak more specifically about emotion if they respond, I can try and keep myself on point.
User avatar
By Wellsy
#14811951
Had some more musings with things that are generally beyond my comprehension in response to TIG's interesting quote from Freud where he sought to delve into the human subject 'scientifically' rather than it be left to religion. I just have some things stuck in my head in regards to this and have the impression that see more the importance of understanding the subject in dealing with ideology which interpellates the self.
I don't quite understand it explicitly, but something that keeps coming to mind and feels perfectly represented by the following quote, is our sense of self being a mask.
Subject, Ego, Person
In order to express the anthropological discovery that truth is incarnated in a human being, Christian theologians began to utilize the concept of “person,” which ultimately led to our current notion of “human rights.” “Person” was originally a term that described a role in a theater play. The “persona” is the actor’s mask. It then gets generalized and designates the role one plays within society (and not the subject behind the role). Originally, it meant the mask itself. What is behind the mask is nature – “persona” is a secondary identity in relation to nature. In the Christian adaptation of the antique concept this relationship gets reversed. A person now designates a being that relates to its own nature as if it were a role. We don’t say about the human being that “it is nature,” but rather that it “has a nature.”

This is the vague sense of how I imagine the self, that there isn't some true eternal soul, but rather a constantly reproduced mask. A mask that is difficult to understand because we generally view ourselves as masters of our own domain until Freud's emphasis of how we do not have perfect control over ourselves.
https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/12328212/Watson_Who_am_I.pdf?sequence=1
You feel sure that you are informed of all that goes on in your mind if it is of any importance at all, because in that case, you believe, your consciousness gives you news of it. And if you have had no information of something in your mind you confidently assume that it does not exist there. Indeed, you go so far as to regard what is “mental” as identical with what is “conscious” – that is, with what is known to you – in spite of the most obvious evidence that a great deal more must constantly be going on in your mind than can be known to your consciousness. Come, let yourself be taught something on this one point! What is in your mind does not coincide with what you are conscious of; whether something is going on in your mind and whether you hear of it, are two different things.

In the ordinary way, I will admit, the intelligence which reaches your consciousness is enough for your needs; and you may cherish the illusion that you learn of all the more important things. But in some cases, as in that of an instinctual conflict such as I have described, your intelligence service breaks down and your will then extends no further than your knowledge. In every case, however, the news that reaches your consciousness is incomplete and often not to be relied on. Often enough, too, it happens that you get news of events only when they are over and when you can no longer do anything to change them. Even if you are not ill, who can tell all that is stirring in your mind of which you know nothing or are falsely informed? You behave like an absolute ruler who is content with the information supplied him by his highest officials and never goes among the people to hear their voice.

This is something that I think is emphasized in some treatment of people with OCD who have great anxiety over intrusive thoughts, to show them that we all lack perfect control over thoughts, many things come into mind.
This might be crudely out of context of Schopenhauer's work, but it makes me think to his quote...
"Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants".
And this fits perfectly within what I've read of Edward Bernays book Propaganda of how the new method is to make people want things so that they presume they freely sought things whilst one has actively constructed that want in the intended population but something which thinkers like Freud and Lacan worked against.
http://braungardt.trialectics.com/projects/my-papers/subject-ego-person/
Spoiler: show
Kierkegaard’s concept of the self represents a religious idealization that is characteristic for the 19th century emphasis on the individual. Marx unveiled it as a bourgeois ideology if seen in the context of historical materialism. Kierkegaard’s individual is a lonely figure; the rootedness in society is not part of its definition. Our experience is different: today people are socialized into masses; and human sciences concern themselves with the prediction, the shaping, and the disciplining of behavior. The process of socialization has itself become a focus of political and economic interest, and, as a result, individual characters and biographies are formed according to the needs of society. The values of today are all related to the needs of the collective: team spirit, hard work, and consumer mentality. What we tend to forget is the fact that the transformation of society into a social machinery becomes a necessity for the reproduction of society in its given form. The “culture industry” knows how to reproduce and utilize our deepest fantasies. The flow of information is filtered in such a way that serious alternatives to the existing system never come into sight. The idea of democracy is endangered through a process that manufactures public opinions. This machinery works as long as it is veiled. People need the illusion of individualism, of unique subjectivity, in order to function as isolated individuals who are not aware of the degree to which they are integrated into the capitalistic totality of the market. In this respect, the idea of the uniqueness of the subject has become a marketing tool, exploited by the cynicism of the rulers: the way to the realization of this dream consists in getting rich.

Lacan makes it clear that psychoanalysis does not function in the service of this machinery. “To make oneself the guarantor of the possibility that a subject will in some way be able to find happiness even in analysis is a form of fraud. There’s absolutely no reason why we should make ourselves the guarantors of the bourgeois dream.” 27 He declares that the totalizing integration of man into a maximally expanded public sphere requires the sacrifice of desire, and that psychoanalysis works against this amputation – it will explore what (and whose) desire the subject really pursues.

“I think that throughout this historical period the desire of man, which has been felt, anesthetized, put to sleep by moralists, domesticated by educators, betrayed by the academics, has quite simply taken refuge or been repressed in that most subtle and blindest of passions, as the story of Oedipus shows, the passion for knowledge… Science, which occupies the place of desire, can only be a science of desire in the form of an enormous question mark, and this is doubtless not without a structural cause. In other words, science is animated by some mysterious desire, but it doesn’t know, any more than anything in the unconscious itself, what that desire means.” 28

As the “science” of desire and jouissance, psychoanalysis is the correlate to conjectural sciences. It starts with the discovery that human behavior and subjectivity are ruled by an unconscious will, and this discovery permanently damages the traditional theoretical perspective. We have reached a historical point where we realize that the search for meaning does not coincide with the quest for more knowledge. What binds them together is human desire, but its meaning remains unknown to us. The answers which we find in the search for more knowledge, only produce more questions. We find ourselves in the remote corner of a universe that resembles a construction zone of gigantic proportions, and we are, most likely, not even alone in it. But all this knowledge is useless when the question of desire is raised. At the most, it forces us to pursue the question with increased intensity. Religions give us speculative answers, but they, too, require the sacrifice of desire to the Other (God) in the hope of some future jouissance. Psychoanalysis allows a deciphering of the individual’s desire; in this regard it gives back to the individual what is most precious for it and completes what was already anticipated in the concept of the “person” throughout the centuries.


And the way in which we create our own 'persona'/mask is also involved in the very way we perceive the world as we inject ourselves in it and thus our epistemology requires a comprehension of our subjectivity which has often excluded the perceiving subject or emphasized it too much to the neglect of reality.
https://larvalsubjects.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/existent_s_-_hegel_s_critique_of_kant12.pdf
The point here is that the very idea of the thing-in-itself contains an internal contradiction insofar as it calls us to think a thing without determination, yet the very nature of a thing is to contain determinations. In the Phenomenology, Hegel shows that the distinction between the unknowable thing-in-itself as conceived by Kant and appearance is itself a distinction of the understanding, and therefore a product of thought.8 It is nothing but the ego’s reflection of itself into an other. That is, the thing-in-itself is identical to the ego, as a substrate divested of all concrete properties or qualities, a pure void as Hegel puts it, and therefore a phantasm of thought much like Zeuxis asking what is behind the veil.

http://braungardt.trialectics.com/projects/my-papers/lacan-parmenides/
Representatives of the adequatio theory realized that although truth is always truth for somebody, it cannot be subjective. They argue that the subject has to be excluded from the definition of truth because we live in a common reality (the facts of the world are the same for all of us). The exclusion of the subject is done with the assumption that the mind – as mirror – is self-transparent and that the subject in its particularity can be separated from the epistemic process. Because human consciousness can be self-referential it is easy to assume that the “I” is identical with itself; the next step is the subtraction of the subject from the equation of truth, even if it is the subject that enunciates the truth-statement. For Lacan, then, the correspondence theory hides the deeper split between the subject and the real as well as the split within the subject itself. What remains is the construction of a common reality.

For every speaking being, the cause of its desire is, in terms of structure, strictly equivalent, so to speak, to its bending, that is, to what I have called its division as subject. That is what explains why the subject could believe for so long that the world knew as much about things as he did. The world is symmetrical to the subject — the world of what I last time called thought is the equivalent, the mirror image, of thought. That is why there was nothing but fantasy regarding knowledge until the advent of the most modern science.” 26

The above point about the correspondence theory of truth is also criticized by Hegel according to this summary. WHich I think characterizes British empiricism as avoiding entirely the matter of the percieving subject and I assume presuming we have direct experience of the world or something and that everything else is but abstractions that are to be displaced to philosophy of ethics/morals because all abstractions is thought equivalent perhaps.

So in the end, understanding ourselves is crucial to complementing a more approximate understanding of the world around us. And it's from that understanding we acquire a real concrete freedom within the constraints of reality which simultaneously give us the means to freedom. To understand the world approrpiately is to give us the mean to make informed decisions and control things to our intended ends and not to make decisions arbitrarily.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... g/ch09.htm
Spoiler: show
Freedom does not consist in any dreamt-of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives of systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves — two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject. Therefore the freer a man’s judgment is in relation to a definite question, the greater is the necessity with which the content of this judgment will be determined; while the uncertainty, founded on ignorance, which seems to make an arbitrary choice among many different and conflicting possible decisions, shows precisely by this that it is not free, that it is controlled by the very object it should itself control. Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, a control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is therefore necessarily a product of historical development. The first men who separated themselves from the animal kingdom were in all essentials as unfree as the animals themselves, but each step forward in the field of culture was a step towards freedom. On the threshold of human history stands the discovery that mechanical motion can be transformed into heat: the production of fire by friction; at the close of the development so far gone through stands the discovery that heat can be transformed into mechanical motion: the steam-engine. — And, in spite of the gigantic liberating revolution in the social world which the steam-engine is carrying through, and which is not yet half completed, it is beyond all doubt that the generation of fire by friction has had an even greater effect on the liberation of mankind. For the generation of fire by friction gave man for the first time control over one of the forces of nature, and thereby separated him for ever from the animal kingdom. The steam-engine will never bring about such a mighty leap forward in human development, however important it may seem in our eyes as representing all those immense productive forces dependent on it — forces which alone make possible a state of society in which there are no longer class distinctions or anxiety over the means of subsistence for the individual, and in which for the first time there can be talk of real human freedom, of an existence in harmony with the laws of nature that have become known. But how young the whole of human history still is, and how ridiculous it would be to attempt to ascribe any absolute validity to our present views, is evident from the simple fact that all past history can be characterised as the history of the epoch from the practical discovery of the transformation of mechanical motion into heat up to that of the transformation of heat into mechanical motion.
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