Tuesday, August 30, 2011
“Given that the thymos that has been conditioned by civilization is the psychological location of what Hegel depicted as a striving for recognition, it becomes clear why the lack of recognition by relevant others excites rage. If one demands recognition from a specific opponent, one stages a moral test. If the other who is addressed rejects this test, she needs to deal with the rage of the challenger, who feels disrespected. Rage occurs first when the recognition from the other is denied (which leads to extroverted rage). However, rage also flourishes if I deny recognition to myself in light of my value ideas (so that I have reason to be angry with myself). According to Stoic philosophy, which situated the struggle for recognition fully inside the human psyche, the wise person is supposed to be satisfied with self-respect, first, because the individual in no way has control of the judgment of the other and, second, because she who is knowledgeable will strive to keep herself free from all that does not depend on herself.
Usually the thymotic impulse is connected to the wish to find one's self-worth resonating in the other. This desire could easily be an instruction manual for teaching oneself to become unhappy, one with a universal success rate if it were not for those dispersed cases of successful mutual recognition. Lacan probably said what is necessary concerning the profound idea that there is a grounding mirroring process, even though his models, probably unjustly, situate early infantile conditions at the center of investigation. In reality, life in front of the mirror is more of a children's disease. But among adults the striving for reflection in the recognition of others often means the attempt to take possession of a will-o'-the-wisp—in philosophical jargon: to instantiate oneself in what is insubstantial."
--Peter Sloterdijk, Rage and Time
Posted by Emmett Stinson at 2:28 PM