By Merold Westphal
Presents a reader's advisor to the booklet usually taken to be Kierkegaard's most crucial contribution to philosophy and theology.
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Extra resources for Becoming a Self: A Reading of Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript
Precision, as discussed in Chapter 3, equals subdivision. The more precise, the more microscopic, or perspectival the gaze, the more minute the control. The sharper the focus, the narrower the beam. In this example, precision reaches right down to the smallest movement of the body, or the slightest glance of the eye (as in retinal tracking in testing advertising), or the smallest lapse in concentration. Suspicions and guesses have been replaced by endless examination and measurement. ’’ Why? For control.
The civilizational expression of the grid expresses an attitude, and a mode of interacting with the world and other people. It is essentially modern, first appearing in the cartography of Ptolemy and popularized by Rene´ Descartes. Co- 10 Modern/Postmodern ordination and fragmenting (or slicing) unitization are the fundamental modus of the modern lifeworld. Operant control is the goal. The modern world manifests what Arthur Schopenhauer called the metaphysics of the will. ’’ We are on the grid.
Physicists, neurophysiologists, philosophers, psychologists, theologians, have symposium after symposium about this issue. Phenomenologists like Gebser rarely, if ever, attend. This may seem strange since phenomenology, which is neither a philosophy nor a science (and certainly not a blind dogma), is comprised of volumes on consciousness. But because consciousness is always 18 Modern/Postmodern consciousness of something, their works tend to be about ‘‘something,’’ rather than ‘‘pure’’ (empty) consciousness.