Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

Our cat is very sick, and we spent a good deal of time at the vet, so it will be at least tomorrow before I can continue my Appreciation of the Fragments.  It is difficult to believe that two seventy-eight year olds invest so much emotion in an 8 1/2 pound cat.

5 comments:

C Rossi said...

Robert: Good luck. I hope the little one survives. Our cat recently died of a thromboembolism, and I was deeply upset for days. The great essayist, naturalist, and scholar Loren Eiseley wrote somewhere that we are not fully human until we see ourselves reflected in a nonhuman eye. Our cats are our reflecting eyes. My best to you and your wife.

Jim said...

why dont you just block this crazy person and get it over with. its your private forum. i doubt anyone will think less of you and maybe theyll find something better to do?

High Arka said...

A computer error seems to have lost this one's earlier post. The text was: "Best wishes to the cat also. It's not very rare, or even unusual, for elderly couples to lavish affection and wealth on pets. The subservient animal (with associated jokes about how it really controls you) serves as a useful way to feel giving and selfless, and helps channel empathic emotions away from suffering humans."

Jim said...

This is a Message for Low Arka –

Believe it or not, it is also not very rare, or even unusual, for youthful couples to lavish affection and wealth on pets (even if that youthful couple is not in possession of much wealth). The reason being is not so much that it diverts attention from the suffering of humans, but rather that the pet is considered a fellow companion in life – not a “mere animal”, but a genuine compatriot. If you cannot understand this sentiment then you do not know “animals”. One of the greatest tragedies of modern science is the promotion of the term “anthropomorphism”. It falsely separates and sets apart humans from other living beings. In actuality, we are all living beings from the same planet who should be treated with the same degree of respect. I care for my “animal” friends with the same intensity I provide for my human friends. And my cat McKenzie, who is sitting next to me as I type these words, is in no way “subservient”. She is her own individual, her own “person”, over which I have absolutely zero control. And to even imply that a “pet helps to channel empathic emotions away from suffering humans” serves to expose how out of touch you are with life in general. The amount of cats, dogs, whales, elephants, chimpanzees, pigs, cows and countless other “animals” that die scared and alone actually outnumber the amount of humans that die in similar circumstances (at the very least, most humans are not systematically raised and slaughtered for food). My cats are like my children. I nurture them the best I can and they respond in the best way they know how. Why belittle that solace? I perceive your comment to be petty at best, stupid and mean spirited at worst.

High Arka said...

Happy New Year, Jim and all!

Onward!

You exercise total control over whether or not the cat will go in or out; whether it will eat or drink; what rooms it shall be allowed into and what it shall be allowed to play with. It is not rare, but exceedingly common, for first-world people to utilize pets as child substitutes, either before a couple is ready for children, before a lonely individual has had them, or after they've left the house. Our lack of interconnectedness as humans causes many to turn to the use of domesticated ("safe" and unnatural) animals as an outlet for their emotional needs. Massive funding to the Humane Society and its various imitators, in the face of homeless, hungry human children, is just one of the indications of this disease.

Remember also that the entire underclass of domesticated animals is a result of a system of eugenics practiced for centuries in order to produce docile entities which would be forced to rely on humans for food, cheaper and less rebellious than human children, and with few, if any enforceable, established social rights. Your sweet care for the feline may be genuine; southern white slavemasters prior to the American Civil War argued for their own empathy and goodness for how they treated their darkies.

In some cases, they were right. Many of them had good human relationships with their "slaves," and were able to use their status as white landholders to make life a little better for black friends amidst a terrible social system. They might even have bought a slave away from someone else, or raised an unwanted child in servitude, in order to protect it from the exposure of the world.

That did not change the awfulness of the system of slavery. Nor does it alter the utter horror of the creation of a subclass of sterilized, specially-bred affection beasts made to validate the emotional needs of their owners. It is no surprise that, in the Pax Americana, the American bombers and slayers lavish love and wealth upon their companion animals while butchering foreign human beings, foreign domestic animals, foreign wild animals, and innumerable future possibilities.

Stop validating the killing and starving of people (and animals, lest we forget! There are puppies and kitties in Irakhistan, too!), and then come forth to claim that your caring for the animal(s) is proof of a higher moral quality.

White people just love their dogs. Extrapolate to any pet you wish.