mardi 10 juillet 2012

Érotisme et téléologie

33 commentaires:

ZapPow a dit…

Joli, le poème de John Cooper Clarke. J'aime ce genre d'humour.

Ça marche aussi en français :
C'est très difficile
D'écrire un poème
En dix-sept sylla.

Flocon a dit…

J'ai rencontré ce petit haiku il y a quelques jours et comme à toi il m'a plu.

Jamais entendu parler de ce John Cooper Clarke. Il est vrai qu'il y a en moi du petit bourgeois blanc pas vraiment versé dans la contre-culture underground subversive :-(

Bien la petite traduction :-)

Ton anthologie personnelle comporte-t-elle d'autres pièces de cette eau ?

Ned Ludd a dit…

One who has so tried with his hand,
in French as in English so bland,
at Haiku to well do,
the spirit to be true,
that I let it written in sand.

Above is an example of mine of a limerick. It is difficult to write one in French because of the need for accented syllables. As you can see the rhyme scheme is AABBA. There are a couple of "rules" faults in this one, but I did it quickly.

They are meant to be funny at the end, which this one isn't. The dirty ones are usually the funniest:

To his friend, Ned said, rather blue,
"My wife Edith just told me we're through,
For she says I'm too fat."
And his friend told him that,
"You can't have your cake and Edith, too."

Flocon a dit…

But... but then you're a poétesse Ned? ("female poet" ça ne le fait vraiment pas en français).

Playing with words the way you do I am totally incapable of.

My guess is that there is an euphonic dimension in poetry in English that is essentially lacking in French.

Also, the two pieces you deliver are mosty monosyllabic which add to the sense of rythm and sounding quality of said haiku or limerick, respectively.

En passant, j'ai créé over 200 pages on Japanese poets (male and female) on Wiki and some articles directly related to Japanese poetry like this one called Utaawase.

Until I engaged into Japanese culture six months ago, I had no idea poetry played such an essential role in Japanese history and particularly during the Heian period when it seems poetry competitions were the major concern of the imperial court.

And of course there's the Genji monogatari that you've mentioned several times before.

Shall I live long enough to read it?

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, long ago I thought the same thing. But from time to time I tried it and finally got near something, not to say it's great.

You have to be adaptable and willing to reject things you think are good. Who knows, maybe they can be used later, you never know, but the phrases or rhymes stay in your head.

Manipulating sounds, short phrases, and rhymes is fun.

I had a discussion about haiku with someone more knowledgeable than me, and she gave me some good advice on my haiku.

One of them was good she said because it dealt with real images, and the other wasn't because it was too abstract and even political.

I don't know where I put them, but if I find them I will post them.

Flocon a dit…


More or less in the same range of occupation, many years ago I tried to compose definitions for cross-words. After few weeks I gave up because my production was both deplorable and pathetic...

Maybe I should have tried harder and maybe there exist basic rules of composition that I didn't know and even didn't know they existed if they even exist at all.

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, there are basic rules for different types of poems, but often they are meant to be broken. There are things in poems and songs that are false rhymes, but they make the pieces work. I even have a book, "The Poets' Manual and Rhyming Dictionary".

For a long time now there has been non-rhyming and not fixed-foot poetry. I think of Walt Whitman and I sing the body electric

At high school I was fascinated with Coleridge, Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner I still remember lines from it.

Anijo a dit…

Beautiful poem by John Keats: THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,

Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!.
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore, 35
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. 40

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! 45
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

Ned Ludd a dit…

Pensez téléologie
L'écran TNT
Pixels qui crée notre vie

Wikipédia explique
toujours incompréhensible

Téléologie amour
me confond toujours
feuille qui s'envole une fois lu

C'était une fois très très loin,
remplacée par la Télé


Some Haïku to explain that I don't know what it is even after reading Wiki.

Flocon a dit…


If I remember well Mark (déposé) was very emotional about Keats.

Now, if you remember well, that's how he used to sign his comments (Marc (déposé). If the puns (there are two in one cause Mark was a much clever one) eludes you I'll explain ;-)

Flocon a dit…


Your four haikku are... interesting..., the third one just needs a final letter which doesn't add any syllable anyway.

Téléologie amour
me confond toujours
feuille qui s'envole une fois lue


As is too often the case, the French Wiki is pathetic as compared to the English one. This page should be completely deleted and replaced by a more serious one. Obviously, the person who wrote the core of the page (in 2005 and left Wiki 3 years ago) posted a very personal and nearly incomprehensible abridged "fourre-tout". The sort of "article" that gives Wikipedia a bad reputation.

But I suppose you went first to the entry in English.

"A thing, process or action is teleological when it is for the sake of an end" seems o.k with me.

Teleology (which linguistically speaking has nothing to do with theology but very much with television indeed) is the belief that there must be some ultimate purpose to life and the world and the universe.

The concept is a very important one in Christianism (not so in Islam and even less in Judaism) where the final goal - so to say - of life and nature itself is the avènement du règne éternel de Dieu. (Yes, I know it's funny...but they believe that).

You may remember I intended to make a parallel with what Hegel would call the "cunnings of Reason" (in his delirious mind) [Schopenhauer was absolutely mad at Hegel] and the real cunnings and tricks of Nature to its own purpose (erotism being one of them).

The other day, you rightly referred to the die-hard Marxists who believed to the fallacy of the triumphal March of History.

Indeed, Marx thought that Hegel was delirious with his philosophy of History but there was nonetheless something worth considering in the way he presented it.

From English Wiki:

" teleology was fundamental to the speculative philosophy of Hegel."
and also:

" Hegel conceived of the 'totality' of mutually antagonistic world-views and life-forms in history as being 'goal-driven', that is, oriented towards an end-point in history"

So basically, the notion of teleology stems out of the incredulity that life and the world could be "sinnlos" (meaningless) and that there must exist an ultimate goal that will give sense to the whole business.

As you can judge, theology is fundamentaly childish in its origin. Just like all children have an innate sense of causality and at some point naturally wonder where they come from, some grown-ups are not satisfied with individual death as an answer and project the infinity of the past into a not too infinite future.

(Think Last Judgment)

A last word about Judaïsm.

There's no metaphysics in the European sense of the word in Judaïsm: Sort of it's now or never. Hence the crass materialim of the Jews and why their relation to money has been deamed so repugnant to Christians for 2.000 years (not that Christians aren't interested in money either).

Marxism was very prevalent among Jews (Trotsky SemperFidelis?) in Russia for well... many reasons but now I have to close that rather long and perhaps not so interesting comment..

Flocon a dit…

err... are you sure about the seventeen syllables in your haiku Ned?

Anijo a dit…

If the puns (there are two in one cause Mark was a much clever one) eludes you I'll explain ;-)

Ah mais oui. Si tu peux me donner le plaisir de l'expliquer. ☺

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, I made a mistake. For some reason I wrote them in 7-5-7 when it should be 5-7-5.

Wiki talks about 17 syllables, which apparently now is not strict, my above mistake is why there are not 17 in mine.

Anijo a dit…


Ben,tu vas m'expliquer alors? It seems that you got so distracted by the twins that you forgot all about this.

Flocon a dit…

Daaa.... all these girls chasing me...

You may remember at one point another Mark came and posted some comments and of course confusion ensuied.

So, in order to permit the distinction, Mark (the only one you probably remember), would sign his comments Mark (déposé) which is like "Registered Trademark" in America.

The second pun (but it may be my personal reading) is that his new signature reminded me of the title for sovereigns after they've been deposed precisely.

To a certain extent, Mark was so intellectualy sharp and brilliant that he was some sort of a king at SF's (cum grano salis of course).

So when the other Mark arrived, nobody in the first place knew which Mark was commeting before Mark added some sort of suffix to his name.

So to say, he had been temporarily "deposed".

Here are the two puns in my opinion.

Anijo a dit…

To a certain extent, Mark was so intellectualy sharp and brilliant that he was some sort of a king at SF's

Oh yes. I see that you miss his brilliant commentary as much as I do.

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, if I understand teleology rightly, it means that going binge drinking with the end purpose of getting stumbling drunk is teleological? Am I right?

Flocon a dit…


err... no, I can't say you're right here but your question indicates you're on the way to master what teleology is.

Yours is a good question because it permits to show where the (very slight) difficulty lies on this topic. Once you'll have understood the whole thing will be crystal clear.

Teleology is a concept that regards the world in the sense of life and its overall meaning (if there is such a thing).

Nothing human beings can do can possibly be teleological which, again concerns the whole universe and not such and such pitiable action any atom that we are may or may not do.

We can create concepts but not act them anyway. And acting according to a concept is another thing also.

The example you give of doing something in order to get a specific result belongs to the realm of .

The first time someone tried to classify these notions was when Aristotle came with its Four causes.

A parte, il est intéressant d'observer que ce concept n'a de page sur Wiki qu'en anglais, en français but also in Farsi and Arabic (and Japanese too but it may be for another reason).

It may not be coincidentally that the concept has drawn some interest in the Muslim countries where Arabic and Farsi are spoken...

Back to Aristotle and his four causes (which are historically important in Western philosophy).

The last of these "four causes" is the final cause, which bears some resemblance with your example but is not identical though with the Aristotelian final cause.

Please, note that the paragraph dedicated to the final cause redirects to the article on teleology.

The guy who drinks lake mad etc. in order to get some result is just acting according to his wish and the result won't give any meaning to his life, even less so from a metaphysical point of view.

As I said before, the concept is mainly interesting to religions now though not religious in its origin since it's Plato who first established the concept. (here)

To make a long story short,
teleology = the ultimate purpose (if any) of the universe, life, existence, whatever it's called.

Nothing to do with what we can do which resorts to intentionality and is by nature non metaphysical since metaphysics deals with what is precisely beyond human reach.

Flocon a dit…

Contrary to Kant, Hegel or Nietzsche, Schopenhauer was spared the religious upbringing which would have infected his mind with the religious virus whose ultimate goal is to prevent reason to take the upper hand over faith and superstition.

So when the three aforementioned were still dealing with religious issues, Schopen was totally immune and didn't have to waste his time deliberating what were the attributes and virtues and wishes of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

In his view, there's no ultimate goal to "life", "existence", the "world" etc. and no meaning as well (what the XXth century authours will name l'absurd which of course leads to existentialism which itself is the child of phenomenology).

" the clash between the human tendency to seek some inherent meaning in the universe and the human impossibility of finding meaning"

Even with a spiritual power as the answer to meaning, another question arises: What is the purpose of God?

150 years after his death, Shopenhauer would derisively sneer
at the sight of Humanity still deliberating those questions like children wondering where Santa Klaus comes from...

Flocon a dit…


I realise some parts didn't pass the Blogger test.

"The example you give of doing something in order to get a specific result belongs to the realm of" intentionality of course .

Ned Ludd a dit…

Steven Weinberg has many good quips, this one related to the subject:

"The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless."

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

Given that, I don't understand or agree with his almost unconditional support for Israel. He seems to have a blind spot on the history of the region.

Flocon a dit…

The second quote by Weinberg reminds me of the debate that took place between Blair and Hitchens some years ago.

What Weinberg says is rather close to one of Hitschen's argument.


"He seems to have a blind spot..."

How many times are we surprised with people we may admire the intelligence or the achievements
only to find out they're totally out of touch on such and such issue?

People whose intellectual capabilities are brilliant, people we have pleasure to read or to listen to and then, like a computer that all of a sudden breaks down, sortent des c.ies which also make them lost their lustre.


A last word about teleology: It is not the usual questioning about the meaning of life. It is the concept that eventually the world is heading into a certain direction which in the end (for there is an end) will witness a certain apotheosis which will retrospectively give its meaning to the world because said event will have been what the ultimate goal of the world was from the very beginning.

Please, let me know if you can tell the difference between some one drinking in excess in order to achieve a certain goal and teleology.

Ned Ludd a dit…

If our current evidence and understanding is right, we know approximately how and when the earth will cease to exist, when in a few billion years the sun turns into a red giant. It will end not with a bang, but a whimper.

It is similar for the universe, which is expanding and our galaxy will in some billions of years be so far from all the others that if some other intelligent species on another planet rises it will think that our galaxy is all that there is because light from the others will not reach them. They will not know of the Big Bang. Lawrence Krauss gives a lecture on it.

I haven't read any estimations of the end of our galaxy or if there is an end to the universe. If all the galaxies are extinguished and the universe is just a dark space, does it still exist? It probably couldn't be called empty because there would likely still be dark matter and dark energy and it would still be expanding.

Maybe there are other such universes around ours. Could they or ours, which presumably are filled with all sorts of particles, regenerate a new Big Bang or something else which would re-create the galaxies we so love?

So I guess I understand teleology in that sense, but I will be troublesome. Presumably parents work and save for the end benefit of their children. When they do succeed and have a good life, is that a retrospective apotheosis that gives meaning to the parents' life? Isn't that the ultimate goal of parenting?

Flocon a dit…


je commence par la fin de ton commentaire. Mutatis mutandis, c'est le même exemple que celui du binge drinker qui agit en vue d'un certain résultat

Dans la mesure où tu fais appel à des individus, on est ipso-facto en dehors du sujet puisque la téléologie - pas plus que la métaphysique dont elle constitue un des concepts - ne s'intéresse au monde sublunaire dans lequel nous vivons.

Cela doit d'ailleurs être facile à comprendre puisque lorsque tu évoques les galaxies and the whole universe in some billions of years, the question of what we human beings would be or do then is obviously off topic and even absurd, no need to explain or dwell on that.

Ce n'est pas la même échelle, on ne parle même pas de la même chose.

La téléologie est un concept finalement religieux et qui relève de la moralité. Is the world running its course toward an ultimate goal that we don't know about and which supposedly would give the universe a moral meaning or not?

For the Christians, that ultimate achievement - through thick and thin - would be the reign of God upon the universe, think of Augustine's City of God (not that it is the definitive treatise on teleology but it may help you understand what it's all about though).

"The book presents human history as being a conflict between what Augustine calls the City of Man and the City of God, a conflict that is destined to end in victory of the latter.".

(Again, the book isn't about teleology per se but it may help to understand what we're talking about)

For the Jews, the "apotheosis" would be the return of the Messiah. Still waiting last time I checked...

The part about the extinction of the sun, the galaxies, dark matter etc. may be fascinating but it so far deals uniquely with physics, not morality. Even if we were to know how the universe will finish, that wouldn't give any meaning to it, just a physical explanation of physical process.

When I use the word "morality" here, it is not in the common sense of what is good and what is bad but rather as the opposite to what belongs to physics/chemistry.

As to the Marxist's notion of the March of History, it is not related to teleology, though it may be tempting to think so, because it still focus on the sublunar world, not the possible meaning of the world (not in the physical sense of the forces that shape the universe which basically isn't about morality).

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, I read the City of God decades ago, and I don't remember being impressed by it, though Augustine apparently was good at giving his arguments. I don't think I could plow through it again.

Penn Jillette of the magician team of Penn and Teller is an atheist and he gives his idea of morality. He says that if you are moral because you hope for a reward or fear punishment, it is not really morality. You are moral when you do a moral thing for the sake of doing it.

On the humorous side, Douglas Adams in "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" gives the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything". The answer is "42". Then the book continues with beings trying to find the Ultimate Question that it answers.

My ultimate question about internet is: Why are some url's as on Youtube nice and short and others are improbably long?

Ned Ludd a dit…

Oh, I forgot to add that our species will most likely have long disappeared before the final end of the Earth, so apotheosis for us, if there is one, will have to arrive before our end. But just for xians from the beginning, each generation thought it would arrive in their lifetimes.

That belief was largely generalized for the first few hundred years of xianity's existence but it still exists today, perhaps more in the U.S. than elsewhere. If something like that were to happen, it wouldn't change the physics of the universe. Only some people would die happy thinking they were going to a better place. Jeez, they already do, so a suppose there is no need for an apotheosis.

Flocon a dit…


I'm back to you asap but I've finally reinstalled my two computers, I've wasted hours on this yesterday, one seems globally o.k. but not the other one which I will again reinstal. Grrr...

Also for the last two days I have slept about 4 hours each night and I need a little bit more...


Flocon a dit…

Back after the nap...

Re Augustine, I read his Confessions five to six years ago, not that I expected to discover the ultimate word in philosophy but just for the sake of reading a famous book who's so often referred to.

An interesting read in order to learn how did the passage from Greek philosophy and Christian theology happen.

I qui the City of God after I had read half of it, I could no longer support the invocation of Jesus or God three and five times per page!

It no longer was historical or philosophical but merely theological and I knew where he was driving at.


Penn Jillette's remark you can find in Kant's Critical of practical reason, it is one of is most elementary argument.

See Categorical imperative.

A modicum of reasoning leads to that conclusion. I remember asking a similar question to the priest who was preparing us for the Communion solennelle when I was 11 (and no, he didn't touch me).

Have to go, I'm back tonight

Flocon a dit…

Just three links in order to further muddle the issue...


Jewish eschatology

Christian eschatology.

Now, what is the difference with teleology?

Je ramasse les copies à mon retour ;-)

Flocon a dit…

Pour en finir avec ces questions, as I wrote before teleology is essentially a question that everybody way ask:

Is the world (the universe, life etc.) running its course toward an ultimate goal that would retrospectively give it a meaning?.

Since the questioning is universal, it is all too normal that religions (which are all universal too since they're the products of humans's fantasies) would pick that interrogation - which is potentially religious - and provide an answer:

Yes, there is a meaning to life and the world, meaning that will be reavealed at the end of times when our God (not yours) will triumph over the ennemies and will reign supreme.

See the links I have given above.

That's eschatology.

At the end of the day, it is interesting to know these notions exist and they bear those strange names.

But no need to pursue the research and learn more about teleology and eschatology.

Ned Ludd a dit…

My final word is that when I first saw the word "eschatology", I thought it had to do feces. I had confused it with "scatology". Now they are forever associated in my mind.

Flocon a dit…


Hmmm... I hope the smell isn't part of the association though.