Disclaimer: Nothing within this page or on this site overall is the product of Panagiotis Kondylis's thought and work unless it is a faithful translation of something Kondylis wrote. Any conclusions drawn from something not written by Panagiotis Kondylis (in the form of an accurate translation) cannot constitute the basis for any valid judgement or appreciation of Kondylis and his work. (This disclaimer also applies, mutatis mutandis, to any other authors and thinkers linked or otherwise referred to, on and within all of this website). 

Kondylis, [Freud], Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Cyrenaics, Epicurus, Cicero, Seneca, Plutarch, Epistle of James (Ἰάκωβος), Augustine, Aquinas, [Gassendi, Boccacio, Dante], Raimondi, Valla, Hobbes, Voltaire, Hume, [Balguy, Price], Maupertuis, la Mettrie, de Sade, Kant, Hegel, Bentham, Mill, Sidgwick, G.E. Moore, Nietzsche, Ryle, Marcuse  

"The dominant or ruling behavioural norms constitute frameworks of orientation and authorities of invocation to which someone can appeal – not criteria on the basis of which social life could be reconstituted in its concreteness. If one takes them at their face value, then they differ from time to time, from culture to culture and from society to society far more as between one another than the concrete ways of life or modes of living of individuals in their daily activity – ways of life, which, nevertheless, the dominant behavioural norms essentially and substantially influence for the reason that they constitute ideational constants or points of reference which individuals or groups take as their starting point or initial motivation, and which they must confront when the inner game or inner struggle of ethical dilemmas and of, in practice, indispensable rationalisations, takes place."

"In the area of philosophy, which is principally of interest here, a third positioning vis-à-vis pleasure and striving after pleasure, however, appears too, which indeed quantitatively counts or matters little, and more likely has rarity value in the history of ideas, yet possesses enough strike power or punch and danger to be constantly at the epicentre or the focus of attention of polemics. It is a matter of the open confession of faith in pleasure in all its forms and without taking into account social and ethical normifications (i.e. normative standardisations), which are regarded as artificial or unnatural fetters."

"Despite all the varying of the motifs and themes, nonetheless, their logical and intellectual core remains, because the social disciplining of the individuals must be ensured in every case, irrespective of who precisely rules, and also irrespective of whether the current form of social disciplining, in comparison to an earlier or another form of social disciplining, is praised and celebrated as the realisation of “freedom”."

[Re: Plato et al.] "The contempt of the philosopher for the rabble deepens to the extent that he 

believes he has established, or consolidated his conviction, that the inclination or propensity 

towards animal, bestial pleasure must go hand in hand with metaphysical ignorance, that is, 

spiritual(-intellectual) roughness, coarseness and brutality, or a lack of spiritual and 

intellectual cultivation. ... The prudent, understanding and insightful philosopher, and the 

“livestock or cattle herds”, have entirely different notions of pleasure and of life experiences

 because the former constantly keeps in mind the intelligible true being, however the latter ekes

 out a miserable existence in the material world of becoming."

"... a consistent working out or elaboration in several representatives of the Cyrenaic School. Such nihilistic hedonism’s core thesis is the decoupling of the legitimacy of pleasure from the legitimacy of its cause; even immoral, indecent action can therefore give rise to pleasure. From that results the leveling of the hierarchy of the kinds of pleasure, which, in practice, boils down to the priority of bodily pleasure, as well as the questioning of social assumptions, perceptions and institutions, which usually that hierarchy is based upon: good and evil, the virtuous act or action and crime, vanish into thin air as concepts, i.e. they appear as products of artificial settings or forms of institutionalisation, whereas Nature knows only striving after, and the command of, pleasure; Theodoros, in this respect, paves the way for la Mettrie and de Sade."

"The rationalism of the New Times, nevertheless, gave and won its first great world-theoretical battle in the former sector [[i.e. as regards Nature, rather than [[nature in socially interacting]] humans]] through the formation of modern natural science, whereas the philosophical working out, processing or analysis of the rehabilitation of human sensoriality (the sensorial dimension of man), was left to await the age of the Enlightenment. This delay is explained if we consider that the reshaping or transformation of ethics, and in effect of the social behaviour of humans, in the sense of the turn towards the From Here (i.e. This World or Life), touched much more directly upon, or adversely affected, the sphere of interest(s) of a still always ideologically almost all-powerful, omnipotent Church than for instance the heliocentric system and the laws of gravity."[[Oh my God! Am I in the role of Copernicus or Newton, or am I really like Mr. Bean as my better half thinks??!!! = nothing to do with P.K.]]

[[re: Hume...]] "Hence, the moral-philosophical resistance to the philosophy of sentiments and feeling, which made its presence felt already in the British debates for instance with regard to Balguy and Price, and later found in Kant, its most well-known representative in the 18th century; such resistance usually started from a sceptical anthropology and sought in the autonomy of Reason that for which pleasure in its automatic mechanism or effect could not vouch, i.e. could not guarantee. Nonetheless, this solution, which seemed to open the road back to asceticism, could not win over the mainstream of the Enlightenment for itself, especially as it directly endangered the normative concept of Nature, this keystone or cornerstone of Enlightenment normativism. This mainstream preferred to self-consciously, with haughty self-conviction, overlook the conceptual difficulties, and remained with an ambivalent schema, which made both the orientation of ethics to the From Here (i.e. This World or Life), as well as the defence or pushing back against the suspicion of nihilism possible.

"The two chief exponents of this hedonism are La Mettrie and de Sade. The former wants to rediscover pleasure in its original, primeval innocence, beyond good and evil, beyond questions and problems of conscience and of inhibitions, which the hard school of asceticism artificially created, in regard to which, however, over time, this school granted and conferred upon such questions and problems of conscience and of inhibitions, the appearance, semblance or pretence of the natural or naturalness. La Mettrie indeed distinguishes between merely sensorial enjoyment or delight, and, pleasure. But he does that only in order to imply that pleasure in the wider sense can captivate and put the whole of man under its spell, and, in the course of this, is capable of making the whole of man happy. The pleasures of the soul and of the spirit(-intellect), incidentally, remain connected to the bodily forms of enjoyment and delights; they basically constitute the latter’s widening, broadening and completion, perfection. De Sade goes down another path, by not going past, whilst laughing, traditional hierarchies, but by, with dogged determination, seeking to overturn the same traditional hierarchies or stand them on their head. Pleasure, therefore, does not have the slightest thing to do with virtue, and its full savouring must in fact accompany the energetic pushing, thrusting aside of the virtuous act or virtuous action. Virtue is artificial, pleasure is natural; that is why striving after pleasure, in conscious contrast to virtue, means just as much as, i.e. is equivalent to the defence of, or laying claim to, one’s very own, primal natural rights (i.e. personal rights vested in nature). If virtue or humanity cannot grant, allow or spare pleasure, then one’s own pleasure of necessity culminates where it runs into or meets the pain of another, who bows, bends and breaks to and before the stronger; pleasure therefore just as much means the unfolding of power, and not least of all, or precisely for this reason, man constantly thirsts for it, power."

[[It's as if The French Madmen could See where the West was Heading about 200 years before the West started Spinning Totally Out of Control!!!... Ezra Pound wasn't "insane" - he just didn't properly understand Power and the Correlation of Forces, whilst also lacking a relatively deep or full sociological-historical knowledge... = my comments = absolutely nothing to do with P.K.!!! And by the way, Pound, the American, was a/the (last) Great Poet of the English Language when it still largely belonged to the English (subjective, matter of taste appraisal), like it or not!!!]]

"This end came, not by chance, at a time when the bourgeoisie itself was losing, – as a result of the gradual transformation of industrial society into modern mass democracy –, its ruling position and its self-consciousness. The emancipatory banner of hedonism was now put into the hands of the anti-bourgeois cultural revolution, which freed the pleasure principle not only from the fetters of bourgeois convention(s) and (kinds of) moderation, but it also, in agreement with the ideal of self-realisation, turned this pleasure principle into the foundation of social organisation and wanted to put it in the place of, i.e. replace, the performance (or achievement) principle. The cultural-revolutionary dream, as it for instance was articulated in Marcuse’s writings, was of course not realised, yet it could significantly and substantially influence the manners, customs, mores, morals, ethe and modes of behaviour in mass democracy, although this happened in a paradoxical way and strengthened, stabilised and consolidated rather than endangered or shook the “system”. Because mass democracy requires in parallel with technical rationality, which secures the functioning of mass democracy’s highly technicised basis, hedonistic stances and positionings too, which promote, foster and favour the economically just as indispensable increasing consumption of material and spiritual(-intellectual) goods. Value pluralism, whose reverse or other side is the value neutrality of the state and of instrumental science, belongs, however, to mass democracy’s mode of functioning as one of its elements." [[The translator notes and reminds the reader that the "value neutrality" of the state is part of the overall ideal type of mass democracy compared to oligarchic bourgeois liberalism, which certainly did not feature "value pluralism" in the sense of mass democracy. In the year 2018 it could be that we are beginning to see signs of further and or increasingly more intense variance of western mass democracies in their respective actual realities vis-à-vis the ideal type. "The Philosopher and Pleasure" was published in 1991.]]                                                                                   

"As said, in the philosophical and also practical powerlessness of nihilistic hedonism, the hard, unalterable, irresistible and inevitable necessity of the social disciplining of individuals is reflected. Both normativistic – of course diverging from each other and also in themselves split or manifold – perceptions of the ethical (position of) value of pleasure find themselves in the right in the sense that they contribute to the coping and coming to terms with an indispensable and unavoidable collective task and duty of theirs. That however does not mean eo ipso that they must be taken at their face value, or that their self-understanding is correct and holds up to [[scientific-conceptual]] scrutiny – although, on the other hand, they can fulfil their objective function only when they subjectively understand themselves in the way they do it (i.e. subjectively understand themselves). In their permanent and complementary effect on the winding paths of ideological consciousness two fundamental given facts of social, societal living together or co-existence come to light. The fundamental principle or axiom that collective self-preservation has absolute priority and precedence over the individual’s self-preservation, is translated into the language of the ethical principle that pleasure should always submit to or conform with Reason, whose commands, by the way, are just as supra-individual as the command of collective self-preservation, whereas in the demand for pleasure, an individual desire and craving are always there, latent. The philosophical differentiation and hierarchisation of pleasures, for its part, has an objective kind of backing and support in the fact that culture [[civilisation]] transforms man into a “spiritual(-intellectual)” being or creature, by transferring biological or biopsychical properties, qualities, origins, aptitudes, tendencies, (pre)dispositions or constants to the sphere of the ideational; and culture, through that, nuances, refines, and makes the aforesaid properties etc. or constants endlessly complex; that is why under the conditions or in circumstances of culture, the biological or biopsychical element cannot be lived through, experienced and cannot unfold without the mediation or intervention of ethical or other, remaining reflection, cerebration and contemplation. To the extent that society and culture transform biological and biopsychical magnitudes into ideational magnitudes, pleasure in the form of the elementary “animal and bestial” satisfaction of drives, urges, impulses is less and less in a position of constituting the axis of a coherent way of living or mode of life, although existential outbreaks, eruptions and explosions, which aim at such elemental satisfaction, must take place again and again."

"The question, nevertheless, remains whether the ensuing taming and subduing of “animal” striving after pleasure inside of society on a large scale is in actual fact a consequence of the effect of ethical Reason, irrespective of whether such taming etc. must understand and (re)present itself thus (i.e. as taming etc.), for the reasons mentioned just now. Were social life in reality the creation of ethical Reason, and were “animal” striving after pleasure truly the ultimate source of vice (evil) and of restlessness in social life, then this social life would have to calm down and be normalised precisely to the extent that the “animal” striving after pleasure is bridled, curbed, restrained, controlled by ethical Reason. But that by no means has been the case in history until today. “Animal, bestial” striving after pleasure could be and is indeed tamed or diverted, redirected, channeled in so far as social living together or co-existence was or became possible, or such that social living together was and is made possible; through that, however, competition, rivalry and conflict between humans have not in the least stopped. This elementary ascertainment suggests or gives birth to the thought that forces and energies, which were freed or even only came into being through the taming and or subduing of “animal” striving after pleasure, were channeled into conflicts of another kind, and that, as a result, that taming happened with regard to aims, goals or ends which cannot be, or cannot coincide with, the (nominal) aims, goals or ends of ethical Reason. In clearer words and terms: the law of power proved to be stronger than the law of “animal” striving after pleasure. Under the conditions or in the circumstances of culture and the, effected and brought about through culture, transfer of biological or biopsychical magnitudes to the sphere of the ideational, someone who cares or gives a damn exclusively about “animal and bestial” satisfaction in pleasure, enjoyment and delight, is and remains a social zero or an, on the periphery, marginal, disturbing factor, which is put aside or eliminated easily." 

[[Typical Response of a typical person not too brain-dead to see what's really going on: "Oh my God!... is he for real? Yes, he's for real and it is so..."... = not by P.K.]]

"Of course, inside the area of sensorial pleasure, a satisfying of the striving for power takes place in so far as the possession and dominating of the object of pleasure increases and augments pleasure. De Sade saw this correctly; however, the, thus viewed or comprehended, relationship between pleasure and power concerns only the narrower level of personal relations and can be transferred to life in culture just as little as nihilistic hedonism can become the way of life or mode of living of an organised society. The social boundaries of hedonism constitute at the same time the boundaries of its (abilities in regard to the) understanding of social reality, since one, from the point of view of, or starting from, the hedonistic identification of pleasure and power, can hardly bring oneself to the knowledge or become conscious that one must (want to) renounce or abstain from (sensorial) pleasure exactly for the sake of power. Nietzsche, for his part, apprehended the relationship between pleasure and power far more adequately. However, he got to that on the basis of a rather abstract, i.e. simply or merely ontologically conceived absolutisation of the factor of power, without revealing the concrete social mechanisms through which the relationship assumed and described by him himself comes about or is formed. Apart from the strengths and weaknesses of philosophical thought, it must nevertheless be observed and remarked that insight and knowledge into these mechanisms must remain a sweet or bitter – depending on the taste of the researcher – fruit of knowledge, which must be forbidden to the many. Because only ignorance of such mechanisms secures their effect and functioning, and consequently also social living together, social co-existence."                               

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