Re: Conscious of the parts

From: Tennessee Leeuwenburg (
Date: Wed Aug 30 2006 - 23:42:23 MDT

Olie Lamb wrote:
> On 8/31/06, Tennessee Leeuwenburg <> wrote:
>> Olie Lamb wrote:
>> > Now, also consider "Transitive concepts". A good example of a
>> > transitive concept is "Need". One can't *just* need something; one
>> > must need something /for/ something.
>> Not so. There are many things which I simply need, depending on your
>> definition of need. Define need.
> * Is taken aback * * Boggles for a moment * * Unboggles, considers
> that although this is clearly not a directly SL4 issue, goals /are/,
> and therefore this is possibly worth the effort *
> OK, firstly, I'm not talking about "need" in any of the weird economic
> senses, or in the sense on penury. I'm talking about the usual sense
> of "I need X"
> I'm also not talking about the abuse of the term, as in when a kid
> realises that by substituting "need" for "want" they get a higher
> success rate with their demands. I do not assert that "wants" must be
> transitive, although I /suspect/ they must be.
> I'd define "need" the verb simply as "to require or to be necessary"
> and I assert that the is sometimes suppressed clause effectively
> tacked on to the end: "to be or to do something". Similarly, the noun
> is "a requirement for something", and i assert that the requirement
> for that something indicates that the something is required /for/ a
> purpose.
> OK, so "need" is similar to "necessary". There's a strict, /logical/
> use of the term "necessary", when discussing "necessary and sufficient
> conditions". Neccesary conditions must be necessary for something -
> you can't have an antecedent without a consequent. Can't and must...
> Grarh!
> Now, one might notice that when one starts to talk about necessity and
> necessary things, it immediately starts to look like one of those
> poorly dressed up ontological-arguments-for-the-existence-of-god. If
> you've ever read, say, Bertrand Russell's debating with his religious
> contemporaries about necessary and contingent beings, you'd understand
> the intense desire to scream that such quibbling can bring. Anyway...
> Such definitions as I provided, although possibly accurate, are
> clearly not particularly helpful, in the same way that defining "the"
> to be "the definite article" doesn't really help anyone understand the
> meaning of "the".
> Let's sidestep this by discussing the real ways people use the term:
> 1) "I need X "; "I need Money"
> 2) "I need to call my sister for her birthday"
> 3) "I need to go" "I need to pay my taxes" "I need to drink"
> 4) "I have need of a new coat"
> 5) "Need for vengeance"
> 6) "No need to be frightened"
> I'm not talking about any of the following:
> 2 is really saying that one feels a moral obligation - or else a
> requirement to do something in order to avoid an unwanted consequence.
> 4 is about a noticeable lack of something - but this is about an
> unfulfilled desire
> 6 is a funny one. In the negative, it indicates that the current
> situation is only one of many possible situations, and doesn't seem to
> mean the same thing at all in the positive.
> The others are about the perception of necessity for an item, an
> entity, or an action. And my contention is that any such "need" is
> really a "need... in order to...". How can I make such a
> generalisation? Well...
> "Humans need the following: food, air, water, shelter from the
> elements" is really shorthand for "Humans need food etc _in order to
> live_"
> Maslow's hierarchy of needs are a list of things needed _for_ self
> actualisation. Self actualisation was considered by Maslow to be an
> intrinsic drive to be the best one could be. This is like saying that
> self-actualisation is a native supergoal. Is the need for
> self-actualisation a logically necessary part of being a human? I
> think it far more accurate to say that humans, by default, want to
> self-actualise.
> As for the need for money, the need for yummy food - these are all
> means to an end; the end being pleasure.
> (It's amazing how quickly philosobabble can sink into bullshit
> sometimes... )
> No, I can't adequately define "need" in order to demonstrate my
> assertion. Can you please provide a single counterexample?
I need love. (or, I need to feel loved)

I would not say, "I need love in order to exist". I would say that given
my existence, I need love.


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