Hey, all you bright philosopher types... could any of you give a summary (synopsis) from your Discussions (in Comments) here, based around Subba's blog on Hobbes,--in terms of how your discussions might be related to the Fearlessness Movement? I'm curious... and maybe the other people in the FM ning community could relate and join in responding IF you could give us some other angles to work with... on what is important to your thinking projects. 

p.s. I appreciate you being so engaged on the FM ning, and bringing some spirited life to the FM ning... 

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  • Sorry for my late answer, but my weeks are quite busy in this period... In my opinion what comes out from the whole discussion is that we have to take care of not reducing fear. If we do not fall in some kind of reduction, we could discover that fear has a central role, but it is related to other factors, and the real problem is stating the role of all this factors. All the comments in the discussion try to consider fear in relation to something (you seem to do the same thing, if I correctly understood what you say), i. e. to a sense of lack of ..., which leads to a movement, namely an intention (in this sense, "phenomenology" is a central part of every contemporary philosophy). This is exactly what ALL contemporary philosophies are trying to work on: Kant has clearly showed that void human space that cannot be fulfilled by a simple knowledge and that leads to the willingness to "reach the solution" through other ways. To sum up, the problem that comes out from the discussion is: what's the role of fear in the human intention? Which other terms are involved and how can we link this terms? Maybe fear preceeds existence, but how should we say that fear is the ground of existence (in other words: is it true that fear plays the central role in this discussion about human intention?)?.

    My answer is that fear doesn't play this central role, even if it is an essential part in the "human machine". But this would be a different point, so I won't develop it.

    Now the existential part (judging from its approach, I still think that Fearism and Fearlessness Movement are existential approaches, since they move from the subjective capability/responsability of creating one's essence). In existentialism there is an essential distintion between fear and anguish: fear has always an object (I fear darkness rather than people or spiders, and so on), while anguish has no object, we could say it is a state in which you feel that something misses or is not under your control. You feel the lack of something and this leads to anguish. Here maybe psychology could dialogue with existentialism (we have some psychological forms of existentialism, the most famous is Sartre's one), but the challenge is always avoiding scientific reductions, in order to respect the existential approach we are moving in. A second point: every existentialism starts from the anguish, which is the common ground of human condition (remember Kant: we cannot have an objective knowledge of the "noumenon", so we have to find another way to reach it [Critique of Pure Reason]; this way is a particular use of freedom, namely the capability of deciding my way for reaching the absolute that I cannot reach with the Pure Reason [Critique of Practical Reason]) and finds his way for dealing with this lack and building his existence through its approach to it. So the crucial problem in existentialism is building an authentic existence. In my opinion, the only way for judging the different paradigms you can find in existentialism is considering their method and the positivity of their results (how many good result can I reach from the negative situation of anguish?). In these different paths, fear is always implied in the original condition of anguish and lack, but maybe we should USE it in the correct way, rather than saying that it IS the ground of existence. If so, you should find the better way of using fear and the other capabilities/terms that constitute anguish as the original, human ground (maybe, your dialectic between fear, love and freedom could be a good starting point). Well, I hope that this partially explains the "existential" challenge for Fearism/Fearlessness Movement.

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