« Les Nouveaux chemins de la connaissance » this week on obstinacy.

Spinoza : Book 3 .Prop 6

« Everything, in so far as it is in itself, endeavours to persevere in its own being. »

There was some discussion of the curious formulation "endeavors to persevere":
If on the one hand excess and deficiency can be attributed to perseverance / obstinacy, perhaps so too the act of endeavor.
I thought we might take up attention to endeavor in relation to what Paul has been indicating about strife.
It seemed to me that the interest of the double verb form, endeavor to persevere, is that there is a ratio.
In some situations it is appropriate to endeavor to persevere, in others one might be obliged to strive to obstinate, which is different to endeavoring to obstinate, which could be judged inappropriate or deficient, or striving to persevere, which might be excessive.
In any case, the double verb form seemed of great interest.


Gaymon Bennett wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Obstinancy and Resignation

"Tradition is not opposed to modernity but to alienation."

1982, Daedalus, Louis Dupre writes "Spiritual Life in a Secular Age."

Unlike many of his other diagnoses of modernity here Dupre does not seem nostalgic for a lost possibility. But where his writing had previously be marked by an ethos of tradition in which the significance of the new was weighed against the old, this portrayal of "a spirituality of world-affirmation" seems touched by a channeled inevitability. Resignation is the passage point to potentiality.

Dupre is not yet contemporary. His resignation allows for a certain activation and there is no heroic ironization in the face of a world dominated by a spirituality of "personal decision" and a loss of the old masters." But there is neither restiveness (his diagnosis resigns to "the age" of the secular) nor recalcitrance (he shows the critical limitations of a certain then spirituality but does not make a judgment).

Paul Rabinow wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

restive and recalcitrant

Our couple R&R seems like the outside to a series or set of obst&Persev.

The restiveness is an ongoing ethos. It alerts to situations in which some response to negative or reproachful actions might be called for. The recalcitrance might come at any subsequent moment. It might come as an immediate response to a reproach. It might come after a sequence of perseverance and obstinacy did not calm the situation. Then recalcitrance would be seen perhaps as a Haltung and and defining ethos marker.

Paul Rabinow wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago


President Obama's press conference after the elections was a perfect example of the duo of
obstinacy/perserverance. He quietly but resolutely said he would perservere (sp?) but the press all interpreted it as obstinacy in the bad sense.

I am with Obama on this one.

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