Disposition, Objectivity

When we were imagining ourselves as scientists in a lab (See lecture The Romantic) and exclaimed, “I simply discovered nature!” We were referring not to the observation itself—not to the sensual entity—but to an object virus.

And isn’t it the same with feelings? Don’t I simply “discover” them? And once identified as feeling, don’t I read them backward into my own history, forever how long or short that duration may be?

But I do expect that disposition (feeling or mood) to be the most unlikely thing to call objective—these are not entities we find in the common world—and this is the popular distinction between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’. (I suppose that here I am making less of a claim to dispositions and instead drawing boundaries to an area which I would like to call objectivity.)

After all, I’m not surprised when I find myself anxious with the thought that I will lecture soon. And I’m not surprised when I find that I am still in love, despite that the relationship is far behind me. Quite the opposite. It’s to be expected that I experience a detachment from and disownment of my most ‘subjective’ feelings. That is, I find them in the same way I find anything else in nature. And it does not feel strange whatsoever to call my feelings natural. They are natural things—or should I say natural entities? I’m not sure which word to use here. (See Albert Hofstadter’s translation of Martin Heidegger’s The Thing in Poetry, Language, Thought.) “Things” feels better than “entities” and I do not make a terminological distinction—they are interchangeable everywhere in my current writing.