Hacking blog post

I thought Rewriting The Soul was an incredibly insightful, informative read, although perhaps one that was at times staggeringly thorough. Initially i assumed that it’s ultimate goal was to study the disorder of multiplicity- determine its causes and symptoms, etc. I was thus puzzled by the seemingly philosophical questions it posed early on regarding the ‘reality’ of the disease. Although Hacking sets out his main point very early in the book- “the way in which a new science, a purported knowledge of memory, quite self-consciensly was created in order to secularize the soul” (4). Yet as interesting as this idea sounded to me, it still seemed removed from the study of multiplicity- I did not find myself drawing connections between it and the alleged ‘main point’ while reading the immersive case studies included of mpd. As the book wore on, however, I noticed patterns involving the social and political reconstruction of memories involved in the treatment diagnoses of multiplicity within these studies.
The example of therapists ‘creating’ a cause for multiplicity in a patient struck me especially. The looping effect between society and patient I noticed helped me understand a bit better the title of the book, as well as the noted main point. I might be a little (or a lot) off here, but the most compelling theme of the book I gathered was that society is collectively, and maybe subconsciously streamlining or at least coercing peoples habits of and attitudes towards memory through creating a non-spiritual science out of it.

One specific thing i starting thinking about regarding multiplicity was amnesia and forgotten states. Could I be experiencing a state presently that I wont remember once i ‘wake up’ from it, and thats why I assume I’m ‘normal’ right now? Is there even a difference between believing that I am and it being so? After all, we are a hybrid of imagination and reality.

Twilight Of The Idols

This one was a struggle for me to get through. A lot of the text seemed disorganized, vague, and sometimes even random. Although some of this confusion was likely due to the many historical and philosophical references made that I had difficulty understanding despite the footnotes, which a reader of Nietzsche’s time would probably grasp more easily. Part of me was pleased by the short length of the book, as I like to consider myself capable of keeping up with a dense text. However, I also found that the book was in some parts lacking in adequate examples or elaborations, especially considering some of the provocative statements Nietzsche makes in it. Overall, Twilight Of The Idols was a nearly overwhelmingly fast paced, assertive read. Nonetheless, I think Nietzsche makes some compelling, albeit pessimistic observations on contemporary humanity in it. He makes an interesting assertion that current society has replaced the organic behaviour and ‘natural’ morality of man with morality which is softer, weaker, and probably more submissive. I may be wrong, but in turn it seems that Nietzsche tries to point out that such a society is also stiflingly obsessed with fairness and equality, which aren’t virtues that he seems to support himself . As well, his opinion on freedom is conveyed as equally problematic, as he considers it to be something that is perhaps blindly preached out of paranoia and fear of authority. With all this in mind, adding as well that the philosopher embraces struggle, I have to wonder what Nietzsche’s ideal government/society would look like. Would it even be possible to maintain a society under the more hardened moral code alluded to? If so, I am still trying to think of how it would be at all pleasant.