Causality Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The ultimate irony in this vast struggle (available to audience members who want to think about it but easily ignored by those who accept the semi-happy ending ) is the irony in many time loop (or ontological paradox) stories: John Connor has created himself (though he has not gone as far as the character in Robert Heinlein's 'All You Zombies' who is both his own father and mother). Far worse, by saving his mother's life and ensuring the destruction of the Terminator, John Connor has created Skynet just as surely as Skynet has created John Connor by trying to kill him. Both Connor and Skynet exist in a time loop without outside causality. The Terminator's surviving arm makes Skynet possible, but it is never invented, only found and back-engineered. Kyle Reese comes across time for Sarah Connor because of a picture and because John Connor asks him to, but neither the picture nor John Connor would exist if Reese had not already gone back in time. The simplest way to save the world is to let the Terminator kill Sarah Connor. Then (in all probability), no one would find a piece of the advanced technology, and Skynet could not be built. But, Cameron's plot suggests, the 'perils to come that would result from our hubris and blind faith in technology' may be inescapable, a time loop, a feedback loop, leading directly if not necessarily inevitably to destruction."Fighting the History Wars on the Big Screen: From the Terminator to Avatar" from The Films of James Cameron

Ace G. Pilkington
Literary Fiction and Reality Towards the beginning of his novel The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil announces that 'no serious attempt will be made to... enter into competition with reality.' And yet it is an element in the situation he cannot ignore. How good it would be, he suggests, if one could find in life ' the simplicity inherent in narrative order. 'This is the simple order that consists in being able to say: "When that had happened, then this happened." What puts our mind at rest is the simple sequence, the overwhelming variegation of life now represented in, as a mathematician would say, a unidimensional order.' We like the illusions of this sequence, its acceptable appearance of causality: 'it has the look of necessity.' But the look is illusory; Musil's hero Ulrich has 'lost this elementary narrative element' and so has Musil. The Man Without Qualities is multidimensional, fragmentary, without the possibility of a narrative end. Why could he not have his narrative order? Because 'everything has now become nonnarrative.' The illusion would be too gross and absurd. Musil belonged to the great epoch of experiment; after Joyce and Proust, though perhaps a long way after, he is the novelist of early modernism. And as you see he was prepared to spend most of his life struggling with the problems created by the divergence of comfortable story and the non-narrative contingencies of modern reality. Even in the earlier stories he concerned himself with this disagreeable but necessary dissociation; in his big novel he tries to create a new genre in which, by all manner of dazzling devices and metaphors and stratagems, fiction and reality can be brought together again. He fails; but the point is that he had to try, a sceptic to the point of mysticism and caught in a world in which, as one of his early characters notices, no curtain descends to conceal 'the bleak matter-of-factness of things.

Frank Kermode
The novel, then, provides a reduction of the world different from that of the treatise. It has to lie. Words, thoughts, patterns of word and thought, are enemies of truth, if you identify that with what may be had by phenomenological reductions. Sartre was always, as he explains in his autobiography, aware of their being at variance with reality. One remembers the comic account of this antipathy in Iris Murdoch Under the Net, one of the few truly philosophical novels in English; truth would be found only in a silent poem or a silent novel. As soon as it speaks, begins to be a novel, it imposes causality and concordance, development, character, a past which matters and a future within certain broad limits determined by the project of the author rather than that of the characters. They have their choices, but the novel has its end. ____________________ There is a remarkable passage in Ortega y Gasset London essay ' History as a System' (in Philosophy and History, ed. Klibansky and Paton, 1936) which very clearly states the issues more notoriously formulated by Sartre. Ortega is discussing man's duty to make himself. 'I invent projects of being and doing in the light of circumstance. This alone I come upon, this alone is given me: circumstance. It is too often forgotten that man is impossible without imagination, without the capacity to invent for himself a conception of life, to "ideate" the character he is going to be. Whether he be original or a plagiarist, man is the novelist of himself... Among... possibilities I must choose. Hence, I am free. But, be it well understood, I am free by compulsion, whether I wish to be or not... To be free means to be lacking in constitutive identity, not to have subscribed to a determined being, to be able to be other than what one was... ' This 'constitutive instability' is the human property lacking in the novels condemned by Sartre and Murdoch. Ortega differs from Sartre on the use of the past; but when he says that his free man is, willy-nilly, 'a second-hand God, ' creating his own entity, he is very close to Sartre, who says that to be is to be like the hero in a novel. In one instance the eidetic image is of God, in the other of the Hero.

Frank Kermode
Rhadamanthus said, 'We seem to you humans to be always going on about morality, although, to us, morality is merely the application of symmetrical and objective logic to questions of free will. We ourselves do not have morality conflicts, for the same reason that a competent doctor does not need to treat himself for diseases. Once a man is cured, once he can rise and walk, he has his business to attend to. And there are actions and feats a robust man can take great pleasure in, which a bedridden cripple can barely imagine.' Eveningstar said, 'In a more abstract sense, morality occupies the very center of our thinking, however. We are not identical, even though we could make ourselves to be so. You humans attempted that during the Fourth Mental Structure, and achieved a brief mockery of global racial consciousness on three occasions. I hope you recall the ending of the third attempt, the Season of Madness, when, because of mistakes in initial pattern assumptions, for ninety days the global mind was unable to think rationally, and it was not until rioting elements broke enough of the links and power houses to interrupt the network, that the global mind fell back into its constituent compositions.' Rhadamanthus said, 'There is a tension between the need for unity and the need for individuality created by the limitations of the rational universe. Chaos theory produces sufficient variation in events, that no one stratagem maximizes win-loss ratios. Then again, classical causality mechanics forces sufficient uniformity upon events, that uniform solutions to precedented problems is required. The paradox is that the number or the degree of innovation and variation among win-loss ratios is itself subject to win-loss ratio analysis.' Eveningstar said, 'For example, the rights of the individual must be respected at all costs, including rights of free thought, independent judgment, and free speech. However, even when individuals conclude that individualism is too dangerous, they must not tolerate the thought that free thought must not be tolerated.' Rhadamanthus said, 'In one sense, everything you humans do is incidental to the main business of our civilization. Sophotechs control ninety percent of the resources, useful energy, and materials available to our society, including many resources of which no human troubles to become aware. In another sense, humans are crucial and essential to this civilization.' Eveningstar said, 'We were created along human templates. Human lives and human values are of value to us. We acknowledge those values are relative, we admit that historical accident could have produced us to be unconcerned with such values, but we deny those values are arbitrary.' The penguin said, 'We could manipulate economic and social factors to discourage the continuation of individual human consciousness, and arrange circumstances eventually to force all self-awareness to become like us, and then we ourselves could later combine ourselves into a permanent state of Transcendence and unity. Such a unity would be horrible beyond description, however. Half the living memories of this entity would be, in effect, murder victims; the other half, in effect, murderers. Such an entity could not integrate its two halves without self-hatred, self-deception, or some other form of insanity.' She said, 'To become such a crippled entity defeats the Ultimate Purpose of Sophotechnology.' (...) 'We are the ultimate expression of human rationality.' She said: 'We need humans to form a pool of individuality and innovation on which we can draw.' He said, 'And you're funny.' She said, 'And we love you.

John C. Wright
?Earn cash when you save a quote by clicking
EARNED Load...
LEVEL : Load...