One of Two Things

Value and the Consumption of Form

Consequently, what we observe in the evolution of the Celtic world is not only increase in the degree of centralization, of vertical and horizontal differentiation, but above all, the appearance of a s[specialized governmental institution, a bureaucracy, in which the principal public powers-judicial, military, and religious-tended to concentrate. A parallel development is the establishment of a monetary economy, an economy based on a unit of value which had to be accepted in exchange for any commodity; a value system that allowed and facilitated differential consumption. Thus, a qualitative change was achieved. Political and economic organization became changed in character, Celtic society acquired the fundamental criteria of what we call the state.


b. Arnold & D.B Gibson, Beyond the Mist: Forging an Ethnological Approach to Celtic Studies, in b. Arnold & D.B Gibson (ed) Celtic Chiefdom, Celtic State

“Nothing comes out of the pot but the steam that is in it.”

Gaelic folk saying. I am familiar with it as I am Scottish

Some old folks have expanded on that as folks have a tendancy to do.


Of course, if water boils in a pot, steam comes out of the pot and also pictured steam comes out of the pictured pot. But what if one insisted on saying that there must also be something boiling in the picture of the pot?


Wittgenstien, Philisophical Investigation

Plotinus Is Pale

What can we sense about the subject if we strip out all knowledge and beliefs about Plotinus and Paleness. When this form of knowledge no longer makes a substantial point, what Image are we left with?

E.K Emilsson appears to suggest it is this form of introspection that lead Plotinus and by extension philosophy to the door of the mind-body problem.

The product of an accident that occurs when we do something.

Like Orangeness and the number 27.

I had no sense when I took the picture what it would become retrospectively. I don’t have a Greek understanding of what orangeness is but that does not seem to suggest that I look at the subject differently than Plotinus, the situation I find myself in does not seem to be entirely different.

It does at the moment seem perfectly natural.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrow

One Shrill Cry and Then Silience

Early day intermediate photography. The start of my interest in the No.27. I was just coming to terms with dealing with the noise of the street.

Everything seemed to get in the way of taking a shot, lights, poles, signs all seemed to be conspiring against finding the perfect shot. My heart filled with the desire to own a chain saw.

I was walking home from town after an afternoon spent deciding not to take any picture’s because the shot would not work, then taking it anyway.

Spot on the road here were the light is intesting but the high tennemant buildings of Edinburgh block the light on the street. Nothing to shot, no point.

I got the idea I did not have to shoot anything. What I had to do was shut up and not bother about anything. Loose all sense of where I was.

On a busy street with a buzzing mind I seemed not to have a prayer until I saw its flag.

Laughter and then nothing.

I Cheated


Plotinus on Sense Peception is so densely written I find I can only read it for about twenty minutes before the text just becomes a meaningless blur.

Last night when the blurring set in I skipped to the closing chapter and the last couple of pages.

In its closing words a different text is mentioned one that seeks to examine ‘descartes myth’ i.e the mind body problem.  E.K. Emilsson suggests that Plotinus has a relationship with Descartes, Cartesain notion of mind is not simply a single historical accident.

i.e. Descarte is not the foundation legend and source of a ‘myth’

I can’t asses that claim but it does in part explain why I found the text and some of the methods unusual, it seemed as in parts as if it was an attempt at a historical reconstruction (or a philosophical reconstruction), becoming absorbed in the text, trying to get inside the situation (plotinus thinking about sensation). An attempt to work out what was the most logical way for Plotinus to move through the subject.

Seemed to be almost an element of self experimentation at some points in the text.

I can’t say the methods are now clear, but they are starting to come into focus and make some sense.

Emilsson is searching for a means of exploring an idea which is not a basic human intuition nor one linked to one particular moment in time. This is his thesis.

His method of analysis and conclusion seem related. Appears to be a somewhat organic working method.

In conclusion Emisson presents Plotinus as making an antimaterialst argument. He also appears to be countering contemporary historical arguments through a historical revision which makes a case for complexity and an expansion of inflection from one mind (Descarte as origin and repetition) to many.

Its still an examination of ‘great minds’ but the thinking alike part is undergoing an alteration by placing the subject in muliple and very different contexts. No unity, no single method for arriving at the door of the mind body problem.

In terms of modern thought Emisson views no shared single perspective among thinkers drawn to the issue, the shared situational factor he sees, is a discontent with materialism.

The Well Groomed Dog

I seem to be getting to the core of the book as I appear to have reached the part where fortifications and defensive mechanisms employed are coming in to focus.

Book was an unusual read as it is giving a comparative account of historical documents and ideas but included no direct references. It now has, as it presents its hypothesis. I am not sure exactly what that is yet or even what the wider arguments are here. But it certainly looks like a well-groomed dog about to enter a dog fight.

Constructed to present as balanced an argument as possible and survive. Plotinus’s view’s and perspective are fragmentary and scattered throughout his writing. Reading here is based on gathering and constructing an eagle eye perspective from a much larger fluid and altering body.

viewing that from a wider historical perspective, it’s a task not without its difficulties and I suspect philosophical reconstruction does not escape the issues.

I’ve always largely ignored the subject as aside from issues of context, never sure how philosophy deals standard historical textual issues.

Historical documents are often by nature constructed over time, retro by nature.

A text may date to the 6th century. The only surviving copy may date no later than the 17th century. It may contain details that suggest re-working in the 9th century with further comments and edits in the 12th century followed by a revising and amending 15th century hand.

Irish medieval philosophy generally starts with or includes a discussion here, but then it’s what early medevial historians, trained in Ireland or the U.K. would expect to see. Can’t work with the documents without an understanding of the multi-contextual, organic nature of the text.

With ancient philosophy I am ignorant of what the case may be here, although I suspect it is not exempt from similar issues. Its audience is a philosophical one rather than historical one; detail which allows me to relax is notable by its absence so far. Far more comfortable with an Irish accent and emphasis here.

The book actualy goes as far in defending not taking an ahistorical approach in the introduction and feels the need to also explain why the ideas are set in a wider historical context. Which sends a slight shiver down my spine as I imagine what sort of fantastical creature is being addressed here and where it may dwell


Twisty Turny Thing


pathos, pathema, paschei, paschien


pathos = affection

synonmous cognate pathema

x paschei = x is affected by


paschien = undergoing

x paschei hyp y= x is affected by y

x paschei w = w here is the affection itself, x undergoes pain, x undergoes heating etc.


Next post, paschien= to do, to act

On causation (poiein & paschien)