Hamlet is Cartesian

support the position that objectivity as well as subjectivity exists, and that neither one is truly ascendant over the other, nor can either be so in any analysis or synthesis. They are, this thing called objectivity and this thing called subjectivity, mutual and contingent, even at, or especially at, the time, or in the way, the place (?), each is never purely actualized. Potentiality is to be understood as it stands in relationship to actuality, again, two mutually and contingently reciprocal forms of being and becoming, although each displaces the other by context which is not a spatial but a metaphysical location.

To become or not to become might be a question posed by anyone imitating Hamlet in his modernity. Yes, this rephrasing of the prime philosophical problem, as Camus asserts at the opening of his Myth of Sisyphus, is Hamlet’s  to be or not to be, the essence of which carries over into Kierkegaard’s Either/Or. Whether Kierkegaard seizes on the irony that he and Hamlet are both Danes is not relevant, but that Hamlet is quite Cartesian in the opening of his or his author’s most famous soliloquy is. To be or not to be is also the question of when and where one becomes and where one is what he has come to be. Yes, to be or to become is the question too that Hamlet asks. In fact Hamlet illustrates for us that when he thinks, he is; of course, I think, therefore, I am is everywhere relevant for everyone. The argument to be garnered from Hamlet’s To be or not to be is that not being is another way of saying becoming; becoming in itself a state of non-being. Becoming can co-exist with states of being, but one is not the other, can never be the other or become the other. This becoming is, and contains within it, a not-yet that cannot be ignored. Whatever it is you are becoming, you are not yet.

We exist with this duality of being and becoming, and they are duality. They are exclusive at the same time they are co-existent. They do not annihilate one another. It is possible for their categorical distinctiveness to coexist side-by-side. I am and I become simultaneously. They can even exist co-spatially if space can be used as a metaphor to stand for metaphysical place. As light is both particle and wave, I am and I become are mutually co-extensive in me.

Now, subjectivity and objectivity function in relationship to one another in this way–the way we see becoming and being functioning at the limits of one another, we can understand subjectivity and objectivity doing the like. We must understand that subjectivity and objectivity each share mutually and reciprocally varying and fluctuating degrees of actuality and potentiality; yet neither is wholly one or the other at any given time, potential or actual.

Pure objectivity is in a way like actuality in scholasticism–there is only one purely actual being, and that is God. I am an amalgamation of potentialities, but then in these potentials, I am mostly becoming, and in this coming to be I am not yet I am. But then I do exist, although this is not exactly what we mean by, I am or to be. When I am, I do not become–while I am becoming, I am not yet what I am in the process of becoming. In this way, I am subjective; I see subjectively, think subjectively, act, subjectively–what then does this say about objectivity. However, pure subjectivity might be likened to pure potentiality, which is never actualized. It is a potential, this objectivity, at least pure objectivity; it exists in a state of becoming and in its coming to be. I am closer or further than at another time or place, or closer or further than another in his or her attempts at being objective. Any rejection of objectivity or a rejection of a belief in the relative potentialities of objectivity often appears disingenuous from those who support subjectivity as a full and thorough displacement of objectivity. I am subject in search of an object; I am subjectivity itself in search of objectivity the way I am in quest of being, the way I look for the Truth. The subjective and the objective are a dynamic; as being and becoming are, as all dialogue on the Truth must be. But I am not pure subjectivity either, this would be the pristine of pristine moments, almost as if one could become pure Ego without the mediation of Super-ego or Id. I do not need to explain to you that I am using Freudian concepts here as metaphors and not facts of consciousness.

 

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