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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Saturday, October 31, 2015


'If I cannot bend the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell.'-- Virgil's AENEID.

In this 2014 essay I wrote:

I do not render any final verdict here as to whether "the causality human beings experience in life" is entirely naturalistic or not.  But it is certainly of a different order than anything we experience through fiction, and so the two are not homologous.  That said, when I think of the historical figure of Jack the Ripper, I opt for the default characterization that almost everyone does: that he was a real human being who killed out of some lunacy and eluded the law.
That said, because the Ripper was never identified, he presents an ontological problem that comparable "psychos" do not.  Even without being able to identify the Ripper as authorities were able to identify Ed Gein, practically no one doubts that the Ripper was a real human being, unlike the many fictional renditions modeled after him. As a real human being, he cannot be "uncanny" the way a fictional re-creation can be.

But can one say that even though he was subject to all the laws of the naturalistic universe we all share, that Jack the Ripper does not share in any way with the concept I've entitled "affective freedom" in this essay?

While a human being cannot be "uncanny" in the same way that a fictional character would be, any human being-- no matter how debased-- has the freedom to imagine himself within a fictionalized posture. This self-theatricalization would not change the actual phenomenality of the real human being. Nevertheless, the capacity for such a mental attitude, even in a negative moral state of being, still impacts on the general concept of freedom nonetheless.

For sake of this argument, assume that the historical Ripper is the same person who wrote this infamous "letter from hell," which I copied from this site:

From hell
Mr Lusk
I send you half the
Kidne I took from one women
prasarved it for you tother pirce
I fried and ate it was very nise I
may send you the bloody knif that
took it out if you only wate a whil
Catch me when
you Can
Mishter Lusk. [sic]

The individual who wrote this letter was, without doubt, attempting to "fictionalize" himself in terms of the Ripper-persona, to become a figure of "dread" through the reference to the Ripper's psychotic violence and to the domain of hell itself.

How this impacts upon the general concept of freedom will be explored further in Part 2.

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