Last time I discussed the relationship between the concepts of Ascent and of transcendence. I think there’s more to say about the latter. Last time I had noted two forms of transcendence: an Ascent beyond the physical world, and the “transcendence by descent” endorsed by Martha Nussbaum in which one transcends one’s own limits. But I think there’s also a third type found between them, one which I’ve spoken of before in other terms.
A key feature of any kind of transcendence, it seems to me, is dissatisfaction: something appears wrong with that which one is trying to transcend. In Nussbaum’s transcendence-by-descent, one is dissatisfied with one’s own weaknesses and flaws. In an Ascent, one is in some sense dissatisfied with the whole world. But what if one is dissatisfied with the whole world in a way that motivates one not to step outside the world, but to change it? Continue reading