My point is that Asha is "functionality" but also what we make of "functionality", what is functional to our minds. In other words: There is both an Asha-Ahura (the scientific asha) and an Asha-Mazda (the artistic or creative asha). Don't you agree, Parviz? I would love to share your further elaboration on the issue.
2009/12/13 Special Kain
To me Asha could have been translated as «that which fits» or «that which works», and, as far as I remember, it was Dina McIntyre who translated Asha as such - quite convincingly so. It's not only the physical laws (those persistent and cosmologically interesting habits), but also psychological habits and their changes in time. It's simply more than mere structures and a fixed order of things. It's not only chemistry and physics, it's also evolution, psychology and sociology. Asha applies to all that is: it's whatever is true (science), right (ethics) and genuine (art) altogether. It was the physical laws only, then why would have Zoroastrians stressed HONESTY and AUTHENTICITY?
--- Parviz Varjavand
Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Asha vs Truth
Datum: Sonntag, 13. Dezember 2009, 12:44
Dear Alex and Dino,
You can admire each other all you want, but what kind of definition for Asha is "What Fits!"? What Fits into What? When we deal with Physics, we are not dealing in "What Fits", we are dealing with Physics. I feel Asha is all the Laws that operate our Cosmos. When one studies any Laws of Physic, that person is an Ashavand, a Scientist.This is why we feel that God is dwelling in its physical creation. That is my take on Asha.
--- On Fri, 12/11/09, Alexander Bard
From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Asha vs Truth
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Friday, December 11, 2009, 3:38 AM
Which is precisely why I have always argued that Zarathushtraä 's concept of "asha" should not be translated at all to English, especially not to "truth" or "righteousness" , none of which capture the meaning of the word. "Funtionality" is better but still does not capture the ethical part of the concept, and that is of course as important as its epistemological meaning.
Asha is just asha, just like karma is karma in Indian philosophy. The most important concepts should not be translated as any translation would fail to capture their most important meaning. I would even stretch this to "haurvatat" where "transecndence" is a better trabslation than "immortality" but where none of the words capture the meaning.
2009/12/11 Special Kain
I agree 100%. Asha is «what fits» and therefore in tune with the post-realistic principles of functionality and intersubjective agreement, especially because cognition and interaction can't be separated. That's also exactly what I said several months ago and that's why I consider John Dewey to be Zarathushtra' s nephew. I just don't know if that's precisely what Zarathushtra wanted to say, but am I supposed to care whether he did?
I don't think that a discussion which truths are possible and which truths are impossible would help us here. That's why I made this shift from «truth» to «functionality» several years ago. Two theories contradict each other on all essential points, but their employment proves them both «right» instrumentalistical ly.
--- Alexander Bard
We completely agree in principle, we may then just disagree on strategy. Or perhaps not?
Personally, I don't see what we would gain as pragmatists if we always discuss the impossibility of truth from a specifically European historical context, especially now when we live in a truly globalised world (such as here on Ushta with a majority of non-European members). Rather our starting point, precisely as pragmatists, must be to address the issue of which truth is possible and which is not. To say that "there is no truth" not only contradicts itself, it also confuses people needlessly, if and when they come from a context outside of European philosophical history. And what good would that do?
A possible creative alternative would of course be to say that there is no truth, there is only asha! Asha being the same word as pragmatics in English (that which works, what which functions).
2009/12/11 Special Kain
Then philosophical truths are nothing but epistemological statements that can be challenged scientifically. I know that the statement «there is no truth» contradicts itself. But still I think it's a linguistic problem only that avoids the speakers' approaches. The very same statement can be dealt with representationalist ically and in terms of «linguistic realism», as if words and their logic could reveal something essential about the nature of an extra-linguistic world - or they can be dealt with instrumentalistical ly and pragmatically. And pragmatism isn't empiricism nor relativism. It's fallibilism and probabilism, epistemologically speaking. But do those speakers raise the same validity claims (in a Habermasian way)? No, they don't. Do all statements always refer to such philosophical truths? Depends on who's speaking.