Pragmatic Studies:

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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Fri May 01, 2015 3:13 pm

"That I did not make quiete the sense to You as I wished to have, is perhaps due to my lacks of tuning in to Your particular mind set, and heretofore, will,me when occasion should arise, communicate to You via standard philosophical jargon."

The following, Orb, is from a discourse I was engaged in with someone who wrote an article for Philosophy Now. I think it is relevant here:

"Again I hope it is clear and if not I am sorry. I was trying to be as direct and to the point as possible."

Unfortunately, my friend, you may be engaging in a noble but, ultimately, futile project. I'm thinking here of Lacan's point that language is like an attorney that represents us to the attorney (the language (of the other. Even though, as I would still argue, language is an agreement, it is not an homogeneous one. It is rather heterogeneous in the way a language can arrive at slight variations of agreements in the various circumstances it can find itself being practiced in (ex. Ebonics. And this can go down to the individual themselves in their own individual context. This is how two individuals can actually be in agreement yet can still find themselves in a debate –sometimes to the point of hostility.

As Voltaire put it: if you want to talk to me, you’ll have to define your terms.

And this aspect of it seems to get amplified when it comes to philosophy since every philosophical process involves an individual accumulation of terms and meanings and associations (via di̕fferrance (that aren’t always translatable to another process. For instance, I have read through your article about 5 times now, and there are still parts of it that seem impenetrable to me. And I do not blame this on you as much as I attribute it to my symbolic filter (as Hofstadter put it (as well as the terms (and their associative networks –once again: di̕fferrance (we have picked up along the way. And you are in good company. I find myself, for instance, experiencing the same thing with Joe Hughes’ reader guide to Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. And that is secondary text.

And all this makes sense in the context of my recent excursion into Deleuze’s Logic of Sense in that communication is not so much a matter of the direct exchange of information as the rather oblique manner of working from the sense of what the other is communicating: the performance. This is why I should also preemptively apologize if I’m not directly addressing your points or if I seem to be going off on my own trajectory. If I seem to be doing so, it is only because your suspicion is likely true. But that would only be because I am often working from a sense of what you are saying. It’s the only process by which (through repetition and difference –that of playing what I’m doing and saying against what you are doing and saying (I can hope to get a clearer understanding of what you are doing.

On the uptake, though, your article has participated in a revision in my approach to my process. Up until now, I had thought the best approach to a difficult philosophy (once again: damn the French and their weird obscure philosophies anyway! (was to familiarize myself with the secondary text until I had enough information to delve into the actual text: to use it as a ladder until I was ready to climb into the thought of the actual philosopher. But my five readings of Joe Hughes’ book as well as the very short introduction to Derrida I’m reading now is starting to suggest how ineffective that approach is. Now I’m starting to see the secondary text as secondary to the “performance” of the actual text. I’m starting to see secondary text as supplemental to just diving into the original text and working from the sense I get from it.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby Orbie » Fri May 01, 2015 3:47 pm

I agree with You in that basic tenets are as important in any philosophy, as do confirming voices which may or may not correspondingly validate, whether a cynical performance, or, a truly driven attempt at understanding.

That, Sartre was the take off point is obvious and the point of a psychological backdrop is unavoidable. Scherzo analysis was long in coming, and there is some neat things about it, which Deleuze has said about it, he did not share the enthusiasm given to anti Oedipus,in fact he felt strange among disturbed people. It became dated, to the point in time when
Anti psychiatry was starting to feel obsolete, as a consequence of the fading of the 60's. Attari did much better with a Thousand Platos, in seeking a
Non philosophical way to understand communication.
the thing is, Voltaire is dated, the structure of language not yet prone to the kind of entropy post modernity has excercised upon meaning. So kind in kind, with only one absolute on my part, and that is an absence of even a hint of hostility or suspicion.

later
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In answer to your prayer
sincere, the centre of
your circle here,
i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
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Then, your obedient

servant now.
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby Orbie » Fri May 01, 2015 4:30 pm

The point I would like to mention, is, that the very basic ideas are the ones which are pretty determinative. Attari went around negating the concept of reductionism, vis, reducing complex ideas into their elementary forms, instead, his starting point was the problem, the situation, and worked himself up into more and more complex derivatives.
In fact he was a structuralist. In this scheme of things, derivations lost their footing, and developed into meanings within themselves. The analysis was anti Freudian Oedipal, and meaning could only be gathered through the schizoanalysis, of finding meaning within these trunkated ideas.
[size=50][/size]Allone's Obe issance



In answer to your prayer
sincere, the centre of
your circle here,
i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
bow,
Then, your obedient

servant now.
One gift is all i find in me,
And that is faithful
memory
Orbie
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Fri May 01, 2015 6:18 pm

In the spirit of Facebook, Orb: 2 likes.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Fri May 01, 2015 7:43 pm

“I don't want to derail your thread, but I will just add one thing since it is relevant to what has gone before. You (and others interested) might consider checking out the works of Heidegger generally collected under the title Basic Works. In them you will find a Heidegger much more generous in his presentation than in his other works. Also, a little bird told me that if you find out their names and search for them you should be able to find them.

I will add though, to understand Heidegger's focus on poïesis you have to understand his stance on modern technology and the problem he felt arises from a hegemony of instrumental reasoning. Poetry, you might admit, does bring humanity closer to its connection with nature, the world, existence, or what have you, than for example creating machines. — I might say that creating machines is something essentially human, but it doesn't really improve out spiritual connection with Being. Heidegger's position was that thinking of Being brought us closest but poetry has the ability to absorb us and make us feel closer to existence even as an audience if not as performers or creators.

Has our modern world of ubiquitous technology brought us closer to eudaimonia (roughly, 'the good life') or have we perhaps even lost something that older civilizations had by living closer to nature? Is it desirable for humanity to change its trajectory? Is it possible any longer or have we entered an era where we are determined by our technology to pursue conquest at all costs?” –The Artful Pauper….

“I don't want to derail your thread, but I will just add one thing since it is relevant to what has gone before.”

I think that too often we encounter people on these boards who take what they’re doing way too seriously –or may be posing as people who do when all they’re really looking for is an opportunity to heckle: this constant bitching about “serious philosophy” and staying on topic. This comes from a failure to see message boards for their real value: that as a workshop or jam in which we engage in a kind of play in order to find material for our more serious philosophical pursuits. I, personally, see any string I start as a catalyst to a rhizomatic series of associations (experimentation (that must go where it will to produce. And if anyone is responsible for bringing it back to topic, it is the person that started the string.

“You (and others interested) might consider checking out the works of Heidegger generally collected under the title Basic Works. In them you will find a Heidegger much more generous in his presentation than in his other works. Also, a little bird told me that if you find out their names and search for them you should be able to find them.”

This works with my sense of it. Clearly Being and Time is not the best place to start. Along with your suggestion, I have Walter Kaufman’s Existentialism: from Dostoevsky to Sartre which I need to get back to if I can ever get out of the mire I find myself in with these other GODDAMN Frenchmen. I mean it: Damn the French and their weird obscure philosophies anyway!!!!

But one way or the other, I do hope to get back to Heidegger –if through nothing else, at least secondary text. I have found things in him I can use, not just what I will describe below, but his concept of Anguish which, as Mary Warnock describes it, is about being tapped into the underlying nothingness of things. Or as I got from a documentary on him (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/heidegge ... g-the-unth…/ : the ungroundedness of things. This closely parallels my concept of the nihilistic perspective –which I would need another rhizome to articulate on.

“I will add though, to understand Heidegger's focus on poïesis you have to understand his stance on modern technology and the problem he felt arises from a hegemony of instrumental reasoning. Poetry, you might admit, does bring humanity closer to its connection with nature, the world, existence, or what have you, than for example creating machines. — I might say that creating machines is something essentially human, but it doesn't really improve out spiritual connection with Being. Heidegger's position was that thinking of Being brought us closest but poetry has the ability to absorb us and make us feel closer to existence even as an audience if not as performers or creators.

Has our modern world of ubiquitous technology brought us closer to eudaimonia (roughly, 'the good life') or have we perhaps even lost something that older civilizations had by living closer to nature? Is it desirable for humanity to change its trajectory? Is it possible any longer or have we entered an era where we are determined by our technology to pursue conquest at all costs?”

As Keats said: poetry is the pick-axe by which we penetrate the frozen sea of knowledge. Art is a direct confrontation with being that passes into the evanescence of abstraction into nothingness. Philosophy, on the other hand, works in abstraction and struggles away from the evanescence and the pull of nothingness back to that confrontation with Being and existence.

And Heidegger’s anti-technological stance is a little hard to deny given that we face our own self destruction through our arrogance and man-made climate change. And while our current approach (modern technology (hasn’t so much given us the “good life”, it has given us the comfortable life very similar to junkies with a full stash of heroin or the narrators in Tennyson’s Land of the Lotus Eaters.

Capitalism and technology has turned us into the Land of the Lotus Eaters. Heidegger has relevance, despite his flaws.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu May 07, 2015 8:00 pm

Roger and Sydney’s Posts:

“ I've seen a lot of arguments that are fallacious because they depend on slippage of meaning. If a person can be induced to accept the meaning of a key word and then induced to miss the fact that the meaning has been changed, then they can be induced to believe that they may have been out-debated. A lot of arguments, such as Ontological Arguments, depend on this.

Given that "most" people probably think wrongly that words are defined to have meaning which is immutable, they are easy prey to this strategy. Therefore it's legitimate to explore the mutability of the meanings of symbology. I'm not sure that Derrida and the Continentals have a clear enough grasp of the simplicity of this idea and so there's a lot of empire-building going on, which only really serves to make clarity of language more easily evaded.

When "philosophers" discuss complex ideas in terms of other people's ideas, whicgh, in turn, are discussed in terms of yet other ideas, none of which may be clearly connected to the subject matter, all we get is obscurantism. These aren't real philosophers. They are academics whose job it is to show people a range of ideas. To be worthwhile, we have to be very clear.”
*
“When "philosophers" discuss complex ideas in terms of other people's ideas, whicgh, in turn, are discussed in terms of yet other ideas, none of which may be clearly connected to the subject matter, all we get is obscurantism"

And hermeneutics!

I think that the tradition of engaging in philosophical dialectics has had a profound impact on the history of western thinking.

Its almost like Jazz; you have to somehow start off in a key, and maybe play a melody as an indicator to your audience that this is the musical universe you are in, and from there its your opportunity to make your own unique expression/contribution to alter the expression of the whole.

The 'other people’s ideas' is the head.

The 'none of which may be clearly connected' is what we would call 'soloing over the changes.'

The outcome of Jazz is often movement, hopefully in the form of dancing.

The outcome of dialects is profound shifts in public attitude and a sense of progress in history.

Analytics has its place, but its not all there is to thought.”

I have, in my process, developed and held onto a sound bite (that which for the intellectually and creatively curious is what Frost called: a momentary stay against confusion (that pretty much describes my process:


I am drawn to French concepts while being equally drawn to the Anglo-American style of exposition.


And because of this, I find myself sympathetic with both Roger and Sydney –that is with the qualification that while I agree with Roger on a lot of particulars, I am also in disagreement with his general conclusions (him being neo-classicist to some extent (while being more allied with Sydney.


And Sydney, I had decided yesterday to commit today’s limited window to Roger’s rather impressive post. I’m hoping, given time, to get to yours which I’m full in agreement with. I’m even hoping to slip some of yours into this. But enough with the preliminaries:


“I've seen a lot of arguments that are fallacious because they depend on slippage of meaning. If a person can be induced to accept the meaning of a key word and then induced to miss the fact that the meaning has been changed, then they can be induced to believe that they may have been out-debated. A lot of arguments, such as Ontological Arguments, depend on this.”


Nothing, Roger, could be more frustrating than trying to have a discourse with someone who is talking in etherspeak and offering up an interpretation of and response to what they’re saying, only to have them smugly reply:


“No, you don’t quite get it.”


I’ve actually been considering a satirical piece for Philosophy Now that describes just such a discourse and the intellectual arrogance involved. This, to me, shines on a point Rorty made in Philosophy and Social Hope concerning Heidegger who started out with his heart in the right place with poessis (etherspeak (then turned it all right back to the platonic hierarchy that modernism and postmodernism was working to undermine with his turn to a kind of esoteric priesthood with their exclusive semiotic system.


This is why I was with Mary Warnock when she, in an interview with Nigel Warburton, expressed regret at Heidegger’s desire to create a new language for philosophy. Still, Heidegger has, via secondary sources (including Warnock, given me things I can use. I’m equally split on Searle. On one hand I’m put off by his smug dismissal of continental approaches. On the other, I can also see the compassion in it in that it feels like an old pro taking taking someone under their wing and saying:


“Listen: you don’t need to go through that kind of alienation and degradation to have knowledge.”


And I do admire the step by step process he takes in his writings. Still, it is all fuel for the fire as Sydney points out:


“Analytics has its place, but it’s not all there is to thought.”


None of us can claim to have the all-purpose answer that will make everything work like a fine tuned machine. And that can only set us up for the risk for something authoritarian and possibly fascist in nature –for example: Heidegger.


As I see it, our situation is too complex to not think it’s going to take a lot of different people using a lot of different methods to fix it. This is why while any talk of a “Real Philosophy” concerns me, I am not going to sit here and try to convert you to the continental approach to philosophy. That would be futile given that you are clearly not wired to be open to it: to treat it (as compared to a direct exchange of information( like a poem or meditation you just keep reading until something happens. Nor do you need to be. I mean we all gotta find our flow.


But to offer you an example that might help you understand why I get into it: I have found, lately, that after reading a lot of and about Deleuze, it is often hard for me to go back to Rorty who works in the Anglo-American style of exposition. The guy is an important influence on my process. And I must always pay tribute to that. Still, it’s just not as challenging. It’s a little like going back to Ginsberg’s poem Howl (an easily accessible one for any reader of poetry just starting out (after experiencing the subtlety of someone like Levine.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby Zoot Allures » Sat May 09, 2015 12:57 am

you have to somehow start off in a key, and maybe play a melody as an indicator to your audience that this is the musical universe you are in, and from there its your opportunity to make your own unique expression/contribution to alter the expression of the whole.


The 'none of which may be clearly connected' is what we would call 'soloing over the changes.'


An instance of being rhythmically coordinated without any indication of pitch.




The narrative is like this in the sense that it is recognized by its similarity and proximity to some basic theme; 'root' notes, or the ordering master concepts of the process (what you like to call it) around which the narrative is constructed, and is analogous to soloing in a way. Many philosophical exchanges work this way, and the better the virtuosity of the philosopher (like musician), the more he/she can do within and around the rhythm that works and is not unrecognizable (like rambling) as part of an overall theme.

As long as one's listener has knowledge of the master concept (the key), and as long as one's notes are not out of time, it will be a recognizable part in an overall melody. Juxtaposing two antithetical concepts in philosophy is like playing an out of key minor diminished over a major in music. It can be done, but takes a skilled technician. Making something like that work would be taking philosophy and music 'beyond good and evil'.

Now it would be a more consonant experience if both music and philosophy were always in key and without contradiction, but in doing so certain tensions are missing... and it is out of these that major changes can occur in the directions of both philosophical and musical discourse.

"The creation and destruction of harmonic and 'statistical' tensions is essential to the maintenance of compositional drama. Any composition (or improvisation) which remains consonant and 'regular' throughout is, for me, equivalent to watching a movie with only 'good guys' in it, or eating cottage cheese."- FZ

Just edited: the first video was missing a part. The above video is the complete version of the song.
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:47 pm

“Our opponents say [the Kantians and Neo-Platonists –me] that the correspondence theory of truth is so obvious, so self-evident, that it is merely perverse to question it. We say that this theory is barely intelligible, and of no particular importance –that it is not so much a theory as a slogan which we have been mindlessly chanting for centuries. We pragmatists think that we might stop chanting it without any harmful consequences.” –from page XVII of Rorty’s intro to Philosophy and Social Hope.

I would first point out that while I always have some reservations about going back to Rorty (especially after a less accessible philosopher like Deleuze(mainly because it feels less challenging and too familiar a territory, I’m still impressed by Rorty as a writer who can find some really cool ways of expressing what I already have thought.

That said, while I am in full agreement with Rorty here, I can’t help but feel he is overlooking what is implicit in his very point. He points out that:

“Our opponents say that the correspondence theory of truth is so obvious, so self-evident, that it is merely perverse to question it.”

:then focuses on the unintelligibility of it. True enough. But what gets marginalized is how superfluous and redundant the theory is since the very reason it is so “obvious” and “self evident” is because people tend to naturally use correspondence (as well as coherence (in dealing with their environment. In fact, these tools can be said to be evolutionary adaptations and, therefore, wired in. And I think the same can be said for such terms (or slogans (as “objectivity” or “rationality”. This can even be said of the “scientific method” since everyone uses it in the way they go into their own little mental labs, form ideas, and test them against reality.

At the same time, this brings me up against another hesitation I always feel coming back to Rorty. His main attraction to me, from the beginning, was as an antidote to the trolls I encountered on these boards who threw the terms described above around like badges of authority, who acted as if because they said words like “objectivity” or “facts”, they had every right to treat you like some kind of intellectual inferior that they, through “tough love”, were tasked with shaping. I mean I’m naturally thrilled when Rorty later says:

“We must repudiate this vocabulary our opponents use [the trolls –me], and not let them impose it upon us.”

But I can’t help but feel like the cliché of an old Japanese soldier stranded on an Asian island who thinks World War 2 is still going on. The problem is that trolls really haven’t been that much of a problem lately on the boards –not that I’ve seen. I can’t help but feel, when I turn to Rorty, that I’m riding on the momentum of some past battle.

Still, there is a big difference between a battle and the war it is part of. And given the complexity of the war I find myself confronted with, the pragmatic approach of taking things on a case by case basis (as compared to a grand narrative (cannot help but feel like the only way to go.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:15 am

When I suggested PMN, I was actually thinking of a twist on a popular question about philosophy in general: if you were stuck on a desert what island, what Rorty book would you choose to have with you? Therefore, I chose the more difficult one because it seemed the one most likely to keep yielding results. However, if the question were framed in terms of what book I would recommend to someone who only had time to read one book by Rorty, I would recommend Philosophy and Social Hope which was put together for a general audience.

At the same time (and in terms of the subject of philosophy as writing, and even though the book reveals itself a little too readily, I still see some value in going back to Philosophy and Social Hope (along with those study points I do at the “library” (in that I see the possibility of being able to get to know (to focus more on (Rorty as a writer. I mean he does have an attractive style (that kind of provincial/bourgeoisie generosity similar to that of Jaspers: the kindly professor (I hope to absorb into my own.
*
“Living with this kind of cognitive dissonance is simply part of being alive in this jarring moment in history, when a crisis we have been studiously ignoring is hitting us in the face— and yet we are doubling down on the stuff that is causing the crisis in the first place” -Klein, Naomi (2014-09-16). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (p. 3). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

As I go further into Klein’s book, I am starting to recognize the very real and topical applications of the pragmatic agenda as described by Rorty in Philosophy and Social Hope -among others I’m sure. I’m starting to see the folly involved in the Cartesian subject/object dichotomy in that it is what props up our ability to act as if we are this ethereal substance distinct from the objects that occupy our space and allows us to think that we are perfectly able to overcome any problem those objects might present to us. It’s why, for instance, the religious right can act like we’re perfectly free to keep exploiting our environment since “God will save us”, while the secular right can act as if the new god, the invisible hand of the market (and the technology it has used to addict us (will step in. As Klein writes:

“Or we look but tell ourselves comforting stories about how humans are clever and will come up with a technological miracle that will safely suck the carbon out of the skies or magically turn down the heat of the sun. Which, I was to discover while researching this book, is yet another way of looking away.”

What both come down to is our ability to think of ourselves as somehow distinct from the world of objects that surrounds us: as some ethereal substance that cannot be touched. And it is one thing, as Rorty describes, for such a state to result in a stunted philosophical process. But I have to wonder if Rorty realized that his point, in terms of man-made climate change, may well be a matter of life and death for our species (all species (as a whole.
*
We can also see the import of Rorty’s insistence on philosophy as literature (or writing (as well. As Klein points out, climate change denial is that point at which reason fails. We simply cannot expect to reason with what is basically the equivalent of addicts. On top of that, we have the analytic snobs that are too busy slobbering all over themselves and looking for a place to hide and jack off at the latest technology to actually address the issue of manmade climate change. Now I haven’t read that much of them; but when have Searle, Dennett, or Pinker ever addressed the issue of our possible self destruction? I mean: thank you corporate sponsorship for saving our universities as state funding was depleted because our politicians didn’t want to raise taxes on their country-club buddies.

And doesn’t it put a kind of shine (an aura even (on Rorty’s pragmatic/continental/literary approach in that we have come up against a wall in which reason fails. And when reason fails, all that is left is force. And what force could be more gentle than good writing: that which resonates and seduces?
*
I don't want to pat myself on the back here, but much to my surprise, I find my approach to understanding as a writer (I do not consider myself a philosopher (tends to be confirmed by writers like Klein who are capable of a lot more research than I am. Nothing I have seen in Klein's book surprises me. And this is because I have always worked to try to understand the other side in terms of how their logic must work -for instance: the logic of Capitalism. And I mainly bring this up not to brag, but to point to the potential effectiveness of Rorty's pragmatic/continental/literary approach in the face of our present crisis.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:16 am

First of all, Alexander, watching young guys like you (as well as Steven (work is a thing of beauty: like walking down memory lane: the same sensibility as well as a lot of the same places I have been. But don’t get me wrong here. What I see happening is analogous to when I first started my present job around the same time that 2 other young men did and quickly realized that as I was fumbling around on my own on night shift (being self taught (those guys would be well ahead of me a couple of years down the way (they having the brain pool of the day shift to follow around and find out what they needed to know. And I think the same applies here: me being pretty much self taught while you guys are right in the middle of the system following around the brain pool. Therefore, I have to get in what I can to help you before you are well ahead of me. Hopefully, you’ll have time to read it and it helps you with your paper.

I start with what I am most confident about:

“For that reason I want to try to give a short "story" on what happened (and went wrong) from Descartes to Locke to Kant to nowaday's philosophy of language (actually just paraphrasing Rorty here, but with a critical look at the "joints" of his arguments, meaning: do I find his perspective plausible or not). I have a limitation of around 6000 words, I think, so I can't really tell the whole story en detail, but I have the intuition that one can only define Philosophy as a literary genre, as a kind of writing, when one drops the whole epistemology then, philosophy of language now-business.”

Bertrand Russell described philosophy as lying in that no-man’s land between science and religion. And as accurate as this sounds (religion having the faint scent of metaphysics about it (we do live in a more secular age. Therefore, I would humbly (with all due respect (revise this to: philosophy lies in that no-man’s land between science and literature.

And this involves a spectrum throughout which various philosophers choose to work. You say:

“What I hopefully will be able to show, is, that a division between Philosophy and Literature only occurs, when one associates the task of Philosophy with the Kantian project in its (now) analytic philosophy-form (analysis of language instead of epistemology but with the same aim, namely to bring Philosophy "on the secure path of a science.")”

I say it is all fuel for the fire. I say that, ultimately, there are lots of different people out there using lots of different methods to come to understanding and that we should use whatever tool seems to work in a given instance –even those of the analytics. Your point, however, seems to come from the same conflict I have had with the analytics: the smugness they often display when referring to the more literary approach to philosophy such as Searle’s dismissal of Derrida as a philosopher for those who know nothing about philosophy or Hawkin’s declaration that physics and science would make philosophy obsolete which, BTW, is the result of a rather half-assed understanding of philosophy: that which leans towards the scientific side of the spectrum.

That said, I want to address another point before I run out my daily 500 words:

“Thinking of Robert Frost now actually, but instead of mending the wall, I ask myself: Why is there a wall, a defintion, a distinction in the first place? What's so bad with tearing down walls, if we agree not to interfere (or come to some other kind of agreement)? “

The thing to understand about Frost is that he was a neo-classicist much like the analytics we are dealing with. As he said in an interview:

“We rise out of disorder into order. I would sooner write free verse as play tennis with the net down”

What was cool about him is that he was a little more open to the romantic sensibility he was reacting against. This was why he would pause before a wood on a snowy evening, consider walking into it, but choose rather duty or act like it would make any big difference what path he chose when faced with the dilemma. In Mending Wall, there are 2 refrains:

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall:
nature, beauty, anything that is not the system.

At the same time: Good fences make good neighbors. In other words, there are these human agreements that seem to go against our nature. Still, as opposed to the romantic sensibility, our happiness as human beings may be dependent on those artificial distinctions: the Lacanian Symbolic Order.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:37 pm

“Another reason science is superior - it avoids the whole debate over relative and absolute truth and sticks with what is objective - reality.”

But that’s not what you’re doing, John. Like most people running around talking about “objectivity” and the “scientific method”, you just seem to be flashing it around like a badge of authority then making assertions based on speculation: for instance, this erroneous notion that neuroscience must necessarily lead to a conclusion that must exclude the possibility of a participating self. As I wrote earlier:

“Once again you run into the self contradiction that hardcore materialism runs into. You talk about the brain creating this illusion. But how does an illusion happen in terms of just meat, blood, and guts? How do you have that without consciousness? Furthermore, you talk about empirical evidence while asking us to accept your argument based on what you argue science will EVENTUALLY be able to do, not on what it has. But what if science actually finds evidence of a participating self? Your argument reads more like an appeal to the authority of science (an informal fallacy) than an appeal to real evidence.”

But the more interesting aspect of this is the very real possibility that science is starting out with that foregone conclusion –that is given that the materialistic position seems to fit within the scientific comfort zone. And if that is the case, is there any wonder we might actually question the scientific method?

It seems to me that these issues only seem to be relevant when we’re engaged in meta-discourses about discourse, these pissing contests that tend to emerge when people are striving for power and influence as compared to real understanding. I mean, at some point or other, we have to ask why we are engaging in debates about what method is superior when we could simply use that method and prove it. We have to ask what John expects to achieve here (that is outside of some snide dismissal of any sensibility not like his (when he could actually be engaged in science and not contradicting himself at every point along the way.

And in that sense, doesn’t this all feel like more of a distraction as well as kind of petty? Does it really matter where we get our understanding from as long as it gives us enough understanding to change the understanding of others and possibly make things better? And wouldn’t “making things better” (the pragmatic criteria (in evolutionary terms, be the only real criteria by which we judge our assertions, regardless of what method we use to arrive at them.

I get it: John is working from the assumption that science, and the technology it has produced, is one of the higher achievements of man. But it is only one among others: art, philosophy, literature, etc.. And to succumb to this notion that science is above them all is to succumb to Capitalistic and corporate values. And I don’t see how that contributes to our evolution as a species.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:15 pm

“By an antirepresentationalist account I mean one which does not view knowledge as a matter of getting reality right, but rather as a matter of acquiring habits of action for coping with reality.” -Rorty, Richard (1990-11-30). Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers (p. 1). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Here again, we see the important role that the evolutionary model is playing in the evolution of philosophy which along with culture in general, as Rorty points out in his writings, is an extension of our physical evolution. (And once again: I cannot help but see a core overlap with Deleuze’s agenda here.) To get to the depth of it, we have to look at the evolutionary feedback loop that resulted in the experience he have as conscious beings and the language we developed in order to deal with it: that between an evolving brain attached to a body and the environment it has to negotiate. These are the tools we are working with. Therefore, it makes no sense to sit around and debate about the nature of that negotiation in order to (as Rorty puts it:

“To find some epistemological system that will underwrite any statement we might make about the world.”

That can only lead to quagmires. For instance, note how science has lately gotten into the mindset that it can make philosophy obsolete. And as Hegel rightly pointed out: such arrogance can only lead to self contradictions: an overheating that can result from an ideology trying to be the simple solution in a complex world. Scientism and realism, however, are based on the notion of empiricism which is based on a trust in what we can experience and see for what it is. Then it makes statements like Free Will and consciousness doesn’t exist, that they are illusions, mainly because such statements feel like the scientific/ realist thing to say. The problem is that we actually experience consciousness and free will. So, if we can’t trust our experiences of that (that which we experience at every point in our point A to point B (how do we trust any other “empirical” experience we might have?

Plus that, the scientific/realist approach acts like it has some kind of monopoly on the method with which it works. But everyone, by our evolutionary heritage, uses it. We all retreat into our own little mental labs, form hypotheses about the reality we are dealing with, then go back out and test them and, depending on the results, retreat to our own little mental labs and either eliminate, keep, or revise those hypotheses. So why even sit around and nitpick over terms like “objectivity” or “reason” or “the scientific method” when we could be just putting it out there and letting it all come out in the wash –that is when we know perfectly well that arguments backed by empirical evidence will generally fair much better. Flashing around such words (and such debates (only constitute, as Layotard points out in The Postmodern Condition, powerplays: attempts to control the rules of the language game as compared to just letting the argument speak for itself.

Rorty, in this spirit, later goes on to connect his anti-representalist position to his liberal one:

“I read Dewey as saying that it suits such a society to have no views about truth save that it is more likely to be obtained in Milton’s “free and open encounter” of opinions than in any other way.”

Here we only need look at what props up the arrogance of scientific/realist position: the corporate funding it tends to draw. It only seems more right because it has access to cooler toys indulged in by children who happen to have more market value: the so called “greatest minds among us” whom we can also see as well trained -children, BTW, who had the resources to go to universities in the first place.

This is why I’m actually enthusiastic about increasing corporate funding (due to decreasing state funding (driving the fine arts and humanities out of universities. It just seems to me that they may be more effective at doing what they do best in workshops which most people, who can’t afford to go to universities, might actually be able to afford without an expensive bureaucracy driving up tuition. Such workshops could actually serve the Promethean purpose of bringing the fire to the people where it belongs, where it needs to be if we are to change the general sensibility.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:19 pm

“I read Dewey as saying that it suits such a society to have no views about truth save that it is more likely to be obtained in Milton’s “free and open encounter” of opinions than in any other way….

“I argue that an antirepresentationalist view of inquiry leaves one without a skyhook with which to escape from the ethnocentrism produced by acculturation, but that the liberal culture of recent times has found a strategy for avoiding the disadvantage of ethnocentrism. This is to be open to encounters with other actual and possible cultures, and to make this openness central to its self-image.” -Rorty, Richard (1990-11-30). Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers (p. 2). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

While we can share the spirit of these two points, I think we have to be wary of the paradox we race towards here. While open discourse is always the goal, there are always discourses that seek to shutdown open discourses for the sake of some chosen method, discourses that cannot be tolerated in order to maintain that open discourse. This is where Deleuze (especially in his work with Guatarri (may have the upperhand on the pragmatism of Rorty in that it tends to focus on the ways in which those discourses do so: overcoding, territorialization, the paranoid/fascist center. And we can see it as well in Marcuse’s concept of operationalism as we see in extreme forms of scientism and materialism: the claim that free will and consciousness is an illusion simply because it sounds scientific to say so, that is when if we cannot trust the basic experience we have every day of free will and consciousness, then how can we trust any other experience we might have through the empirical methods of science. Through this kind of operationalism, the champion of such positions gets to cherry pick which observations get to be considered the result of empirical observation and experiences that are not the product of some kind of illusion. And as our cyber-circles have shown repeatedly, those who engage in these kinds of discourses have no problem with utilizing any tactic available to them to shut out the discourses of those who don’t agree with them. We who work the boards know all too well the very real manifestations of Foucault’s power discourses.

This leaves us no choice but to distinguish between productive and unproductive discourses, a distinction that is all over the writings of Rorty, and would expose us to accusations of hypocrisy. And perhaps this is because even pragmatism is not meant to be a grand narrative but, rather, one tool among others. And I think Rorty sees this and, as a solution, approaches the nihilistic perspective. This becomes evident in a quote from Davidson:

“Beliefs are true or false, but they represent nothing. It is good to be rid of representations, and with them the correspondence theory of truth, for it is thinking that there are representations that engenders thoughts of relativism.” -Rorty, Richard (1990-11-30). Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers (p. 9). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

When I finally got it, this quote offered one of those little tweaks in one’s understanding that can warrant the status of epiphany: that which constitutes a step forward in one’s process. Up until this, I had generally understood Rorty’s downplaying of relativism as a defensive gesture in the face of accusations by anti-pragmatists. But this indicates that the problem is not so much that pragmatists are being accused of relativism; it is, rather, an indictment of relativism in that it doesn’t go far enough. It fails to escape the clutches of representationalism by choosing to give validity to all representations.

It is in this approach towards the nihilistic perspective that I see pragmatism’s escape from the paradox described above: that which just does what it does and lets the rest come out in the wash while denying participation to any discourse that seeks to sabotage that process.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:20 pm

“Would you say that a belief system is no more than an aggregate of many facts accrued over time? - Or is belief an emotional condition which then selects facts to maintain itself?” –Chris

“I would argue, Chris, that since it would be hard to see how one might derive a belief from a fact such as 1+1=2, that beliefs are more closely tied with data (formal and informal (and truth as defined by Rorty: an intellectual construct that seems sufficiently justified.” –me

“As you know we are born into many beliefs religious and political, sometimes seeming more like ideology than belief but functioning the same. Beliefs are required for everything we do. I think you're right. They do seem to have a life of their own when tribalism and identity are entwined with beliefs.” –David

“Yes, the problem with tautolgoical facts is they tend to be trivial and lack the complex meaningfulness of belief which as David McDivitt explains is also about constructing a narrative. There's a circularity in believing in the idea that facts make up your beliefs, if that makes sense...” –Chris

“Yes, I agree with David McDivitt's point as well. And it does make sense. In fact, I would argue that the endgame of truth (with a lower-case "t" as defined by the pragmatic approach (is synonymous with beliefs. I would also argue (in terms of the circularity you describe (that the relationship between facts, data, and truths is not one way. Our truths (beliefs (can sometimes effect what facts we choose to focus on.

“Because of this,I stand with David McDivitt's stand against over-zealous secular obtuseness when it comes to dismissing religious beliefs. The problem with Cervais' point is that he confuses data with facts.” –me

And I would say the same concerning Dawkins’s, Bill Maher’s, and Sam Harris’ rather obtuse dismissal of religious belief systems that are based on informal data that leads to their individual truths. And I am not (being an agnostic myself: an atheist that hedges their bets (suggesting that we accept religious belief systems. What I am suggesting, however, is that we push the pragmatic agenda to the point of recognizing that there are religious people out there who see the same problems with Capitalism that people like me do. And for my pragmatic purposes, it really doesn’t matter what belief systems my potential allies may hold, that is as long as it gets the job done: social justice: a world in which I can enjoy what I have while knowing that the worse off among us have, at least, a minimum of comfort.

Rorty says:

“Truth cannot be out there - cannot exist independently of the human mind - because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there. The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not. Only descriptions of the world can be true or false. The world on its own - unaided by the describing activities of human beings --cannot..” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 135-137). Kindle Edition.

So by what criteria do we dismiss religious statements beyond the pragmatic criteria of working in a pragmatic way? In other words, from a pragmatic stance, if a religious perspective is useful to the extent that it furthers social justice (if it works to our ends, there is no reason we shouldn’t use it.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:59 pm

“The suggestion that truth, as well as the world, is out there is a legacy of an age in which the world was seen as the creation of a being who had a language of his own.” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 137-138). Kindle Edition.

I mainly throw this out to my worthy (as in useful (jam-mate, David McDivitt, who crystallized this point for me which applies to both of my main influences: Deleuze and Rorty (:I’m drawn to French concepts while being equally drawn to the Anglo-American style of exposition . Unfortunately, I cannot track his actual quote and will have to paraphrase it. He basically pointed out that in the old days, the objects that occupy our space were considered to be the language of God. It therefore followed that anyone capable of interpreting that language more accurately than anyone else had to be higher up the ladder: the hierarchy. And we can see, based on this, how that dynamic has managed to evolve into the hierarchies and secular religions of today –something I hope to go into later.

That said, for today’s rhizome, I want to go into the dynamic that I have been seeing throughout Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Pragmatism in general, and has haunted our cultural history in its capacity to undermine the hierarchal belief systems that are always re-emerging: the nihilistic perspective: that which comes from the often unconscious recognition that we are (when we could easily not be (as we are as compared to infinite number of others we could be, that which recognizes, eventually, that any argument we can make about our world ultimately breaks down to assumptions that, ultimately, float on thin air. Note, for instance, Rorty’s recognition of the limits of his pragmatism:

“The difficulty faced by a philosopher who, like myself, is sympathetic to this suggestion - one who thinks of himself as auxiliary to the poet rather than to the physicist - is to avoid hinting that this suggestion gets something right, that my sort of philosophy corresponds to the way things really are. For this talk of correspondence brings back just the idea my sort of philosopher wants to get rid of, the idea that the world or the self has an intrinsic nature.”

What Rorty is up against (and pre-empting (is the very argument that the nihilistic perspective is always confronting: the skeptic’s paradox. And his approach, as I will try to demonstrate, is closer to the nihilistic perspective than that of the skeptic.

Say you walk up to a skeptic and the nihilistic perspective and say:

“You cannot say that there are no absolutes, since to do so is to try to establish an absolute.”

The skeptic will do what they usually do, scrutinize, until they come to the realization that there is a big difference between saying we live in a world in which there are no absolutes and actually living in one, and just go about the business of being skeptics. This is because they recognize in the argument a failure to make the leap from the semantic to the existential. The nihilistic perspective, on the other hand, picks this up and takes it further. They cross their arms, glare at you impatiently, and snort:

“Right! Nothing is engraved in stone…. not even that nothing is engraved in stone. So what’s your fucking point?”

Once again, Rorty:

“The difficulty faced by a philosopher who, like myself, is sympathetic to this suggestion - one who thinks of himself as auxiliary to the poet rather than to the physicist - is to avoid hinting that this suggestion gets something right, that my sort of philosophy corresponds to the way things really are. For this talk of correspondence brings back just the idea my sort of philosopher wants to get rid of, the idea that the world or the self has an intrinsic nature.”

Rorty, like the nihilistic perspective (that which he shares with Deleuze, embraces the idea of his assumptions floating on thin air, considers it an open field in which he (and we (can create.

(And I would note here a notion that has been associated with Deleuze: the idea that the primary domain of philosophy is paradox.)

That said, I want to commit tomorrow’s rhizome to noting (and quoting (some of the sociopathic implications (that is in terms of Rorty recognizing it, not practicing it (involved in the book.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:29 pm

“Ultimately, all arguments for beauty are arguments for freedom. “ –Camus

During my present immersion in Rorty’s Irony, Contingency, and Solidarity, I have come to realize that, while there are a lot of excellent attempts out there to explain the nature and characteristics of a totalitarian state, I would add to it a tendency to put the petty and mundane over self transcendence: self creation to put it in Rorty’s terms, terms I believe he shares with Deleuze despite their differences. And all I have to do is watch a few TV commercials or note that the workplace (not government (via smoking policies and drug testing (has become the most effective form of social control to see how far Capitalism has pushed us to that end. In this sense, philosophers like Rorty and Deleuze have become as important as they ever were. But this is not to say that this form of social control cannot take more sophisticated forms. I return to an earlier point:

“The suggestion that truth, as well as the world, is out there is a legacy of an age in which the world was seen as the creation of a being who had a language of his own.” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 137-138). Kindle Edition.

“I mainly throw this out to my worthy (as in useful (jam-mate, David, who crystallized this point for me which applies to both of my main influences: Deleuze and Rorty (:I’m drawn to French concepts while being equally drawn to the Anglo-American style of exposition . Unfortunately, I cannot track his actual quote and will have to paraphrase it. He basically pointed out that in the old days, the objects that occupy our space were considered to be the language of God. It therefore followed that anyone capable of interpreting that language more accurately than anyone else had to be higher up the ladder: the hierarchy. And we can see, based on this, how that dynamic has managed to evolve into the hierarchies and secular religions of today –something I hope to go into later.”

And now’s as good a time as any. But to explain how I see that subject/object presupposition evolving into modern forms of oppression, I have to offer a quasi sy fy prediction based on an actual experience I had on the old Yahoo boards. During the Bush/Kerry campaign, being the vocal progressive I was, I came up against a libertarian economist who was clearly college educated and had a lot of time to focus on board spats. For every argument I made, he was able to come up with 10 pieces of data that made him seem impressive to the fellow goons he brought with him. And the fact that I knew perfectly well that had I of had the time he apparently did, I could likely find ten other pieces of data that put his into question mattered little under the “rules of discourse” according to the language game he was (via common doxa (controlling the rules of. Eventually, the 2008 economic meltdown proved my instincts right. But more important is what I found out via Thom Hartman: that corporate and conservative think-tanks were paying ideological hit-men (like the one I encountered (to go about the boards and undermine anti-Capitalist stances.

Now we go syfy:

Say Sanders gets the nomination. Isn’t there the very real possibility that those corporate and conservative think tanks will release the ideological hit-men again? And isn’t there every possibility that the strategy those hit men will use is to barrage you with data, thereby engaging you in a data war that most people (those that actually work (cannot win? What they will basically do is claim victory based on the very subject/object dynamic described by David McDivitt: that which gives hierarchical status to those who can read the voice of God (via the object (based on an arbitrary human construct constructed in a power discourse.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:25 pm

Before I move on to my next immersion (Zizek’s The Indivisible Remainder (I would like to touch on some the issues I have not so much with Rorty as with my relationship with him. Coming to him from the challenge of Deleuze, as I often do, I sometimes get the feeling of something almost too familiar. It’s like my philosophical filters are so tuned to him (as well as American Pragmatism (that it begins to feel like little more than self flattery. On the uptick, though, much as Joseph Campbell did when I first started my intellectual process, it excites me about what I’m doing. It’s almost like a war dance or pep rally that, through the communal energy and validation of a successful philosopher, accelerates my process. And I would also point out that what Rorty does offer me is a survey of the various ways in which one can approach the pragmatic method (Donaldson, Dewey, etc.), the various angles that helps me develop my own process, as well as an articulate and clear explanation of the historical context in which I am working.

The downside of this accessibility is that it has allowed me to recognize an issue with Rorty’s propensity towards meta-philosophy –one that his more vehement critics have likely grabbed onto and exploited. He’s clearly committed to social justice. The problem is that most of what I read in Rorty is a lot talk about how to talk about social justice. What I don’t see, outside of passing references to support his meta-philosophy, are concrete discussions about actual social justice. No doubt Habermas would have noted this.

In his defense, though (and in an abstract way, it is as if he is following the same mandate laid upon writers: to show rather than tell. He doesn’t just tell you that the idea is to seek to change the dialogue, metaphors, and vocabulary involved; he, in his writing, actually seeks to change the dialogue, metaphors, and vocabulary involved.

So while it leaves you longing for more concrete descriptions of and prescriptions for social injustice (like that of social criticism (it still presents an important and powerful tool (one among many (towards that end. As the latest unwitting victim of my diabolical propensity towards bricolage, Tony, says:

“ It seems to me that I am reading; for as long as there have been power portals there have been philosophers. But as philosophers are unchanged in their core stance;- to philosophise and philosophically hope that others may feel the same. Thus adopting the changes however glacial in their becoming. On the other hand the power capitalists can mutate new ways to push these ideas and philosophies out into the cold to further quarantine those useful to them from critical thought.”

And for context, my response:

“I'm thinking reality TV here, Tony. (Good points, BTW.) In fact, I would expand this into the general way that corporate media has spiraled into a general race to the bottom. Not sure how old you are, but there was a time when The Learning Channel was actually about learning, when A & E was actually about Arts and Entertainment, and Bravo was actually the culture channel. It's like they're doing everything they can to dumb us down.”

What we are talking about here are discourses (language games (as well as power discourses in the case of corporate media. And as Layotard points out, language games too often (especially in terms of power discourses (end up being about controlling the rules of the game: what Marcuse referred to as operationalism. In this sense, Rorty’s agenda was almost prophetic. Nothing could define the traditional role of the philosopher (as Tony suggests (make them so important as that of asserting the poetic/metaphorical (for instance: the subjective experience of those suffering under Capitalism (in the face of the so-called objective understanding of the world that Capitalism claims (via science (it can produce.

As Rorty suggests, before we can change anything, we have to (via the poetic: resonance and seduction (change the sensibility of the actors involved. And we will have to do it by staying ahead of the power discourse that tends to assimilate our attempts at doing so.

Once again, Camus:

“Ultimately, all arguments for beauty are arguments for freedom. “
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:47 pm

“And I think this has application to Nicolae and Tom’s proposal that it should be about social justice as well as my proposal concerning the import of Play. Basically, Rorty starts the book by pointing towards the historical conflict between private and public approaches towards philosophy and culture in general: the private being about self creation and the public being about social justice, both of which must use language games that are incommensurable. And his solution is to simply accept the incommensurability while looking at the various language games as tools designed for various tasks:”

“To say that Freud's vocabulary gets at the truth about human nature, or Newton's at the truth about the heavens, is not an explanation of anything. It is just an empty compliment - one traditionally paid to writers whose novel jargon we have found useful.” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 182-184). Kindle Edition.

And use value is what it is all about. As T.S. Eliot said of poetry:

“Mediocre poets imitate. Great poets steal.”

And if we think about what makes the great works we look at, read, or listen to important to us, it basically comes down to what we can use to further our own processes. It comes down to what we can use in either a positive way (what can make our process better (or a negative one: what we would choose to avoid to make our processes better. All other criteria are merely a means to that end: that of resonance and seduction through which Play works.

This is why it makes no sense to come on these boards and start flashing around words like “objectivity” or “rationality” or “the scientific method” like badges of authority (which are basically attempts to control the rules of the language game –think: Layotard (when one would be far better off just showing us the results of their methods and let the results speak for those methods. To not do so, as Rorty points out, is to act like language is somehow out in the world waiting for us to find the right way to say or write it. But as Spinoza would say: this is absurd. And it’s not just the boards we see this at work in, but professional scientists as well such as Hawking and de Gras Tyson who turn the whole thing into a pissing contest like a couple schoolyard punks when they argue that science will displace philosophy. The irony of it, though, is their failure to see the extent that the validation of Capitalism is propping up their hubris.

Once again, like the trolls flashing the badge of scientific and objective authority on these boards, they would have been far better off shutting their fucking mouths, showing their results, and letting their results speak for their methods. And if you think about it, what they’re basically engaging in is a form of censorship which, as has been pointed out, shows a lack of faith in one’s own belief system. And I would also add that it suggests that they have completely lost the sense of Play that got them where they are in the first place. And it is likely due to the fact that the success of their Play has gotten them far too immersed in the system that makes it pay. Somewhere along the line, it got too serious.

In this sense, Rorty and the Pragmatic method shows way more integrity, is willing to show rather than tell:

“Conforming to my own precepts, I am not going to offer arguments against the vocabulary I want to replace. Instead, I am going to try to make the vocabulary I favor look attractive by showing how it may be used to describe a variety of topics.”

Once again: the value of Play as a method, as well as resonance and seduction as a means; that which many of those of a scientific slant are in complete denial about.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:30 am

“What is data is also contextual and based on values, such as whether data is skewed and what individual pieces of information should be included in overall data. Then facts may be inferred, so it is a long string of subjective assertions. We need data and we need facts, so the best thing is to acknowledge the subjectivity by which they are constructed, go ahead and do that, and quit assuming any points to reality or is representational.” –David McDivitt​

“Yes, David, and we also need truths to temporarily anchor us and give us something to work with until further facts and data force us to move on to further truths.” –me

This discourse was basically a bounce (or a couple of them (off of the distinction I made between facts, data, and truths: facts being the building blocks of data and data being the build blocks of truths which are always shifting according to incoming facts and data. Now I want to connect this with a quote I extracted from Rorty’s Essays on Heidegger and Others:

“To my mind, the persistence on the left of this notion of 'radical critique' is an unfortunate residue of the scientistic conception of philosophy. Neither the idea of penetrating to a reality behind the appearances, not that of theoretical of theoretical foundations for politics, coheres with the conception of language and inquiry which, as I have been arguing, is common to Heidegger and to Dewey. For both ideas presuppose that someday we shall penetrate to the true, natural, ahistorical matrix of all possible language and knowledge. Marx, for all his insistence on the priority of praxis, clung to both ideas, and they became dominant within Marxism after Lenin and Stalin turned Marxism into a state religion. But there is no reason why either should be adopted by those who are not obliged to to practice this religion.”

Now I want to re-emphasize a quote in David’s quote:

“What is data is also contextual and based on values, such as whether data is skewed and what individual pieces of information should be included in overall data.”

And further emphasize a point in Rorty’s:

“For both ideas presuppose that someday we shall penetrate to the true, natural, ahistorical matrix of all possible language and knowledge.”

Now I want to zero in on the term “ahistorical”.

The point I’m trying to get at here (in my bricolage/found poem kind of way (is that truths are always shifting according to the facts and data (both formal and informal (available to any given truth: that point of capture in a process of constant becoming. In other words: truths can never be truly “ahistorical”. They must, as my audio book on Dewey points out to me, be always conditional on the facts and data (the contingencies and variables (that a given point in history offer them. This is why, for instance, solutions that might have worked in the past can no longer work for us now: such as Adam Smith’s notion of Capitalism –as brilliant as it may have seemed at the time.

Rorty then goes on to say:

“The moral I wish to draw from the story I have been telling is that we should carry through on the rejection of metaphilosophical scienticism. That is, we should let the debate between those who see contemporary democratic societies as hopeless, and those who see them as our only hope, be conducted in terms of the actual problems now being faced by those societies. If I am right in thinking thinking that the difference between Heidegger's and Dewey's ways of rejecting scientism is political rather than methodological or metaphysical, then it would be well for us to debate political topics explicitly, rather than using Aesopian philosophical language. “

I fully agree with Rorty here. And it is why he is part of my holy triad. At the same time, I return to my main criticism of Rorty in that he talked a lot about how we should approach the discourse about social justice while never really addressing individual issues concerning social justice. On the other hand, it was like he was fighting the good fight on another front. What we have to put in mind here is that he was making his way through the academic system in opposition to the increasing influence of the analytic approach to philosophy (via the universities’ increasing dependence on corporate financing (and the consequent hierarchal notion of philosophy. It’s as if he got so caught up in the debate over the rules of the language game (basically distracted (that he never got to apply his rules in the very tangible ways he describes above.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby Meno_ » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:25 am

d63 long time no hear.
Question : would you gather some kind of tie in with Haberman's notion in this regard? Especially if you would be familiar with an embedded social consciousness in terms of a universal ethics?

There is a veiled reason for asking this, and it has to do with an intuitionism relating to early revelations into embedded ideas.

Thanks.

If you defer this question I will absolutely not hold you to it.
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:55 pm

jerkey wrote:d63 long time no hear.
Question : would you gather some kind of tie in with Haberman's notion in this regard? Especially if you would be familiar with an embedded social consciousness in terms of a universal ethics?

There is a veiled reason for asking this, and it has to do with an intuitionism relating to early revelations into embedded ideas.

Thanks.

If you defer this question I will absolutely not hold you to it.


If you are talking about Habermas (which I suspect you are (he is an approach different than Rorty's while being more similar to that of Zizek's: he sees an ultimate truth that can be obtained to achieve ultimate social justice. And while I take the Other approach, I'm not totally unsympathetic with it. Knowing the frustration that comes from trying to negotiate with Capitalism as it is practiced today, I can see why some individuals would want to go to the extremes of radical change as compared to the revisionist approach I embrace.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby Meno_ » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:40 pm

Do you think our understanding (Rorty's), of an eventual incompatibility between foundations of Capitalism and Democracy are regional to the extent, that limits of conflict have not been met in the United States; whereas Habermas, a Continental, would be more prone with the kind of impatience you are talking about?

And is not something missing here, the approach of a conservative religious approach to the Truth, whatever that might be; -as in the mainly Germanic-Lutheran tradition , there is a conflation between political principles and religious ones.

Does the eventual functional approach of a US based pragmatism not exhibit the kind of impatience that Europe should, because of the above, therefore the Absolute Universal Principles which inspire an anarchy, not universally useful in Rorty's functionalism?

Can the above start as a guide in seeing a change in perception, as a universal or regionally dominating trend, in light of these dissimilarities -in a positive re-presentational sense in EU- and in a regional socially accepted modus operant in the US?
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby Meno_ » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:49 pm

I don't mean to overload this train of thought, but my reason for asking is multiform: the embededness which Polanyi thinks of as determinative toward Rorty's sense of the more Kantian intuitive approach of Habermas seem irreconcilable, almost to the extent of the relative conflict between those camps who have a conflicting understanding of what delineates conscious and sub conscious material.

This is important, but seems insignificant from a utilitarian, pragmatic perspective.

What do you think?
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:01 pm

A lot of stuff there, Jerkey. And I really appreciate your input. But my process has to work in a limited window -that is as concerns time. Let me put in what I have done today and look at this tomorrow. Once again, I really do appreciate your input. I'll focus on it tomorrow.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Posts: 5432
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Re: Pragmatic Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:10 pm

"Earlier I said that theorists like Heidegger saw narrative as always a second best, a propaedeutic to a grasp of something deeper than the visible detail. Novelists like Orwell and Dickens are inclined to see theory as always second-best, never more than a reminder for a particular purpose, the purpose of telling a story better. I suggest that the history of social change in the modern West shows that the latter conception of the relation between narrative and theory is the more fruitful.


"To say that it is more fruitful is to say that, when you weigh the good and the bad the social novelists have done against the good and bad the social theorists have done, you find yourself wishing that there had been more novels and fewer theories. You wish that the leaders of successful revolutions had read fewer books which gave them general ideas and more books which gave them an ability to identify imaginatively with those whom they were to rule." -from Rorty's Essay's on Heidegger and Others


This one is powerful in the complex way, for me, it winds its way through the subtle relationship between theory and the personal. To start, while I fully agree with Rorty’s lean towards narrative, and its efficacy as concerns social justice, I find, as I sink into middle age, that philosophy and theory has basically hijacked my aesthetic. The older I get, the harder I find it to go back to the arts. More and more, it’s getting like I have to force myself in the same way one might force themselves to eat spinach because it is good for them. This scares me because it reminds me of a point made in M. Merleau Ponty’s The Phenomenology of Perception in which he describes a case study in which the individual, having lost their sexuality, loses a lot more than sexuality: their ability to respond to beauty in general. Luckily, it hasn’t gone as far as it sounds as, right now, I am listening to Bon Iver and finding it essential to what I am writing right now.

That said, Rorty gives me every reason to force myself (or fake it until I make it as we’re told in 12 step groups (since, as he rightly points out, theory requires a kind of detachment that is counterproductive to social justice. Art, on the other hand, is useless without empathy or even sympathy. I would focus in on:

“You wish that the leaders of successful revolutions had read fewer books which gave them general ideas and more books which gave them an ability to identify imaginatively with those whom they were to rule."

And as he suggests without explicitly saying so, this is pretty much what happened with the communist experiment in Russia and China, and it is the same experiment at work with Milton Friedman’s Neo-Liberalism. Make no mistake about that. And make no mistake about the fact that America is about to engage in that experiment which has never been (nor ever can be (implemented through democratic means. Think Pinochet here: pure theory over the actual experiences of the subjects involved.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
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Posts: 5432
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