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Old 05.02.2010, 11:19 PM   #61
pbradley
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Incidentally, the most lucid Derrida I've read was making that same point.
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Old 05.03.2010, 02:26 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
For me, I always return to a certain point with this criticism - did anyone ever ask a dentist to not use technical terms? By which I mean - you can shout 'sophistry' at crit theory all you like, but ultimately, if a subject doesn't appeal to a broad audience, that's its audience's problem, not the subject.

1. no matter how much jargon the dentist can spew, what matters is if he/she can fix your teeth or not, and no amount of sophistry can cover the results (pain, or its end). technical terms have their place, of course, in research, and technical papers, but they are not ends in themselves, except in humanities academic departments-- "let's talk obscurely and get tenure"

2. it IS the subject's problem, as the funding cuts demonstrate-- and i'm not saying appeal, i'm saying relevance. accounting is highly unappealing, yet very relevant. i detest neocon ideologues, but they have been relevant (unfortunately). marx has been relevant for over a century. plato and aristotle for a couple of millennia. lacan gave birth to a school of psychiatry that has you sitting there talking to yourself while the shrink watches in silence. a friend of mine went to one for 12 years. the first time the shrink opened her mouth was when the patient informed her she would no longer attend her sessions. the shrink said it was not a good idea. my friend told her to fuck off. 12 fucking years of talking to a wall-- fucking hilarious. i guess it makes for good absurdist comedy.




i'm not saying there's no room in the world for philosophy-- on the contrary, there should be more philosophy in everyday life, everyone should at least get a primer on the subject-- but whatever ideas of value are being produced these days get obscured by the tons of muck churned by worthless, clueless epigons-- parasytes who have actually taken over the system and taught their students to parrot little fragments of critical theory as if it was the highest dogma. truly pathetic, when you consider that the "critical" part is removed once the names of the grand ayatollahs are dropped-- oh, foucault said-- well you can't argue with that (especially because people don't read foucault, and the reason they don't is that they aren't provided the tools to actually comprehend it. so they parrot, to look clever, and get away with it)


...


academics should write and publish a lot less. demonrail already explained why the system is so fucked up so i won't bother with it. i'd rather someone wait 20 years to write a good book than churn crap articles every trimester. the humanities need more naturalists and less theorists. you know, someone who knows their subject like the back of their hand without having to come up with some bullcaca "theory" about it every time they open their mouth. my best literature teachers have been, of course, the writers-- they can't theorize for shit (and who cares?) but they know every little detail, the life and times of the authors and how the language comes together and who everyone was and you can sit in that classroom for 4 hours and you don't want it to ever end.

have you ever read auerbach's mimesis? it's a fucking beautiful book, based on some silly premise (that the evolution of literature follows a hegelian dialectic)--- but what deliciousness-- the guy wrote it while in exile during world war 2. he was in turkey or egypt or somewhere, i forget. he had no specialized journals, no colleagues (he was a philologist), only his memory and obviously some access to books, and he wrote one of the loveliest treatises on literature ever written. and it's fucking crystal clear.

and you know why it's so good? because he fucking read what he was writing about. so even if he's wrong at times, or if you don't agree with his premise, he's relevant to people who love to read literature and want to understand better what the fuck is going on whey they read something.




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Originally Posted by Glice
if you can't see the general value of Lacan to contemporary metaphysics

you can see it? then please explain it.
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Old 05.03.2010, 02:43 AM   #63
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My tutor at University talked in academic speak constantly (he was the only one) and when I spoke to him I couldn't get Basil Fawlty saying "Why don't you talk properly" out of my mind.

As for the dentist argument, do you mean a dentist talking to another dentist? Because if my dentist spoke to me in technical jargon I'd be tempted to say "Why don't you talk properly".
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Old 05.03.2010, 03:14 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
The public intellectual is something that we really lack in the uk. Christopher Hitchens is about the only one that springs to mind, but I think he's taken US citizenship now. He certainly lives there, anyway.

i couldn't believe that, so i did a little search, and the name of a "prospect" magazine keeps coming up. i've never read it. so i have no opinion on it, but supposedly they have that function...

what about the times literary supplement? no good?
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Old 05.03.2010, 07:02 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by !@#$%!
you can see it? then please explain it.

There's really not much to get. Fissure with reality. It's a return to the Cartesian cogito with a destabilised (but by no means absent or irrelevant) empirical truth. It's a logocentric theory that's oriented around contingency. I can't think of anyone who's produced a more workable, or plain metaphysics

Also, Lacan is all over film, as Zizeck has been diligently pointing out for some 30 years. Film is essential to popular culture. Hugely relevant to a very large part of most people's lives.

I get what you're saying about 'relevance', but it really isn't difficult to argue for Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Butler or whoever's relevance. None of these people are particularly obscurantists, they just approach the world in a manner distinct from the norm (/normative) that makes better sense of it than the colonial mindset for the woolly liberal.

I think everyone's on the same page about the sheer number of fatuous, know-nothing turds within the humanities. But there's often a sense of attack the father for the son's misgivings. 1 Foucault (who I don't like) is worth 1000s of landfill academics. Within that landfill, there's naturally a lot of 'jargon', or technical terms. Those terms are meaningful when applied well.
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Old 05.03.2010, 08:46 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by !@#$%!
demonrail & lurker-- i've read your arguments with great pleasure, so much so that if you were women i'd want to make babies with you. being that both of you are men and i'm not big on hairy bodies, if we ever meet in person i'll get you both drunk and the drinks are on me. and no worries, bro-rape won't occur if you're unconscious.



Thanks! Means a lot!
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Old 05.03.2010, 08:49 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
The public intellectual is something that we really lack in the uk. Christopher Hitchens is about the only one that springs to mind, but I think he's taken US citizenship now. He certainly lives there, anyway.

We do lack public intellectuals but there are a few. There's Dawkins (though he's a scientist, if we're just talking humanities), Simon Schama, David Starkey and AC Grayling pops up on the radio occasionally.
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Old 05.03.2010, 08:58 AM   #68
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Dawkins is precisely the last sort of public intellectual we need - insensitive, boorish, divisive and arrogant at a time when there should be greater dialogues between disciplines. I'm wouldn't say intellectual cunts don't serve a purpose for society - someone like Zizeck, on the periphery of the popular conscious, is brilliant for antagonising people, inspiring debate - but I can only see Dawkins as a deleterious antagonism to the world, outside of his actual discipline. You can't fix cars with rhetoric.
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Old 05.03.2010, 10:57 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie
My tutor at University talked in academic speak constantly (he was the only one) and when I spoke to him I couldn't get Basil Fawlty saying "Why don't you talk properly" out of my mind.

I've had one like that. On the few occasions I asked him a questions in seminars he just started talking almost nonsensically for about five minutes, and it would be impossible to tell at what point the answer to your question ended and when he started to talk about something else.
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Old 05.03.2010, 11:00 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
There's really not much to get. Fissure with reality. It's a return to the Cartesian cogito with a destabilised (but by no means absent or irrelevant) empirical truth. It's a logocentric theory that's oriented around contingency. I can't think of anyone who's produced a more workable, or plain metaphysics


Maybe my problem here is just my ignorance of philosophy/critical theory, but what is a "Fissure with reality". And what does it mean to destabilise empirical truth?
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Old 05.03.2010, 11:05 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Lurker
We do lack public intellectuals but there are a few. There's Dawkins (though he's a scientist, if we're just talking humanities), Simon Schama, David Starkey and AC Grayling pops up on the radio occasionally.

I think its because we dont have a culture of vicious debate that cuts beyond the fault of Radio 4 and the editorial pages.

If you look at the US, they have a cable news tradition that creates things like Fox News, MSNBC, as well as a radio tradition with the Rush Limbaughs. Thats an environment thats fertile ground for combative and controversy-ridden discourse. If you ever watch American cable "news" half of it is devoted to how outrageous and reprehensible someone on the opposite side is. In the UK thats the region of the news that satire and parody controls, not "serious journalism"

Not wanting to sound provincial, but this is the UK, and we just dont do things like that, dont you know
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Old 05.03.2010, 11:07 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
Dawkins is precisely the last sort of public intellectual we need - insensitive, boorish, divisive and arrogant at a time when there should be greater dialogues between disciplines. I'm wouldn't say intellectual cunts don't serve a purpose for society - someone like Zizeck, on the periphery of the popular conscious, is brilliant for antagonising people, inspiring debate - but I can only see Dawkins as a deleterious antagonism to the world, outside of his actual discipline. You can't fix cars with rhetoric.

Yes, I think you can call him insensitive and boorish but I'm not sure he's arrogant. He has strong opinions which he fights for those opinions. I do think he should widen his range of reading, he could benefit from reading some philosophy(though maybe he would be too arrogant to do that). His attacks on creationism/intelligent design have been necessary though.

I think Zizek is quite charismatic. But when I've see him tv, and the little bits I've read, I've responded first by thinking that I understand what he's getting at. Then, thinking about, I realise I don't. He does inspire debate though.
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Old 05.03.2010, 11:12 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by the ikara cult
I think its because we dont have a culture of vicious debate that cuts beyond the fault of Radio 4 and the editorial pages.

If you look at the US, they have a cable news tradition that creates things like Fox News, MSNBC, as well as a radio tradition with the Rush Limbaughs. Thats an environment thats fertile ground for combative and controversy-ridden discourse. If you ever watch American cable "news" half of it is devoted to how outrageous and reprehensible someone on the opposite side is. In the UK thats the region of the news that satire and parody controls, not "serious journalism"

Not wanting to sound provincial, but this is the UK, and we just dont do things like that, dont you know


That's what we need, a culture of vicious debate, though somehow the American style (from the little I've seen) doesn't quite seem like the best way. That's something else I've been disappointed about in uni: the lecturers aren't interested debate, the students aren't interested in debate... everybody's right!!

We're a meek and mild people, generally.
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Old 05.03.2010, 11:18 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurker
Maybe my problem here is just my ignorance of philosophy/critical theory, but what is a "Fissure with reality". And what does it mean to destabilise empirical truth?

This kind of feeds back into our problem with landfill academics - too many people who aren't asking precisely the question you've just asked, happy to be complicit in their own ignorance. But in that I'd maintain there is sense to be made (this doesn't mean I'm the person to make sense of it, as the following will likely demonstrate).

Fissure with reality - from the mirror stage of children's development, the child learns to identify themselves with the baby in the mirror - the mother says 'c'est toi'. The person in the mirror is a representation of the self, not the self 'itself', and from thereon our ontological notion of 'reality' is always representative, or rather, the 'I' becomes the 'other' of the reflection. I seem to remember Lacan calls this 'irreality'. The 'fissure' is a split, a cardinal break from a sort of 'pure' reality, a consciousness formed merely by existence; from after the mirror phase, reality remains the orientation of our consciousness, and it is reality as classically understood, but it ought to be understood as borne of this split.

'Destabilise empirical truth' - this is again related to Descartes Cogito - the 'proofs' of existence are no longer reified once we recognise the fissure. 'Destabilise' because it no longer has the power it once had; it isn't undermined, however, because there's no escape from the split (except for in hypothetical mirrorless societies). Empirical truth remains truth, but it's a truth within the contingencies of human understanding. That's not to say there's no 'alterior' reality, but that are understanding remains (in non-Lacanian terms) anthropo-centric.

I wouldn't necessary say I agreed with Lacan, I should add.
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Old 05.03.2010, 11:24 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurker
Yes, I think you can call him insensitive and boorish but I'm not sure he's arrogant. He has strong opinions which he fights for those opinions. I do think he should widen his range of reading, he could benefit from reading some philosophy(though maybe he would be too arrogant to do that). His attacks on creationism/intelligent design have been necessary though.


I agree with the point on creationism/ intelligent design; however, you'll find very few people who actually agree with creationism, in Europe at least. The Vatican officially approved of Darwin around the 1950s (although not without a bit of argey-bargeying).

I say arrogant and insensitive because he extends what religion is when it's bad to cover the whole of religion; he can continue to provide proofs which negate God's existence, and they will remain valid - however, he goes on to absolutely negates the value of a cultural practise (religion) which is abided to by most people on earth. It's intellectual fascism, to my mind. Criticise religion, by all means, say that people are deluded, certainly, but to negate the value of these cultural practises outright... well, when he's got Dawkinsian missions building schools, wells and so on in poor countries (and don't misunderstand me on this - the Christian mission is very different today to the Mission of up to the early-20th century) then he's got a fair point. However, what he actually does is make juvenile threats to arrest the pope, like a whinging teenager.
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Old 05.03.2010, 11:28 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Lurker
That's what we need, a culture of vicious debate, though somehow the American style (from the little I've seen) doesn't quite seem like the best way. That's something else I've been disappointed about in uni: the lecturers aren't interested debate, the students aren't interested in debate... everybody's right!!

We're a meek and mild people, generally.

thats university lecturers mate, youre never going to get a George Orwell teaching you about anything. Theyre sustained by their scientific or academic research, not their teaching. To gain their interest you have to be an obsessive, or at least a trainee obsessive.

I think our politics can be quite vicious, its just that the British tradition is to roll our eyes or laugh dismissively. Especially now the right-left divide doesnt exist any more. The main differences in this election are "How are we going to save money?". Nothing ideological about it.
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Old 05.03.2010, 12:08 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Glice
There's really not much to get.

well... i'd have thought that there would be more since he's so important.

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Originally Posted by Glice
Fissure with reality.

no shit-- i thought parmenides had started all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
It's a return to the Cartesian cogito with a destabilised (but by no means absent or irrelevant) empirical truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
It's a logocentric theory that's oriented around contingency.


this reminds me of a brazilian song i can't recall the title right now. will post lyrics when i do.

anyway-- in english?

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Originally Posted by Glice
I can't think of anyone who's produced a more workable, or plain metaphysics

yes but why? your shorthand doesn't really make an argument. i'm asking (in earnest here, though i might not have been above) that you attempt an explanation. pretend we're your students who know nothing here.

also, correct me if i'm wrong, but lacan dealt in psychoanalysis, not metaphysics. can you explain a) what you mean by metaphysics, and b) how psychoanalysis connects to metaphysics, in his case?

also, have you read freud?
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Old 05.03.2010, 12:19 PM   #78
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oh i found the song. "águas de março" (waters of march). it sounds better in portuguese:

É pau, é pedra,
é o fim do caminho
É um resto de toco,
é um pouco sozinho

i posted the english lyrics, but better now: here's the actual song with english subtitles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3oNSFQVzNM


---

in my memory, it sounded like a coca-cola commercial. but it's much better.
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Old 05.03.2010, 12:38 PM   #79
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oh shit, never mind my request for an explanation-- i started posting, then went to get breakfast, came back to finish, but missed your answers to lurker.

forget the above posts (around 11:10 my time)-- i'll reread & post accordingly.
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Old 05.03.2010, 12:38 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
I agree with the point on creationism/ intelligent design; however, you'll find very few people who actually agree with creationism, in Europe at least. The Vatican officially approved of Darwin around the 1950s (although not without a bit of argey-bargeying).

I say arrogant and insensitive because he extends what religion is when it's bad to cover the whole of religion; he can continue to provide proofs which negate God's existence, and they will remain valid - however, he goes on to absolutely negates the value of a cultural practise (religion) which is abided to by most people on earth. It's intellectual fascism, to my mind. Criticise religion, by all means, say that people are deluded, certainly, but to negate the value of these cultural practises outright... well, when he's got Dawkinsian missions building schools, wells and so on in poor countries (and don't misunderstand me on this - the Christian mission is very different today to the Mission of up to the early-20th century) then he's got a fair point. However, what he actually does is make juvenile threats to arrest the pope, like a whinging teenager.

I think he goes too far but I don't know if he completely negates the value of Christian cultural practices. If he does, fair enough.

But, if the Pope was part of some cover up of sexual abuse (I don't know if he was) then yes, he should be arrested. I think Dawkins was the wrong person to say that this should be done. Criticism of sexual becomes just yet another aspect of anti-religion rather than a serious crime.
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