Posts tagged knowledge
Posts tagged knowledge
Scenes from a Multiverse, 1 December 2013
I think that what fundamentally characterizes the prophet’s truth-telling, his veridiction, is that the prophet’s posture is one of mediation. The prophet, by definition, does not speak in his own name. He speaks for another voice; his mouth serves as intermediary for a voice which speaks from elsewhere. The prophet, usually, transmits the word of God. The discourse he articulates and utters is not his own. He addresses a truth to men which comes from elsewhere. The prophet’s position is intermediary in another sense in that he is between the present and the future. The second characteristic of the prophet’s intermediary position is that he reveals what time conceals from humans, what no human gaze could see and no human ear could hear without him. Prophetic truth-telling is also intermediary in that, in one way of course, the prophet reveals, shows, or sheds light on what is hidden from men, but in another way, or rather at the same time, he does not reveal without being obscure, and he does not disclose without enveloping what he says in the form of the riddle. Hence prophecy basically never gives any univocal and clear prescription. It does not bluntly speak the pure, transparent truth. Even when the prophet says what is to be done, one still has to ask oneself whether one has really understood, whether one may not still be blind; one still has to question, hesitate, and interpret.
Now parrhēsia contrasts with these difference characteristics of prophetic truth-telling in each of these precise respects. You can see then that the parrhesiast is the opposite of the prophet in that the prophet does not speak for himself, but in the name of someone else, and he articulates a voice which is not his own. In contrast, the parrhesiast, by definition, speaks in his own name. It is essential that he expresses his own opinion, thought, and conviction. He must put his name to his words; this is the price of his frankness. The prophet does not have to be frank, even when he tells the truth. Second, the parrhesiast does not foretell the future. He helps them in their blindness, but their blindness about what they are, about themselves, and and so not the blindness due to an ontological structure, but due to some moral fault, distraction, or lack of discipline, the consequence of inattention, laxity, or weakness. It is in this interplay between human beings and their blindness due to inattention, complacency, weakness, and moral distraction that the parrhesiast performs his role, which, as you can see, is consequently a revelatory role very different from that of the prophet, who stands at the point where human finitude and the structure of time are conjoined. Third, the parrhesiast, again by definition, and unlike the prophet, does not speak in riddles. On the contrary, he says things as clearly and directly as possible, without any disguise or rhetorical embellishment, so that his words may immediately be given their prescriptive value. The parrhesiast leaves nothing to interpretation. Certainly, he leaves something to be done: he leaves the person he addresses with the tough task of having the courage to accept this truth, to recognize it, and to make it a principle of conduct. He leaves this moral task, but, unlike the prophet, he does not leave the difficult duty of interpretation.
—Michel Foucault, The Courage of the Truth (The Government of Self and Others II): Lectures at the Collège de France, 1983-84 (pp. 15-16 in ISBN 978-1-4039-8668-9)
"In my own case, I turned to the Marxian meta-theory in the early 1970s in part because I found (and still find) it the most powerful of all the explanatory schemas available. It had the potentiality – largely unrealized in actual work – to get at matters as diverse as built environment formation and architectural design, street culture and micro-politics, urban economy and politics as well as the role of urbanization in the rich and complex historical geography of capitalism. The political foundation and purpose of this science also made sense to me as its orientation is critical and progressive and aims not only to enhance the conditions of life of the least privileged but to probe the frontiers of human emancipation in general. Science can never be neutral in human affairs (it would otherwise be irrelevant); attempts to put ourselves outside history and politics at best produce well-meaning pseudo-sciences (of which positivism is one example) and at worst so break the chain of moral connection between what scientists do and what society does as to sanction the grossest forms of political and social irresponsibility. Conversely, political rhetoric unbacked by scientific understanding is only by accident non-vacuous. Marx founded his struggle to define an alternative to the evils of capitalism on a deep study of how capitalism works and how these workings tend to generate certain states of political and social consciousness. He saw capitalism as a revolutionary force, a fount of perpetual revolutionary change. He perceived that the question was not whether, but how and to what purposes change will occur. In order to intervene in that process, we too have to understand it. But how are we to understand it; who is to educate the educators? New understandings of the world cannot come from passive contemplation, Marx argues, but arise through active struggle. But that process cannot be understood onesidedly either. Critical reflection on our understandings, perceptions and ideology, struggle to make concepts and ways of seeing both plain and hegemonic, and the evaluation of our own experience of historical and geographical change are as important as political and social engagement on the barricades. That is why Marx wrote Capital. And that is why the Marxist tradition is so rich in its attachment to writing, theorizing and analyzing.”
—David Harvey, introduction to The Urban Experience (p. 3 in ISBN 0-8018-3849-5)
The Humanities Matter! infographic, from the 4humanities organization the University College, London Centre for Digital Humanities.
So I have been collecting these rectangular objects for a while now. I like them because they have interesting squiggles inside and the outside portions are often brightly colored. What I always forget is what a pain in the ass they are to move.
Books pictured are perhaps two-thirds of my library.
Everyone reblogging this knows that it’s satire, right? Right?
Disclaimer that used to be published at the bottom of all pages on original source.
Christianity Today article on original source.
Believe me, I’d love it if all Christians totally abstained totally from sex, in line with the New Testament’s position that sex is the least holy non-inherently-sinful choice, and that more Christian males would take Jeebus’s advice that if you want to get into Heaven, it’s a good idea to cut your dick off. Because if all of the self-described Christians did these things, then there wouldn’t be any more Christians in sixty years or so, and the world would be a better place.
But most Christians pick and choose which parts to accept themselves of the book they’re throwing at you when they make their demands, and this article is therefore satire.
Lyrics that perfectly summarize my feelings on grading tonight.
Paul Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement
Part 4 in a series about what I see as problematic with discursive modes on Tumblr.
Need I say that Tumblr in general often forgets about this? Of course, this is true of much of the Internet. The whole essay is quite short and worth reading.