Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Aberrant Monism on a necessary lack of clarity in Eno and beginning philosophy.
A common reaction to philosophers such as Deleuze, Derrida, and Heidegger (recall Carnap’s famous critique of Heidegger), is that they do indeed reject clarity. It’s as if their unclear prose and conceptual formations are supposed to mirror the complexities and ambiguities of what is being discussed and thought. But it would be a mistake to make this assumption. Quine is indeed a perfect example of clarity, and analytic philosophy certainly prides itself in its ability to maintain clarity as one of its fundamental stylistic standards, but clarity is no less important for “continental” philosophers. If there is a difference between analytic and continental philosophy on this score (and I’m not sure the difference is that great) then it is that for Deleuze, et. al. the working assumption is that clarity is not where we begin but what we achieve (this is even true in the case of Descartes), what we achieve in the face of the problematic and the confused and obscure from which we forge a thought that makes sense. A profound philosophical thought should be like listening to Another Green World for the first time.
I remember that lack of clarity was what attracted me to 4AD bands in the early eighties.
Quinean clarity appealed to me for a few years--as with the gavagai classic. Q. describes a situation involving a field linguist, rather precisely. You agree or you don't. I don't see it as ....inherently corrupt or oppressive-- the point does seem cogent, and you can disagree. In some situations, words will be defined by actions and behaviors, many unpredictable. You say
"Zizek says..." in some Stanford classroom (assuming one could pay for it), and people start to laugh. Suggest that the 2nd Amendment might be reformed on a conservative blog, and a yokel says he's sending out some thugs on harleys to kill you.

In ordinary, bourgeois reality the language does not always have a one-to-one correspondence-- it's nearly a postmod. point anyway. That said......QuineSpeak does grow cold and limited or something. Some other model may be needed. But Im not convinced it's via Derrida & Co, though their writings are au courant. Hegel, Marx and the pragmatists were proffering holistic or systemic views decades before parisian postmod. Feyerabend was another ..alternative to positivism.

(re Enofication--the e's textures and sound paintings entertain at times, but the Brand X bass player--Percy Jones?--on Eno's klassic AGW like...made the sound IMHE. Fripp helped as well)
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