File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1997/bhaskar.9708, message 50

Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 16:58:54
To: bhaskar-AT-jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
Subject: Re: BHA: Science, theology and witchcraft

At 04:49 AM 8/16/97 -0400, Michael Salter wrote:
>1/. The textual details are: Bhaskar's "Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom"
>1993, p. 250 where RB objects - on supposedly dialectical grounds - to
>Adorno's criticism of attempts to either reduce objectivity to subjectivity
>or vice-versa. RB retorts that subjectivity must "in some sense" be seen as
>"grounded" or "overreached" by objectivity. Adorno's consistent position in
>his Negative Dialectics 1973 and "Subject/Object" and elsewhere is that
>reductionism is the main counter-tendency to dialectics, in that it
>represents an eradication of mediation who consequences are as undialectical
>as undialectical thinking can ever get. Examples of reductionism include
>vulgar materialism, exclusively theological explanations of natural events,
>positivism/empiricism and racism. For RB to object to Adorno's objection to
>reductionism - under the guide of being a better and more radical
>dialectician - is, of itself, to fall back into what amounts to a
>pre-dialectical position. 
>2/. Bhaskar's position does not appear to mediate between the equally
>one-sided claims of unmediated (reductionist?) versions of materialism and
>idealism in a manner which is as receptive to the half-truths of the latter
>as it is to those of the former. Adorno's line is that the priority of the
>object depends upon the subject recognising the truth that we can at least
>imagine the existence of an object without the continued presence of a
>subjectivity to be conscious of its presence, but we cannot even imagine a
>subjectivity which is not already "consciousness of an object". This
>priority, however, exists in and for the imagination; not in the dense social
>reality which we wake up to every morning.


Adorno seems to argue for a symmetry between subjectivity and objectivity.  
>From the phenomenological perspective from which that claim is made, the 
symmetry does appear correct.  However, the phenemenological perspective is 
not the only one.  From the perspective of naturalism, there were long 
periods in hich the world existed without subjectivity, but the converse 
situation is not possible.  Subjectivity evolved from a world in which there 
was no subjectivity.  It does appear that Adorno's position relies on taking 
the phenomological perspective as the sole valid point of view.  Is RB 
really on the verge of a reduction, or is he merely pointing to the 
assymmetry I just noted?  If so, is he criticizing Adorno for the reason I 
just gave?

Louis Irwin

     --- from list ---


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005