File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1997/bhaskar.9708, message 73

Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 12:22:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: BHA: Bhaskar on Adorno 

Re Colin and Ruth's postings:

1/. As things have turned out, I''m not sure it was such a smart move on my
part even to have mentioned Adorno's differences with Bhaskar. 

2/. Ruth's point, as I read it, is that Adorno's position tackles social
reality as lived experientially, or as I tried to put it "the world we wake
up to every morning" - relatively to this Ruth is surely right that RB's
position is to date far more metaphysical and less phenomenological, despite
his correct appreciation that some form of phenomenological insight
(preferably the more rationalistic/scientific Husserlian kind rather than the
more metaphysical variety of Heidegger) is required by most varieties of
dialectical thought to date.

3/. Anyone wishing to defend bhaskar "to the hilt" as it were, even to the
point of denying that his position does indeed give priority to the object in
subject/object interactions (surely part of the meaning he gives to "realism"
and "emergent powers materialism"?) can only do so my constructing such a
smoothly linear and self-consistent account of the evolution of DCR that we
may as well forget the specifically dialectical aspect of it altogether
(including its own dialectical evolution via self-criticism as RB puts it),
and confine ourselves to the earlier works (which of course would then be
inconsistent, discontinuous, de-totalising, ahistorical, a negation of the
presence of contradictions, the immanence of theory to a historicallyu
contradictory social reality etc etc etc. No problem with that?.

4/.  The price paid for attempting to make RB's position internally coherent
on every point and relatively superior to all alternative contributors to his
current tradition, (he cannot mean X because that would contradict his
commitment to Y and this, of course, is unthinkable) is more than the
advantage gained. Whilst such interpretative closure might not be the result
of a distinctly theological mode of interpretation, something of a "family
resemblance" still troubles me here with Colin's mode of "defence to the
hilt". The problem with putting any theorist up on a pedestral is the law of
gravity, then tend to fall down upon us. Marx differentiated himself from the
marxists, god knows what he would have made of what has been done this
century in his name by those who proclaimed the infallibility of their own
distortion of dialectical materialism. 

5/. For what its worth, orthodox legal academics used to try to convince
their students that 3 completely contradictory legal decisions (even if
seperated by decades, and applied to different material situations) could
each be seen as instances of a common and internally rational "general
principle" if only the student could manage to grasp the underlying legal
logic. In Dialectic RB, with reference to law in a more general
non-legalistic sense,  specifically complains about the contradictions which
arise for those who implicitly deny the difference between "law and
instance", nicely ironic, no? 


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