File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0001, message 13

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 13:41:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: BHA: style, etc., one last time

Hi all,
I see that I haven't expressed myself clearly.  [:-)]

I hadn't intended to evade Mervyn's suggestion that Adorno's comments on
style are relevant to the question of whether the ideas in DPF might have
been more clearly expressed.  My intention was to respond that Adorno's
celebration of obscurity is based on views that are at odds with core
elements of Bhaskar's thought.  I don't believe that one can coherently
adopt both stances at once.  I also tried to add that, as I read him,
Bhaskar's own accounts of thought, of language and of philosophy, in
contrast to those of Adorno, allow - even invite - one to raise the ideal of
clarity (which is not, while I'm at it, the same thing as accessibility) as
an internal demand.

On the matter of what one is to make of my suspicion that Adorno would
regard critical realism as a tacit form of idealism, I stand by it.  This is
not to say that I *agree* with what I think would be Adorno's position --
just to say that, unsettling or no, I think that it would be his view.  I am
hoping to write on this question at some point, and would be genuinely happy
to talk further to anyone who's interested in it.  It would probably be best
to do so offlist, though, so as not to take up list time on Adorno.       

As to Mervyn's claim that the Kant quotation ["Yet as regards a certain
obscurity...owing to which the principle points of the investigation are
easily lost sight of, the complaint is just, and I intend to remove it by
the present Prolegomena"] supports the position DPF in principle could not
withstand a good edit, I'm lost as to how to respond.  [Not to mention
Kant's going on and on about how beautifully Hume wrote, and how his own
work would be so much better if only he could write that way.]  In any case,
the whole aside about Kant was simply to counter his being included in a
list of authors intended to support a claim that good philosophy has to be
hard to read.

Yours in the struggle for clarity,


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