File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0001, message 24


Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 23:16:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: BHA: style, etc., one last time


Can it be that we are actually in agreement?!

Mervyn:
>...the issue IMO has never been whether DPF could do with a
>good edit (nobody denies this). 

I hadn't realized that we all agreed on this.  It's silly, but I confess to
being relieved in some way.


Mervyn:
>The issue is rather whether a certain level of difficulty in major
philosophical texts is irreducible. 

Although I wouldn't state it in quite so rule-like a form -- and depending
on what exactly it means -- I also agree with this.  At least, as I noted
parenthetically in my last post, I do not equate clarity with accessibility.
Some ideas, no matter how clearly *expressed*, are nonetheless difficult to
grasp.  Often this is a matter of the degree of abstraction involved, as
when entire lines of argument are encapsulated in a single phrase or concept
and then related to another highly abstract concept.  In such cases, the
accessibility of a text is is dependent upon the past training and
specialized knowledge of the reader.  It may also, as Mervyn pointed out, be
a matter of the utter originality of the ideas in question, the objective
lack of any meaningful points of reference.  This is certainly what Kant,
and no doubt Heidegger, thought about their own works (though for Kant,
again, this did not obviate a concern for clarity).  [Of course, people may
still disagree about whether this condition holds in any given case;
Schopenhauer thought that Hegel was a charlatan, after all!] 

So *now* on to the text at hand...
 
r. 



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