File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0001, message 9


Subject: Re: BHA: Adorno on style
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 12:56:15 -0500


Hi Colin--

Without getting into this topic too much (my views I think have been
sufficiently clear), I have a question and/or caveat:

> But as a Prolegomena of my own, let's remember Aristotle's argument that
we
> should only expect as much clarity as the object allows. (not that I want
> to fall on the side of defending RBs prose - well not always anyhow)

Wouldn't we do better at least to distinguish between the object of study,
and our understanding of it?  As far as I can tell, it is not at all outside
the realm of human capacity to be very clear about one's understanding of an
object that is itself highly complex or consisting of powers and features
that are as yet incompletely or poorly known, even to the point of seeming
nebulous, and to do so without misrepresenting either the object or our
knowledge of it.  In this case, one may reasonably claim that the writing is
clearer than the object.  As you point out, in his early works RB succeeds
in bringing this sort of clarity, and I think is to be much lauded for it.
Anyway, the Aristotelean position as you phrase it (I don't have the source)
could be taken as sliding toward the epistemic fallacy--which I know is not
your intent!--so I wanted to point out the potential disjunction between two
types of clarity or its absence.

As for Ruth's initial commentary, what can I say but, "Write on, sister!"

Meanwhile, the Adornian arguments that Mervyn presents could be charged with
performative contradiction, not to mention Romantic silliness (if "the value
of a thought is measured by its distance from the continuity of the
familiar," then hallucination must be the font of insight).  Whether or not
one agrees with Mervyn's position, we can do a little better than that,
can't we?

And Carrol's point is well-taken: the purpose of list not only indicates the
possibility of expressing Bhaskar's ideas more clearly, but also the need to
do so ... which is why we have this program of summarizing sections from
DPF.  Which we might move on to, as Ruth requests.

Cheers, T.

---
Tobin Nellhaus
nellhaus-AT-mail.com
"Faith requires us to be materialists without flinching": C.S. Peirce





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