File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0107, message 135

Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 20:11:00 -0700
Subject: Re: Paralogy in psychology

Matthew Asher Levy wrote:

> Would you be willing to cite for us a few sentences from your psychological
> sources where they use "parology"?  It would be interesting and easier for
> us to comment....

Sorry it's taken me a bit to get back to you.  I was hit with an email
virus, and my comuputer was out of commission.
These are two excerpts from the psychologists where parolgoy is
being utilized.

Subject:      my ambivalence

Nick, Tom, Leonard, and all the rest.  I want to tell you that I'm here,
and that I'm here looking over your shoulder and that I am admiring what I
imagine you to be doing -- but I'm reluctant at the moment to join you.
I believe in your vision, but I am ambivalent about creating a
conversation while people are telling us how terribly vulnerable they are
when people say things that challenge them, how dramatically unsafe
opposing views make them feel.  Maybe the world isn't ready for paralogy
in every spot.  Do you really think it is ready for it here?

 Subject: Re: My view on paralogy on MFTC? (a list community now disbanded)

Both Habermas and Lyotard were eager to distinguish their work. For one
thing, Habermas has presented himself as one who believes in the "project
of modernity," and Lyotard represents himself as "postodern." This has
framed their ongoing debate which only ended when Lyotard died a few years
ago.  Perhaps these notes will be helpful to your comparison of Habermas
and lyotard. They are taken from Lyotard's classic text, The postmodern
Condition, pp.65-66.

[I]t sems neither possible, nor even prudent, to follow Habermas in
orienting our treatment of the problem of legitimation in the direction of
a search for universal consensus through what he calls 'Diskurs', in ohter
words, a dialogue of argumentation.  This would be to make two
assumptions. The first is that it is ossible for all speakers to come to
agreement on which rules or metaprescriptions are universall valid for
languge games, when it is clear that languge games are heteromomorphous,
subject to heterogeneous sets of pragmatic rules.  The second assumption
is that the goal of dialogue is consensus. But as I have shown in the
analysis of the pragmatics of science, consensus is only a particular
stage in the discussion, not its end. Its end, on the contrary, is
paralogy." (pp.65-66)  .


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