File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0112, message 58

Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 18:43:14 +1000
Subject: Re: Critique of Badiou


On the subject of critiques, the following (stolen from the Web) might be of

>Dr. Cahn:  I have been reading a book recently called
>"What Makes Us Think".  It's a translation from the French
>"Ce qui nous fait penser - La nature et la règle", 1998,
>translated to a very good English in 2000.  [It's] a dialogue
>between Jean-Pierre Changeux, a neuroscientist, and Paul
>Ricoeur, a philosopher.  This dialogue goes on for 300 pages
>in the book and they deal with what we have been
>discussing very extensively.  In fact, what they said at the
>beginning is that they are in search of a common discourse:
>is a neuronal theory of knowledge possible ?  Do the
>neuroscientists provide a basis of discussion for morality,
>social norms and peace ?  It's an exercise in contradiction
>and agreement.  I think I'll stop there and ask you to
>comment on this.

Dongier:  I've read the book, not in English, mind you, but in
French, two or three years ago.  I happen to know both
people a bit.  The most striking thing for me is the total
absence of dialogue between these two people in spite of
their efforts.  I hope no one will leave here today with that
same feeling, that there has been no dialogue, as I think
there has been a genuine dialogue thanks to many people.
But Changeux and Ricoeur never really talk to each other.
They talk to a mirror of themselves but there is no real
argument, and the book ends without any progress in the

Bibeau:  I asked my PhD students last year to read the book
and we had a full session in the seminar devoted to that.
And out of 14 students, 14 have said exactly what Dr.
Dongier just said.  That, in fact, you have two thinkers who
think totally in parallel.  Nobody is displaced in his own
thinking or his approach.  It's quite terrible.

Comment:  inaudible


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