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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: July ::
Re: Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0578.  Monday, 24 July 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Saturday, 22 Jul 1995 14:44:33 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
 
(2)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Saturday, 22 Jul 1995 23:05:48 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0572  Re: Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Saturday, 22 Jul 1995 14:44:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
 
Mr. Egan:
 
Many apologies for assuming that you tied "tangible-empirical" explanations to
politics.  I assumed that this would be a logical corollary of your definition
of "politics" as "the real topic underlying all human activity".  Your next
paragraph would indicate otherwise, however, and it was sloppy of me to
overlook it.  "If we spirits have offended..."
 
You ask rhetorically:  "Let's suppose God is the reason for everything... does
saying so rob the term 'God' of its meaning?" Actually, it probably would.  I
suppose that this is why most major Christian theologians include human
perversity as a cause of phenomena.
 
Besides, the term 'God' is supposed to be paradoxical, beyond the limited
faculties of finite beings (like me, for instance).  Hence Karl Barth's
"otherness of God."  "Politics" is supposedly grounded in our material
conditions, and therefore (one assumes) fully accessible to reason.
 
You've pretty much admitted that you consider empiricism a matter of faith.
Nevertheless, you ask Brian Corrigan to define "simple beauty" implying (I
think--goodness knows I've been wrong before!) that what is indefinable simply
isn't.  Isn't this related to empiricism in buying into the enlightenment
ontology whereby being equals meaning?  Shouldn't this also be considered a
matter of faith?
 
I wouldn't mind--I mean, I can accept my father's Christianity without sharing
it--except that you seem to eschew faith itself in your rejection of all other
forms of scholarship except the political and "tangible empirical knowledge."
 
I look forward to your response,
     Sincerely,
     Sean Lawrence.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Saturday, 22 Jul 1995 23:05:48 +0100
Subject: 6.0572  Re: Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0572  Re: Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
 
Moray McConnachie says
 
>The *job* of an educator, a teacher, is not to *convince* a student of
>anything, but to provide him/her with the intellectual tools, and a little
>empirical knowledge, to convince himself/herself.
 
Of what? Anything they what to convince themselves of? The students know that
you and your colleagues mark their work and decide who gets the degree and who
doesn't, and they KNOW that protestations of neutrality are bogus. Be honest
and tell me them your criteria. In reality Humanities work is graded according
to its closeness of fit with the marker's own views (just as in Science), but
some people don't like to admit this.
 
Gabriel Egan
 

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