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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Postmodernism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0249  Tuesday, 24 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Paul Zabkar <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Mar 1998 11:47:20 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Pomo Debate

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Mar 1998 17:00:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0240  Re: Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Zabkar <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Mar 1998 11:47:20 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Pomo Debate

"It's an anti-French intellectual escapade."  Writer Roger-Pol Droit saw
the broadside as part of a sinister new vogue for "scientific, as
opposed to political, correctness."

I think this quote sums up the whole debate about this new book written
by narrow-minded scientists who rely on the specificity of scientific
terminology and context for their attack on French philosophy.  Of
course people like Deleuze & Lacan use the terms differently, just as
the scientific community appropriated words from other contexts to
create their own theories.  I see the authors of this book in the same
vein of action as Slobodon Molisovic and his ethnic cleansing techniques
in Bosnia, except here the scientists are performing a cleansing of
words, so that we all understand the sameness of meaning apparently
attached to them.

Didn't the word "evolution" used to describe a Biblical event, at least
until Darwin came along?

Paul Zabkar

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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Mar 1998 17:00:03 -0500
Subject: 9.0240  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0240  Re: Postmodernism

Gabriel Egan writes:

>Tallis isn't issuing a warning that without empirical truth anything can
>be true, as Godshalk appears to believe. Rather, he's testing the limits
>of what a community of like-minded people (his category of `Theorists')
>are prepared to contest.
>
>And that, I submit, is a tacit acceptance that `empirical truth' is an
>unhelpful notion. What matters is what people are prepared to spend time
>and energy trying to persuade each other about. Rhetoric and power, not
>truth, is the issue.

Egan, I gather, misses Godshalk's irony as well as Tallis's meaning. As
a scientist, Tallis, of course, believes in certain empirical truths
that are indeed quite helpful in his work.  Cancer, unfortunately,
exists, whether Egan is prepared to believe so or not, and light will
travel at a certain speed whatever one's personal belief system or
political stance. I hold these truths to be self-evident, etc., etc.,
whatever rhetoric and power Egan may use to persuade me otherwise. We
won last time; this time we shall prevail.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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