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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Postmodernism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0266  Friday, 27 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Bill McRae <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Mar 1998 10:03:53 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Postmodernism

[2]     From:   Sean Kevin Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Mar 1998 10:35:31 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0260  Re: Postmodernism

[3]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Mar 1998 14:12:49 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0260  Re: Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill McRae <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Mar 1998 10:03:53 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Postmodernism

I, too, am grateful that airplanes stay in the air and that the first
folio continues to be.  But that is not the issue.  What is at point is
how any knowledge claim about, say, the physics of flight or the editing
of the first folio, has a history that continues into the present.  Of
course, if you insist that in our post-Enlightenment "brilliance" we
somehow have complete insight, then history can be forgotten.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Kevin Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Mar 1998 10:35:31 -0800
Subject: 9.0260  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0260  Re: Postmodernism

> I confidently predict that information theory plus quantum mechanics
> will provide a secure basis for postmodernist physics.  And if anybody
> has the cheek to tell me that I'm not qualified in the subject, I shall
> remind them that the Internet email discussion lists are places where
> amateurs and professionals meet as peers.

Don't you think it in rather bad faith to write this while bewailing (on
Ardennet) the fact that SHAKSPER "has suffered increasing trivialisation
as Internet access has spread beyond academia"?

Cheers,
Sean

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Mar 1998 14:12:49 -0500
Subject: 9.0260  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0260  Re: Postmodernism

G. Egan writes:

>Einsteinian theoretical mechanics has not yet been fully validated to
>the satisfaction of the scientific community (there are areas where
>quantum mechanics still holds sway).

Okay, but is the speed of light affected by our theories?  If I happen
to be wrong about that speed, does my incorrectness change the actual
speed?

>Many great Victorian minds held
>Newtonian mechanics to be the last word on the subject. No doubt they
>told their dithering colleagues to pull themselves together and sign up
>to the idea that the world just is the way it seems.

Newtonian mechanics works just fine on this planet.

But I'm not arguing that we can't be wrong in our interpretations of
Shakespeare's texts or the world around us. I've read Montaigne's
skeptical "Apology" in a fairly good translation. Nevertheless, I
believe that reality is not affected by our misinterpretations.  If I
read a long s as an f in one of the Folios, I am in error; but the long
s remains a long s.  And, yes, this is a matter of faith. I cannot prove
that my inadequate perceptual system does NOT affect external reality.
But I'd pretty damned surprised to learn that it did!

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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