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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Some Thoughts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0819  Monday, 17 April 2000.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 2000 10:58:40 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0797 Re: Some Thoughts

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 2000 21:12:40 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0797 Re: Some Thoughts


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 2000 10:58:40 -0400
Subject: 11.0797 Re: Some Thoughts
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0797 Re: Some Thoughts

Sean Lawrence writes:

>But apart from that, there is a strong argument that conceptual
>understanding, meaning itself, is dependent on a prior ethical
>commitment.

I suppose that new borns begin constructing meaning (at, perhaps, an
elementary level).  Are they born with a "prior ethical commitment"?

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 2000 21:12:40 -0400
Subject: 11.0797 Re: Some Thoughts
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0797 Re: Some Thoughts

Sorry, sorry, don't get mad.  I only designated myself among thinking
people to distinguish myself from the "theater people" to whom
"concepts" are still considered to exist somewhere beyond the linguistic
signs that convey them.  I didn't mean to imply that theater people are
not thinking people (necessarily); I meant it as a larger category,
hopefully inclusive of us all.

>But the risk of such an open-endedness is a sort of cynicism regarding
>any explanation at all, a relativism that betrays the ethical motivation
>behind choosing a particular explanation-say, feminism, to choose your
>example.

Your labeling of "relativism" (I'm not clear about how you are defining
this term) as a "risk" likewise betrays your premise that textual
meaning should (ethical term) be determinate (proper antonym?).
Diogenes and others have sometimes felt that cynicism was an ideal to be
aimed at and cultivated.  Even that icon of logocentrism, Socrates, said
that the really smart people admit to utter ignorance.  For me, the
danger is in taking linguistic constructions produced by historical
forces and submitting them as though they were pure, objective,
essentialist Truths, and then becoming deceived by your own rhetoric
into cleaving to them.  From Miami Cubans to Shiite Muslims, I think a
little "relativism" would be an improvement.

 >If pushed, though, I suspect that the feminist would not say that her
>reasoning is equal to that of (say) a Nazi critic or (to borrow from
>another thread) certain pornographic productions, and that there's
>nothing to choose between them.  On the contrary, the feminist reading
>is 'better', not simply because more evidence can be adduced from the
>text to support it, but because it's more 'good', in an ethical sense,
>because it proceeds more fully from respect for other people.

Or else he wouldn't be much of a feminist.  However, to say that a
reading is more "good" is quite different from saying it is more "true."

>Try Mary Daly.  In fact, just try a search under "feminist theology".

Even as I wrote it, I knew there must be such things.

>Cheers

ta ta
 

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