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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: December ::
Presentism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0829  Tuesday, 11 December 2007


[1] 	From:	R. A. Cantrell <
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	Date:	Saturday, 8 Dec 2007 18:57:20 -0600
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

[2] 	From:	John Briggs <
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	Date:	Sunday, 9 Dec 2007 01:08:41 -0000
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

[3] 	From:	John Drakakis <
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	Date:	Monday, 10 Dec 2007 16:35:54 -0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

[4] 	From:	John Drakakis <
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	Date:	Monday, 10 Dec 2007 16:38:01 -0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

[5] 	From:	Joseph Egert <
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	Date:	Monday, 10 Dec 2007 11:54:56 -0800 (PST)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0820 Presentism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:		Saturday, 8 Dec 2007 18:57:20 -0600
Subject: 18.0820 Presentism
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

 >That is, we believe that we
 >know nothing for sure.

This is a perfect example of the idiocy of skepticism. Now that we are 
all "sure" that we know nothing for sure, we may as well just get on 
with things as best we may, and bye the bye, we might be just as well 
off not to have bothered discussing whether we know anything for sure or 
not. World without end. The purpose in the deployment of the tropes is 
to stultify one's adversary ( bring them to epoche, aporia, or whatever) 
and once they are silenced, continue to shout whatever inane crap you 
wish to shout but could not shout if anyone demanded that you make a 
substantive counter-case to that which you have shouted down by 
perpetually yakking about whether or not we, you him, or it can know 
anything for "sure."

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John Briggs <
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Date:		Sunday, 9 Dec 2007 01:08:41 -0000
Subject: 18.0820 Presentism
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

Martin Mueller wrote:

 >I vividly recall a memo sent many years by the president of a
 >university I was then teaching at, informing the faculty that his
 >chief of staff had resigned effective this morning. The most
 >striking thing about this terse letter was the absence of any of
 >the things one usually finds in such memos. There was clearly
 >more to this story, although I never bothered to find out what
 >it was.

Actually, the conclusion that I would have drawn is that it was the 
chief of staff who usually composed his memos for him!  Absence of 
evidence is not evidence of absence... (or of absentism)

John Briggs

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John Drakakis <
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Date:		Monday, 10 Dec 2007 16:35:54 -0000
Subject: 18.0820 Presentism
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

I wish Bill!

It's just that it would be nice to go forwards instead of backwards.

Very best
John D

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John Drakakis <
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Date:		Monday, 10 Dec 2007 16:38:01 -0000
Subject: 18.0820 Presentism
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

Ah, if only the 'truth' were that simple Joe!

Textual editing doesn't, I'm afraid get us to the unvarnished 'truth, 
although it can help to cut down the margins of palpable error.

Cheers

John D

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Joseph Egert <
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Date:		Monday, 10 Dec 2007 11:54:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 18.0820 Presentism
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0820 Presentism

William Godshalk writes:

 >Joe Egert wonders if I'm not burning a straw man.
 >"No one here is denying our limitations in seeking
 >the truth. The present sitz is merely one of many
 >such obstacles--an elementary truism acknowledged
 >by every competent scholar before and after Aurelius,
 >but carried to a defeatist extreme by Hawkes and
 >company."

 >But, Joe, once you acknowledge the "limitations in
 >seeking truth," that acknowledgement has certain
 >consequences. That is, we believe that we know
 >nothing for sure. If this belief leads to "cognitive
 >defeatism" and reduces "scholarship to a mere
 >groundless rhetorical exercise," then that's where
 >it leads.

JE: Bill, I should have been clearer. By "limitations in seeking truth," 
I acknowledge the obstacles in approaching it. Once we accept the 
Kantian Noumenon and law of noncontradiction as axiomatic premises (acts 
of faith, if you will) grounding our epistemology, then scholarship 
involves not so much the quest for absolute certainty (the Grail) but 
venturing to learn what is plausible and increasingly probable in our 
representations. Hawkesian presentism (what I call "noncense") 
discourages any such efforts. The pied pipers of presentism are content 
to wander in their labyrinths without acknowledging an exit worth 
seeking. I believe, Bill, your soul is worth saving,

So keep the faith,
Joe Egert

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