The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2074  Monday, 13 November 2000.

From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 Nov 2000 09:28:24 -0800
Subject: 11.2069 Re: Fops
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2069 Re: Fops

Hi, Bill.

> Or, does this mean
> that I -- "I" the one thing I am sure of -- have to approach other
> people as if they aren't me?  If the second, I agree.

Well yes, that is what I mean.  We encounter them not from within, as
one encounters oneself, but from outside, as one encounters another.

> And the way I understand or try to understand Sean Lawrence is the same
> way I try to make sense of literary characters or historical figures.
> But that does not mean that people, literary characters, and historical
> figures should be lumped willy-nilly into the same ontological
> category.

Of course.  But that's why I want to shift the debate from ontology,
which for the twentieth-century has been mainly understood in
phenomenological terms starting from the self, to ethics, how we respond
to others.

Looking at the problem in this way, how we approach other people (or
allow them to approach us--we aren't the only agents) is rather similar
to how we approach literary characters (who can also make claims upon
us).  An insistence on the distinction between 'real' and 'fictive'
threatens to erase this similarity, even to embargo most of how we do,
in fact, usually respond to fictive characters.


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