The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1328  Sunday, 3 June 2001

From:           Graham Bradshaw <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 2 Jun 2001 00:57:43 +0900
Subject: 12.1291 Re: Seminars
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1291 Re: Seminars

Until I noticed one of John Drakakis's recent missives I had been
leaving the "Seminars" thread alone; it seemed so terribly long and
rancidly personal, and I am a gentle soul. But I've been skimming
through it tonight, and have just three comments.

1. Sean shouldn't get so upset about this opposition between "ethics"
and "ideology", and the nasty tilting at his "personal motives". This is
a Marxoid relic in which John has heavily invested. Those who habitually
mock or "demystify" or "critique" any concern with "morality" or
"ethics", or any principles that might regulate behaviour, end up having
no language of morality and no means of imagining what George Eliot
calls "an equivalent centre of self".  And then (alas, it's not really a
paradox) they also end up having more in common with those Bush
Republicans who reject the Kyoto Protocol because it is opposed to
America's "economic interests" but (because they don't have the moral
vocabulary) never ask why the rest of the world they contaminate should
go on paying the price, or subsidy. As Materialists of the "Left" and
"Right" unite, it becomes ever more difficult to tell the pigs from the
humans. I think Orwell said something like this, since his socialism was
based in fellow-feeling.

2. Since John keeps thundering on about "professionalism", wouldn't it
be more interesting to hear whether and how his ideas (or investments)
differ from those of Stanley Fish? Fish writes that "the profession
exists so that there may be a means of accreditation and advancement for
people in the profession, and not out of any inner necessity and
certainly not out of cultural need or the need of individual teachers."
That's clear enough. But is John any more concerned with
"inner necessity" or "cultural need"? That's less clear.

3. John's distinctions between "public" and "private" seem quaintly
reminiscent of Arnold's "Dover Beach".

William Blake

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