Friday, September 03, 2010

Raising scholarship in the integral arena

One of the things that makes Meillassoux’s After Finitude so compelling is its genuine argumentative rigor. …
At the same time, the case of Meillassoux in specific shows the value of always doing philosophy as the history of philosophy, because the rigor of his more formal argumentation shows how relatively weak and unsupported his reading of the history of philosophy is and how much that hampers the work. Philosophy is not only a technique or method of constructing arguments — it’s also a tradition, and philosophy at its best and most innovative is always also going to be concerned with making the tradition new.
At least for me, philosophers are always at their weakest when they’re rejecting some past figure — for instance, postwar French rejections of Hegel, or contemporary rejections of Derrida. This isn’t because I think we always need to be “nice” or “charitable” toward authority, but because it’s also necessary to learn from errors.] 

It is because of the pervasive influence of postmodern philosophy and the ubiquitous use of postmodern rhetoric by the political left that America and all it stands for is now on the brink; and this should make you, like Thomas Sowell, very worried.
Rather than setting you free, in the postmodern world, truth just keeps you from believing what you--or someone else--wants to believe; and therefore it must be banned from polite conversation.
In this "innovative", postmodern world view you are permitted-nay encouraged!--to break free from the oppressive shackles of reality and venture into the realm of a "higher" reality, where fools like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barney Frank are taken seriously. And where a grandiose and glib, but charismatic man deeply immersed in the contradictory discourse of postmodern rhetoric and the collectivist ideology of "social justice" can be elected President of the U.S.
In order to survive their crushing defeat in the Cold War, the remnants of Soviet communism, along with failed Marxist, socialists and communists around the globe had to evolve and mutate into a form that would not be easily recognized; but the fundamental toxicity of their ideology remained as potent as ever. And it is these various mutations that are truly the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War.
In postmodern philosophy and rhetoric, they found the perfect epistemological, ethical and political vessel to reassert their poison. And that is why, despite the untold misery and the millions of dead that were the result of the implementation of their political policies, their ideology never quite made it to the garbage dump of history.
The politically useful concept of "social justice" is now the dominant philosophy forced down the throats of teachers, who obediently spoon feed it to their students from kindergarden through college; while in academia they use "science" to demonize their enemies.]

Left turn is an easy escape route for scholars and academicians during the period of their struggle for degrees and recognition. Networking comes handy for access to discussion groups and conferences which also serve as sites for poaching by seniors.  

Intricacies of thought that have come down to us through various texts are invaluable treasures. No one holds monopoly over them; nor do they lend themselves to a specific stream of socio-political world-view. Raising adequate scholarship in the integral arena rather is the cure for the current skew. [TNM]   

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