Thursday, July 21, 2011

I do believe they hide secrets

[(title unknown) from enowning - John D. Caputo on Martin Hägglund‘s Radical Atheism, from The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 11.2.
Badiou‘s use of St. Paul, whom he interprets in terms of the truth-making event, while dismissing the actual content this event (the resurrected Christ) provides a more recent example. This leads to the question of which came first, the religious form of life or the philosopheme, the ontology or the "unavowed" theology. It was considerations of just this sort that led Derrida to speak of a religion without the doctrines and dogmas of religion, and this lay behind his musings on the relative priority of the messianic and the concrete messianisms or the "unavowed theologemes" that lay behind philosophy.]

[Style « Larval Subjects 25 Apr 2008 – Hopefully I have enough “cred” to inveigh against “difficult books” (I am, after all, mired in the work of figures such as Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, etc., who are the worst of the worst), but I have increasingly found myself suspicious of the “difficult work”. On the one hand, I read texts in the sciences that express extremely complex ideas in very basic prose. Somehow I’m just unwilling to concede that what Hegel is trying to talk about is any more difficult or complex than what the biologist, complexity theory, economic social theorist, ecologist, or quantum physicist is attempting to articulate. This leads to my concern. I wonder if terribly dense styles such as we find in figures like Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, Derrida, etc., etc., etc., aren’t a form of intellectual terrorism. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not referring to the quality of their concepts or arguments.What I am referring to is a general writing strategy that demands so much work on the part of the reader in the art of interpretation, that by the time you’ve managed to make heads or tails of what Lacan is arguing or Hegel is seeking to articulate or Deleuze is seeking to theorize, you have so much invested that you simply cannot think critically about that figure. 

Does this mean I cease to read such figures or reject them out of hand? No. I do believe they hide secrets. … I’ve spent my fair amount of time defensively defending the writing style of figures such as Lacan, Derrida, Heidegger, Deleuze, etc., etc., etc. What I realize is that what I was defending was not their style but the value of their concepts and arguments despite their style.]

I too had heard Derrida in New Delhi in 1997 without understanding a word of his lecture, but I won’t blame him for that. The memory of meeting him, however, is now a cherished treasure. [TNM55 - Re: Integral Leadership by Anurag Banerjee Thu 21 Jul 2011 Permanent Link]

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