Thursday, July 14, 2016

Suspect certainty, verbosity, and glib talk

Levi has written yet another post on style, ironically, in the same style he is complaining about, seemingly, in a mock fashion. The more reassuring aspect, however, is philosophical writing continues to open new paths and generate fresh debates. But the question of inclusion of Indian and other non-Western traditions remains a contentious one.

The issue of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, of course, is too remote to trouble anyone. Besides, its very veracity or efficacy is under question marks since Heehs shouted that the Emperor is naked. Institutions running on rotten models of power play prove the point, further.

One needs to be extremely cautious, therefore. No one knows the mystery of this world or human life. No particular theory or practice can claim to yield results; at least, nothing of the sort has surfaced yet. So, suspect verbosity and glib talk; they are mushrooming! [TNM55]

1. This style simultaneously functions as a shibboleth, defining insiders and outsiders, while also making a pseudo-claim to clarity and precision.  Perhaps this style is independent of the content of what is written and argued, but I’m not so sure.  It seems to me that this style already expresses an entire worldview, an entire system of values, an entire teleology or set of goals functioning as a machine or an apparatus of capture.

2. Larval Subjects . - Assemblage Theory - Manuel DeLanda accomplishes what few thinkers ever manage to achieve: he renders the world interesting and thoroughly transforms our perception of what it is and how it came to be. This new book is destined to generate much debate and discussion, reconfiguring the way we pose social and political questions and the coordinates of legitimate ontological thinking. After reading this work, the world never quite looks the same and things that seemed to have only marginal importance take on an entirely new significance. – Levi R. Bryant, Collin College

3. But it’s different with Immaterialism. I read the book at least 4 times within the first week or so after receiving my copy. Perhaps that’s because it opened up an unusual number of new paths for me, and I enjoyed thinking them over so much that I lost my usual distaste for reading my own work.

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