Saturday, October 27, 2007

The meaning of ‘clarivoyent’



You think it's a mispeling of 'clairvoyant'. In a posting yesterday, I said "I feel almost clarivoyent,...." As misspelling, 'clarivoyent' varies with the norm (Chaucer wouldn't know the difference), which is a lexical establishment, that which an accepted dictionary represents. Lexicography has empirically determined the factical norm (i.e., what's normal, in the statistical sense) and declares a common-custom norm, in Habermas' sense of principle D (but as emergent validation, rather than organized validation), in light of etymological background (the legacy of cultural evolution), though sometimes certifying that multiple spellings are widely used. Meanwhile, the lexicologists worry about emerging and fading trends in usage, which contribute to revisions of dictionaries. The Oxford English Dictionary expresses universalistic recommendation for the language (not just representing definitive history), and its calling is universally accepted by English lexicology.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

a secularization of prophetic calling



Can religious sensibility grow to love its place in deep time, beyond tangles of theistic vanity?

In one of the postings from that Habermas group exchange I mentioned in the previous posting, K briefly renders an argumentation strategy for renewing the integrity of prophetic calling for progressive politics, which I want to dwell with further. None of my comment below was part of the email exchange. First:

K> Amanda Anderson[...] claims that sincerity functions more as a legitimating factor for existing norms, which is why postmodern theorists reject it as simply re-inscribing dominant power structures. Postmodern theory tends to favor authenticity, she claims, in the sense of rejecting existing norms (and assigned identity categories) and challenging the status quo.

G (today): I mistakenly recalled that you wrote that Anderson favored authenticity, but maybe the upshot is the same since, apparently, she accepts the sense of norms that allegedly causes the postmodernists to favor authenticity over sincerity.

Friday, August 10, 2007

a note on authenticity vis-à-vis sincerity



In an exchange on Habermas earlier this week, the correspondent wondered (“K>>” below) about my earlier characterization of the distinction between sincerity and authenticity (“G>>>”), in response to a question from K (“K>>>>”). I responded briefly (“G>”), then more free associatively offline yesterday, which I’ll archive here (following my quoting of our exchange on this point, over four emails; the entirety of the four emails, via the Yahoo! Habermas group, is here; see the footer thread).


Aug. 8-9

K>>>> - Can/should we distinguish between sincerity and authenticity, as Amanda Anderson has done in her excellent defense of Habermas (“The Way We Argue Now”)?

G>>> Yes. Habermas would, I think, explicate this distinction in terms of the difference between (a) a way of life (“ethical life” in chapter 1 of Justification and Application, implicating one’s whole exemplification of lifeworldliness, so to speak), which may be variably authentic/inauthentic; and (b) one’s self-representation in communicative action, relative to one’s fidelity to asserted beliefs or values regarded as normative for interaction. Authenticity tends to pertain to living a life; genuineness pertains, for Habermas, to intentional stances in interaction.

a note of conscience in conceptual adventuring



A key feature of misunderstanding (or misreading) another person or text passage (posting, synoptic statement) is doing too much with little information. This might be innocent and creative, e.g., being inspired to think richly by ideas or questions. But it can inhibit mutuality of understanding to draw another’s representations far into foreign territory without tracking the draw, if you will. There’s nothing harmful about drawing freely, as long as one doesn’t lose sight of the difference between a representation’s own context and its deployment in one’s own conceptual adventure.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

surface structure, deep whatever



Days go by.... We live with a world dominated by surface structure, novelty, or “whatever,” among those who can barely explore constructively where surface ends and depth begins, where “It's all about me” can barely think about life and Time realistically. Of course, an Appeal's always a matter of degree, giving way according to some interpretive interest that never comprehends totality.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Habermas vs. Heidegger in ‘Derrida’



Habermas associates Derrida’s performativity with Adorno’s “Praxis” in his remembrance of Derrida, soon after Derrida died: “Derrida’s deconstruction, like Adorno’s negative dialectics, is essentially a performative exercise, a Praxis” [end of paragraph (i.e., passing comment)], Derrida-Habermas Reader, p.307. That seems to me to “essentially” express a misunderstanding of Derrida.

An oddness about Habermas’ comment is that, since all communicative action has a performative component, there seems to be an emptiness to calling negative dialectic “performative,” as if other action is something else. Perhaps, Habermas means by ’performative’: emancipatory efficacy, which is the perlocutionary effect (or unforced force) of critique. Certainly, the best sense of immanent critique (a longstanding value of the Marxian tradition) is exhibited by Derridean deconstruction: framing the self-betraying text, whose enactivity undermines itself in terms of what it enacts. This suggests Habermas’ later notion of performative contradiction.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Toward a post-metaphysicalist discourse
on evolutionarity



There's no teleology in social evolution. Nonetheless, evolution can be usefully theorized and done so, as I began to explicate recently, without a problematic naturalism. But that's not conducive to a short posting on self-constitutivity of inquiry. However, human intelligence has evolved to provide high capacity for giving telos to activity and phenomenology. This same capacity provides for potential self-constitutivity in inquiry, thanks to ultimate openness in cognitive development, in terms of the kinds of inquiry that may be discursively integrated ("what I have in mind" below). A postmetaphysicalist sense of discursivity is implied that learns through scientifically conceptual efficacy (without scientism!).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

discursive communication
as appropriative interfacing



A momentary intent this morning to revise a typographical error in my brief discussion of the "theory"-"practice" relationship, Nov. 2004, became a substantial revision of that still-short discussion (after the third paragraph).

Consider the notion of interface there as something axially dependent on communicative action. The rendered "manifold of interfaces" isn't an overt focus as such, but the whole of it (a holism rendered relatively briefly, but which is vertiginously connotative to me—without overtones of mystification!) can be regarded as a sense of context for doing philosophy of social science in a Habermasian spirit.