Sobriquet 54.14

One of the things that frustrates me most about some academic writing is a tendency to present near-elementary concepts in bewilderingly complex prose. It often seems as if the post-Heideggerian argot embraced by a certain variety of post-structuralist has become, for better or worse, the standard idiom of several branches of the humanities. And, while I have read enough Derrida and company to recognize, however grudgingly, the value of such language in certain situations, I resist the notion that torturously labyrinthine pleonasm and abstruse jargon is intrinsic to the discussion of even the most profound thought. (And, yes, I did use pleonasm to be funny, if only in an ironic word-nerd way. It basically means "wordiness").

At any rate, I did not post entries the past few evenings because I had tired myself out by reading such texts late into the night.

For tomorrow: Read.


From Minxy:

Don't worry...I totally got your irony, even though I didn't necessarily know what the word meant. :)
Anonymous said…
You are not alone in experiencing that frustrated attitude towards the realm of diction used while discussing philosophy in any type of forum. I think it reflects the current conditions of where philosophical discussions are acceptable to take place in present society.

On campus grounds, whether with fellow students, professors or a combination of the two, the 'post-Heideggerian argot' is necessary to use in order to 'gain standing' as awful and cruel as that sounds. Somewhere though, in trying to converse at some mythical level in dialogue, the whole point of discussing philosophy gets lost.

Yet these are not the most sophisticated of times. Where else in America can you discuss these things without being looked at as if you have eight heads, than on campus grounds and inside the 'ivory tower'? There is no place in today's society for writing or discussing philosophical prose, literature or critique as a social exercise, as a way to fill up the 'free time' section of your blackberry’s daily planner. Whatever happened to calling up a friend, discussing Kant’s attack on pure reason and applying your own dichotomy to his thoughts, just because that is the most pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon? People no longer question what being alive encompasses, outside secluded areas such as classrooms or seminars.

This huge gap in the spectrum of discussing philosophy, I believe, is what lends itself to the current forum you and a minority of others, apparently can’t stand. The philosophical circles have grown so small, so secluded, so sacred and novel, that the figurative price of admission is going up at a pretty steady rate. The people outside the circle are so far driven off from any area of philosophy, they place a huge burden and set of expectations on those who claim to be in philosophy, as some sort of side show they can glance at every so often.

It has become so that philosophy, not biology or quantum mechanics or astrophysics, is the most exact science. Quite absurd.

Anyone can be a philosopher. Get out a pen or keyboard, focus on an area of life as you think it should be or why it is the way it is, all the little avenues that can funnel influences into that area and how it pertains to your own individual philosophical dichotomy and do nothing but write upon it for hours on end. The beautiful thing is, you can’t be wrong! The worst that can happen is some prick comes along and points out all of your contradictions. Big deal. Instead of being a Kantian, or a Derridaian, or a Aristotleian, why not be strictly a youian? Why bow down to the minds of the past only and entirely negate your own collected consciousness and convictions? Philosophy should be the least guarded area of study, in my opinion.

Well, this is what may have to happen to get rid of that post-structural frame of mind associated with current philosophy. The contours of philosophy do not exist in some folder inside a steel drawer that slides in and out of an office desk; it exists in every event people do, all 6.7 billion of us. I would say ‘all action is a reflection of philosophy’ but I wouldn’t want to upset the followers of metaphysics. But keeping that in mind would severely decrease the hold contemporary philosophers say they have over the field in question.

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