Recent business headlines, particularly those related to the collapsed energy-trading giant, Enron and its auditor, Arthur Andersen raise concerns about accountants'' ethical reasoning. We propose, and provide evidence from 90 new auditors from Big-Five accounting firms, that a selection-socialization effect exists in the accounting profession that results in hiring accountants with disproportionately higher levels of the Sensing/Thinking (ST) cognitive style. This finding is important and relevant because we also find that the ST cognitive style is associated with relatively low levels (...) of ethical reasoning, regardless of gender. This finding implies a need for emphasis on the ethical training of accountants. The results also suggest that accounting firms should consider recruiting accountants with cognitive styles associated with relatively higher levels of ethical reasoning. (shrink)
The New Wittgenstein offers a major reevaluation of Wittgenstein's thinking. This stellar collection of original essays by the "third wave" of Wittgenstein critics presents a significantly different portrait of the philosopher, not as a proponent of metaphysical theories but as an advocate of philosophy as therapy--a means of helping us grasp the essence of thought and language by attending to our everyday forms of expression. Boldly criticizing standard interpretations and offering unorthodox perspectives, these controversial essays will change the way we (...) look at Wittgenstein's entire body of work. Contributors: Stanley Cavell, David Cerbone, James Conant, Alice Crary, Cora Diamond, David Finkelstein, Juliette Floyd, P.M.S. Hacker, John McDowell, Hilary Putnam, Rupert Read, Martin Stone, Edward Witherspoon. (shrink)
Acknowledgments -- Preface -- Editor's introduction -- Wittgenstein, Kuhn, and natural science : science : a perspicuous presentation -- Kuhn : the Wittgenstein of the sciences? -- Kuhn on incommensurability : inhabiting the standard reading -- Wittgenstein on incommensurability : the view from "inside" -- Values : another kind of incommensurability? -- Does Kuhn have a model of science? -- Inter-section : a schematic elicitation of Wittgensteinian criteria -- Wittgenstein, Winch, and "human science" : social science -- The ghost of (...) Winch's ghost -- Psychiatry -- The hard case of (severe cases of) schizophrenia -- Extreme aversive emotions -- Economics -- Wittgenstein contra Friedman -- Cognitive science -- "Dissolving" the hard problem of consciousness back into ordinary life -- Conclusions -- Concluding summary -- Interview with Rupert Read (conducted by the editor) -- Bibliography -- Index. (shrink)
The catchment of the River Thames, the principal river system in southern England, provides the main water supply for London but is highly vulnerable to changes in climate, land use and population. The river is eutrophic with significant algal blooms with phosphorus assumed to be the primary chemical indicator of ecosystem health. In the Thames Basin, phosphorus is available from point sources such as wastewater treatment plants and from diffuse sources such as agriculture. In order to predict vulnerability to future (...) change, the integrated catchments model for phosphorus (INCA-P) has been applied to the river basin and used to assess the cost-effectiveness of a range of mitigation and adaptation strategies. It is shown that scenarios of future climate and land-use change will exacerbate the water quality problems, but a range of mitigation measures can improve the situation. A cost-effectiveness study has been undertaken to compare the economic benefits of each mitigation measure and to assess the phosphorus reductions achieved. The most effective strategy is to reduce fertilizer use by 20% together with the treatment of effluent to a high standard. Such measures will reduce the instream phosphorus concentrations to close to the EU Water Framework Directive target for the Thames. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss the notion of merely confused supposition as it arose in the medieval theory of suppositio personalis. The context of our analysis is our formalization of William of Ockham's theory of supposition sketched in Mind 86 (1977), 109-13. The present paper is, however, self-contained, although we assume a basic acquaintance with supposition theory. The detailed aims of the paper are: to look at the tasks that supposition theory took on itself and to use our formalization (...) to relate them to more modern ideas; to explain the notion of merely confused supposition and to defend it against certain criticisms; and to discuss two issues closely related to the idea of merely confused supposition which we could not broach in a shorter article: the mode of supposition of terms in intensional contexts, and the possible existence of a fourth mode, often called suppositio copulatim. (shrink)
The New Hume Debate is the first book to discuss the topic of whether Hume is a skeptic or a skeptical realist. It includes essays by philosophers and Hume scholars such as Barry Stroud and Galen Strawson.
The transformation kinetics of ?Sn (white tin) to and from αSn (grey tin) are studied by synchrotron X-ray diffraction of seeded powder samples of 99.99% Sn. An analysis of thermal expansion behaviour revealed that the volume change of transformation increases as the temperature decreases. The ?Sn???αSn transformation was well described by Johnson?Mehl?Avrami kinetics with an Avrami exponent of 3, which was confirmed to be due to three-dimesional growth from pre-existing nuclei by a microstructural study. The αSn????Sn transformation exhibited a decreasing (...) Avrami exponent from ?4 to ?1 during the transformation. Time?Temperature?Transformation curves are plotted from the isothermal transformation data and are compared with past work. (shrink)
Alexandre Koyre was one of the most prominent historians of science of the twentieth century. The standard interpretation of Koyre is that he falls squarely within the internalist camp of historians of science-that he focuses on the history of the ideas themselves, eschewing cultural and sociological interpretations regarding the influence of ideologies and institutions on the development of science. When we read what Koyre has to say about his historical studies (and most of what others have said about them), (...) we find him embracing and championing this Platonic view of his work. Ultimately I think this interpretation of Koyre's history of science is lopsided and in need of correction. I claim, rather, that a careful reading of Koyre's work suggests that a tension exists between internal and external methodological considerations. The external considerations stem from Koyre's commitment to the unity of human thought and the influence he admits that the 'transscientifiques' (philosophy, metaphysics, religion) have on the development of science. I suggest in conclusion then, that if we are to put a philosophical label on his work, rather than 'Platonist', as has been the custom, 'Hegelian' makes a better fit. (shrink)
William James and Wisconsin, by G.C. Sellery.--The distinctive philosophy of William James, by M.C. Otto.--William James, man and philosopher, by D.S. Miller.--William James and psychoanalysis, by Norman Cameron.--The William James centenary dinner: Introductory remarks, by C.A. Dykstra. William James and the world today, by John Dewey, read by Carl Boegholt. William James in the American tradition, by B.H. Bode.--The Sunday service: William James as religious thinker, by J.S. Bixler.
J. B. Schneewind's Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy was the single best philosophical commentary on Henry Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics produced in the twentieth century. Although Schneewind was primarily concerned to read Sidgwick's ethical theory in its historical context, as reflecting the controversies generated by such figures as J. S. Mill, F. D. Maurice, and William Whewell, his reading also ended up being highly neo-Kantian, reflecting various Rawlsian priorities. As valuable as such an interpretation of Sidgwick surely (...) is, Schneewind's approach has always been in some key respects too narrowly conceived in its construction of Sidgwick's philosophical and cultural context, failing to grapple with such troubling, philosophically relevant issues as the possible racism of Sidgwick's ethical and political views, or the sexual politics manifest in his collaboration with such figures as John Addington Symonds. Correspondence:c1 firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
When William James spoke about belief to the philosophy clubs of Yale and Brown in 1896, he forewarned his audience of the nature of his comments by describing them as a “sermon on justification by faith” (James 13), titling the talk “The Will to Believe.” Although there is disagreement about the substance of James’s remarks, it is fairly innocuous to assert that James thought they were appropriate because of the prevalence of the “logical spirit” of many of those who (...) practiced academic philosophy that led them to the conclusion that religious faith was untenable. Aware of his audience, James presents his view on the permissibility of religious faith on the terms and grounds familiar to professional philosophers. .. (shrink)
The emotions were a neglected topic in philosophy twenty or so years ago, but things have now changed. It is now appreciated how important it is to understand the emotions as an independent aspect of our mental economy – one that has to be properly taken into account in any worthwhile philosophising in ethics or moral psychology, in epistemology, in aesthetics, and generally in philosophical issues surrounding value and how the mind engages with value in the world. There is now (...) a wide range of philosophical theories of emotion 'on the market', and whilst this Guide and the related Article are not the place to argue for one or the other of these, anyone working in areas which overlap with emotion research ought to be aware of what these theories are, and ought to consider what the implications of their own views are in order not to be committed to an ultimately untenable account of the emotions, and of their place in our lives. Author Recommends Ronald de Sousa, The Rationality of Emotion (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987). This is a classic, full of fascinating insights. Best not read straight through; use it selectively, depending on where your research is going. Robert Solomon, The Passions: Emotions and the Meaning of Life (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1976). Another classic. Solomon was one of the pioneers to resurrect emotion to its rightful place in philosophy. Solomon was greatly influenced by the existentialists, and he argued not only that emotions are rational, but also that we choose our emotions. Since then, Solomon has nuanced his position considerably, but this early work merits close study. Robert Solomon, ed., Thinking about Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). This collection contains 17 chapters on emotion from contemporary philosophers, plus an Introduction by Solomon. It gives an excellent feeling for the central issues in the current debates. John Deigh, 'Cognitivism in the Theory of Emotions', Ethics 104 (1994): 824–54. Deigh argues for a cognitive theory of the emotions, and considers how such a theory can accommodate emotions in non-human animals and in babies. William James, 'What is an Emotion?', Mind 9 (1884): 188–205. This article, and the related (and later) discussion in his The Principles of Psychology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981, ch. 25), has had an enormous influence on psychologists, and on philosophers who argue for various versions of non-cognitivism in the emotions. It merits reading in the original. Robert Zajonc, 'On the Primacy of Affect', American Psychologist 39 (1984): 117–23. This article, 100 years after James, has also been enormously influential on non-cognitivists. Jesse Prinz, Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Prinz is one of the proponents of non-cognitivism, and the influence of James and Zajonc will be clear. Peter Goldie, 'Emotion', Philosophy Compass 2/6 (2007): 928–38, doi: [DOI link]. My own survey of the current literature. Online Materials: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/emotion/ de Sousa on Emotion in the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: An excellent survey of the current literature. Sample Syllabus: Week 1: Cognitive-rationalist theories of emotion R. Solomon, 'The Rationality of emotions', Southwestern Journal of Philosophy 8 (1977): 105–14. G. Taylor, 'Justifying the Emotions', Mind 84 (1975): 390–402. M. Nussbaum, 'Emotions as Judgements of Value and Importance', in Thinking about Feeling, ed. R. Solomon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 183–99. Week 2: Non-cognitive feeling theories of emotion W. James, 'What is an Emotion?', Mind 9 (1884): 188–205. J. Prinz, 'Embodied Appraisals', in Thinking about Feeling, ed. R. Solomon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 44–60. Week 3: Perceptual and sui generis theories of emotion Robert Roberts, Emotion: An Aid in Moral Psychology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), ch. 2, sections 2.1–2.4. Ronald de Sousa, The Rationality of Emotion (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987), ch. 6. Peter Goldie, The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), ch. 3. Week 4: Expression of emotion Michael Smith, 'The Humean Theory of Motivation', Mind 96 (1987): 36–61. Rosalind Hursthouse, 'Arational Actions', Journal of Philosophy 88 (1991): 57–68. Peter Goldie, The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), ch. 5. Week 5: Emotional sincerity and authenticity Mikko Salmela, "What is Emotional Authenticity?", Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 35.3 (2005): 209–39. David Pugmire, Sound Sentiments (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), ch. 2 and 7 especially. Week 6: Morality and the emotions A. J. Ayer, 'Critique of Ethics and Theology', Language, Truth and Logic (London: Penguin, 1936), chapter VI. Bernard Williams, 'Morality and the Emotions', Problems of the Self (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), 207–229. Simon Blackburn, Spreading the Word (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), chapter 6. Focus Questions1. What element of truth is there in the idea that emotions are judgements? How can such a theory allow for the possibility of conflict between emotion and judgement?2. James argues that feelings are essential to emotion: no feeling, then no emotion. How does a non-cognitive theory of emotion seek to account for this, and is such a theory the only way of doing so?3. Roberts argues that emotions are a kind of perception (a concern-based construal); de Sousa argues rather that there is only an analogy between emotion and perception and that emotion is an irreducible psychological category; Goldie argues that emotional feelings are sui generis'feelings towards'. How might one decide which of these more accurately captures the nature of emotion?4. Hursthouse argues that our expressions of emotion (kicking the chair in anger for example) are arational. What are her arguments for this, and are they sound?5. We often speak of someone's anger, for example, as not being sincere, or of her generosity as not being authentic. What do these claims mean, and how are the notions of sincerity and authenticity of emotion related conceptually?6. What is the role of emotion in our moral thought and talk? (shrink)
continent. 1.3 (2011): 149-155. The world is teeming. Anything can happen. John Cage, “Silence” 1 Autonomy means that although something is part of something else, or related to it in some way, it has its own “law” or “tendency” (Greek, nomos ). In their book on life sciences, Medawar and Medawar state, “Organs and tissues…are composed of cells which…have a high measure of autonomy.”2 Autonomy also has ethical and political valences. De Grazia writes, “In Kant's enormously influential moral philosophy, autonomy (...) , or freedom from the causal determinism of nature, became prominent in justifying the human use of animals.”3 One of the oldest uses of autonomy in English is a description of the French civil war from the late sixteenth century: “Others of the…rebellion entred in counsell, whether they ought to admit the King vpon reasonable conditions, specially hauing their autonomy.”4 Life, and in particular human life, and in particular human politics, is well served by the usages of autonomy . What about the rest of reality, however? Should it be thought of, if it's even considered real and mind-independent, as pure stuff for the manipulation or decorative tastes of truly autonomous beings? We tend to think of things such as paperweights and iPhones as mere tools of human design and human use. To use them is to cause them to exist as fully and properly as they can. But according to Martin Heidegger, when a tool such as a paperweight is used, it disappears, or withdraws ( Entzug ). We are preoccupied with copying the page that the paperweight is holding down. We are concerned with an essay deadline, and the paperweight simply disappears into this general project. If the paperweight slips, or if the iPhone freezes, we might notice it. All of a sudden it becomes vorhanden (present-at-hand) rather than zuhanden (ready-to-hand).5 Yet Heidegger is unable to draw a meaningful distinction between what happens to a paperweight when it slips from the book I'm copying from and what happens to the paperweight when it presses on the still resilient pages of the thick paperback itself. Further still and related to this point, even when I am using the paperweight as part of some general task, I am not using the entirety of the paperweight as such. My project itself selects a thin slice of paperweight-being for the purposes of holding down a book. Even when it is zuhanden the paperweight is withdrawn. Graham Harman is the architect of this way of thinking.6 Harman discovered a gigantic coral reef of withdrawn entities beneath the Heideggerian submarine of Da-sein, which itself is operating at an ontological depth way below the choppy surface of philosophy, beset by the winds of epistemology, and infested with the sharks of materialism, idealism, empiricism and most of the other isms that have defined what is and what isn't for the last several hundred years. At a moment when the term ontology was left alone like a piece of well chewed old chewing gum that no one wants to have anything to do with, object-oriented ontology (OOO) has put it back on the table. The coral reef isn't going anywhere and once you have discovered it, you can't un-discover it. And it seems to be teeming with strange facts. The first fact is that the entities in the reef—we call them “objects” somewhat provocatively—constitute all there is: from doughnuts to dogfish to the Dog Star to Dobermans to Snoop Dogg. People, plastic clothes pegs, piranhas and particles are all objects. And they are all pretty much the same, at this depth. There is not much of a distinction between life and non-life (as there isn't in contemporary life science). And there is not much of a distinction between intelligence and non-intelligence (as there is in contemporary artificial intelligence theory). A lot of these distinctions are made by humans, for humans (anthropocentrism). And the concept autonomy has come into play in policing such distinctions. In this essay I shall to try to liberate autonomy for the sake of nonhumans. I shall do so by parsing carefully the title, which is taken from Hakim Bey's work The Temporary Autonomous Zone .8 First we shall explore the term autonomous . Then we shall explore what the full meaning of zone is. Finally, we shall investigate what temporary means. Each of these terms is of great value. An object withdraws from access. This means that its very own parts can't access it. Since an object's parts can't fully express the object, the object is not reducible to its parts. OOO is anti-reductionist. But OOO is also anti-holist. An object can't be reduced to its “whole” either, “reduced upwards” as it were. The whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. So we have a strange irreductionist situation in which an object is reducible neither to its parts nor to its whole. A coral reef is made of coral, fish, seaweed, plankton and so on. But one of these things on its own doesn't embody part of a reef. Yet the reef just is an assemblage of these particular parts. You can't find a coral reef in a parking lot. In this way, the vibrant realness of a reef is kept safe both from its parts and from its whole. Moreover, the reef is safe from being mistaken for a parking lot. Objects can't be reduced to tiny Lego bricks such as atoms that can be reused in other things. Nor can be reduced upwards into instantiations of a global process. A coral reef is an expression of the biosphere or of evolution, yes; but so is this sentence, and we ought to be able to distinguish between coral reefs and sentences in English. The preceding facts go under the heading of undermining . Any attempt to undermine an object—in thought, or with a gun, or with heat, or with the ravages of time or global warming—will not get at the withdrawn essence of the object. By essence is meant something very different from essentialism . This is because essentialism depends upon some aspect of an object that OOO holds to be a mere appearance of that object, an appearance-for some object. This reduction to appearance holds even if that object for which the appearance occurs is the object itself! Even a coral reef can't grasp its essential coral reefness. In essentialism, a superficial appearance is taken for the essence of a thing, or of things in general. In thinking essentialism we may be able to discern another way of avoiding OOO. This is what Harman has christened overmining .? The overminer decides that some things are more real than others: say for example human perception. Then the overminer decides that other things are only granted realness status by somehow coming into the purview of the more real entity. When I measure a photon, when I see a coral reef, it becomes what it is. But when I measure a photon, I never measure the actual photon. Indeed, since at the quantum scale to measure means “to hit with a photon or an electron beam” (or whatever), measurement, perception ( aisthesis ), and doing become the same. What I “see” are deflections, tracks in a diffusion cloud chamber or interference patterns. Far from underwriting a world of pure illusion where the mind is king, quantum theory is one of the very first truly rigorous realisms, thinking its objects as irreducibly resistant to full comprehension, by anything.9 So far we have made objects safe from being swallowed up by larger objects and broken down into smaller objects—undermining. And so far we have made objects safe from being mere projections or reflections of some supervenient entity—overmining. That's quite a degree of autonomy. Everything in the coral reef, from the fish to a single coral lifeform to a tiny plankton, is autonomous. But so is the coral reef itself. So are the heads of the coral, a community of tiny polyps. So is each individual head. Each object is like one of Leibniz's monads, in that each one contains a potentially infinite regress of other objects; and around each object, there is a potentially infinite progress of objects, as numerous multiverse theories are now also arguing. But the infinity, the uncountability, is more radical than Leibniz, since there is nothing stopping a group of objects from being an object, just as a coral reef is something like a society of corals. Each object is “a little world made cunningly” (John Donne).10 We are indeed approaching something like the political valance of autonomy . The existence of an object is irreducibly a matter of coexistence. Objects contain other objects, and are contained “in” other objects. Let us, however, explore further the ramifications of the autonomy of objects. We will see that this mereological approach (based on the study of parts) only gets at part of the astonishing autonomy of things. Yet there are some more things to be said about mereology before we move on. Consider the fact that since objects can't be undermined or overmined, it means that there is strictly no bottom object . There is no object to which all other objects can be reduced, so that we can say everything we want to say about them, hypothetically at least, based on the behavior of the bottom object. The idea that we could is roughly E.O Wilson's theory of consilience .11 Likewise, there is no object from which all things can be produced, no top object . Objects are not emanations from some primordial One or from a prime mover. There might be a god, or gods. Suppose there were. In an OOO universe even a god would not know the essential ins and outs of a piece of coral. Unlike even some forms of atheism, the existence of god (or nonexistence) doesn't matter very much for OOO. If you really want to be an atheist, you might consider giving OOO a spin. If there is no top object and no bottom object, neither is there a middle object . That is, there is no such thing as a space, or time, “in” which objects float. There is no environment distinct from objects. There is no Nature (I capitalize the word to reinforce a sense of its deceptive artificiality). There is no world, if by world we mean a kind of “rope” that connects things together.12 All such connections must be emergent properties of objects themselves. And this of course is well in line with post-Einsteinian physics, in which spacetime just is the product of objects, and which may even be an emergent property of a certain scale of object larger than 10?¹?cm).13 Objects don't sit in a box of space or time. It's the other way around: space and time emanate from objects. How does this happen? OOO tries to produce an explanation from objects themselves. Indeed, the ideal situation would be to rely on just one single object. Otherwise we are stuck with a reality in which objects require other entities to function, which would result in some kind of undermining or overmining. We shall see that we have all the fuel we need “inside” one object to have time and space, and even causality. We shall discover that rather than being some kind of machinery or operating system that underlies objects, causality itself is a phenomenon that floats ontologically “in front of” them. In so doing, we will move from the notion of autonomy and begin approaching a full exploration of the notion of zone , which was promised at the outset of this essay. Since an object is withdrawn, even “from itself,” it is a self-contradictory being. It is itself and not-itself, or in a slightly more expanded version, there is a rift between essence and appearance within an object (as well as “between” them). This rift can't be the same as the clichéd split between substance and accidents , which is the default ontology. On this view, things are like somewhat boring cupcakes with somewhat less boring sugar sprinkles on them of different colors and shapes. But on the OOO view, what is called substance is just another limited slice of an object, a way of apprehending something that is ontologically fathoms deeper. What is called substance and what is called accidence are just on the side of what this essay calls appearance. The rift (Greek, chorismos ) between essence and appearance means that an object presents us with something like what in logic is known as the Liar: some version of the sentence “This sentence is false.” The sentence is true, which means that it is a lie, which means that it is false. Or the sentence is false, which means that it is telling the truth, which means that it is true. Now logic since Aristotle has tried desperately to quarantine such beasts in small backwaters and side streets so that they don't act too provocatively.14 But if OOO holds, then at least one very significant thing in the universe is both itself and not-itself: the object. An object is p ? ¬p. To cope with this fact, we shall need some kind of paraconsistent or even fully dialetheic logic, one that is not allergic to dialetheias (double-truthed things). Yet if we accept that objects are dialetheic, p ? ¬p, we can derive all kinds of things easily from objects. Consider the fact of motion. If objects only occupy one location “in” space at any “one” time, then Zeno's paradoxes will apply to trying to think how an object moves. Yet motion seems like a basic, simple fact of our world. Either everything is just an illusion and nothing really moves at all (Parmenides). Or objects are here and not-here “at the same time.”15 This latter possibility provides the basic setup for all the motion we could wish for. Objects are not “in” time and space. Rather, they “time” (a verb) and “space.” They produce time and space. It would be better to think these verbs as intransitive rather than transitive, in the manner of dance or revolt . They emanate from objects, yet they are not the object. “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” (Yeats).16 The point being, that for there to be a question, there must be a distinction—or there must not be (p ? ¬p).17 It becomes impossible to tell: “What constitutes pretense is that, in the end, you don't know whether it's pretense or not.”18 In this notion of the emergence of time and space from an object we can begin to understand the term zone . Zone can mean belt , something that winds around something else. We talk of temperate zones and war zones. A zone is a place where a certain action is taking place: the zone winds around, it radiates heat, bullets fly, armies are defeated. To speak of an autonomous zone is to speak of a place that a certain political act has carved out of some other entity. Cynically, Tibet is called TAR, the Tibetan Autonomous Region, for this very reason. In this phrase, Region tries to emulate zone : it sounds as if the place has its own rules, but of course, it is very much under the control of China. What action is taking place? “[N]ot something that just is what it is, here and now, without mystery, but something like a quest…a tone on its way calling forth echoes and responses…water seeking its liquidity in the sunlight rippling across the cypresses in the back of the garden.”19 If as suggested earlier there is no functional difference between substance and accidence; if there is no difference between perceiving and doing; if there is no real difference between sentience and non-sentience—then causality itself is a strange, ultimately nonlocal aesthetic phenomenon. A phenomenon, moreover, that emanates from objects themselves, wavering in front of them like the astonishingly beautiful real illusion conjured in this quotation of Alphonso Lingis. Lingis's sentence does what it says, casting a compelling, mysterious spell, the spell of causality, like a demonic force field. A real illusion: if we knew it was an illusion, if it were just an illusion, it would cease to waver. It would not be an illusion at all. We would be in the real of noncontradiction. Since it is like an illusion, we can never be sure: “What constitutes pretense…” A zone is what Lingis calls a level . A zone is not entirely a matter of “free will”: this concept has already beaten down most objects into abject submission. Objects are far more threateningly autonomous, and sensually autonomous, than the Kantian version of autonomy cited in the first paragraph of this essay. A zone is not studiously decided upon by an earnest committee before it goes into action. One of its predominant features is that it is already happening . We find ourselves in it, all of a sudden, in the late afternoon as the shadows lengthen around a city square, giving rise to an uncanny sensation of having been here before. Objects emit zones. Wherever I find myself a zone is already happening, an autonomous zone. It is the nonautonomous zones that are impositions on what is already the case. Or rather, these zones are autonomous zones that exclude and police. They are brittle. Every object is autonomous, but some objects try to maintain themselves through rigidity and brittleness, like (and such as) a police state. Paradoxically, the more rigidly one tries to exclude contradiction, the more virulent become the dialetheias that are possible. I can get around “This sentence is false” by imagining that there are metalanguages that explain what counts as a sentence. Then I can decide that this isn't a real sentence. This is basically Alfred Tarski's strategy, since he invented the notion of metalanguage specifically to cope with dialetheias.20 For example we might claim that sentences such as “This sentence is false” are neither true nor false. But then you can imagine a strengthened version of the Liar such as: “This sentence is not true”; or “This sentence is neither true nor false.” And we can go on adding to the strengthened Liar if the counter-attack tries to build immunity by specifying some fourth thing that a sentence can be besides true, false, and neither true nor false: “This sentence is false, or neither true nor false, or the fourth thing.” And so on.21 It seems as if language becomes more brittle the more it tries to police the Liars of this world. Why? I believe that this increasing brittleness is a symptom of a deep fact about reality. What is this deep fact? Simply that there are objects, that these objects are withdrawn, and that they are walking contradictions. This means indeed that (as Lacan put it) “there is no metalanguage,” since a metalanguage would function as a “middle object” that gave coherency and evenness to the others.22 Since there is no metalanguage, there is no rising above the disturbing illusory play of causality. This may even have political implications: no global critique is therefore possible, and attempts to smooth out or totalize are doomed to fail. To think the zone is to think the notion of temporary , which we shall now begin to discuss in greater detail. The zone is not in time: rather it “times.” But because a zone is an emanation of an object, it is based on a wavering fragility, since objects are p ? ¬p. When an object is born, that means that it has broken free of some other object. An object can be born because it and other objects are fragile. If not, no movement would be possible. Objects contain the seeds of their own destruction, a dialetheic sentence that says something like “This sentence cannot be proved.” Kurt Gödel argues that every true system of propositions contains at least one sentence that the system cannot prove. In order to be true, the system must have a minimum incoherence. To be real, it has to be fragile. Imagine a record player. Now imagine a record called I Cannot Be Played on This Record Player . When you play it on this record player, it produces sympathetic vibrations that cause the record player to shudder apart. No matter how many defense mechanisms you build in, there will always be the possibility of at least one record that destroys the record player.23 That is what being physical is. An object is inherently fragile because it is both itself and not-itself. When the rift between appearance and essence collapses, that is called destruction, ending, death. When an object breaks, several new objects are born. An opera singer sings a loud note in tune with the resonant frequency of a wine glass. (See the movie included below.) The singing is a zone, an autonomous level of intensity, opening a rift between appearance and essence. The glass ripples—for a moment it is nakedly a glass and a not-glass—almost as if it were having an orgasm, a little death. It is caught in the rift of the singing. Then its structure can't handle the coherence of the sound waves, and it breaks. It is incoherence and inconsistency that is the mark of existence, not consistency and noncontradiction. When things break or die, they become coherent. Essence disappears into appearance. I become the memories of friends. A glass becomes a dancing wave. Instantly, there are glass fragments, new temporary autonomous zones. The fragments have broken free from the glass. They are no longer its parts, but emanate their own time and space, becoming perhaps accidental weapons as they bury themselves in my flesh. Thus Hakim Bey's instructions on creating temporary autonomous zones oscillate disturbingly between performance art and politics, circus clowning and revolution. To play with the aesthetic is to play with causality, to rip from the sensual ether emanating from things new regions, new zones. Anarchist politics is the creation of fresh objects in a reality without a top or a bottom object, or for that matter a middle object: Everything in nature is perfectly real including consciousness, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Not only have the chains of the Law been broken, they never existed; demons never guarded the stars, the Empire never got started, Eros never grew a beard. … There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're the monarch of your own skin—your inviolable freedom waits to be completed only by the love of other monarchs: a politics of dream, urgent as the blueness of sky.24 Bey imagines that this is because chaos is a primordial “undifferentiated oneness-of-being.” A Parmenides or a Spinoza or a Laruelle would read this a certain way. Individual objects, or decisions to talk about this rather than that, are just maggot-like things crawling around on the surface of the giant cheese of oneness.25 Yet he also describes chaos as “Primordial uncarved block, sole worshipful monster, inert & spontaneous, more ultraviolet than any mythology.” This image is of an inconsistent object, not of an undifferentiated field. An object, indeed, that can be distinguished from other things. If not, then the first part of The Temporary Autonomous Zone , subtitled “The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism,” is a kind of onto-theology. Onto-theology proclaims that some things are more real than others. Bey, however, is writing poetically, and thus ambiguously. We are at liberty to read “undifferentiated oneness-of-being” as something like the irreducibility of a thing to its parts and so forth (undermining and overmining). This certainly seems closer to the language in the following paragraph: “There is no becoming … already you're the monarch of your own skin.”26 On this view, there is no difference between art and politics: “When ugliness, poor design & stupid waste are forced upon you, turn Luddite, throw your shoe in the works, retaliate.” Since Romanticism this has been the war cry of the vanguard artist.27 To say to is to fall prey to the tired axioms of the avant-garde, and we think we know how the game goes. But OOO is not simply a way to advocate “new and improved” versions of this shock-the-bourgeoisie boredom. Bey's text is certainly full enough of that. Rather, since causality as such is aesthetic, and since nonhumans are not that different from humans, the new approach would be to form aesthetic–causal alliances with nonhumans. These alliances would have to resist becoming brittle, whether that brittleness is right wing (authoritarianism) or left wing (the endless maze of critique). No “ism,” especially not the ultimate forms, nihilism and cynicism, is in any sense effective at this point. All forms of brittleness are based on the mistaken assumption that there is a metalanguage and that therefore “Anything you can do, I can do meta.” I will not be listing any approaches here, as Bey does. Such lists and manifestos belong to the vanguardism that no longer works. Why? Not because of some marvelous revolution in human consciousness, but because nonhumans have so successfully impinged upon human social, psychic and aesthetic space. It is the time after the end of the world. That happened in 1945, when a thin layer of radioactive materials was deposited in Earth's crust. Geology now calls it this era the Anthropocene . Ironically, this period, named after humans, is the moment at which even the most thick headed of us make decisive contact with nonhumans, from mercury in our blood to manta rays to magnesium. Richard Dawkins, Pat Robertson and Lady Gaga all have to deal with global warming and mass extinction, somehow. We now live in an Age of Asymmetry marked by a skewed, spiraling relationship between vast knowledge and vast nonhuman things—both become vaster and vaster because of one another and for the same reasons.28 This means that coming up with the perfect attitude or the perfect aesthetic prescription just won't work any more. Even the most hardened anthropocentrist now has to pay through the nose for basic food supplies, and has to use more sunscreen. Whether he knows it or acknowledges it, he is already acting with regard towards nonhumans. There is nothing special to think, no special critique that will get rid of the stains of coexistence. The problem won't fit into the well-established modern boxes, which is why the “mystical,” “spiritual” quality of Bey's prose is welcome. Of course, when I put it this way, you may immediately close off and decide that I am talking about perfect attitudes after all, or something outside of politics, or other ways that the radical left marshals to police its thinking of the nonhuman. Because that is what is really at stake in all this: the nonhuman in its coexistence with the human—bosons, gods, clouds, spirits, lifeforms, experiences, the sunlight rippling across the cypresses. Bey begins to get at this in a Latour litany in the second part of The Temporary Autonomous Zone , “The Assassins”: Pomegranate, mulberry, persimmon, the erotic melancholy of cypresses, membrane-pink shirazi roses, braziers of meccan aloes & benzoin, stiff shafts of ottoman tulips, carpets spread like make-believe gardens on actual lawns—a pavilion set with a mosaic of calligrammes—a willow, a stream with watercress—a fountain crystalled underneath with geometry— the metaphysical scandal of bathing odalisques, of wet brown cupbearers hide-&-seeking in the foliage—“water, greenery, beautiful faces.”29 This will be conveniently dismissed as orientalism. If we're never allowed to escape the crumbling prison of modernity for fear of imperialism there is truly no hope. In a similar way, the fear of anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism is very often staged from a place that just is anthropocentrism .30 Critique turns into ressentiment . An object radiates a zone that is aesthetic and therefore causal. Because objects “time” they are temporary. Not because they exist “in” time that eventually gets the better of them. Their very existence implies the possibility of their non-existence. Since objects are not consistent, they can cease to exist. But nothing, no one, will ever be able to insert a blade between appearance and existence, even thought there is a rift there. Now that's what I call autonomy. NOTES 1. John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1973), 96. 2. P. B. Medawar and J. S. Medawar, The Life Science: Current Ideas in Biology (London: Wildwood House, 1977), 8. 3. David DeGrazia, Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 5. 4. Antony Colynet, A True History of the Civil Warres in France (London, 1591), 480. 5. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time , tr. Joan Stambaugh (Albany, N.Y: State University of New York Press, 1996) 62–71. 6. Graham Harman, Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (Peru, IL: Open Court, 2002). 7. Hakim Bey, The Temporary Autonomous Zone (Brooklyn: Autonomedia, 1991). 8. Graham Harman, The Quadruple Object (Ripley: Zero Books, 2011), 7–18. 9. This is not the place to get into an argument about quantum theory, but I have argued that quanta also do not endorse a world that I can't speak about because it is only real when measured. This world is that of the reigning Standard Model proposed by Niels Bohr and challenged by De Broglie and Bohm (and now the cosmologist Valentini, among others). See Timothy Morton, “Here Comes Everything: The Promise of Object-Oriented Ontology,” Qui Parle 19.2 (Spring–Summer, 2011), 163–190. 10. John Donne, Holy Sonnets 15, in The Major Works: Including Songs and Sonnets and Sermons , ed. John Carey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). 11. Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (New York: Knopf, 1998). 12. Martin Heidegger, What Is a Thing? (Washington: Regnery, 1968), 243. 13. Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (London: Penguin, 2006); Petr Horava, “Quantum Gravity at a Lifshitz Point,” arXiv:0901.3775v2 [hep-th]. 14. Graham Priest, In Contradiction (Oxford University Press, 2006), passim: the most notable recent quarantine officers have been Tarski, Russell, and Frege. 15. Priest, In Contradiction , 172–181. 16. William Butler Yeats, “Among School Children,” Collected Poems , ed. Richard J. Finneran (New York: Scribner, 1996). 17. Paul de Man, “Semiology and Rhetoric,” Diacritics 3.3 (Autumn, 1973), 27–33 (30). 18. Jacques Lacan, Le seminaire, Livre III: Les psychoses (Paris: Editions de Seuil, 1981), 48. See Slavoj Zizek, The Parallax View (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006), 206. 19. Alphonso Lingis, The Imperative (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998), 29. 20. Priest, In Contradiction , 9–27. 21. See Graham Priest and Francesco Berto, “ Dialetheism ,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2010 Edition), ed. Edward N. Zalta. 22. Jacques Lacan, Écrits: A Selection , tr. Alan Sheridan (London: Tavistock, 1977), 311. 23. The analogy can be found at length in Douglas Hofstadter, “Contracrostipunctus,” Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 75–81. 24. Bey, “ Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism ,” Temporary Autonomous Zone . 25. This is closest to the language of François Laruelle in Philosophies of Difference: A Critical Introduction to Non-Philosophy (New York: Continuum, 2011) 179. 26. Bey, “ Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism ,” Temporary Autonomous Zone . 27. Peter Bürger, Theory of the Avant Garde (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984). 28. For further discussion see Timothy Morton, “From Modernity to the Anthropocene: Ecology and Art in the Age of Asymmetry,” The International Social Science Journal 209 (forthcoming). 29. Bey, “ The Assassins ,” Temporary Autonomous Zone . 30. Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010), 75–76. (shrink)
continent. 2.1 (2012): 29–35. Translated by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei from Jeroen Mettes. "Politieke Poëzie: Enige aantekeningen, Poëtica bij N30 (versie 2006)." In Weerstandbeleid: Nieuwe kritiek . Amsterdam: De wereldbibliotheek, 2011. Published with permission of Uitgeverij Wereldbibliotheek, Amsterdam. L’égalité veut d’autres lois . —Eugène Pottier The modern poem does not have form but consistency (that is sensed), no content but a problem (that is developed). Consistency + problem = composition. The problem of modern poetry is capitalism. Capitalism—which has no (...) image: the unrepresentable Idea of “everything.” The problem is that a poem cannot be justified. There is no excuse for it. Political poetry— pure poetry—has to be problematic, though not in a mannerist way. Yes, its problem is first its own problem—poetry’s existence in the same world as the newspaper—but therefore also always everybody’s problem (the problem of any world at all). The cult of the sublime points at a suspect desire for transcendence, nostalgia for paradise lost (the womb?). Melancholia of the post-. But a problem neither sorrows nor mourns, it is alive, and the fact that it is alive is the problem—the problem for death (rigidity, the status quo). Our symbols and ideologies do not hide any god: symbolic = state; imaginary = human; real = money. Problem: the possibility of communal speech (poetry) in the absence of a “we.” Or: what is a “we” that is not a collective subject (or in any case is not a volonté générale )? What is a universal history that is not a History? This work was started in the shade of the anti-globalization protests at the end of November 1999. I considered N30 to be the closure of the nineties, of my adolescence, and of the a seemingly total extinction of social desire. From the beginning I was skeptical about the alterglobalization movement as the avant-garde of a new politics, but something was happening . Maybe this event did not show that, as the slogan would have it, “another world” is possible, but for me it indicated that such possibility was at least still possible. That naked possibility is carrying forward. And if the fundamental tone of this work sounds more desperate than utopian, this is not caused by the catastrophic sequence that since 1999 has plunged us ever deeper into the right-wing nightmare—a nightmare that this work also gives an account for—but because my hope as yet remains empty. Composition . Composition is no design, but the production of an autonomous block of affects (i.e. a POEM), rhythmically subtracted from the language of a community. A poem does something. Is something. New Sentence . Choosing the non sequitur as compositional unit has the advantage that an abstract composition is subjected to the stress of concrete, social references. Where there is a sentence, there is always a world. (This does not hold necessarily for words on their own.) And where sentences collide, something akin to a textual civil war takes place. It is not about “undermining” whatever, or de-scribing the raging global civil war, but about writing social (or even: ontological) antagonism -- including all its catastrophic and utopian possibilities. Minor resistance. Why would poetry be the no protest zone par excellence? It is nothing but protest, not simply qua “content,” but in its most fundamental essence: rhythm. Rhythm is resistance against language, time, and space, and the basis of (what we will continue to call) autonomy. Rhythm starts with the anti-rhythmic caesura as Hölderlin remarked about Sophocles, a disruption of the quotidian drone. The destruction of everything that is dead inside of us. The noise of the avant-garde has never been the representation of the noise of (post)modernity (from the television or shopping mall), but the sober noise of the systematic exchange of an unbearable worldview. The poet does not describe, but looks for a way out: There is a Grain of Sand in Lambeth that Satan cannot find Nor can his Watch Fiends find it, tis translucent & has many Angles But he who finds it will find Oothoons palace, for within Opening into Beulah every angle is a lovely heaven William Blake was not mad. And there has always been only one poetry: the poetry of paradise. The principle is that there is something in art (the essentially creative element) that is disgusted by that which, unlike art, does not aim for the supreme. Wonder is not supreme, tranquility is not supreme, beauty is not supreme. Even amusement is not supreme! The supreme is supremely open, “das Einfache,/ Das Schwer zu machen ist” 1 : paradise. That is abstract. Literally. For me it is not about a concrete imagination, an idyll or utopia. There is no doubt a need for that, but it is not so much the supposed lack of imagination or ideals (human rights are ideals), but a fundamental lack of desire (human rights are no desires) that we suffer from, and from which we do not need to remove Nietzsche’s label of “nihilism.” “We.” George Oppen: “ Of Being Numerous asks the question whether or not we can deal with humanity as something which actually exists.” What is less actual than humanity? Nowadays it appears as a lifeless ideology of cynical power politics. Or as what makes one think. It is a shame to be human. The event is the caesura that defines rhythm. Writing toward the event is not the description of the event, but marking an abstract and intense space in which the event may unfold and keep itself. It is a task. “Remember that thou blesseth the day on which I seized thee, because such is thy obligation.” The event is a contraction (or a series of contractions) with its own rhythm and unique qualities. It is more than an explosion or demonstration. But at the same time less. The endless repetition of images and stories in the media points to a fear for the indeterminate and indeterminable void of the event. In the end there is nothing to see. We do not live in disaster’s shade or miracle’s light, but rather in the rhythm, which is contracted time, having little to do with omnipresent representations. For this book I did not intend a rhythm of evental representations (a narrative rhythm), but a rhythm which would be an event itself , because it draws the border between artwork and history. My desire for a direct engagement with the “extra-textual reality” has nothing to do with the representation of “rumor in the streets.” (What has less street cred than representation?) Naturally, a poem is no historical event and does not change anything. But a poem is a part of history that wants to be repeated forever, constructed in such a way that it is worthy of repetition. It is a part of desire (composition) made consistent (durable). The “historical event” flares up and burns down, and has to burn down to be effective. The leftovers are images and stories (representations), History—no event. The artwork—that is the ambition— remains event (though monumental and inefficient/inoperable). (No wonder that a historical singularity, a revolution, reminds us of a work of art; the resurrection yearns for a judgment, an affirmation; everything depends on it.) Hence the title does not summarize the book, let alone contract its “content” into a quasi-transcendental signifier. The title is juxtaposed to the book, like everything else inside the book, and in that relation it precisely forms a part of it. The ideal work is an open whole, lacking nothing but to which everything may be added. I have been interested in this “everything,” the world, or as I said above: capitalism. “Everything” is not the space for “wonder”—a code word, a shibboleth for petty bourgeois imagination (I recognize myself in the strangest things, a speaking dog, a canal, a pond standing straight—oh my god). No. The world is a social world, not YOUR world, poet. Power is number one. I will call “Dutch,” or “shitty,” whatever denies this power. That hurts, but this pain is an expression of the desire in the world to write another world, or as Blanchot says, “the other of all worlds” 2 : the world. Not as what “is there,” but rather as that which urges for an escape from what “is.” This is a testament of how radical reality has become, for me—or rather, a writing body—in a having-been-written. I am not interested in the problem of “meaning” as misunderstood by literary scholarsi: “order” in “chaos,” “symbolization.” Bullshit. What is there, hop, hope, now: the meaning of the taste in my mouth. Bullshit. I am not interested in the frustration of interpretation; I am writing for readers who do not want to interpret. I do not know how many “professional readers” will hear the music of a paragraph like: Sun. Sushi. Volvo. I hope more than I would think. There is a suggestion (or rather, an actual production) of speed and infinitive owing to the absence of plosives, i.e. articulations such as /k/, /t/, or /p/. Can you hear the slick suaveness? Driving car dark, vocal chiaroscuro of the word “sushi.” The unstressed /i/ stands in the middle of dark vowels and thus acquires its own special out of focus , like a momentary flash or brilliance—an obscure light. It is not about recognizing a story, but about avoiding any story whatsoever: the car disappears in the glow, cars and raw fish have nothing in common except their articulation in a language that brings them together, blurring them. A world appears in its disappearance. For a moment, light is a metaphor for language, though it cannot be reduced to tenor. It is not necessary to be a linguist or philosopher to hear this—a “difficult” poem all too often becomes an allegory of its own impenetrable being-language. The only demand: leave your hermeneutical fetish at home. This was no interpretation. Most shit has been stolen etcetera. That is no longer interesting. You cannot shoot the body with information and let your lawyers reclaim the bullets. So every sentence has been stolen. Also the ones “out” “of” “my” “head.” Why would I be allowed to steal from myself and not from others? Man takes what he needs to move forward. Whatever he encounters, finds in front of him, “occurs” to him. The writer as text editor, or singing pirate. Nothing new here. Important difference with for example Sybren Polet’s 4 montage technique: anti-thematicism. Most of the time ferocious citation from whatever I was reading, listening to, ended up in, and so on. I wrote chapter 12 on my laptop while watching CNN. On the air instead of en plein air . I often employed search engines to generate material. Chapter 20 offers the purest example of this. Often I stop recognizing a particular citation after some time. It is not uncommon for a stolen sentence to conform itself to the paragraph in which it finds itself. Sometimes I nearly arbitrarily replace words. Arbitrariness as a guarantee for absolute democracy. It is a poetics of the non sequitur : a conclusion that does not follow from the premises, the strange element in the discourse. A discourse of strangers. No logical, narrative, thematic unity. There is unity in speed/flight. It has to be read linearly, but not necessarily (not preferably) from beginning to end. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but this line precedes every point. The middle, the acceleration, comes first. A point occurs where two lines cross. It has been written from up close, at the level of the tension between sentences. Nothing to be seen from a distance: no form except the exchange of form, no geometrical or mythical meaning. You have to get in, “groping toward a continuous present, a using everything a beginning again and again” (Stein). 5 In Dutch, experimental poetry has been mainly dense: a small rectangular form filled with a maximum amount of poetic possibility. But at the moment the poem starts to relax, the anecdotical content seems to increase. This is what is called “epic”: long, narrative. I believe that an epic is more than that, in fact something completely different. An epic is “a poem including history,” 6 a long poem tied up with the life of community, that as a whole does not need to be narrative. The American poets of the twentieth century (Pound, Williams, Zukofsky, Oppen, Olson, Silliman) have put the epic back on the map by interpreting the poem itself as a map, and writing it as navigation. They have invented the experimental epic, a genre that has generated little original following in “our” poetry. N30 is the middle part—“always start in the middle”—of a trilogy, the contours of which remain as of yet unclear, although each episode investigates one of the three “ecstasies of time”—past, present, future—concerning society X. N30 concerns itself with the PRESENT: not with the description of actual facts but of the rhythm and the intense depth in which facts appear to us. Where are we? We are camping in the desert. Sometimes we are looking at the stars. As opposed to maximum density and minimal tension (a characteristic of most (post-)experimental lyricism), I have sought a minimal density and maximum tension in this book, considered as a long non-narrative prose poem. On the one hand, the minimal density is obtained by the inherent formlessness of prose, on the other hand by the conscious refusal of any active (formal, non-rhythmic) synthesis: the poem tells nothing, shows nothing, has no theme. I did not seek maximum tension either by loading the quotidian with epiphanic radioactivity (“wonder,” confirmation from above), or by means of the intensity of the linguistic structure. I want an abstract tension, but social in its abstraction, in other words, not neutralized by and subjected to Form. Instead of form (transcendent): composition (immanent). The concept is series. Ideal: every unit is necessary for the efficacy of the others and the whole, their relation is purely linear, i.e. non-hierarchic, non-syllogistic, non-discursive, non-narrative. Sentence related to sentence like paragraph to paragraph and chapter to chapter; the whole means nothing and represents nothing. Inside the sentence: syntax (Chomsky’s tree, a type of parallel circuit), outside: parataxis (coordination, an asyntactic line through language and world). I consider duration—the energy of duration (rhythm)—to be the fundament of a poem, the temporal inclination to delimit a “space.” Being as consistency, its consistency. A spatial part of time is not merely a metaphor for an inevitable trajectory, an inescapable time, something like “our time.” Not merely—because rhythm comes from language and is not projected onto it; the poem derives from the world like a scent and a color and a life from a flower. A series, a sequence: nothing potential, but truly infinite—the movement of an infinitude. The infinite series = everything minus totality. That means that there is no container—no Form, no Self, no Image, no Structure, not even a Fragment—just “the prose of the world.” No representation, but also no staging of the impossibility of representation (the postmodern sublime). These are no fragments, no image of a fragmented world or personality, no cautious incantations around the Void. It does not exist. It is a movement. Buying bread, a flock of birds, a bomb falling—they do not depict or represent anything, not literally, not metaphorically. There is an Idea, which is however nothing more than a rhythm, in the same way that capitalism is nothing more than a pure function. Parataxis: the white space between two sentences stresses, which is nevertheless always there, also between words, even between letters: the out of focus of idle talk, the gutter, the irreducible Mallarméan mist which renders even the seemingly most transparent text legible. The white space suggests a neutral medium for free signification, a substance of language. A non sequitur is an element from a foreign discourse, which stresses the white space as space, and problematizes freedom for supra-sentential signification. I start by withdrawing material, leaving the initiative to the sentences. In general a word presupposes less often a discourse than a sentence. What discourse is presupposed by “dog”? We could think of several, but why would we? It is more probable that, when faced with the naked word, we think of its naked (dictionary) meaning, of its denotative signified. By means of two simple interventions we may also write the word as sentence: Dog. In no way this suggests the discourse from which this sentence originates, but in any case we’re presupposing one. This is shown by questions like: “Whose dog? Who’s a dog? What kind of dog?” Etc. (Sentences are question marks.) A sentence implies/is a microcosm—a subject, a verb, an object, and so on. Even an incomplete or ungrammatical sentence does so. My main fascination while writing this book is the worldly and social aspect of language, an aspect that often becomes invisible, or rather, transparent in narrativity—the stretching of sentences into stories. Narrativity organizes a new discourse and a new world, and places a sometimes all too dispersing relation of transparence in between. The conventional novel is the brothel of being. I do not intend to prohibit brothels, and I have certainly not intended to write an anti-novel (THIS IS A POEM), but I do consider narrativity (in general, in poetry, in the news, in daily life) to be ontologically secondary with regard to an immediate being in the world through sentences, also if the latter have been withdrawn from a narrative or otherwise externally structured discourse (which in that case would therefore be chronologically primary ). Naturally, two or more sentences are always in danger of telling stories or arguing, just like the world is always in danger of becoming an objective representation, facing us, strangers. That is why need to wage war—against representation and against the interface, against interaction. AGAINST THE “READER.” To the extent that a sentence is worldly, writing is a condensed global war, and in so far as there is ultimately only one world and one open continuum of languages, it is a global civil war. Nice subject for an epic. The elaboration of a singular problem—prose as the outside of poetry, the form of the novel as purely prosodic composition scheme—“expresses” the universal problem: capitalism as Idea of the world vs. poetry as language of an (im)possible community. The paragraphs are blocks of rhythmically contracted social material. By choosing the sentence as the basic compositional component, an abstract whole may contain social sounds, without telling a story or showing an image. Composition is subrepresentative —a rhythmic, passive synthesis, or rather: a synthesis of syntheses. I never write large blocks of prose in one sitting, because there is no obvious organizational vector —plot, theme, conscience—outside the inherent qualities of the material itself. Usually I write down one sentence, sometimes two, but rarely more than three. Those sentences are usually placed in the text which I am editing at the time. In fact, there is no original composition, new chapters split off from chapters which became too long during the editing process. (Revision mainly consists of adding and inserting, displacing and dividing; only during the last phase, when the text has gained enough consistency, there may be subtraction to tighten the composition; each chapter requires a season of daily revision). This constant revision, accompanied by a continuous influx of collective background noise (to speak with Van Bastelaere), 7 makes every chapter a block condensed (“historical” and “personal”) time. The block itself is a-personal and a-historic; it is ontologically autonomous. If there is such a thing as a spirit of the times, I do not try to offer an image of it, but rather to cancel something of it by erecting a monument of its own excrement within its own boundaries. Tuning and dis-tuning , “in de taal der neerslachtigen een eigen geluid doen klinken,” 8 in other words, desiring in an Elysian way. In this sense I have intended to be able to write a political poetry. The ultimate political poem is the epic, “the tale of the tribe.” I consider N30 to be a prolegomenon to a future epic (of which it in the end will form a part a structural moment, as introduction-in-the-middle), an extended pile on top of an epic as narrative, a question of the tribe and question of its history. I was burdened by too much satire, too much bullshit. But: satire willy-nilly = the only justifiable satire. Against the abstract universalism of the market (“globalism”): concrete disgust, a positive way of saying “No.” Moreover, disgust is a specifically total attitude, which ultimately concerns the world as a whole. I hate this or that, but I am disgusted by EVERYTHING (when I am disgusted), and so it appears that satire is in fact related to the epic, in so far as it concerns society, the cosmos, history. Maybe it is no coincidence that the Dutch literary canon knows no great poet of disgust; what could be more fearful to us than society, the cosmos, and history? The T-tendency (T from Tollens 9 ) clearly points into the direction of the small, friendly, ironic, melancholic, acquiescent, wondrous, and so on. The anti-political, anti-cosmic, anti-historical. (Why am I so philosophical? To scare away the Dutchies.) And most of all: the “poetical” (the pseudo-mysticism from the backyard). Yes, the N in N30 also stands for the Netherlands (just like 30 indicates the number of chapters). I was not in Seattle, I do not live in Iraq. But is not the whole world bleeding to death on Dutch paving stones? Let’s hope that we mowed away something with this total satire, also “in myself.” The arrogant stupidity that definitely thinks to know the essence of freedom (the free development of esthetic needs inside the void), that cannot take anything serious, only believes in the disciplined bestiality of the individual (“norms and values”) and the mere functioning of a social factory which finds no justification whatsoever outside its functioning (“get to work”)… Who knows. A certain aimed destruction leaves grooves and craters, mapping out a next adventure. Pound’s periplum : sailing while mapping the coasts. Immanent orientation. The terrain changes with the map, history changes with the poem. Maps never merely organize the chaos, transcendent schemes imposed on a formless Ding-an-sich . They organize from within, surfing. But they are most of all routes back into the chaos or forward to paradise (final identity of chaos and paradise; Schlegel: “ Nur diejenige Verworrenheit ist ein Chaos aus der eine Welt entspringen kann ”10). A poem is not only a piece of history, it is also a flight from history. Maps give chaos to the form of reality , open escape routes, break through representations, make us shivery and dazed. Paradise is immanent to a fleeting desire. History is the history of labor—this is Adam’s curse—and the poet works too: For to articulate sweet sounds together Is to work harder than all these, and yet Be thought an idler by the noisy set Of bankers, school masters, and clergymen The martyrs call the world 11 But: the poet works in paradise. The paradox of the artwork, the work that is no work, the piece of history that cannot be reduced to History—this is explained by The Space of Literature , a virtual space, an autonomous rhythm, not outside, but in the midst of the noise, a piece of paradise in hell, a postcard from the vale of tears addressed to paradise, to X. Political poetry means: a poetry that dares to think about itself, about its language and about its world and about the problematic relation between both, which is this relation as problem. A poetry that thinks at all, articulates its problem. It has nothing to do with journalism or morality or debate, let alone the law or the state. It has nothing to do with “criticism” if this means the replacement of incorrect representations by other, more correct representations. It has something to do with ethics in the sense of learning to live. It has something to do with the community and the language of the community (whichever that may be) and the role of the poet regarding the community. It concerns justice without judgement or measure. In the end the just word is just a word , to paraphrase Godard: it is from a future that is unimaginable. It Is no rational engagement, but an aversion against everything that obstructs life, and love for everything what is worthy of having been loved. The world is engaged with me, not the other way round. First Exodus, then Sinai. A desire does not start with an agenda. To answer the question whether I am really so naive as to want to change the world: “We only want the world.” Justice is the world appealing to us to liberate it from all possible chains, from each organization and inequality, to be it, smooth, equal, under a clear sky—a desert and a people in a desert. That moment between Egypt and the Law. It is not a revolution, but the sky above the revolution. Poetry = the science of escape. There is no art that we already know. The weakness of modernistic epic poetry seems to me to be the unwillingness to completely abandon narrative as a structural principle, in favor of a composition “around” or from an event. The China Cantos and Adams Cantos are the low point, and the Pisan Cantos the high point of Pound’s poetry. Two types of research: archival representation of the past vs. ontology of the present (which virtually presupposes the entire history). Presupposing an event means that it is impossible for the poet to stage his own absence, but in no way makes the work personal. An event is the unknown, the new invading into the business as usual, so also the personal. The question heading this research is not: “Who am I?” but “What is happening?” The book is as little illegible as Mondrian’s work is invisible. Form is of interest only to the extent that it empowers liberation. Ron Silliman So no formalism, but what it means to live in this world and to have a future in it. I want something that holds together that’s not smooth. Bruce Andrews The past above, the future below and the present pouring down: the roar, the roar of the present, a speech— William Carlos Williams If my confreres wanted to write a work with all history in its maw, I wished, from the beginning to start all over again, attempting to know nothing but a will to create, and matter at hand. Ronald Johnson NOTES 1) “The easy thing/ that is difficult to make.” Bertold Brecht, Lob des Kommunismus . (All footnotes are the translator’s) 2) Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature , trans. Ann Smock. Lincoln/London: University of Nebraska Press (1989), 75. 3) Mettes uses the word “Neerlandicus,” which refers to scholars of Dutch language and literature. 4) Dutch poet. 5) Gertrude Stein. “Composition as Explanation.” A Stein Reader . Ed. Ulla E. Dydo. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press (1993), 495-503. 6) Ezra Pound. 7) Flemish poet. 8) “Resounding an original sound in the language of the despondent.” A. Roland Holst, De afspraak . 9) Dutch poet. 10) “Only such a confusion is a chaos which can give rise to a world.” 11) W.B. Yeats, “Adam’s Curse.&rdquo. (shrink)
"You are really getting under my skin!" This exclamation suggests a series of psychological, philosophical, and metaphysical questions: What is the nature and development of human emotion? How does emotion arise in social interaction? To what extent can interactive situations shape our embodied selves and intensify particular affective states? With these questions in mind, William James begins to investigate the character of emotions and to develop a model of what he terms the social self. James's studies of mimicry and (...) his interest in phenomena now often investigated using biofeedback begin to explain how affective states develop and how it might be possible for something to "get under one's skin." I situate these studies in the history of psychology between the psychological schools of structuralism and behaviorism. More important, I suggest continuity between James's Psychology and recent research on mirror neurons, reentrant mapping, and emotional mimicry in the fields of clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience. This research supports and extends James's initial claims in regard to the creation of emotions and the life of the social self. I propose that James's work in the empirical sciences should be read as a prelude to his metaphysical works that speak of a coordination between embodied selves and wider environmental situations, and his psychological studies should be read as a prelude to his reflections on spiritual transcendence. (shrink)
At Columbia University in 1906, William James gave a highly confrontational speech to the American Philosophical Association (APA). He ignored the technical philosophical questions the audience had gathered to discuss and instead addressed the topic of human energy. Tramping on the rules of academic decorum, James invoked the work of amateurs, read testimonials on the benefits of yoga and alcohol, and concluded by urging his listeners to take up this psychological and physiological problem. What was the goal of (...) this unusual speech? Rather than an oddity, Francesca Bordogna asserts that the APA address was emblematic—it was just one of many gestures that James employed as he plowed through the barriers between academic, popular, and pseudoscience, as well as the newly emergent borders between the study of philosophy, psychology, and the “science of man.” Bordogna reveals that James’s trespassing of boundaries was an essential element of a broader intellectual and social project. By crisscrossing divides, she argues, James imagined a new social configuration of knowledge, a better society, and a new vision of the human self. As the academy moves toward an increasingly interdisciplinary future, William James at the Boundaries reintroduces readers to a seminal influence on the way knowledge is pursued. (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
It is well known that William James’s thinking was influenced by evolutionary theory and by Darwin’s theory of natural selection in particular. It is easy to misunderstand James’s evolutionary thinking, however, if one is tempted to read contemporary evolutionary views back into James. In this article I try to avoid such anachronism by carefully distinguishing James’s evolutionary views from some of their nearest conceptual neighbors. I focus in particular on James’s social evolutionism, especially as he expounds it in (...) his 1880 essay “Great Men, Great Thoughts, and the Environment.”1 By distinguishing James’s social evolutionism from sociobiology, from social Darwinism, and from the theory of memes, I underscore .. (shrink)
William Godwin became a leading public intellectual during the crisis in British politics which followed the French Revolution. The impact of his social theories was acknowledged by almost every significant literary figure in Britain for the next quarter-century, and his influence endured much longer in Europe. He married Mary Wollstonecraft, the early advocate of women's rights, and was the father of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. All of his letters are published for the first time in this edition. The (...) first volume (1778-1797) includes scores of texts newly transcribed from the original manuscripts and given scholarly annotation for the first time. The letters trace the development of Godwin's personality from his background in English religious nonconformity, through his early struggle for recognition as a gifted writer, to his years of fame in the 1790s. They illuminate his most celebrated works, An Enquiry concerning Political Justice (1793) and the novel Caleb Williams (1794); his intervention in the treason trials of 1794; and his relations with publishers. They reveal his intellectual and emotional mentorship of a succession of creative men and women. They chart his education in a 'new language' of feeling through his courtship of Mary Wollstonecraft, and bear witness to the shock of her early death. Godwin's letters reflect the cultural history of his times, and throw light on many other literary, political, and artistic figures. These letters record the personal and professional interactions of an original thinker who had a lasting influence on progressive movements in Britain and Europe, and is still widely read today. (shrink)
Since Peter Geach coined the phrase in 1966 there has been much discussion among scholars of the "Socratic fallacy." No consensus presently exists on whether Socrates commits the "Socratic fallacy"; almost all scholars agree, however, that the "Socratic fallacy" is a bad thing and that Socrates has good reason to avoid it. I think that this consensus of scholars is mistaken. I think that what Geach has labeled a fallacy is no fallacy at all, but a perfectly innocent consequence of (...) Platonic epistemology. The "Socratic fallacy" arises from the "Priority of Definition" principle (PD). Plato is committed to (PD) in the Meno. The Meno also contains a famous discussion of the difference between episteme and doxa (97a ff.). If we understand what Plato meant by episteme we can see that he must be committed to (PD); but we can also see that (PD) has none of the harmful consequences Geach attributes to it. Geach's view is indebted to Wittgenstein's philosophy of language. (PD) is implausible on this reading of the verb "to know," but not on Plato's. Plato claims that a demand for an explanation is appropriate wherever a claim to knowledge is made. Plato links the concept of episteme explicitly with the concept of logos; the connection between the terms may have been analytic. It does not follow from the Platonic conception of knowledge, as Geach argues, that it is "no use" using examples to establish general definitions. All that follows is that one cannot know that an alleged example of a term T is a genuine example until one has a general account of what it is to be T. Without the stronger conclusion, Geach cannot establish that the "Socratic fallacy" is a fallacy. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- (...) A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
"Space," William James confessed, "is [both] a direfully difficult subject [and the] driest of subjects.'" Nonetheless, convinced that most previous accounts of space were either incoherent or mythological, he set out to describe space as it is actually experienced. His first effort, "The Spatial Quale," appeared in The Journal of Speculative Philosophy in 1879. 2 This article is historically important; as Ralph Barton Perry notes, "his peculiar view of the amplitude and eonnectedness of experience seems to have begun with (...) the application to space. ''3 But, despite this fact, it is seldom read today. It was not reprinted in James's Collected Essays and Reviews because the editor found "no important difference" between the content of this article and that of the chapter in The Principles of Psychology dealing with the same topic. 4 And it has not been included in more recent anthologies of James's writings. James would undoubtedly have concurred with the reasoning behind these editorial decisions. In the preface to the Psychology he wrote: Chapter 20, on Space-perception, is a terrible thing, which, unless written with all that detail, could not be fairly treated at all. An abridgment of it, called The Spatial Quale' ... may be found by some persons a useful substitute for the entire chapter? In fact, however, there is a significant philosophical difference between... (shrink)
This article investigates William James's reading of the concepts of selflessness and transcendence in relation to the Chan and Pure Land schools of Chinese Buddhism. The divide between Chan and Pure Land Buddhism may be mediated if we attend to aspects of the two traditions that James found particularly meaningful. James is drawn to selflessness as presented in the concept of emptiness in the Chan understanding of meditative experience. He is equally interested in Buddhist devotional practices of Pure Land (...) that claim to open individuals and their communities to the divine. James saw these two aspects as deeply compatible. (shrink)
The problem with professionalization theory is that it stops where we think it should begin. In the case of the new social scientists, we have argued that their need for massive resources opened them to collaborative cooptation by resource controllers. The two central principles to be drawn from our analysis are that during a crisis of ideology intellectual workers seeking to create new roles must worry about resources, and align themselves accordingly, and that resource holders, for their part, will support (...) intellectuals who deliver something of value to them. Table I outlines how those principles might be applied to three likely “knowledge and power” alliances that might have occurred during the post-Civil War ideology crisis. The “traditional” social scientist role shown there reflects our understanding of the model American one existing before the influence of the German Historical School. The “radical-populist” role represents one of several routes not taken. It is presented to make clearer that significant alternatives did exist.How does role complementarity sum up how the new social science aligned itself with corporate capital? The new social scientists rejected the role content and alliances established by the traditionals; instead, they saw themselves offering a competitive expertise to the public. When the new social scientists under AEA auspices entered a resource exchange relationship with the nascent, national corporate leadership supporting the Spanish American War and the trust as a form of economic organization, they chose to ally themselves with the same resource controllers the traditionals were explicitly opposing in their anti-war, anti-monopolist stance. Indeed, the domestic and foreign positions secured by the new social scientists in the wake of the war provided a significant and large scale opportunity for exercising their expert role. In choosing an alliance with national capital and its managers, the new social scientists clearly differentiated themselves from the traditionals. They identified the strategic value of the resource rich corporate center, eschewing, as AEA President E. R. A. Seligman put it, the extremes of laissez-faire and socialism. Their analysis of the opportunity structure presented by the war and the trust question proved correct, as their version of professionalization informs us today.Of course, some new social scientists had at first been willing to align themselves with left of center and populist groups. However, the early academic freedom cases seem to have offered a powerful lesson. In particular, the new social scientists seem to have learned that even mildly popular actions were severely sanctioned and academics engaging in such actions would have extreme difficulty practicing their profession. These cases also made clear that left of centerists did not have many resources to exchange for new social scientific role performance in their causes. Economic radicals did not usually control the jobs or funds required for academic careers and professional development. As a result, the new social scientists did not create roles that complemented the radical popular movements. The few that did were not leaders of the associations. Having rejected the traditional and the radical expert roles for lack of sufficient complementary resources, the leaders of the new social scientists sought instead the indirect influence of expert advisers to businessmen, public figures, the new federal agencies, and national policy forums. From their collective biography as expert advisers, we may identify four aspects of their roles that seem to complement those of the new, nationally based corporate leaders. We see in the complementarity of the roles of the new social science leaders and the new corporate elite a significant shaping of modern social science expertise.The four aspects of the expert adviser role are these of technician, policy adviser, legitimator, and independent policy maker. Technicians solved problems, especially data problems, set by others. They gained access, or an opportunity to show their competence to those higher in the role system. The corporate leaders gained an opportunity to look over, and socialize “new boys”. Policy advisers had the ear of decision makers in the corporate sectors and in government, and managed technicians. The advisers gained prestige and some influence, while decision makers gained reliable management in the policy and reform sectors of an emerging state capitalism. Legitimators were often recruited from the ranks of well-published policy managers. They lent their greater public prestige as well as their reputations for non-partisan impartiality to particular policies or reforms. The corporate leaders gained public approval for policies in their perceived interests. Finally, a few new social scientists achieved positions of independent policy making after long years of expert service. Corporate leaders gained policy making congruent with their needs, often developed without their active participation. In short, when the new social scientists looked outside of academics to find the resources required to institutionalize their new skills as social scientists, they found at least two groups willing to complement their role performances. The left of centerists did not have sufficient resources to help establish the new social scientists' role performances within academics. But the new corporate leaders did, and they had the resources to act as social and political sponsors for the new social scientists' roles as expert advisers. In return, the new social scientists accepted as socially necessary the task of rationalizing the turn of the century economy and defusing social unrest.Our analysis of these cases — the Spanish American War and the trust (the Chicago Conference, the ICC, the NCF) — raises almost as many questions as are answered. These queries fall into two sets. The first involves theoretical issues, particularly the utilitarian assumptions implicit in our exchange analysis, and methodological issues, especially concerning the limits of available data. The second set of problems is substantive. Were the new social scientists the creatures of corporate capital, collaborative partners, or social actors with some independence? If they were willing and able to act independently, what defined the parameters of their action — professional interests, their own class interests or a commitment to the truth? If they were forced to act opportunistically to meet some constellation of class and professional interests, was opportunism confined to establishing a firmer resource base for the new social science? Were they later able to use their then established fields and positions to assert independent views of what was in the best interests of the nation as a whole? And, finally, was the expert role established by economists and political scientists accepted fully by sociologists? Our use of an exchange framework to organize the data in this paper might be read as bordering on a radical utilitarianism that assumes both individual and collective actors have a fulsome sense of their objective situation and its exigencies. Accordingly, there is little possibility for symbolic mediation of perceptions and motivations to intervene between social science leaders and their environments. At the risk of being thought unfashionable, reductionistic, and even economistic, we take a utilitarian position. Indeed, we stop short of radical utilitarianism only since perfect knowledge and information are inherently unattainable, especially in a world of rapid social and economic transition such as that occupied by the new social scientists.Rather than radical utilitarianism, we take a position of reasonable utilitarianism, viewing the collective efforts of social scientists assembled in their associations as often compensating for all manner of informational and behavioral imperfections at the individual level. We take this position for several reasons rooted in the detail of the period. (1) Organizing occupations (like the new social scientists in the AEA) have the clear possibility and capability for creating more nearly rational plans for collective action than do their individual members. This occurs when occupational associations gather together experiences and analysis from all their members and then, through full, frank, and candid discussion discern the proper joint actions required for success in their common enterprise. This is precisely what the new social scientists did. They used the AEA as an occupational forum to define collectively the expert role required to procure professionalizing resources from the industralizing American political economy. Thus, Hadley's speech quoted in the Spanish American War study is not an isolated exercise in role exploration. Instead, it is part of twenty years' detailed discussion on the expert social scientist's role. (2) As a group, the new social scientists themselves subscribed to and articulated a utilitarian or pragmatic view of their role and their science. In this they upheld and, in turn, were supported by the dominant American business ideology which, although varying with economic development, and regional and industrial interest, espoused a materialistic approach to contemporary problems. Indeed, AEA leaders usually presented a pragmatic, materialistic interpretation of the growth of economics as a science. As E. R. A. Seligman said in a presidential address: “Economic science is an outgrowth of economic conditions ... of social unrest... of an attempt to unravel the tangled skein of actual conditions, and an effort to solve the difficulties of existing industrial society.” Although the new social scientists worked collectively to develop their occupation along rational lines, there were, of course, all manner of cognative informational and behavioral imperfections at the individual level. Thus, the young Carter Adams saw Marx as a Christ-like figure, J. R. Commons and R. T. Ely early worked with the social gospel movement, and AEA leader Jacob Hollander accepted an investment bank's commission of $100,000 for placing a Santa Domingan bond issue while on the island for imperial duty. But all eventually came to accept and act on the associations' collective definition of the expert adviser role, finally perceiving theoretical Communism, militant Christianity and ad hoc greed as hinderances to sustained resource procurement and career development. Thus, rather than a radical utilitarianism assuming perfect knowledge and information on objective situation and environment, we posit imperfect individual knowledge and action with the reasonable possibility of collective utilitarian action by occupational associations acting after considered discussion.If we accept in principle the possibility of a reasonably utilitarian exchange analysis, what data limits do we encounter when we consider the professionalizing new social scientists in their associations? Following the Bernards' methodological imperative of reading the associations' own texts fully and carefully, we find the AEA, APSA and ASS's dusty tomes filled with heat and light on the substantive questions before us: What is the proper role of the social science expert? Who and how should he serve? In contrast with the fullness of organizational tests, our principle data limit is the thinness of historical analysis both of the period and the central actors. For example, there is no schematic synthesis of social structure for the period; nothing like Jackson Turner Maine's work on pre-Revolutionary America or Sidney Aronsen's on the Age of Jackson. There is, of course, a richly contested historiography of the period with Hofstader, Weibe, Williams (and their followers and critics) providing insightful chronological commentaries from center and leftist positions. But these chronicles rest more on sound judgments and intuitive leaps rather than on the details of sufficient biographical and organizational analysis. For example, there is one solid, historical treatment of the ASSA, and Sanborn, its most important figure, has no full biography and only a half-done autobiography. The new social scientists' lives are better recorded, but the coverage is still incomplete. These data limits make difficult precise and comprehensive answers to questions about the exact social mechanism — such as class, mobility and occupational status — working to create social scientists' biographical intersection with their associations' rich records. For example, A. T. Hadley's father was a Yale Classics professor, the father of fellow Yale economist Henry Farnam was a railroad president, and E. R. A. Seligman's father was a German-born New York investment banker. Are these professors upper class by social origins or by occupation? What is the direction of their mobility in an expanding, industrializing society? And what of the many professors on whom there is less detailed information, whose fathers were “merchants,” or “publicists”? Since neither the social structure at the time of their birth nor their entry into career is clearly agreed upon by scholars, we must answer our substantive questions somewhat more provisionally than we prefer.First, what was the relationship between resource holders and intellectual workers, particularly between new social scientists and corporate capital? Was there much room for independent action? Comparison of old and new social scientists gives some indication of the latitude possible in the period. Both sets of social scientists provided hegemonic idea systems for different sets of capitalist elites. The old were linked by sponsorship to New England capital throughout the nineteenth century. Sharply regional in composition and social base, they opposed many of the other social alternatives available, most notably the Southern sociologies legitimating slavebased agrarian capitalism, and the protective-tariff economics produced in the more industrial mid-Atlantic states. Tied to regional resources and definitions of social and economic problems through well-established cohort, friendship, and kinship networks, the old social science was faced with crisis when its region was. The rise of the mid-Atlantic states, especially New York, as a center for emerging national industrial finance capital made ASSAers face the choice of supporting relatively immobile New England merchant industrial capital or forging a new extra-regional alliance. By maintaining their original networks, as did much of their region's business elite, ASSA leaders effectively cut themselves off from acting as intellectual guides and legitimators for those rising national industrial finance capitalists creating the present social order. While ASSA leaders were tied to their region's resources, they seem relatively independent when compared to discipline association leaders. Their social science required fewer resources; they seem, on the average, much less dependent on academically contained careers and the favor of university managers for their livelihood. Their generalist training and experience, combined with their familiarity with the material and cultural allocation apparatus of New England meant they were not confined to the academy for the exercise of specialized skills. Sanborn, for example, translated classics, wrote biographies, founded secondary schools, and taught at Boston University when not directly serving New England capital as ASSA secretary. In contrast, new social scientists were most often located permanently in the academy. Even after incurring the displeasure of university managers, they invariably sought other specialized positions, preferably in emerging graduate centers, although this sometimes meant holding their tongues and changing their location. In short, given their institutionally based, specialized social science, the newer, national academics seem to have had less room for independent action than the old.Yet, the new had some room to maneuver because they had something to exchange for resources: the technical capacity both to create a new corporate ideology justifying monopoly capital (witness the Jenks address and the Chicago conference) and the skill to organize production efficiently (recall Adams on railroad accounting procedures and new social scientists' participation in the ICC). The nascent industrial finance corporate sector well understood its objective need for these skills. Widespread popular agitation and unstable pooling arrangements had taught them — and indeed, the nation — the dangers of centralizing capital without specialized academic assistance. And if the rising elite's instruction in its need for social science was direct, the nation's was no less detailed. Beyond its own participation and observations of industrialization, a wide range of extra-academic cultural workers offered lessons. For example, Daniel DeLeon's The People offered a continuous commentary countering the new social scientists' ideological positions. And the readers of Frank Norris' The Octopus (1901) found Lyman Derrick, a representative of newer social arrangements, advising his father, an older agrarian capitalist, on the technical accounting problems of monopolistic integration.The man who, even after twenty years' training in the operation of railroads, can draw an equitable, smoothly working schedule of freight rates between shipping point and common point, is capable of governing the United States. What with main lines, and leased lines, and points of transfer, and the laws governing common carriers, and the rulings of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the whole matter has become so confused that Vanderbilt himself couldn't straighten it out.... Cut rates; yes... any fool can write one dollar instead of two, but if you cut too low by a fraction of one percent, and if the Railroad can get out an injunction, tie you up and show that your new rate prevents the road being operated at a profit, how are you better off?Clearly in the increasingly complex American situation, the new social scientists had important ideological and technical skills to exchange for the resources held within the rising monopoly capital center. And they had, thereby, some degree of freedom in their negotiations with its leading figures. Their latitude for independent action becomes clearer when we ask, given the emerging corporate center's need for intellectual support and their willingness to supply resources, why didn't they employ established New England practitioners? In part, as previously indicated, the ASSAers were unavailable, being integrated into their own region and tied to their own sustaining, if relatively immobile, elite. Further, the older social scientists offered a slightly different intellectual product. Although both new and old social scientists were ideologues of state intervention designed to conserve capitalism, they differed on where regulation should occur. In the main, ASSAers worked for government intervention at the state level, while AEAers called for state solutions at the national level out of their shared German Historical experience. Finally, even though old social scientists often possessed much the same technical skills and used the same rhetoric of science as the new, they usually lacked graduate degrees, the prestige of university employment, and the growing authority of specialization in a society where credentials were increasingly seen as critical to success. These differences between old and new — availability, product, and certification—in all probability expanded AEAers' capacity to drive a harder bargain with capital.Given the ASSA's reluctance to break sustaining regional ties, the unsuitability of populist and socialist intellectual workers, and their own certified technical and ideological skills, the new social scientists had some latitude in their negotiations with national corporate capital. Yet they chose to serve power, fundamentally since this maximized their own career and professional interests while meeting the objective demand for resources outlined above. In this, academics were probably no more greedy or selfish than lawyers in the ABA or doctors in the AMA, but neither were they less so. We see the new social scientists' decision to serve power most clearly in their careful and collective clarification of opportunity, identifying and seeking service in that sector of the economy most likely to deliver sustained resource support — national corporate capital's leadership. Thus, new social scientists generally accepted corporate capitalism per se as the framework “indispensable” to “conditions of human progress”. Then all other social issues (labor unrest, urban crowding, plutocracy) became technical problems defused of interestladen content, and they could perform latent ideological and legitimation functions while correctly claiming a manifest value neutrality. That they understood the implications of grounding social and economic theory on acceptance of modern monopoly capital is made clear in Hadley's presidential address following his Spanish American War speech; it focused on the relation between “Economic Theory and Political Morality.” The address and following debate stressed the inadvisability of economic theory's acknowledging questions of class if social scientists were to have a role in public affairs. Instead, the impartial pursuit of an empirically artificial construct, the “common interest,” was deliberately substituted for any consideration of specific class interests. Thus, disinterested objectivity, the cornerstone of professionalization theory, became an artifact of career.With fashioning the expert role in the AEA's forum, the new social science became a collaborative partner in creating monopoly capitalism in the Progressive period. In return for their work in ideology production and technical amelioration, the economists insured the continued procurement of the resources required to industrialize US social science. What happened afterwards? After acting opportunistically to meet their professional and career interests, did establishing a firm resource base liberate the new social science from future opportunistic behavior? And could the established social science in time become resource independent, enough so to act in its own right; for example, participating in counter-hegemonic ideological and technical enterprises? In order to address these questions, we must move beyond our available data, guiding our speculations by the outline of our exchange analysis and our incomplete reading of the years following the fashioning of the new social scientists' expert role. We think that once accepted into collaborative partnership, opportunism was curbed by an emerging strategy for enhancing the long term interests of the profession. Consider, for example, the foundations then being invented by corporate capital. Russell Sage was lauded at birth by social science leaders, some of whom sought its funding, as did the American Political Science Association's leadership for their work rationalizing urban police forces. The Rockefeller Foundation, however, failed to attract the new social scientist leaderships' participation when it set up offices to offset the ideological cost of its victory in the Colorado Coal Wars. Seeking resources to perfect urban social control was professionally acceptable; justifying the Ludlow Massacre was not. Resource procurement continued to be crucial, but the new social science was not simply for hire to any corporate capitalist offering a subsidy. The critical point of distinction was perhaps whether or not accepting resources and projects made a mockery of professional claims to serve the public good.If opportunism declined with the institutionalization of new social scientists' expert role and the stabilized exchanges it created, did the new social science find within its ranks the voices and actions of independent, even counter-hegemonic views, speakers and agitators against monopoly capitalism? In the Progessive period there were few, and they either left the academy out of a sense that active opposition was not permitted (as was the case with Daniel DeLeon) or were forced out (as was the case with Scott Nearing). We cannot answer this question exactly for the several decades since the expert's role was put in place, but we have listened hard for oppositional voices and have failed to hear them. As sociologists, we were somewhat surprised, in part since our sense of the radical timbre of our field was heightened by repeated and well-reported surveys of faculty opinion placing this specialty at the left margin of academic attitudes. We have no particular quarrel with the survey results and know that individual sociologists have on occasion spoken forcefully against the established center of the American political economy. Still, sociology as a profession seems to have fully accepted the expert role and exchanges created long ago by the new social scientists, if organized counter-hegemonic activity is accepted as a fair index. Even if we accept sociology's somewhat self-conscious claim to be the left wing of academia, it is difficult to hear much counter-hegemonic (as opposed to countercultural) flapping going on. Perhaps the matter will be clarified by a more detailed analysis of resources and role for this later period.We would like to re-emphasize that the burden of this paper is the inadequacy of professionalization theory as an explanation for the modern social scientist's role. Although using an exchange framework, one in which disinterested technical expertise is offered in return for a monopoly of knowledge, it fails to explore fully its own implications. The resource demands of intellectual workers dependent on institutions for occupation are not considered; neither is the intent, function, and location of resource suppliers. By pointing to the importance of role resources through locating abstract entities (the profession, the community-at-large) in concrete groups (the leadership of social science organizations, specific groups of resource holders contributing to institutionalizing knowledge), we hope to focus professional attention on the material conditions for role emergence and the way in which complementarity can be negotiated. By continuing this examination of resource transactions surrounding role development, perhaps we will more fully understand the possibilities and limitations of the career structures in which we labor. (shrink)
Peter G. Brown and Jeremy J. Smith (eds): Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9310-x Authors Neelke Doorn, Department of Technology Policy and Management, Section of Philosophy, 3TU. Centre of Ethics and Technology/Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
This article was written as a commentary on a target article by Peter W. Ross entitled "The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism" [Consciousness and Cognition 10(1), 42-58 (2001)], and is published together with it, and with other commentaries and Ross's reply. If you or your library have the necessary subscription you can get PDF versions of the target article, all the commentaries, and Ross's reply to the commentaries here. However, I do not think that it is by any means essential (...) for you to have read Ross's piece in order to understand this one. Ross defends a view called "color physicalism" or color realism that holds (simplifying somewhat) that colors are real physical properties (in typical cases, spectral reflectances of object surfaces). This is in opposition to what is probably a more widely held "subjectivist" view of color, holding that color qualities really exist only in the mind. In my commentary I suggest that a realist view of qualitative properties, such as Ross's, together with a direct, active view of perception, and a concept of "extended mind" (Clark & Chalmers, 1998) may provide the materials for a real solution to the notorious hard problem of consciousness. I sketch this solution in outline. - N.J.T.T. (shrink)