We Have Never Been Modern

nature (real), politics (social), discourse (narrated)

“Here is the second misunderstanding. If the facts do not occupy the simultaneously marginal and sacred place our worship has reserved for them, then it seems that they are immediately reduced to pure local contingency and sterile machinations.”

E. O. Wilson: speaks of naturalized phenomena, then socities, subjects, adn all forms of discourse vanish

Pierre Bourdieu: speaks of fields of power, then science, technology, texts, and teh contents of activities disappear

Jacques Derrida: speaks of truth effects, then to believe in the real existence of brain neurons or power plays would betray enormous naivete

“Each of these forms of criticism is powerful in itself but impossible to combine with the other two.”

1: a confused mass2 a: an intricate or complicated situation (as in a drama or novel) b: an acutely painful or embarrassing misunderstanding c: a violently confused or bitterly complicated altercation : embroilment d: scandal 3a

Tue Jan 8 13:37:25 2008
imbroglio – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

What does it mean to be modern?
The repressed returns and with a vengeance

“Whether we are antimodern, modern or postmodern, we are called into question by teh double debacle of the miraculous year 1989.”

Ancients VS. Moderns

Modern: two sets of practices which must remain distinct
1) the first set of practices, by “translation,” creates mixtures between entirely new types of beings, hybrids of nature, and culture (networks)
2) the second set, by “purification” creates two entirely distinct ontological zones: that of human beings on the one hand; that of non-humans on the other (modern critical stance)
“Without the first set, the practices of practices of purification would be fruitless or pointless. Without the second, the work of translation would be slowed down, limited, or even ruled out.”

“Nietzsche said that the big problems were like cold baths: you haev to get out as fast as you got in.”

anthropology tackles everything at once

apodeictic, apodictic a. evident; demonstrable; incontrovertible.

Tue Jan 8 14:28:28 2008
Dictionary of Difficult Words – apodeictic, apodictic

Focusing on the debates between Boyle and his archcritic Thomas Hobbes over the air-pump, the authors proposed that “solutions to the problem of knowledge are solutions to the problem of social order.” Both Boyle and Hobbes were looking for ways of establishing knowledge that did not decay into ad hominem attacks and political division. Boyle proposed the experiment as cure. He argued that facts should be manufactured by machines like the air-pump so that gentlemen could witness the experiments and produce knowledge that everyone agreed on. Hobbes, by contrast, looked for natural law and viewed experiments as the artificial, unreliable products of an exclusive guild.

Tue Jan 8 14:36:54 2008
Shapin, S. and Schaffer, S.: Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life.

One may encounter the terms exegesis and hermeneutics used interchangeably; however, there remains a distinction. An exegesis is the interpretation and understanding of a text on the basis of the text itself. A hermeneutic is a practical application of a certain method or theory of interpretation, often revolving around the contemporary relevance of the text in question

Tue Jan 8 14:53:30 2008
Exegesis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hobbes, politics; Boyle, sciences

Three paradoxes of Nature and Society (see p. 32)

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