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Culture Forum

  1. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    22 Jan '09 09:26
    "It so happened that I met A.J. Ayer last night, and our reciprocal interest kept us talking until about three in the morning. Merleau-Ponty and Ambrosino also took part. . . We finally fell to discussing the following very strange question. Ayer had uttered the very simple proposition: there was a sun before men existed. And he saw no reason to doubt it. Merleau-Ponty, Ambrosino, and I disagreed with this proposition, and Ambrosino said that the sun had certainly not existed before the world. I, for my part, do not see how one can say so. This proposition is such as to indicate the total meaninglessness that can be taken on by a rational statement. . . I should say that yesterday’s conversation produced an effect of shock. There exists between French and English philosophers a sort of abyss which we do not find between French and German philosophers."

    Georges Bataille, “Un-knowing and Its Consequences,” October 36 (1986): 80. [Lifted from: http://jeestunautre.wordpress.com/]

    Is that abyss still there? Does it mean anything to you?

    (Which do you prefer: I don't give a continental -- or -- an analytic?)
  2. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    22 Jan '09 10:40
    Good thread.

    What do you mean if it's still there?

    Personally, I find it hard to reconcile both. More often than not, I recognize the validity of some of the challenges that "continentals" pose and have yet to find an "analytical" answer that fully satisfies me. So when I try to make sense of the world, most of the times I have to hide those challenges under the carpet and act as if they weren't there.

    Obviously, this is not very satisfying.
  3. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    22 Jan '09 13:34
    Originally posted by Palynka

    What do you mean if it's still there?

    Personally, I find it hard to reconcile both. More often than not, I recognize the validity of some of the challenges that "continentals" pose and have yet to find an "analytical" answer that fully satisfies me. So when I try to make sense of the world, most of the times I have to hide those challenges under the carpet and act as if they weren't there.

    Obviously, this is not very satisfying.
    Well, Bataille wrote that some time ago.

    What piqued my interest was Ayers and Bataille meeting. Ayers being my first foray into positivism, my temperamental Antipodes.

    But what challenges posed by 'continentals' have you been unable to answer analytically? And does it work the other way around?
  4. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    22 Jan '09 14:20 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Well, Bataille wrote that some time ago.

    What piqued my interest was Ayers and Bataille meeting. Ayers being my first foray into positivism, my temperamental Antipodes.

    But what challenges posed by 'continentals' have you been unable to answer analytically? And does it work the other way around?
    To answer your last question, I guess my expression betrays my preference for positivism. I want it to go in that direction, because I find that science and empiricism are the methods by excellence through which knowledge is accumulated. Why? I guess, I have to be absolutely circular here and claim that it is through observation and empiricism that I think these methods yield the most accurate results.

    In many ways, continentals address this issue and come to radically different conclusions. Conclusions that I can only attack via the circular argument I mention before.

    Of course, I'm oversimplifying these descriptions for the sake of brevity, but the gist of the bottom-line question is: Which is more likely, that I do not find the logical error in some "continental" objections or that empiricism must be rejected? I choose the humble approach and blame myself. 😵

    Edit - Of course, this error may be a consequence of how outdated I am...