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Monday, August 18, 2008

The Art of Beautiful Arguments

posted by on August 18 at 16:25 PM

To end a conversation I had yesterday with a close friend in Vancouver BC:

In the way consciousness is no longer a matter for philosophy but for neural science, aesthetics (a discipline established by philosophy and continued by criticism) must be turned over to relevant inquiries in the brain sciences. And this tendency or direction is general. Linguistics is being replaced by evolutionary linguistics (Noam Chomsky is now exposed as nothing more than a philosopher, and the only area philosophy has any value left is in politics), literary criticism (from the Russian formalists to reception theory) must turn over its academic power to literary Darwinism and other emerging forms of theory that are grounded in the testing and retesting of material processes (Marxism can survive this cultural transition if it fully replaces Hegel with Darwin—and not the vulgar Darwin, the Darwin molded by his moment and class situation, but the Darwin elaborated and de-industrialized by Mendel). The end of this movement from speculation to science will be the end of doxa, the noise of opinions. And the future of philosophy will be to do what it has always done: ask good questions (that can be verified by science—for example, the questions raised by Spinoza are resolved by Damásio) and entertain us with beautiful arguments. The Republic is one beautiful argument.

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Do you think Amanda Knox has more in common with McCain (POW) or Obama (the youth vote).

Posted by stinkbug | August 18, 2008 4:42 PM

Amanda Knox would vote for Obama.

Posted by charles mudede | August 18, 2008 4:49 PM

I'm surprised in your restraint to not post the Knox story that was on the front of one of the must be out of town

Posted by Non | August 18, 2008 5:08 PM

I want my gratuitous hot chick pic, damnit.

Posted by picture conoisseur | August 18, 2008 5:32 PM

Ugh, I didn't realize that your view of philosophy positions it as not much more than the handmaiden of science (and I don't mean in the German Wissenschaft sense or any sense that emphasizes systematic inquiry in a broad sense). But I suppose that it does sort of make sense given that you favor Marx's materialism (though that is of a completely different category than the sort of physical materialism that physicists might presuppose). Anyhow, I guess I'm a little...disappointed, especially given your interest in Hegel, consciousness, and, perhaps above all, meaning (though perhaps this last bit is not quite right).

Posted by David E. | August 18, 2008 5:33 PM

I should add that when I wrote about you being interested in consciousness, I was assuming that you were interested in it from more of a phenomenological point of view, as consciousness in and for itself rather than as part of a biological process. But enough of this, I'm just sounding annoying and probably idiotic.

Posted by David E. | August 18, 2008 5:40 PM

david e, i still love hegel. i still love beautiful arguments. i will never stop reading PS and PR.

Posted by charles mudede | August 18, 2008 5:47 PM

Neural science is the light.
Aesthetics, hmmm...

Posted by Will in Portland | August 18, 2008 6:19 PM
Posted by Cookie W. Monster | August 18, 2008 7:28 PM

Sorry, man, too much weed over the weekend, I guess...

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | August 18, 2008 7:33 PM

Any questions?

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | August 18, 2008 7:35 PM

Mmmm, brains! Consciousness will always be a matter for philosophy. Do we really believe consciousness is just brains doing what brains do and that brains are just DNA working its wily will? Even if consciousness is just me watching the cards fall while my brain plays the hand it was dealt, *that* will still be something for philosophers to discuss.

Posted by Quincy | August 18, 2008 9:45 PM

Yeah, I have a question. Charles, is 1980's science starting to seep through your Marxist tin foil hat?

Lay off the Gould and read a little Dennett and some Dawkins for good measure.

Posted by drewl | August 18, 2008 9:49 PM

James Latour.

Posted by Morgan | August 18, 2008 11:41 PM

Louis L'Amour

Posted by Molly Dolly | August 19, 2008 1:08 AM

science is also a noise of opinions, particularly when it comes to matters of action.

Posted by ams | August 19, 2008 6:03 AM

Well, that's good. Hopefully I can read a bit of Hegel today, but I'm focusing on Kant at the moment.

Posted by David E. | August 19, 2008 7:53 AM

*masturbatory hand-gesture*

Posted by Greg | August 19, 2008 9:47 AM

@6: Since when has Charles been into phenomenology? Charles is into Marxism, not philosophy which is why he seems so bad at it.

Worse, Chomsky isn't even a philosopher, he's the head of a lifestyle movement for disaffected bourgeois liberals that imagine themselves as anarchists. Anarchists that seem perfectly content to leave the apparatus of the state squarely in place.

In any event, nothing Charles claims has been decided has been except that he pronounces it so. I think he's drawing the notion of good argument from Derrida, but among Derrida's points (especially when thinking of de Man's interpretation) if scienstistic thought is a tool of subject-centered reason, and the goal is the dethroning of this domination, and science is a collaborator in it, then you've merely become part of the problem by deferring all inquiry to it.

Charles has thrown in the towel for postmodern thought and so thinks you ought to as well. What a very nice Marxist argument... ignore the other threads of thought, someone else has it all taken care of that, so the only argument left is convincing kids to throw a brick at the fast food joint.

Balls balls balls.

If a good argument is all that's left Charles, you have yet to make one... perhaps you should give up the ghost of resistance?

Posted by eric sic | August 19, 2008 10:30 AM

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