From: Erik D Lindberg <edl@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 1996 22:17:27 -0500 (CDT)
On Sun, 28 Apr 1996, Nicholas Dronen wrote:
> I appreciate your responding to my earlier barb with an argument and not merely
> a parry. However, I still see your argument as problematic. What I find particularly
> confounding is your view that all people are willing to sacrifice their ability to think
> critically about past events to their practical interests.
> I personally am willing to listen to and consider all sorts of evidence and
> arguments (narratives, if you will) about past and present events. Convince me, is what
> I say. The fact that I am able both to see myself as an object in the world and to know
> myself as an experiencing subject means that I am also able to reflect critically on the
> relation between my views and my current interests. If I am made aware of evidence that
> suggests that I hold a view that is distorted or needlessly biased, I am thus able to
> revise it.
> Additionally, as I am sure you are aware, it is problematic for you to assert
> that *all* people prefer to see the world in a way that is wholly self-serving. Either
> that is true a priori, which you probably wouldn't allow, or it true a posteriori, which
> means that it would have to be borne out by experience and observation. And what I have
> said demonstrates that it is certainly not true of all people.
It doesn't have to be a priori or a posteriori. It could, instead, be an
*interpretation*, an effective truth, a chapter in a genealogy. . . !
To speak of these things in terms of a priori and a posteriori is to use
a language that Focauldian thought has more or less rejected. While this
is not an attempt to ban this terminology, I for one would need to be
convinced of the usefulness or relevance of this terminology--of why I
should "unreject" it.
Erik D. Lindberg
Dept. of English and Comparative Lit.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI 53211