Re: Poststructuralism and Ethics

I don't know if a reconciliation of poststructuralism and ethics is
possible, and hence I cannot suggest remedies here. I am wondering,
however, why we need to stay within the ps paradigm. I agree that ps's
critical ability is very strong, and that by itself it is largely
incapable of directing social change. Do we need to embrace it as a
complete way of being in the world? I think this last phrase "in the
world" is important. Poststructuralism seems, to me, to be a tool or a
guide, but limited in its action in the world.

I recognize that there are a series of related ways in which ps influences
the world, but they are of the influencing-the-character-of-thought
variety. For example, the way the internet functions (at this moment,
perhaps not at the next), it seems to me, would be entirely different--and
specifically more hierarchical--if it were to come of age in a purely
modernist climate. This type of change, however, is too slow, at least
for some of things individuals (I) care about. This inability to make
change in the world makes it seem somehow unethical to remain entirely
within the ps paradigm if I believe that social change is needed. I do
not, however, see that this means that I must abandon my use of ps.

Patricia LaCoste
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


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