Re: Re[2]: ethics and poststructuralism

Greg Coolidge wrote:
> Do we have to throw out the baby with the bath water? Is humanism so tainted,
> by the past tendency of many male humanist writers to devalue women, that
> all of humanism's values are irretrievably masculinist and phallocenric
> in nature? To reject all of humanist discourse, past, present and future,
> on these grounds is to place discourse in a static light, where once it
> has been tainted it can never shake such a taint or mean something different.
> Must any call for autonomy, freedom or human dignity mean that we are
> essentializing some human beings as inferior, abnormal or pathologocal? Can't
> we acknowledge liberal humanism for its extravagences and dominating effects,
> while also acknowledging it for its valuing of the humanity in all of us? I
> too look forward to a new brand of humanism arising out of the critiques
> of post-structuralism. Not a rejection of it, but a re-definition of humanism.
> Greg Coolidge

Hi Greg. I do understand this concern. But at the same time, I feel
uncomfortable with any notion defined as "the humanity in us all." My first
response is "which humanity?" For me, this is a problematic notion...especially
now. How can we go on as if old notions of justice and "the human" are still
valid after, for instance, Auschwitz? What can we make of a humanism that
simply keeps ticking after such an enormous beating? Foucault was an outspoken
critic of humanism b/c such a thought...a thought that puts the "human" (but
who's?) at the center of all our contemplations...has a tendency to NOT value
"all." It has a tendency to value a very select constituency. (Note, please,
colin's post earlier.)

On the other hand, isn't it possible that we might value each Other Other/Wise?
Might we value life and community for reasons that are ethical in an/Other way?
I don't think we need to imagine some core of Sameness nor be located at the
center of all things to be interested in a community, an ethic of care for the



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