Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Contentious Disciplines | Clarissa's Blog

Contentious Disciplines | Clarissa's Blog

I'm currently rereading a book that came out a long time ago, in 2001, called THE LIAR'S TALE.  It was very big in the USA, I believe, perhaps one of those listed on the New York Times best seller of books (do I have that reference right?)

Anyway, the author just really, really hates postmodernism.   It's not like he hates it with nuance, but in a basic, crude fashion.  He maintains it is fanciful and immoral.   But then he begs the question as to what is not fanciful and what is moral.   It's really not so self-evident as his own rhetoric would imply, especially by virtue of his very strong stance against this movement.   Although he makes one or two historically-based arguments about what he thinks is going on when movements develop, he falls back on a rhetorical appeal to gender differences, ultimately.   At least that his how I read him.  He literally says that Descartes thought that to embrace the truth was "manly and strong".   So by implicit contrast, postmodernism would be feminine and frail, not unlike Eve in The Garden being deceived by a duplicitous snake.   This kind of appeal to "common sense" is common in books written around that time.  Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate makes the same implicit argument: science is masculine and ought to be respected, but social engineering is a project of the left and is silly because, biologically, we're just not "like that".

USA intellectuals, it seems, really need to learn to make an argument that does not implicitly and surreptitiously appeal to how American Christians have learned to evaluate gender.  What these writers do is very predictable and intellectually fraudulent.

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