mjosborn's blog

What are Burke's Relationships with Language?

At the other extreme, each of us shares with all other members of our kind (the often-inhuman human species) the fatal fact that, however the situation came to be, all members of our species conceive of reality somehwat roundabout, through various media of symbolism. (Language as Symbolic Action 52, original emphasis)

Identification, Division, and Beyond?

You will understand war much better if you think of it, not simply as strife come to a head, but rather as a disease, or perversion of communion. (Grammar of Motives 22)

The section from which this quotation comes aligns war and the identification/division pair with what I call “negative dependency”: a necessary condition of the very possibility of conceptuality as we traditionally understand it whereby things are need their opposites for their identities.

Diversification of Apparatus in the Humanities as Reorientation

I'm planning on working out my presentation for the KB Conference in the term project. It seeks to make a Burkean comment on Ulmer and electracy, particularly by means of the ideas developed in Burke's Permanence and Change. I am envisioning a multimodal deliverable of video footage and/in/with/of slides I will present at the actual conference + a written rationale of the argument along with the first draft of a "script" for the presentation. The first draft of the abstract, with slight adjustments for this post, went a little something like this:

Kant's "Sensibility" in Burke

But all thought must relate ultimately to the intuitions of sensibility, “because in no other way can an object be given to us.” (Grammar 188, quoting Kant)

Critical Discourse as Alibi

What handier linguistic resource could a rhetorician want than an ambiguity whereby he can say “The state of affairs is substantially such-and-such,” instead of having to say “The state of affairs is and/or is not such-and-such”? (Grammar 52).

Ugliness, etc.

In his essay on Caldwell as a “Maker of Grotesques,” Burke writes:

Semantic and Poetic: NOT Opposites!

Poetic meaning and semantic meanings would not be absolute antitheses. Poetic meaning would not be the opposite of semantic meaning. It would be different from, or other than, or more than, or even, if you want, less than, but not antithetical to. (Philosophy of Literary Form 143)

Insiders, Outsiders, Critique, Performance, Non/Contradiction

Hi all, I found the critique of outsider insiders I mentioned in class:

“Note the disastrous predicament with which [Nietzsche] was concerned. He was questioning, down to the very last value, every pious linkage which man had derived from his cultural past. This nihilistic concern was his altar: accordingly he tried to surround it with all the symbolic devices appropriate to altars.” —Permanence and Change 46

You Say You Want a Revolution?

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” — Marx, “Theses” XI

Interpretive Stretching: Circles Part II

The difference between casuistry as a method and casuistry as a methodology is the difference between mystification and clarification, between the concealing of a strategy (ars celare artem) and the description of a strategy (criticism as explanation). —Attitudes Toward History 232.


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