More on the analytical continental divide…

Here’s a little quote that I picked up from wiki that I think really is at the center of the problem of contemporary philosophy:

“The principle that the logical clarification of thoughts can be achieved only by analysis of the logical form of philosophical propositions.[9] The logical form of a proposition is a way of representing it (often using the formal grammar and symbolism of a logical system), to reduce it to simpler components if necessary, and to display its similarity with all other propositions of the same type. However, analytic philosophers disagree widely about the correct logical form of ordinary language.[10]”

The key problem is “logical form of philosophical propositions”. I suggested in the last post that this problem seems to involve and be addressed by both analytical and continental schools.

We might even see that of late the problem of “correlationalism”, most recently coined by the philosopher Quentin Miellassoux, is the problem that I identify of philosophy; to wit, that regardless of how they want to frame the problem and it’s solution, regardless of how they want to discursively situate such a problem and solution, The method by which they both form the problem and propose to address the solution is essentially the same, ie. The logical form of philosophical propositions.

The simple answer that distinguishes analytical from Continental schools is that a few early 20th century philosophers found it nearly impossible to employ logical distinctions to what we can generally categorize as the Idealists, namely Kant, Hegel, and others. But yet many philosophers that consider themselves of the continental tradition seem to be able to apply a sort of logical analysis of propositional forms to these noted Idealist philosophers. as I said in the earlier post, this shows that there are those who understand and those who don’t.

Due to this we are left with a couple questions that seem never to be asked, and for one we have to ask why is this question never asked. The problem inherent of these questions has to do with, not so much the attack by the analytical’s upon the Idealists– that is fairly clear. One of the questions has to do with the effort involved by the continentals to prove to what we can generalize as analytical’s that there is validity and a veracity of the continental tradition that the former is not understanding; it seems like there’s an incessant effort for those of the continental tradition to prove themselves into the analytical sort. They do this by first arguing amongst themselves incessantly over various terms, which are really logical forms of propositions, but then also on different fronts they take the same discussion and adjust it to the various logical forms of the analytical. the question is: Why are the Continentals thinking they can convince, describe, or otherwise prove to those who don’t understand in a manner that they will understand? I suggest in the earlier post that this is because the basic (conventional) philosophical ideal is that everything is teachable. And the other question, which first must be conditioned by the first question to see that this latter is really a trick question because in is inherent and closely circular so as to throw off investigation into the basis of what might be continental: What is the distinction between Analytical and Continental philosophy?

What? The question that is eternally suspended is what is distinguishing between the analytical in the continental??  Here how it lays out, which really offends  and frustrates every sort of philosophy that supposes to be getting somewhere along the same lines  (which is why these questions are never asked): The analytical has formed the shape of the problem, and the continentals attempt to argue themselves into that shape. But if we have found anything over the past hundred years it has to be that this effort is failing. We have to then see that what the postmodern really is; It is the general form of apology that functions to decide itself into another analytical form “In itself”. This is where we get the idea that postmodern extrapolations and continuations are so redundant, because they create a situation where by they can argue circularities as if they get somewhere and uncover something, to their by establish a valid form. They argue that discourse is the fundamental (omniscient, omnipotent) determinate of reality; they argue that there is an empty set, that it somehow determines reality through the intuitive involvement with discourse, that this void can never be expounded upon (even while they expound upon what this empty set may be); they even expound upon what may be involved as a constituent of this null set, for example the literate fictional forms that various authors like to talk about involving Lovecraft.

But the fundamental question that is avoided concerns the failure across the analytical and the Continental. The distinction and the difference that was so nobly and magically posited has found its self a seat at the table and is really giving up on anything that can be different or distinguish from what is analytical because in the first place they were always using the analytical model by which to establish themselves as a different philosophical feature.

This is why we say the postmodern is a religious apology for what is the modern. And this is also why we have to say that what is continental has failed, and this is why a divergent version of philosophical discourse arises.

What has occurred in contemporary continental philosophy is that even while they propose to be talking about how to displace the central phenomenalist Cartesian (and whatever other adjectival casual object-state they want to use) subject, or how that might be a faulty conception, they are really talking about how the whole tradition of continental philosophy as a different sort of philosophical emanation it’s self is a faulty conception, and attempting to rectify that the effort they are involved in is an effort founded in fallacy, an idea that was incorrect from its start, insomuch as it supposed to displace what is modern. The blatant and bare fact of the truth of this last statement is that I can use the term ‘modern’ and it still means something. We are still talking about it because through the postmodern we close the loop of the modern real religious justification. We establish a catholic (unitary) foundation for the discussion of a totally and absolute, omnipotent and omni-present, inescapable, real arena.

 

Another Stab at Distiguishing Analytical and Continental Approaches to Philosophy: I Disagree.

In the endeavor of philosophy many have made a distinction. In general,and aside from the more colloquial “philosophy of…[place category here]” (like “my philosophy of writing blogs is…”), people have noticed that there are two types of philosophy going on. These have been termed on one hand “analytical”, which tends to be associated with ‘New world’, American or (can we be so general) what we might call ‘Colonial’ (to include the United Kingdom) brand, and on the other “continental” ( can we say “post-colonial”? ), which tends to be associated with German and French authors.

Keep in mind, though, that this distinction is highly contentious and my version here is just Another Stab at Distinguishing Analytical and Continental Approaches. In fact, the distinction is so contentious that some would say that there is no distinction that can be made beyond a crass and superficial, first impression glance.

But I am one who does see a difference in approaches; but I am not sure if the categories of the distinction really serve us anymore; hence this post.

Also, keep in mind that in my time I have done the very utmost to not read anything anyone has said about this debate, and yet somehow I have not only come to know about it, but have formed my opinion on the most lean pieces of information about it. So, take it as you will. But it does do me some credit, as well as my strange ability to grasp philosophy with the slightest prompts, that I like what AGENT SWARM has said about it.

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Mine begins from the other side of it, what we can call logical formalism. . If you look at the Wiki for Analytic Philosophy, the first bullet point lists ‘formal logic’. If one were to look at just a few of the authors noted in Wiki to be associated with the respective schools, often enough she would not have difficulty in noticing a difference that is more than individual style, one that seems to fall along lines that we can generally associate in ways that we can come to call Analytical and Continental.

The issue then is not one of proving that such a distinction may be real or true, it falls more in the apparent distinction. I will come out in defiance to the standard method and say that there is very little anyone could argue to me to prove that there is no distinction, but likewise there is little one could do to prove to me that there is a distinction. It is apparent to me and there is no amount nor type of logical argument that could show me the light either way. Similarly, while I would not challenge myself nor anyone else to take a randomly presented author and categorize her into one of these two schools, I would take the challenge to explain why that author should be included or excluded from being of a Continental type. Yet further, in so much as I would gain an exceedingly large amount of flak (or none, as in the case of those so intellectually gifted who would set my rumination aside) for such a challenge and its results, that I should have more integrity in my proposals if I were to set aside the classifications altogether, and say that the distinction itself is an anachronism that serves now only to decide, for example, that this is a table and that is a nightstand. This is to say that not only the whole discussion about the distinction, but indeed those philosophies that would place themselves in such of two categories are but of the same kind and nature, which I would then regretfully have to classify both as analytical. My reasons are described in my books, which, in the end, will lay out the whole of the issue that permeates philosophy today.

For now, this whole thing has to do with what we can call experience. It is apparent to me that what motivates Bertrand Russel, say, to elaborate upon the flaws of what we tend to know as Continental is his utter inability to understand, say, Hegel. It is not that Hegal is vague or unclear; it is more that Russel sees him as such. So it is clear to me that it is not Hegel that is vague, but that Russel, for all his great methodological and critical thinking skills, is unable to penetrate the meaning of Hegel (just as an example). This is so much that case that those early 20th century philosophers who called out the (in general) German Idealists should be seen as have more fortitude, integrity and just plain balls for doing so, while to later continentals pussy-foot around by attempting to remain fidelitous to whatever principle they are trying to uphold in the defense of the Continental.

So it is that I simply say that those Analytical just plain do not understand and are incapable of understanding. It does not follow, though, that their philosophical endeavors are lacking. It merely means that what is Continental is not derivative of the Analytical. It might appear that it is using the same method (logic), but I do not have a capacity to build a house just because I can use a ruler. I might be able to build a table, but the lengths of experience that is needed to build a house, I simply do not have.Where the analogy ends, though, is in the implicit teachability that accompanies the length of the ruler, from drawing measures squares on paper, to building a stable and secure structure.

Philosophy would have it that everything that is able to be experienced may be conveyed in a manner that is teachable. This is to say that while some ‘essential’ experience of being human may not be conveyable, the meaning, method and aspects of the experience can be conveyed in a meaningful format that retains the’important’ elements of the experience, which is to say, the humanity. Yet the distinction of Analytical and Continental would have it that both type of philosophy can be taught and conveyed in their essential meaning. But, didn’t I hear somewhere that Continental philosophy tends away from ‘essentials’?

I disagree with this maxim that we can teach everything. And the reason is as simple as how clear Hegel, Kierkegaard and others are to me, and at that with little formal instruction on the matter. I would even go so far as to say the formal instruction merely reified to me that not only do the instructors often have a degraded version of what some Continental authors are saying, but also that what and how they teach them merely reinforces the analytical method with which the continentals are supposed to be in contrast.

Philosophy teaches that logic is a tool to apply to situations, but in the main, and for teaching in general, it is taken and used as The method for discovering and uncovering what may be. Logic is taught and used commonly as a method that lay underneath all things. This is why those who we might consider Continental are always in the defensive: Because they are covertly using the ‘tool’ of logic as a ‘method’, but without the re-cognition of their mistake.

To be fair: Many of the analytical philosophers to me seem dry and unappealing, nearly to the point that their philosophies seem insignificant and unimportant. Yet, almost everyone would place me in a position of degradation because I don’t care to ‘take the time with them’ or because I am not interested in being formally educated in all the various titled logical situations and poker playing gambits.

Is continental less than? Is Analytical ? Id say, neither, but because now they play the same analytical game, despite definitions. The problem with the Continental is that it misapplies its own (misunderstood) traditional maxims and tactics: The analytical don’t prescribe to the traditional continental reductions. It appears that they do (see Bertrand Russel’s essays of the reduction of things to their essential traits, for example; he finds that there is never an ‘actual’ table, etc…), but the Analytical path misses the significance of similar discussion that the Continentals have. But it is not that the Continentals thereby account for the Analytical; it is more that they are talking past each other in the same way that computer engineering might not fully comprehend structural engineering, or planetary particle physics not fully understand quantum physics; yet, they can have a discussion that is meaningful at some level. Yet it is the Continentals that survive in a perpetural state of acceedence, of compromise because they ‘believe’ thier traditional maxims are in play even while the ‘Analyticals’ dont perscribe to them. 

The same ‘talking past’ has occurred now with the state of the ‘Continental’ philosophy that places its stakes within a historical heritage instead of the meaning of the philosophies themselves. Engineering stems from the same basic teachings, but there is no ‘engineer’ that we can identify to a common thing once a career has been moved upon.

It is not obtuse to say that much of what we are still calling Continental has become merely a branch of Analytical. Philosophy is taken as a kind of ‘engineering’ category, yet while some had supposed that the category was itself inadequate to contain the moves of philosophy itself, the manner of contemporary academic philosophy now is primarily Analytical, with subcategories of “analytical-proper” and “continental”.

For those so keen, see this is not the same as the Sokal Hoax, but it is similar in so much as what is called “post-modern”, now days, is simply adhering to a tradition that is unreflected upon, simply taking (mistaking) the misunderstood theoretical methods and applying them without what we should call proper critical reflection; what is critical assumes its conclusions to be necessarily in question. Nevertheless, It is not sufficient to call into question what we mean by ‘proper reflection’ in this case, for the issue has already established itself as credible within a certain affect of power, such that we can rightly call such move as religious; and faith cannot be argued out of.

So post-modern Sokality aside; I disagree with this methodological, and un-recognized conceptual slide of the Continental into the Analytical, as I have explained it.

The Problem of the Dialectic: Convention, Reality and Irony.

The dialectic, as I have said earlier, cannot be taken too seriously. For when it is, the break that has perspective finds the levity that brings the truth of the matter over the impending doom. Yet when things have become so serious, it is only because I have been presented with my self and the truth and I wish to hold to my faith, my salvation of true things. When I try to suck from the matter something so thick with seriousness, the moves I have reduce the possibility that I have come wrong, and I am squeezed with apprehension. It is then what I do with it is significant; but the state of affairs often shows that what is significant does not matter, so what is really significant is that I proceed even when no one is looking or cares. If I had a choice then I would probably care and the whole thing would become a circus; but perhaps I’m not realizing just what a master of ceremonies I am, or have become.

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One problem in reading a true critical exegesis of reality and truth through the dialectic, has to do with the tendency of people to read argument as if there is an absolutely true object to be discerned, that this discerning must be of an ‘either/or’ nature, that indicates a decision. This decision occupies, or is situated within a singular and particular horizon. The difficulty, then, in reading essays such as this one, but any writing really, is that the meaning taken is offensive to this orientation. The situation is this: The points I bring appear to contradict what is apparently obvious, and so the individual either sees the points as exteraneous to their activity, interest or ability, like I am involved in a division of labor, i.e. computer science speaks a certain jargon that has nothing directly applicable to mowing lawns, and so I leave what involvement their talk has to do with me in their capable hands, or, they see what I am talking about as complete nonsense.

I should point out that there is no manner of speaking that can remove the reality of, say, a rock. I can of course, as I suggest in an earlier post, talk about how there is no amount of descriptive talking that will ever gain the rock. These two statements show how the problem of the previous paragraph takes place. People want to find either the first or the latter as true; if both are included, then the assumption is that the operation of the first is accounted for by the second and the second involves a division of labor. Yet, if one is taken as true, then the other must be not true, or ridiculous nonsense. In both of these meanings, the nature of facts is misunderstood. The fact of the rock is that it is there; another fact of the rock is we cannot know of it in-itself. The orientation that involves facts with the discussion founded upon a division of labor is of the conventional methodology, of conventional reality.

Reality is real. There is no more or less real reality, and what is not real is real in so much as what is not real is really a part of giving us what is real. There is nothing more or less real than reality but that which is real. Within reality (we cannot but move within reality) situations are presented. Outside of what is presented is that which has meaning, and this meaning discerns what is real and not real. Meaning is not before or after reality, but reality cannot but involve meaning. In so much as I then have been presented with something not real in this regard, i can only situate it by real terms. It is confusion or mistake that excludes by virtue of what is real, the true and false by absolute measure. This is all also to say that situations are posed, or posited, or are posed as they are presented but we do not know what is posed until they are posited. This situation is situated by Immanuel Kant as having to do with ‘the Idea’, ‘intuition’, and ‘the concept’.

Perhaps, a little Kant primer.

I will admit, right off, that mine will be a quite brief synopsis of his formulations, one that considers what is pertinent to this process here.

Kant was attempting to reconcile what he saw as superstitious ideas to what might be called more rational thinking; he was attempting to develop a more true metaphysics. His “Critique of Pure Reason” lays out the problem as well as the conventional solution in its title. His base is that there must be a type of reasoning, or ‘reason’ as in rational thinking, that is ‘pure’. There must be a type or way of thinking that discerns what is actually true of the real world, and he presents this ideal idea as “pure reason”. Keep in mind that his intent as a writer exhibited no particular consideration of irony in his theses, and this (ironically) set the stage for the possibility of convention, as I develop the term. Nevertheless, his ‘Critique’ can be read from opposing camps: (1) Kant was critiquing the very notion that there might be a ‘pure reason’. This stems from the apparency that every one has an aptitude for ‘reason’, though it may seem ‘irrational’ (for now, we set aside the more current ideological, modernist and post-modernist assertions that developed after Kant), and that everyone has a ‘pure reasoning’ behind their assertions of truth, even those ‘irrational superstitious’ ones. In this respect, he can be understood as bringing into question this assumption not only as it might be understood of unique individuals, but more so as the capacity of individuals might be captured under an umbrella of a common human capacity or ability, an ‘absolute’ Pure Reason. (2) The basic presumption of ‘rationality’ is upon a ‘Pure Reason’; his theses can likewise be a critique from this rational ‘purity’; he is thereby staking a true world upon refuting the ‘superstitious’ reasoning. See also that the term ‘reason’ can mean purpose, as in the reason we are discussing… as well as ability or capacity, as in listen to reason.

All of these approaches in reading his “Critique” includes his analysis, at least what is necessary; what is sufficient of his theses reveals his limitation, which is the noumena. The noumena is proposed as the object in-itself; his thesis sufficiency is a reconciling of the noumena and knowledge.

His proposal that is relevant here; If there is a ‘pure reason’ of any sort, then we human beings must have access to it, for if we cannot, then there is no speaking about it. Such access can be implied in experience and this, for Kant, is ‘the Idea’. Because such an Idea is only intuited, he brings in another notion, that by which we can infer the Idea in experience ‘through the senses’, which is then ‘intuition’. Then, the inferred and the inference comes together for knowledge in the ‘concept’. He proceeds to critically explicate the implications of meaning upon this base. He develops what ‘a priori’ and ‘a posteriori’ can mean involving also ‘analytical’ and ‘synthetical’ modes of knowing. The analytical has to do with ‘analyzing’ what is already given, supposedly by the ‘pure reason’, through the Idea, intuition and concept; the synthetical has to do with ‘synthesizing’ what has been derived from analysis of the given, the logical consequences of merging two ideas. Kant situates these activities through possibilities of their arrival ‘prior to’ or ‘after which’. Eventually he comes upon ‘imperatives’ that can be ‘hypothetical’ or ‘categorical’. A categorical imperative amounts to ‘what can only be done according to the pure reason’; a hypothetical imperative are those situations in which we may have an option, such as if I am thirsty I may get a drink of water. But, we come upon his limitation as his qualifiers of both these imperatives is contained within moral contingencies of activity, which is to say, of choice. The Idea is then that which is inferred by the intuition, which are then implied retrograde by the concept. The (small ‘i’) idea is that everyone has something ‘inside’ like a thought, but these thoughts do not come into actual play, in the real world, the ethical world, until they form a concept. The whole world thus concerns the object, the thing, the concept thereof, and so far as this world is an ethical world, that is, a world that exists as an interplay of activities but primarily as such activities involve behavior, such activities of human beings concern moral qualifiers of what one does or how one situates knowledge.

As an individual in the real world, it is not difficult to understand Kant’s motives nor his conclusions. It is commonplace that we have thoughts, these thoughts can be localized in ‘me’ or ‘you’, ‘I’ have thoughts that orient me in reality and the world; it makes sense that there might be a intangible Idea that has to do with an object, that I know of the object through an intuitive aspect of the mind that forms thus concepts. But part of the problem lay in the overdetermination of his (our) presentations, which is particularly conventional. His intentions were based in a type of brutal honesty that is not too often seen; he was not afraid of the potential that might contradict his preconceptions, and so his product ended up serving existence more that reality. The conventionalist – and I mean to point to the ‘philosophers’ of Laruelle, the conventional methodologists, the ‘philosophy of…’ people – would have Kant be giving us a method by which to dissect the ‘true objects’ of reality. Like learning math, they carefully and studiously learn how to discern analytical a priori statements from a posteriori synthetical statements and likewise hypothetical and categorical imperatives as if (1) the statements are really reflecting possibilities of true ‘out-there’ things, (2) that the mind is limited by its also being founded of an object (the brain or body), that knowledge is an aspect of information of an object, and (3) that the truth of reality (the true organization of the universe) can be found through applying Kant’s methods and other critically formed methods, such as the method evident with Lyotard’s ‘phrasing’ (see below). This latter application, by the way, was (maybe still is) responsible for much post-modern nonsense: the conventional misunderstanding of the point of contention activating catalyzing the intentive activities involved in discovering the truth by application of the method.

What Kant achieved though despite himself, is a cleft, a break, a ‘scandalous’ destruction of the world he was attempting to (re-)build. By undertaking a critical project based upon ‘conventional truths derived from Pure Reason’, he revealed that ethics is insufficient to establish the truth of the whole world through of the possibility of that world reduced to discourse itself. Hence, his critique that was intended to establish a particular rational base for activity in the world, not only disrupted the very Idea of rationality (pure reason), but did so through the assumption of a common rationality that ultimately lead to the disruption. This feat of existential motion that disrupts what it establishes in its establishing is called transformation, but for reality, it is called irony.

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The issue lay exactly here: there is indeed a thing there, say, a rock, and I cannot but speak about it. Lyotard goes even further by saying that even a silence speaks, he thus reduces the issue to the phrase, that even though a person may not actually vocalize about the thing, something about the thing is still being ‘said’.

Hence, we can situate Kant’s Idea, intuition, and concept. The problem inherent with his proposal had to do with thought, as thought is seen to be prior to, a priori, the world. A whole priority of ordering is thus established of reality, as what is real also designates the true world. Thought is central to this world. Thought, by this situation, appropriates all reality (this statement in itself is problematic, but), the inner and outer, and reality, due to this orientating placement of the individual subject, is thereby set in a true real duality of the ‘thinker’ and the ‘world’, a duality that calls for ethics and morality.

Now; it is just this type of stating of the facts that results in a reader being offended. It says to him, “here is the problem of the situation”, and the ‘problem’ means something must be wrong with the object of the situation, or the conclusions I state. In this case, I am taken to be saying that there is in reality no ‘thinker’, let alone ‘thought’, and no ‘world’ separate of the thinker, as well that the call for ethics must be somehow incorrect. But I am not saying this; I am saying that such an orientation, that is offended of this case, is real, but it is not true. By this I mean that reality is determined through a conventional methodology; conventional methodology is not ‘wrong’ but is absolutely necessary. What is mistaken is the placement of the idea of thought within the conventional scheme of meaning; the placement is real because the scheme says its necessary for there to be thought in such a manner in that placement, that thought can only be so in this way to be true. This necessity is then exactly what presents its fault – because, how could it not be necessary? The mistake of conventional reality is to answer: The methodology relies upon no knowable absolute base, and because this base is unknowable, the methodology that addresses or seeks the ‘ability’ is absolutely true, though through the methodology we can determine if the results of the method are false. Significantly enough, the conventionalist would deny that there is any absolute method, and would point to particular methods to show this, i.e. the mathematicians’ method, the plumbers’ method, the teachers’ method, the dialecticians’ method, the surfer’s method, the surgeon’s method, etcetera. But the base that is conventionally ‘unknowable’ is merely a situation of the term, because convention would have little problem with ‘knowing’ that the unknowable base arises with the human being existing in the world, indeed, that it is existence that allows for our ‘seeking’ as well as our ability to ‘seek’ – the seeking appears to have paid off with the absolute truth once again, as neuroscience, psychology, astrophysics and other sciences have determined and are determining, beyond a reasonable doubt, to know things beyond our ability to know (exactly: the true object of faith, the true relation of subject and object).The aggravation here is that these statements are typically read through one lens, so to speak, the conventional lens of truth, as Plato marks it, ‘of the greater position’. So we have a conventional situation where what is real is equivocal with knowing about an unknown, where a term (unknowable) is designated as real, which is to indicate a condition of reality, through the meaning of another term that is knowable (existence); together they form a conventional truth, to wit, existence is what informs humanity to what is real because reality accounts for existence. Another redundancy is found if we continue: Reality is that which allows for our knowing of existence, as existence unfolds in process to grant us reality. Knowledge, here, is always seen as a conducting catalyst of identity between the individual and the true object. The containing operation that equivocates reality with existence poses its limitation as ‘not-limited’ through designations of ‘true/false’, ‘either/or’, and this very limitation can be exhibited in many if not all real situations. The greater truth is founded in limitation, which, when addressed by the “phrase”, reveals only a conventional context.

This is not confronting any necessary context of meaning, since that by which context has meaning is the necessity of conventional method; the operations of the method have no necessary base of relations but that of the world, its object, and the world is real. So long as context is limited to a particular meaning of an object, to a particular (absolute) way of coming upon what is true, we have the redundancy that occurs with the ‘phrase’, that then necessarily moves into a specific temporal context, i.e. the ‘true universe’, that becomes, in one instance, the explication of the present existence, often known as ideological structure or a ‘meta-linguistic’ analysis, but can also at times venture out into the ‘spiritual’ or ‘scientific’ realms of matter, particles, waves, minds, souls, parallel universes and planes of existence (metaphysics and mythology), and in another, cultural critique that seeks to explain a proper course of activity, both thoughtful and behavioral, which then is the moral world that Kant Begins and ends with. Since ‘what is moral’ likewise is made into an object in this way (non-philosophy’s philosophical object), the individual becomes caught in an eternal negotiation of intent and motives based in momentary circumstances. The problem thus becomes intensified and increasingly localized as one attempts to circumscribe the world within these psychic and behavioral (discursive) realms. In the last conventional resort, the problem persists as a ‘world’ that perpetuates the transcending and immanent operations that was or is first proposed to be overcome.

Hence, we have problematized, again, duality, but reduced to its significant bases: the world or universe, and the method by which we engage with it, that is, the object and the subject, respectively. More so, we have reduced this duality to another duality (the non-philosophical quadripartite?), where the only object that exists is one confined the the dictates of an ethical situation. What this means has to do with what I have called the ‘subject-object’, the human being centered upon a true world that is discerned through thought, and ultimately the differend that is indicated by the division of faith from knowledge. For what we mean when we speak of the subject cannot but exclude or include the object in question. We cannot reduce the whole world to a single rhetoric of reality (ah, but we do!) and this is to say, where reality is reduced to a one universe, there we have exclusion, faith, and where there is at least two realities, there we have knowledge. But knowledge then can be that the subject is the meaning of the object as well as the topic of discussion, and as these conflate, the individual human being. Therefore, in so much as we have distinguished the significance of reality, we also find that knowledge tends toward an establishment of the truth where it might lack (of these realities), and is then again usurped by convention.

The issue is not about discourse as a bracketed phrase or context; Lyotard is speaking less of method and more of existence, of the necessary categories that extrapolate from any situation; which is, in his case, as well as mine, the point of contention. The dialectic is crucial here: Where the phrase may be operative for any reality, by contrast, context is a relation of meaning that defies convention while using it as a means; the point of contention can be said to be that base from which meaning springs out of context: the term. Lyotard offers us thus a rendition of the point of contention, reducing ‘reality’ to the present within or of or to discourse itself, showing how the ‘phrase’ can either encompass or lack its supposed subject, but including these motions into a proposed ‘non-lack’ or truth of reality (singular); his point thus presents convention. He leaves the differend to itself with reference to discourse, as discourse (the phrase) implicates existence. As a motion before the court, I beg to differ, and submit that, though Lyotard has fully explored conventional reality, its existential destructive motion, he comes very close but misses irony; the issue concerns the term, and a person’s orientation upon its reality.

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For those who might be where a full understanding of the issue begins, I wish to admit two things:

(1) Nothing has been discovered anew. In the same way that any object can begin the reduction to the same issues at hand, every ‘good’ philosopher worth its salt deals with the point of contention.

This is why I do little citing or relating of ideas; every other sentence I wrote would be filled with at least another sentence if not paragraph of citing and bibliography. Of course, this blog is mainly a working space, and future books and essays will most probably report the redundancy of authors’ ideas.

(2) Where I may differ is where every thinker differs in the discussion after the point of contention; but where I go further, I do so only upon the necessary results of the premises given in time.

It is not so much then that I may discover a new synthesis based upon a considerate analysis of the ideas of other authors, rather, it is that such authors deal with the point of contention, and so in reading I find out what has already been said of it, that in repeating, reiterating or ‘re-phrasing’ it, I may thus present something ‘new’. This motion can be said, thus, to be of the differend of the dialectic, which is, in every case, ironic. The reader, if s/he is keen, will then inevitably proceed to ‘throw out the ladder’.