The Dealing of Philosophy

by John Clark Philosophy is in decline. You hear it all the time. The evidence is regularly trotted out: fewer graduates; no jobs; no prospects; a …

The Healing of Philosophy

——- Physician, heal thyself!
I love this post. Not only is it a Nice reflection upon the situation, but I also think it indicates a problem in philosophy: it has no body !

I think one of the things that we found out in late 20th century Philosophy. and coming into the 21st-century, is, that human beings have an ability to cast its self it’s ideas, upon the world and make the World answer to its ideas.

This is particularly a 20th century phenomenon. To the extent that many of us are not able to read philosophy that arises outside of the 20th century within its own temporal manifestation. We simply are unabke to conceptualize what they were talking about in the proper sense of what they were talking about becuase of the manner that philosophy is prefugured now in the ideological context of nothingness; we hear everything, read all text, in the context of an atemporal yet universal code of words, of idealized thoughts of definition.

The issue with 20th century philosophy ever since Wittgenstein , but I might even say ever since Kierkegaard pointed it out rather specifically, without actually naming it I would say (lol. Kierkegaard talked about it specifically but never named it in a way that the 20th century could understand)– it is that we are able to become enamored with ourselves and us see the world in our own image. (Lacan’s mirror stage). And this is so much the case that we are unable to even consider philosophy that didn’t arise in our 20th century understanding of it: that is the definition of the end of philosophy that we had been dealing with for the past 20 years at least. namely, that philosophy argues its own self reflection as the valid point across all philosophical dimensions, time being that main component, that main dimensional feature of being.

And without going into the further discussion of this discrepancy that makes Philosopher is so adamant and adherent to their own view, as though ones own view is able to argue with someone else’s view, that is, is even able to encounter it– this is the definition of modern subjectivity that brings about the end of philosophy, anyway we want to put it, this is the fundamental and basic issue that we are dealing with. And, We might say, is the reason why “realism” has become so popular lately: as though suddenly we can change our interests and be able to change how we see things. We’ve been so caught up in ideas and thoughts, now we are trying to find what is actually “real”. 

But my point is less intellectual. philosophy argues itself into its own ontological corner through its reliance upon epistemological identity, which is to say, where we see and understand terms as identifying some thing that exists between people who think, but also between the thought in the world, thereby are we are caught ultimately in an idealism. For any other name.

This is what Michel Foucualt and perhaps others, were dealing with in their works; this particular issue that keeps coming up over and over again. Recall Kierkegaard’s work “repetition”.

The body was “cut away” by the surging force of the intellect, until the ‘gaze’ that the intellect identified with the object became the whole of interest: This is clinical medicine. The body was replaced with a holistic version of the intellectual gaze of sense. Disease became positive and the body negative until we now no longer even an ability to ground knowledge except in the gaze-idea, the knowledge-power of the subject of reality.

And philosophy has supported the whole notion the whole way. The basic issue is that Philosophy has removed itself from the body by which it originally gained credence.

Yet, in contrast to the modern ideological development and to point the view to where it does not want to look: I will go so far as to say that there is nothing that exists in the universe that does not have a body. And this is to say that everything and anything that has any sort of truth that we work with is a body. Hence we find many authors talking about this very thing, even though they might not put it in terms of “a body”. Many authors talk about how Philosophy. has just become subjective abstraction, various idealisms caught in their own subjective worlds asserting themselves over other peoples essential Transcendent represented in words.

The problem is that we are talking about nothing; we are talking about talking. That philosophy has become an eternal argument about vacuous idealism.

thanks post guy!

x

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The “End of History” and the Renegotiation of the Subject.

With the deafening thunder of Napoleon’s canons filling the air at Jena, the romantic story goes that a middle-aged university professor and …

Kojève, Herder, and the “End of History”

—– I have not reas Kojeve or Herder, so the following goes off of only
Heaiods essay.

What we are seeing, what we are involve with, is the realization of what the human being is. The end of history as either a “happy” or “united” end is less the significant point than it marks or identifies a oarticular Kind of human being, one that sees itself in the context of either a “whole” of creatures that we call human, or one that understands that “human” defines a particular subset of this whole as to what is included and excluded in this “people” group.

Yes. The end of history may be about consumerism, but only in so much as there is an ideal effort which sees the whole through the exclusion. That is, “the whole” is allowed to be consumers, but it is only really about those who are indeed able to participate as this implied consumer. It is really only the people who do indeed prosper who are included in this ‘whole’. The rest are, by linguistic default, ‘not people’, they are something else that is excluded by the category itself, similar to trash that we deny by our consumerism. Think of recycling.

This secret ideological “ol’ in out, in out, know what I mean, know wheat I mean” motion of language is generally invisible to those people who are invested in the ‘truth’ of the linguistic category (think capitalism). The use of the idioms contained in every expression work to hide the ‘actual’ discursive functioning and reference which supports and justifies the user (subjectivity). Yet, it is not “those people” as much as it is indeed, ironically, all people who are included.

Hence, what we are really seeing now, what we are involve with, is the transition between ethical paradigms in how we deal with the whole through the part, and not so much how we include everyone or what that means. It is the investment of language “of the whole” which understands a modern perpetual ‘end’ in the various ways that we have seen argued over the past 200 years. We are seeing a renegotiation of the subject.

For, the more thoroughly we are invested in the topical use of language, the more we speak to ideology and its power to orient and fixate the subject in the world. Therefore, it is not so much “the content” of discourse that is significant to philosophy, as much as the significance lay and how we are oriented upon discourse and what it does. And this is to say that where the subject is not centered by ideology, but only uses ideology for its own subjective teleology, there we find the subject in a relationship of integrity with itself, for then it takes responsibility for the ideology which comes about through its own purpose. 

It is only there that we stumble upon the irony which traverse is the modern use of language to thereby be able to enact ones world consistently with ones form, for now we see that the very term that we understand as agency, the very power and force through which ideology subjects human beings, is just another enforcer of ideological placement by which the individual faces the paradox of choice.

For ultimately there is no choice to be made at every point, but only one choice which begins at every moment we use language.  Yet less how will we use language, and more what is informing that use.

x

Hello, I am Racist. Systemic racism.

apple.news/AgTXAT-yDQK6qJIc1chgAEg

The ‘individual’ is an ideological construct which excuses the bias of those who hold the greater seat of power. In this case, it is the white woman. The Idea that Being White is more valuable is implemented as a system of privilege.

Racism should not define the woman in the vid entirely, but it is, indeed, defining how she perceives reality in times of stress. How she behaves, despite her sincere apology or intension, reifies that the ideology of whiteness is correct and indeed assumed to be operating.

Ala Paulo Freire, both the oppressor and the oppressed play the game of oppression. But it is the oppressed who hold the power for to interrupt the oppression. our current case as to race relations, The oppressor simply is not able, on her own, to interrupt her whiteness. 

We see the perfect example of this in this audio/video reported upon at NPR. It is the black man who is interrupting the privilege of the white woman, and the white woman resorts to her privilege in order to place the black man back into his role of oppressed; she is relying upon an intentional system which keeps white people at the top and places people of color at the bottom.

The next question is thus: When is she not stressed ? And when is her privilege enacted as an individual not in play?

The issue is responsibility.

The lesson for white people everywhere, including myself, as an example, as I try to model for my white brothers and sisters, that I am not exempt from my racist privilege Because I see it. But part of this systemic privilege is that I get to sit outside of race. I get to call us all “human”, all of us “individuals”. It is by this kind of ideological deflection that I am thus able to retain my whiteness, able to uphold the system of oppression that gives me the most power and privilege in the system.

In short, I maintain power by constantly reifying that race is something that I don’t have, the system of identification in which I do not participate except as designator and enforcer. I just get to pronounce upon everyone else how they should be because I exist outside of race. This is the reason why such statements as “I don’t see color”, or, I just treat everyone as an individual human being” Are inherently racist statements, because they propose to put everyone on a level playing field, a platform of a quality, we are indeed the reality of the matter is that we are not. more to the point, is that in doing so, and asserting that everyone exists on this level playing field, I am implicating that there’s nothing wrong with the system, she’s basically saying, as a white man, that you all need to fall into my categories of truth. 

The solution is to racialize my voice and say that I am indeed a white man and I am a product as well is involved in a system of oppression called racism of which I benefit the most. I just support my brothers and sisters of color so we all can become More actualysed to our being and thus more free together. In short, as a white man, I am racist.

x

Wake up.

x

One of the most Important Questions Of our day: How Much is too Much?

I know this question is heresy for the traditionalist Westerners, but it is nevertheless a question we need start to address:

How much money does a person need to make to be happy?

Is there an ethical standard that requires those who have accumulated vast amounts of money to give back to the economic system and its constituents that has allowed them such power?

…An ethical standard that requires such benefactors to yield at least some of their money for the benefit of what we collectively call ‘our world’?

Is there a mental standard of the same? A standard for sanity?

Can we be justified as deeming insane a person who demands more than X-amount of money to be happy and content ?

We can no longer afford to have faith in the transcendent hand of freedom. We must begin to ask these hard questions.

Does the capacity to make a tremendous amount of money equate to a right to control the world?

Systems of Power and Priviledge.  

For all the Ultra serious theory, it must have a correspondent comic component that allows for its easy access, so it then may have substance; which is to say, show its substance.

Here we have it:

Part Two: Systems of Power and Privilege

COURTNEY PRUSMACK
EDFN 7410
SUMMER 2016

“Identity is the essential core of who we are as individuals, the conscious experience of the self, inside.”
- (Heyck, p. 401)

I sit down to write this paper as yet another black life has just been taken by police brutality. I cannot help but think about the profound anger that I feel each time I hear about a crime against humanity like this one. I believe it is Genocide. Hegemony. Colonialism. I wonder, in my small but consistent efforts, am I making a difference? I think: yes. But, I cannot let the dominant culture silence my efforts, as I have experienced, because black lives matter and what I do to serve as a bridge and ally to people of color, matters. No matter how small. This is not singularly about me; instead, this is about a collective call to action in which I can positivity contribute towards effecting change. I take responsibility every day, as an individual, for making a difference in even the smallest of ways. Over time, consistent small efforts I believe can enact real and sustainable transformations.

I reflect: what if Alton Sterling’s name was known to the two white officers who held him down and assisted in taking his life, before they shot him? What if they saw him as a human, a father, innocent until proven guilty and not as a threat, a criminal, assumed guilty? Alton Sterling is pictured on a CNN news headline with gold teeth. What if the dominant white culture also wore gold teeth or a grill? Would that have made Alton Sterling seem less “different” (read: threatening) and more like the two white officers, so as to subconsciously enact a deep seeded connection among all of the men thus possibly preventing the irrational reaction from the officers towards Alton Sterling?

Two of the Baton Rouge officers involved in killing Alton Sterling were named Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. These are two white men who held down a black man, as I myself witnessed in the video, while a third officer (off camera) shot him. What if Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II had used their own names to introduce themselves before they strong armed Alton Sterling? What if they had learned Alton Sterling’s name? A connection could have been made; a possible momentary yet profound diffusion of what was no doubt a highly charged interaction which may have prevented the victim’s death. Just one moment was needed, one human moment to connect and to know the others’ names. I propose that something as small and seemingly insignificant as correctly knowing and saying each other’s names is the start of dismantling racism, marginalization and oppressive practices and thus, transforming society in the United States. If the devil is in the details, why can’t the angels be there, too?

In this paper, I will briefly explore the seemingly insignificant and sometimes invisible details and small acts that influence our perceptions of one another. Specifically, our names as they relate to the power of language and our identity. Language can corrosively influence and bias us; conversely, it can help transform us towards equality and freedom for all. Respect begins with knowing and correctly saying each other’s names and honoring each other’s language of choice.

To continue with the concept of language as power, and being integral to enacting change, I argue that the U.S. is in need of more people of color to transform what is mainstream journalism and media broadcasting. We need to have much more black and Latin@ voices, for example, normalized into all aspects of the media: journalism, production, direction, field reporting, news anchoring, etcetera. I believe that media has become so powerful, that the normalization of people of color into the mainstream (but not altering their voices to comfort the current mainstream) will help to transform language and names. This is necessary for the marginalized groups but also for the dominant group for our media to be representative of language and names which inclusively represent who we are as a country. We all lose out if voices are underrepresented or not heard at all in the ongoing narrative of our society.

In saying our names, we initiate personal voice. In saying another’s name, correctly, we honor the voice and thus the inherent identity of the person we are interacting with. It is a foundational building block for respect. Student voice and the dialogic are based upon this starting point. As a female who grew up as a member of the white middle class, in a predominantly white town and attended white public schools from Kindergarten through twelfth grade, everyone said my name correctly growing up. I did not have to alter my name or question if my name/identity fit in with the others in my school or community.

Once I left the suburban and affluent community I grew up in, I began volunteering in schools that served children of color, specifically Latin@. Many of the teachers and administrators were white. I noticed a phenomenon: the children’s names were being anglicized to suit the adults. Some students, as young as first grade, had changed their names to the “white” version of it. For example, when I met Miguel (his name on my class roster) he introduced himself as Michael. He was six years old. This was in Prunedale, California- a farming community in North Monterey County that is racially divided (whites/Latin@s). The public school system there in the 1990s had de facto apartheid schools, due to the racist construct of how the white people in charge systemically implemented “bilingual” classrooms and programs totally separated from the “English” classrooms (meanwhile in my class we spoke English, too, hence the term “bilingual”). By the end of our time together, Michael had reclaimed his name and went by Miguel again. That was my introduction to the racism and oppression of anglicizing names. I have hundreds of students I could tell the same story about. Insidiously, it begins with something as basic and intimate as one’s name, as early as when they learn how to first write it in school. I have been thinking about the value of names ever since.

This aspect of anglicizing Latino names in school is for the comfort of the dominant white culture. The Chicano political activist and author, Lalo Alcaraz, is well known for his political comics. One comic strip in particular, published in the Bramlett (2012) book Linguistics and the Study of Comics, uses anti-immigration sentiment as a metaphor for the Anglicization of Latino names. His comic strip mirrored a story in the news in 2009. According to Bramlett (2012) the story goes as follows: “Larry Whitten, a 63-year old manager from Texas, was brought in to help a struggling hotel in Taos, New Mexico. In giving his new rules, he forbade his employees to speak Spanish in his presence and he also ‘ordered some to Anglicize their names’. He said that changing the pronunciation of the employee’s first name (formerly pronounced with a Spanish accent) was not racist: I’m not doing it for any other reason than for the satisfaction of my guests, because people calling from all over America don’t know the Spanish accents or the Spanish Culture or Spanish anything.” (p. 87) This is an illustration of when loss of identity (the stripping of one’s name) is done in favor of insuring the comfort of others.

I am yet to find detailed, published research which supports my theory of our names being symbolic of our identity and thus, the stripping or altering of one’s name being synonymous with disrespect and colonization in the institution of school specifically. The topic is of much importance to me. Hopefully, I will be able to prepare my thinking as I work towards a dissertation which I am cautiously optimistic could include doing research on names and identity stripping in public schools.

I have years of observational, perception and qualitative data, however, that I propose supports my theory regarding our educational institution’s anglicizing of black and latin@ student names for white teachers and employees comfort. I believe this is another way that dominant culture exercises and maintains power, ever so subtly, over communities of color. Through these micro aggressions, our students and staff of color’s identities are slowly being stripped from them. This not only impacts communities of color, but strips all communities of the richness of our identities and dehumanizes in the process. We all lose.

One very recent experience comes to mind. I was part of a district wide interview committee with two other white female assistant principals, a white male district director of maintenance, a white female administrative assistant to the director, a white male supervisor of maintenance, and a Latino male manager of building engineers and maintenance. We were hiring three new head building engineers (one for my school and two for the other two schools represented by their building APs). All of the ten candidates were people of color; eight spoke predominantly Spanish and asked to have the interview conducted in Spanish. Myself and one other person on the interview committee were bilingual, so we were charged as the translators in addition to taking the required notes for human resources to screen the candidates. I have been serving informally as an educational translator for over twenty years; it is not easy, but I have grown in my ability to be mindful of the group dynamic and to include everyone in spite of a “language barrier” via eye contact, body language, etcetera.

So, our first candidate enters the room. He is a young Latino male. His language of choice is Spanish. Everyone from the district introduces themselves to him. They use his name, which they have read on his application. Assumedly, the administrative assistant has spoken to him on the phone or left him a message using his name. They say his name as Joel (phonetically pronounced: “Jole”). The introductions get to me, and I ask him if he says his name “Jole” or “Ho-el” (as it is phonetically pronounced in Spanish). He says, smiling, “Ho-el”. I translate for the group that he prefers his name to be pronounced “Ho-el”. Curiously enough, no one but me uses this correct pronunciation throughout the nearly hour long interview with Joel. They do say his name, in their anglicized version, on many occasion. I continued to model and even once reminded the group he prefers “Ho-el”. No one called him by his correct name but me the entire duration of the meeting. They all wanted to make sure I told him how much we in Adams 14 value diversity, do not tolerate discrimination based on race or ethnicity, though. It was sadly and disgustingly ironic. All I could do at that moment was make sure Joel knew there was one person who respected his name and identity.

Noteworthy is the proposal by Gloria Anzaldúa that a third ‘identity’ is created through the phenomenon of anglicizing. It is neither a Latin@ nor is it a white identity, but an identity of a cultural blend. Anzaldúa (1987) wrote that being Mexican American “is a state of soul—not of mind, not of citizenship” and that a Latino need not live on the physical border of Mexico and the United States to live on a metaphorical border (p. 84). “Generally speaking, later-generation Latinos face this bicultural reality: their Anglo friends see them foremost as Latinos, never mind how acculturated; they affix their cultural blinders and impose on Latinos their Latinoness—their names, appearance, mannerisms, and choices are perceived to be exotic. At the same time, Latinos’ immigrant friends see them in the opposite way; they affix their cultural blinders and impose on them their Angloness—their names, appearance, mannerisms, and choices are perceived to be Anglicized. Latinos are what Keefe and Padilla (1987) labeled a “Cultural Blend” in that “Both perceptions, as subtle forms of rejection, construe a type of marginality “(Bennett, 1993).

I propose that the institution of public education is so deeply entrenched in white supremacy that it is permitting and perpetuating what Anzaldúa coined as “linguistic terrorism” in her book La Frontera/Borderlands: The New Mestiza. Linguistic terrorism is the stripping of one’s native tongue in the devaluation of their natural language. “Chicanos and other people of color suffer economically for not acculturating. This voluntary (yet forced) alienation makes for psychological conflict, a kind of dual identity–we don’t identify with the Anglo-American cultural values and we don’t totally identify with the Mexican cultural values. We are a synergy of two cultures with various degrees of Mexicanness or Angloness. I have so internalized the borderland conflict that sometimes I feel like one cancels out the other and we are zero, nothing, no one. A veces no soy nada ni nadie. Pero hasta cuando no lo soy, lo soy.” (Anzaldúa, 1987). I believe linguistic terrorism includes the stripping of one’s name, as well.

So what is the answer? My proposal is that we can begin with something as simple as learning and saying each other’s names correctly. In honoring the identity of how someone introduces themselves, we extend an offer of deep respect. In respecting others, we respect ourselves. All of us win.

​​References

Anzaldúa, G. (1987). Borderlands/La frontera: The new mestiza. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books.

Bramlett, F. (2012). Linguistics and the study of comics. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Heyck, D. (1994). Barrios and borderlands: cultures of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. New York, NY: Routledge.

Lasorsa, D., Rodriguez, A. (2013). Identity and communication: new agendas in communication. New York, NY: Routledge.