Monday, August 08, 2011

Temporary but Unrepentant Umbilical to Furthur Thought-Insanity, Part V

Thus, where we come in on Kant (in other words how we approach him) becomes a critical factor in how we approach each other.

By the way, I have decided on a new convention for signifying Kant. I will from now on call whatever it is I know as “Kant” as Kant-EU. Kant-EU is whatever it is I am referring to when I discuss the Enlightenment through Kant, and the ramifications of the Enlightenment through Kant, in my own life and times. It might have very little to do with the actual Enlightenment or Immanuel Kant, but it had better have everything to do with what this monologue does. Expressing it differently: it had better be true to my own continuing desire to write this monologue.

Here are some ways to approach Kant:

1. As an example of someone who successfully criticized dogma and created novel concepts.
2. As a founder of a new but now dead tradition weighing upon the brains of the living like a nightmare, another strand of all the dead traditions weighing nightmarishly upon the brains of the living.
3. As a “great man,” a genius. A celebrity of history.
4. As the determined product of the historical and economic forces of his time.
5. A maker of history.
6. As someone one must know in order to think, to demonstrate to others one can think.
7. As someone of durable respectability from whom devotion to is rewarded with respectability.
8. As someone of durable respectability one can retreat to when exposure or devotion to other, less respectable thinkers becomes too risky.
9. As someone who deserves some respectability more than anything because of courage, but also disrespect for cowardice.
10. As an ally and an enemy. A creator of tools and tool bags, but also traps.
11. As an artist (c.f. Carlos’ earliest EU post about Kant and Steven Shaviro’s "On the Pleasures of Reading Kant".)

It is peculiar to remember Carlos’ post is titled Approaches to Kant, a title I could have chosen for this post. However, Carlos considered only one approach. In the ensuing dialogue between Carlos, Orla, Christoffer, and me, all of the approaches are used at various times by each of us, even the contradictory, and we “criticized” each other for using approaches we had just used ourselves. This was, to say the least, very unsatisfactory. I was irritated. So was everyone, I assume.

Kant-EU is the chaos of all the approaches, and the friction resulting from the mishmash of using all of the approaches indiscriminately and without much awareness.


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