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Old 10-22-2008, 10:11 AM   #18
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Shane, come back

Jim Sorrentino wrote: View Post
It's not sufficient to say that "both sides" made mistakes in their posts. [Some] should know better how to engage in a dialogue, ...
Dialogue is like walking - a continuous pivot from the affirmative leg to the negative leg, always advancing the position of the discussion, so that the cycle of affirmation and criticism never are repeated from the same point.

This has been missing. Trying to move forward hopping on the single negative leg of irony, apart from being mildly comical and inefficient, becomes tiresome when it is continually demanded that one adopt an identical posture in order to attempt to participate.

I find the following instructive in many areas of important dialogue:
Jose Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses wrote:
Any attempt, then to say what is happening in the world to-day must be taken as being conscious of its own irony. [F]or the very reason that we are unable to have directly complete knowledge of reality, there is nothing for us but arbitrarily to construct a reality, to suppose that things are happening after a certain fashion. This provides us with an outline, a concept or framework of concepts.

Every concept, the simplest and the most technical is framed in its own irony [the] concept tells us quite seriously: "This thing is "A", that thing is "B." But the seriousness is that of a man who is playing a joke on you It knows very well that this thing is not just merely A, or that that thing is no just merely B. What the concept really thinks is a little bit different from what it says, and herein the irony lies. What it really thinks is this: I know that, strictly speaking, this thing is not A, nor that thing B; but by taking them as A and B, I come to an understanding with myself for the purposes of my practical attitude towards both of these things.

This theory of rational knowledge would have displeased the Greeks. For the Greek believed that he had discovered in the reason, in the concept, reality itself. We, on the contrary, believe the concept is one of man's household utensils, which he needs and uses in order to make clear his own position in the midst of the infinite and very problematic reality which is his life. Life is a struggle with things to maintain itself to maintain itself among them. Concepts are the strategic plan we form in answer to the attack.
That said -- while subjective (and necessarily selective) observations are fair game for recharacterization, objective truth is not a negotiable. Idealists think they are realists and realists think they are idealists -- and really, we cannot afford to be either one with perfect consistency.


Erick Mead
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