Sunday, December 2, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Self-consciousness is not knowledge but a story one tells about oneself.
Simone de Beauvoir
Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.
― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
(What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important than those you put in.)
Simone de Beauvoir, The Woman Destroyed
Friday, November 30, 2012
To the contrary, a “subjectless” view of communication asserts that meaning or reality does not reside in people’s heads but rather in the complexly articulated systems of discourse within which people are always situated. Intention is an element of the communication process, but it is an element that is always mitigated and contextualized by the way discursive practices shape us as subjects:
The fixing of meaning in society and the realization of the implications of particular versions of meaning in forms of social organization and the distribution of social power rely on the discursive constitution of subject positions from which individuals actively interpret the world and by which they are themselves governed. It is the structures of discourses which determine the discursive constitution of individuals as subjects… . Individuals are both the site and subjects of discursive struggle for their identity. Yet the interpellation of individuals as subjects within particular discourses is never final. It is always open to challenge. The individual is constantly subjected to discourse. (Weedon, 1987, p. 97)
Mumby, 1997 (via glocalfeast)
I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity.
Simone de Beauvoir
A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied. And it is not true that the recognition of the freedom of others limits my own freedom: to be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future; the existence of others as a freedom defines my situation and is even the condition of my own freedom. I am oppressed if I am thrown into prison, but not if I am kept from throwing my neighbor into prison.
Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity
Thursday, November 29, 2012
The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project.
― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them.
Simone de Beauvoir
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.
“What’s Wrong with First World Problems” (via grrrlstudies)
thank you thank you for articulating this better than i did
I don’t entirely agree - I think the fact that people were beginning to appreciate the exceptionalism of their sheltered, valued, privileged lives was good. However, it went a bit overboard as a meme. And, this.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Consider this: The great psychologist Carl Jung would express his condolences to patients who came to sessions with a happy and satisfied surface personality. He assured them that he would stand by them during such a dangerous and unproductive time. When these same patients came to therapy feeling anxious or depressed, he congratulated them on their good fortune of being in a condition where the soul’s work could be deeply done.
Well-Being: How to think about psychotherapy (Newbury Port News)
We spend our lives crafting stories that make us the noble—if flawed—protagonists of first-person dramas. … A life story is not, however, an objective account. A life story is a carefully shaped narrative … replete with strategic forgetting and skillfully spun meanings.
Jonathan Gotschall (author), via The Atlantic
From ”The Storytelling Animal: How Stories make Us Human”
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin (via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity)
Saturday, April 14, 2012
… Bertrand Russell has summarized in one sentence both his own idea and Wittgenstein’s of the aim of symbolization: “The essential business of language is to assert or deny facts.” A more usual business of language, however, has been to motivate action and, to excite fear, rage, or desire, to indoctrinate, to prevaricate, to intimidate, and to brainwash. Indeed, to assert or deny “fact” is about the last thing language has ever been used for. “Fiction,” rather, would have been the honest term for this master of clarity to have used — for, as Nietzsche already knew, “whatever can be thought, cannot but be a fiction.” “There are many kinds of eyes. Even the Sphinx has eyes. Therefore, there are many kinds of truths — and therefore, there is no truth.” “Truth is that form of error without which a thinking subject cannot live.” And “Logic rests on presuppositions to which nothing in the actual world corresponds.” … .
Joseph Campbell. The Earthly Paradise. Creative Mythology (via doubtlr)
Monday, April 2, 2012
In interpreting, we do not, so to speak, throw a ‘signification’ over some naked thing which is present-at-hand, we do not stick a value on it; but when something within-the-world is encountered as such, the thing in question already has an involvement which is disclosed in our understanding of the world, and this involvement is one which gets laid by the interpretation.
Martin Heidegger, Being and Time. Translated by Leslie Paul Thiele and presented by Thiele in Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Politics (via doubtlr)
[…] tool use used to be considered uniquely human. And then when it was found in captivity by Köhler, this is in the 1920s, people would say, “Well, but at least in the wild they never do it.” And then it was found in the wild, and then they would say, “Well, at least they don’t make tools.” And then it was found that they actually also make tools. So tool use was one of those dividing lines. Mirror self-recognition is a key experiment that was first conducted on the apes. The language experiments, even though we now doubt what the apes do is actually what we would call “language,” they certainly put a dent in that whole claim that symbolic communication is uniquely human. My own studies on, let’s call it “politics,” and reconciliation behavior and pro-social behavior have put a dent in things. And so I think over the years every postulate of difference between humans and apes has been at least questioned, if not knocked over. As a result, we are now in a situation that most of the differences are considered gradual rather than qualitative.
Should Chimpanzees Have Moral Standing? An Interview with Frans de Waal (via scipsy)