Friday, December 12, 2003

From a note, regarding legal realism among other things:

My interest is in esthetics. I think, for example, that cultures are collectives, that we create systems of normative activity and that we function within them. The arts are orders of esthetics that are not usually considered banal, even if they are entirely self supporting. Actors are liars, but profess depth. Fiction is 'un-truth' but is not cheapened by that fact. If culture precedes all, even science -in interpretation and function (no more no less) [science can't justify science]- then culture must be understood on its own terms. I believe in the [legal] priesthood, as I would argue in a sense for a philosophy of normative rhetoric.

There are master fiddlers and masters at chess; there are painters and poets. And there are scientists.
Science can't argue from sophistication, because it can't handle the facts on the ground -anger, lust, fear- and because given the limitations of our communicative skills, given that every communicative act is one link in a game of telephone (Derrida didn't invent that notion did he?) we need those who are skilled at interpretation. We need an ideal of 'wisdom.'

Another tack: Every individual act is considered superior -my word- in a court of law to any definition of that act. A trial is an act of naming. And at the end of the trial only that single instance is given a name.
Act "X" occurred. What is it? How do we describe it? What are the words? For this we need masters of rhetoric, in an adversarial relationship etc.
This is the fun part:
The normative, as such, is a function of any given system, and can not at such be denied its role in argument.
Anti-foundationalism is not banal if the system it describes is complex enough to exist as an organic whole. Society as a collective construction, is complex, self perpetuating and foundationless. Technocracy is foundationless, simplistic and inorganic, and is arguably the very definition of banality: an inorganic, indeed anti-organic, totality.

Terribly written, unclear, cutting corners.  "For this we need masters of rhetoric, in an adversarial relationship etc."  Because trials are concerned with findings of "fact" not findings of "truth", and the most important thing is that the community agrees on the outcome.  The legal realism of lawyers is not the legal realism of legal philosophers. I did this so much better later on.

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