Sunday, June 28, 2015

Danto. The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art 
...why is it so widely subscribed a political attitude that art is dangerous? The history of art is the history of the suppression of art, itself a kind of futility if that which
one seeks to cast in chains has no effectiveness whatever, and one confers upon art the illusion of competence by treating as dangerous what would make nothing happen if it were allowed to be free. Where, if Auden is right, does the belief in the dangerousness of art come from? My own view, which I mean to develop here, is that it does not come from historical knowledge, but rather from a philosophical belief.
If art weren't dangerous, Athens wouldn't have condemned Socrates to death.
There are two stages to the Platonic attack. The first, just sketched, is to put across an ontology inwhich reality is logically immunized against art. The second stage consists so far as possible in rationalizing art, so that reason bit by bit colonizes the domain of feelings, the Socratic dialogue being a form of dramatic representation in which the substance is reason exhibited as taming reality by absorbing it into concepts. Nietzsche refers to this as "aesthetic Socratism," the philosopher having so identified reason with beauty that nothing could be beautiful that is not rational. This, Nietzsche proposes, marks the death of tragedy, which finds a terrible beauty in irrationality: but it also marks the death of comedy, which Socrates assures us comes to the same thing. And ever since this complex aggression, as profound a victory as philosophy has ever known or ever will know, the history of philosophy has alternated between the analytical effort to ephemeralize and hence defuse art, or to allow a degree of validity to art in treating it as doing what philosophy itself does, only uncouthly.
Rationalists argue with each other about whether or not irrationality is good for you. Empiricists admit that it's a given and try to work with it.
I am not sure that the structure of rhetoric and the structure of philosophy are of a piece, since it is the aim of philosophy to prove rather than merely persuade...
Again and again: philosophy is anti-political.


Little Richard is a performer. He's "acting crazy". And that black man standing on the piano has a great big horn.
There be many shapes of mystery.
And many things God makes to be,
Past hope or fear.
And the end men looked for cometh not,
And a path is there where no man thought.
So hath it fallen here. [Exeunt.]
Euripides, The Bacchae
Sinan Antoon and Zaid Al-Ali at "The Monkey Cage" at WaPo:
Who is to blame for Iraq’s problems?
The rise of the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and its recent military gains in Mosul and elsewhere in Iraq have refocused attention on the situation in the country as it faces the threat of disintegration and the outbreak of another bloody civil war. But the debate, especially in U.S. mainstream media, is obsessed with individual culpability and finding a convenient villain (preferably an Iraqi).
About The Monkey Cage
H.L. Mencken said “Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.” Here at The Monkey Cage, we talk about political science research and use it to make some sense of the circus that is politics. We were named 2010 Blog of the Year by The Week and a 2012 Best Blog by Time. Our archive of previous posts at is here. Our roster of contributors includes:
The list is all white. Farrell is the second one down. It's hard to get more mediocre then this
The larger point that comes up is in relation to the centrality of the United States in the maintenance of Arab authoritarianism. I think the blame-Washington claim has been overemphasized...
Antoon is a novelist and poet. Al-Ali is a lawyer.

The act of digging in the dirt is physics. The desire to dig in the dirt -for gold or a lost watch or weapons of mass destruction- is metaphysics.  There is no end to metaphysics. There is no value free science. There is no end to tragedy. Philosophy is fiction for rationalists. If political "science" existed there would be no need for Antoon and Al-Ali to make their case.

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