If I understand what you are claiming, I disagree. Either/or is a stage
at which you arrive in your thinking -- it is constitutive of thinking
-- and around which you cannot go. There are no substitutes and no
alternate routes. It doesn't make any difference what Derrida or Foucalt
think (or what they think they think). You can give up and walk away (or
make a scene), but you can't surmount the situation by uttering
"dualism" or "binaries."
BTW, obviously there is such a thing as progress, and painfully
obviously much more is wanted, but there is no progress in the arts, and
criticism rightly understood is the art of understanding the arts.
Diana Manister wrote:
> Dear Ken,
> Either/or, like all binaries, depend on totalizing each element.
> Male/Female, for instance. Derrida among others points out that
> essentializing distorts. Male and female are more alike than not.
> Derrida replaced duality with differance, which means more than the
> Anglo word difference.
> Post-Kantian philosophies are not dualistic. Except for Sartre who
> didn't get it.
> It seems clearer to use differance rather than a binary to express the
> multiple choices you describe.
> Sent from my iPod
> On Jan 16, 2010, at 8:16 AM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
>> Nancy Gish wrote:
>>> Neither works if you try to follow it to any logical conclusion.
>>> But then, as I said, I discuss this in the article on
>>> "Subjectivities," which focuses on how Anglo-American and French
>>> theories are set down on a template like Scottish poetry where they
>>> just do not explain anything--one of them being these notions of
>>> discourse as either totally originated by the lyric voice or totally
>>> constructed by language. I never feel constrained by "either/or";
>>> it is pretty much always a false dichotomy.
>> I had a friend who insisted that the meaning of either/or (in
>> Kierkegaard no less) was "take your pick" or "six of one, half a
>> dozen of the other"! False choices are false choices, between which
>> one is not constrained to choose. But without arriving, somewhat
>> regularly, at true either/or's, what progress does thought make?
>> Ken A