Diana Manister wrote:
> Dear Carrol and Nancy,
> Logic is an Enlightenment holdover,
Damn, you mean Aristotle was still alive in 1750? I learn something new
it seems to me. The danger there is that reason is overrated -- logic
can be used to justify evil.
Let's examine this logic.
Screwdrivers can be used for murder.
So we should get rid of screwdrivers?
These attacks on the Enlightenment were, for the most part, grossly
ahistorical. Part of the modern superstition that ideas have a history
of their own, indepdent of actual social relations. Cetain members of
the Bush Administration had attended Chicago classes taught by Stauss
(I forget his first name). It was there fore assumed by people who
should have known better that neocons existd only because they had
learned the philosophy of Strauss. However, neocon practice could have
been (and was by many actual neocons) ascribed to innumerable different
intellectual traditions. That is, certain practices emerged from the
actual social relations of late 20th-c u.s and various men and women who
engaged in these practices rummaged around looking for ideas in which to
clothe their practice. To claim that a given school of thought _caused_
those practices takes them out of history.
For a very concise and very powerful study of the interelationship of
practice and ideology, see Barbara Jeanne Fields, "Slavery, Race and
Ideology in the United States of America," New Left Review, May/June
Note: "Ideology" is a Humpty-Dumpty word: it means whatever the user of
it says it means. There are too many different uses of it. Here by
"ideology I mean something like "common sense," the spontaneous
explanations of common phenomena that characterize a given society at a
given time. I do _not_ use it in the sense of conscious theory or
propaganda, both of which depend on ideology to ground their
development. The object of critique, then, is to 'uncover' the sources
in humanpractice of ideology.