Saturday, June 5, 2010

You Tell Me

These days I am feeling somewhat inclined to write short and formless posts.

I think the main reason for this is because I like the way they stand in contrast to the other things that I tend to write on here. On and off I write these huge posts that explore ideas that are brand new to me and very exciting.

Currently I am working on two such posts. Two long, substantial, abstract posts. One of them excites me quite a lot.

It is on the everyday a priori imagination. I am trying to figure out how much of everyday perception is imagined. How much is real perception? Basic perception? How much does the imagination permeate thought. When would it come into play? When would it not?

I have an outline for that post right now and I am rereading some relevant material to prepare for it. I am definitely well on my way. But it is quite intense for me. It feels like a real push.

I'm really asking questions that are hard for me to answer. And that is great I feel great about it.

Since my post of 4/30/10 I feel very much more confident about the direction of my thought.

I think I was able to make an extremely substantial connection between some of my favorite thinkers. I feel like I can move forward with confidence that I am thinking good things, substantial things.

I am also working on a post that I find quite compelling, but it is still in its infantile state. Mainly because the post is mainly inspired by Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. I am on page 165 or so. 308 in total. So I am getting there.

I am following him, but I need to finish it to see what is really going on here, obviously. But Foucault is always a challenge. Always a challenge. Ha.

Also, I was prompted to think about the issue of Foucault and 'theory' tonight at work. My coworker Achilles and me have been chatting about Foucault and we were throwing around the idea of whether Foucault was a theorist. At first, I said I would argue hard that Foucault is certainly not a theorist. I still think this.

But I think I ended up thinking of a more nuanced way to conceive of Foucault in relation to theory. I ended up trying to draw a distinction between abstraction and theorizing. I think Foucault abstracts heavily. For sure. He does not, however, try to predict anything, or prescribe any kind of action or thought. Theory as conceived in the natural sciences, and quite often in the social sciences, rests on the ability to explain, predict, and prescribe. Foucault abstracting certainly is meant to explain, but without a predictive or prescriptive element I don't think it would be fair to call him a theorist.

Anyways, I made a title of a post 'Abstracting vs. Theorizing: Foucault's Description and Social Science Prediction.' We will see when I get around to it.

The large posts I write, 4/30/10 being the largest and my proudest, are very exciting to me. But they are tough, and they take time. Especially the post on the everyday a priori imagination that I am working on right now is really really challenging me. I think I can do it. I think I can write it and answer many of the questions I am posing. I think that I can draw a meaningful line between perception and imagination. Lol. I will have to see. But I am excited.

But I like to rapid fire these short ones now and then just to put myself out there. To attempt to express myself with nothing particular in mind.

Seems that it usually turns into some kind of reflection about whatever I am thinking. Then I try to write it like a philosopher.


I sure would like to be a philosopher.

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