Stephen Hicks


Byunggyu Parkhas quoted2 years ago
Michel Foucault has identified the major targets: “All my analyses are against the idea of universal necessities in human existence.”[1] Such necessities must be swept aside as baggage from the past: “It is meaningless to speak in the name of—or against—Reason, Truth, or Knowledge.”[2]
Richard Rorty has elaborated on that theme, explaining that that is not to say that postmodernism is true or that it offers knowledge. Such assertions would be self-contradictory, so postmodernists must use language “ironically.”
The difficulty faced by a philosopher who, like myself, is sympathetic to this suggestion [e.g., Foucault’s]—one who thinks of himself as auxiliary to the poet rather than to the physicist—is to avoid hinting that this suggestion gets something right, that my sort of philosophy corresponds to the way things really are. For this talk of correspondence brings back just the idea my sort of philosopher wants to get rid of, the idea that the world or the self has an intrinsic nature.[3]
Byunggyu Parkhas quoted2 years ago
If there is no world or self to understand and get right on their terms, then what is the purpose of thought or action? Having deconstructed reason, truth, and the idea of the correspondence of thought to reality, and then set them aside—“reason,” writes Foucault, “is the ultimate language of madness”[4]—there is nothing to guide or constrain our thoughts and feelings. So we can do or say whatever we feel like. Deconstruction, Stanley Fish confesses happily, “relieves me of the obligation to be right … and demands only that I be interesting.”[5]
Byunggyu Parkhas quoted2 years ago
Western civilization being where reason and power have been the most developed. But the pain of those horrors is neither inflicted nor suffered equally. Males, whites, and the rich have their hands on the whip of power, and they use it cruelly at the expense of women, racial minorities, and the poor.
The conflict between men and women is brutal. “The normal fuck,” writes Andrea Dworkin, “by a normal man is taken to be an act of invasion and ownership undertaken in a mode of predation.” This special insight into the sexual psychology of males is matched and confirmed by the sexual experience of women:
Women have been chattels to men as wives, as prostitutes, as sexual and reproductive servants. Being owned and being fucked are or have been virtually synonymous experiences in the lives of women. He owns you; he fucks you. The fucking conveys the quality of ownership: he owns you inside out. [8]
Dworkin and her colleague, Catharine MacKinnon, then call for the censorship of pornography on postmodern grounds. Our social reality is constructed by the language we use, and porn-ography is a form of language, one that constructs a violent and domineering reality for women to submit to. Pornography, therefore, is not free speech but political oppression.[9]
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