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  • jaime.denada
    Apr 30, 2007
      This one troubled me too, though not for very long. I realized that
      one of you has better recall or better grasp of the concept when you
      originally pondered. Deconstruction, as I read it, is very much about
      ambiguities, indeed pries them open, exposing them to the air, seeing
      what remains viable, possible.

      My conclusions are open to intrepretation, as are the conclusions of
      others, which renders them not conclusions, but preferences. I simply
      can't fathom how this is threatening or unethical.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Knott" <knott12@...> wrote:
      > > Deconstruction is
      > > philosophically meaningless because it is not ambiguous.
      > > Something that is not ambiguous cannot be
      > > ethically weighed because there is no
      > > choice involved.
      > I read this and couldn't tell if it was sarcasm or not. I believe
      > says something can only hold meaning if it is ambiguous? While I
      > have a problem with anything holding meaning, it would seem LESS
      > likely for something which is abiguous to set some type of
      > reliable 'flag of meaning'. Just so we are clear, a definition from
      > Dictionary.com reads:
      > "1. open to or having several possible meanings or
      > interpretations; equivocal: an ambiguous answer.
      > 2. Linguistics. (of an expression) exhibiting constructional
      > homonymity; having two or more structural descriptions, as the
      > sequence Flying planes can be dangerous.
      > 3. of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend,
      > distinguish, or classify: a rock of ambiguous character.
      > 4. lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct: an
      > ambiguous shape; an ambiguous future."
      > My take from that would be that many potential meanings do not
      > equate with any meaning at all.
      > But if one accepts the equation Deconstruction != Derrida, then it
      > frees you to interpret what the idea of what deconstruction *might*
      > be if it were allowed to be a good idea. Mostly it fits the
      > above, that the writer is not the ultimate guru of meaning--they
      > know what they tried to say, but the reader digests it. You can
      > coming and going. Why is that ambiguous? Why is that bad?
      > Attribution may be an excuse for dismissal. It is also a possible
      > explanation for: "I feel sorry for young people in the 'humanities'
      > when they are introduced to disembowelment as a philosophy." And
      > here is one of the slim moments where I agree, but likely again for
      > different reasons...Disembowelment is often mistaken for philosophy
      > and 'thinking'. I have an aquaintence who has made a scholarly
      > living doing this. Pittiful, I think, and an excuse for not having
      > one's own ideas as they are afraid to send them up like some
      > bird (one of the most ignored bits of literature in modern writing)
      > to possibly watch as they are torn to bloody shreds.
      > But the motivation to dismiss may have nothing to do with caring
      > about what may be good in an idea, because it makes those who
      > disembowel better than entire schools of thought by finding ways
      > (niche and not) to denounce the whole. Even the stupidest
      > has a reason for his/her ideas...it matters little that they were
      > gotten in ways a reader/interpreter do not understand and cannot
      > digest. The mechanism for thought and reason may be based on
      > admissible misconceptions, desires and greed, occassionally reason,
      > 4 parts heritage and a slathering of cocoa rum. But tossing around
      > names seems an attempt to dodge what you understand of an idea by
      > blaming some other nincompoop...when the nincompoop has done the
      > reading. I find myself to be hugely stupid. I never know what the
      > author meant...and I'm pretty sure I can't.
      > Attacking the personality is easier...attacking the fringes of an
      > idea is easy. Respecting others, and looking for a pure core of an
      > idea that makes sense is much harder. But what I never understand
      > when people push their intelligence on everyone else, yet can never
      > understand anyone...The ball that falls in the mud is always dirty,
      > and never interesting enough to clean off so to get back in the
      > Another thing I wonder is why someone who speaks out against
      > disemboweling ideas is the first to attack every idea in the forum.
      > That would be disemboweling to me. You see, my minor interest in TC
      > is how someone who claims to be so intelligent might not ever want
      > to be consistent and hold themselves to the same set of rules they
      > hold for everyone else. TC and le Duard before him.
      > As to there not being choice (first quote)...the way I read
      > deconstruction is very much existentialist: the reader is
      > responsible for their reading. It places no external blame. The
      > reader chooses everything about their meaning for a text, and they
      > are ultimately responsible for upholding those ideas--not the
      > Is that ambiguous? Why is that bad?
      > Mr. Plummer
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