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  • Trinidad Cruz
    May 27 11:01 AM
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      Metonymy; oh it just sounds so intelligent to use such a term in
      philosophical criticism. Metonymy is just a form of literary
      expression, a figure of speech, involving a conceptual hierarchy where
      a lesser related term that is a part of a general larger concept is
      substituted, usually for interest impact, in place of the larger term:
      i/e "He's on the bottle." in place of "He's an alcoholic." alcohol
      generally being sold in bottles, or "the crown" in place of "the
      king", or "the sword" in place of "killing". It is a curious
      distinction to make, given that a lesser term is generally chosen by a
      writer to add more emotional impact or more clarity. In such a
      situation I wonder actually which should be labeled the greater
      concept? That said, we need to remember that metonymy is a concept. Is
      it a greater or lesser term? It can be taken as a lesser term for
      literature, or literature can be taken as a lesser term for metonymy.
      Deconstructionists argue that the latter is true, but with arguments
      conceptualized in the dynamic terms of the former. This kind of
      criticism of philosophy is utterly agnostic and anti-humanist because
      metonymy has no actual critical bearing on literature unless
      literature itself is taken as a concept. A relativist, or a
      materialist, may argue that literature is purely referential to
      dynamics in a whole. Perhaps, but unlikely, because to be actually
      referential in a whole the producer of the literature would have to be
      the whole. It is not enough for literature itself to be whole and
      finite. The producer of the literature must be whole and finite. This
      is often taken in Hegelian fashion to be an argument for a "species
      consciousness" as being mentally causal. It may be fun to take an
      analytical approach to literature, but in fact it has nothing to lend
      to philosophy, indeed of less importance than a punch in the mouth.

      Now, C J's accusation of metonymy toward philosophical discourse is
      based in what Foucault would call its own "enunciatory function" and
      in my simpler existentialist terms a "given meaning". He assumes that
      human being is first, and human discourse is second in order of
      function. He then considers discourse a lesser term for being. His
      complaint is: that literary discourse can only be a metaphorical
      expression of being, and as such is an obstacle to be overcome in any
      human pursuit of meaning. On the surface a good deal of analytical
      philosophy and Heidegger seem to go down the same path, but there is a
      difference in the immediate enunciation or bases of meaning in such
      analysis of discourse by these philosophers, and a difference in
      expectations for them from C J. Arguments in analytical philosophy are
      generally discursive, but never discounting of any self-didactive
      expectation through the function of discourse, or in other terms, the
      possibility of an intuition even unrelated to any particular
      discursive function. C J on the other hand is essentially concerned
      with a process of recursive definition which concludes with the
      proposition of an algorithm for human thought processes or mental
      functions - a modern agnostic pipe dream, and neither analytical
      philosophy nor humanism. So of course I will disagree. But not unlike
      the deconstructionists, and the fundamentalist religious, C J can
      only argue within the terms of his enunciation and the purpose of his
      discourse, having predisposed of any other hope of meaning.

      The philosopher would say that discourse and being can be
      differentiated from one another, but such a differentiation is
      essentially only discursive or reasonable, and that human being and
      human discourse are, though apparently hierarchical in discourse,
      actually co-active regardless of any discursive or reasonable
      arguments for an apparent non-simultaneity; so no recursive definition
      of activity is possible through any terms of discourse period; because
      in fact the initial enunciation of differentiation is made only in the
      specific terms of discourse - a lesser term than being in the first

      Real science has a specific charge, and a specific enunciatory
      function based on a given meaning, in all its discourse. This is not a
      flaw, or a mistake, or a particularly fecund criticism, (contrary to
      Foucault or the "repressive hypothesists") simply a fact. Science
      seeks to lend to a human authoritative meaning in terms of data more
      human than not. Some of the responses to my last post reflect some
      confusion over my view, so I can only blame my own discourse. My
      criticism had an undisclosed target. For some years the dialogue
      between Dennett and Rorty seemed to me to hold some promise of a
      resolution of some simple facts of human discourse. Since the
      publication of "Freedom Evolves" it seems to me that Dennett has
      stepped back into a position of recursive definition: that is he
      suggests evolution as an applicable algorithm for human existence, in
      fact virtually suggesting a circumscription of all human meaning in
      its terms. I maintain that is simply not true, and cannot ever be true
      for human being. I consider evolution a scientific fact. It carries
      with it the enunciation of paradigm that is science, but no modern
      philosopher would argue that evolution, actually a lesser term than
      human discourse (metonymy?), could pardigmatically circumscribe the
      scope of human meaning, any more readily than that a God could do the
      same. I like Richard Dawkins, and consider his efforts for atheism
      admirable, but as I have related before, I wonder how solid his
      atheist view would be unbolstered by science. My atheism stems from
      reason and philosophy, and though it finds supportive arguments in
      science it does not depend on them, in fact takes them as
      coincidental. My concern for science is just this: will it slip into
      an anti-humanist agnostic view as the influx of information swells
      exponentially in the coming years conveniently or politically
      forgetting its very human enunciatory burden as it has been prone to
      do throughout human history? At times it seems to me that Dennett
      already has. Science is a lesser term than discourse, because of this
      it is prone to be overwhelmed by mathematics which is essentially
      agnostic discourse. Contrary to the simplistic view of this new
      generation of pseudo-scientific writers; mathematics seeks to
      essentially avoid exclusion not vice versa. Outside of that primary
      function it can produce facticity, but also fallacy, indeed
      anti-scientific and anti-humanist fallacy. It is up to philosophy to
      continue to clarify, but the burden threatens to overwhelm it as well.
      About that Lyotard was right.

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