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Re: Direct Communication

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  • Jim Stuart
    Dear Een, I can agree with much of what you say. In fact, you express eloquently and powerfully SK s central communication that our task here and now is to
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25, 2004
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      Dear Een,

      I can agree with much of what you say. In fact, you express eloquently and powerfully SK's central communication that our task here and now is to 'appropriate the subjective truth'. I can agree that when we seek to communicate we should remember that 'communication involves not only the task of ensuring the clarity of
      the content, but also the task of helping the subjectivity of the
      listener by means of the form.'

      I can agree with you that when we wish to communicate significant subjective truth, the method of indirect communication is the best (only?) method to use.

      However I think you unnecessarily, and wrongly, go too far when you insist that direct communication is impossible. My understanding of SK is that he introduced his distinction between direct and indirect communication, to argue that there are two methods of communication, one more suited to communicating objective truths and one more suited to communicating subjective truths. Each method of communication has a use and a purpose.

      Take the following example:

      A passer-by in the street asks me for the time. I look at my watch and reply "11:15", Why deny that this is an example of direct communication? Both I and my interlocutor may be subjective Kierkegaardians, but on this particular occasion, we are not so much concerned with the state of our souls, but with reaching our meetings/appointments on time.

      I could have replied "It is time you attended to the subjective task of your existence", and engage in some Kierkegaardian indirect communication - but I don't have to. I can choose whether to engage in direct or indirect communication on this occasion.

      Yours,

      Jim



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