Author: Michael Corris  
Posted: 17.09.2002; 11:48:43
Topic: Question 6
Msg #: 581 (in response to 428)
Prev/Next: 580/582
Reads: 92527

To Thomas, Answer 6/5: a) The links between blurts are indeed coded. The coding is primitive (2 operators only) and intended to reconstruct the pragmatic dimensions of the discourse. Obviously, the reconstruction is a somewhat flattened map of the discourse. In this respect, it is a particular kind of model. There were others, viz., the "Index" projects across the pond. Hypertext introduces a fairly simple notion of performance, I think. What is always presupposed, in the background, is a domain of knowledge. Also, when you look at the blurts and their links, you don't have access to the rest of the text that formed the context of that blurt. So, we are far removed from the "mess." It could be argued that hypertext construction is performative in a constrained sense; it's an elaborate glass bead game. One of the unintended consequences of hypertextuality is that it reproduces, in a fairly economic manner, the "prison house of language" thesis. It's a monument to Derrida's dictum: "Il n'y a pas hors de texte." There are other senses of performance, of course, and these may need to be explored not via Habermas alone. Perhaps in terms of individuation and totalization. Speaking of Habermas, . . . b) By now the ideal rational conversation described by Habermas seems of little use. It seems to exist as an utopian ideal towards which all notions of a genuine public sphere should aspire. I am not sure how useful these principles would be for performing rationality. Maybe we should drop the 'rationality' part. My argument for this is simply that rationality does not adequately describe, or reconstruct, how various non-art competencies found their way into our/my world. Mel Ramsden had a knack for casting the right slogan at the right time: I think his idea of "pandemonium" as a model for learning was spot on. Lakatos criticized a history of science based on the methodology of rational reconstruction. We should learn from that. Having said this, I think that both your points are useful for reflections on the conditions of performing rationality, for helping us to decide if what the concept of rationality does is something we want done to us.


Last update: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 at 12:16:35 AM.