Sorry to have disappeared for the last several days. Life took a busy turn, profitably so in business, intensely frustrating in politics, all compounded by being still waiting on tenterhooks for the first grandchild to appear. Ruth and I had been thinking of Kate, who arrived two weeks early. Just heard last night about Pat, the father, who arrived three weeks late. So may be its being June 7, two days past the official ETA, isn't so bad after all.
I am reading my way through Taylor, now in Chapter 2. I note his argument that the ad hominen reply to the reductionist that he, too, appears incapable of speaking without assuming a framework to ground his arguments does not dispose of the possibility that someone might be able to pull of this trick.
But what catches my eye is this passage:
"To know who I am is a species of knowing where I stand. My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose. In other words, it is the horizon within which I am capable of taking a stand."
This language is all...so geometrical. And, yet so seemingly archaic. As an anthropologist I think of all sorts of people who live in landscapes conceived in morally charged terms, with sacred directions associated with distinct viritues and evils as well as colors, tones, animals, mountains, that sort of thing. In those worlds this statement makes perfect sense. But what of the mathematical geometries that have dominated Western thought since Euclid, with their perfectly uniform points, lines and planes, all infinitely microscopic in the greater scheme of things, none bearing any moral charge whatsoever. Can this statement be intelligible in this kind of world?
-- John McCreery The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
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