[lit-ideas] Re: What is information?

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 12:22:40 -0400

Joerg asks, "what is essentialism ? "

It's a philosophical malady, a doozy apparently, and one Donal sometimes accuses me of spreading when I type out what are laughingly considered my thoughts on aesthetics. Hence the Popperian "Worlds" that Donal adduces to examine different kinds of information, although that may just be his overly obstinate attempt to think clearly.

Here's Wiki:

In philosophy, essentialism is the view, that, for any specific kind of entity it is at least theoretically possible to specify a finite list of characteristics —all of which any entity must have to belong to the group defined. This view is contrasted with non-essentialism which states that for any given entity there are no specified traits which that entity must have to to be defined as that entity.

And here's the paradoxical critique of anti-essentialism in postcolonial studies:

As Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean, the editors of The Spivak Reader (1996), put it, one "cannot simply assert, 'I will be anti-essentialist' and make that stick, for you cannot not be an essentialist to some degree. The critique of essentialism is predicated upon essentialism"

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