[lit-ideas] Re: What is information?

  • From: wokshevs@xxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 16:08:38 -0230

Quoting Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>:

> 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.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essentialism
> 

W: Regarding the last sentence: But isn't that property one that is being
claimed to be essentially shared by all entities? The claim identifies a
property all entities have in common: all entities exhibit the property of
having no traits necessary for their being the entities they are. 

And if the denial of a claim itself presupposes the truth or necessity of the
claim being denied, doesn't this say something about the denial of the claim?
Perhaps language and/or reason thinks us more than we think it/them (to borrow
and turn a remark by Martin).

Walter C. Okshevsky
Memorial U.




> 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"
> http://www.english.emory.edu/Bahri/Essentialism.html
> 
> 
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