[KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever

wessr at onid.orst.edu wessr at onid.orst.edu
Wed Nov 12 12:05:34 EST 2014

The sentence from RR 272 that Ed quotes (see below) appears in a  
paragraph where Burke illustrates "god-term" with a list of examples:  
predestination, fate, God, dialectical materialism. The sentence Ed  
quotes is an "empirical analogue" of predestination (a number of  
similarly interesting uses of "empirical" appear on pages  
268-71--wonder if "empirical" appears in RR more often than in earlier  

Anyway, "god-term" would seem to merge philosophy and religion, which  
some posts in this string have opposed.

My own take, following McKeon, is slightly different from Burke's.  
Rather than merge philosophy and religion, I'd make philosophy  
fundamental. Any issue pursued deeply enough gets to philosophical  
issues. With religion, you simply get to philosophical issues more  
quickly. No doubt medieval philosophy is the place to go to study  
philosophical issues that arise in religion.

I'd even speculate that one ingredient in the motivational recipe that  
led to monotheism is that monotheism is philosophically more coherent.  
Burke suggests one possible reason why at RR 310-11 when TL reasons  
dialectically to pinpoint a monotheistic premise even in polytheism.  
The historical belatedness of philosophy testifies to the difficulty  
of getting to the philosophical level.

Glad I'm on the sliver of the left coast escaping the worst of this  
week's artic blast. But even here it is much colder than usual for  
early November.

Keep warm.


Quoting Edward C Appel <edwardcappel at frontier.com>:

> Greg and Carrol,
> Greg, on Burke as something of a Postmodernist, Tim Crusius stands  
> pretty much at that pole of Burkean interpretation.  Tim seems to  
> have given especial weight to P&C.  Trevor Melia, and John Stewart  
> and Karen Williams, have come down on the side of Burke as very much  
> un-Postmodern, Stewart and Williams even calling Burke a "Cartesian  
> representationslist."  A panel at Airlie House in 1993 debated the  
> question.  Jim Chesebro and somebody else said Burke wasn't  
> Postmodern enough.  Andrew King and David Cratis Williams said the  
> opposite, as I recall.  Of course, for Jim, Burke's falling short of  
> Postmodernism was a huge failing of his; for Melia, it was a blessing.
> Melia put great weight on "recalcitrance," of course, but also on  
> what Burke says on p. 272 in RR: "For however the world is made,  
> that's how language is made."
> More later in reply to your post, and Carrol's.  Suddenly have to  
> get to something else.
> Ed
> --------------------------------------------
> On Mon, 11/10/14, Gregory Desilet <info at gregorydesilet.com> wrote:
>  Subject: Re: [KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever
>  To: "Ed Appel" <edwardcappel at frontier.com>
>  Cc: "Stan Lindsay" <slindsa at yahoo.com>, "kb at kbjournal.org"  
> <kb at kbjournal.org>
>  Date: Monday, November 10, 2014, 8:43 PM
>  Thanks for your comments, Ed.
>  You’re a brave
>  man to raise the topic of Burke and Postmodernism—that’s
>  a thorny issue given
>  the many facets to Burke (will the “real” Burke please
>  stand up?) and the
>  confusions surrounding Postmodernism. So you’ll understand
>  if I don’t go there,
>  but I do find the position you express quite reasonable.
>  As for science influencing the
>  entire
>  interpretation process towards texts—yes. But experimental
>  testing as an
>  approach to interpretation? Not sure how that would work.
>  Which reminds me of
>  an interesting distinction—not sure if I’ve mentioned it
>  before in some other
>  thread. The physical universe may be full of causal links
>  but the textual
>  universe is only comprised of interpretive (associative)
>  links. And, given the
>  weirdness of quantum theory, we may begin to wonder what a
>  “causal link” might
>  be. Could it share some properties with interpretation? Ugh,
>  I’ll understand if
>  you don’t go there. Greg
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