[KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever

Cerling, Lee cerling at marshall.usc.edu
Wed Nov 12 14:03:11 EST 2014

Yes; perhaps this is the point to insert the observation that I first saw made by David Hart, to the effect that people sometimes ask why the Greeks never developed any theology, to which the appropriate answer is, "They did.  It is called 'philosophy.'"  To that I'll just add the observation that Plato, for example, frequently has Socrates revert to the divine communication of the oracle at Delphi as the Ur-motive behind his philosophical life and quest.

Lee Cerling

Sent from my iPad
From: kb-bounces at kbjournal.org [kb-bounces at kbjournal.org] on behalf of wessr at onid.orst.edu [wessr at onid.orst.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 9:05 AM
To: Edward C Appel
Cc: kb at kbjournal.org
Subject: Re: [KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever

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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