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De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Do You See What I See?
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From: bobo_amargo Date: December 20th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Twilight Glow

A few points bear adding here, I think, lest a thing or two I'm reasonably sure you don't hold are allowed to insinuate themselves. The historicizing of what you call "theory" -- what Feyerabend generally calls "fixed scientific method" -- is not enough, by itself, to rattle the locks of the "severe ideological closure" of which you speak. For the gist of Hypothesis II is a pretty fair analogue of claims that art historians like Panofsky, Gombrich, and other Warburgians have made about different epochs in the making of art, and their commitment to divers Weltanschauungen does not entail -- rather is, in general, inconsistent with -- the nonteleological opennness of Feyerabend's nonmethod. For the Warburgians, as for other quasi-Hegelians, history is more or less reducible to the cunning of reason, but the cunning of reason is, at the end of the day, a card-carrying member of the Club of Severe Ideological Closure.

Does the eye have an essence of any kind?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 20th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Twilight Glow

I was playing a little loose with Against Method, obviously, reading it from the perspective of someone in the humanities, hence my ideological choice of the term "theory." I see your point about the fact that plenty of people have made claims similar to the ones Feyerabend makes within the areana of cultural history. Much of the excitement that comes with reading him, or Thomas Kuhn, for that matter, is the sense that what cultural historians have long acknowledged to be the case for their realm might be equally applicable to the natural sciences. He clearly was opposed to even the slightest whiff of Hegelian logic. Yet the fact that he ends up making claims that overlap so much with those of the art historians you mentions suggests to me that he may have been drawn to the neat-and-tidy despite himself.
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