Re: Transparency and Paradigms

Gary Blanchard (
Sun, 19 May 1996 17:24:38 -0700

Hemant Desai wrote:
> Recently, Wendy Crebbin wrote to Lois and others on the list:
> > Dear Lois
> >
> > Your question -of how we might find a way to create a meaningful
> > discourse without agonistics. and How do you put forward the other
> > side without challenge and treating someone as an Other? are very
> > thought provoking.
> >
> > I answer your questions with more questions
> >
> > Is it considered a modernism to want to stand somewhere, to take a
> > position, in order to argue a case? Is it possible not to take a
> > position?
> >
> > You see I acknowledge that I might need to hold onto some modernism if
> > that is the only place where issues such as justice and freedom can
> > be argued on a basis other than relativity. Wendy Crebbin
> Dear Wendy, Lois, and others:
> It seems to me that the emergence of the post-modernist enterprise found
> their epistemological roots in relativism (see how this has led to a re-
> discovery of Vico's work for example) because the positivist worldview
> failed an entire generation of writers and researchers in accounting for
> the legitimacy of existing social structures in basically a moral sense.
> Interestingly, this happened at a time when the presumed objectivity of
> positivistic thought was shaken by the empirical evidence of social injustice
> (this was the era of cold and hot wars-Vietnam, civil rights struggles,
> feminist writers, the resurgence of closet Marxists after Senator McCarthy's
> inquisitions ended, and so forth, in the United States).
> The constructs of justice and freedom were largely ideological creations
> placed by a ruling elite as mythical avenues for conformity from the poor,
> women, and ethnic minorities. The situation in many ways still remains so
> at both organizational and societal levels worldwide.
> In brief, to operationalize justice and freedom in the manner that have
> been used to describe them by many western philosophers, considerable
> barriers exist. These barriers can be seen as the constraints placed by
> ingroups on individuals' developmental progress in terms of stereotypic
> constructs about gender, intelligence, appearance, economic-value, etc.
> More thoughts on this?
> Hemant Desai

Dear Hemant,

Thanks for your message. You have given me something good to reflect on,
even as I continue reflecting on Lois' comments about the nature of
postmodernism/modernism, and Wendy's question (quoted by you).

Thanks again. I'll be back soon.

Best, Gary