Dan Fan

Fri, 8 Apr 1994 18:05:00 EST

I'm also a Dan Foss fan, but not for his post-modern ramblings
(albeit there are occassional insights in them, most insights into Dan).
Rather, when he writes clearly . . . and addresses a specific question
or writes clearly to answer another `flame' attack, the man is lucid and
oft brilliant.
As you may gather, I'm not a fan of the `language is everything'
school. In fact, it is a bloody late-comer in human evolution . . . and
everyone knows that its one great advantage is that it made it possible
to lie. Afterall, when is the last time your dog, cat or happy language
capable primate (who all communicate, problem solve and emote) looked you
straight in the eye . . . and lied through their snarl (or wag, or purr -
as the case may be)?
My real question about the practicality of deconstructing everything
including our capacity to know anything about what we've deconstructed is
simply . . . `why bother - what's to gain?'
For the rampant post-modernists in the audience, that is a legitimate
question and not a `flame' attack. The day anyone can genuinely show me
what possible worth the entire literary criticism approach to the social
science has (other than pointing out to us what we already knew - that
our world-view is a construct, not a reality) . . . I'll change my mind.
Possibly this is good topic for discussion, as most of us go down in
economic flames due to the end of intellectualism in America (Thanks MTV!).
What is the real intellectual value of the post-modern approach in all its
variety, for the advancement of the human condition?

John O'Brien