the bear's truth

John McCreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)
Mon, 2 Oct 1995 23:59:46 +0900

Edwina Taborsky writes,

"John McCreery has come up with a 'negotiated
scenario'; practical, neat, if a bit indifferent. But
remember, it's negotiated .. ..and therefore, as he
points out, is flexible, open to interpretation and
reinterpretation of exactly who, what and why, is the
Self..and ditto for the Other. Is there a basic set of
'rules-of- interaction' which acknowledge that there is
a 'right way to interact'? I don't know that there are
such safety nets; rather, I wonder if the only wat to
interact is within the framework put forward by such
as Nietzsche, Bakhtin..Peirce..that one must not interact
within a blind following of rules (sympton of a slave
morality), but must instead function within a
contextual, dialogic and critical awareness of the
current situation, within the limited flexibility of

I observe here how close Taborsky's conclusion comes
both to Murray Gell-Man's (The Quark and the Jaguar)
characterization of scientists as people who aren't
plagued with anxiety about their theories being
imperfect because they take it for granted that all
theories are imperfect and to Donald McCloskey's
description of "Bourgeoise Virtue"; it is peasants and
aristocrats who cling to static definitions--the
merchant is flexible if that will help to close a deal. I
am reminded, too, of one of my favorite bits of
Nietzsche, which while I think I mentioned it a year or
so ago, always bears repeating.

In the _Genealogy of Morals_ (thus speaks memory, it
could be wrong), Nietzsche compares the scientist and
the metaphysician to two men watching Salome
perform the dance of the seven veils. The scientist is
content to be titillated as one veil after another is
removed. The metaphysician is the boor in the back
who wants it all off--NOW!

Welcome, Edwina. Please do continue. Now this begins
to get interesting. I am eager, too, to hear how Tibor
Benke is going to reply to your remarks.

John McCreery