‘Famine’s Horse’-by Mohammad Hannan

December 14, 2006

He came in a wooden body and feet
crimson in color with legs convexly arched
that swung even in zephyr.
Some children played with it
nourishing it with their starve.
They blew it a new life,
It took ’em away in a journey to
Heavens of fairness and dreams,
Like a lullaby, a talisman of escape.
Indians have million Gods, and one of them,
God of hunger, cursed his usual curse,
So he was arranged for coals to cook,
The hunger out side there rising
Like the full moon.

Their father cut the horse with an axe
Like pieces of a cake.
Like a funeral amidst the dreams in
Eden,
Amidst the tears O’ children O’ famine.

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‘Baghdad, 2006’-by Mohammad Hannan

December 14, 2006

The little boy now without his hands
Has paid the price of his free lands.
The siblings are riding
Over the same coffin
For a reach to the last and peaceful
Destination.

Smokes settled in the streets of
Baghdad.
Like the lazy winter in your street.
Someone somewhere once told
“In order to save the village,
We destroyed it”.

Outside of this dark terrain
In some distant heavens
Flowers are thrown at you,
A buzz ripping your ear:
“Support the Troops!”, A silent music playing
“Sweet Home Alabama..”, in an old crap Chevy
Burning silently some gas,
Burning the dews from the desert
The tears, and the blood of it.

‘Understanding Feminism’: From the perspective of Judith Butler

December 14, 2006

Judith Butler is a well known figure in ‘Gender’ world. Her best seller ‘Gender Trouble’ Introduced her in this very popular area. Nobody attempted to ‘classify’ Judith butler in a sense where Julia Kristeva or Simone de Beauvoir were analyzed with rigor. Judith Butler is mainly a critique philosopher, who had substantially studied post-structralists like Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, and formed her own view on that basis. In this analysis, the details of her investigation will not be provided, but some of them will, which are related the idea of gender orientation and biases and how she believes one might have a solution against the ‘oppressing’ patriarchal society. In my opinion we should consider ‘Judy’ as a feminist, not because she implied any support for that, but for the ‘subversive acts’ that she encouraged to ‘fight back’ against the thousand year old patriarchal discourse, a discourse that is in the heart of modern civilization. Judith Butler argued that the fundamental problem of fighting against the ‘patriarchal discourse’ -a discourse that demands symbolic ‘Father’ as its root, not the abject ‘Mother’, is lying on the very fact that such argument still favors, still grounds its foot on a discourse based on ‘difference’, a difference in Identity, based on ‘sex’ or ‘biology’. In other words, to fight against the ‘gender difference’ in a society(an oppressing patriarchal society), the feminists based on their ground, a ‘primarily accepted ground of difference’, male vs female, in the first place, thus positing TWO ‘signifiers’ in the system which monstrously look for the ‘signified’, the Genders,  i.e, masculine and feminine, in its meta-stable chain., thus forming TWO Identities in the society, creating a Power gradient that essentially fostered patriarchal oppression.  In order to better understand Judith Butler, and compare her against the traditional feminists, one has to look inside the classicism of the psychoanalysis project starting from Freud, extending to Jacques Lacan, anti-psychoanalsis of Michel Foucault, and post structural spices of Julia Kristeva. Freud posited conscious and unconscious as TWO different identities, where Lacan showed that essentially these TWO identities are one and only one unconscious, and that unconscious created the other identities. Lacan introduced the Imaginary, and symbolic stage of the child where he entered the ‘culture’ by following the ‘Other’, by centering his efforts, by identification with father. Julia Kristeva kicked-in with her idea of ‘another origin’ as the ‘abject Mother’, the ‘Mother’ who was sacrificed for the child’s admission into the ‘culture’. According to Julia Kristeva’s hypothesis, one can return to this ‘Other Center, The ‘Mother’ only by ‘Maternity’ and ‘Poetic Language’. Judith Butler attacks(As she always attack other hypotheses!) Kristeva’s thesis by arguing that the ‘center of Kristeva’, the ‘Mother’ is an illusion, it pre-supposes the ‘Pre-law’, the ‘Father’, to be identified as ‘Another Center’. So the very idea of a ‘Unique
Center’, the ‘Mother’ in Kristeva’s hypothesis, coming from a pre-existing discourse for against which Kristeva was fighting originally. In other words, Kristeva’s feminism is grounded on ‘oppressing’ patriarchy; we are having the same ‘chicken-and-egg’ problems here. The same problem existed in Simone de Beauvoir’s project, where Simone tried to construct a female identity part of this binary pair where one side of it was biased/favored against the other. Instead, Judith Butler proposes some subversive practices (practices related to the anti-establishment of patriarchal discourse).Unlike some practices, offered by some critiques in this fields (for example applying incest taboo to subvert patriarchy, which again, according to Judith Butler, pre-supposes the existence of another discourse) she put her attention on the ‘significant’  level, where the signifiers (male body vs female body) will be ‘confused’ to establish ‘rigid’ identity boundaries at gender level(Feminine vs masculine), thus we will have lesser oppression. In other words, she prefers a ‘zig-zag’ between the pointers(signifiers) to unstabilize the system. She recommends to frequently apply ‘drag’ as a mechanism of subversions by the gender identities in the society. So, it should be our responsibility as female, oppressed identity in the society to take part in activities that will challenge the ‘origin of gender differences’. With the recursive practices for a long time, the signifiers created from biological discourse, will lose its strength, there fore, may give rise to a society where the oppression will be minimal.
 In conclusion, we see that a lot of theoretical and political efforts have been made to ‘ungender’ the society. We have seen feminist’s movement in seventies. We have been thrilled by the contribution of some feminists, feminist-scholars, other females in the society. In the area of Art, Science, technology, literature and essentially everywhere in the developed, developing and western world, we are having a ‘sense of progress’. But this very progress is rooted in the patriarchal foundation. Achieving a fair ‘un-gendered’ society was a ‘theoretical impossibility’ as laid by Lacan and as pointed out by Michel Foucault. Some feminist scholars addressed that issue, proposed their own views. But Judith Butler accepted that ‘patriarchal trouble’, this evil root as a ‘Pre-Law’, an unavoidable destiny for the civilization, but yet, she posited a hope for the fight back. This glance of hope, through the act of subversive mechanisms, show us how we can  improve the ‘gender-balance’ in the society. Thus in my opinion, Judith Butler is an embodiment of feminist diva, who shared her deep, remarkable  critiques against the traditional feminists and philosophers, pointing the direction of war at some other ends, new turns for the entire battle that can help us achieve for what we are fighting for thousand years.

The Fate of Socrates: A Post Modern Study On Plato’s Apology

December 14, 2006

The title seems very ambitious since I am trying to put an ancient event under the POST Modern/POST structural telescope. When I read Plato’s Apology, and had Socrates have his death penalty, it really did not surprise me. I clearly observed the discursive conflicts between Socrates and the traditional society. In Post modern philosophy, we see humans form different discourses in the society and constitute ‘knowledge’ around such discourses. Each discourse has its own logo-center. Post modern and Post structural philosophy explain the different discourses and the power equation that plays underneath. We also need to understand how power is not ‘possessed’ but ‘exercised’ by different groups of society[Ref: Mitchel Foucault].These statements might sound ‘loosely’ connected with Plato’s Apology at the beginning, but will show their profound impact on Socrates’ case, his defense, societal interplay for certain decisions and other outcomes. Without first going to the finer details into the Plato’s Apology, describing what were the accusations, how Socrates defended, let us focus on some contextual information and information about the societal discourses at that time and how they differ from Socrates.   Before we start our anatomy we have to understand that Socrates was given death penalty in a democratic regime. After the Oligarchs regime, the Athenians hold control back from the Spartans and spend another four years before came to the point where the accusation took place. It was not ‘type’ of rulers or regimes responsible for such accusations against Socrates. It was the ‘difference’ between the ‘value-system’ possessed by the society at that period and the ‘value-system’ possessed and ‘exercised’ by Socrates. The ‘lack’ of ‘Identification’ was another factor(Society has different Identity groups and you need to have one aligned for your survival). Also other human factors like ‘revenge’ did play a crucial role (Revenge was a factor since Socrates stayed in Athens when the Spartans were there that sparked ignition to the returned Athenians).The traditional society decided that they would be better off by sentencing him to death. In order to understand the ‘discursive’ differences between Socrates and the society at that period, we will inspect the accusations one by one and show the rigid boundary of differences and how they affected the decision.  The first type of defense/apology was related to the corruption of young by Socrates. From Plato’s Apology we find, “Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others.”The word that I will focus here is ‘doctrines’. The society knew Socrates professed different doctrines to his followers. Socrates was trying to ‘profuse’ his discursive thoughts and practices into others. When you try to create new discourse, you evidently see clashes.  If we look at history we see clashes between Galileo and the church, Karl Marx against the Bourgeois. The introduced new discourses of knowledge that created fierce battle with the traditional society which was well settled to its foundation and was not ready to accept the changes.  Now the question will be what was Socrates’ knowledge of discourse that was so different than his society at that period? There were some significant differences. First of all, Socrates did believe that ‘No one can possess knowledge’ and he believed that he himself is nothing but a ‘Mid-wife’ of knowledge and he can not ‘give birth to knowledge’. That was a clear distinction with the  hetoricsle and sophists. There was  well established ‘Identity’ groups in that society which earned their living (equivalent to modern day pay-checks!) with the pretense of being ‘Wise’  and exercising ‘Manifestation’ of knowledge at that period. Socrates isolated himself from such group in his defense. He also admitted that this created alienation for him in the society. The following excerpt from Plato’s Apology will clarify the point.“When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and wiser still by himself; and I went and tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me.”.Secondly, Socrates did believe that the younger generation should be encouraged to improve their ‘virtue’ and it should be the responsibility of the older generation to transform their virtue inside them. On the other hand the society had different view of ‘improvement’. If we notice the following excerpt from Meletus argument, “Tell the judges, then, who is their improver; for you must know, as you have taken the pains to discover their corrupter, and are citing and accusing me before them. Speak, then, and tell the judges who their improver is”. “The laws”-Meletus replied. Socrates continued-“But that, my good sir, is not my meaning. I want to know who the person is, who, in the first place, knows the laws”. “The judges, Socrates, who are present in court”.Surely the view of that society was different than Socrates’. Society was more concerned about the laws and their implementers as the ‘improver’. Here also comes the ‘Power’ factor of the society. Socrates was exercising ‘Power’ on the younger people. It is not the ‘Power’ in a sense of ‘Armor’ or ‘Infantry’, it is the definition of ‘Power’ by Michel Foucault where ‘Power’ can be exercised by anybody in a society. No one can ‘possess’ power exclusively. It is not owned specific rulers or regimes. Socrates was having a profound influence on the younger generation, they were overwhelmed by his wisdom and knowledge and guidance. Socrates was exercising the ‘Power. However, the ‘Laws’ and the ‘Judges’ also need to, tend to exercise the ‘Power’ on the younger people and the  mass at the same time. Thus we are having conflicts here. The discussion of Power and its scope is outside of this thesis. But it is important to be aware of this fact that might have profound influence on the judgment.  Another aspect of defense/apology was related to the belief on God. Meletus and the society as well, had the perception that Socrates was an atheist. But in Socrates’ viewpoint, he was ‘Son of God’. Socrates clearly avoided the straight answer here rather he applied logic to prove that he believes in God since he believes in ‘Sons of God’. Religion was a dominant factor for crucifying people in history. Socrates was no different. Religion by its all mean, a very powerful discourse with ‘God’ in its ‘logo-center’. It was expected that Socrates will have this sort of problem in his society, before I started reading Plato’s Apology. It was also typical to attack any doctrine by providing its animosity with religion. Socrates also defended against the claim that he introduced ‘Other Gods than allowed by the states”. The following excerpt will clarify his defense: “And now, Athenians, I am not going to argue for my own sake, as you may think, but for yours, that you may not sin against the God, or lightly reject his boon by condemning me. For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by the God; and the state is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given the state and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. And as you will not easily find another like me, I would advise you to spare me.”  Socrates defended his being very ‘private’ in nature. He explained why he was not public.I like to introduce the ‘Identity clash’ in post modern world that was also prevalent in ancient society. Socrates being very ‘private’ in his activities, he was isolating himself from being a politician of his time, he was not ‘Sophist’ in a sense not even a paid ‘Teacher’ of his time. He was an individual who really did not belong to any identity group at that time. Usually Identity group as a whole exercise power over society. Some examples might include the Feminist’ movement in early 70s, Marxist movement in eighteenth Century. If Socrates did include himself in a specific group he could have survived but as we see in Plato’s Apology, the following excerpt clarifies his distinction, “Someone may wonder why I go about in private, giving advice and busying myself with the concerns of others, but do not venture to come forward in public and advise the state. I will tell you the reason of this. You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician. And rightly, as I think. For I am certain, O men of Athens, that if I had engaged in politics, I should have perished long ago and done no good either to you or to myself.”  Socrates had his own view about life. He had his own mission. The society was afraid that he will introduce new doctrine that may destroy the existing doctrines of the society.With involvement of the younger generation, he was gaining ‘Power’. The traditional value system became vulnerable at his presence. So he must be stopped. The death penalty was the attractive option for the society. To get some feel about his mission, let us put the following excerpt from the Plato’s Apology,  “I never wronged another, I will assuredly not wrong myself. I will not say of myself that I deserve any evil, or propose any penalty. Why should I? Because I am afraid of the penalty of death which Meletus proposes? When I do not know whether death is a good or an evil, why should I propose a penalty which would certainly be an evil? Shall I say imprisonment? And why should I live in prison, and be the slave of the magistrates of the year – of the Eleven? Or shall the penalty be a fine, and imprisonment until the fine is paid? There is the same objection. I should have to lie in prison, for money I have none, and I cannot pay. And if I say exile (and this may possibly be the penalty which you will affix), I must indeed be blinded by the love of life if I were to consider that when you, who are my own citizens, cannot endure my discourses and words, and have found them so grievous and odious that you would fain have done with them, others are likely to endure me. No, indeed, men of Athens, that is not very likely. And what a life should I lead, at my age, wandering from city to city, living in ever-changing exile, and always being driven out! For I am quite sure that into whatever place I go, as here so also there, the young men will come to me; and if I drive them away, their elders will drive me out at their desire: and if I let them come, their fathers and friends will drive me out for their sakes.” When I read Plato’s Apology/defense I understood Plato’s view, that he(Socrates) was and honest person  and that he (Plato) seemed to be more authentic than Xenophon(Who was not present in the trial). The difference in the vote counts was not that huge (if some 38 votes were to be added in Socrates favor, he could have won the trial). That did tell us that the society somehow got inspiration from Socrates. The change was definitely there. Socrates himself had vision for such changes in his later statement after he received the death penalty,  “Me you have killed because you wanted to escape the accuser, and not to give an account of your lives. But that will not be as you suppose: far otherwise. For I say that there will be more accusers of you than there are now; accusers whom hitherto I have restrained: and as they are younger they will be more severe with you, and you will be more offended at them. This is the prophecy which I utter before my departure, to the judges who have condemned me.” Almost 2400 years later, after his death, when we are questioned about the justification of Socrates’ defense, I want to raise another issue- Is it justifiable to judge an event in history with modern perspective? History comprises of ‘fictions’ and ‘fragmented-stories’ according to Michel Foucault. The societal discourses delete its own trail, erase its traces. History is not ‘Sequential’ in that sense. We don’t know the entire discourses of that ancient society. When I read Plato’s Apology, when I see the logic that Socrates stated or applied in his argument that makes sense even today. But the fact is, society will always execute its own rules. It comprises of different identity groups and immersed with Power clashes among different identity groups/discourses. One that  survives, comes in to the focus point. The ‘value-system’ exercised by Socrates could not gain enough support for avoiding his death penalty but I believe it did influence the later generation, it enlightened the younger generation of his time from which new value system emerged. As Socrates said,  “The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways – I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.” I want to elaborate further on these statements. First of all, Socrates was well aware of the fact that ‘Death’ will do no harm to him. As it is clear from the following excerpt from Plato’s Apology: “Now if death is like this, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again”. So the question/concern that Socrates threw for his later generation “I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows”-   is purely a Post modern / Post structural concern where individual is unable to judge which value-system will be better for a society. In post modern perspective one can not absolutely determine/nominate a specific discourse, an absolute value system. Socrates was, in my opinion, in a dilemma. In my opinion, he might have immersed in questions like, would he be able to empower his discourse by sacrificing himself or should he let the traditional discourse /society take its turn and run along with that generation of people?    Nearly after 2400 years of his penalty, we still see the problems of the minor Identity groups to push forward their views and getting them accepted in the society. We still have difficulty allowing enough rights/privileges for the Gay and Lesbian groups in our society. Just Imagine how much pain you will have passing a bill for gay or lesbian rights in US congress!  Majority of our society is accustomed to some traditional value. This was similar case for Socrates. We see those conflicts all over in history. To me, Socrates’ departure should be considered as a victory of an individual who had his own agenda, against the traditional system. The great leaders rose from history and created new discourse of knowledge and changed our lives. New value system replaces the old ones, the process continues. That is how we came here in twenty first century. We praise for individualism, freedom for speech and freedom for choosing our life style. We can not simply judge which value system is better than the others. Some times history choose the fairer one, some times history picked the wrong one (The ‘Fairer’ and ‘Wrong’ are context dependent words they don’t have any universal ground). But as of Today, the value system that was exercised by Socrates displays the passion for learning, nourishing virtue in human behavior and practicing morale in higher ground- all align with the modern day value system. Socrates and some of his ideas still co-exist with modern day value systems.  

Plato might view the defense from his own perspective, with his own criteria (Because it is the ‘Reader’ who becomes the ‘Author’ in Post  structural norms and different ‘Reader’ reads different ‘meaning’ from the same text!). But I really tried to stretch-out the entire defense in POST modern and POST structural ground and tried to lay out the justification (or why there could not be any justification!). In my opinion the POST modern interplay (discourses, value system, Identity groups and Identification, logo-centralism) was still there, and Socrates was subjected to this dynamics of the society. As of today, we are still living with this dynamics that once determined Socrates’ fate in 399 BC.

Art comparison: ‘Olympia’ and ‘The Starry Night’, Manet vs. Vangogh

December 14, 2006

‘The Starry Night’

‘The Starry Night’ was not Van Gogh’s first depiction of a night sky. In
Arles, he had been proud of his painting of the stars and the reflection of the lights of the town in the River Rhône, one of the first results of a plan intimated to Emile Bernard in April 1888. He wanted to paint a starry night as an example of working from the imagination, which could add to the value of a painting: ‘we may succeed in creating a more exciting and comforting nature than we can discern with a single glimpse of reality’, he wrote. In a letter to Theo(his brother) of the same date, Vincent was more explicit about the motif: ‘a starry night with cypresses or possibly above a field of ripe wheat’. With his ‘Starry Night’, painted in Saint-Rémy, he fulfilled that promise and did so at a time when he was more determined than ever to prove himself the equal of his fellow artists.
Van Gogh also mentioned as a joint aim ‘a kind of painting giving greater consolation’. This supremely religious aspiration was no longer related to the Christian ethic for Van Gogh. His insistence that the canvases were not a return ‘to romanticism or to religious ideas’, though somewhat puzzling at first, was intended only to show that the works had nothing in common with earlier mystic paintings. He had once admired religious subjects from ancient art, but he now considered that the feeling of solace should primarily be evoked by the colour and design of representations of nature. ‘The Starry Night’ should be seen as based on religious ideas only in this specific sense. The artistic solution chosen by Van Gogh for these canvases lay in a compelling form of stylisation. The landscape with hills – in which he had attempted ‘to render the time of day when you see the green beetles and cicadas fly up in the heat’ and ‘The Starry Night’ were, he wrote later, ‘exaggerations in terms of composition’ with lines ‘warped as in old woodcuts’. Van Gogh was referring to the somewhat primitive, coarse illustrations in the household edition of the works of Dickens rather than to the carefully executed wood engravings in contemporary magazines. in the drawings which he also made after these paintings, this abstraction has been taken a step further. ‘The Starry Night’ in particular was an attempt by Van Gogh to create a masterpiece on a par with the very stylised work of Gauguin and Bernard. The graphic style adopted by Van Gogh was not an obvious choice to achieve a nocturnal effect in which surfaces and silhouettes would normally play a greater role than lines. The style is in this sense rather artificial, and the same can be said of the scene itself, put together as it is from different studies from nature. Van Gogh may have had doubts about the painting, but subsequent commentators have elevated ‘The Starry Night’ to a place among his most exceptional and important works. The combination of style and religious overtones has fuelled endless critical debate. Several authors have investigated the extent to which Van Gogh’s night sky is true to life, but the science of astronomy has failed to produce an unambiguous answer. In the light of Van Gogh’s opinions this is hardly surprising: he was permitting himself the artistic freedom which Bernard and Gauguin also exploited.


Olympia’:
 

 Manet  paraphrased a respected work by a Renaissance artist in the painting Olympia (1863), a nude portrayed in a style reminiscent of early studio photographs, but whose pose was based on Titian‘s Venus of Urbino (1538). The painting was controversial partly because the nude is wearing some small items of clothing such as an orchid in her hair, a bracelet, a ribbon around her neck, and mule slippers, all of which accentuated her nakedness. This modern Venus’ body is thin, counter to prevailing standards; thin women were not considered attractive at the time, and the painting’s lack of idealism rankled. A fully dressed servant is featured, exploiting the same juxtaposition as in Luncheon on the Grass.Manet’s
Olympia was also considered shocking because of the manner in which she acknowledges the viewer. She defiantly looks out as her servant offers flowers from one of her male suitors. Although her hand rests on her leg, hiding her pubic area, the reference to traditional female virtue is ironic; the notion of modesty is notoriously absent in this work. The black cat at the foot of the bed strikes a rebellious note. Manet’s uniquely frank (and largely unpopular) depiction of a self-assured prostitute was rejected by the Paris Salon of 1863. At the same time, his notoriety translated to popularity in the French avant-garde community.

Analysis: 

 I am attempting to differentiate the work-pieces based on some points. There could be ‘more’ points on that, but the attempts are solely mine, a viewer in 21st century, trying to find out the ‘archeological facts’ about the works or the masters. It is always impossible to ‘discover the discourse’ sitting on the present and digging out the past, for someone cannot efficiently or exactly glean all the facts of the society at that period of time.  Manet was an early impressionist. He worked in the ‘grey area’ between ‘Realism’ and ‘Impressonism’. Some of his work depicted his biasness towards ‘orientation’. He effectively used juxtapositions in his famous works to ‘display’, ‘internalize’ the social facts. He was the master of ‘female body’. He experimented a lot with different themes and combinations of female body/bodies. Manet challenged the traditional society’s view about woman/female introducing his ‘idea’ of females. He showed the ‘bear nakedness’ of the society criticizing  ‘socially constructed’ identities at that time. In
Olympia, he showed a different identity of a self-assured female prostitute, standing against the authority of the society. It was profane at that time and the piece was not allowed for display in some museums at
Paris. But he achieved the individuality of his character in relative to other  graphic pieces on his canvass through ‘relative positioning’. So the ‘Urban tone’ is clearly present in this piece of work (like most of his works).
  On the other hand, Van Gogh came from a poverty stricken background where life was ‘color-less’ and exposed its ‘grimace’. The life that Van Gogh was brought up, was a ‘nightmare’ for him. And if you add ‘lack of artistic recognition’, ‘lack of support’, one can imagine how difficult time he was passing. In reaction, Van Gogh developed an extremely ‘Subjective’ view of reality, a reality which he can control using color, using expression. A truth about nature that he can depict with the authority of God. Vincent is often labeled as Post-impressionist or Expressionist artist.   In the ‘The Starry Night’ (whose paper copy is hanging on my living room), one will find an ‘astronomically impossible’ depiction of a night. The darkness of the night is expressed like a ‘ocean of blue’, providing more depth, a depth like an ocean. The circular, thick brush-strokes around the stars, moon (
Orange color moon) created a spell on the mind. Ideally an artist should be interested to express the ‘blurriness’ of the objects since it is ‘night time’ after all. Vincent went into the opposite direction; he made things more visible which are infact, less visible in our real world! He created his own ‘Starry Night’ than is offered by the nature. The tree almost touched the ceiling of the cosmos (night sky), thus breaking the boundary of far sky and the landscape. The tree’s intention to reach the sky is a mere translation of the viewer’s intention to do so. The house-roofs, hill tops, gables are flooding with the ‘blue’ of the night, the ‘Starry Night’ spell-bound the entire village. The stars are like the ‘blobs of orange’ shining not in the sky, but in the viewer’s mind. The concentric thick brushes(with mix of orange and blue color) around the stars created a ‘wave-like’ motion in the canvass, a motion of orange-blue-ocean current, keeping the mind busy in its magic track. The Starry Night is captured in viewer’s imagination and subjectivity. Thus struck by the ‘colorlessness’ of the life, Vincent gets a relief with his imagination and provides a relief to the viewers who develop more mechanistic view of a starry night based on what they see in their  everyday life, what they are taught by the positivism of human sciences.

Follow up: ‘On The Origin of Love and Sex’

December 8, 2006

From the earlier post, we see that sexuality is not a ‘subjective science’ as demanded by Freud and by Jacques Lacan. Sexuality is a discourse created merely, by the ‘repression’ of the individual against the ‘Power’ exercised on him by the society. This act of power produced some norms in individual for which the individual became both subject and object of the act. In short, the individual perform some practices and watch out himself further to make sure he/she is maintaing the norm, thus further strengthening this discourse. Thus sexuality came out as a entirely new animal as an act of ‘Power Exercise’ by the society. Society repressed an individual, insinuated some norms of sexual acts and sexuality and the sexual identities in his cognitive mind. For example, some part of the world, homosexuality is justified, in other parts, it is not. The existence of ‘Homosexuality, therefore, depends on the ‘society where you are situated’ not in the biological root or discourse.

This view of Michel Foucault ignited a ‘silent battle’ between him and Jacques Lacan for long years untill it was mediated through Jacques Derrida at later time. Michel Foucault believed that human body is ‘subject to pleasure’ and the bodily act of pleasure has nothing to do with morarility. It was the Christianity which imposed restrictions on body-pleasure. However, the issue that could be debated here, as it came down in my mind as a question: Why does human body need pleasure? What is the root of this desire that Foucault has isolated from the  morality? What is the ground that he was claiming an independent discourse for that pleasure? What if the pleasure is tied with the Lacanian concept of whole psychology? These  are some  issues against Michel Foucalut’s argument on sexuality for which I am still looking for some answers/evidence and anlyses from others.

If Sexuality is as such, a mere act of Power on individual, then how about love?Is it tied with some Power exercise as well? What is the very root of that exciting discourse, the endless passion for your partner? Does it exist in homosexuals in the very same way as heterosexuals? Is it a reactionary force of sexuality? Is it a ‘second sexuality’ in terms of Simone De Beauvoir? Or has it some other fundamental root or a silent discourse that is running for thousand years without being very explicit in nature?

According to the Freudian and Lacanian concept, we see that there are TWO roots that all human perceives in his/her life. One is the ‘Patriarchal root’,  the ‘Father’,  the ‘Law’ that govern and  drive  the symbolic world. The child ‘rejects’ the mother, identify with the ‘Father’  and come into the ‘being’ in the culture and language. The ‘abject mother’  is thus sacrificed, yet remembered in unconscious. It is the abject mother whose absence  produces the ‘sense of losses’ to the ‘body blob’ of human child at the very early stage. In the ‘real’ stage of Lacan, he calls it real because right before this stage , the  body blob was intimate with its mother, it did not have any lack of food, any desire, therfore, it did not have the LANGUAGE! It was this separation, the disassociation that caused  all the desires to be kicked-in. This lack, or the sense of lack driving all of us crazy, producing a monsterous lacking unconscious, allways thirsty for something, a relentless signifier in the system of life, that looks for a ‘significand’, a pointer looking for its ‘apparent target’, yet there is no complete, absolute target. The lack of mother, creates the desire for ‘Love’, love for your wife, a replacement, a broken replacement which is workable but not an absolute solution. The ‘Sex’ is an act of power as one can see this reflection of this definition on Milan Kundera’s writings where his characters used ‘sex’ as an act of ‘subjugation’ for their partners. Exercising sex with our partner, we exercise, the ownership of the Power, we follow the ‘Other’, the symbolic ‘Father’, the perceived source of the ‘Law’ and the ‘Power’. Society’s Power kicks-in into ourselves and leaveraged in terms of sexual acts. Sex is, another word, an implementation of the power, the  hidden force in individual, finally lands on the bed!

What is  ‘Love’ then? A force exists with its utter subordination, a passion for the partner, that drives towards sex or sometimes it does not. Love for the children, for the world, for the nature, for the world life are not driven to the sexuality or sex-acts? How this love is related to the love for your partner? The proposition that I am making here and could be debated further(and continually be studdied by myself to adjust the hypothesis) is that this love is connected to our ‘Matriarchal root’, the ‘lack of mother’ that we are carrying along our entire life, the desire, the passion arises from that lack. The ‘abject Mother’, a term coined by Julia Kristeva, is the root of the love. The ‘Mother’ in our symbolic world, is the like the ‘Moon’ in the presence of the patriarchial the ‘Sun’, less stronger desire to follow but yet a lot desirable. All our atempts in this life to grow, to be powerfull are rooted in following the ‘The other’, the ‘Father’. In doing so, we become far distant from another root, the mother, the most primitive source in our existence. The remnants of that disassociation, that separation yet allures us as a side-effects of our continual chasing for the ‘Father’, the ‘Patriarchal root’. So love will still shine in your life, arising from this very fact. We need to adjust these opposing forces in our  psyche. Love is the ‘sub-discourse’ that is essentially posited against the main ‘discourse of the Father, the law’ of the society. Human existence without ‘Love’ is impossible. If you dont love certain things, that is OK, but you have the ‘Love’ for other things, you have certain passions. The act of love is an attempt for you to return to your ‘maternal origin’. By exercising ‘Love’, we dont exercise the ‘Power’ against our partner or object, rather we exercise ‘the subordination’, a reactionary practices emerges as a side effect of our patriarchal root.

On the Origin of ‘Love’ and ‘Sex’: A POST Modern analysis

November 5, 2006

What is the origin of ‘Love’ and what is the origin of ‘Sex’? Are they stemming from the same root? Are they different?

Does Love has the ‘Historicity’ surrounding its very own  definition? How did ‘Love’ evolve over the time? Does love exist in animal kingdom?

Can someone feel only ‘Love’ but not ‘Sex’?

These questions need to be answered. I would encourage the readers to think critically, theoritically about this problem. We need to understand how ‘Love’ and ‘Sex’ jumped into our life as a separate discourse. What is the historical analysis on that?

Stay tuned!! A lot to come.

Follow up: ‘Love’ and the ‘Sex’

November 5, 2006

 The plan is to explain ‘Sexuality’ and ‘Sex’ first, in terms of Michel Foucault. Then I will gradually unveil the discourse of ‘Love’ using Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva’s hypotheses. The articles will be referred in original form without URL references since a lot of URL references get out dated and we lose data in the internet at some point.

Background on Michel Foucault and Sexuality is presented in the following:

Brief History of Foucault

As I understand it, Foucault is one of the widely recognized creators of post-modernism. He was influenced by Hegel and Nietzsche, and he retains Hegel’s concern with a combination of both philosophical and historical theorizing. In particular, two elements were of primary interest to Foucault: the understand the relationship of general history to the philosophical history, and understanding humans as epistemological beings.
He rejects from this same tradition, the idea of history having an orderly, logical progression and “meaning” as well as the idea of a science (or set of sciences) about human nature.

Foucault wrote about the intellectual uses of certain words over various historical periods on particular themes such as medicine, penal practice, psychiatry, and sexual conduct. He likes to discuss the “historical constructs” through which we come to view various ideas over time, and to describe the power relations and social norms which he believes define such terms over time.

Prof. Hicks includes Foucault among the four philosophers included in his definition of Post-Modernism as a philosophy characterized by metaphysical antirealism, epistemological collective subjectivism, social constructionism in human nature, and value collectivism. Following a summary reading, I will use this proposed definition to see if the material permits the inclusion of Foucault in the proposed definition.

The caveat I offer for the reader is that I had a difficult time understanding this text, and I suspect my difficulties will be evident. It was frustrating for me to try to empathize with Foucault’s conceptual distinctions because I couldn’t identify entities to be included in many of the concepts he offers. I felt as if the terms being used were words I recognized, but the underlying conceptual distinctions being made were utterly alien to me. I was left simply quoting in much of what follows and offering speculative comments on what the quoted material might mean. I offer sympathy to the readers for the following summary and analysis as I struggled to be objective in my reading of Foucault.

Introduction

Foucault begins by contrasting our current “Victorian Regime” toward sexuality, which has reigned since the beginning of the 17th century, and the formerly open regime prior to then. This prudish Victorianism treats sex as “restrained” and “hypocritical,” and it labels all sexual activity outside of a married, heterosexual couple’s bedroom characterized by being related to reproduction, silence, and monogamy to be abnormal. Other sexual
practices are consigned via repression to “the brothel” or to mental hospitals. They are given “a sentence to disappear,” as well as an “injunction to silence” and an “affirmation of non-existence.” Only in their permitted realms, they are given, “a right to…forms of reality” and a “clandestine, circumscribed, and coded type of discourse.” Thus, Foucault
presents the essence of his analysis to follow: a discussion of the history of sexuality to highlight the relationships between sex, repression, power, and knowledge.

According to Foucault, one of the first, albeit unsuccessful, attempts to liberate humanity from sexual oppression came from Freud and his introduction of psychoanalysis. However, this liberation was an illusory one because is was “medicalized” and therefore implicitly accepting of the repressive order through relegating the subject of sexuality to a safe discourse–sanitized science. This relegation failed to address the “fundamental link” between power, knowledge and sexuality. Truth, Foucault suggests, is inextricably tied to politics, and Freud fails to address this in his scientific analysis of sexuality. In Foucault’s words, “the least glimmer of truth is conditioned by politics.” Foucault moves quickly to
politics by linking the repression of sexuality to capitalism, calling this repression an “integral part of” capitalism which is asserting its ugly head at the time of the rise of Victorianism. Exploited workers can’t be allowed to have pleasure except in the service of reproduction.

One possible source for the link of sex and power via repression might be the “speaker’s benefit” provided. This is because speaking about the prohibited, i.e. unacceptable sexuality, is a disruption of the established order and challenging the power implied by the repression. An implicit support for the established, repressive order comes from those wishing to have a voice of opposition within it. But Foucault discounts this idea. Instead, he suggests that a discourse on sexuality linked to power via repression is characterized by: 1) truth revelation, 2) overturning of global laws, 3) the proclamation of a new day, and 4) a promise of felicity.

Following this prelude describing the current situation, Foucault presents his purpose in this discourse on the history of sexuality. He intends to present a means or method for examining the discourse on sexuality. In particular, he wants to understand why contemporary society feels so guilt-ridden over making so much of the discourse about sexuality “a sin.” He is setting out to “examine…a society castigating itself for
hypocrisy,” a society that “speaks verbosely of its own silence,” that “relate(s) in detail the things it doesn’t say,” that “denounces the power it exercises,” and promises liberation from laws making it function.” He is not interested in the repression of sexuality, he is interested in the protest about that repression.

He quickly considers, and rejects, the “repressive hypothesis” that the loud protesting is a result of the difficulty entailed in overthrowing the established, stifling, reigning order. His three-fold objections are formulated as questions. First: Is sexual repression an stablished
historical fact? Second: Is power and its mechanisms really repressive? Third: Is the “critical discourse” of repression really an example of the “power mechanism” or “historical framework” it claims to denounce? Foucault, perhaps oddly, is not interested in answering these questions.
Instead, the objections are to serve as a means for focusing the discussion, for reorienting the debate, a debate he intends “putting back within a general economy of discourses on sex.” He wants to “define the regime of power-knowledge-pleasure that sustains the discourse on human sexuality” and the understand “the way in which sex is ‘put into discourse'”.

Objective

In this section, Foucault sets the stage for offering his “analytics of power.” He does this by exposing what he sees as the conventional account of power, a flawed account he exposes in order to dismiss it in favor of his own alternative. He first asserts that, contrary to the usual account, power is not repressive in nature, it is not used as an outside force or authority which restricts the expression of “primal urges” of sexuality from the outside. Rather, he invokes a “theory of desire” which says any time desire is present (presumably including sexual desire) the “power relation is already present.” Thus, power relations are inexorably tied to any discourse on desire/sexuality. How is it so tied? Power should be understood through an “analytics” which define “the domain
formed by relations of power,” and Foucault offers to elucidate the “instruments” that make this analysis possible. That will have to wait until the next section. First, he insists on the importance of rejecting the idea of power of the “juridico-discursive” type. He rejects the usual conception of power as manifest in the laws of society written up as the
legal code. This usual conception has at least five features, and these features can be understood by applying them to the case of sex. First, the “negative relation” in which it “negates” sex if and when sex might be enacted. Second, the “insistence of the rule” in which power dictates an order to sex via language–i.e. the dictate of a (prohibitive) legal code of restrictions. Third, the “cycle of prohibition” in which sex is forced to “renounce itself” through either self-abnegation or via explicit external suppression. Fourth, the “logic of censorship” in which (unacceptable) sex is not permitted, it’s expression is prevented, and it’s existence is denied. Finally, the “uniformity” of power–that it has a general character that functions equally in all situations involving power relations with only variation in the scale of its strength. This general character is the “law of transgression and punishment.” Foucault summarizes the conception he opposes as relying on “the force of the negative” and “nothing more than the statement of the law and the operation of taboos,” and he explicitly rejects the appropriateness of the “rule of law.”

Foucault then tries to account for the widespread appearance of power in this form he rejects. The reason for its success is a tactical one–because it is general in operation and silent in expression, it’s true nature as an oppressive force is hidden. The establishment of this “discourse,” this juridico-political power manifest in legislation, hid the operation of the true underlying “facts and procedures of power.” In doing so, true power was consolidated behind the scenes. Despite efforts to separate executive power (i.e. “monarchy”) from judicial power, they remained tightly bound together–as they must, Foucault insists. Critics have been unable to change this state of affairs precisely because they accept the impossible separation as a worthy goal. Not to despair. Modern society has developed
new “power mechanisms” not captured by this standard model. If we can now
discard the notion of “power-law,” we can understand the working of power in
society, which is the subject of the next section.

Method

Foucault says power is “the name [of a] complex strategical situation in a particular society” which is exemplified by the “multiplicity of force relations in the sphere in which they operate.” This multiplicity is “coded” in two forms: war and politics. To understand the difference of this conception from the one he opposes, he offers a series of contrasts.
Power is not a thing to be obtained and/or manipulated; instead, it is the interplay of complex relationships. Power is not a simple separation of binary relationships into the controller and the controlee; instead, they relationships which are part of other relationships such as economic, knowledge, and sexual relationships. Power is not a “top-down” phenomenon emanating from those above and dictating to those below; instead, they are anifest throughout society.

He further characterizes power relations as intentional, but nonsubjective. While they are intentional in being directed in a particular “direction,” they are not the intention of individual people. In this way, they are like Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” or Hayek’s notion of the coordination of the market through human action, but not by human design. Furthermore, the “points of resistance” in the network of power relations are also
everywhere, like resistors in a large electric panel. This characterization of power as a flux of shifting relations between spheres of force and resistance is the sought for “escape” from the judicial model of power. In understanding the history of the discourse on sex, one is to apply this conception to find the power relations that influence the discourse. In doing so, there are four “rules” to be followed. The rule of immanence directs one of search for the shifting forces allowing an inquiry to take place. In any subject of inquiry, including sexuality, one must seek the relations of power which permit the subject to be opened as an object of inquiry. The rule of continual variations seeks for patterns of
shifting forces (i.e. “matrices of transformations”) within the discourse, rather than “static” relationships. The rule of “double conditioning” admits there are complicated, but reinforcing, relationships between small, local power centers in the flux and the more global strategies and power relations. Finally, there is the rule of tactical polyvalence of
discourses, in which any discourse must be conceived as a involved in many different of the constantly shifting force relations. Applying these rules requires two standards for evaluating any discourse, including one into sexuality. The first standard is tactical
productivity–what are the effects of the discourse on power and knowledge in society. The second is strategic integration–what force relationships make the use of the discursive elements necessary in any given instance.

Foucault intends to use these rules and standards to evaluate the discourse  on sexuality since the 17th century. Having laid this groundwork, he’s ready to present his analysis of the relevant discourse about sex, power, and knowledge.

Domain

Foucault begins his “analytics” with a description/definition of sexuality as “a dense transfer point for relations of power…endowed with the greatest instrumentality” and a “linchpin for the most varied strategies.” To interpret this a bit, he seems to be distancing his discussion from a reference to biological and psychological phenomena such as drives and centering it on the discourse of sexuality over time. This discourse forms the metaphysical ground from which “sexuality” emerges as an important location for the interplay of power and knowledge. “Sexuality” is an arena for the playing out of power and knowledge relationships among multiple actors.

Four “strategic unities” emerge from the two century discourse on sexuality according to Foucault. These unities formed “mechanisms” within the flux of power and knowledge. These unities “gained an effectiveness” in power relations and showed “productivity” in knowledge relations, thereby becoming the “privileged objects of knowledge.” The unities each have a prototype representative–1) The hysterical woman, 2) the masturbating child, 3) the Malthusian couple, and 4) the perverse adult.

The Hysterical Woman is manifest in discourse in three ways. The first is as a body “saturated with sexuality,” or what today might be called the “objectification” of the female body. The second is “medical pathology,” in which medicine incorporated women into practice for conditions “intrinsic” to it; Foucault doesn’t say, but I assume he means the development of fields like gynecology and obstetrics. The third is an “organic communication” into the “social body” via fecundity, the “family space,” and the life of children.  The Masturbating Child enters discourse in a complicated way via two opposing forces. The first is the “natural” indulgence of children in sexual practices (presumably like masturbation), or at least the desire to so indulge. This is considered “unnatural” and therefore dangerous for these “pre-sexual” beings. Given this conflict between two contrary forces, there is a focus on controlling them by multiple actors such as parents and doctors.

The Malthusian couple also lies at the center of multiple forces, this time of “socialization.” There are fiscal/economic pressures to limit one’s sexuality to a monogamous, heterosexual relationship. There is the political “responsibilization” for birth control, perhaps as evidenced by China’s policies to limit couples to one child if possible. There is the medical socialization which places “pathogenic value” on birth control, thus discouraging population growth.

Finally, there is the Perverse Adult, created through the identification of a “sexual instinct” with biological and psychiatric components. Various “abnormalities” of sexuality were clinically isolated, and thus made open to (medical) treatment(s), primarily psychoanalysis.

But why these unities and not others? The issue, Foucault suggests, is “the…production of sexuality.” This production is generated by the discourses of the time period analyzed, and the discourse is governed by the power and knowledge structures of that time period. Those structures which gain strength in the ebb and flux of multiple forces attain significance, and sexuality is one of these constructions. Sexuality is “the name…given
to a historical construct.” This construct, as identified by the “unities” described above, is described/defined as:

“…a great surface network in which the stimulation of bodies, the intensification of pleasures, the incitement to discourse, the formation of special knowledges, and the strengthening of controls and resistances, are linked to one another, in accordance with a few major strategies of knowledge and power.”

The construct continues to evolve, gradually replacing an older order with the new one. The previous order, was an order characterized by: 1) a system of marriage and kinship ties, 2) the transmission of names and possessions, 3) and containing rules defining acceptable sexual behavior mostly to maintain reproduction. This order, the “deployment of alliance”, lost strength to economic and political forces and was superseded by a new
apparatus, the “deployment of sexuality.” This new order, in contrast, “exists to proliferate, innovate, annex, create, and penetrate bodies in a detailed way” and for “controlling populations is a comprehensive way.” This is not a hostile takeover of one culture by another, rather it is the evolution of one “alliance” or comprehensive strategy out of a former one.
The new order operates through the “family cell” via the twin axes of husband-wife and parents-children, and it’s role is to “anchor” sexuality and provide support for it. Through the remainder of the essay, Foucault describes the evolution of the new sexuality out of the older order of alliance. He describes a “deployment” of sexuality. As the older, restrictive order attempted to suppress the emerging sexuality, a number of unfortunate conflicts arose within the cultural focus point, the family, resulting in the colorful
emergence of, “the nervous woman, the frigid wife, the indifferent mother–or worse, the mother beset by murderous obsessions–the impotent, sadistic, perverse husband, the hysterical or neurasthenic girl, and the young homosexual who rejects marriage or neglects his wife.” To control the “saturating sexuality” invading the family, it turned to medicine and was rewarded with psychoanalysis via Charcot and Freud.

Final Brief Thoughts

First, a psycho-epistemological gestalt on the reading. Foucault is an entertaining, sensually engaging writer. The images of the hysterical woman and perverse husband caught in the vortex of societal forces beyond their understanding or control, or of a Faustian sexuality running rampant through the repressive Victorian society and demanding medical attention to subdue it was entertaining and fun. Amazingly, he combines these vivid, metaphorical characters with an image of a deeply mechanistic view of the world, particularly its human actors. The recurring themes are about impersonal, physics-like “forces” such as “power” and “knowledge” which “operate” throughout society. These forces, having a kind of Will of their own, shift about, creating confluences and resistive points, acting via individuals and institutions which are passive bodies being pushed and pulled through history. Understanding these “forces” seems to entail interpreting the “discourses” evident in a society, and it is these expressive, discursive elements which form the most basic material from which social life emerges. Returning to Prof. Hicks’ definition of post-modernism, does Foucault fit?

In metaphysics, PM is exemplified by antirealism. I’m not sure, based on the above, what sort of metaphysics Foucault would endorse. It seems that he believes in “discourse” as the basic material of life. To understand sexuality, one does not start by observing human beings and comprehending human nature in creating a theory of sexuality. Instead, one looks at the “forces” which dictate the discourse on sexuality in a particular historical
context. I don’t think that the “discourse” is to be seen as a means for understanding human nature; Foucault doesn’t see human nature as the issue. Instead, the discourse is the basic material out of which the important “forces” in society emerge to effect the course of events. It seems to me this acceptance of “discourse” is, in Objectivist terms, an example of the primacy of consciousness rather than the primacy of existence etaphysics.

In epistemology, PM accepts a collective subjectivism according to Prof. Hicks. Foucault would seem to fit comfortably into this category. He relies on the socio-historical agreement on terms as the standard for epistemology, rather than focusing on the individual conceptualization of percepts into concepts. “Sexuality” has shifting meaning over time, a meaning that is completely dependent on the discourse from that time and
place. This shift can not be understood as right or wrong, I don’t believe, depending on how accurately a phenomenon is characterized. Rather, there is no right or wrong outside the agreement at the time of the accepted meaning. He endorses the idea that truth depends importantly on power, with avenues of knowledge only attainable with the “permission” of authority. I find it nearly impossible to try and reduce Foucault’s elaborate descriptions of his key terms such as sexuality into perceptible concretes; they exist, in Objectivist terms, as floating abstractions which he doesn’t try to ground in perception. Of course, I don’t believe such an identification is of concern to Foucault–that’s not his standard for truth. In the realm of human nature, PM accepts social constructionism, and Foucault is an exemplar of this. People as individual actors are basically irrelevant to Foucault; the “forces” acting in a society act through people,
but the people themselves are not actors. The clearest expression of the social constructionism in Foucault are his striking prototypes for the “unities” in society; these vivid characters are built by the “alliances” acting on them.

Finally, in the realm of values, PM endorses value collectivism, Prof. Hicks says. I’m not sure if Foucault fits here, only because I don’t know what his ethical-political positions would be based on this writing. The one thing he clearly rejects is the “rule of law” in some form. He sees the “judicial” view of power, as exemplified by legislation, as wrongheaded and dangerous. It’s “prohibitive” character is antithetical to a proper understanding of power, an understanding based on the it’s permeating all aspects of society as a universal force like gravitation.

Sources

Michael Foucault. The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction.
Translated by Robert Hurley, Vintage/Random, 1980. Part One, “We ‘Other
Victorians,'” pp. 3-13; Part Four, Chapters 1-3, pp. 81-114.

Hicks S. Defining Post-Modernism. Fall 1999 CyberSeminar in Objectivist
Studies, Oct. 5, 1999.

Urmson JO, Ree J. The concise Encyclopedia of Western Philosophy and
Philosophers, 3rd Edition, 1989.