Monday, April 25, 2011

Nietzsche's Perspectivism Cont'd

There is another way of looking at Nietzsche's perspectivism. This way can make for seasickness for weak stomachs. Perspectives, which should be understood as ways of thinking and habits of thoughts often found together, can themselves be objects of other perspectives. Part of Christianity, for example, is a certain kink in viewing of paganism. That is why the views of the pagans hold such fascination for a certain type of atheist and about-to-be atheist.

If perspectivism means both looking-at and being-looked-at. There is both an active element but always a passive one as well.

A concept of power is implied. The power shows itself by denying certain perspectives. Perspectives have their own internal logic, an aesthetic in its preferred arrangements of what is seen. This means nothing is really destroyed and obliterated. For example, when Christianity replacing paganism, it became ever less important to record what the pagans may have thought of Christianity, unless it was to provide lessons on refuting those errors. Christianity for all of its hatred of paganism in its refutations still preserved a great deal. Even in our most heinous totalitarianisms there are still secret archives.

Perspectives are always limited. This limitation comes from the metaphor of sight upon which the concept is based. To speak within this metaphor: we cannot see the back of our own heads. Every way of thinking elides objections with delinquency. For example, the Transportation Safety Administration considers that assertion of one's freedom of speech indicates subversive activity.

Habitual ways of thinking and seeing are not refuted. Instead their limitations are found. The confrontation of impossible facts throws those limits in sharp relief. Chalk dust blown over a trail of water drops. The experience of those limits? Insanity? Here there be dragons? What lies beyond? There's only one way to find out.

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