Digital Dialogue 40: Engaged Pluralism

Vincent Colapietro, Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy here at Penn State, joins me for episode 40 of the Digital Dialogue.

The depth and breadth of his scholarship can hardly be touched upon in any substantive way in such a brief introduction, although I will emphasize that his work focuses on American Philosophy, semiotics and Peirce, but he has published extensively on a wide diversity of issues, including psychoanalysis.

His most recent book, Fateful Shapes of Human Freedom: John William Miller and the Crises of Modernity was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2003. I would be remiss if I did not mention an essay of his that has meant a lot to my own intellectual development, namely, Striving to Speak in a Human Voice: A Peircean Contribution to Metaphysical Discourse, which was his Presidential Address to the Metaphysical Society and was published by the Review of Metaphysics in 2004.

Vincent joins me today, however, to discuss a profile essay on Richard J. Bernstein he was asked to write for Profiles in the Theory of Communication. I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to talk as Dick Bernstein was a member of my dissertation committee and has had an important and ongoing influence on my intellectual development. I know Vincent and I share many of Bernstein’s central philosophical commitments.

Digital Dialogue 40: Vincent Colapietro on Richard Bernstein and Pluralism

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Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • dirkusa says:

    lots here to respond to but in relation to the larger project @ hand I was struck by VC's raising of the difficulties involved in dialogical exchanges (thru excesses, traumas, and I would add normal egocentric biases), and his point that to engage in dialogue in a way that takes care of such limits/potentials is to practice a kind of therapeutic intimacy. This relates to the kinds of limits that I was pointing to in teacher/student relationships which are not set up for such exchanges/commitments. So whether one looks to clinical examples or say Foucault's later explorations of discipline and parrhesia we need new models/ethos of education/communication.
    see Shotter, Gendlin, Dreyfus, Lingis “” target=”_blank”>:http://www.focusing.org/apm.htm#Online“ target=”_blank”> ” target=”_blank”>:http://www.focusing.org/apm.htm#Online Papers

  • dirkusa says:

    "In our common quest for immediacy and direct, face-to-face contact, we are given, as it were, proof of our knowledge and understanding of the other: we are fated to conformity-conformity to the familiar and the native. This obliterates the space for the unknowable, causing us to fall into the illusion that we understand everything in our grasp"
    Naoko Saito, Emerson&Thoreau Figures of Friendship,p178-9 ed. J.Lysaker

  • I think this is a wonderful quotation and it illustrates the importance of being vigilant against the delusion of absolute knowledge.

  • dirkusa says:

    it's an excellent chapter (Lysaker's is also quite good) I don't share her belief that in and of themselves reading/writing are the cure for such a quest for certainty (or as M-Ponty would say maximal grip) as I think that our gossipy habits (via Heidegger) are deeply woven into education , certainly slowing down the learning process would help especially the rush to answers/mastery (think of the difference in a European PhD). We throw so much at students in a very short period of time that immersion/reflection is effectively eliminated, and this is a worry in a world of instant-responses. where will folks learn such art-ifical social skills of sublimation/perfection?

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