The Splendor of the Synthetic A Priori

Larval Subjects .

Immanuel_Kant_(painted_portrait)It’s difficult to understand why anyone would ever get excited about Kant’s question “how are synthetic a priori propositions possible?”  It’s an incredibly abstract question.  Everything must be placed in context.  That seems to lack any import beyond academic import.  We have analytic a priori concepts.  I think the concept “bachelor” and immediately think “unmarried male”.  There’s nothing in an analytic a priori judgments or concepts that, to use Kant’s language, “amplifies” my concept of “bachelor”.  “Unmarried male” is already contained in my concept of “bachelor”.  It’s a matter of definitions.  That’s why I can know it independent of experience.  The NSF won’t fund a study for research into whether bachelors are unmarried males as there’s nothing to learn.  We know it by definition.

With synthetic a posterior judgments, my knowledge is amplified.  When I go to Morocco for the first time, my concept of Morocco is expanded.  I synthesize

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Feminist Consciousness

Excellent piece for every curious person, student, activist, soon to become feminist.

feministkilljoys

Well, I didn’t plan to stay away from my blog for such a long time! But when I was rewriting Living a Feminist Life over the summer, I did leave my blog behind. I seemed to find it hard switching between blog and book: it seems to be one or the other.

Other reasons: I have had the best hap ever. In July a little puppy came into my life. She has changed my life as I knew she would, as I knew she should! Her name is Poppy and she has as much attention as I can give her. I am quite sure she will end up in my “Killjoy Survival Kit.” She’s wriggle her way right out of it. Wriggling is in there, too.

So, just to get back to my blog, I am sharing part of a new section I wrote in the first chapter of my book ‘Feminism is Sensational,’…

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Your politics have a problem when they contradict the real-life experiences of the people they’re supposed to be about.

#recommended #reading for You

Ballastexistenz

Your politics have an even bigger problem when the people they’re supposed to be about, become afraid to describe our real-life experiences, for fear of angering the echo chamber.  And when we become afraid to describe our real-life experiences, that reinforces your idea that or real-life experiences don’t actually exist.  Which reinforces the idea that you’re right.  Which makes you feel even more justified in attacking anyone who happens to contradict you for any reason at all.

I hate this.

I hate it because I am afraid to say certain things about my life.

Because I don’t know if I have the strength to handle the consequences if I do.

Because I understand, I more than understand, why the echo chambers believe as they believe.  I understand what’s at stake.  I understand why it’s so easy to believe that contradiction is a threat to your life, because in some areas…

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Communiqué from an Absent Future

we want everything

I

Like the society to which it has played the faithful servant, the university is bankrupt.  This bankruptcy is not only financial.  It is the index of a more fundamental insolvency, one both political and economic, which has been a long time in the making.  No one knows what the university is for anymore.  We feel this intuitively.  Gone is the old project of creating a cultured and educated citizenry; gone, too, the special advantage the degree-holder once held on the job market.  These are now fantasies, spectral residues that cling to the poorly maintained halls.

Incongruous architecture, the ghosts of vanished ideals, the vista of a dead future: these are the remains of the university.  Among these remains, most of us are little more than a collection of querulous habits and duties.  We go through the motions of our tests and assignments with a kind of thoughtless and immutable…

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