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Queen's University
ENGL 292
Mark Jones

LECTURE – TUESDAY , EBRUARY 26TH Althusser – Terms, Theses  Ideology  Obviousness  Ideological State Apparatus (ISA)  Repressive State Apparatus (RSA)  Base and Superstructure  “Relative autonomy of the superstructure”  “Dominant ISA,” Religious ISA, Educational ISA  “Ideology has no history” ; “Ideology has a material existence” ; “Ideology interpolates individuals as subjects” Not only are we faced with misrepresentations in our daily lives, but we are also faced with misrepresentation in academic study.  MARX: We need a critical theory for more than art and literature, but for our everyday experience. We need to investigate these misrepresentations, discover what they are, and why they exist. Marx‟s theory of ideology: mystification, inversion; there are 2 main principles:  Description of the large view of how reality actually is: Theory of base and superstructure. 662: Relations of production constitute the economic structure of society… Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology, no longer retains the semblance of independence. Life is not contained by consciousness, but consciousness by life.  The bottom determines the top  Theory of inversion: in all ideology, men in their circumstances appear upside- down. Not just looking at things through rose-coloured glasses, but with a completely ignorant perspective Williams, on the problems with Marx‟s theory: The chief problem that he isolates is the confusion that binaristic ideas of base and superstructure encourage the idea of a base and superstructure is very evocative. It makes you think and try to apply it, but it tends to tempt people into thinking in clearly black-and-white distinctions, in binaries.  Williams is a Marxist, but is complaining about the ridiculous conclusions made by Marxists  Piano-maker is base, but pianist is superstructure  how binary thinking invites ridiculous questions and statements Williams introduces refinements. Promotes his version of Hegemony: avoids the binary structure, giving a more mainstream/dominant/leading practice. Surrounded by a number of alternatives: residual (cultures that are around from past historical periods that developed under other modes of production), emergent, alternative, and oppositional practices. Williams‟ idea of incorporation: the action of hegemony in respect with rival or opposite cultural practices. This model is useful for looking at what happens in our culture: fashion, popular culture, high culture, etc. Still has to do with class dominations, while doing away with the base and superstructure. Althusser: Ideology will tend to naturalize things, thus hiding the fact that they are culturally produced; they are contingent. This is a matter of obviousness. He repeats the word so much that the reader can‟t forget the concept, but it also tends to afterwards make the reader think twice before using the word in one‟s own life. Gives us another way forward. The pianist vs. the piano maker is not a dead- end, by going back to Marx‟s base-superstructure model.  Focuses much more on the superstructure itself, and much less on the base and its relationship to the superstructure. Almost entirely an essay on the superstructure.  Materializes the superstructure. Not a mere set of ideas/images/illusions/representations – he treats it as a set of embodies treatments and rituals  THINK: “Ideology has a material existence”  Jamming the binary. “This is all material.” Even when you are talking about reality, it is material reality you‟re talking about. These are instantiated practices. They are all solid.  Helps clear away the confusion produced by the base-superstructure. Clearer than Marx  Questions the tendency towards conspiracy theory, to blame ideology for an evil clique or priesthood. 1351, 1352: small clique of scheming ideologues who come up with a plot to deceive the masses. Althusser rejects that notion. 1352: Uses the term “Clique” deliberately. As satisfying as it may be to blame the group, it suggests that it is a historical accident; it might have been avoided if this clique didn‟t exist. THINK: If we could have shot Hitler, WWII wouldn‟t have happened (ignoring the social problems that cause historical events).  Gives a much better picture of the relationship of the individuals to ideology. The category of the subject is the constituent category of ideology.  Marx tended to emphasize the collective; individualism is an illusion. Althusser: how does a social formation maintain itself from generation to generation? The necessity that a social formation not only produces what it needs to consume, but that it reproduces itself. You need not only production, but also reproduction of the means of production. How do we explain this? Ideology!  1359: semi-satirical edge – the subject who works by himself. Ideology is what makes us automatic, so we don‟t have to be reminded or forced into certain duties. SA RSA ISA Borrowing the term Unitary Ideology. Had not been regarded this way before, and remains controversial Police Ruling class Ruling class Courts Ruled by violence and Set of laws. Those who force break those laws can be punished accordingly (parallel to raising kids) Prisons Repression Diverse: THINK: Hegemonic culture incorporating what is arising Army Relies on ISA for support ISA relies on RSA for support What a state must have to 1354: list defend itself and keep order within Church has given way to the educational state apparatus (Middle Ages) Binary opposition between RSA and ISA is actually a continuum. If determination is from the bottom – up, what can be done about it? Althusser gets around this by insisting ideology has a material existence. Ideology always exists in an apparatus. Gives concreteness, a limit to the idea of what is ideology and what is not. When you kneel down to pray: Pascal says you do it because you have the practice, and that is what conveys the idea (the prayer). Very much like the base and superstructure, however it is not a Marxist base, but rather a cultural practice. Material determinism.  Engaging in a practice will determine your way of thinking Sports and Ideology … TH LECTURE – THURSDAY , FEBRUARY 28 “Ideology Interpellates Individuals as Subjects”  Does this mean ideology recognizes individuals as subjects or that it misrecognizes them as such, or that it recreates them as such?  Is it good or bad, welcome or baleful? o Depends on the situation  What is a “subject”? o We don‟t become subjects, but rather we recognize that we are subjects. We take it for granted that it is something that has always been an obviousness. No one can pinpoint when they realized they were subjects. o 1360: 2 contrasting definitions:  A person who is under the control of another or who owes obedience to another  Grammatical definition: agency  Conscious agent o Subject is a construct. Author is also a construct, a category in which we choose to describe someone who writes novels, but is not entirely necessary. Also the lyric  What is “interpellates”? o Always already subjects o 1355: How does he get from the simple illustration that friends recognize each other to everyone being subjects? o Centres in self-recognition th o OED: considered an archaic term, from the 16-18 centuries. In the French usages, the word involves more than just hailing, can mean interrupting, interrogating, etc. o THINK: WWI Uncle Sam posters. Images of the State interpellating the individual. Appealing to free choice, sense of duty  What is ideology? o 1346: know-how vs. intelligence. Ideology is civic instruction, nationalism, liberalism, moralism, philosophy o Fundamentally ambiguous. Enables us as subjects, facilitates our agency, while also limiting our control and subjecting us. A pregnant mother individualizes a child before it is born, giving it a name, expectations, hopes, etc. Even in a family and the values that we encourage are ideological. What is the outside of ideology? Exceptions:  Ideological State Apparatus as the site of class struggle. To have class struggle, there must be at least two parties.  Educational State Apparatus – teachers who teach against ideology are heroes. Is the teacher against ideology or the ruling ideology?  Says there is nothing outside ideology, but then says it is one of the effects of ideology to make you think that you are autonomous and free, when in reality, you embody them. You might not have been told to do such things explicitly, but everything about your culture – from media to television to novels to fashion to school to religion – suggests that is the way to a good life. Ideology never says, “I am ideology.” Ideology has no outside, but it has nothing but outside for science and reality. Notion that „everyone else is subject to ideology but me.‟ (Handout sheet) Not everything is ideology to Althusser. You get a bit of know-how with education. Ideology is more specific. LECTURE – TUESDAY , M ARCH 5 TH **TERM PAPER Nietzsche: Hermeneutics of suspicion, but now language is the culprit with a liberative, revolutionary view, treating it as possible to escape from (a viewpoint that will change later) Idea: the way that poetic language and its relation to memory relates to our future. The argument is that there is an intrinsic connection between language and reality/experience/knowledge. The cultural values that we inherit are encoded in the language we learn as children.  We have left and right, but many other cultures use N, E, S, W for direction Nietzsche‟s claims are coming from a philosophical historical context. Because we are reading this in a different context to which it was supposed to be received, we may automatically dismiss his ideas as wrong or backwards and negate its value. Our language is full of metaphor, and Nietzsche wants to draw them out and realize the implications of those metaphors. Misanthropy  Drive for Truth What is the Drive to Truth? Why are we so concerned with truth? (Inherited from Plato). Questions humanity‟s need for truth and why we need this metaphysical “existence” for which to base reality Pg. 765-6: self-preservation in the State of Nature, with relation to necessity and boredom, eliminating the war against all.  People want to be with other people, creating the need for communication and harmonic living  Relationships with other people become based on certain principles  Idea of Truth and an idea of Lying. Someone tells truth and someone lies and there are social implications to each o A poor person says they are rich, subverting their societal role and the perceptions others will form of them o The person who does not use language properly, truthfully, gets excluded because their deceit is harmful to the community o There are truths that are harmful, so we are interested primarily in the truths that are beneficial and life-preserving  Burdens language with the representation of truth and reality: “Is language the full and adequate representation of all realities?” (Pg. 766) Experience  Metaphor  Language When something is experienced, one uses language to explain it to others and also to themselves in order to understand what the experience means and what its significance is. So does sense precede language? THINK: babies learning language and new experiences. Pg. 767: Explanation of experience transforming into metaphor that transforms into another metaphor that transforms into language. There is a remove from sense to word to language. There is a lens of perception that has to mediate everything that we experience and understand.  From this idea of metaphor and language, we must then consider how concepts are formed. For concepts are notions that take words applied to various phenomena. o Leaf: there are many leaves that have different characteristics, but we still group them together. Even though they may be very different, we still understand what it means as a collective o Honest: there are honest thoughts, actions, dispositions, information, etc.  Compare the metaphors in different languages o Beat in Uganda: beating a child, beating a phone to talk to a friend, rain beating down, etc. o Pastor: In English, it comes from the Latin word for Shepherd; in Uganda, it comes from the word for a goat herder. The difference is intense, however, because the shepherd leads his sheep, facing the danger first, whereas the goat herder follows the goats, beating them with sticks and rocks.  Nietzsche suggests that, through use, we forget that some things are metaphoric o Dead Metaphors: do you see what I mean? To give and receive information/ideas, etc. o “We take these things as the things themselves”; we start to acquaint the things themselves with our literal meaning. We begin to think that words are meaning in themselves o “Only by forgetting this primitive world of metaphor… Only because Man forgets himself as a subject … does he live with peace and security” Nietzsche wants to attack certain ideas. Pg. 768: What is truth? What can we say of truth if the language we use to define and describe it is itself ridden with metaphors and therefore false and deceiving information? Pg. 770: Mistrust in idealism. It makes us suspicious of what language means THINK: Hermeneutics of Suspicion. We are suspicious of what we think the author is saying and what he actually is saying (literally and figuratively). If we can‟t approach this direct reality, how can we speak of anything with precision or certainty? How can we say we know anything, if language is bound up in knowledge? What does it mean when Nietzsche says the language through which we think we know everything actually isn‟t attached to the “correct” meaning or platonic realities at all? Language is just a way for communities of people to agree. So now, who is this essay for? Is it just for the Enlightened? People, in general, believe that language works in a certain way, a way that Nietzsche is now saying is wrong. The new function is almost Darwinian; it is not attached to reality.  Morality is a linguistic construction  Implying a division between people who are bored and the people who want to be a part of a community (SEE: pg. 765/Misanthropy  Truth)  What are the positive and negative implications of using metaphors?  Metaphors are true, although not literally, to the speakers of the language (THINK: My love is a red, red rose) Is Nietzsche arguing against metaphor or against dead metaphor specifically?  Pg. 768: What then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors… Truths are illusions of which we have forgotten they are illusions.  THINK: Emerson points out dead metaphors and the origins of words  Metaphor, here, is its own metaphor. Nietzsche is talking about how language separates us from truth and uses dead metaphors as a metaphor for this o Nietzsche himself is a very metaphoric writer  In Part I of the essay, Nietzsche is very misanthropic and depressing, but in Part II, he talks of the artists – those who have embraced that this is a structure that can be refocused (Pg. 773). The structure of concepts which we have built up to have a society; building an elaborate structure on a stream o Recognition that language is not absolute and does not put you in touch with reality, and it therefore can be renegotiated to mean that we can lie and be creative rather than carefully conceptual. Nietzsche‟s manifesto against the analytical branch of philosophy like can be seen in Locke and Kant. Here, there is a poetic discourse filled with metaphors  Pg 769: human beings as architectural genius. Is this embracing the metaphor in its distance to what is outside? Is this empowering? o THINK: Hirsh‟s idea of and advocating for objective interpretation. o The comfort of truth: it is not true, but it is comfortable because it seems like truth through objective interpretation Nietzsche is building on the foundation that was laid by Emerson and Shelley. THINK: Metaphor used as a metaphor. Language is built upon A = B. it is up to the receiver of this metaphor to use the metaphor responsibly. It is another alienation model. Metaphors are used, over time they are forgotten as metaphors, they become concepts – irreverence. The forgetting has to do with habit and over-familiarity. There is a transference of meaning. THINK: Concept of defamiliarization; THINK: Seeing-as  We don‟t notice them because they‟re dead, but because we don‟t notice them, they will mess up the sandy foundation upon which our intellectual edifices are built. So you might as well play with and enjoy metaphors and misrepresent things productively – addressed to everyone willing to read it LECTURE – THURSDAY , MARCH 7TH ** Metaphor – transference Metonymy – “I‟m waiting to hear from the Dean‟s office” when you‟re really waiting to hear from the Dean Synecdoche – “I have 80 factory hands” when you have 80 factory employees; taking a part to stand for the whole Symbolism - Metaphor as used by Nietzsche in his essay on truth and lying. In claiming that metaphor is that A=B, what he is really after is using what has long been accepted in Western tradition as a dubious case of metaphor and expanding that to make it stand for the problematics in language and conception. Metaphor as the conceptual structure: Metaphor of God the Father stands for a conceptual structure. When you die, you are going back home to your Father. It is tendentious (God is a father, not a mother). He is also an arbitrary figure. But the main point is to construct all of human life within a familiar and comforting illusion, and give the impression that your universe is a big version of your homelife, in leaving and eventually returning to your parents. This can eventually rigid and harden into a prison that prevents us from thinking freely and fluidly. Metaphor is transferring the qualities of one thing to another. You can usually translate a metaphor into a simile quite easily. Metaphor asserts something to be something else, causing a bit of anxiety and allowing for slight interpretation. Classic View of Metaphor: An Occasional of Aberrant Misuse of Language The general use of speech is to transfer our metnal discourse into verbal to serve for marks or notes of remembrace. Another use is when many use the same words to signify what they conceive or thing. To these uses, there are also 4 correspondent abuses. First, when men register their thoughts wrong by the inconstancy of the signification of their words they deceive themselves. Secondly, when they use words metaphorically; that is, in other sense than they are ordained for, and thereby deceive others. – Hobbes Language is often abused by figurative speech if we would speak of things as they are, we must allow that all the art of rhetoric, besides order and clearness; all the artificial and figurative application of words eloquence hath invented, are for nothing else but to insinutate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment; and so indeed are perfect cheats: and therefore, however laudable or alloabale oratory may render them in harangues and popular addresses, they are certainly, in all discourses that pretend to inform or instruct, wholly to be avoided. – Locke  If we want to convey things as they are, we must avoid rhetoric and figurative language. The assumption here, however, is that this is possible. I cannot but observe how little the preservation and improvement of truth and knowledge is the care and concern of mankind; since the arts of fallacy are endowed and preferred. It is evident how much men love to deveive and be deiceived, since rhetoric, that powerful instrucment of error and deceit, has its established professors, is publicly taught, and has always been had in great reputation: and I doubt not but it will be thought great boldness, if not brutality, in me to have said thus much against it. Eloquence, like the fair sex, has too prevailing beauties in it sto suffer itself ever to be spoken against. And it is in vain to find fault with those arts of deceiving, wherein men find pleasure to be deceived. – Locke  While arguing, he makes a simile with gender What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and antrhopomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins. – Nietzsche  Also using metaphor Every word which is used to express a moral or intellectual fact, if traced to its root, is found to be borrowed from some material appearance. Right means straight; wrong means twisted. Spirit primarily means wind; transgression, the crossing of a line; supercilious, the raising of the eyebrow. - Emerson  Nietzsche was very influenced by Emerson and much of the former‟s theory of metaphor is based on Emerson‟s  Much of what we do in material life is metaphoric “Man” is a construct: Man ventriliquises / projects his image onto the world and receives the world back as this humanized image. THINK: God as the Father: you are attributing to the Unknown, a familiar and domestic world for comfort even if it is not based on evidence. “Where man is not, nature is barren.” – William Blake  Until you can relate something to human life, it is ubiquitous to you It is precisely through metaphor that our perspectives, or analogical extensions, are made – a world without metaphor would be a world without purpose. – Kenneth Burke But man has an invincible inclination to allow himself to be deceived and is, as it were, enchanted with happiness when the rhapsodist tells him epic fables… - Nietzsche We don‟t really want truth, we want the effects or pragmatics of truth. Contempt for humankind in so far as we can‟t see the truth, but there is also admiration for our capacity for self-deception. Advocating: Dead Metaphor  Revived Metaphor Every thought is also a prison; every heaven is also a prison. Therefore we love the poet, the inventor, who in any form, whether in an ode, or in an action, or in looks and behaviour, has yielded us a new thought. He unlocks our chains, and admits us to a new sense. – Emerson  Frees us from language  But what happens to the new thought that the poet gives us? It can imprison us in a different way It is not destruction, but rather the knowledge and acceptance that everything in our lives are merely constructs. We need to keep making new metaphors so we realize that we are dealing with them, and not think that we are living in a conceptionless world. Very General Metaphors  Purposes are destinations  States are locations  Events are actions Metaphors for Time  Time is a changer o Time is a reaper o Time is a devourer o Time is a destroyer o Time is an evaluator  Time moves  Time is a pusher Metaphors for Life and Death  Birth is arrival  Life is being present here  Life is a journey  Death is departure  People are plants (THINK: Grim Reaper)  Life is a play  Death is sleep  A lifetime is a day - George Lakoff TH LECTURE – TUESDAY , M ARCH 12 Plato‟s basic model of representation: an artist‟s representation of a bed as representing a particular “phenomenal” (one we perceive with our senses) bed. There is the eternal idea of the bed: Idea of bed  Particular (phenomenal) bed  Artist‟s representation of a bed Therefore, the representation is not to be trusted because it is twice removed from the reality. The best critic is he who is most closely related to the practice in the real world. Reference – the idea that language should refer to or represent existing realities in the world. The closer you can get to the referent, the truer you can be to it. Why did Plato choose the bed? The idea itself may not be natural, eternal, or divine. The bed is abstracted from, rather than productive of, the particular empirical beds. There is privilege given to the Idea as the “absolute.” There is more to poetry than reference. There is something missing Effective reference – when we think that we‟re referring to something White: poets represent history Said: Orientalism is the discourse through which we have had the East dictated to us. Allen: dealing with oral, matriarchal, native culture. Distorts what she infers was the original oral story Sontag: interpretation into artwork Formalism: in ordinary language, you have transparency / artistic writing is foregrounding or defamiliarizing the media. Trying to say that the function of art is calling attention to the way that language ordinarily changes things; the artwork foregrounds the medium and makes you more conscious of being immediated. Althusser: ideology  referents Nietzsche: Sausser: dead metaphor  referents Foucault: discourse  referents Sausser deals heavily with the individual. Most of his discussion on the individual is done to discount its importance. Pg 850: language is the social side of speech. Outside the individual who can never create nor modify it by himself… exists by contract of speakers. Can constrain and furnish the individual. The individual must serve an apprenticeship to language (THINK: Althusser: ideology hails individual as a subject). Representation is not uniquely in artwork, but is all around in the world. We‟ve gone from studying literary theory and critiques to a larger, sociological sphere. Now we are talking about all language. Range of reference and pertinence is drifting further from literary theory. Sausser is ruling out symbolic thought and the cult of the referent (literature is important in so fa
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