Tuesday, 25 April 2000

From "XL Prynne"

By Keston Sutherland.

[...] Once realism is discounted as radical illumination, the voice given to suffering is believed to be truthful both if it is successful on the terms of realism and if it is unsuccessful on those terms; and that is both what makes possible a moral anthropology untied from realism as its foundation and terminal emphasis, and what makes pathos so treacherous. The condition of all truth is unavoidably rigged up so as to be met in advance by a proleptic assent posing as “instinct,” because our belief in this truth is not a radical act, it is our definition of health. We cannot live without believing that some voice we know (and own) has been given to the suffering of others, and that this voice is truthful; and so what Adorno calls a “need” and a “condition” are worn through by us to a bare necessity, in the sense that food is a necessity: it is what we always buy. Or it is what someone else always buys for us [...]

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