A humble suspension of certainty seems necessary ... almost always: in order that a conversation can take place; in order to think. Otherwise there is no motion, no mobility in argument, in reasoning, in dialectics. There has to be a space: an empty position as a kind of parameterization so that one can entertain possibilities serially. Not just one hand and then the other, but this that and the other: or, or, or. Something might fit. And judgment might be made. But the entrance of judgment depends on a parade of alternatives, not on an a priori certainty. Judgment is a choice, an imposition, a selection.


My attention shuttles back and forth between a concern for the rhetoricity of form, and the rhetoricity of discourse. In the case of form, my tendency is to insist on the allegorical implications of what can appear to be simply formal, abstract or optical. While in the case of language, I fear and condemn the eclipse of rhetoric, as language becomes image. But it is not that I am against image and in favor of language.


The triumph of iconicity over rhetoricity–call it the society of the spectacle, call it what you will. The change has certainly not gone unobserved. And yet, we are likely to blinker our awareness of the situation–and imagine that the mechanisms of our governance continue unaffected–that the institutions of democracy are somehow untouched by these changes. But how can this possibly be the case?

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