Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Justice, friendship, and generosity

Orissa's poetic tradition is oldest in India - Reblogged from Orissa Matters: India’s eminent poet Ashok Vajpayi lauded Oriya language as the language that bears the country’s oldest poetic tradition… as marked in the works of Adi Kavi Sarala Das.
Senapati is more idiosyncratic and original than Chatterji - Falling In Love With The Novel from The Middle Stage by Chandrahas The Telegraph of London. Fakir Mohan Senapati and the Indian novel from The Middle Stage by Chandrahas

The paradox of Indian life is that, because of tradition, there is outward social and cultural conformity. The richness and variety lies below the surface, in the dramatic, lyrical and tragic moments of individual lives. When we focus on the broader patterns, we get books like, to give a recent example, the series of novels about IIT life; when we try to capture the nuances below the broad pattern we get the richness of the stories edited by Shinie Antony in Why We Don’t Talk.

[The Hindu historic Batrish Singhasan, the great seat of justice of Nandapur.]
[Simhasana-Dwatrimshika ("The 32 (tales) of the throne"). The tales of the throne are linked to the throne of Vikramaditya that is lost and recovered by king Bhoja, the Paramara king of Dhar, after many centuries. The latter king is himself famous and this set of tales are about his attempts to sit on the throne. This throne is adorned by 32 female statues who, being able to speak, challenge him to ascend the throne only if he is as magnanimous as Vikramaditya is depicted in the tale she is about to narrate. This leads to 32 attempts (and 32 tales) of Vikramaditya and in each case Bhoja acknowledges his inferiority. Finally, the statues let him ascend the throne when they are pleased with his humility.

“A man of mild manners can form no idea of inveterate revenge or cruelty; nor can a selfish heart easily conceive the heights of friendship and generosity. It is readily allowed, that other beings may possess many senses of which we can have no conception; because the ideas of them have never been introduced to us in the only manner by which an idea can have access to the mind, to wit, by the actual feeling and sensation.” (from Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)]

In a certain way, generosity comes down to Nagel’s famous question “what is it like to be a bat?” This is my whole problem. I’m a bit promiscuous where theory is concerned. I like it all. I can see plausibility in all of it. I love Plato, Aristotle, Scotus, Ockham, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Whitehead, Heidegger, Russell, Pierce, Luhmann, Bhaskar, Latour, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. I love all of them.
And just as I’m fascinated by how bees or snakes or bats or great white sharks or various humans sense the world, I’m fascinated by the truths that various theories are able to encounter in the world through their “transcendental sensibilities”. I like hearing how the world looks when viewed through the lens of Badiou and how the world looks when viewed through the lens of Wittgenstein and how the world looks when viewed through the lens of Deleuze and Guattari. And the great thing about theory is that where I’ll never fully understand what it is like to encounter the world like a bat or great white shark (though Ian Bogost is making great strides here), I can, at least, occupy the worlds of these various theories and comprehend things in these terms. I don’t need to demolish those other lenses.
They all certainly have their blind spots (this is the fundamental teaching of Maturana and Varela, Luhmann, and Lacan), but there is no view from nowhere (the fundamental teaching of OOO). And if that’s the case there’s really not a whole lot of a reason to demolish. No, it’s better to occupy these various lenses, to practice the savage and the wilderness, and find what is of value in these various lenses. That, I think, is generosity. There’s just not enough promiscuity in the academy.

The primacy of grammar - Google Books Result - Nirmalangshu Mukherji - 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 278 pages... might explain cases of selective impairment of language and music (Peretz 2001; Peretz and Coltheart 2003; Schellenberg and Peretz 2007).
The Primacy of Grammar - The MIT Press Exploring Chomsky's claims, Nirmalangshu Mukherji argues that the significance of biolinguistic inquiry extends beyond the domain of language. Biolinguistics is primarily concerned with grammars that represent just the computational aspects of the mind/brain. This restriction to grammars, Mukherji argues, opens the possibility that the computational system of human language may be involved in each cognitive system that requires similar computational resources. 

[Most birds are tetrachromats. Some birds (notably pigeons) and butterflies have five or more kinds of color receptors in their retinae, and are therefore believed to be pentachromats. Some birds can perceive ultraviolet light, which is involved in courtship. Many birds show plumage patterns in ultraviolet that are invisible to the human eye; some birds whose sexes appear similar to the naked eye are distinguished by the presence of ultraviolet reflective patches on their feathers.]

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