RE: Information

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Wed May 16 2001 - 11:11:14 BST

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    Subject: RE: Information
    Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 11:11:14 +0100
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            <May I throw in Bourdieu's idea:

    > "Dès qu'on traite le langage comme un objet autonome, [...] on se condamne
    > à
    > chercher le pouvoir des mots dans les mots, c'est-à-dire là où il n'est
    > pas:
    > [...]. Ce n'est que par exception [...] que les échanges symboliques se
    > réduisent à des rapports de pure communication et que le contenu
    > informatif
    > du message épuise le contenu de la communication. Le pouvoir des paroles
    > n'est autre chose que le pouvoir délégué du porte-parole: et ses paroles
    > [...] sont tout au plus un témoignage ... de la garantie de délégation
    > dont
    > il est investi. [...] l'autorité advient au langage du dehors...
    > [Pierre Bourdieu, Ce Que Parler veut dire, p 103-5]
    > I shan't insult you by translating! I find my students find Bourdieu less
    > clear in translation to English, than in the French, perhaps that is
    > generally true.>
            Only for those who speak French....

            <His idea is that language and power are intimately and
    > inevitably connected. I would add that we know what we mean, once we have
    > said it: and further, that statements like:
    > "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
    > that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights,
    > that
    > amongst these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness [...]
    > that governments are instituted among men, which derive their just power
    > from the consent of the governed..."
    > are true, but not so; they become true when enunciated (who would
    > contradict
    > the above?) and are enabled to become so once said. As for Bourdieu's
    > discours d'autorité, the solution he advances to our incredible, and
    > dangerous, tendency to believe 'authoritative" discourse, is to generate
    > what he calls discours hérétique, which will act upon the real by acting
    > upon representations of the real.>
            Truth is a slippery concept, after all that declaration was made by
    slave-owning men, who didn't consider either slaves or women to be part of
    their truths...


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