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Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion
Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion
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Part of learning how to think philosophically does not merely involve reading and understanding things, it also involves learning how to ask good, probing questions-questions that further open up the material and lead to further questions. Sometimes knowing how to ask the right questions is part of the process of comprehending the material in the first place. These are the skills this exercise is meant to develop. First, you will want to consult the google doc in this module. Is contains a list of different kinds of philosophical questions. It isn’t exhaustive, of course. But it should offer enough of a jumping off point for thinking about what it means to ask a good philosophical question. When you are writing your discussion I want you to include in the title of your thread what kind of question you are asking (e.g. “immanent critique,” or “question about implication,” etc.). A good, thorough question usually takes a couple sentences to spell out. Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. Do not do the following: don’t just spit out a one sentence question with no depth. For example you could ask a clarification question like “what does Kant mean by metaphysics?” Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. That’s a massive question, but also basically a flat one. Nevertheless, you might actually want to bring that up in order to clarify what he means by metaphysics. So what should that question look like? Try this: a clarification question “what does Kant mean by metaphysics? He talks about it on page XX and seems to imply blah, blah, blah…I think he means something like blah, blah, blah…in the lecture Dr. Ransom explained it like this, but that doesn’t quite make sense to me yet, does anybody have any insight into how to clarify this?” hey, now that’s a question. So don’t just state your question; elaborate on it a bit, reference class material, make suggestions, probe responses. That’s what a good question looks like. I doubt you could do that in just one sentence. Kinds of Questions About Philosophical Texts The Purpose of this document is to give you some guidelines about how to pose a good philosophical question. These questions are in no particular order and are, by no means, exhaustive. Immanent Critique This kind of question is generated internally from a text/position (hence the immanence). It looks something like “The author claims X, but also says Y, which seems inconsistent,” or “the author is trying to do X, but Y seems to be inconsistent with doing X.” In this kind of question, you do not have to bring any external resources or information to bear on the text. It remains entirely within the domain of what the author has said. This can generate discussion about potential inconsistencies within a position or can tease out lurking themes that unite apparently inconsistent claims. External Critique This is the kind of question that brings in information from outside of the text in order to challenge or raise questions about the claims being made therein. This could be something from your personal experience, or something that you have noticed in the world, or a claim about the subject from a different discipline, etc.—as long as it meaningfully engages with the text and presents a relevant point about or counterpoint to the author’s position. Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. This question can be tricky because some external points might not be relevant: challenging Descartes’s position with a claim from quantum mechanics might not necessarily be relevant, since this isn’t something he could have possibly reacted to or anticipated in his historical situation. There is a thin line between discussing and getting clear on a text versus determining whether the claims are true in some broader sense. Clarification Questions Clarification questions are almost always worthwhile, and you should not avoid asking these questions simply due to the fear of being seen as somebody who doesn’t ‘get it’. In these cases, you can refer to some section, claim, or series of claims that you had trouble understanding. Or perhaps you think that the claims themselves are unclear. Make sure that when you pose a clarification question you are actually referring to something specific in the text (e.g. don’t just say “I don’t understand [this text]”). It usually helps to refer to passages in the text when doing this. Often times asking a clarification question can actually turn into asking one of the other types of questions specified here. Questions About an Implication of the Text This is the kind of question about something implied by the claims made in a text. Although the author might not make a claim explicitly or intentionally, you might notice that there is a conclusion that falls out the author’s claims beyond what you find in the text. You might point to an implication that is troublesome (e.g. something morally or intellectually problematic, or otherwise something that you suspect that the author would not want to support), or you could pose, as a point of discussion, a question about what some implications might be (e.g. “Based on the fact that the author said X, does Y follow as an implication of X?”). You might even want to point out some positive implications of the text—things implied that you think are helpful, useful, or true. Immanent Connection As opposed to a critique (i.e. pointing out a problem or concern about a text), you might want to raise a question about how claims within a text are meaningfully connected.Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. For example, you might wonder how/if a claim in one part of a text is related to a claim in another part of the same text. Chances are (if the text is well-written) that the answer will be: yes. Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. But sometimes these questions can be helpful for discussing and teasing out non-obvious connections, conceptual motifs, or themes within a text or philosophical position. Connecting to another claim in the text could also External Connection Similarly, you might want to raise a question about a claim in the text and how/if it connects to something outside the text. For example, you could ask about whether this claim is connected to something going on in the author’s social/historical/political context. You could also ask about whether a claim that the author makes is connected or related to another philosopher’s claims, or claims from a different discipline. Methodological Questions In this kind of question you should focus on the author’s method for making philosophical points. Think about how they start their investigation, and what sorts of tools, resources, or styles of investigation are at work in the text. Once you have identified something about the author’s method of thinking, you can then raise questions about whether or not that influences their claims and conclusions. Is there something about the author’s method that leads them to certain claims instead of others? Would they perhaps have come to different conclusions if they used a different method of investigation? Is there a method of investigation that you think might be better suited to (or useful for expanding on) the issue that the author is thinking about? Make sure to be specific. Questions About Assumptions Perhaps you have a sense that there are some assumptions in a text: something in the background of the author’s claims that they have not explicitly defended, but rather have simply assumed to be true. When the author claims X, is that claim supported by other claims that they haven’t justified or explained? To what extent does their claim depend on these background assumptions? Could these assumptions be defended? If these assumptions are false, would the claim still hold? Questions About Context/Scope/Application of the Claims How broad are the claims that the author is making? Do these claims only apply to the specific situation or subject matter that the author is writing about? Are these claims supposed to apply universally? Could these claims be usefully applied to something outside of the situation/subject in question? Would applying these claims to something else change our understanding of the author’s claims? Do the author’s claims only apply to their own specific historical, social, or cultural context? Does the author stipulate the scope of the project or analysis? If so, is their estimation of the project’s scope accurate? Is it potentially applicable to a larger or smaller domain than the author has stipulated? Questions About Justification This is a question about how the author justifies, or feels the license to make a claim or a series of claims. What is the supporting evidence/reasons for X? Does this evidence (or do these reasons) properly support X? Are there ways to justify X other than the author’s justification? How is one claim in the text used to justify another? If X isn’t properly justified, then does that mean that other claims in the text are unjustified as a result? Questions About Conspicuous Omission/Exclusion These questions deal with how a text might omit or exclude certain relevant voices, information, or contributions to the topic in question. Is there some other text that speaks to the claims that the author is making? If so, how would the views of the omitted or excluded author(s) stand in relation to the author’s own view? Would they challenge their view? Support it? Is the author covering philosophical ground (posing problems and questions or conducting analyses and projects) that the omitted author(s) have already covered? It is also worth noting that some subjects have been written about from a vast number of positions, perspectives, disciplines, and historical contexts. And thus, to include every claim made about this subject would be impossible. The omission of something does not necessarily detract from the value or integrity of the text. If, for example, the author is writing about the topic of free will, it would not be possible to explicitly discuss every claim about that subject. This does not, however, make the text immune from this kind of question. Bringing up an omission should ultimately make a relevant point about the author’s text: sometimes it is worthwhile to scrutinize what the author is not claiming or considering. Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. Questions About Translation This is a question about whether a concept, claim, or series of claims that the author takes from another source genuinely applies to the subject about which they are currently making claims. This is not limited to translating between languages, in the sense that translating a sentence from German to English might not perfectly preserve the meaning of the original sentence, although it is certainly worthwhile to pose this kind of question sometimes. It could apply more broadly to questions about whether apparently similar terms or similar claims are really or just superficially similar–does that term or claim properly translate across contexts of reference? If, for example, an author is talking about Ayer’s account of substance, and cites a quote in which Spinoza is making what appears to be a relevant or related claim about substance, you might want to ask whether Ayer means the same thing by ‘substance’ that Spinoza does. This term might not properly translate between its respective uses. Does that affect the point that the author is trying to make? Questions About Interlocutors These are questions regarding the author’s uptake of other authors. Basically, this group of questions revolves around the more general question of whether or not the author charitably and effectively reconstructed the views of the other authors they discuss or critique. If author X is critical of author Y, is there anything author X is omitting in their reconstruction of Y’s views that could help Y’s case and hurt X’s case? Similarly, if X appeals to Y’s theory or view to support their argument, is there anything they’ve omitted about Y’s view that would contradict X’s view or hurt their argument? If X is critiquing Y’s view on specific grounds, does X provide detailed and relevant textual references to support their critique? How does X’s reconstruction of Y’s view square with your own interpretation of Y’s view (if you have one)? Questions About Motivation This is a question about the purpose of a text. This is not always clearly stated in the text itself, and (especially when we are talking about historical texts) these motivations might not be directly accessible to us as readers. What is the author trying to achieve by making these claims? Are they trying to defend a broader position? Are they trying to criticize someone else’s position? Are they making these points in the service of some other moral, theoretical, and/or political purpose? Keep in mind: Just because somebody has an agenda behind or interest in making a claim does not immediately mean that their claim should not be taken seriously. However, it could lead us to scrutinize something about how claims in the text fit together in the achievement a goal. Or it could lead us to notice assumptions or poorly defended claims that stem from an orientation toward these broader interests. Perhaps the author does not sufficiently engage with some countervailing evidence/claims due to their interests. Also keep in mind: try not to speculate too wildly about the author’s motivations (e.g. “The author only claims X in order to explain why they have a bad relationship with their parents.” This would, outside of some very, very exceptional circumstances, count as a ‘wild’ speculation). It is also important to consider whether reducing the value of a claim to the author’s motivation is a useful method of evaluating that claim itself; depending on the the claim and what the claim is doing in the text, this might be more or less relevant. Contributors: Tailer Ransom, Nick Brancazio, Morgan Elbot, Anna Christen, Amy Nigh, James Zubko 5 THE FACT OF BLACKNESS “Dirty nigger!” Or simply, “Look, a Negro!” Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. I came into the world imbued with the will to find a meaning in things, my spirit filled with the desire to attain to the source of the world, and then I found that I was an object in the midst of other objects. Sealed into that crushing objecthood, I turned beseechingly to others. Their attention was a liberation, running over my body suddenly abraded into nonbeing, endowing me once more with an agility that I had thought lost, and by taking me out of the world, restoring me to it. But just as I reached the other side, I stumbled, and the movements, the attitudes, the glances of the other fixed me there, in the sense in which a chemical solution is fixed by a dye. I was indignant; I demanded an explanation. Nothing happened. I burst apart. Now the fragments have been put together again by another self. As long as the black man is among his own, he will have no occasion, except in minor internal conflicts, to experience his being through others. There is of course the moment of “being for others,” of which Hegel speaks, but every ontology is made unattainable in a colonized and civilized society. It would seem that this fact has not been given sufficient attention by those who have discussed the question. In the Weltanschauung of a colonized people there is an impurity, a flaw that outlaws any ontological explanation. Someone may object that this is the case with every individual, but such an objection merely conceals a basic problem. Ontology—once it is finally admitted as leaving existence by the wayside—does not permit us to understand the being of the black man. For not only must the black man be black; he must be 82 Fanon 01 text 82 4/7/08 14:16:46 TH E FACT O F B LACKNESS 83 black in relation to the white man. Some critics will take it on themselves to remind us that this proposition has a converse. I say that this is false. The black man has no ontological resistance in the eyes of the white man. Overnight the Negro has been given two frames of reference within which he has had to place himself. His metaphysics, or, less pretentiously, his customs and the sources on which they were based, were wiped out because they were in conflict with a civilization that he did not know and that imposed itself on him. The black man among his own in the twentieth century does not know at what moment his inferiority comes into being through the other. Of course I have talked about the black problem with friends, or, more rarely, with American Negroes. Together we protested, we asserted the equality of all men in the world. In the Antilles there was also that little gulf that exists among the almost-white, the mulatto, and the nigger. But I was satisfied with an intellectual understanding of these differences. It was not really dramatic. And then. . . . And then the occasion arose when I had to meet the white man’s eyes. An unfamiliar weight burdened me. Purdue How Do Karl Marxs Ideas Apply to Struggle of Black Person in US Discussion. The real world challenged my claims. In the white world the man of color encounters difficulties in the development of his bodily schema. Consciousness of the body is solely a negating activity. It is a thirdperson consciousness. The body is surrounded by an atmosphere of certain uncertainty. I know that if I want to smoke, I shall have to reach out my right arm and take the pack of cigarettes lying at the other end of the table. The matches, however, are in the drawer on the left, and I shall have to lean back slightly. And all these movements are made not out of habit but out of implicit knowledge. A slow composition of my self as a body in the middle of a spatial and temporal world—such seems to be the schema. It does not impose itself on me; it is, rather, a definitive structuring of the self and of the world—definitive because it creates a real dialectic between my body and the world. For several years certain laboratories have been trying to produce a serum for “denegrification”; with all the earnestness in the world, laboratories have sterilized their test tubes, checked their Fanon 01 text 83 4/7/08 14:16:46 84 BL AC K S KIN , WHIT E M A SKS scales, and embarked on researches that might make it possible for the miserable Negro to whiten himself and thus to throw off the burden of that corporeal malediction. Below the corporeal schema I had sketched a historico-racial schema. The elements that I used had been provided for me not by “residual sensations and perceptions primarily of a tactile, vestibular, kinesthetic, and visual character,”1 but by the other, the white man, who had woven me out of a thousand details, anecdotes, stories. I thought that what I had in hand was to construct a physiological self, to balance space, to localize sensations, and here I was called on for more. “Look, a Negro!” It was an external stimulus that flicked over me as I passed by. I made a tight smile. “Look, a Negro!” It was true. It amused me. “Look, a Negro!” The circle was drawing a bit tighter. I made no secret of my amusement. “Mama, see the Negro! I’m frightened!” Frightened! Frightened! Now they were beginning to be afraid of me. I made up my mind to laugh myself to tears, but laughter had become impossible. I could no longer laugh, because I already knew that there were legends, stories, history, and above all historicity, which I had learned about from Jaspers. Then, assailed at various points, the corporeal schema crumbled, its place taken by a racial epidermal schema. In the train it was no longer a question of being aware of my body in the third person but in a triple person. In the train I was given not one but two, three places. I had already stopped being amused. It was not that I was finding febrile coordinates in the world. I existed triply: I occupied space. I moved toward the other . . . and the evanescent other, hostile but not opaque, transparent, not there, disappeared. Nausea. . . . I was responsible at the same time for my body, for my race, for my ancestors. I subjected myself to an objective exa…
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