Transcript of "Broken promises. From the Enlightenment to the modern Episteme"
Broken PromisesVon der Aufklärungzur episteme der Moderne<br />Dr. Joan Ramon Rodríguez-Amat<br />Universität Wien (Österreich)<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />Innsbruck - September 2011 – NeuerStrukturwandelderÖffentlichkeit<br />
Broken PromisesFrom the Enlightenment to the modern Episteme<br />Dr. Joan Ramon Rodríguez-Amat<br />Unviersity of Vienna (Austria)<br />email@example.com<br />Innsbruck - September 2011 – NeuerStrukturwandelderÖffentlichkeit<br />
“Imagine being-a-father as a universal ideal whichallempiricalfathersendeavorto and ultimatelyfailto do it: whatthismeansisthatthe true universalityisnotthat of the ideal being-a-father, butthat of failureitself”.<br />SlavojŽižek<br />
“The most radical revolutionary <br />will become a conservative <br />the day after the revolution”.<br /> Hannah Arendt<br />
The Habermas condition<br />“Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit” (1962) <br />16th C. <br />17th C. <br />19th C. <br />18th C. <br />Literarysphere<br />Politicalsphere<br />Impoliticalsphere<br />Press<br />Public Sphere<br />Citizen<br />Coffeehouses<br />Bourgeois<br />privatebusinesssphere<br />PrivateSphere<br />Emancipated<br />man<br />Intimatesphere<br />
The Habermas condition<br />“According to the first view, history is an omnicompetent judge of present condition; acording to the second, the present is an omnicompetent judge on the relevance of history”. <br /> (Pinter, A; 2004:225).<br />“…from a historic perspective, the weakest point of Habermas explanation are not, probably, the arguments related to the emergency of the bourgeois public sphere but rather those that have to do with its decline”<br /> (Thompson,1997:106).<br />“Habermas does indeed construct a model that has never existed in pure form. Such an ideal model is necessary for describing diachronic changes. (…) Therefore, Habermas model of public sphere has a double function. It provides a paradigm for analyzing historical change, while also serving as a normative category for political critique”. <br /> (Hohendahl, 1979: 92)<br />“Habermastendstojudgethe 18th c. by Locke and Kant, the 19th by Marx and Mill, and the 20th bythetypicalsuburbantelevisionviewer”<br /> (Calhoun, 1993:34)<br />
The episteme<br />Assumptions:<br />The historical linearity and continuity should be confronted (evolution, cause-effect, etc).<br />The structures of power are related to structures of knowledge, and vice-versa.<br />History is a discursive-narrative form of explanation (therefore, historically situated).<br />Social media of communication play a role in legitimating by reproducing the hegemonic discourse (not digital media, not social networks).<br />Eventually, social media can also reproduce alternative and subaltern discourses.<br />Back to the Habermas condition, then:<br />There was a break in the structures of power (around 1780, in Europe and U.S.)<br />discourse<br />knowledge<br />power<br />media<br />
“Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit” (1962) <br />16th C. <br />17th C. <br />19th C. <br />18th C. <br />Literarysphere<br />Politicalsphere<br />Impoliticalsphere<br />Press<br />Public Sphere<br />Citizen<br />Coffeehouses<br />Citizen<br />People<br />People<br />Bourgeois<br />Bourgeois<br />Privatebusinesssphere<br />PrivateSphere<br />Emancipated<br />man<br />Emancipated<br />man<br />Nation<br />Nation<br />Intimatesphere<br />Promise of liberation<br />Settlement in law<br />Epistemicrupture<br />this can befurtherexplained…<br />
The day after the Revolution<br />The impossible task. The inevitable failure: the conservative thing.<br />What is left then?<br />A certain condition of “institutionalized" public sphere conservative.<br />Nationalism is part of the narratives of collective awareness for a public.<br />Nationalism is also a form of collective solidarity and a fundament for law.<br />There is no possibility of no nationalism, since. Unless it is substituted by<br />other narratives/set of beliefs: Gemeinsamkeitsglauben.<br />But, but, eh...<br />Is there a possibility of criticism? Yes, but assuming the inevitable failure.<br />(Not in the form of a Verfassungspatriotismus, for instance).<br />Understanding that the ideal model (for criticism) is historically created, too.<br />Is there a possibility of a revolution? Yes, and it could happen (soon?).<br />Revolution cannot be expected inside the institutions that repress it.<br /> It can happen where nobody waits for it and under the form of a new epistemic turn... <br />
The test of appropriateness <br />DoesHabermasworkfit, here ?<br />Yes,<br />The “Strukturwandel” wastranslated in French as:<br /> « L'espace public : archéologie de la publicité comme dimension constitutive de la société bourgeoise » (1962).<br />In his late work (Governmentality) Foucault quotedHabermas’ workseveral times toexplaintheemergency of thepublic.<br />Severalauthorshaverelatedtheworks of Foucault tothat of theearly Frankfurt School, particularlywith Adorno (and themyth/discourse) and Benjamin (in relationtothe role and study of history).<br />HowdoesHabermasworkfit in allthis ?<br />Thedistinction of twomoments in the “Strukturwandel” allowsthisepistemiccut.<br />Thefirstmomentistheclassiccollectivelyacceptedcritcised in points (as seen).<br />Thesecondmomentisworsebecause of thefeeling of deception and narrativebend.<br />Thisreading (discursive, archaeologic, epistemic) helpsredefiningbothcriticisms.<br />
Opening conclusion: (and so what?)<br />Habermas model is good<br />But not totally. There are things.<br />We could take more advantage of it.<br />Applying the epistemic model new aspects of the original are enhanced:<br />The model becomes an analytical tool:<br />Avoid the moralistic (normative) trap: nostalgic/golden age perspective.<br />Reveals the forms of legitimacy (acceptability of legal structures)<br />Helps to identify the structures (elements, relations) of the Öffentlichkeit.<br />Reveals the structures of power-knowledge <br />Offers an analysis about the forms of the dominating discourse.<br />Permits incorporate new media in the equation (as Ecosystem, no only press).<br />And the opposite:<br />It gives tools and possibilities of anticipating (maybe) a epistemic change, a revolution, a change of structures or a response in front of the lack of legitimacy because the analysis of the dominant discourse allows the confrontation with any powerful alternative discourse… (maybe reproduced in other media).<br />Can beapplied, then? BonusTrack<br />
Bonus Tracks<br />The possibility of a revolution: a digital episteme<br />Thereisanalternative/subalterndiscoursegoingon:<br />discourse<br />Changes the individual: cyborg, intimacy?, etc.<br />Changes the society: networked interactive<br />Changes the identity: multiple, volatile, disperse<br />Changes the time-space: global time-www...<br />Changes in legitimacy (the acceptability of the norm).<br />Alternative forms of knowledge-power (web, classroom, exchange-activity, work, etc)<br />Changes in the notion of... Media: medium, crossmedia<br />Culture of Participation, Prosumerism, etc. <br />knowledge<br />power<br />media<br />Would we know if the revolution started tomorrow?<br />Thank you. <br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />
References (from quotes).<br />Calhoun, C. (1992)Habermas and the public sphere. Cambridge (EUA), MIT Press. <br />Foucault, M. (2007a)La Arqueología del saber, Madrid: Siglo XXI, 23rd ed..<br />Foucault, M. (2007b)Sobre la Ilustración, Madrid: Tecnos, 2nd print, 2nd ed..<br />Foucault, M. (2006)Las palabras y las cosas. Una arqueología de las ciencias humanas, Madrid: Siglo XXI, 4th ed.<br />Habermas, J. (1981) Historia y crítica de la opinión pública. La transformación estructural de la vida pública, Madrid: Gustavo Gili, 1st ed. <br />Hohendahl, P.U. (1979) ‘Criticaltheory, PublicSphere and Culture. JürgenHabermasand his Critics’ New German Critique, 16, Winter 1979, 88-118. <br />Jansen, S. C. (1988)Censorship. The knot that binds knowledge and power, New York & Oxford: OxfordUniversityPress. <br />Pinter, A. (2004) ‘Public sphere and history: historians’ response to Habermas on the “worth” of the past’ Journal of Communication Inquiry, 28 (3), july, 217-232. <br />Thompson, J. B. (1993) ‘The theory of the public sphere’, Theory, Culture & Society, 10 (3),173-189.<br />Žižek, S. (2011) “A Letter Which Did Arrive At Its Destination” [available online: http://lacan.com/symptom12/?p=69]<br />
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