4 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2017
    1. Likewise, there would be no strife in absolute separateness, since opponents can join battle only through a mediatory ground that makes this com-munication possible, thus providing the first con-dition necessary for their interchange of blows.

      When I argue with my cat, for instance, I am really just shouting at myself.

      I am considering this in the context of my elaboration on Willard--communication always dwells in a gray space, between allies and enemies. Sometimes your enemies recognize and understand your terms better than your nominal allies do, because they understand your goals as something to be stopped, while sometimes your allies are more interested in being a part of a movement than in what the movement's actually about.

  2. Jan 2017
    1. Many men, when left to themselves, have but a faint and dubious perception of beauty, who yet are capable of rel-ishing any fine stroke, which is pointed out to them.

      A social aspect here as well.

    1. In close relationships it is possible to find ways of arguing that result in better understanding and solving problems. But with most arguments, little is resolved, worked out, or achieved when two people get angrier and less rational by the minute. When you're having an argument with someone, you're usually not trying to understand what the other person is saying, or what in their experience leads them to say it. Instead, you're readying your response: listening for weaknesses in logic to leap on, points you can distort to make the other person look bad and yourself look good. Sometimes you know, on some back burner of your mind, that you're doing this -- that there's a kernel of truth in what your adversary is saying and a bit of unfair twisting in what you're saying. Sometimes you do this because you're angry, but sometimes it's just the temptation to take aim at a point made along the way because it's an easy target.
    2. In a word, the type of opposition I am questioning is what I call "agonism." I use this term, which derives from the Greek word for "contest," agonia, to mean an automatic warlike stance -- not the literal opposition of fighting against an attacker or the unavoidable opposition that arises organically in response to conflicting ideas or actions. An agonistic response, to me, is a kind of programmed contentiousness -- a prepatterned, unthinking use of fighting to accomplish goals that do not necessarily require it.