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- Feb 2019
no one has authority to determine the signification of the word gold
I'm struck through here (and the liquor example) how prescient Locke's inquiries are for our own investigations into rhetoric and the question of "what is human?" It feels like he's anticipating Barad's argument that each definition of gold -- its color, its weight, its malleableness, etc. -- creates a cut, a boundary around what gold means for each person that cares to define it. Barad sees these "local determinations" not as final but as fluid, even while being exclusionary (821). Locke is keying in on these exclusionary definitions and the problems they might pose to an empirical approach.