Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is the door locked?

More Geuss (same article):
"If I have a certain belief, this can constrict the space of possible actions I can envisage myself as performing. If I believe I am locked in a room, this belief can be construed as a limitation on how I can (reasonably try to) act. I think I know that I cannot simply turn the handle and exit in the usual way. I may, of course, not have full confidence in my belief and try the door handle to see if it is really locked, but that is another issue. It is not that I cannot "imagine" that the door is open, even if it is locked, or cannot imagine that I am powerful enough to break the lock and bolt simply by "effortlessly" turning the handle and pushing, although I am not actually strong enough to do that. Of course, I can "imagine" all these things, but this is a kind of idle counterfactual speculation rather than the concrete imaginative planning out of a realistic course of action before I embark on it. If my belief that the door is locked is true, and if I have adequate grounds for believing it to be true, then there can be no serious internal objection to the limitation it imposes on me- in fact that limitation could be seen as a liberation, as freeing me from pointless exertion which is doomed to failure".
"Thus, people who grow up in a commercial society are likely to think that a tendency to "truck and barter" is natural and inherent in all humans, not something acquired only by people in a society with certain socioeconoimc institutions and a certain history. To say that a tendency to "truck and barter" is natural and inherent is to do more than merely to announce the result of a sequence of observations; it is tacitly to accept it as part of the unquestioned framework for thinking about society."
"Anything that reduces the knowledge [people] have of their own power to structure their social world in a different way, to change what exists, contributes to their oppression".


Mel said...

What would be the appropriate response of someone finding a piece of paper with the words "this lock cannot be unlocked" slipped under the door?

Anonymous said...

do you meant to suggest that the piece of paper is a metaphor for the lamestream media?

Mel said...

uh, I think I misinterpreted the excerpts offered completely. The first segment suggested to me a sort of Burkian love-the-platoon-you're-born-into kind of tactic for those of limited capacities to "focus on the local and the practical" as a means of taking realistic steps in pursuing emancipation. **doy**
Anonymous's interpretation of my response is better than mine. My bad. :)

Mel said...

not to return to this in order to be a scold or pedant, but affixing the word "lame" to words to render a catchy pejorative is often offensive to people with disabilities. I should add I can't nor wouldn't speak authoritatively for them myself.