8.0296 R: Influence of Karl Popper (1/18)

Tue, 1 Nov 1994 00:24:23 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 8, No. 0296. Tuesday, 1 Nov 1994.

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 09:05:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: 8.0278 Influence of Karl Popper? (1/9)

Most of my graduate work was done on Philip Sidney, whose Defence of Poesy
struck me as bearing the seeds of a linguistic theory in which all speech
acts are metaphorical; those for which literality is claimed being as meta-
phorical as any others, but carrying an implicit request for suspension of
disbelief. Led to study of Saussure, Derrida, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Stanley
Fish, Gregory Bateson, etc. Had a wonderful time, kept a notebook full of
quotes/citations; went back to the notebook after reading request for Popper
anecdotes and realized once again that Popper is the central figure in the
notebook. Everything he says seems to illuminate the others and encourage
in me the belief that a "unified theory" might be possible, in the direction
pointed to by C.S. Peirce, among others. My favorite, not deep, but telling,
considering the self-immolation of academia on the pyre of administrative
politics: "There are no disciplines; there are only problems and the urge to
solve them."

Richard Bear
University of Oregon