Sunday, June 18, 2006


Conditions of possibility

Scott McLamee on book reviewing:

Book reviews do not teach you to think. And so it was necessary to move by degrees, from what Gore Vidal once memorably dubbed "book chat" (i.e., "what’snew about this book? is it any good?") to criticism ("how do we interpret X in this book?") on to what is most suitably called critique, not in casual usage of that term, but something like Kant’s sense. To whit: "what are the conditions ofpossibility such that X can exist, in this form, such that we can comprehend it?" (You should imagine that whole question as hyphenated – as one long word inGerman, probably.)

Its "conditions of possibility". Seems like a good way to go about analysing cultural artefacts and the like.

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