Ashcroft's prayer circle

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Thu May 17 12:59:57 PDT 2001

Carrol Cox wrote:

>Doug claims that Lacan can explain in detail why 6 billion people move
>fiddle their hands in some way or other.

Did I say that? I must pay closer attention to what I write!

> I simply deny that the behavior
>_of individuals_ can be explained in so simple minded a fsshion. The
>finger twiddling of X must not contradict whatever is known about the
>human organism in general, but no amount of knowledge about the human
>organism (physiological, neurological, psychologial, what-have-you) can
>even begin to answer the foolish questions Doug and Zizek ask. Those
>questions are merely to distract attention from questions that can be
>(very roughly and imperfectly) answered and provide playdough to pass
>the idle time of intellectuals. The individual person simply does not
>possess the transparency you assume people possess. See Hamlet, who was
>a good deal wiser than Zizek -- and rather less arrogant about the scope
>of human knowledge.

Not a trace of arrogance in this post, though, whose author knows confidently which questions are "foolish," and who has only slightly less confidence in his answers to these (presumably still foolish) questions - while conceding that humans are not transparent (are they opaque, or merely translucent?), as if any partisan of psychoanalysis ever thought they were.

Freud - who famously said "the poets were there before me" - was a bit of a Hamlet fan, wasn't he?


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