Thursday, 7 April 2016


After I watched an online lecture (What is Epistemology?), I remembered a problem that I have with academic... epistemology! It's all like, here's my ideas, and I won't tell you the answer because either, like, you're supposed to work it out for yourself, or, like, I am so tangled up in it all I forgot that the title is a question and decided to free-flow on the general subject area.

After watching a video entitled What is Epistemology?, I want to know what epistemology is. 

In response, I did a critical comic page, and then stole some art to make this...

I don't think that it is a comprehensive analysis of epistemology, but the random selection  of questions would allow me to get a grasp on the differences between two different epistemologies, if I asked both of them the same questions.

This rambling complaint - for the TLDR again, I am saying that academia has a habit of getting off the point and being opaque when it could be transparent - brings me to a chapter in Sifakis' Aristotle on the Function of Tragic Poetry. Siffy has this magic power, repeatedly telling the reader what Aristotle would totes think, in the absence of any textual evidence. Apart from the usual assumption of wisdom, Siffy has an amazeballs chapter on katharsis, in which he spends fucking ages destroying different interpretations of the Greek word, even after admitting that this particular subject has been done to death.

The chapter is fuck all use to me: I have read all the bloody theories before, and the attempts to elaborate on katharsis (is it a medical metaphor? is it about tempering the emotions through an outpouring?) are so familiar and, in actual terms of meaning, so similar that I can't put a gnat's chuff between them. It gives Siffy a chance to prove a big bibliography, and make pompous denunciations of other philosophers, but... just... stop it. I think we all have a rough idea of what katharsis implies and, practically, that's all I need. 

And if I go to the bar in the CCA, it's like a fancy dress party with the theme 'great fashion mistakes by hipsters'. 

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