The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Adversaria (15)

‘To fail in everything, it is true, will always remain possible. Nothing will ever give us any insurance against this risk, still less against this feeling’ —Derrida (Specters of Marx, trans. Peggy Kamuf, p. 19)

‘He is constantly rediscovered and as constantly laid aside. He remains unreadable and unread’ —Isaiah Berlin (‘Vico: Philosophical Ideas’ in Three Critics of the Enlightenment, p. 146)

‘…what we are saying here will not please anyone. But who ever said that someone ever had to speak, think, or write in order to please someone else?’ —Derrida (Specters of Marx, trans. Peggy Kamuf, p. 109)

Words are counters, he says, echoing Hobbes unconsciously; language is a currency: men of genius can use it, but officials turn it, as they turn everything, into a sterile dogmatism, which they proceed to offer for their own and popular worship. This turns human relations into mechanical ones, and makes of what were living truths or a spontaneous capacity for acting in some appropriate fashion, a dead rule, an object for idolatrous worship. This is a sermon against dehumanisation and reification before those terms had been thought of.

—Isaiah Berlin (‘The Magus of the North’ in Three Critics of the Enlightenment, p. 363)


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