Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Confession of a "Post-Modernist"

I confess I have become interested in Hegel and Kant again. I confess that I passed over Hegel with having read very little of his works. Spent more time with Kant but Kant and Hegel are the great Modernist systems, those Grand Narratives that claim to encompass the whole. Prime examples of totalitarian thought. This reading though ultimately fails to understand Hegel and Kant and we who come after.

Post-modernists seem to have stopped reading Hegel and Kant, we simply remember the supposed grand systems that bear their names. I am finding that much in both of their works still is operative in our culture in our questions, in our interpretations of the world. But we have forgotten the details and only remember ironically the generalized narratives and summary's of their philosophies.

I want to read them again, read them after- After Derrida and Heidegger, after globalization. Our thinking, my thinking is muddled in the forgetfulness of the details of the thinking of these philosophers, of the forgetfulness of the meaning of the Enlightenment. I confess that there is perhaps still yet no after except our own forgetfulness, our own desire to escape and wash our hands of all Europeans hegemony and totalizing thought and system. But this forgetfulness this attempted escape is to be left going in circles thinking we have made progress. I sense that in the details we have internalized much of these thinkers, not in their systems but in philosophical attitude.

We are forgetful we need to remember. And in saying this one should certainly hear Heidegger, but also Derrida. Do say it another way we have stoped reading, and we must read again, we must learn to read.