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Tea-leology in a Self-Refuting Cup

April 17, 2009

The post-modernist opposes teleology – the idea that the world has a meaning or purpose inherent – on the grounds that it allegedly causes exclusion and intolerance.

But is not the conviction that one ought not to exclude (as opposed to a mere dislike of exclusion) not also teleological in its morality?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. James Ó hAodha permalink
    April 20, 2009 18:08

    I can only speak for myself here, being a philosophical dilletant:

    This is not a conviction, but will or desire to be free of restraint on one’s thought processes, that is, a restraint governed by an arbitrary code rather than what reveals itself to be good, or have a certain truth. I’m not advocating absolutes here either.

    • ianworthy permalink*
      April 20, 2009 22:13

      I don’t see what you mean at all. We all exclude certain things from our thought processes. Without that exclusion we probably couldn’t function. Is the rejection of exclusion an “arbitrary code” or the “revealed good”?

  2. James Ó hAodha permalink
    April 20, 2009 18:10

    I’m also a dilettante at correct spelling and punctuation:)

  3. James Ó hAodha permalink
    April 21, 2009 13:32

    I didn’t refute exclusion, nor can any critical thinker, but exclusions based on an arbitrary belief system rather than what one finds to be useful or have a certain truth. You yourself are forming a teleology out of the desire to be free of teleology. The restraint I referred to is that of the mythologically informed and limited weltanschauung.

    • ianworthy permalink*
      April 22, 2009 01:48

      In my posts there is no evidence of a desire to be free of teleology since I don’t view it as the prison that you seem to. I think that it’s silly to label the world-views of other people as “arbitrary” or false – how do you know that it does not match their sensory experience, which you exalt? Your means for determining what is useful or true is based on your worldview that your culture has given you. And so it is for all of us.

      I’ve not found a person yet who does not categorically reject anything, and I doubt you are such a person. I don’t see at all how one is freed from limits by ignoring the narratives of reason and history (as I hold a piece of Amnesty International’s literature in my gaze) and other people generally. Ignorance is the tightest prison. Most of what you know and think comes from other people, not from within yourself.

      Your worldview would have to be the product of a “blank slate” mind to offer a genuine contrast to the “mythologically informed” worldview (weltanschauung). No such mind exists in a human.

      • James Ó hAodha permalink
        April 22, 2009 15:41

        A teleology is not a ‘history’ or a progression of events, but an intepretation of them.

        If you read my responses again you will notice that I didn’t not attribute a desire to be free of teleology to your post but to my own, as an opposition to the ‘conviction’ you originally mentioned. I was saying that you are categorising this desire in postmodernism or naturalism as teleological in itself (the whole point of this thread): as a ‘conviction’ informed by some absolute moral or philosophical doctrine.

        For me, to avoid the restrictions of teleology is not an exclusion, it is an attempt at remaining in a open state of mind so as to include multifarious viewpoints in my worldview, and to be free to contmplate many possiblities without settling on a fixed truth. I am not suggesting that you yourself do not attempt to do the same, regardless of your beliefs.

        You are jumping the gun in many ways, I never claimed to operate outside of culture or mythological influence. You are tactically extrapolating from my response in order to discredit it. I never once wrote ‘false’, and your underhanded and confused association of Amnesty literature with the narratives that I supposedly reject or ignore did not go unnoticed.

        I am not advocating extremes or absolutes. I did not advocate the ignorance of narratives or history, but opposed a TELEOLOGICAL view of them. Everything is arbitrary. Historical coherence is an illusion of retrospect.

        Maybe ‘mythologically informed’ is incorrect, but mythologically restricted I will hold to.

      • ianworthy permalink*
        April 26, 2009 16:26

        You are proving my original point. You are criticising teleological worldviews on the grounds that those who hold them (such as Amnesty) are excluding “multifarious” viewpoints, and that there is a superior moral value in including them and “keeping an open mind”, and an inferior value on settling on a fixed truth.

        Where do you think teleological views come from if not from what observers find to be useful or have a certain truth? You are just branding other people’s views as being under arbitrary restrictions, as if your own are not. If you are not operating outside of culture or mythological influence, then your means of considering what is useful and true are created by “arbitrary” belief systems.

        Historical coherence is a benefit of retrospect, not an illusion. But your belief that you are more free for shunning teleology is.

  4. May 9, 2009 14:40

    I am a muppet boy:

    All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
    All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
    All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
    All the single ladies, now put your hands up

    Up in the club (club)
    We just broke up (Up)
    I’m doing my own lil’ thing

    You decided to dip (dip)
    And now you wanna trip (trip)
    Cause another brother noticed me

    I’m up on him (him)
    He up on me (me)
    Don’t pay him any attention

    ‘Cause I’ve cried my tears (tears)
    For three good years (years)
    You can’t be mad at me

    Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it

    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

    Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it

    I got gloss on my lips (lips)
    A man on my hips (hips)
    Hold me tighter than my Dereon jeans

    Actin’ up (up)
    Drinkin’ my cup (cup)
    I can care less what you think

    I need no permission
    Did I mention?
    Don’t pay him any attention

    Cause you had your turn (turn)
    And now you’re gonna learn (learn)
    What it really feels like to miss me

    Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it

    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

    Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it

    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

    Don’t treat me to these things of the world
    I’m not that kind of girl
    Your love is what I prefer, what I deserve
    Here’s a man that makes me then takes me and delivers me
    To a destiny, to infinity and beyond
    Pull me into your arms
    Say I’m the one you want
    If you don’t, you’ll be alone
    And like a ghost I’ll be gone

    All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
    All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
    All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
    All the single ladies, now put your hands up

    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

    Wha-oh-oh
    Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it

    Wha-oh-oh
    Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
    Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
    If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it

    Wha-oh-oh

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