Thursday, February 3, 2011


I was in my Intro to Critical Theory course the other day. We were discussing Ricouer's essay Freud and Philosophy. The crux of the essay was something about comparison between the hermeneutics of doubt and the hermeneutics of faith, hermeneutics meaning interpretation. So Ricouer makes a point about how Freud, Nietzsche and Marx are in the school of hermeneutics of doubt (which is where academia is now since the '60s, btw). These thinkers believed that our "reality" is a sham and it is something to wake up from. For example, in Nietzsche's case, "reality" is in the our concept of Morality while in Marx's case, our "reality" is in the idea of the social class system while in Freud's case, the truth is to be taken from the Unconscious. To my shock, one of my classmates asks the professor if he's heard of Daniel Quinn, the guy who wrote ISHMAEL. The prof. said no then she proceeded to tell him that the guy was saying the same thing as these other thinkers, that in the book he was being instructed by a monkey. I couldn't take it anymore and raised my hand. I told her that I know the guy she's talking about and he's just an author, that he's not in the same category as Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. I was in total and utter disbelief. I liked ISHMAEL but, please, it's in another universe as these other guys. Yes, I'm being a snob but, really? This is a graduate English program not an undergrad hippie fest.

OMG, I just exhibited the hermeneutics of doubt!

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