Monday, March 20, 2006

Atomization of Opinion

The fissiparations of doxa yield more and more opportunities for synthetic understanding. Paradoxically, the grounds for synthesis become less available, less apparent the more it is enacted. This is not primarily due, in my opinion, to any question of the value placed on synthetic products in the intellectual economy, although one could credibly map correspondences between relations of social dominance and the exchange value of the forms of cultural capital. Rather, the synthetic operation itself obscures its own grounding, which is, in the final analysis, organic. Synthesis represents more than the joining of ideas. The apprehension of a synthesis in monothetic form occurs only on the basis of an alienation; in practice its constitution is polythetic. It may be that with the profusion of synthetic forms, the fabrication of the ideal synthetic object appears to us more readily, more transparently than it ever has, and thus its polythetic constitution seems to be an easily perceptible quality. This perception may be an illusion. We may be perceiving the polythetic categorically, by way of an imposition of a ready-made scheme that glosses over certain facts of its genesis. On the other hand, the notion that the synthetic operation obscures its own grounding in polythetic relations seems a little iffy, a little too romantic for the modern critical sensibility. The quality that endures is that of the membrane.

We speak of doxa as a horizon of being situated, or of being a person, but doxa is itself already more than one (if singular in construction). The usage implies that one doxis will be essentially connected to another doxis, and so on, to a matrix of opinion. Doxis is not a singular occurrence, not completely. The odd opinion presents itself as an opportunity to reassess one's place in the world, to call into question usual ways and means of judgement. Furthermore, doxis itself would seem to be an emergent property, a schematicization of elementary fields of attraction and repulsion. In this way, in being schematic, doxis lays a foundation for its plurality.

To imagine doxa as inherently fissiparous misattributes agency (yet again), and thereby risks confusing causes with effects. However, if the fissiparation of doxa is generated by way of the praxis of situated agencies, it nonetheless possesses--it has, as a tertiary implication of the kind of having embodied schematically as doxa--a vital function, which appears under ordinary circumstances to act as a vitality of its own. This implied vitality is in fact essential to the way doxa is experienced, and to its fissiparations, to the extent they are folded into the synthetic operation. Functional vitality, reiterated through the movements of the synthetic operation, engenders a response. That is its raison d'ĂȘtre. Inasmuch as the synthetic operation reiterates the conditions of its genesis, its responsiveness to the fissiparations of doxa always says more than it means to say. Were we to encounter expression in its birthday suit, as it were, we should have to acknowledge its ineffibility. Poetry will neither confirm nor deny this fact. That alone speaks volumes.

posted by Fido the Yak at 8:57 PM.


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