Bhaskar

Hans Despain DESPAIN at econ.sbs.utah.edu
Fri Apr 7 21:55:27 MDT 1995


I have just quickly found some passages from *Plato Etc.*  Bhaskar
says at the beginning of chapter 7 "Living Well" page 141:

"We are at once desiring acting creatures and judging speaking
beings.  Although agency has discursive presuppositions and judgement
practical ones, we can derive the formal criteriology for the good
society from either."

here there is a footnote which says "In my recent *Dialectic*,
Chapter 3, I gave the impression that it was upon the dialectical
universalizability of the judgement form that the argument had to
turn.  But as I shall shortly show, this is not so."

Bhaskar continues in the main body of the text:

"Paradigmatically it is informed desire, experienced as an absence or
lack, that dirves praxis on".

Also in chapter 5 "Making It Happen (Social Agency)" page 113, he
says:

"Light may perhaps be cast on another long-running dispute in ethics,
viz. that between universalists and particularists. Universalizability
is both (a) a test of consistency (and a fortiori sincertiy) and (b)
a criterion of truth, but the universality involved must be
dialectical, i.e. transfactual, concrete, agentive in the twoflod
sense explicted in Chapter 3.3 and directionally transfromative...We
may assume a core universal human nature, and thus grounds for a
core equality, but it will always be manifest at a particular time
and place, as mediated and as singularized.  This is the basis of
the dialectical critique of abstract universalist ethics, based on
the corresponding dialectical critiqe of deductivism..."

Bhaskar is very Hegelian here, especially his conception of
universalizability being 1) a test of consistency; the very motivation
of Hegel's *Logic* 2) and a criterion of truth; for Hegel also,
for Hegel measured by the level of Self-determination.

Anyway, I thought someone might be interested, I think Justin's
groping for universalizability as some resistence or stablity
analysis is inherently unstable, subjective and contradictory.
Bhaskar claims also that the dividing of values and facts from one
another leaves ethics ungrounded, both in the *Dialectic* and *Plato*.
In this light I think that Justin looking for an objective critera,
finds himself divorcing the grounds for ethics, although he would
disagree.  It seems to me that we are committed to a form of
universality of ethics, maybe the particular and singular lacks and
absences drive this desire of universality on.

Also, Justin both resistence and domination are both present and
exist, what Bhaskar calls "onts."  Do you think that possibly the
absences or lacks are actually your "hidden" propeler of history?
Bhaksar claims that this (absences) is what motors both the Hegelian
and Marxian dialectic (1.6 and 2.1 of *Dialectic* and chapter 6 of
*Plato Etc.*).

Hans Despain
University of Utah
despain at econ.sbs.utah.edu


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