Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Notes Toward the Meaning of Justice

In the "The Meaning of Truth", William James says,

Distance ... is made abstract by emptying out whatever is particular in the concrete intervals—it is reduced thus to a sole 'difference,' a difference of 'place', which is a logical ... distinction, a so-called 'pure relation.'

The same is true of the relation called 'knowing,' which may connect an idea with a reality. ... I say that we know an object by means of an idea ..."

Here's a pangrammatical transposition of this passage, converting it from a statement about knowledge to one about power (here, as we shall see, "mastery"):

Duration ... is made concrete by filling in whatever is universal in the abstract termini—it is ramified thus to a mass 'identity,' an identity of 'way', which is a passionate ... equivalence, a so-called 'brute position.'

The same may be said of the position called 'mastering,' which may divorce a reality from an idea. ... I say that we master a subject by means of a reality ..."

Not bad, eh?

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