Wednesday, June 27, 2012


"It" is to science as "we" is to politics. "Mine" is to philosophy as "I" is to poetry.

When philosophy asks the fundamental question "What is it?" it is really asking "How is it mine?" (We owe this insight to Heidegger: the entity to be analyzed is "in each case mine", je meines.) The "objects" of our scientific theories do not belong to us, but the things we experience are ours before we discover a single scientific fact.

Poetry, likewise, traces the fundamental question of who we are becoming back to the question of how I got here. We do not become the "subjects" of our political practices, but the people of our experience are themselves before we decide upon a single political act.

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