By Thomas Docherty
This publication explores what's at stake in our confessional tradition. Thomas Docherty examines confessional writings from Augustine to Montaigne and from Sylvia Plath to Derrida, arguing that via all this paintings runs a philosophical substratum - the stipulations lower than which it's attainable to say a confessional mode - that wishes exploration and explication.
Docherty outlines a philosophy of confession that has pertinence for a latest political tradition in line with the concept of 'transparency'. In a postmodern 'transparent society', the self coincides with its self-representations. any such place is principal to the assumption of authenticity and truth-telling in confessional writing: it's the foundation of claiming, in truth, 'here I take my stand'.
The query is: what different results may perhaps there be of an assumption of the primacy of transparency? components are tested intimately: the spiritual and the judicial. Docherty indicates that regardless of the tendency to treat transparency as a basic social and moral strong, our modern tradition of transparency has engendered a society during which autonomy (or the very authority of the topic that broadcasts 'I confess') is grounded in guilt, reparation and victimhood.
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Extra info for Confessions: The Philosophy of Transparency
On the other hand, there is the human ‘being’ (actually now a human becoming), for whom there remains a distinction between the realm of value (‘we see that they are good’) and the realm of fact (‘we see that they exist’).
Either something is true or it is not. 46 Badiou’s position up to this point seems relatively uncontestable. He has made it abundantly clear that a certain kind of relativism leads to an identitypolitics in which the production of identities, each armed with their ‘truths’, leads simply to an enhancement of the capitalist marketplace. It would follow in this that the contemporary demand for confessional culture, all the way from demands for ‘transparency’ in public life to daytime TV shows where individuals parade stereotypically dramatized versions of their personal lives, is entirely consistent with a market-capitalism.
It is episodic and rare. 49 As Rancière has it, ‘la culture est toujours une forme de désidentification : la possibilité de parler autre chose que la langue de ses aïeux et de son groupe d’appartenance ou d’intérêt’ (‘culture is always a form of disidentification : the possibility of speaking otherwise than in the language of one’s forebears and of one’s community- or interest-group’). If there is a public sphere (or a possibility of democracy) at all, it is the space in which we speak other than what we are, in which we can differ from our forebears or from the identity that we have ‘inherited’ from the past.