20.147 novelty

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 07:00:46 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 147.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 06:57:28 +0100
         From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
         Subject: Re: 20.124 what is it that passes?


In Vol. 20, No. 124, you tempt readers to embrace novlety:


In a sense, perhaps, our most central question is innovation itself.

"Pure innovatory knowledge has as its basis the impurity and
complexity of the established bounds of culture. In a way knowledge
is acquired against culture; but in what sense? By an epistemological
leap which opens up a new dimension, and not by preliminary
all-embracing discipline" (27)


Our core subject of study is that epistemological leaping,
our core activity the liberating of imaginations,
our core service the training of intellectual athletes


By way of response, allow me to suggest that the discourse of Judith
Schlanger is in the ambit of the
research and analyses conducted by Pierre Bourdieu.

The timing of the question of innovation is critical. Novelty need
not be invoked at the outset.

The "point de depart" is the plurivocality of both the domains of
knowledge and of culture. They are
domains animated by dialogic relations. I am leaning on a
characterization of the teeming vulagrity of
domains, that is, somewhere someone wrote in another context:

In <i>L'invention intellectuelle</i> Judith Schlanger suggests that
noise, the sheer mass of popularisation
which the French call "vulgarisation" contributes to significant
breakthroughs. Each rearticulation of
current knowledge is a displacing repetition and affects however
slightly the paths open and opening to

I believe in good French fashion (with a bow towards the social
imaginary) that the two terms invoked,
knowledge and culture, are both mobile. Furthermore, "savoir" and
"culture" are mediated by "connaissance".
To be acquainted with knowledge and to be acquainted with culture is
the necessary prerequisite for making
that epistemological (and aesthetic) leap. But, nuance, to be
acquainted with is not the same as to

The acquisition of knowledge occurs "against" culture. Could this not
be an anaclitic relation? Knowledge
leans against culture. The relation is not necessarily one of opposition.

Invention cultivates that dimension where the domains lean against
each other. Like any gap, if examined
closely, yields much space to discover the new.


Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
Received on Fri Aug 11 2006 - 03:26:05 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Aug 11 2006 - 03:26:05 EDT