21.187 theorizing as stealing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 07:34:01 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 187.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: Jeremy Hunsinger <jhuns_at_vt.edu> (16)
         Subject: Re: 21.183 theorizing as stealing

   [2] From: lachance_at_chass.utoronto.ca (15)
         Subject: Re: 21.183 theorizing as stealing

         Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 07:09:54 +0100
         From: Jeremy Hunsinger <jhuns_at_vt.edu>
         Subject: Re: 21.183 theorizing as stealing

Guattari has an essay 'I am an idea thief', from which you can infer
much the same position, which is remarkably like lautreamont's
thought on plagiarism and the implications of newton's thought
'standing on the shoulder of giants'. Human thought, and thus
theorizing, steals ceaselessly taking whatever it can from the ideas
we have available to find a way through the question at hand. On a
more fundamental level, at least one of the practices of research and
theorizing, the maintenance of a 'notebook' or commonplace book in
which you copy the text and thus thought of others into your own
contexts used to be a form of sharing, not stealing. More and more
though... I suspect people believe that you can own ideas and
information, that information and ideas aren't without value
(capital), and thus stealing them becomes much more problemetized.
The age of 'intellectual property' recreates 'theorizing as stealing'
into violation of a property right instead of as Rosen indicates,
being human.

         Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 07:10:16 +0100
         From: lachance_at_chass.utoronto.ca
         Subject: Re: 21.183 theorizing as stealing


It is not clear in how you quote from Robert Rosen if the Promethean
figure belongs to his discourse or if it is "free information" gleaned
from an extrapolation...


> the extrapolability of data; it pertains to similitude". It is the
> Promethean act of stealing in order to build, of taking great risks
> in order to progress, of thwarting old Nobodaddy to bring about a
> permanent change in how things are done.
> Eddington was, of course, speaking about physicists, but I think we
> can steal this bit of intellectual stuff and be the better for it, don't
> you?

Is there a chance that the "theft" of this characterization of theory
making can be set in a less heroic (i.e. Promethean) context?
Received on Mon Jul 30 2007 - 02:52:12 EDT

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