Tuesday, May 5, 2009

stanley fish

i think i read bits and pieces of "is there a text in this class" at some point in college. and if i didn't i should at least pretend that i did, being a respectable psuedo-intellectual and all. whether i did or didn't doesn't really matter, the point is i knew who stanley fish was: leading light of the post-modern blah blah blah movement. the type of dude who started out in the english department, convinced himself that texts no longer were capable of communicating anything anymore, so then he moved over to the philosophy department and of course was welcome with open arms. cuz, you know, if there's one thing better than nothingness, it's talking about it. despite the title of this blog post, this is not an entry about stanley fish. nor is it about post-modern blah blah blah, intepretive communites or other such things. what got me going was reading a column written by mr. fish in the new york times on a new work by terry eagleton. according to the column, eagleton's new book, entitled "reason, faith, and revolution" addresses the basic question, why are people suddenly talking about god? the simple answer is, religion not only asks questions that other fields/pursuits can't, but it also has answers. religion, at its core, attempts to wrestle with the great longings of the human heart. all other pursuits are only scraping the surface, and can only provide fleeting satisfaction if that. go read the article yourself -it's worth it-here.
what's interesting to me is how similar many of eagleton's arguments are. as i continued to read the piece i kept thinking, "that's lewis" "that's polyani" "that's augustine". i have no idea if fish was aware that many of eagleton's statements were so clearly based on previous arguments, i also didn't have the patience to read any of the 700 plus reader response to see if any else picked up on it either. i'm not claiming that i possess superior intellect, just noticed is all.

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