Thursday, September 16, 2021

Meaning of Metanarrative Explained Simply

A metanarrative, meta-narrative or macro-narrative (or, also in the plural, great narratives or great stories ) is, in the context of critical theory and postmodernism , a global or totalizing narrative culture scheme that organizes and explains knowledge and experiences. The meta prefix means "beyond," and a narrativeIt is a story. The metanarrative will therefore be a story beyond history, which is capable of encompassing other "little stories" within it, within encompassing, totalizing, transcendent or universalizing schemes.

According to the critical approach to the metanarrative proposed by Lyotard , the meta- stories are assumed as totalizing and multi-encompassing discourses, in which the understanding of facts of a scientific, historical, religious and social nature is assumed in an absolutist way, trying to give an answer and solution to all contingency.

A recurring example, which constantly refers to this systematized and totalizing system of interpretation, is the one proposed by Hegel .

Western science, mnemonic, taxonomist, empiricist and utilitarian, which has assumed a supposed sovereignty around its reason, supposedly neutral, rigorous and universal, is another clear example of a Metanarrative, which could even be defined as a meta-meta-narrative that involves in turn, particular meta-stories that contemplate the world and the essences of things from independent positions, offering surprising solutions to endless human problems, and that some currently think is in crisis, and even in various intellectual sectors it is identified as one more of modern myths.


Lyotard's analysis of the postmodern condition has been criticized for being internally inconsistent. For example, thinkers such as Alex Callinicos and Jürgen Habermas argue that Lyotard's description of the postmodern world, as a container for a "disbelief towards metanarratives," can be seen as a narrative in its own right.

Meaning of Logocentrism explained and defined simply

Logocentrism, as a general definition, is the accepted assumption in literary theory that there is an independent "truth" that precedes its representation through language or language, and that truth and reality actually exist outside the language factor. Thus, logocentrism calls for treating linguistic signs as detached and unnecessary to the objects (to be marked ) that they represent. Therefore, there is also a clear preference for speech over writing , since in the first there is the presence of the speaker, who is perceived as a mediator who has the ability to largely eliminate the ambiguity and ambiguity that exist in the written language. This preference of speech over writing, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida calls "phonocentrism".

In the scathing critique that Derrida makes of this view, he defines it as a " prejudice " rooted in Western philosophy almost from its inception since the days of ancient Greece . It is referred to by him as the "metaphysics of presence."

Another critique of this conception is that it refers simplistically to the more complex relationship between signifier and signified .

Derrida also argues that this metaphysics (as he called it) tends to identify basic philosophical conceptions such as: " truth ", " reality ", and " existence " - in conceptual terms of "presence", "essence", " identity " and "source" - out of almost complete disregard for the crucial role played by "absence" and "difference" (Difference), within any possible definition or understanding of these perceptions.

Meaning of Interpellation Explained simply

Interpellation is a concept developed by the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser in his book On Ideology , which describes how (state) ideology is embedded in the subjects through so-called Ideological State apparatuses, such as the school system and the police. Althusser suggests that as the subject recognizes that an invocation is addressed to him, he is interpellated with the ideology of which the cry is expressed. The classic example is the policeman shouting at you in the street: "Hey, you without lights, drive to the side!" which you recognize is addressed to you and thus interpellated with the ideology (which is ideological in that it according to Althusser expresses the ideology of the dominant class through the state apparatus) that the law enforcement has the authority to give you a fine, and thus that you must comply the laws of the country. In simple layman's terms, the term describes the movement of values, traditions, culture and worldviews and more from being 'outside' a person, to being embedded in the person's way of thinking and acting.

The term has been used by several international cultural researchers and philosophers, including Slavoj Žižek who inscribes the term in his psychoanalyses, sociologist and actor-network theorist John Law and gender theorist Judith Butler .

Immanent critique - definition and explanation

Immanent critique or Immanent criticism is a fundamental hermeneutical process of dealing with philosophical texts , works of art and the like, in which the object is subjected to a criticism on the basis of its own means, concepts and figures of thought as well as their performativity .

In contrast to standpoint criticism, in which the criticism opposes the text with a different position, Immanent critique is an examination of the argumentation of an existing position in the criticized text. For example, inadmissible conclusions, insufficient justification of a thesis or contradictions and inconsistencies of a theory are shown. Immanent criticism is widespread in philosophy today, but it is especially considered an important moment in critical theory .

Different philosophers are repeatedly given as authors and founders. Popper is said to have adopted Adorno's method of immanent criticism . Adorno, on the other hand, was inspired in this regard by Hegel's immanent phenomenology of the mind . Ultimately, however, it is a very old method of philosophy. Among other things, Baruch de Spinoza dealt with the problems of the interpretation of texts in 1677 and established principles: "The main rule of the interpretation of scriptures is that one should not ascribe any doctrine to scripture that does not result with complete clarity from its history" .

A well-known example of the consistent “assessment of works by their immanent criteria” is Walter Benjamin's book On the Critique of Violence .

Immanent criticism can be called a method of deconstruction , but it differs from Gilles Deleuze's philosophy of immanence .

Engaged Theory - short explanation

Engaged Theory is a methodological framework for understanding social complexity . Social life or social relationships are taken as its base category, with 'the social' always understood as based on 'the natural', including humans as embodied beings. The Engaged Theory provides a framework that moves from detailed empirical analysis about things, people, and processes in world  to abstract theory about the constitution and social framework of those things, people, and processes. 

Engaged theory is one of the approaches within the broader tradition of critical theory . Engaged Theory crosses the fields of sociology , anthropology , political science , history , philosophy , and global studies. In its most general form, the term Engaged Theory is used to describe theories that provide a toolbox for engaging with the world while seeking to change it. 


Cultural Materialism Explained Simply

Cultural materialism is a theortical approach to research in anthropology and sociolog , which gives priority to material conditions in explaining the causes of sociocultural differences and similarities. 

Cultural materialism proposes three divisions for the components of cultures: infrastructure, structure, and superstructure. The infrastructure corresponds to the production and reproduction practices and would causal priority over the other two sectors to be more related to human survival and well - being. The structure is made up of organizational characteristics such as kinship relationships and economic policy. The superstructure is made up of ideological and symbolic sectors such as religion. 

The term cultural materialism was introduced in Marvin Harris's The Development of Anthropological Theory in 1968. Harris argued that the anthropological schools that emerged in the early twentieth century through the 1940s abandoned the search for the causes and origins of institutions and gave a conception of culture that exaggerated the irrational and inscrutable ingredients of human life. Given this, he proposed an approach based on the work of the anthropologists Leslie White and Julian Steward and their respective theories of cultural evolution and cultural ecology . 

The word materialism of cultural materialism comes from the recognition of Karl Marx's formulation on the influence of material production and processes on social life known as dialectical materialism. However cultural materialism rejects the dialectical conception of history from Hegel of the dialectic materialism . It also adds reproductive pressure and economic variables to material conditions. The word cultural serves to distinguish the material causes of sociocultural phenomena from other organic materialisms. Thus cultural materialism opposes the biological reductionism of racial, sociobiological and ethological explanations of sociocultural differences and similarities. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Bauman's Gardener metaphor

The Gardener metaphor is a concept introduced by Zygmunt Bauman . It refers to the contrast between cultures grown, produced, directed and designed on the one hand and wild or "natural" cultures on the other. In the former, the need for a power that exercises an artificial design prevails, since the garden in which society has become does not have the necessary resources for its own sustenance and self-reproduction, so it is dependent on this power. In wild cultures, on the other hand, the resources for self-reproduction were in the society itself and in its community ties, which allowed them to know what the weeds were, the weeds, and how to eliminate them.

These weeds that grow on the peripheries of society will be the poor understood as dangerous classes, on whom the forces of pastoral power are applied and fall , in Foucauldian words , although Bauman , in a more disturbing way, has pointed out that the complete realization The gardener state is found in the totalitarian state of the twentieth century, which finds its weeds either in the Jew or in any possible subject of the genocide. Ultimately, genocide would be the ultimate achievement of social gardening, the purification of weeds based on the concretion of an image of what the garden should be. Note that this metaphor is affirmed in the notion of biopower, and his anatomopolitical and biopolitical techniques, by Michel Foucault .