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Nevertheless, his understanding of judgment remains at its core a conventional logical model in which the predicate of a subject is affirmed or denied. Hegel goes further, explicitly rejecting traditional propositional thinking in which the subject is a stable element to which various predicates can be added or subtracted in order to fashion statements of truth or falsity.

Instead, they are constitutively transitional elements in an expressive dynamic in which the subject loses and recovers itself in the predicate, but this happens in such a way as to reveal that the substance of what is being articulated is precisely a movement of interruptions, reversals, and repetitions more than the identity of any specific figure or relationship.

In Kantian terms, it is as if synthetic and analytic judgments were taking place simultaneously. To analyze a speculative sentence is not to follow a linear trajectory from start to finish. The path is alternately a circle, an oscillation forward and backward, and a series of nearly discontinuous starts and stops. Throughout, the constitutive incompleteness and instability of any given sentence is glaringly on display.

No individual formulation can be entirely self-determining, establish itself as the definitive iteration of a series, or have the final word. To the extent that the transitional elements of a speculative sentence do harmonize with one another, any equilibrium is short-lived, and the distinction between subject and predicate reasserts itself in a new statement whose substance is incompatible with the previous one. In the course of questioning the hegemony of the proposition, Schlegel challenges the authority of established philosophical terminology, as well. Playing with the vocabularies of his predecessors, he repeatedly casts doubt on the internal consistency and completeness of the nomenclatural schemes from which they emerge.

At the same time, his critiques of terminological and propositional thinking do appear to be intimately interrelated. Jargon is the point at which the demand for verbal exactitude and the aim of finding precisely the right word for what one wants to say shade into confusion or obscurity. A term that proves to be singular in its reference or signification risks losing its claim to semantic generality, and hence its very status as a word, becoming either an impenetrable cipher or a transparent token devoid of any meaning beyond its mechanical application in a particular context.

As much authority as has been conferred upon the transcendental, it is analogy itself that seems to be the real force here, albeit an analogy in which the alignment of terms generates correspondences between them rather than the other way around. The violence of precisely this form of argument is a central concern in Athenaeum fragment 82, whose first half reads,.

Here a conclusion exists only as a phantasmagoric endpoint, a limit to be approached, such that even an infinite number of inferences leave us an infinite number of steps away from a definite result. This may not be a terribly destabilizing prospect, for in such cases the discourse will still be grounded in its core definitions, which ought to be exempt from the demonstrations required of propositions.

On this account, a definition would be a military demonstration that makes no effort to dissimulate its martial character—the first step is the last, and vice versa. Echoing the analogy to philosophical jargon in the opening line of Athenaeum fragment , this is an argument by analogy—or rather, by homology: one trio is supposed to elucidate the features of another.

Still, the parallels feel tenuous. The juxtaposition of elements comes first, and we fill in the connections afterward, as if the substance of the links had been the driving force behind the coordination of the elements in the first place. If in Athenaeum we have to play along with the name that Schlegel bestows on a particular type of poetry, here in Athenaeum 82 we have to play along with the form of analogy itself.

A flash of wit is entirely unexpected—it cannot be anticipated or shown to follow logically from what has already been said—but, as if by serendipity, it consistently negates what it follows. Nonetheless, it is in and through this impossible non-relation of disconnection that wit does bring things together, creating connections on the basis of disjunctions at the same time as it breaks connections that did not previously exist. Wit reveals resemblances—for instance, between transcendental philosophy and poetry—only insofar as it threatens to undermine one or both of the fields it coordinates, challenging the capacity of each to account for the nature of its correspondences with the other.

Witty definitions, in turn, facilitate determinations of individuals that respect their infinite complexity yet delimit them. This leads him to the bold conclusion of Athenaeum fragment Such an utterance must be witty. Witticisms propose without confirming their capacity to do so, which is why they never become models for future speech acts, even witty ones. Witticisms are the paradigm of an autonomous claim, yet for this very reason they remain a-paradigmatic.

If the rationalist ideal—or fantasy—of precise, transparent communication envisions absolutely stable terms whose content is at once fixed and self-explanatory, witticisms are both anti-demonstrative and anti-definitional. Their significance lies solely in what they do—in the impossible connections they make and the non-existent connections they break.

Schlegel maintains that if a proposition is to be autonomous, it cannot depend on any supplemental clarification, explanation, or proof. The attempt to clarify that enough is enough undoes the tautological certainty of the idiom at the very moment that enough is enough is identified as the basic statement of identity underwriting any verbal assertion.

No pronouncement about enough can ever suffice to bring a witty demonstration to a close. In another fragment, Schlegel describes a truly unconstrained discourse that unfolds such that a commitment to continue is never in force.

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This is a call for a language that would be entirely indifferent to the need to continue with, much less complete, any given utterance. Insofar as each and every verbal element is to be distinguished by the fact that it need never have been expressed because the speaker might have broken off at the previous moment, no utterance can constitute a promise that there is more to come.

No instance of a truly free language submits itself to a regulation that would require that it be followed by more language. Syntax and grammar, the norms of narrative, or the logic of philosophical demonstrations—none of these paradigms will necessarily be violated or compromised, but they are all subordinated to the possibility that the discourse may stop at any point for reasons that have nothing to do with grammatical, narrative, or logical dictates.

To demand that a writer be forever capricious would be to organize the potentiality of pure fancy into a method or posture that was only a step or two away from devolving into the rhetorical etiquette critiqued in Athenaeum fragment A few years later, a mysterious impulse drives the narrator to confess, and he recounts his experiences to the reader from his cell only hours before his execution. As the blind spot of human self-understanding, such perversity is not simply difficult to talk about—it defines the ways in which people use and abuse language.

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Emerging where linguistic self-reflexivity becomes linguistic self-diremption, perversity inevitably confounds the discourse on perversity. Unsurprisingly, this is precisely what the narrator does to his reader, discoursing repetitively about this perverse impulse from as many different perspectives as possible before finally making it clear that he has fallen victim to this primitive, irreducible sentiment not once but twice, first in confessing to his perfect crime and then in trying to tell us about it.

Perverse words beget more perverse words and deeds, and it quickly becomes uncertain if there is any other kind. A discourse may lay claim to its own words, but only insofar as it abuses them. In a tribute to—or parody of—Baudelaire, symbolic correspondences proliferate in the text to the point that almost any alignment of two terms becomes potentially meaningful.

Various sensory and intelligible orders stand in for one another metonymically and metaphorically, ensuring that the dynamics of perception, memory, and language become hopelessly intertwined. Have unknown words ever played about your lips, the haunting and accursed fragments of an absurd sentence? Versification invades and begins to pervert the prose poem, only subsequently to be turned back into prose.

For better or worse, building a word with which to comment on the vexingly meaningful instances of meaninglessness with which he is confronted does not help the poet escape the utterance that stalks him and the incomprehensibility that it evidently brings with it:. If anything, it is the simplicity and compactness of the spectral formulation that must be combatted, as if the Penultimate will never truly be dead and buried if all one can say about it is that it is dead and buried.

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Perhaps the mistake lies in treating the Penultimate as an autonomous unit, since by definition it is subordinate to an ordering logic that it does not control. In fact, this does not turn out to be the central concern. As the poet tells it, the truly shocking aspect of the experience is not the prospect of interminable mourning, with which he associates sadness or resignation rather than surprise or dread.

The real horror is the moment in the penultimate paragraph of the poem at which the poet realizes that the voice that has been autonomously articulating the sentence plaguing him is actually his own. This uncanny instance of linguistic self-recognition as self-alienation is followed by a second shock in the final paragraph when the poet notices that he is standing outside a shop selling string instruments. A complex web of wing, plumage, and string motifs runs throughout the text and is repeatedly perverted into all manner of sensible and intelligible forms.

When this forest of symbols is suddenly instantiated in a collection of physical objects in the shop window, the poet is confronted with a signifying field in which analogism has been generalized to such a degree that it elides the very distinctions that make comparisons possible, and resemblances lose their capacity to signify.

The ghostly utterance marks a limit at which the demon of analogy and the perversity of pure linguistic arbitrariness are at once most similar and dissimilar. Schlegel asks us to envision a discourse in which every word or syllable is completely informed by and yet utterly indifferent to the fact that it may be the last word or syllable.

The spontaneity of expression, or silence, is thereby pitted against the sentential paradigms of syntax, grammar, and logical predication.

In Poe, the authority of the sentence persists, but in a perverted dynamic, turned not simply against the formal and semantic features that underwrite its constation or performance, but against linguistic iterability itself. No matter how short or simple, a perverted sentence can never account for the connections, or the lack thereof, between its terms. The status of the penultimate as penultimate is thus negated at the very moment that this perverse penultimacy threatens to take over every other place in the series: first, middle, and last.

On the other hand, it implies that the syntactic and semantic dynamics it comprises are singularly powerful and not easily superseded. When the Romantic sentence becomes one such surrogate, it proves to be far from benign, perversely rendering the assumptions and goals of its would-be speaker all but unrecognizable. Braudel, Fernand. Translated by S. Reynolds, U of California P, Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. Leipzig, S.

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This distinction is echoed in Xenophon's Symposium 3. For his part as a philosophical interlocutor, he leads his respondent to a clearer conception of wisdom, although he claims he is not himself a teacher Apology. Perhaps significantly, he points out that midwives are barren due to age, and women who have never given birth are unable to become midwives; they would have no experience or knowledge of birth and would be unable to separate the worthy infants from those that should be left on the hillside to be exposed.

To judge this, the midwife must have experience and knowledge of what she is judging. Socrates believed the best way for people to live was to focus on the pursuit of virtue rather than the pursuit, for instance, of material wealth. The idea that there are certain virtues formed a common thread in Socrates's teachings.

These virtues represented the most important qualities for a person to have, foremost of which were the philosophical or intellectual virtues. Socrates stressed that " the unexamined life is not worth living [and] ethical virtue is the only thing that matters. It is argued that Socrates believed "ideals belong in a world only the wise man can understand", [] making the philosopher the only type of person suitable to govern others. In Plato's dialogue the Republic , Socrates openly objected to the democracy that ran Athens during his adult life.