By Thomas Docherty
This publication explores what's at stake in our confessional tradition. Thomas Docherty examines confessional writings from Augustine to Montaigne and from Sylvia Plath to Derrida, arguing that via all this paintings runs a philosophical substratum - the stipulations less than which it truly is attainable to say a confessional mode - that wishes exploration and explication.
Docherty outlines a philosophy of confession that has pertinence for a latest political tradition in accordance with the suggestion of 'transparency'. In a postmodern 'transparent society', the self coincides with its self-representations. this kind of place is relevant to the belief of authenticity and truth-telling in confessional writing: it's the foundation of claiming, honestly, 'here I take my stand'.
The query is: what different outcomes may possibly there be of an assumption of the primacy of transparency? components are tested intimately: the spiritual and the judicial. Docherty indicates that regardless of the tendency to treat transparency as a common social and moral strong, our modern tradition of transparency has engendered a society during which autonomy (or the very authority of the topic that publicizes 'I confess') is grounded in guilt, reparation and victimhood.
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Extra info for Confessions: The Philosophy of Transparency
From it they have received their due measure of duration and their very existence. And so it will be with all the other days which are still to come. But you yourself are eternally the same. 32 That is how Augustine phrases things at the start. However, the entire point of the text of the Confessions is to find an intimacy with God, to come to a OFFICIAL IDENTITY AND CLANDESTINE EXPERIENCE 35 position now where God knows Augustine (for Augustine acknowledges that, as God knows everything, he already knows Augustine entirely), but rather to a position where Augustine knows and can name God, and, in so naming, find and name himself.
Nor is it a matter of who is speaking or of where the discourse comes from (these being now Foucauldian or Barthesian questions that have no claim on truth at all). This truth or fidelity to the declaration of an event – a process of truth for Badiou – is something that cannot recognize degree either. Either something is true or it is not. 46 Badiou’s position up to this point seems relatively uncontestable. He has made it abundantly clear that a certain kind of relativism leads to an identitypolitics in which the production of identities, each armed with their ‘truths’, leads simply to an enhancement of the capitalist marketplace.
The costs are massive. As soon as we start thinking this way, we can start to identify sub-cultures (sous-ensembles, as Badiou calls them), each with their own particularized claims on their truths. Truth, in this, becomes a matter of contestation between particularities – and between particularized ‘identities’ – regardless of any absolute claim on historical eventuality or ‘events’. In turn, this form of contestation of opinions reduces all criticism, indeed all thinking, to a series of victimologies.
Confessions: The Philosophy of Transparency by Thomas Docherty