Gadamer . . . Truth here is seen in
terms of the capacity of forms of articulation to ‘disclose’ the world.5
For Bernstein, too, ‘art and aesthetics . . . appear as somehow more truthful than
empirical truth . . . more rational than methodological reason, more just than liberal
justice . . . more valuable than principled morality or utility’.6 This is not to argue that
art, and the world disclosed in art, are simply ‘more true’ than truth as correspondence, that ‘art and aesthetics are true while truth-only cognition, say in its realisation
in the natural sciences, is
utopian invention, carries with it (like all utopias) the negative recognition that the
world of the senses from which it is freeing itself is imperfect, or fallen. Such a recognition would certainly accord with Sidney’s Protestantism. But from the perspective
of our discussion, this movement beyond history may be read as an attempt to oﬀer
a truly historical cognition of the world.
In this allusion to a truth beyond a mimetic relation to the world, Sidney is also
able to combat charges that poets are liars. Sidney argues that ‘though he [the poet]
recount things not
possibility of its having a transformative potential. As Bernstein argues:
if art is alienated from truth and goodness by being isolated into a separate sphere, then
that entails that ‘truth’ and ‘goodness’ are alienated, separated from themselves. Aesthetic
alienation, then, betokens truth’s and reason’s internal diremption and deformation. . . .
Art’s exclusion from first-order cognition and moral judgement is, then, a condition of
its ability to register (in a speaking silence) a second-order truth about first-order truth.35
Inadmissible to forms of criticism generated
‘know’ them? Might we develop a more nuanced understanding
of scientia –one that would help us to grasp pre-Enlightenment
modes of cognition? Such research would not only be concerned
with understanding the past; it also connects with important
twenty-first-century concerns about how we, as humans, use and
abuse the nonhuman world in our pursuit of knowledge and technological advancement.6
Nonhuman things embroiled in ongoing processes of creation or
alteration, things that may be fragile or broken, accidental or malfunctioning things, things with a life
at the time Kant wrote the first critique and Kant uses it in this work
to discuss an ‘immediate’ relationship between cognition and an object as opposed to
a mediated relationship between the two, as is provided by concepts and judgements.
The reason why Kant here is not just presenting an account of sensibility per se is his
transcendental purpose. As Kant puts it:
Since that within which the sensations can alone be ordered and placed in a certain form
cannot itself be in turn sensation, the matter of all appearance is only given to us a posteriori, but its form
simply, education: the forming
and informing of a self in the spirit of growth, development, and imagining the possibility that the world and its objects might be otherwise than they are. Another word
for this, of course, is metaphor; but metaphor as a practice of thought, or, in the words
of Ricoeur, as a process of ‘cognition, imagination, and feeling’31: in my own terms,
a thinking that is always hospitable to otherness, and is thus ‘companionable’.
A useful way of characterising the play at issue here is to see it as dance. Valéry, in
particular, made great play
interchangeably now with the antique form of he (‘a’) in Barnado’s: ‘Looks a not like the
King?’ (46). Here and in his preceding observation that the entity appears ‘In the same
figure like the King that’s dead’ (44), Barnado relies on a form of recognition that is
also a form of re-cognition, i.e. a form of cognition that is based on comparison.
Marcellus picks up the same comparison moments later, asking Horatio ‘Is it not like
the King?’ (61). Yet Horatio’s response to Marcellus, ‘As thou art to thyself ’ (62), teasingly suggests that, insofar as
On Achebe’s endorsement of Ikem’s views, and on his revisionist liberalism, see
David Maughan-Brown, unpublished paper, ‘Anthills of the Savannah’s solution to
The Trouble with Nigeria’, ACLALS Triennial Conference, University of Kent,
Canterbury, 29 August 1989, pp. 4–5.
11 As Ikem discovers in his second encounter with Braimoh, the taxi-driver. The ceaseless circlings of such cognitions about ‘the people’ are of course a measure of
Achebe’s political pessimism. See Ascherson, ‘Betrayal’, p. 3.
12 Rutherford, ‘Interview’, p. 3.
13 On interpreting the past
categories we could, he argues, not even begin to have cognitive dilemmas, because we would have no forms of objectivity of the kind present in maths that
organise the material of cognition in ways about which we can disagree.
11 T. W. Adorno, Philosophische Frühschriften (Gesammelte Schriften Vol. 1), (Frankfurt:
Suhrkamp, 1973), p. 366.
12 The most obvious source of this idea is Nietzsche’s 1873 essay ‘On truth and lie in the extramoral sense’.
13 T. W. Adorno, Kierkegaard. Konstruktion des Ästhetischen (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1979), p.
53. There are close parallels
nature of that event, and is not to be read as the inadequacy specifically of
Heidegger’s political judgements.36 Adorno too, perhaps no less inadequately,
announced in 1949: ‘Cultural criticism finds itself up against the last level of a dialectic between culture and barbarism: to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric and this
also eats up the cognition which expresses why it became impossible to write poetry
today.’37 He subsequently came to modify the claim in his Aesthetic Theory, for which
aesthetic activity seemed the only possible form of insurrection or