AN APPROACH TO EPISTEMOLOGY, LITERATURE, AND THE POET’S POLITICS — VOL. 41 (2016, 8500 words)

My presupposition is that the common sense or doxa we inherited from High Modernism has failed in, and because of, Post-Modernism and the Post-Fordist triumph of predatory capitalism. This would include the mass misuse of modern sciences in wars and impoverishment of peoples as well as the intellectual destruction of the presuppositions both for a practical Left in Stalinism, as manifested in the disasters after 1968 and 1989, and for a genuine freedom-loving liberalism. But this is a large subject-matter that should be developed separately, while refusing the Post-Modern ” weak thought ” abandonment of reason. I propose in this essay to suggest, first, what might be some foundations and salient aspects of epistemology, that branch of philosophy which asks how do we know what we (think we) know, and to propose an orientation in it (toward a ” soft ” skepticism). I then draw a parallel between sciences and arts, including their institutional anchorage, and in particular insofar as narration is concerned. I end with a brief glimpse of how the art and cognition of poetry may intervene in a politics of freedom and survival: importantly but indirectly.

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