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 modern political tradition in line with the thought of 'transparency'. In a postmodern 'transparent society', the self coincides with its self-representations. any such place is significant 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 results may perhaps there be of an assumption of the primacy of transparency? components are tested intimately: the non secular and the judicial. Docherty indicates that regardless of the tendency to treat transparency as a common social and moral stable, our modern tradition of transparency has engendered a society within which autonomy (or the very authority of the topic that pronounces 'I confess') is grounded in guilt, reparation and victimhood.
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Additional resources for Confessions: The Philosophy of Transparency
26 It is what we find in more recent times in a poet such as Lowell, when he transcribes letters written by his intimate others, and puts them, with linebreaks, into History and, perhaps more troublingly, in The Dolphin: Sometime I must try to write the truth, but almost everything has fallen away lost in passage when we said goodbye in Rome. Even the licence of my mind rebels, and can find no lodging for my two lives …27 Is my doubt, last flicker of the fading thing, an honorable subject for conversation?
45 With these two consequences in mind, Badiou removes truth from the question of identity-politics (and vice versa, in fact). Truth, then, is not a function of a linguistic proposition whose validity can be tested by being aligned with or placed alongside a non-linguistic fact. 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.
30 In this, ‘I’ present myself as if something interior is ‘ex-pressing’ itself to an exteriority. However, we have already argued that such a spatialized version of this state of affairs is essentially limited and circumscribed by a ‘modern’ mentality, a mentality that leads to a construction of selfhood in which identity is set up in a contest between the human consciousness and a world of nature. Hence, if we look more carefully at this state of affairs, we now see that a better way of thinking about it is to see that the ‘I’ in question is always already in a scene of recognition, but one where it is recognizing itself, and doing so in time and as a substantive differing, as Deleuze would have it.