Law School Discussion

Getting Over It

Getting Over It
« on: May 27, 2011, 01:16:13 PM »
All -

In case you've not seen this yet, here's a notable commencement speech by a law professor who offers either a healthy perspective or a tone-deaf (if not shockingly hypocritical) view:

[Scan through the comments below for an even more interesting take, including by a number of practicing attorneys.]

Re: Getting Over It
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 01:19:33 PM »
I notice they gave this speech AFTER the kids got six figures in debt.  :)

Re: Getting Over It
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 02:32:21 PM »
Again, inappropriate thread - sorry again :)


Great post, copain - I will add a couple of other ones :)

This sounds a lot like Derrida (deconstruction). The face and candle image each are mutually interdependent. Neither can exist without the other. And a Buddhist would say, "Both the faces and the candle are Empty of inherent existence!" Hinduism, also, thousands of years ago proclaimed that "Truth is One - but the sages call it by different names." Thus Hindus tolerate a great variety of forms of worship and ways of attaining enlightenment.

Derrida said, "What I understand under the name deconstruction, there is no end, no beginning, and no after." He also said, "Since it takes the singularity of every context into account, Deconstruction is different from one context to another." Now, if deconstruction is different in different fields, then how is it different in different cultures? If there is neither a beginning nor an end of deconstruction, and if deconstruction is different from one context to the next -- then deconstruction must also have taken place in other cultures -- long before Jacques Derrida was ever born!

To name just three: China, India and Japan. China's great deconstructive mind belonged to an unconventional, anti-traditional Taoist named Chuang Tzu. In a manner similar to that of Jacques Derrida, he played with words, in order to undermine opposites. Both are aware of the problems that language and signification create, and both use a playful, unconventional style of writing to undermine and subvert conventional meanings -- to create works that blur the boundaries between philosophy and literature.


There was a time in Indian history, however, when groups of yogis became skeptical of all this. From among all the phallogocentric seekers of truth and meaning along the great brown river -- the ever-rolling and tranquil Ganges -- from among the waves and waves of turbaned priests and Hari Babas, and Ramjab Babas and Omkara Babas reciting unceasingly the eternal names of God, there emerged sects of naked, long-haired or semi-nude wandering ascetics. And as they walked along the sands of the holy Ganges they carried tridents or spears in their right hands and their limp penises would sway to and fro. They began to question everything Hindu. In fact, sometimes they would eat the flesh of dead men or would meditate atop a corpse. And instead of chanting Om, and instead of seeking for Brahman -- the essence of everything -- they began to question if anything has an essence -- if Brahmin even exists. They questioned everything -- using riddles. And from among this group of skeptics emerged a young prince, Siddartha Gotama, who was to become known as the Buddha. The Hindus had believed that the soul or Atma was identical with Brahman or God, and that is was eternal. But Buddha taught that all things are impermanent and that there is no soul.

The Cup and/or the Faces?

Buddha paved the way for Asia's greatest Indian philosopher, who was to be called "The Second Buddha." His name was Nagarjuna, and many modern scholars have found that his philosophy has much in common with Derrida's "deconstruction." He wrote about Emptiness, saying that anything that is Empty is devoid of self-essence. Or in Sanskrit what is called svabhava. The cup seems to exist all by itself, and not to be dependent on, or related to, anything else. But is this a drawing of a cup or of two faces? Or is it a drawing of both, or of neither? Perhaps it is just a two-dimensional series of lines! The important point is that we cannot see both the cup and faces simultaneously. Each image appears to possess svabhava or self-essence. Each image appears to be a self-sufficient, self-existent, discrete image. But they don't possess self-essence! There is an intimate, subtle relationship between the faces and the cup. One cannot exist without the other. They depend on each other.

I appreciate the contribution made the poster, but now "by train" would really be appreciated if s/he would come back here to tell us what exactly stands this about - because we may speculate a lot of things, but I doubt it we can get to the bottom of this all, without any help... if you know, what I mean :)

Totally clueless - me too, would need some kind of f.explanation ;)