Law School Discussion

The Da Vinci crock

Re: The Da Vinci crock
« Reply #220 on: April 01, 2012, 03:21:45 PM »

"Gaying" him just because he's stretching Ronaldo? I mean, that's part of the training thing they're supposed to do.. employing this kind of "logic" the guy sitting next to you whose leg accidently touches yours has to be gay!

Gimme a break, fellas!

Frank's - but, of course, we understand that - just because they're touching their legs that way, they're not gay.


Re: Sacrifices
« Reply #221 on: April 05, 2012, 03:30:05 PM »

Theuth is the father's other, the father, and himself. He cannot be assigned a fixed location in the play. Sly, slippery and masked, an intriguer and a card, he is neither king nor jack, but rather a sort of a joker, a floating signifier, a wild card, one who puts play into play. And this joker is the inventor of play, of games of draughts, dice, etc. Every act of his is marked by an unstable ambivalence. He is the god of calculation, arithmetic and rational science; and he also presides over the occult sciences, astrology and alchemy. He is the god of magic formulae, of secret accounts, of hidden texts. And so he is the god of medicine. The god of writing is the god of pharmakon... So can Theuth simply have meant writing as a "remedy"? Isn't the undecidable demi-god condemned to invent undecidables? Not just remedies, but pharmakons? Isn't Theuth's desire for writing a desire for orphanhood and patricidal subversion? Isn't this pharmakon a criminal thing, a poisoned gift?

Well, if the virus is neither living nor not-living, then it's puzzingly undecidable. As we'll see, undecidability is a threat to the traditional foundations of philosophy. Undecidables are threatening. They poison the comforting sense that we inhabit a world governed by decidable categories. Binary opposotions classify and organize the objects, events and relations of the world. They make decision possible. And they govern thinking in everyday life, as well as philosophy, theory and the sciences. Undecidables disrupt this oppositional logic. They slip across both sides of an opposition but don't properly fit either. They are more than the opposition can allow. And because of that, they question the very principle of "opposition."

Truth-be-told, this seems kinda odd to me, but I felt it relates (to the above posts) - reason why I am adding it


Although the word-chain pharmakeia-pharmakon-pharmakeus appears several times in Plato's texts, he never uses a closely related term, pharmakos, which means 'scapegoat'. According to Derrida, that it is not used by Plato does not indicate that the word is necessarily absent, or rather, it is always-already present as a 'trace'.

In ancient Athens, the ritual of the pharmakos was used to expel and shut out the evil (out of the body and out of the city). To achieve this, the Athenians maintained several outcasts at public expense. In the event of any calamity, they sacrificed one or more than one outcast as a purification and a remedy. The pharmakos, the 'scapegoat', the 'outsider' was led to the outside of the city walls and killed in order to purify the city's interior. The evil that had infected the city from 'outside' is removed and returned to the 'outside', forever. But, ironically, the representative of the outside (the pharmakos) was nonetheless kept at the very heart of the inside, the city, and that too in public expense. In order to be led out of the city, the scapegoat must have already been within the city. The ceremony of the pharmakos is played out on the boundary line between the 'inside' and the 'outside', which it has as its function ceaselessly to trace and retrace.

Similarly, the pharmakos stands on the thin red line between sacred and cursed, ... beneficial insofar as he cures - and for that, venerated and cared for - harmful insofar as he incarnates the powers of evil - and for that, feared and treated with caution. He is the healer who cures, and he is the criminal who is the incarnation of the powers of evil. The pharmakos is like a medicine, pharmakon, in case of a specific disease, but, like most medicines, he is, simultaneously, a poison, evil all the same. Pharmakos, Pharmakon: they escape both the sides by at once being and not being on a side. Both words carry within themselves more than one meaning, that is, conflicting meanings.

Pharmakos does not only mean scapegoat. It is a synonym for pharmakeus, a word often repeated by Plato, meaning 'wizard', 'magician', even 'poisoner'. In Plato's dialogues, Socrates is often depicted and termed as a pharmakeus. Socrates is considered as one who knows how to perform magic with words, and notably, not with written letters. His words act as a pharmakon (as a remedy, or allegedly as a poison as far as the Athenian authority were concerned) and change, cure the soul of the listener). In Phaedrus, he fiercely objects to the evil effects of writing, which, obviously, is what makes Derrida so interested in this book.

Socrates compares writing to a pharmakon, a drug, a poison: writing repeats without knowing, creates abominable simulacra. Here Socrates deliberately overlooks the other meaning of the word: the cure. Socrates suggests a different pharmakon, a medicine: dialectics, the philosophical form of dialogue. This, he claims, can lead us to the truth of the eidos, that which is identical to itself, always the same as itself, invariable. Here Socrates again overlooks the 'other' reading of the word 'pharmakon': the poison. He acts as a magician (pharmakos) - Socrates himself speaks about a supernatural voice that talks through him - and his most famous medicine (pharmakon) is speech, dialectics and dialogue leading to ultimate knowledge and truth.

But, ironically, Socrates also becomes Athens's most famous 'other' pharmakos, the scapegoat. He becomes a stranger, even an enemy who poisons the republic and its citizens. He is an abominable 'other'; not the absolute other, the barbarian, but the other (the outside) who is very near, like those outcasts, who is always-already on the inside. He is at once the 'cure' and the 'poison', and just like him, the Athenians chose to forget one of those meanings according to the need.

And, at the end, Plato put Socrates in what he considered to be the vilest of all poisons: in writing, that survives to this day. Phaedrus and Socrates both stand as a metonym [very significantly meaning "beyond names"] for the whole contest between speech and letters, for the central (if such an inappropriate word can be excused) theme of the Derridian project. The interplay between the words pharmakon-pharmakos-pharmakeus is another example of Derridian 'Trace'.

I'm not trying to steal, by any means, the spotlight of your post, les protagonistes, but I felt I had to make a comment on this post:

malachovsky, Western civilization has always glorified the hero, the sacrifice of life for the city, the state, the nation; it has rarely asked the question of whether the established city, state, nation were worth the sacrifice (I make a fine connection here with the second part of that post by "copain" quoting "pitchman" I was not addressing in my first post,

The taboo on the unquestionable prerogative of the whole has always been maintained and enforced, and it has been maintained and enforced the more brutally the more the whole was supposed to consist of free individuals.

The question is now being asked asked from without and it is taken up by those who refuse to play the game of the affluents the question of whether the abolition of this whole is not the precondition for the emergence of a truly human city, state, nation.

Re: The Da Vinci crock
« Reply #222 on: April 08, 2012, 01:03:56 PM »
Anyone else like Turkish oil wrestling?

« Reply #223 on: April 08, 2012, 02:47:21 PM »

I researched a bit where does all this TMT thing comes from - it looks like from existential philosophers like Sartre, Camus and the like. Now, I have not read Sartre/Camus - I simply came upon a piece quoted by one of your fellow posters on this board. Take a look at it and draw your own judgment, as to whether such a piece deserves being printed (in book form) or not - maybe it's just me, but I find it very odd to read about a guy who "feels his mouth full of his tongue" - I am sure he's missing something - and truth-be-told, in the "hood" where I live, he'd get that right advice off-prompt, if yanno what I mean!


Existence is undoubtedly problematic and disturbing. In one weekend strip, in Sartre's "Peanuts," Schulz succinctly describes the horror of discovering one's own existence in the world:

Linus: I'm aware of my tongue ... It's an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up ... I can't help it ... I can't put it out of my mind ... I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren't thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth ...

Sartre devoted an entire book to this experience his 1938 novel "Nausea" in which his character Roquentin is alarmed to discover his own actuality. But Linus sums the point up very well in a few frames.

malachovsky, I understand your approach and sense of practicality you're bringing here - but if you stay alone and do not socialize with other people - as it is the case with lonely people like philosophers - it's not surprising that similar thoughts will come to your mind.

Now, it's never occurred to me, but I am sure it has to other people - Sartre, being on the record, on this kind of thing.


Flatbush - you've got to be kidding me!

Lefka, I've heard about this kind of thing, the Buffers, the buffer against the death anxiety we deal with on a daily basis.

I'm kinda baffled by your double-post, les protagonistes, about the Buffers, what exactly did ya mean - never heard about such a @ # ! * i n g thing!!!

Re: The Da Vinci crock
« Reply #224 on: April 08, 2012, 03:19:00 PM »