Friday, January 7

Story, Symbol, Praxis and Question: What's Next

As for my efforts at understanding via critical realist analysis the left (or explaining the right), two things remain to be done. I thought I'd lay that out to concentrate my musings on future essays. I had pretty much struck out when identifying symbol (and praxis as well) for both right and left. If you want to change a person (or upset them) the best way is to change their symbols, or more importantly shift their emphasis. N.T. Wright's example in the books mentioned in the earlier essays on this topic was to note that in a church the priest can say pretty much whatever he wants in a homily, but if he moves the flowers around or changes symbols inherent in the service all hell breaks loose. People take their symbols very seriously. The upshot is that it is very important that I make another effort to understand the symbols used on the right and left.

Finally it would be nice to end the essays with a positive note. Having understood the opposing worldviews, it might be interesting to rephrase a pair of arguments posed by right and left into terminology and symbols which might better achieve their intended effect. Sort of like the jokes, "when she says X" then "he hears Y", but it might be more interesting to run the table as she wants "him to hear X" so she has "to say Y".