Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well, Sven, it's, er, more than generous of you to demonstrate yet again the inadequacies of certain kinds of semiotic speculation :-)  In this case, rather than using Goggle to get at some actual facts, you might have just asked me about my motivation. Instead this kind of pseudo-psycho-analytic invention, of the kind Onfray condemns in Freud, wrapped up with some marketing jargon, is quite mistaken.

In fact the reason for using one of the photos I took at the conference was much more prosaic; I wanted to use one of my own photos rather than having (as with some of the other pics in the diary) to borrow somebody else's from the net (though it's for small-scale, non-commercial use). Had I wanted to signal my "intimacy" with him, I might have chosen the photo I used in my previous reply to you. But I thought the one used, which puts him at a greater apparent distance from me, was a more interesting image and it fits with the point made in the diary about continental philosophy being more concerned with the historical context of ideas.

I think I make it quite clear that I respect and admire Onfray; it's for others to make their own judgments about the validity of his arguments and the worth of his Université populaire project and I cite some of his views and others can do their own research about him in order to form their own opinions.

I have no time for the idea that one should seek to conceal one's own convictions in the name of "diplomacy". That's the same sort of mistake as mainly US idea that in journalism objectivity is just a matter of balance - "he said - she said"  ("I couldn't possibly comment"), instead of the careful study of the evidence in order to arrive at the truth, as far as it can be ascertained. Unfortunately, even the fact-checkers in US journalism suffer from the "balance" syndrome:

It drives home the point that what journalists call "objectivity" is really a radical post-modernism-a denial that anything can ever really be known about the world, that all we really can do is report various claims about the world. While factchecking as an enterprise would seem to inherently accept the idea that, yes, there are facts and they can be checked, in practice the people called factcheckers deny that what they do can be used to meaningfully distinguish between candidates...


In Onfray's own case, he makes it quite clear in his recent book that he admires Camus and is very critical of Sartre; it's up to readers to decide whether his arguments and evidence justify his judgments.

But as Onfray himself said at the conference in Nice, to generally approve of someone doesn't mean one agrees with all of their views and I think, having read some Sartre and some things about him, including this:


that he's not really fair to Sartre. But I'm happy to know where he stands with regard to the people he writes about, including  justified (in my opinion) contempt for Freud.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 06:15:11 PM EST
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