Thursday, August 23, 2012

Working Ideas: Criticism to Structuralism

Structuralism, as notoriously Claude Levi-Strauss has been regarded as formulated, is, unfortunately, not fully criticized to my understanding.

What is structuralism?  It is bold claim of mine: not only Levi-Strauss, but also Karl Marx (historian), Mircea Eliade (religious theorist), Victor Turner (anthropologist), Pierre Bourdieu (sociologist), and so on can be regarded as important theorists of structuralism.  This is bold because such figures like Turner and Bourdieu are least likely criticized as structuralists as they have never been.  But, this is the key mistake we did not find traces of structuralism in their thoughts.

Thus, we see limits from the current criticisms to structuralism, those of Clifford Geertz (anthropologist), Michael Foucault (philosopher), Jacque Derrida (philosopher), and, in particular, the recent ANT (Actor-Network-Theory) theorists like Bruno Latour, as they are, to my knowledge, still based on any fixed set of duality.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his posthumous manuscript confesses that his formulation of the famous theories on the body has been unsuccessful since he never have overcome the consciousness-object duality.

I consider monism as the key to overcome the duality.  There were not a few theorists in the monist tradition.  Charles Sanders Peirce is the one, but he has been regarded as finally successful, for his formulation of scientific semiotics system was very clear to capture the fluid nature of the world of experience.

Two more figures should be noted: Gregory Bateson (anthropologist) and Gilles Deleuze (philosopher).  It has not well-known the fact that the Deleuze's theories are grounded on to some extent Peirce and Bateson.

A few recent theorists I would call "relational theorists" try to further their ideas on the fluid nature of the world.  Two are foremost: Tim Ingold (anthropologist) and Karen Barad (philosopher).

It will be a very, very long note if I try to explain their "relational" theories in accordance to Peirce's synechism.  However, I believe, a perfect criticism to structuralism is only possible by understanding the synechism, something may be impossible in human thought.

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