Chapter Two was productive of two fun free-associations in one quote and one footnote—which is not to say that it wasn’t also productive of knowledge, but not all of it was juicy enough off which to fake a little wisdom.
“The aim is to cultivate as many “modes of representation” as possible, or better, to cultivate the mode of representation that the phenomena themselves demand.”
That’s the quote.
Karl Marx claimed famously to be “…not a Marxist,” in part because he was not a close adherent of the then conventional form of Marxist Analysis that had, fairly early in his career, become dogma. He thought facts should determine the form of their own analysis rather than be shoe-horned into a scheme, which too often is used not to generate truth but to provide a crutch for the analyst.
In the days when I was a non-Marxist Marxist prima donna magazine journalist I found that was the only way to operate. It cut off short the necessity of having to think very much because thinking has always been a problem for me. I would just throw my reportage notes into hodge-podge files and put my mind elsewhere until something like a sentence by Hanna Arendt or an essay by Lionel Trilling read at 11:30 p.m. would flash a spotlight on the Ur-phenomenon of my piece and tell me how to write the first paragraph. That paragraph would foreshadow the concluding one, which I would write next. Then I’d forge a reasonable sounding chain of facts from the files so I could hook those two graphs together. All my prima donna journalist friends worked variations on that same system. Prima donna magazine writers tend toward anarchy, concentrate on their prima donna rhetoric while letting the facts do their thinking for them.
And regarding Anarchy; the footnote is #2, (a product of the first paragraph) that you can read at your leisure because it is just a little beside my point save for the fact that it features Paul Feyerabend. In the context of the Goethe Way tract, everything one needs to know about Feyerabend can be found right here. Feyerabend appreciated Goethe, but went way beyond him.
Why don’t we all?