Author: Khanova Polina
Postgraduate student at the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Warwick. Address: Gibbet Hill Rd., CV4 7ES Coventry, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multiple bodies, multiple texts / Logos. 2018. № 5 (126). P. 287-298
annotation: The paper concerns the bodily and textual practices in the social epistemology of Annemarie Mol as presented in her book The Body Multiple. From her ethnography of medical practices in hospital Z, Mol derives a new ontology of objects that changes the emphasis from the opposition of representation and construction to the practices of production and performance. “Ontology in practice” as presented by Mol concentrates on what is done to the object and what exactly makes it an object, rather than determining what the object is. Her study therefore does not deal with the multiplicity of ways to view the body and illness; it deals instead with the multiplicity of practices which generate the multifaceted object of research. Constructed and put together by a variety of practices, this object is always more than one thing: it prominently features the multiplicity of its enactments and the ways of coordinating them. At the same time, Mol’s study deals with social epistemology itself and also makes a contribution to construction of another multifaceted object of research. The field of social epistemology is not just a field of multifaceted objects, but also of multifaceted texts. The seemingly selfevident objectivity of an object is undermined by the diachronic analysis in Mol’s synchronic text. It concerns more than the politics of the normal/pathological distinction or the object/method distinction (although it does handle these). It mostly deals with the practice of academic texts per se: the politics of writing, publishing, reading, citation, etc. The unusual material construction of this text plays an essential role in its textual practice, which also carries over to the text of the paper.
Keywords: Annemarie Mol; ontology; social epistemology; textual practice; bodies; objects
From Clarkson to Heidegger / Logos. 2015. № 3 (105). P. 1-18
annotation: This article presents an inquiry into the patterns and epistemic errors present in the ideology of media consumption: fundamental attribution error and the myth of Jones. The article brings up two recent scandalous examples, popular media personality Jeremy Clarkson being suspended by the BBC, and the publication of Martin Heidegger’s Black Notebooks. Using these examples, we attempt to demonstrate that they exemplify one and the same tendency dominant in Euro-American culture—the ideal of objectivity. Or, as John Law puts it, a culture dominated by literal representations. Here, a major shift is present in the very basic presuppositions of human communication, which opens up a vista on some of its basic value choices. The influence of these choices goes well beyond conventional mass media, affecting science and philosophy. Valorizing literal representations may seem beneficial for communication, but it results in a belief deeply rooted in the Euro-American worldview: a belief in the immediate link between what a person does and their mental dispositions, which may lead to disastrous consequences. Habermas’s ideal communicative situation is based on this, and it functions as a repressive structure, eradicating the public’s ability to recognize and switch communicative levels, employing metaphors, allegories, irony, and humor. As a result, problematic topics such as racism, homophobia, extremist ideologies, and Nazism are rendered impossible to discuss. This has a stifling effect on critical thinking. The dominance of literal representations does not enhance communication; instead, it simply closes off the discursive fields which do not fit the ideal of universal good will.
Keywords: Jeremy Clarkson; Heidegger; Black notebooks; critical thinking; correspondence bias; attribution error; myth of Jones
Doctor Who: Genocide for Dummies / Logos. 2014. № 6 (102). P. 179-192
annotation: Doctor Who, the longest-running sci-fi TV show in history, is made of crackpot stories, low-cost design and kindergarten-level rubber monsters. Nevertheless, its imagery, characters and catchphrases have become iconic in contemporary culture. Several generations interpret the history of humankind through this mythology. The protagonist, an antropomorphic extraterrestrial super-clever near-immortal geek, travels trough time and space with his time machine, takes occasional humans on board and fights evil. An unconventional superhero, Doctor is a pacifist and a war criminal— the personification of the post-WWII guilt complex. The show can be read as a series of ethical case studies trying to justify genocide. Absurdist quasi-children-oriented writing, sketchy logic, and basic design create the perfect setting for the most extreme ethical and philosophical questioning.
Keywords: Doctor Who, sci-fi, superhero, time travel, sexuality, pacifism, guilt, genocide, ethics, humanism