Akratic.

Fintan O’Toole’s wonderfully titled “The Ham of Fate,” in the new NYRB, is about a failed newspaperman who has been forced to earn his crust of bread in other ways; at one point in his checkered career, he wrote a novel, from which this is quoted:

There was something prurient about the way he wanted to read about his own destruction, just as there was something weird about the way he had been impelled down the course he had followed. Maybe he wasn’t a genuine akratic. Maybe it would be more accurate to say he had a thanatos urge.

O’Toole says:

The Greek terms stand out. In part, they function as signifiers of social class within a long-established code of linguistic manners: a sprinkling of classical phrases marks one out as a product of an elite private school […] and therefore a proper toff. […] The choice of thanatos is interesting […]. But it is akratic that intrigues. […] Akrasia, which is discussed in depth by Socrates, Plato, and especially Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, […] means literally “not being in command of oneself” and is translated variously as “weakness of will,” “incontinence,” and “loss of self-control.” To Aristotle, an akratic is a person who knows the right thing to do but can’t help doing the opposite.

I looked it up in the OED, whose entry (from December 2011) reads:

akratic, adj.2 and n.
[…]
Etymology: < ancient Greek ἀκρατής powerless (see akrasia n.) + -ic suffix.
Chiefly Philosophy.
A. adj.2
Exhibiting or characterized by lack of restraint or weakness of will. Also: characterized by the tendency to act against one’s better judgement.

1896 Free Rev. Apr. 86 It does not concern us..to know whether there be antagonism between the socialisation of the means of production and the acratic form of society [i.e. anarchy].
1913 H. Scheffauer tr. R. Mayreder Surv. Woman Probl. 262 Carried to its extremes, this acratic tendency produces licentious domineering masculinity and weak, insignificant and passive, or else crafty, false and ludicrous femininity.
[…]
1980 A. O. Rorty in Social Sci. Information 19 908 If philosophers who deny acrasia are self-deceptive and akratic, so are those who deny the integrative functions of the varieties of rational strategies.
2009 P. Poellner in K. Gemes & S. May Nietszche on Freedom & Autonomy viii. 156 An addict or acratic person—a slave of momentary affect and desire.

B. n.
An akratic person.

1913 H. Scheffauer tr. R. Mayreder Surv. Woman Probl. 262 The commonest type is the acratic, the partially developed being of unmitigated sexuality.
[…]
2010 D. Charles in J. Cottingham & P. Hacker Mind, Method, & Mortality iii. 51 There are, it seems, two different types of impetuous acratics under consideration in these passages.

A useful word for a common human phenomenon; too bad it’s so ostentatiously posh. It should be given a sparrowgrass-style makeover as, say, craddock. “Why am I doing this dumb thing? It’s the craddock in me!”

Comments

  1. Google’s translation of Modern Greek ἀκρατής is incontinent or intemperate.

  2. It’s funny that the OED should prefer the spelling akratic while all but two of the examples of use have acratic. One reason may be that the OED also has the still rarer adjective acratic ‘of a spa or its waters: distinguished by water purity rather than mineral content; clear, tasteless’, derived from ἄκρατος ‘unmixed, pure’, but they can’t possibly be confused in any context. Why akratic if aristocratic and democratic contain the same element?

  3. It’s a lot stranger that the 1980 citation uses c in acrasia but k in akratic.

  4. J.W. Brewer says:

    The google n-gram viewer suggests that “akrasia” first moved ahead of “acrasia” in 1976 (at least that’s what you get when you check the “case-insensitive” box) and has built a considerable lead since then, although that may not yet have been so clear in 1980. The general trend over the last century-or-so has been to favor “k” spellings over “c” spellings in transliterating from Greek, with the interesting question being how well-established a Greek-derived loanword needed to have been in the English lexicon to be immune to that tendency and have “frozen” in the orthographic form dictated by earlier conventions. That seems like something someone ought to have already figured out how to study quantitatively with a whole bunch of Greek-derived lexemes, what with all the cool new corpus linguistics technology.

  5. My first guess was that it meant “one who drinks unmixed wine or other strong liquor” — which, come to think of it, could easily end up not far from “a slave of momentary affect and desire”, “licentious domineering masculinity” etc. I wonder if the Greeks connected the two near-homonyms.

  6. John Cowan says:
  7. David Eddyshaw says:

    Pace Hannah Arendt, there’s prior art to St Paul: video meliora proboque: deteriora sequor.
    Mind you, Ovid’s entire point is presumably that Medea is pretty hardcore acratic. Foreign too. And a woman.

    I suppose you could still maintain that Paul was the first to point out that we are all Acraticus. Even we respectable male Romans.

  8. My impression is that the OED has a particular set of rules that they use to normalize spellings and don’t much care whether that results in something that has ever actually been used.

  9. Anyway, it’s not as if the OED never makes mistakes, even in applying their own rules. I encountered this just this week. [I meant to just write a few off-the-cuff sentences about the OED‘s fallibility, but it became a lengthy off-topic discursion about MIT vocabulary, so skip this comment if that sounds dreary to you.]

    A colleague claimed that it is difficult or impossible to define the concept of randomness without circularity; I don’t think that is true, but I agree that it is difficult to give a definition that does not rest on a prior understanding of what it means to be random/chancy/stochastic/etc.

    Naturally, I looked up what the OED had to say about random, and the last definition for the adjective form caught my eye. Labelled “colloquial (orig. U.S. Computing),” the definition is: “Peculiar, strange; nonsensical, unpredictable, or inexplicable; unexpected.” That is a pretty commonly-occurring sense these days, but what really interested me was the first citation:

    1971 Tech (Mass. Inst. Technol.) 3 Feb. 2/2 274 random nurdulent tools in an 18.02 lecture.

    Citing The Tech, MIT’s oldest and largest newspaper, as just “Tech” is a solecism—although not a surprising one. An item appearing in The New York Times might be referred to as “a New York Times article,” with the paper’s name anarthrous. However, “a Tech article” is borderline ungrammatical, at best. The reason is that, historically, “Tech” on its own meant simply MIT, and all the long-running publications at the Institute played on that in their own names. The administration newspaper is Tech Talk, and the yearbook Technique. Given that the use of “Tech” to refer to the university itself is a lot less common than it used to be, anarthrous “Tech” for the paper might eventually become acceptable, but it still has a some distance to go.

    However, that was just a minor linguistic oddity—not really the error in that citation. The OED must have gotten that quote from The Tech‘s online archive. The Tech had the first news Web site, which started operating in 1994, but the archived volumes were not scanned and put online until over a decade later. The scanning was not done very skillfully or carefully; the paper just sent their bound volumes to a commercial scanning service once that became cheap enough to manage. The PDF with the quote the OED cites can be found here. Looking at that page, you might notice that the name on the flag is not “The Tech” but “The Daily Reamer”—a parody publication produced by the editors of The Tech. Sometimes, the parodies were included in the annual bound volumes, in which case they were included in the online archives. (Sadly, in my time on the editorial staff, a great deal more care was taken to maintain plausible deniability about who published The Daily Reamer, so none of my own parody articles are to be found online. Google says: No results found for “MIT building conceals alien lander”.)

    I am not sure how the OED actually ought to cite such a publication. It is relevant as the earliest citation for random (Mark Liberman quoted the OED entry in the comments to this Language Log post), although the fact that it appears in a parody piece is probably relevant to its interpretation. As in much of the two-page issue’s contents, there are MIT in-jokes to unpack. (These Reamer issues tended to lay on the campus-specific humor to an absurd degree. Elsewhere in that 1971 issue, there are references to the Ugliest Man of Campus, Deja Vu, and “grease”—a term which used to be MIT slang for involvement in student government, but which last heard used “in the wild” in about 1996.)

    Sadly, the OED has no entry for nurdulent, but it does recognize the spellings “nurd” and even “gnurd” for nerd. The “tools” in the Reamer quote refers to the MIT sense glossed by the Jargon File as “A student who studies too much and hacks too little.” This sense of tool may or may not be origin of the “a foolish or unlikable person: JERK” sense (per Merriam-Webster; the OED does not yet have this sense). However, the MIT sense of hack is definitely the origin of the more specific computing sense of hack. Since the issue date puts it at the beginning of the spring semester, the 274 tools in 18.02 (the second semester of the basic Calculus sequence) would all be freshmen, whose cluelessness about campus goings-on is what is being satirized in the article in question.

  10. Stu Clayton says:

    A useful word for a common human phenomenon; too bad it’s so ostentatiously posh. It should be given a sparrowgrass-style makeover as, say, craddock. “Why am I doing this dumb thing? It’s the craddock in me!”

    There’s a non-posh, everyday expression folks round here use. Es ist mein innerer Schweinehund.

    For English, I propose “acrazy”.

  11. Bathrobe says:

    What is the noun? ‘Akraticness’? ‘Akraticity’?

  12. Stu Clayton says:

    Acrasia, in the philosophical tradition.

  13. David Marjanović says:

    video meliora proboque: deteriora sequor

    Quoted by the old pirate in Asterix, of course.

  14. Citing The Tech, MIT’s oldest and largest newspaper, as just “Tech” is a solecism

    No, it’s OED style to drop “The” in all cited titles; thus Times, New Yorker, DICKENS Pickwick Papers, SHAKESPEARE Tempest, F. PEARCE Turning Up Heat etc.

  15. Yeah, it may offend MIT grads but it’s perfectly normal styling. Useless The‘s can eat up a lot of space.

  16. AJP Crown says:

    How about pop groups: Stones, Smiths, Beatles? Does The The become merely The, or perhaps they leave a seven-ish letter blank space.

  17. AJP Crown says:

    a product of an elite private school (in Johnson’s case, Eton) and therefore a proper toff.

    Toff is an old fashioned Cockney word that until recently was probably last used by Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins. It’s been resurrected with irony and nostalgia, not unlike austerity, a word from the Depression and rationing that’s been kidnapped (possibly by George Osborne) to describe Tory government policy post 2008. Britain is reinventing itself as a theme park. Victorian London is bright and shiny thanks to its rich new Russian owners, all it needs is fog machines. And now Churchill is back as the PM.

  18. Stu Clayton says:

    Do OED articles refer to the OED as OED ? Or are references of any kind forbidden, out of professional modesty and in order to ward off recursion ?

  19. They used to refer to themselves as the NED before the rebranding.

  20. Stu Clayton says:

    And now there’s ODE. I feel aN ODE to an ODE coming on.

    # In 1998 the New Oxford Dictionary of English (NODE) was published. While also aiming to cover current English, NODE was not based on the OED. Instead, it was an entirely new dictionary produced with the aid of corpus linguistics.[82] Once NODE was published, a similarly brand-new edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary followed, this time based on an abridgement of NODE rather than the OED; NODE (under the new title of the Oxford Dictionary of English, or ODE) continues to be principal source for Oxford’s product line of current-English dictionaries, including the New Oxford American Dictionary, with the OED now only serving as the basis for scholarly historical dictionaries. #

  21. ktschwarz says:

    Also “this Dictionary”: from Examining the OED’s Glossary,

    nonce-word: as J. A. H. Murray wrote s.v. nonce (sense 4) in OED1, this is ‘the term used in this Dictionary to describe a word which is apparently used only for the nonce’, i.e. [as OED3 now explains] ‘on one specific occasion or in one specific text or writer’s works’. OED3 tells us that ‘nonce-word’ was ‘one of a number of terms coined by James Murray especially for use in the N.E.D.’ (another such term was ‘echoic’; see OED2).

    And as long as you’re looking at the lexicography of acrasia, go see Acrasial Philogamy: D-AW points out that acrasial is in the OED as a headword on the basis of a single citation, yet philogamy, which is in the same citation, is left out. He calls that a “ghost hapax” — and there may be dozens or hundreds more.

  22. John Cowan says:

    One of my co-authors once introduced a minor character named Acrasia. One of my characters, a malapropist and grammar-garbler, tends to call her Akathisia ‘inability to hold still’ instead. In the character’s mind this is just an error, but to the author (ahem) it reflects A’s inability to keep her mouth shut.

  23. Stu Clayton says:

    This is very high-tone malapropismacy. In which character’s mind is the moniker “Akathisia” an error: that of the malapropist, or of Acrasia ? I would say not of the malapropist, because he’s a malapropist and that’s the kind of thing that earns malapropists their name. But if Acrasia herself thinks it an error, what does that have to do with Acrasia’s inability to keep her mouth shut (as the author sees it) ?

  24. Etienne says:

    David Marjanović: No, “Video meliora proboque deteriora sequor” was never uttered by the old pirate in Asterix: see my comment here

    http://languagehat.com/asterix-explicatus/

    for a more accurate description of the context of its use: here is an external source (Auf Deutsch!) which should confirm that my claims are indeed accurate:

    https://www.comedix.de/lexikon/db/video_meliora_proboque_deteriora_sequor.php

    Incidentally, I should point out that a desire to get the jokes in Asterix played a not insignificant part in motivating me to pay attention in Latin class in High School.

  25. David Marjanović says:

    see my comment here […] for a more accurate description of the context of its use

    Your comment (every timestamp is a link directly to the comment it’s on!) doesn’t explain that at all, it just says another picture on the same page illustrates an important phonological fact about French. 😐

    But the other link makes clear it’s a legionary, not the old pirate who generally spouts off the longest quotes, who says it.

  26. John Cowan says:

    I would say not of the malapropist, because he’s a malapropist and that’s the kind of thing that earns malapropists their name.

    Correct, at least at first. For future reference, his name is Crynwyr, which happens to be Welsh for ‘Quakers’, not that he is either Welsh or a Friend. (A friend of mine is a malapropist as a result of traumatic brain injury; sometimes she realizes her mistake, sometimes not.)

    But if Acrasia herself thinks it an error, what does that have to do with Acrasia’s inability to keep her mouth shut (as the author sees it)?

    To Acrasia, her name is probably just a name, and Akathisia is just a mistake. Even Crynwyr realizes his mistake and corrects himself at once. But I made Crynwyr call her Akathisia as a play on words whose appropriateness neither of them realizes: the meaning of akathisia ‘unable to hold still’ being applied here not to involuntary bodily movements but to seemingly involuntary unwanted remarks. Crynwyr (who is to some degree, though not entirely, her superior) eventually sends her away because she’s messing up his negotiations; she doesn’t like it, but she leaves (perhaps as a result of her akrasia). Of course she’s completely right and he’s completely wrong, as things turn out.

    Among his other malapropisms are dringe for cringe and breaker for broker; when he repeats the second word later, it comes out brokener. English is his second language, and he’s had to learn it entirely on the job.

  27. A minor villain in The Wounded Land by Stephen R. Donaldson is named “Akkasri,” which seemed so much like an allusion to “acrasia”—although not one with any apparent deeper meaning—that I had a hard time pronouncing her name correctly in my head. I doubt the similarity was a coincidence, since Donaldson uses plenty of characters with culturally or philosophically suggestive names, but they rarely seem to have any specific symbolism.

    Donaldson, I might note, was treated like maybe the biggest upcoming author in fantasy for much of the 1980s. He got a whole section in the Realms of Fantasy coffee table book (which called him the only young writer to have anywhere approached Tolkien’s success), alongside such luminaries as Tolkien, le Guin, and Moorcock; and for a while his writings were marketed as expected bestsellers, until the later novels of his Gap series ended up being pulped in enormous numbers, when it turned out that practically nobody wanted to read them. In retrospect, it seems that he managed to write one really, really good book, with enough follow-up material to extend that into a good trilogy, but after that his quality nosedived.

  28. A minor villain in The Wounded Land by Stephen R. Donaldson is named “Akkasri,” which seemed so much like an allusion to “acrasia”—although not one with any apparent deeper meaning—that I had a hard time pronouncing her name correctly in my head. I doubt the similarity was a coincidence, since Donaldson uses plenty of characters with culturally or philosophically suggestive names, but they rarely seem to have any specific symbolism.

    To me, on the other hand, it seems like pure coincidence — I simply can’t see “Akkasri” as an allusion to “acrasia.” Which is not to say you’re wrong, just that people’s linguistic intuitions vary wildly.

  29. John Cowan says:

    Akkasri is a known Indian name, judging from the hairball that Dr. G coughs up when I search for it. I don’t know its meaning, but I agree that it’s probably irrelevant, given the way that D uses Sanskrit words in general. His three lesser Bad Guys, for example, are called moksha, turiya, samadhi, even though these words denote basically desirable states of mind. (Their alternative names are Semitic and unambiguously negative: Jehannum, Herem, Sheol, respectively.) Similarly he uses amanibhavam ‘mindlessness’ (in the sense ‘deliverance from the ego’) as the name for a grass which can cure horses but is highly toxic to humans. The associations seem completely random, though I have never read any Donaldson criticism that might shed light on the matter. Donaldson grew up in India, the children of medical missionaries.

    I agree that the Gap books are awful, but I think all his sf (the rest of it is short stories) is awful: he simply doesn’t know how to write it, and both his characters and the background are relentlessly flat. If he wanted to be Wagnerian, he shouldn’t have tried to redo it in a future space age.

    I no longer know where to find references for this, but I remember reading an interview with D after the publication of Lord Foul’s Bane in which it’s made clear that (like The Lord of the Rings) the First Chronicles were written as fundamentally a single work, though with clearer lines of demarcation than in Tolkien’s “trilogy”. I definitely recall that they were all written before he started looking for a publisher, and the work was rejected 27 times (or some such large number). As for its quality, I detect no falling off between the First, Second, and Last Chronicles, though of course there is change. Then again, I am scarcely objective: the First Chronicles helped to establish the course of my adult life, as the L.R. helped set the pattern for all literature for me.

  30. The chronology of the writing and submission of the original Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever is discussed in the Realms of Fantasy book I linked to. As I recall, Donaldson had written and rewritten Lord Foul’s Bane three times before he started working systematically on the sequels. Then he re-edited the first book again, once he had drafts of all three, ironing out any outright inconsistencies that might have cropped up. However, reading The Illearth War, it does feel like there are a puzzlingly large number of “soft” retcons; by that I mean plot points where Donaldson changed direction between the first book and the second, but he never went back and removed the foreshadowing or changed the terminology in Lord Foul’s Bane to match up.

  31. Also: It may be that the the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, from The Illearth War onward, do not change that much in quality, in the abstract. However, the first trilogy puts so much philosophical emphasis on the axiom of the protagonist not believing The Land is real, and the supposed logical consequences. I did not buy Donaldson’s “logic,” but in reading the original books, I made a deliberate decision to accept it for the purposes of the story. I suppose that made it all the more galling when that aspect was dropped for the second series (of necessity, with the introduction of a deuteragonist). The abandonment of the central ambiguity of the original story just left me with a foul (hah!) taste in my mouth for all the other books.

    Oddly though, Donaldson still must have felt that the motif of continuously questioning the reality of the fantasy world was compelling, since he tried to do a perspective flip in his later Mordant’s Need novels. Once again, there is a protagonist from our Earth, transported to a fantasy realm, but when she gets there, many of the people refuse to believe that the world she is from is real. Whether that is interesting narratively seems to be a matter of opinion.

    However, those books, like all Donaldson’s books after his first trilogy, are definitely weaker because they were written sequentially and published as they were completed. As a result, his later writings never match the coherence of the original Chronicles, and he seems to have trouble keeping track of everything over the course of many hundreds of pages. Although Mordant’s Need is really just one long novel in two volumes (the first book ends in mid scene), it is clear that The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through were edited separately, some time apart. As a result, no one noticed that an enigma that is set up near the end of the first book, but not resolved until the beginning of the second, completely breaks the magic system.

  32. I remember the blurb on Donaldson was “Comparable to Tolkien at his best”; was it at Donaldson’s best or Tolkien’s?

  33. Stu Clayton says:

    Which of them bested the other ?

  34. John Cowan says:

    Tolkien wrote a WWI novel, whereas Donaldson wrote a Vietnam War novel.

    Brett: If the parts of The Illearth War from Hile Troy’s perspective and the parts of The Power That Preserves from Mhoram’s perspective don’t dent your suspension of unbelief, I don’t really see why Linden Avery’s perspective should do so.

  35. @John Cowan: Donaldson was actually quite concerned himself about using other viewpoint characters than Covenant. He discusses this in the introduction to the illustrated gaiden volume Gilden-Fire, which was basically just several chapters that had been cut from The Illearth War, in which Korik was the viewpoint character, between the mission to Seareach’s departure from Revelstone and their arrival at Sarangrave. Aside from making the book too long, he decided that this narration was too distant from any ur-Earthly narrator.

    Apparently though, Donaldson felt that since Hile Troy was allegedly from Washington D. C., there was no contradiction with having Troy as the viewpoint character in The Illearth War (or even one chapter with Mhoram as the viewpoint character, since Troy was also present). To me (and, it sounds like, to you) this would make no sense. For if The Land is imaginary, then Hile Troy would be just as fictional as everyone else Covenant meets there. On the other hand, if Troy is real, and he and Covenant are somehow sharing the same dream, then that dream is clearly more than a mere delusion, as it has some kind of existence beyond just Covenant’s mind.

    I never really had an issue with The Land being real, but it is hard to make the climax of The Power that Preserves work without accepting Donaldon’s illogical framing of the reality/unreality issue. So I forced myself to see it in the weird terms that the author was trying to dictate, so that I could properly appreciate the finale’s intended “primordial subjectivity” (as Husserl would put it). It was the abandonment of that tortured premise, which was a fair amount of work to accept, that stung me, I suppose.

  36. John Cowan says:

    For if The Land is imaginary, then Hile Troy would be just as fictional as everyone else Covenant meets there. On the other hand, if Troy is real, and he and Covenant are somehow sharing the same dream, then that dream is clearly more than a mere delusion

    I think that’s a false opposition. If the Land is Covenant’s dream, Hile Troy could still be real; I dream about real people all the time, sometimes mixed with fictional ones. Indeed, Covenant tries to check back in Real Life if Troy exists there, and gets (naturally) no answer. So “Troy is real/fictional” is orthogonal to “the Land is real/fictional”.

    It’s not so much that Covenant believes the Land is a dream, as that he believes that he has to believe that in order to maintain his necessary self-discipline that keeps him alive. By the end of the first trilogy, he still doesn’t know the answer, but he no longer believes that he must believe (which is, I think, what fanaticism is all about).

  37. The comment about The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever being a Vietnam story got me thinking. At the beginning of The Illearth War, Covenant hitches a ride with a truck driver who is missing an arm—implied (but I don’t think explicitly stated) to have lost it in Vietnam. I always though the trucker was there as a thematic counterpart to Hile Troy in the Earthly world—both disabled men who had worked for the Department of Defense. However, I wonder if Donaldson also introduced him as a way of mentioning the Vietnam War without actually mentioning it.

    This reminded me of another thing I had noticed when I read the books. The beginning of Lord Foul’s Bane seems like it could take place almost any time from the 1950s to the 1980s. (Even had I not first read it around 1990, it would be clear that the story could not take place appreciably later than that. There are little things—like a young author using a typewriter, or a police car without a light bar—that mark it as 1980s at the latest.) However, The Illearth War felt much more clearly tied to the 1970s, around the time when it was published. Since Covenant goes to visit a nightclub, it is not really surprising that the temporal setting stands out more easily, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

  38. Stu Clayton says:

    I never really had an issue with The Land being real, but it is hard to make the climax of The Power that Preserves work without accepting Donaldon’s illogical framing of the reality/unreality issue. So I forced myself to see it in the weird terms that the author was trying to dictate, so that I could properly appreciate the finale’s intended “primordial subjectivity” (as Husserl would put it). It was the abandonment of that tortured premise, which was a fair amount of work to accept, that stung me, I suppose.

    Is there a logical framing of the reality/unreality issue ? Where can I get one ?

    It was precisely his notion of primordial subjectivity that screwed up Husserl’s plans to account for what he called intersubjectivity. After slogging through the Cartesian Meditations and the rest of it, this reader felt that he’d been the victim of another philosophy sting.

    If I’ve understood what you’re saying, might as well read that fantasy novel as read Husserl. It’s easier, and you’re equally dissatisfied at the end. Dissatisfaction is the driving force for thoughtful discussions. When you’re satisfied with something, there’s not much to say about it beyond gee and wow.

  39. There is one of the Cartesian Meditations that is really good, I think. It’s the first one he wrote, although not the first one in his chosen order. (I think he made it number three.) The others are s lot weaker, although not entirely without interesting observations.

  40. Stu Clayton says:

    Sure, nothing wrong with reading interesting observations. However, weaker and stronger are appropriately applied to unconvincing arguments, not to observations. Like so many influential philosophers, Husserl mostly states. He does not often argue in the sense of presenting for the reader the pros and cons of various alternatives, then selecting some subset as sound because reasons. Husserl doesn’t pretend to be impartial, that’s why he’s “interesting”.

    The “primordial subjectivity” of his prose is what makes Husserl such a slog to read, the neolojisms like ichlich by the handsful. I was entertained by your idea that one can get equal dissatisfaction from a fantasy novel and from Husserl. Too much primordial subjectivity goin’ ’round.

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