I do not know what is untried and
But I know it is sure and alive and
Each who passes is considered, and each
who stops is considered, and not a
single one can it fail.
*** Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”
A web log, or “blog,” feels to me like something of a curious hybrid between a “open” diary and a solipsism of the present moment. How else can we justify daring to open the pages of one’s personal musings, some in full flower and others merely taking root. However you construe the exercise of blogging, it has certainly become an important means of dialogue in ideas.
In publishing the immanent and intrinsic, a blog does not purport to present its content as final or complete. It cannot for it doesn’t have the power. I say this as an American pragmatist in the tradition of Dewey. I believe like Richard Rorty and Michel Foucault that “objectivity” and “truth” are what history and society make them—and not overarching “ahistorical” structures to be “discovered”. I don’t believe my words--or yours--are the final chapter. Indeed, they can’t be final in any sense—but they can form part of our dialogic effort to better understand.
But here I take a sharp turn away from continental philosophy: where Foucault concludes that knowledge claims are mere moves in a power game, I choose instead to follow Dewey and the quintessentially American school of pragmatism. In the words of Rorty, “the will to truth is not the urge to dominate, but the urge to create…”
This blog evidences and perpetuates this will to create. It is dialogic and, at its best, will nurture and articulate the creative urge –yours and mine. But fidelity to this optimism and creativity requires of each of us that we, like Whitman, dare to be the poets of commonsense and of the demonstrable and of immortality, all at once.
In this blog, I am seeking to share my thoughts on legislation and events occurring at the State House, in my district, and, on occasion, beyond these small pieces of real estate. The opinions are varied, full flowers or mere sprouts, all seeking your thoughts to help with their maturation. Join me in this most American of endeavors and speak up, share your thoughts, and challenge me to think harder in my own process. I look forward to hearing your responses and those debates and discussions on a variety of topics. Before posting, please view my guidelines for adding comments. Enjoy!