[Milton-L] Was Milton a Smoker?

Jesse Swan jesse.swan at uni.edu
Tue Feb 20 17:57:38 EST 2007


Just to take up one of the many suggestive -- what to call them -- clippings 
(?) offered by Carrol -- which I do appreciate for their learning, much of 
which I am sure escapes me -- can we say that something like the Grundrisse 
can give us a sense of what an authority thinks on a subject?  Certainly 
_Capital_ can, but perhaps in being certain about this I reveal that I am 
too enmeshed in (high but not late) capital's property regime?  With queer 
and at least second-hand smoking Milton, a similar question would be about 
the relative status of his various works in representing best what he thinks 
on a topic, such as identity:  Joannis Miltoni Angli.

Jesse
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:00 PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Was Milton a Smoker?


>
>
> Jesse Swan wrote:
>>
>> Wouldn't you say that James I tries to make something of a reprehensible
>> identity out of smokers in his counterblast to tobacco?
>
> Browsing through the OED entries for _individual_, _individualism_,
> _identity_ and _career_ (n) provides some introduction to these
> questions.
>
> Also. The inscription at Delphi, Know yourself, primarily meant _know
> your place_ in a rigid social structure. And that is essentially what
> self-knowledge means in Plato. There really is a history behind modern
> sense of "the individual." The OED entry for Self (n) is also of some
> interest here.
>
> Carrol
>
> P.S. From the Theses on Feuerbach:
>
> VI
>
> Feuerbach resolves the religious essence into the human essence. But the
> human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual.
>
> In its reality it is the ensemble of the social relations.
>
> Feuerbach, who does not enter upon a criticism of this real essence, is
> consequently compelled:
>
>   1. To abstract from the historical process and to fix the religious
> sentiment as something by itself and to presuppose an
> abstract-isolated-human individual.
>
>   2. Essence, therefore, can be comprehended only as "genus," as an
> internal, dumb generality which naturally unites the many individuals.
> -----
>
> And from the Grundrisse:
>
> The relation to the earth as property is always mediated through the
> occupation of the land and soil, peacefully or violently, by the tribe,
> the commune, in some more or less naturally arisen or already
> historically developed form. The individual can never appear here in the
> dot-like isolation [Punktualität] in which he appears as mere free
> worker.
> ----
>
> It is that "dot-like isolation" of the "individual" that generates the
> cultural forms we are concerned with here, and isolation which creates
> the obsession over the last few centuries of the question, "Who Am I?"
>
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