[Milton-L] Re: The War in Heaven

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Sun Jul 16 09:48:27 EDT 2006

On Sat, 15 Jul 2006 13:49:09 -0500 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> jfleming at sfu.ca wrote:
> > 
> >> 
> > But the exceptionality of God's absolutism has nothing to do with
> "different
> > standards." It has to do with submission to God as the exception
> that proves
> > the rule of resistance to tyranny.
> God does not exist in the poem to be submitted to. An imitation of a
> human society exists in the poem. All characters in a fiction are human,
> because it is impossible for humans to imagine agents who are not human,
> since humanity is our only model for what it means to be an agent.
> Carrol

For which reason, the point is moot. There is no danger of our imagining, or
even successfully imagining that we are imagining, anything that is (by
definition) beyond the capacity of our imagination. Therefore, we can simply
go forward and examine the logic of what we (or M) do imagine. Doing so
could only lead us into error of there were a possibility of our imagining
something unimaginable. But evidently, there is not. (See Donald Davidson's
essay "On the very idea of a conceptual scheme.")

Conversely, the claim that we _could_ fall into the error of imagining
unimaginable objects has a very clear object itself: namely, to project said
the unimaginable objects as imaginable. Thus the upshot of your point,
willy-nilly, is the God that it denies. Thus, similarly, the upshot of
deconstruction is to project transcendent signifiers, s'entender parler,
etc.; the upshot of Althusser is to project non-ideologicality; the upshot
of weak pragmatism is to project non-interpretative knowledge.

One sees what is at stake here -- not, for me, anything directly to do with

James Dougal Fleming, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English,
Simon Fraser University,
(604) 291-4713
cell: 778-865-0926

Laissez parler les faits.

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