knowledge were thought to relate to one another. Encyclopedias also tell us
how knowledge is to be received, how it is to be read, and what is at stake
in the acquisition of its contents. And as any scholar of the Enlightenment
would attest, encyclopedias are also highly politicized artifacts. The history
of the famous French Encyclopédie, for example, was filled with conflict, tur-
moil, and political intrigue. At times, its production was officially suspended
and its contents suppressed, and the possibility of these actions haunted the
. Tkacz, 221–25. Amsterdam: Insti-
tute of Network Cultures.
Darnton, R. 1987. The Business of Enlightenment: A Publishing History of the Encyclopédie, 1775–
1800. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
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de Certeau, M. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life. Translated by S. Rendall. Berkeley: University
of California Press.
De Cock, C., and S. Bohm. 2007. “Liberalist Fantasies: Zizek and the Impossibility of the Open
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Debord, G. 1994. The Society of the Spectacle. Translated by D
stamps filing cabinets
lines of grumpy-looking people
Now repeat the exercise, placing a concrete noun in the center and
abstract nouns at the spoke ends.
Just about any idea or emotion can be illustrated using concrete images.
Likewise, a single concrete noun can invoke a surprisingly complex range
of abstractions. Good writers exploit the relationship between concrete
and abstract language by remaining attentive to the subtleties of both.
WritersDiet Test example 2
How are names for
theorists and critics in dozens of fields have
elected to rally around a term that is so often preceded by the words mere,
only, or just.
That rhetoric should these days be allowed on center stage in matters
"where truth and knowledge are concerned" may be a reflection of our
times. Typically it has been accorded such attention only as a foil for
philosophy or where philosophy was a bit down in the dumps and in need
of an understudy. 3 We live in an age, however, in which the philosophical
moorings of inquiry have been found none too secure. Enlightenment
of Enlightenment, tracing the contours of another holocaust.
A compressed explanation of instrumental reason will do for now; later I
will deal more explicitly with how rhetoricians of inquiry can use Hork-
heimer and Adorno's theory. Instrumental reason is a calculation of
means and ends, which establishes the world as an object of control, thus
circumscribing it, excluding from thought both mythical and mysterious
discourses, the traditional discourses of religion. Instrumental reason,
however, also excluded from public speech and writing the discourse
began to build a new understand-
ing of who they were, as expatriate Russians. Trubetzkoy was a leader in
a group that developed what they called Eurasianism, whose goal was
to create a vision of the world, founded on both the Greco- Byzantine
heritage and (lest we forget where we Russians came from) the Mongol
conquest. Eurasianists rejected what came from the West: the Western
tradition of the Enlightenment, and all those other trends that emerged
from it, like socialism and communism in the nineteenth century. The
Eurasianist view of Europe was that Europe