Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Timeless Truths, Ancient Identities

I’ve occasionally written here about the problematic way in which some theorists invoke notions of timeless truths or perennial questions – often picking and choosing their historical material quite selectively (albeit usually unintentionally) to reinforce the impression that a particular question, problem, or approach is intrinsic to the human condition, rather than deriving from a specific historical configuration. I plan to write more on this in coming weeks – I have a long overdue post I’ve been planning on Walter Benjamin, and another on Ian Hacking, which will explore this issue in greater detail. In the interim, an interesting, closely-related issue is being discussed at the Savage Minds blog. While this blog is always interesting, I wanted to draw readers’ attention specifically to Kerim’s discussion of problems with the concept of an “ancient people”.

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