A collection of essays lamenting the disrespect of europeans for middle eastern thought products, that is a complaint about that we just disagree about pretty much everything. I wrote something longer on my blog, but I’ve cut it down to the core issues that the author is unable to grasp. I’m criticizing the premise of the original essay, the from which the book takes its title. The rest of the book rests upon the same presumptions of equality that does not exist, and western criticism that is predicated on very different concerns, and I won’t cover it here.
WHAT EVERYONE’S MISSING
Western ethics (reciprocity) are scientific. And always have been. For 5000 years. That is why we invented reason and science. We applied our law to everything. Small things in large numbers over long periods produce vast consequences. Once you understand western ethics of reciprocity are scientific, and that we invented reason and science by applying our law to everything you will pretty much understand western civilization.
Because the origin of our reasoning is law, not myth or dogma, western epistemology consists of constructing methods of testimony: logic, empiricism, operationalism, rational choice (incentives), reciprocity, and markets – all of which create evidence we can testify to. Our Wisdom literature is not conflated with testimony. In fact, we don’t conflate much of anything in the anglo world. We leave that to the Germans.
Western testimony, at least in serious thought, is ‘deflationary’ as in the math, logic and the sciences, whereas french, german, jewish, christian and muslim is thought is inflationary (loaded and framed), or conflationary(conflating history and myth, truth and wisdom, real, supernormal) or fictionalized (idealism, magic, supernaturalism). But most evidently conflating the norms, traditions, values, and myths, with facts.
All language consists of sounds or their symbolic references, in a continuous recursive stream of disambiguation, each consisting of measurements, constructed from analogies to experience, and constructing a system of measurement the speaker and the audience understand. Westerners seek to produce testifiable measurements in argument, and limit our unjustifiable arguments to arts, music, poetry and literature. What you call dialectic is just Pilpul. Nothing more. If you cannot produce a system of measurement that is testifiable you’re just making up whatever deception you can get away with.
There is no ‘reading’ of the law of sovereignty, reciprocity, nor ‘reading’ of the sciences. No reading of mathematics. A thing that is interpretable is not a thing that is uninterpretable (factual). One cannot testify to the meaning of wisdom literature. Yet it is ‘reading of text’ that has created Rabbinical Pilpul, Critique, False promise baiting into harm, numerology, legal ‘interpretation’. It is this very technique of pilpul that is advanced by the french jewish authors you mention (the postmodernists). In the west we call this by it’s true name: Lying. Yet jewish, christian, and muslim theologians practice this art of lying as if it is a skill. It not only is not a skill, it is the cause of the Dark Ages of Superstition and Ignorance.
If you want to say that we only know we do not speak falsely by a competition between logic and evidence, and that we only know our logic and evidence is not false by competition in argument that might be true. But that is argument not dialectic. The difference in argument is pursuit if the testifiable, and dialectic is merely pilpul – pursuit of either deceit, persuasion, or compromise.
STRAW MAN COMPARISONS OF WESTERN INTELLECTUALS
The ‘philosophers’ the author mentions are socially, politically, economically and institutionally unimportant, and mostly jewish rather than western – authors of sophisms constructed from pilpul (excuses and deceits) and critique (criticism, undermining, straw manning) without proposing an operational solution to replace the current. In other words, they seek to undermine western civilization, but do not propose an alternative open to equal analysis and criticism.
So the author is rebelling against the remains of christianity and judaism and not against anything currently western.