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11 News & Reports

symphonies, which so often submit
to the imposed falsehood of a
, soc iali st-optimist’ programne,
nevertheless stand up ~s authentic
creations of the sUffering artist,
voicing an imminent critique of
dominant ideology through the sheer
-~nbalance and rebarbative crudeness of their structure. In these
interpretive matters, where aesthetics meets with the phenome~­
olegy of social consciousness and
its tangent, compromised forms,
Merleau-Ponty’s observations have
great critical power and a quality
of sympathetic fairness, besides,
which is lost to the structuralists
with their techniques’ of denunciation.

Of course one has to recognise,
before claiming Merleau-Ponty as
an aesthetic philosopher, that his
formulations at their most suggestive often touch upon the unsayable
and, in practical-critical terms,
tbe unusable. Thus he requires
(Prose, p90) that, in reading
creatively, we allow ‘the words
••• to be enveloped in that haze
of signification that they derive
from their particular arrangement,
and finally, that we let the whole
work veer toward a second-order
tacit value where it almost rejoins the mute radiance of painting’. Again we find Merleau-Ponty
specifically praising that secondlevel accretion of meaning which
Barthes denounces as the privileged
domain of bourgeois mythology.

His description is beyond the usual
ambit of practical critical method,
though no more so than its negative counterparts in the prolix
theoretical writings of the literary structuralists. More importantly, it offers a positive,
appreciative account of literary
meaning and value, where structuralism, according to its philosophic
lights, performs an essentially
negative act of formal deconstruction. Not least because they engage creatively with this depressed
condition of the current ‘human
sciences’, these texts of MerleauPonty (in their clear, unfussy
translation) are a joint event of
some impor1:ance.


On the other hand of course, philo• sophy has a lot of time at its
disposal, and you begin to work on
a project which will be comnleted a
‘The financial crisis is becoming
. century later. So I think what analess acute’ – so we r·eported in the
lytical philosop~ers are doing is a
last issue. Nevertheless, it
very important beginning which has
to be continued. All philosophers
remains desperate. Our increased
cover price (SOp since the last issue) can learn from them. ‘

may help, but it may also hit our
Markovic turned to logic when the
wave of stalinism hit Yugoslavia in
sales. Remember that students ete
the early 50s when he graduated.

can get the magazine for less: 3Sp
if they buy from one of the ‘local
He read A J Ayer’ s Language, Truth
and Logic and thought it ,exactly
sellers’ • But obviously shops must
charge the full cover price – and
the extreme opposite of whatever I
even then, we do not make any money
believed. ‘ But clarity (though not
enough) was the weapon to turn on the
out of the shop sales. we are also
going to be extremely vulnerable to
Stalinist ideologues. So he went to
the new postal rates. So please do
London and studied with Ayer to
prove his mettle, and to find a
all you can to get us new readers
and new subscribers. Become a local
few more weapons too.

The influence of Ayer explains
seller; buy a subscription for a
friend; make sure your library has
why Markovic’s writings are intela subscription ••• ete,etc
ligible to the hard-boiled analyst.

He sees himself as a mediator in a
second sense. For while Stalin
In theory, the Radical Philosophy
caused him to turn to logic, he
Group and the magazine Radical
caused others to flee to a humanPhilosophy are different entities,
istic existentialism. Markovic says
with different addresses ete. In
his most important work has been
theory, the Group co-ordinates local
the attempt to fuse these.responses.

organisations, runs meetings and
He wants to mediate between the
conferences and has responsibility
search for clarity and the concern
for the magazine. The organisational
for the important questions, like
forum for the Group is the ‘Open
what is exploitation, what is
Meeting’ which takes place three

times a year, about the middle of
I wanted to know what he thought
the university term.

about the future of philosophy, about
Winter 1973, p4B) The idea was,
its relevance to non-philosophers.

in other words, that the meeting
Did he still read Marx as he does
should run the magazine; what now
living philosophers? He said,
happens is precisely .the opposite.

‘Great philosophers always try to
A satisfactory solution to the
contribute to the betterment of.

problem of the relationship between
social life. That’s why they build
the Group and the magazine has not
up projects about what man is, and
yet been arrived at.

. might be. . In contemporary philosophy no-one has expressed this
idea better than Karl Marx. Marx
is still a contemporary philosoph~r
you see.’

Letter to’Readers



Radical Education seeks to give
voice to the revolt against the educational system of today, and to
assist in building a new structure
for the education of future
Issue No.3.inc1udes articles on the
Houghton Report; the 1870 Education
Act; the dangers of behaviour modification in schools; education
theory; report from a College of
Education; and a critique of
standard educational sociology.

Radical Education is published
quarterly, price 20p (+Sp P&p)
BOp for one year subscription.

Please send contributions, subscriptions, orders for copies on sale or
return, and donations to
Radical Education
6B Goldhurst Terrace London NW6



Mihailo Markovic, one of the signatories of the document printed on
page 1, has spent the last few
weeks in England. One of our
readers reports the following conversation with him.

I wanted to know what he thought of
English and American philosophy. I
asked him if he thought the formalisers, like Quine, or the common
sense people, like J L Austin, were
reactionaries by omission, because
they avoid important sorts of problem, and in the case of the latter
school, because ‘they have contempt
for theory.

‘Philosophy always has this double
task. On the one hand it has to do
something for its time and the historical situation in which it emerges.

And English philosophy does not do
anything in that respect, that’s why
some people consider it reactionary.

Paul Feyerabend teaches philosophy
at the University of California at
Berkeley, and has for the past year
been Visiting Professor at SUssex
tlniversity. His book Against Method
was recently published by New Left

Gabriel Josipovici teaches English
literature in the School of European
Studies, SUssex University. He is
the author of several novels, plays
and radio plays as well as a book
on literature, The ~r1d and the
Book. A collection of his plays
and stories, Mobius the stripper,
was recently published by Gollancz.

Bob Eec leshall teaches in the
Department of Politics at Queens
University, Belfast.

Sonia Kruks teaches philosophy at
Central London Polytechnic and is
writing a thesis on Merleau-Ponty.

Louis McTurk is a pseudonym.

John Krige is a graduate student at
~ssex University.

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