Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Against Theory" Makes My Head Hurt

I’m going to start off by saying that I agree with the other guys that this reading was egregiously loquacious and pretentious. Basically, it made my head hurt.

On a more serious note, perhaps the one thing I did get out of this reading involved the last two pages about Fish. This seemed to be the one part of the text that stood out to me as truly interesting and semi-comprehensible. “The truth of knowledge, according to Fish, is that no beliefs are, in the long run, truer than others; all beliefs, in the long run, are equal. But as we have noted, it is only from the standpoint of a theory about belief which is not itself a belief that this truth can be seen” (741). This little section, and the rest of the paragraph that follows, had me thinking – should we really throw away all beliefs just so we can separate Item A from Item B? Can one live without the other? Do we really need theory? Do I really need to keep asking questions like this? What I am trying to get at here is that Knapp and Michaels continue on to say that theory “has no practical consequences not because it can be united with practice but because it can never be separated from practice” (741). Fish, Knapp, and Michaels want us to go against theory? Well, after reading that entire text and still not being fully confident as to understanding what I read, I am going to agree with those three men and say, “To hell with theory!”

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