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  1. John C. Poirier

    I spent many years trying to see if postmodernists anywhere *ever* make a legitimate argument for their views. They *never* do. They either present bogus arguments (often based on a confusion of terminology), or, in lieu of actually making an argument, they refer the questioner to someone else’s argument (which in turn does little more than refer to someone *else’s* argument, which in turn . . ., etc. etc.).

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    1. Agreed. What are you thoughts on structuralism v poststructuralism?

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      1. John C. Poirier

        As I understand it, the debate between structuralism and poststructuralism pits the view that meaning resides *synchronically* in language or texts (structuralism) against the view that meaning is created in the interpretive act (poststructuralism). I do not accept the shared premise that meaning is synchronic, as I think it obvious that meaning lies with intending subjects (authors). I believe hermeneutics is a diachronic task, whereas structuralists and poststructuralists both (wrongly) assume that that view has somehow been proven wrong. If I *had* to choose between the two, however, I’d go with structuralism, as the idea that meaning is created during the act of interpreting is just too far out there. (I’d probably get the urge to wear a black turtleneck if I began to think that way.)

        In the previous post, I mentioned arguments that trade on shifting terminology. The argument that meaning is a readerly event is a good example, as it often amounts to little more than the unpacking of alternative definitions of “meaning”.

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