half-remembered philosophy
February 7, 2014 12:20 PM   Subscribe

I am struggling to remember or find a line from what I think was a work of philosophy, something like:"at the heart [center] of every system [of belief | of thought | world-construct] is a secret [hidden] trangression [contradiction | inversion | denial]"

My memory leads me to Lacan, Derrida or Foucault but I cannot explain why. Any help is appreciated.
posted by the man of twists and turns to Religion & Philosophy (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like the first part of the Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:37 PM on February 7, 2014

That's pretty vague. "Inversion" might suggest Derrida, "transgression" perhaps Foucault. Can you give us any context? Anything else you remember? What brought this passage to mind for you? The trigger for your memory of it might cue us too.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:56 PM on February 7, 2014

sounds like someone's paraphrase of Derrida
posted by thelonius at 12:58 PM on February 7, 2014

Anything else you remember?

That understanding [and possibly accepting] the secret at the core is the key to understanding [and possibly accepting] the system iteself.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:02 PM on February 7, 2014

"The opposite of a great truth is also true" -- attributed to Niels Bohr
posted by alex1965 at 1:11 PM on February 7, 2014

This sounds to me like Lacan by way of Zizek, though I can't point you to a specific text.
posted by googly at 1:33 PM on February 7, 2014

Gödel's first incompleteness theorem is paraphrased as:
Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete.
posted by goethean at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2014

Could be a paraphrase of Rene Girard, perhaps?
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2014

Whoever it was, it feels like they wanted to echo Balzac.

(Or maybe echo the echo of the original.)
posted by mono blanco at 2:35 PM on February 7, 2014

This is Derrida. I'll have to dig for the source ... For some reason I relate it to his writing on Rousseau. But it's Derrida without question.
posted by jayder at 2:35 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding that this sounds like Zizek applying Lacan. Specifically him explaining jouissance in a plague of fantasies.
posted by codacorolla at 2:36 PM on February 7, 2014

Here, upon deeper diggin, is the Girard quote I was thinking of. This pertains to religion and not philosophy, and therefore may not be what you're looking for, but I thought I'd quote it just in case:

We have discovered, at the heart of every religion, the same single central event that generates its mythical significance and its ritual acts: the action of a crowd as it turns on someone it adored yesterday, and may adore again tomorrow, and transforms him into a scapegoat in order to secure by his death a period of peace for the community.

posted by Ipsifendus at 2:48 PM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

It fundamentally sounds like Hegelian dialectic, e.g. every thesis contains the seeds of its own antithesis. From Hegel to Marx, then to ... well, pick your French intellectual.
posted by rakeswell at 5:00 PM on February 7, 2014

e.g. every thesis contains the seeds of its own antithesis

"seed" sounds correct to me - is that a common turn-of-phrase?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:24 PM on February 20, 2014

While looking for something else, I ran across this reference to Lacan - "The juxtaposition is so jarring, it can only be read as a kind of Lacanian gap. That fissure is precisely where the secret of the sentences is to be found."

This sounds very similar to the idea I was describing above. Any connections?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:27 PM on April 15, 2014

« Older What fields are good for problem-solving?   |   Forget picking a career, how do you find a career... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.