marți, 7 iunie 2011

Discussing and Being Discussed


If we transform the relations between human beings in a matter of speaking acts, then we should reconsider the moral values of closeness and distance.

‘They discuss you’ and ‘you discuss them’ are obviously different from ‘they love / hate you’ and ‘you love / hate them’. The first two statements describe an intermediate area, where the use of epistemic relations implied by language functions in an ethical sense.

Therefore, discussing others fails to become an act of knowledge. The way of treating others through language could err if we are convinced that we do know them. We are not  able to reach truths about them, as well as they cannot tell about us, since the truth is not directed to anybody.

Moreover, if we construe the act of speaking about others in a favorable way as a moral attitude, we are also committing an error of distinguishing the same intermediate area.

The correct understanding would be to ignore any epistemic or moral value in the practice of speaking about others and of being discussed by others. The existence of intentions in the back of our words confesses about the neuter character of language in this context.

This practice should be circumscribed in an area of indifference. Indifference comes to be the original state from which we can deduce our attitude to others. It should be a sort of tabula rasa.

The moral attitudes would have to start from this state of indifference, better approached if we keep silence about others and do not hear them discussing us.

However, if we take into account the due indifference, we will be far from being free from indifference in the future pure ethical contexts.