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It seems quite naïve to me now how the transcendental turn functions as constitutive in the minds of some without taking wholly seriously the constitutive role of language. It possesses a logic oblivious to the view that language is creating and not simply relating what is ‘actually’ the case. Within the logic of the pre-linguistic turn is thus an obscurity. The clarity it communicates is real, impressive, convincing even, if one considers language to be incidental, accidental, merely expressive, or what have you–instead of constitutive and narratival. This is the ever-present obscurity in the clarity of transcendental logic, which I happen to love, by the way. It is easily neglected when one shores up the actuality it delivers as though independent of the language that delivers it. We may believe this age of innocence is behind us, and there is a way in which it is. But there are also other ways in which it isn’t and ways in which it shouldn’t be. Managed through vigilance might be a way to care for it with reserve.

I’m struck by how much transcendental “logic” is narrative, a story by which consciousness, begun in the 19th century, communicates self-consciousness. As meta-discourse it sees itself as doing more than narration. It aims to parallel the modality of science ‘explaining’ reality and the mind’s relation to it. This may be fine for science, which focuses on explaining the behavior and function of objects. However, that discourse begins to break down when self-description and -explanation are involved, i.e., when discoursing about Geist. It’s tantamount to reading the Divine Comedy as a tractate on ontology. (I number myself among those who find these discourses as equally important but which do different things.)

To be continued …

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