Conceptual Personae

Larval Subjects .

image002Every philosophy is populated by a conceptual persona that functions as its transcendental unity of apperception or the principle by which it is struck by questions and problems and through which it forges and links concepts and grasps phenomena.  That persona might be the scientist, the priest, the artist, the doctor, the analyst, the revolutionary, the dancer, the judge, the vulnerable person, or any number of others.  New ones are always being invented.  Questions and problems flash into being in response to the subject or persona.  Concepts are created and linked in new ways.  Phenomena become visible or invisible.  The subject of a philosophy is not the philosopher, but rather the conceptual persona.  Indeed, the philosopher is often horrified by the conceptual persona that inhabits the philosophy she gropes towards and the becoming into which it draws her despite herself.

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One thought on “Conceptual Personae

  1. Like a poem–or more so, the body of work of a poet. When I read a great many poems from one poet, or their life work–it’s like a conversation, meeting with the persona of the poetry. Some mistake that for the poet, but it always seemed like something different to me. It’s what we hear in a piece of music, without analyzing it, or knowing who the composer, even when many others wrote in a similar style…that makes one say: Palestrina! Something that intrigued me when I was growing up–and had little music education, no music theory–how I could so easily identify composers… or artists from their drawings. Not unlike our ability to recognize faces… when we have that, instantaneously.


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