By Peter Sloterdijk
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Extra resources for Critique of Cynical Reason
But from a standpoint of having no standpoint, which has still to be more closely defined, critique has made impressive progress. From where, then, does critique speak? From what perspectives? In whose name? I believe that Critical Theory has found a provisional ego for critique and a "standpoint" that provides it with perspectives for a truly incisive critique-a standpoint that conventional epistemology does not consider. I am inclined to call it a priori pain. It is not the basis of elevated, distanced critique that achieves grand overviews but a stance of extreme closeness —micrology.
From these almost universal experiences, the latent cynicisms of present-day enlighteners are nourished. Pasolini spiced up the dull pseudocritique a bit in that he at least designed a convincing costume: that of the buccaneer—pirate writings. The intellectual as buccaneer—not a bad dream. We have scarcely ever seen ourselves that way. A homosexual gave the warning signal against the effeminization of critique. Like Douglas Fairbanks leaping around in the cultural rigging, with drawn sword, sometimes the conqueror and sometimes the conquered, knocked about unpredictably on the seas of social alienation.
Nevertheless the instinct for disclosure is stronger in the long run. Only a radical nakedness and bringing things out in the open can free us from the compulsion for mistrustful imputations. Wanting to get to the "naked truth" is one motive for a desperate sensuousness, which wants to tear through the veil of conventions, lies, abstractions, and discretions in order to get to the bottom of things. I want to pursue this theme. 5 At the bottom of my motivations is a childlike veneration for what, in the Greek sense, was called philosophy - for which, moreover, a family tradition of reverence is partly responsible.
Critique of Cynical Reason by Peter Sloterdijk