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sloth sloth is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Old Dec 19th, 2007, 07:38 AM       
I'll try and keep it short because this could end up a huge post, but I think preechr's analogy with physics is mistaken. It is important to remember there ARE no 'laws of physics', only linguistic conventions that more or less approximate the way the universe is constituted. It is difficult to imagine because we are so firmly ensconced in language, but there is no extra-linguistic correlative to the laws of physics--no laws 'out there' that our laws 'in here' are progressing towards. It just is. One might be able to predict with greater accuracy the outcome of a certain event within a given discourse--quantum physics, astronomy and so on--but if anything, the best we can hope for is an asymptotic approach towards some condition of very marginal error. I think Lacan uses the example of Heisenberg's Principle as an example of a physics that acknowledges this hard limit to the capacity for science to explain the Real.

The concept of a law appeals to the notion of 'truth', which is a condition and inherent prejudice of language. With the introduction of language, something can lie; something can be other than it is. This is why laws fail, to be replaced with new and more comprehensive ones. The matter is complicated even further when you think that, as subjects of language, there are necessarily things that elude symbolisation. I couldn't even begin to imagine how to approach the issue of morality, but hopefully it might clear up the fallacy that anything might be considered an onward march towards some kind of absolute truth.
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