Thinking about being stupid

“None of this – being imprecise, not quite understanding the import of what one is saying, not being as secure in one’s knowledge as one wishes or thinks – comes close to being anything like the condition of radical intellectual defect or depletion signalled by stupidity. I will resist the impulse to suggest that this all-or-nothing denunciation of any intellectual debility as stupidity might itself be evidence of stupidity. But it may be evidence of the strange, hypnotic force that the idea of stupidity has, even as one might just as well say that wherever stupidity, as the putatively absolute absence of knowing, is assumed to be, it can never in fact be. Rather, it is something like the imaginary wall against which knowing discourse endlessly bumps up and from which it bounces painlessly back to itself. Stupidity is as much a work of fantasy as knowledge is, acting as it does as the indispensable, imaginary outside to knowledge’s gleaming ­ dream of itself” (Steven Connor, The Madness of Knowledge)

About Huenemann

Curious about the ways humans use their minds and hearts to distract themselves from the meaninglessness of life.
This entry was posted in Books, Items of the academy / learning, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

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