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Quentin Skinners retoriska postmodernism

Mårtensson, Manne LU (2014) ILHM04 20132
Division of History of Ideas and Sciences
Abstract
For a long time, Quentin Skinner has been one of the world’s most prominent figures in the discipline of intellectual history. As one of the leading proponents of what has come to be known as “the Cambridge school” he has always been a strong advocate for the implementation of a singular historical method, based on a mix of, what I would call, a “Collingswoodian contextualism” and an “Austian speech act theory”. Given this position, his declaration that he is now joining “the sceptical camp” and his concomitant turn towards a more benevolent view of some aspects of the poststructuralist and genealogical approach left me somewhat puzzled. In this essay I therefore start off by contextually tracing Skinner’s methodological development as... (More)
For a long time, Quentin Skinner has been one of the world’s most prominent figures in the discipline of intellectual history. As one of the leading proponents of what has come to be known as “the Cambridge school” he has always been a strong advocate for the implementation of a singular historical method, based on a mix of, what I would call, a “Collingswoodian contextualism” and an “Austian speech act theory”. Given this position, his declaration that he is now joining “the sceptical camp” and his concomitant turn towards a more benevolent view of some aspects of the poststructuralist and genealogical approach left me somewhat puzzled. In this essay I therefore start off by contextually tracing Skinner’s methodological development as well as his connections to the alleged new ally (post-structuralism). I then analyse Skinner’s claim that post-structuralism is compatible with his prior stance on methodology. My conclusion is that Skinner’s turn was less sharp than his flirtatious demeanour seemed to suggest. Moreover, I argue that his use, in a postmodern context, of a quite obvious lingua franca, suggests that he is up to a rhetorical trick. He creates a bland mixture of the two currently most viable methodologies; a mixture which clearly curbs the intended force of the poststructuralist/genealogical approach. The post-analytic philosophical stance is, I argue, where Skinner´s former as well as current allegiance lies, and he turns the poststructuralist and genealogical stance of continental philosophy into a legitimizing methodological armour for his original argument. Furthermore, the small portions of the latter two bodies of theory that he actually does incorporate, seem to have been present in his method all along. His spectacular re-positioning of these elements to the forefront of his method therefore seems to have no other purpose than to create an illusion of consent and consensus. Based on these results I go on to analyse what effects I believe Skinner’s well played trick may have on his own method on the approaches he is flirting with, and even on the perception of political reality in these, in Skinners words, “postmodern times”. (Less)
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author
Mårtensson, Manne LU
supervisor
organization
course
ILHM04 20132
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Post-analytic philosophy, Postmodernism, Hemeneutics, Methodology, Quentin Skinner, History of ideas
language
Swedish
id
4295360
date added to LUP
2014-03-28 14:42:56
date last changed
2014-03-28 14:42:56
@misc{4295360,
  abstract     = {For a long time, Quentin Skinner has been one of the world’s most prominent figures in the discipline of intellectual history. As one of the leading proponents of what has come to be known as “the Cambridge school” he has always been a strong advocate for the implementation of a singular historical method, based on a mix of, what I would call, a “Collingswoodian contextualism” and an “Austian speech act theory”. Given this position, his declaration that he is now joining “the sceptical camp” and his concomitant turn towards a more benevolent view of some aspects of the poststructuralist and genealogical approach left me somewhat puzzled. In this essay I therefore start off by contextually tracing Skinner’s methodological development as well as his connections to the alleged new ally (post-structuralism). I then analyse Skinner’s claim that post-structuralism is compatible with his prior stance on methodology. My conclusion is that Skinner’s turn was less sharp than his flirtatious demeanour seemed to suggest. Moreover, I argue that his use, in a postmodern context, of a quite obvious lingua franca, suggests that he is up to a rhetorical trick. He creates a bland mixture of the two currently most viable methodologies; a mixture which clearly curbs the intended force of the poststructuralist/genealogical approach. The post-analytic philosophical stance is, I argue, where Skinner´s former as well as current allegiance lies, and he turns the poststructuralist and genealogical stance of continental philosophy into a legitimizing methodological armour for his original argument. Furthermore, the small portions of the latter two bodies of theory that he actually does incorporate, seem to have been present in his method all along. His spectacular re-positioning of these elements to the forefront of his method therefore seems to have no other purpose than to create an illusion of consent and consensus. Based on these results I go on to analyse what effects I believe Skinner’s well played trick may have on his own method on the approaches he is flirting with, and even on the perception of political reality in these, in Skinners words, “postmodern times”.},
  author       = {Mårtensson, Manne},
  keyword      = {Post-analytic philosophy,Postmodernism,Hemeneutics,Methodology,Quentin Skinner,History of ideas},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Quentin Skinners retoriska postmodernism},
  year         = {2014},
}