Attempt to write things during COVID

Argumentative deadlock

If you enter the turf of some constructionist post-modern ideas about experience and identity, there is oftentimes no Schelling point (focal point) [in a broader sense] of discussion. In the sciences, the Schelling point is usually the experiment. Many people can conduct an experiment and similar/the same results comes out. But if you discuss an experience, not only is it tied to only one person and their privileged first person view but also bound in time and not repeatable etc. This is what happens to one person. But interestingly, certain identities have crystallized over the centuries, e.g. the conceptual 'woman', the 'Black', or the 'Nerd'. They are all very different but all are social constructs. There is no essence to these concepts, they are not found in nature or are measurable, yet still posit some real effects in the world. So a 'woman' might have certain experiences which she ties to her being a 'woman' (even though it is not necessarily the case, that the experience is contingent on being a 'woman' but could also stem from some other concept). So the task is fundamentally interpretative and associative. Interestingly, many people started cluster certain experiences under the same/similar identities, which is where intersectionalism came from, as the idea that many forms of kyriarchical structures engendered similar forms of downpression/experiences in the downpressed (and arguably also in the downpressor).

A question I am asking myself is how and in what way experiences are commensurable. If they are incommensurate, the project of grouping them together under a certain identity (let alone a meta-identity/meta-concept of intersectionalism) seems futile in the first place and maybe any form of communication goes down the drain of solipsism and questions of whether other people might just be p-zombies.

Hence I posit that through empathy and learning it is possible to acquaint oneself with experiences of other people even without being grouped under that identity that generally experiences the situations in question. The source of reports for such experiences is the people of the identity, e.g. 'women', because 'men' have, at least generally, a different foreground of experiences. So a 'man' has to ask a 'woman' about the experience. Here is the crux, that it seems that there is no Schelling point. The 'man' can't through sheer reflection arrive at the same point as the 'woman', just as Aristotle couldn't fathom the world just by contemplation (early rationalism).

The situation is now that we still have unsettled arguments in the world about e.g. feminism. We need to figure out the philosophical bases from where we construct rights, duties, ontological and metaphysical statuses of identities or non-identities and maybe first and foremost what we actually mean by these words and the designators of identities. Good old-fashioned begriffsklaerung. The question is now, whether it is generally possible for 'men' to take part in this discussion/argument/project, since they can't themselves be a source of experiences just a 'sink' or a re-interpretative machine. The 'man' can't access his own library of experiences and do what in the sciences we'd call an experiment.

So the sincere person of identity X that wants to argue about experiences of identity Y is in an argumentative deadlock, where the sincerity drives them to the argument but at the same time it would prevent them from arguing, because it can only lead in perpetration of the source-sink dichotomy and thereby muddling the argumentative structure.

P.S.: Whether the identitization of human experience is good or bad is something we have to look at at a later point. It could be that this argumentative lockdown is a consequence of identitization and we have to retract the concept of the lockdown.

- 3 toasts