For Those Who Want More
The editor is insisting a conclusion must be reached: it is
time to say who the philosopher is and who are his poor, where
the author started from and where he ended up, and what led him
on a journey in which, apparently, neither the well-being of indi-
viduals nor the good of nations was dramatically at stake.
Let us then summarize. In the beginning, there was the follow-
ing: philosophy defined itself in defining its other. The order of
discourse delimited itself by tracing a circle that excluded from
the right to think those who earned their living by the labor of
their hands.
This way of putting things together supposed some cunning in
its detail. By relegating artisans to the order of pure reproduction,
philosophy pretended to confirm them only where they had been
placed by their love for the solid realities of technical success and
financial gain. And, per contra, it fed its own privilege with the dark
bread of non-possession. But this was a double game. By elevat-
ing [classant] solid artisans and demoting [déclassant] shadow
makers, philosophy rather reserved for itself this right to the lux-
ury of appearances that command the privilege of thought. And
this privilege imposed itself with all its brutality by invoking a
di√erence in nature that confessed it was a fable. Philosophy
linked its lot to a hierarchy that the lie could found only in nature.
We started from this archetypal figure of the social institution
of philosophy. We arrived at the exemplary modernity of a sociol-
ogy recognizing behind the games of philosophical aesthetics the
law of a symbolic order based upon the exclusion of the ‘‘vulgar’’
enjoyments of the dispossessed, and denouncing in the freedom
of philosophers the simple denegation of the social relations of
domination. At first glance, these two processes possess a certain
air of familiarity based on their similar good thoughts with re-
spect to the excluded. Why then show so much repugnance to-
ward the operation of the sociologist who tears from the philoso-
pher the mask of his divine freedom in order to restore him to his
situation as an always unfortunate candidate for power?
We’ll cut to the chase. There are two reasons for this, one of
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