Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Natality of Tradition

I gave an incorrect description yesterday of the "internal" view of tradition. It should be obvious that an acknowledgment that things might once have been different and that one's initiation into the field could have been differently governed is already a transposition to the external view. However, this failed to be obvious to me, and I think the elusiveness of this fact had to do with two things: 1) It is not foreign to tradition (and may even be essential to it) to involve a relation to a founding, which means that the internal view can in some way involve a sense of a time before the tradition, and 2) the external view of tradition has such an overwhelming credibility, once it comes over the horizon, that the description of an internal view of tradition (which here means only a description of the negated other of the external view) cannot help being determined by the external.

The second of these things is a correlative of the problematic described at the end of yesterday's post: if the dichotomy between internal and external cannot be described from an internal point of view, without losing that point of view, neither can a correct description of the internal view be given from the external point of view.

As for the other point, I will have more to say tomorrow about the sense of a founding.