Key­words

Geist - - Findings - A COM­MU­NITY OF IN­QUIRY

A se­lec­tion of terms com­mon in aca­demic life from Key­words; For Fur­ther Con­sid­er­a­tion and Par­tic­u­larly Rel­e­vant to Aca­demic Life, es­pe­cially as it con­cerns Dis­ci­plines, In­ter-dis­ci­plinary En­deavor, and Modes of Re­sis­tance to the Same. Pub­lished by Prince­ton Univer­sity Press in 2018. A Com­mu­nity of In­quiry is a group of ten stu­dents and fac­ulty as­so­ci­ated with the In­ter­dis­ci­plinary Doc­toral Pro­gram in the Hu­man­i­ties at Prince­ton Univer­sity.

ART

Most gen­er­ally, the abil­ity, man­ner, or “knack” es­sen­tial to the re­al­iza­tion of some task or goal, es­pe­cially when tricky or spe­cial­ized; i.e., “the art of los­ing isn’t hard to master.” Also, a large class of ob­jects and/or non­ma­te­rial phe­nom­ena priv­i­leged for their

pu­ta­tive abil­ity to oc­ca­sion un­pre­dictable but sig­nif­i­cant re­sponses (par­tic­u­larly aes­thetic, but some­times sen­ti­men­tal or po­lit­i­cal) in in­di­vid­u­als and groups. A term sub­stan­tially de­fined by re­sis­tance to def­i­ni­tion. Hence, dif­fi­cult to de­fine sat­is­fac­to­rily, if also sat­is­fac­tory to de­fine dif­fi­cultly.

CANON

A sa­cred weapon within aca­demic de­part­ments, fired rit­u­ally upon the unini­ti­ated or way­ward. In­juries suf­fered may gen­er­ate the scars req­ui­site for en­try into the rel­e­vant so­dal­i­ties and/or en­camp­ments.

CRITIQUE

As dis­tinct from crit­i­cism, with which it ought not be con­fused. Crit­i­cism is the (of­ten neg­a­tive) ap­praisal of ART; critique is the (al­ways neg­a­tive) ap­praisal of crit­i­cism.

DIALECTIC

A style of thought poised at such a re­move from the ob­jects of its anal­y­sis that all dif­fer­ence turns out, upon suf­fi­cient re­flec­tion, not to ex­ist. With the ob­vi­ous ex­cep­tion of the dif­fer­ence be­tween dialectic and ev­ery­thing else.

KNOWL­EDGE PRODUCTION

The means to and/or end of aca­demic life (see IRONY).

METAPHYSICS

The ques­tions with­out an­swers to which in­quiry can­not be­gin, or per­haps con­clude. In terms of dif­fi­culty, it is ad­vanced; in terms of or­der, fundamental. To il­lus­trate: “What is metaphysics?”; bet­ter, “What is metaphysics?”; bet­ter still, “What is metaphysics?”

PROGRESS

The gym­nas­tics of mov­ing for­ward, un­der­stood as ad­vance­ment or im­prove­ment, al­though pos­si­ble with­out any propul­sive mo­tion, as in the case of sta­tion­ary bikes.

SYMPOSIUM

An assembly of in­di­vid­u­als con­tin­gently—or, in ex­cep­tional cases, es­sen­tially—per­suaded that their con­ver­sa­tion is more in­ter­est­ing and im­por­tant than the thing they are in con­ver­sa­tion about.

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