Thursday, May 21, 2009

self? (part III)

The definition of archive as given by the New Oxford American-English Dictionary is “a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.” In the archive of self as I have explored it, there appears to be five species of content (article, document, record, etc): body, memory, prosthesis, impression, and phenomenon. While these articles are not necessary for creating a general philosophy of identity, they are essential to any attempt at procuring knowledge of the self as the articles themselves are the precondition for positing and pursuing any question that falls within the classes outlined above. The content of the archive acts as evidence from which a sense of person can be ascertained. As Paul Ricoeur puts it:

In the notion of a document the accent today is no longer placed on the function of teaching which is conveyed by the etymology of this word… rather the accent is placed on the support, the warrant a document provides for a history, a narrative, or an argument. This role of being a warrant constitutes material proof, what in English is called ‘evidence’… (TA 67)

No comments: