Our monday morning lecture was on multiplicity and pluralism; otherwise concerning the relationship of the one and the many. It covered the separation of the modernists and their application of the new disruption in “the unity of things”. As in: to not have a grand theory of everything: merely excepting various ways of excepting small truths, which became the ground for post-modern thought.
This led to the contemplation of the truth, to theorise it in smaller pockets of the world, rather to explain all in one method. Whereas Henry Adams, “worried that change, variety and the unbridled acceleration of experience, might dispose the energy that the nation and its people could muster to face a challenging reality”, during the WWI era. He claimed that a unity of the people was needed socially, and that this change in thought only made the social barriers wider.
This dissolved into ‘political’ and ‘politics’; the emotional, complex multiplicity of experiences of human kind, and the unified whole. It is William James, who coined “stream of consciousness”, who said “consciousness, then, does not appear to itself as chopped up in bits… its nothing joined; it flows.” Claiming that the human mind does not think in pieces, but as a whole. Although this brought up the question of the spectrum of places and time: reality, that thought separately, but only worked, as we know it, in time with each other: hence consciousness.
This idea of multiplicity gave way to other theories; atheism, anomalies in scientific pleasure, moving away from the sovereign individual (from self to a self-made of social conventions); and new concepts made to revolve around the beauty of day-to-day rather than one ‘true’ beauty.
Although now our ‘contemporary’ culture focus on that difference;focused on keeping conflict, as a unified whole. Such as equal rights movements and protests. (Like women’s rights and the protests made against the world trade organisation.)
It makes the point that our society is not a special one, nor is it going to last; but it is an experience as any other and that experience should therefore be shared. After all what is art if not made for the viewer.