Mises Wire

Obfuscation Unlimited

Roy Bhaskar

The philosophy of Roy Bhaskar, who died November 19, would ordinarily hold little interest for readers of the Mises Blog. Bhaskar was a Marxist, who in his later years veered off toward a fuzzy spirituality. It is worth taking note of him, though, because he was an extreme example of a besetting sin of the contemporary academic world. His prose style made him unreadable; and one of his sentences was selected by the journal Philosophy and Literature as the winner of its 1996 Bad Writing Contest. This was the winning sentence:

Indeed dialectical critical realism may be seen under the aspect of Foucauldian strategic reversal — of the unholy trinity of Parmenidean/Platonic/Aristotelean provenance; of the Cartesian-Lockean-Humean-Kantian paradigm, of foundationalisms (in practice, fideistic foundationalisms) and irrationalisms (in practice, capricious exercises of the will-to-power or some other ideologically and/or psycho-somatically buried source) new and old alike; of the primordial failing of western philosophy, ontological monovalence, and its close ally, the epistemic fallacy with its ontic dual; of the analytic problematic laid down by Plato, which Hegel served only to replicate in his actualist monovalent analytic reinstatement in transfigurative reconciling dialectical connection, while in his hubristic claims for absolute idealism he inaugurated the Comtean, Kierkegaardian and Nietzschean eclipses of reason, replicating the fundaments of positivism through its transmutation route to the superidealism of a Baudrillard.

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