By César Aira
Day-by-day conversations in open air cafes with cultured acquaintances will help make fact a bit extra genuine. regrettably, even if, in the course of one such dialog, one guy spots a gold Rolex watch on a television cleaning soap opera's goatherd. This possible small absurdity units off alarms: unusual sensations of deception, misery, and incipient insanity. the 2 men's uneasiness quickly turns into a nightmare because the television event advances with a real-life plot -- related to a mutant pressure of killer algae -- to take over the area! The Conversations, a fact inside a fiction inside a parallel truth, is hilariously humorous and strangely touching.
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Cassirer, vol. II, p. 385). 2 See Economica, vol. III ( 1933), p. 122. -56- into the methods of the generalizing or theoretical social sciences with which we are concerned here. The more fruitful debates on method are always inspired by certain practical problems which face the research worker; and nearly all debates on method which are not so inspired are characterized by that atmosphere of futile subtlety which has brought methodology into disrepute with the practical research worker. It should be realized that methodological debates of the more practical kind are not only useful but also necessary.
Only those who are optimists or activists first, and historicists afterwards, can take my remarks as critical in an adverse sense. ) But to those who are primarily historicists, my remarks ought to appear not as a criticism of their historicist doctrines but only as a criticism of attempts to link it with optimism or activism. Not all the forms of activism are thus criticized as incompatible with historicism, to be sure, but only some of its more extravagant forms. As compared with a naturalistic method, a pure historicist would argue, historicism does encourage activity, because of its stress on change, process, motion; yet it certainly cannot blindly countenance all kinds of activities as being -52- reasonable from a scientific point of view; many possible activities are unrealistic, and their failure can be foreseen by science.
That which remains unchanged during change, appear here as correlative concepts. But this correlation has yet another side: in a certain sense, an essence also presupposes change, and thereby history. For if that principle of a thing which remains identical or unchanged when the thing changes is its essence (or idea, or form, or nature, or substance), then the changes which the thing undergoes bring to light different sides or aspects or possibilities of the thing and therefore of its essence. The essence, accordingly, can be interpreted as the sum or source of the potentialities inherent in the thing, and the changes (or movements) can be interpreted as the realization or actualization of the hidden potentialities of its essence.
Conversations by César Aira