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Baudrillard's idea on sci-fi surpassing reality?

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So i was reading this article: http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/55/baudrillard55art.htm

 

I dont have very much background knowledge on Baudrillard's ideas so i need clarification because im probably wrong, but to me it sounds like Baudrillard is saying that current society has surpassed the imaginary making classic obsolete.

 

I was wondering if there was a way to apply this to a debate round by saying that the affirmative(and resolution in general) is calling for destruction of the imaginary morphing reality into the imaginary which is bad for X reason. But i dont have a firm grasp on what impact X would be. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

 

Also, if someone could explain the 3rd order of the simulacra in more detail id appreciate that as well.

 

Edit: Ugh the thread was supposed to say "Baudrillards idea on reality surpassing sci-fi"

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Ok so the questions you ask over Baudrillard are really broad, but I'll address the main point. Yes, Baudrillard can be read in a debate round. What he argues is that reality doesn't exist because there is too much of it and it is producing itself through an act he calls "simulacra", which is turning reality into a hyperreality that denies its own existence and yet shows what Baudrillard calls "symptoms of reality" to try to prove both its death and eternal life. The affirmative is a nihilistic denial of the nature of reality that is the simulacra, and there are a lot of impacts from this, such as destruction of ontology, complete eradication of "evil" that destroys good, endless war and violence, etc.

 

The two essays in your link are part of a book by Baudrillard called Simulacra and Simulation. Its a really great read, like many of his books. You can find it on this site somewhere and if you don't I can send you a few books, but I HIGHLY SUGGEST reading through a couple of his books before trying to read him in a round. Baudrillard was a really complex guy, and even people who have read books by him can easily bastardize his arguments in-round.

 

-Jschroeder

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Ok so the questions you ask over Baudrillard are really broad, but I'll address the main point. Yes, Baudrillard can be read in a debate round. What he argues is that reality doesn't exist because there is too much of it and it is producing itself through an act he calls "simulacra", which is turning reality into a hyperreality that denies its own existence and yet shows what Baudrillard calls "symptoms of reality" to try to prove both its death and eternal life. The affirmative is a nihilistic denial of the nature of reality that is the simulacra, and there are a lot of impacts from this, such as destruction of ontology, complete eradication of "evil" that destroys good, endless war and violence, etc.

 

This is.... what?

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Some clarity on the above post. My level of understanding in terms of Baudrillard is intermediate at best so someone who is better at it than me should fill in some of the discrepancies (Hank, Koslow, etc).

 

reality doesn't exist because there is too much of it

 

It's not that reality doesn't exist, it's that it's too excessive so that it means nothing.

 

Let us be clear about this: when we say reality has disappeared, the point is not that it has disappeared physically, but that it has disappeared metaphysically. Reality continues to exist, it is its principle that is dead.

 

In The Intelligence of Evil (which is another great book, and probably a better starting point for someone trying to learn about Baudrillard than the often-recommended Simularca and Simulation) he talks about two concepts:

 

1. Objective Reality: this is "reality related to meaning and representation". This is the reality that "exists". Things that exist...exist. They just do. No amount of psycho-babble can get around that fact.

 

2. Integral Reality: This is where things start to get shady. In this reality, anything that can be imagined can be realized. There is no imaginary aspect here- if you can dream it, it exists. It's a sort of utopian reality where everything/everyone that needs liberating is liberated, and everything has meaning and value. It is here that reality becomes excessive. This is caused, according to Baudrillard, with the disappearance of God. The bastard left us with the responsibility of transforming the world and for making it become real, and we tend to go a little overboard, because, well, we like stuff.

 

and it is producing itself through an act he calls "simulacra", which is turning reality into a hyperreality that denies its own existence

Specifically, the simulacra (not necessarily an act, per se) creates a world of references with no referents (or, to think about it differently, signifiers without signifieds). This is the nature of hyperreality.

 

A world so real, hyperreal, operational and programmed that it no longer has any need to be true. Or rather it is true, absolutely true, in the sense that nothing any longer stands opposed to it. We have here the absurdity of total truth from which falsehood is lacking- that of absolute good from which evil os lacking, of the positive from which the negative is lacking.

 

Nuclear weapons is a common example. They are supposed to serve some deterrent factor, but we can't use them for anything but just sitting there, looking menacing. We haven't ever really used our modern nuclear arsenal to any extent so we don't really know what would happen. We can guess, obviously (hence the evidence that says that just a few nukes would end all life, and simultaneously the evidence saying we can survive).

 

The affirmative is a nihilistic denial of the nature of reality that is the simulacra, and there are a lot of impacts from this, such as destruction of ontology, complete eradication of "evil" that destroys good, endless war and violence, etc.

 

That's a bastardization of the argument if I've ever heard one.

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It's not that reality doesn't exist, it's that it's too excessive so that it means nothing.

 

That's functionally the same thing.

 

In The Intelligence of Evil (which is another great book, and probably a better starting point for someone trying to learn about Baudrillard than the often-recommended Simularca and Simulation) he talks about two concepts:

 

1. Objective Reality: this is "reality related to meaning and representation". This is the reality that "exists". Things that exist...exist. They just do. No amount of psycho-babble can get around that fact.

 

2. Integral Reality: This is where things start to get shady. In this reality, anything that can be imagined can be realized. There is no imaginary aspect here- if you can dream it, it exists. It's a sort of utopian reality where everything/everyone that needs liberating is liberated, and everything has meaning and value. It is here that reality becomes excessive. This is caused, according to Baudrillard, with the disappearance of God. The bastard left us with the responsibility of transforming the world and for making it become real, and we tend to go a little overboard, because, well, we like stuff.

 

Actually, I personally started with the Perfect Crime, which is another good starting point for understanding his idea of hyperreality. I mostly agree with the rest.

 

Specifically, the simulacra (not necessarily an act, per se) creates a world of references with no referents (or, to think about it differently, signifiers without signifieds). This is the nature of hyperreality.

 

I would say that it is the act of destruction of meaning that Baudrillard talks about when he mentions the simulacra.

 

That's a bastardization of the argument if I've ever heard one.

 

Cool story bro

 

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

Hyperreality and simulation are deterrents of every principle and every objective, they turn against power the deterrent that it used so well for such a long time. Because in the end, throughout its history it was capital that first fed on the destructuration of every referential, of every human objective, that shattered every ideal distinction between trueand false, good and evil, in order to establish a radical law of equivalence and exchange,the iron law of its power

 

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

When the real is no longer what it was, nostalgia assumes its full meaning. There is a plethora of myths of origin and of signs of reality - a plethora of truth, of secondary objectivity, and authenticity. Escalation of the true, of lived experience, resurrection of the figurative where the object and substance have disappeared. Panic-stricken production of the real and of the referential, parallel to and greater than the panic of material production: this is how simulation appears in the phase that concerns us – a strategy of the real, of the neoreal and the hyperreal that everywhere is the double of a strategy of deterrence.

 

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory - precession of simulacra - that engenders the territory, and if one must return to the fable, today it is the territory whose shreds slowly rot across the extent of the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges persist here and there in the deserts that are no longer those of the Empire, but ours. The desert of the real itself

 

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

But it is no longer a question now of glory; it is a question of his death and of exorcizing it. The point is to make the world transparent and operational by extirpating from it any illusion and any evil force. And so, under the hegemony of good, everything is getting better and, at the same time, going from bad to worse: no hell any more, and no damnation. Everything becomes susceptible of redemption. From this point on, good and evil, which were still opposing powers, but linked to teach other in transcendence, are to be dissociated for the purposes of a definitive realization of the world under the banner of happiness.

 

Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime

The perfect crime is that of an unconditional realization of the world by the actualization of all data, the transformation of all our acts and all events into pure information: in short, the final solution, the resolution of the world ahead of time by the cloning of reality and the extermination of the real by its double

 

Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime

With the Virtual, we enter not only upon the era of the liquidation of the Real and the Referential, but that of the extermination of the Other. It is the equivalent of an ethnic cleansing which would not just affect particular populations but unrelentingly pursue all forms of otherness

 

-Jschroeder

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Wow, that was really cool, I'd never read that first essay before. I'll focus on that one. For the second essay, my advice is just to read Crash by JG Ballard and even watch the movie Crash by David Cronenberg (not to be confused with the movie "Crash" a few years ago about racism).

 

I'll start with your last question, because that's the basis for the answer to the other two. The first order of simulation is simple: it's embodied in the representational arts (whether that's literally art, map-making, tool-making, etc.). The artist tries to recreate an object in the world. You should read Plato' writing on art in The Republic for an explanation of what this really entails. The artist tries to make a copy of something, but it's always an imperfect or degraded copy, the original always remains superior. Baudrillard describes this simulation as "in God's image" based on Plato's idea of the relationship of the world of forms to the material world, and then of the material world to the world of art. So you should really check out The Republic.

 

The second order of simulation corresponds to golden age science fiction, writers like Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, etc. We imagine this fantastical world that the writer gets to play with like a god. Like in Dune, where the Atreides control the sole source of "spice" in the galaxy, and manipulate inter-galactic politics. Or Foundations, where this dude creates a mathematics to model the progress of society, and is able to calculate that the galactic government will collapse and calculate the mechanisms to solve humanity. In the first order of simulation, the artist is aspiring to God. The artist is trying to recreate the forms produced by God, and the artist always comes up short. In the second order of simulation, the artist *is* God.

 

In the third order of simulation, God becomes banal, and the artist becomes an engineer. Think about it, you can turn on the TV and on half the channels you're bombarded by dytopian predictions of the end of the world or utopian promises of salvation (for just 3 easy payments of $49.99). For anyone who follows the news, what happens daily in congress? If I am to listen to absolutely everything I've heard, almost without exception, since I saw the schoolhouse rock short "I'm just a bill", it's grand bargains, stalemates, country-shocking deals, filibusters, and corruption. And that is what Baudrillard means by "hyperreality", and why the "real" is disappearing. 99% of what goes in in Congress is invisible to us, we never heard about it, or are even aware it's going on. Instead, we see the 1% that's exceptional. The reality, the everyday business, disappears under the hyperreal, the exceptional and exceptionally moving and exciting. So the God, that's everyone. Every TV producer, news anchor, commentator, etc.: they're all Gods manipulating the world. And at least once a month the country is on the brink of collapse, and our political leaders narrowly avert disaster. That fantasy of golden age science fiction (of the second order of simulation) is our every day reality, has replaced our "real". So that architect of worlds, saving the galaxy, is banal. Instead, simulation becomes about engineering.

Think of the state of modern science. Star Trek since (I think) the 60's had this communication system where people could communicate from the surface of a planet to outer space. But a couple years ago my sister spent a couple months in southeast Asia so she bought a satellite phone which could do the same thing. A lot of the creations HG Wells are really available today, etc. And the internet had sped up all of this. No only does the news create these daily science fiction realities, in just a couple of minutes I can look up Egypt and learn about the government transition process, the riots, the pyramids. But that's not Egypt, that's 0.01% of the country. Many Egyptians won't see the effects of governmental change for years. Footage of the riots was only of the one largest riot happening in one city. You can see the few most beautiful pictures of the pyramids, but you never see the pictures showing Cairo just on the other side of them.

The space missions used to be about JFK standing in a packed stadium promising we'd get to the moon within 10 years and beat the Russians. It was about "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Today, what do you hear about? The cost of each trip to the International Space Station, developing a pen that can write in zero-gravity, how they dispose of shit, storage space, etc. We've gone from science fiction to science to engineering. Most science fiction today (or 20 years ago, for Baudrillard), outside of Hollywood movies, isn't about saving the galaxy, it's about someone's life and the details of their everyday routines.

 

Okay, that was a lot longer than I intended, so I'm going to try my best to be brief answering the rest of your questions: "current society has surpassed the imaginary making classic obsolete." I think this is accurate, depending on what you mean by "classic". Classic in the sense of classical art, of the first order of simulation, is definitely obsolete. However, if you mean something like the "real", I don't think that's true. Rather, what we have today in science fiction is dirty realism and impressionist writing. And if you've read Philip K. Dick, the author Baudrillard refers to as exemplifying this style, it's realistic to the point of being dull. Like, he'll write about a salacious affair, where the brother walks in on his sister sleeping with someone. But instead of describing that, Dick will spend pages upon pages describing the brother writing up a letter so he can tell the sister's husband, and how he's a fan of old pulp magazines and was going through them to figure out how to write the letter, and ...

 

Applying it to debate: As for impacts, in the book America Baudrillard talks about the anti-nuclear movement, and says "it's better to die in the open air than live in an underground sarcophagus" (a line he stole from Virillio). That passage is a phenomenal impact card. You should also cut the stuff, which appears in a lot of places, about "tyranny of the self" as an impact. There are also arguments all over about how this is what props up neoliberalism, and the aff just gets coopted.

 

But I think you have the link backwards. It's not that the aff tries to turn reality into something imaginary, just the opposite. "Reality" as we generally think about space exploration and international politics, is hyper-real. It's more real than the actual, dull, "reality". And the affirmative just stands up and asserts that we don't even know how real it is. It's even more real than this "more real than real" hyper-reality.

In other words, their scenarios about an asteroid strike, nuclear war, etc. are made up. By insisting on their urgency and validity, the affirmative keeps us entranced by this idea that we are gods, saving the world or else killing everyone we know and everyone on the planet.

 

Cutting that article to get actual cards is going to be tough, though.

 

 

 

YoungGun's description is very good, just a couple things to add: Reality: In the Gulf War Did Not Take Place, Baudrillard says that the Gulf War didn't happen, it wasn't real. However, he's very explicit that a conflict still occurred, and people even died of it. Simulation still have real, material affects, it is still real, but it's not "true" in that there's no fact you can point to and say "This is the fact of the matter" or "Here's good and here's evil" or even "this is one side and this is the other." I think that's what YoungGun was getting at, just wanted to make that explicit.

 

Nuclear weapons: We cannot use nuclear weapons, *EXCEPT* if we were to actually believe in deterrence. If Russia launched a nuclear weapon at the US, any retaliation would risk hundreds of millions of lives, would result in the decimation of Russia AND the US. There's no way a rational actor would ever retaliate. But, if we actually believe in deterrence as a law, as an axiom, as something that's more real and more true than the actual reality we experience, then our only choice would be to retaliate.

It's only when we actually believe in hyper-reality that these catastrophes become thinkable and possible.

 

EDIT: Just about everything JSchroeder wrote was wrong.

Edited by koslow
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EDIT: Just about everything JSchroeder wrote was wrong.

 

Even the quotes from Baudrillard? Clearly my two sentence explanation of Baudrillard does not reflect the complexity of his arguments. In other words, I admit it was oversimplifying. However, I don't see a need for all this criticism. I was hoping to give him a quick summary of his arguments, and suggest he reads some articles and books to try to actually understand him before using him in a round. My post was in no way meant to make him an expert on Baudrillard.

 

I slightly disagree with your explanation of the orders of simulacra. The first two are specific to the article at hand; namely, Science Fiction. However, the third delves into the realm of the media and their portrayal of politics and global events, and the internet and its ease of access to anywhere in the world, which I would regard as not science fiction. I feel there are more appropriate examples to relate it to science fiction, but that's just a minor point.

 

I appreciate the reference to the impact card you point out, though. I have not read that book yet, and now I know I should.

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Does anyone actually find Baudrillard's most radical arguments (e.g., about the disappearance of "the real" and truth) to be at all convincing? Even if one wanted to argue against Baudrillard on these points, his thought here seems to have a non-falsifiable structure. Any claim that I might make about "the real" really existing in such-and-such a way can be countered by Baudrillard claiming that my reference to "the real" turns out to really be to a reference to a simulacra that I take to be "the real" (and thus somehow "proving" his own views).

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Does anyone actually find Baudrillard's most radical arguments (e.g., about the disappearance of "the real" and truth) to be at all convincing? Even if one wanted to argue against Baudrillard on these points, his thought here seems to have a non-falsifiable structure. Any claim that I might make about "the real" really existing in such-and-such a way can be countered by Baudrillard claiming that my reference to "the real" turns out to really be to a reference to a simulacra that I take to be "the real" (and thus somehow "proving" his own views).

In a word, yes. The same goes for freud.

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Does anyone actually find Baudrillard's most radical arguments (e.g., about the disappearance of "the real" and truth) to be at all convincing? Even if one wanted to argue against Baudrillard on these points, his thought here seems to have a non-falsifiable structure. Any claim that I might make about "the real" really existing in such-and-such a way can be countered by Baudrillard claiming that my reference to "the real" turns out to really be to a reference to a simulacra that I take to be "the real" (and thus somehow "proving" his own views).

 

Yes, I do find it convincing.

 

EDIT: Also, read the thread rather than being a douchebag troll of any thread that using the name Baudrillard. I explained very explicitly what Baudrillard means when he talks about the disappearance of "the real" and why it means the opposite of what you (being hideously closeminded and a fundamentalist asshole) seem to think.

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Yes, I do find it convincing.

 

EDIT: Also, read the thread rather than being a douchebag troll of any thread that using the name Baudrillard. I explained very explicitly what Baudrillard means when he talks about the disappearance of "the real" and why it means the opposite of what you (being hideously closeminded and a fundamentalist asshole) seem to think.

A plain "yes" is not very convincing or illuminating. Why you find it convincing might be more helpful.

 

On your edit: I read the thread in its entirety, and an explanation is quite different from a defense—in fact, you could explain Baudrillard perfectly and still disagree with him. I'm a little mystified on why you call me "hideously closeminded" and "a fundamentalist asshole." You're welcome to search my previous posts in this forum, and I think that they'll show the opposite of that. I'm also a little mystified as to why you think that I'm a "douchebag troll" of Baudrillard threads, especially since (1) I don't think I've posted in one before (or at least not for years) and (2) I don't think introducing substantive objections (e.g., non-falsifiability claims) is really trolling. You're welcome to show how Baudrillard is falsifiable or why falsifiability should not matter. Finally, I don't really know why you think that I have a bad understanding of "the real" (I don't attempt any substantive explanation of it in my post nor does my post obviously conflict with your explanation), but you're welcome to tell me just what my understanding of "the real" is and why it's so awful... though I imagine that will probably be a trainwreck.

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A plain "yes" is not very convincing or illuminating. Why you find it convincing might be more helpful.

Well, your 1st post hits the nail on the head. My understanding is that whatever phenomenon appears before these thinkers, they can easily explain it away. There is nothing that could disprove them on the basis of something happening in reality. You seemingly have to confront them on their metholodgy or internal structure to their philosophy in order to make any inroads on disproving them.

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Well, your 1st post hits the nail on the head. My understanding is that whatever phenomenon appears before these thinkers, they can easily explain it away. There is nothing that could disprove them on the basis of something happening in reality. You seemingly have to confront them on their metholodgy or internal structure to their philosophy in order to make any inroads on disproving them.

Thanks. I more-or-less understood the point you were making with Freud, probably because I have very similar opinions regarding psychoanalysis. So don't take it too much as a criticism of you, though I would have liked to know more about what you thought. koslow's response was totally unhelpful and kinda dickish, in contrast.

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Phil Derpen here

 

So there are two theories regarding gravity. One is Newtonian, which we all know says that objects are attracted to each other and so really small objects like people and apples "fall" towards the much bigger object called the Earth.

 

The other theory is Einstein theory of relativity, which basically says that there is a space time continuum (imagine a big blanket stretched out) that objects will sit on (imagine a bowling ball on that blanket) that warp the continuum and that warpage is called gravity.

 

Both of those are oversimplifications, and both are currently non-falsifiable, but that doesn't mean we should reject either one. (Although I do believe Einstein's theory has been proven to be more mathematically accurate in predicting things like the bending of light)

 

PEACE OUT

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Phil Derpen here

 

So there are two theories regarding gravity. One is Newtonian, which we all know says that objects are attracted to each other and so really small objects like people and apples "fall" towards the much bigger object called the Earth.

 

The other theory is Einstein theory of relativity, which basically says that there is a space time continuum (imagine a big blanket stretched out) that objects will sit on (imagine a bowling ball on that blanket) that warp the continuum and that warpage is called gravity.

 

Both of those are oversimplifications, and both are currently non-falsifiable, but that doesn't mean we should reject either one. (Although I do believe Einstein's theory has been proven to be more mathematically accurate in predicting things like the bending of light)

 

PEACE OUT

This is wrong. First, Newton's theory of gravity is falsifiable. In fact, it has been falsified at atomic and subatomic levels, and that falsification is why we need quantum mechanics. Second, Einstein's theory of relativity is also falsifiable, and it's even the main example that Karl Popper uses when he talks about falsifiability (see http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html).

 

One of the problems I have with Baudrillard is that I don't see how anyone could ever really refute his radical views as a whole. For example, let's look at the SEP's description of Baudrillard as a "strong simulacrist" (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/baudrillard/):

In a similar fashion, Baudrillard, a “strong simulacrist,†claims that in the media and consumer society, people are caught up in the play of images, spectacles, and simulacra, that have less and less relationship to an outside, to an external “reality,†to such an extent that the very concepts of the social, political, or even “reality†no longer seem to have any meaning. And the narcoticized and mesmerized (some of Baudrillard's metaphors) media-saturated consciousness is in such a state of fascination with image and spectacle that the concept of meaning itself (which depends on stable boundaries, fixed structures, shared consensus) dissolves. In this alarming and novel postmodern situation, the referent, the behind and the outside, along with depth, essence, and reality all disappear, and with their disappearance, the possibility of all potential opposition vanishes as well.

I don't see how anyone could ever really refute this. Let's say I argue that there is an external reality, and maybe I point to instances of things I take to be that external reality. A Baudrilliardian might respond that this really turns out to confirm their theory. They will say that what I am really pointing to is simulacra and that this itself proves the mesmerization thesis. It's unclear how I could respond to that in any serious way.

 

This is not to claim that there aren't some insights in Baudrillard's work. If one removes the radical philosophical suggestions from the above passage (e.g., no reality at all, no meaning at all, etc.), then some of the claims appear to be pretty uncontroversial and even common place—like that claim that people are caught up with images and spectacles in media and consumer society. It seems like very few people would disagree with that. Or, for example, let's take the inversion of Borges' territory-map story. It's pretty radical to claim that it is "the territory [the real] whose shreds slowly rot across the extent of the map [the hyperreal]." The strong ontological thesis here seems fairly dubious to me, and we can capture some of the intuitive appeal of it without all the baggage. For example, in the sociology of economics, there is what's called the "performativity thesis." This thesis claims that economics (as a discipline) not only describes economic behavior, but it actually turns out to shape economic behavior in a way that conforms to its predictions. So, then, we would have a model (or set of models) that turn out to actually precede real economic behavior, somewhat like the map preceding the territory. The distinction with Baudrillard's thesis is that the performativity thesis does not commit us to really radical ontological views at all, and if I can explain phenomena without doing that, then that makes more sense to me.

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I don't see how anyone could ever really refute this. Let's say I argue that there is an external reality, and maybe I point to instances of things I take to be that external reality. A Baudrilliardian might respond that this really turns out to confirm their theory. They will say that what I am really pointing to is simulacra and that this itself proves the mesmerization thesis. It's unclear how I could respond to that in any serious way.

 

I agree with this to an extent. But I doubt most competent Baudrillardian philosohpers (and Baudrillard himself, if he were still alive) would just dismiss entire arguments (unless they are just dumb arguments, not that yours are dumb arguments). I haven't read much secondary literature on Baudrillard so I can't say that with certainty, but that would be my guess. This should also apply to people who are debating it. That doesn't mean that certain things shouldn't be characterized as simulacra (otherwise what's the point?). This is what I find frustrating with Zizek from time to time- sometimes he really does respond to things very well, and sometimes he just kinda brushes things off like "yeah, well, that's just like, the symbolic, man". I think the trick is to be able to explain why something is simply a matter of simulacra (or the symbolic) but also have a "real" answer.

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I agree with this to an extent. But I doubt most competent Baudrillardian philosohpers (and Baudrillard himself, if he were still alive) would just dismiss entire arguments (unless they are just dumb arguments, not that yours are dumb arguments). I haven't read much secondary literature on Baudrillard so I can't say that with certainty, but that would be my guess. This should also apply to people who are debating it. That doesn't mean that certain things shouldn't be characterized as simulacra (otherwise what's the point?). This is what I find frustrating with Zizek from time to time- sometimes he really does respond to things very well, and sometimes he just kinda brushes things off like "yeah, well, that's just like, the symbolic, man". I think the trick is to be able to explain why something is simply a matter of simulacra (or the symbolic) but also have a "real" answer.

I don't know that you're right about Baudrillard not dismissing whole chunks of arguments when he disagrees with them. Mark Poster, in his introduction to a Baudillard anthology, rather famously writes the following:

Baudrillard's writing is open to several criticisms. He fails to define his major terms, such as the code; his writing style is hyperbolic and declarative, often lacking sustained, systematic analysis when it is appropriate; he totalizes his insights, refusing to qualify or delimit his claims. He writes about particular experiences, television images, as if nothing else in society mattered, extrapolating a bleak view of the world from that limited base. He ignores contradictory evidence such as the many benefits afforded by the new media, for example, by providing vital information to the populace (the Vietnam War) and counteracting parochialism with humanizing images of foreigners. The instant, worldwide availability of information has changed the human society forever, probably for the good.

 

(See Mark Poster's "Introduction," in Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), 7-8.)

And Baudrillard's non-falsifiability might look like a strength to a lot of critique debaters. After all, if every response that the affirmative can possibly provide turns out to prove your theory true, then that makes it a lot harder for you to lose on the critique (unless this sort of meta-issue is debated). This isn't to say that we shouldn't use some of the terms that Baudrillard uses or even some of the ideas that he presents. After all, "simulacra" is a really important term for anyone doing work in aesthetics or representation, and we would be foolish to junk it altogether.

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And Baudrillard's non-falsifiability might look like a strength to a lot of critique debaters. After all, if every response that the affirmative can possibly provide turns out to prove your theory true, then that makes it a lot harder for you to lose on the critique (unless this sort of meta-issue is debated). This isn't to say that we shouldn't use some of the terms that Baudrillard uses or even some of the ideas that he presents. After all, "simulacra" is a really important term for anyone doing work in aesthetics or representation, and we would be foolish to junk it altogether.

 

I agree with you here. I'm just saying that the people that do well debating Baudrillard (or any other sort of criticism making non-falsifiable claims like psychoanalysis or Deleuze and Guattari) don't hinge their answers on the fact that they are making non-falsifiable claims. Although that may very well be one of their answers to something, to hinge entirely on it is probably bad.

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But I think you have the link backwards. It's not that the aff tries to turn reality into something imaginary, just the opposite. "Reality" as we generally think about space exploration and international politics, is hyper-real. It's more real than the actual, dull, "reality". And the affirmative just stands up and asserts that we don't even know how real it is. It's even more real than this "more real than real" hyper-reality.

In other words, their scenarios about an asteroid strike, nuclear war, etc. are made up. By insisting on their urgency and validity, the affirmative keeps us entranced by this idea that we are gods, saving the world or else killing everyone we know and everyone on the planet.

 

Im a little confused on this part so i need some clarification. The link is that the aff is trying to cover up just how boring space actually is just so they can play the part of a god? In doing so the aff takes the "reality" of space and makes it into a hyper-reality?

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Im a little confused on this part so i need some clarification. The link is that the aff is trying to cover up just how boring space actually is just so they can play the part of a god? In doing so the aff takes the "reality" of space and makes it into a hyper-reality?

The 1st rule of running critiques is you need to read the literature.

 

The 2nd rule of running critiques is that you NEED to read the literature.

 

Please don't run baudrillard without picking up something about/by him.

 

EDIT: I say the above because judging a HS round when one side is running baudrillard, and neither side knows what the hell is happening is painful to somebody who enjoys debate and philosophy.

 

It also makes me/most judges take the easy way out. Most people are lazy, and will just vote on something other than a quagmire of a K.

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I'm curious. How does one answer the argument regarding the risk that there IS an external reality? Specifically for advantages for global warming which aren't 'proved' or 'predicted' by social scientists but rather by actual like experiments and weather patters and atmospheric levels of gases.

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I don't see how anyone could ever really refute this. Let's say I argue that there is an external reality, and maybe I point to instances of things I take to be that external reality. A Baudrilliardian might respond that this really turns out to confirm their theory. They will say that what I am really pointing to is simulacra and that this itself proves the mesmerization thesis. It's unclear how I could respond to that in any serious way.

 

1. Thats a form of conspiracy theory that is circular

2. Even if it is that way, it may be we should act as if it isn't

3. Baudrillard is primarily a criticism of media, not reality.

4. Why should we pay any attention to him, if his theory is equally caught in the theory he critiques.

5. Hes also pretty totalizing....he has no notion of the ideal, real, or authentic to my knowledge.

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Sorry, in the sober light of day that was clearly an over-reaction. But it was certainly shameless trolling on your part. Someone starts a thread asking for help understanding a particular essay by Baudrillard, and three people chime in to help the person. You're response is "How can anyone possibly believe any of Baudrillard's ideas?"

 

Okay, sorry, end personal digression.

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1. Thats a form of conspiracy theory that is circular

2. Even if it is that way, it may be we should act as if it isn't

3. Baudrillard is primarily a criticism of media, not reality.

4. Why should we pay any attention to him, if his theory is equally caught in the theory he critiques.

5. Hes also pretty totalizing....he has no notion of the ideal, real, or authentic to my knowledge.

I think there might be plenty of reasons not to accept Baudrillard's more radical philosophical views, but that's distinct from being able to refute them (as a whole). Perhaps the best we can do is just show that some of Baudrillard's views are really implausible and that we have to modify all sorts of other important beliefs just to be coherent.

 

Sorry, in the sober light of day that was clearly an over-reaction. But it was certainly shameless trolling on your part. Someone starts a thread asking for help understanding a particular essay by Baudrillard, and three people chime in to help the person. You're response is "How can anyone possibly believe any of Baudrillard's ideas?"

It was an overreaction, but it wasn't shameless trolling on my part. I fail to see why asking whether or not we have any good reason to accept some of Baudrillard's more radical ideas in a Baudrillard thread is so awful. It's not like I just said "FUCK THIS GUY" and left without making any contribution whatsoever. In fact, you're free to answer my question (since you're apparently so knowledgable about Baudrillard), and maybe that answer will illuminate certain aspects of Baudrillard for the curious readers.

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