U.S. Intellectual History Blog

A Quote for Friday

(Yes, I’m stealing David’s idea, but just for today.)

“Analogy is an inextricable component of any cognition which seeks to understand and judge phenomena that are not the objects of direct perception. It is a response to the problem of how something distant and long gone is thinkable for us, in which past paradigms are transposed into the present, just as the present serves as the movable frame through which we capture the past. Yet an analogy’s capacity for illumination cannot be neatly separated from its ideological effects. Here, the method of the historian cross-cuts his status as a citizen of his time, and as a participant in that time’s struggles.”

Alberto Toscano, “The Spectre of Analogy,” New Left Review 66 (Nov/Dec 2010), 153.

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