Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 1, 2003
LAW: Fish Story

The NY Times, perhaps belatedly recognizing the offensive nature of Maureen The Greek's column-length sneer at Clarence Thomas, runs an op-ed by uber-postmodernist professor Stanley Fish, de-deconstructing (reconstructing?) Thomas' affirmative action opinion: that is, Fish makes the most un-postmodern argument that Thomas' critique of affirmative action deserves to be dealt with on its merits, rather than explained away as a product of Thomas' own experiences and psychology. (This may also be a further sign of the postmodernists' loss of confidence in their methods). Kudos to Fish, no conservative, for writing this, and to the Times for realizing that Dowd's noxious blast deserved a rebuttal. What's striking about the article is not that it offers a different perspective from Dowd's but that it has no other possible purpose than as a rebuttal to Dowd (although she's not mentioned by name).

On a related note, for all you Harry Potter fans, the analogy of the week goes to Mindles H. Dreck, writing about Dowd (in the comments section):

The basic problem is that the NYT is the paper I settle down with on Sundays after cooking the family pancakes. You open it and there she is. It's like getting a Howler.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:49 AM | Law 2002-04 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


I read and enjoyed Fish's column, too, but I didn't see it as un-post modern at all. I think his point was the Thomas believed what he was saying is true, because of his (Thomas') underlying beliefs about epistemology, interpretation etc. Reading between the lines (and Fish's parens) I think Fish believes that Thomas is full of hooey, but that Thomas is being honest about his beliefs, and should be treated as such, even if Thomas is mistaken that there is such a thing as reality.

Fish has always been a degree or two removed from the race-crit/it's all about biography school of post-modernism. In his work on Milton, for example, Fish contends tht Milton was a true believer and I think Fish concedes that realists like Thomas are sincere in their beliefs, even though they are illusions.

Posted by: MTM at July 1, 2003 9:12 AM
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