Epistinomolgy: The Genealogy of Bad Writing

The historical facts:

  • 1. This node was once the home of a writeup in some sense "about" 'epistinomolgy'.
  • 2. The information contained within that writeup was, roughly speaking, as follows:
    "Epistinomolgy: the branch of philosophy dealing with knowledge and the justification of knowledge."
    Though, it should be noted/noded that the writeup was filled with 'creative' spelling, grammatical structures, and neologistic phrasing not commonly found in the English language.
  • 3. The writeup described in 1 and 2 was deleted by some mysterious force, possibly even the nameless one itself.
  • 4. The author(s) of this writeup (the one you are reading right now, not the one that was deleted) believe that the reason the previous writeup was deleted was due to its creative (mis)spelling and grammatical creativity. This conjecture was arrived at based on their knowledge of the 'fact' that there is a branch of philosophy called, in the English language, "epistemology" which deals with knowledge and its justification.


In this writeup, we (I? Us.) would like to sift through the possibilities, and ask some possibly unanswerable questions about the now-gone, once-here writeup beautifully titled, "Epistinomolgy."


What lead to the creation of this node? This false start - that was nonetheless an actual start, falsified by its own content and subsequently removed from this forum? An end with no end, this shell which floats, presumably unrescuable. No. We will tease out of it its own origins and give it a reason to be here. Though what 'reason' we provide may seem a pale shade, a pale fire, of the previous occupant, we will try our best to evade the falsness of this second start, relating, repeating, reiterating the historical facts and viewing (seeing, opening, alighting upon) them from as many angles as we see fit.*

* Our criteria for 'fit'-ness are less rigourous than you might think. Interested readers should review the response of the editors of the journal Social Text to Alan Sokal's article "Trangressing the Boundaries" for our editorial standards.




Maurice Blanchot has called...


Or, perhaps further(?), it has become, or became, what Antonin Artaud longed for, but Jacques Derrida has denied the possibility of:

the theatre of cruelty.

Perhaps, more simplistically, it was an intentional mis-use of language, designed to mislead the unsuspecting denizens of E2, unfamiliar with philosophical trickery and a certain politics of reading. If it was such a facile trick, what should we make of it? Should its deletion be deemed 'justifiable' or should we view the entire affair as a matter of 'taste'? If it was a writeup that was 'wrong' (or mis-placed...) only on the surface should the editorial decision to delete it be seen as so simple itself? It seems that if the writeup had been in its very essence deceptive, deceitful, prankish, and even 'humourous', then the editorial decision to delete it may itself have been a deception, deceit, prank, 'joke'. If we are unsure of the motives for the very writing of the 'original' writeup entitled 'epistinomolgy' then we must also be unsure of the motives which led to that writeups deletion. Perhaps they were not as 'obvious' or simplistic as they may at first have appeared to be.

The Voice of "Reason

More likely, however, it was the product of someone (who?)unfamiliar with the (or any) philosophical terrain, and even the grammar/phonetic structure of this English language. Who is to say? Only the 'original' author and the 'original' decider-of-fates (the editor in question) can ever truly answer our queries...

John L. Austin, in the voice of John Searle (La Carte Postale - the first speaks through the last) talks of the possibility of infelicitous speech acts.

If this is true, of speech then can it be true

of writing?

If it can be true of writing, then an infelicitous act has certainly been perpetrated here.

By Whom?

By Whom?

By Whom?

By Whom?

And was it on purpose? What was the purpose? This poses an interesting question per the position of the entity behind the creation of this node. Was this writeup a necessity born of a mistake? Or was this a taking-advantage-of? Did it use that possibility of infelicity to create a Space?

From out of an ostensibly 'bad' writing the author may have always-already intended this space to be created, regardless of its 'content'. Perhaps the space itself was the intention, and the content a mere afterthought.

But, in the end...
we think it was just a really bad writeup that deserved to be paraded around for a bit.

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