I’d like a term for the following:

Here’s a pet peeve of mine. I’ve bumped into uses of terms like epistemology and ontology preceded by articles. Those two terms in particular, but there are others (philosophy, say, and theory, though I find the latter less annoying.) For instance:

the ontology of blogging; an epistemology of reading.

I hate that.

I think these sorts of utterances probably mean something like one of the following, though I’m sure I’m leaving a lot out:

– an inquiry of X type into some topic (where X is ontology/epistemology/whatever)
– a position or set of beliefs of X type held about some topic
– a position or set of beliefs which the speaker believes to be implied within some thing/idea/argument/etc and which, perhaps, the speaker will rationally reconstruct/approximate

All of those are fine (well, I sometimes find assertions of the third sort kind of annoying). But they’re not
a) identical with each other
b) identical with the fields of inquiry named by these terms (epistemology, ontology, etc)

and this use of the terms encourages confusions of/related to both of the above.

This makes me thirsty. Where did I set my tea? Ah, but can we ask this question without at the same time asserting an epistemology of absence, itself inarticulable, thus inalterably [in-alter; this absence is not other to us, it lacks alterity at the same time that it is the very condition of possibility of alterity itself] absent in a doubled sense in that its assertion could only take place if its assertion were impossible? To say nothing of the ontology of interrogatives, for interrogatives do not, strictly speaking, say but call forth a saying of the yet unsaid, which is to say, the absent. Ontology doubles epistemology, but only in absentia.

Ah hell now the tea’s gone cold.

Harrumph.

Advertisements