On What To Do In Silly Contexts: Feyerabend’s First Job Interview

When you find yourself convoked to talk in a « silly context » sometimes the best response is just to avoid that situation altogether. We saw this in the last post with Feyerabend declining an invitation to talk about Schroedinger on a commemorative TV programme. He preferred to stay at home and watch the programme, and was moved by what he saw of the life of Schroedinger. He thus managed to select out the joyful affect of having known and being inspired by Schroedinger, without having to suffer through the sad affects of sterile intellectual discussion.

However, sometimes it can be more appropriate and rewarding to accept the convocation and to turn it to one’s advantage in some way. A job interview is an interesting case study as the asymmetry of the interview, with its pre-established significations and its forced choices, is reinforced and overcoded by the asymmetry of power. Feyerabend indicates that this interview came at a decisive juncture in his life, and that he could easily have ended up a homeless drunken bum in Vienna. As Deleuze remarks, demolition is always a possibility on a line of life. Feyerabend submitted to the interview process, and even had to suffer the nastiness of someone noted for his vicious and bullying behaviour. At the end he said « Stop! You ask me a lot of questions, now I want to ask you some questions ». Thus he decided to break with the asymmetry of the interview and speak to his interviewers on an equal footing. Even here in this little anecdote we can see Feyerabend’s lifelong engagement in favour of immanence, and refusal of the asymmetries of transcendence. He remarks that this act of enunciation, plus Schroedinger’s recommendation, got him the job.

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Un commentaire pour On What To Do In Silly Contexts: Feyerabend’s First Job Interview

  1. Ping : Feyerabend’s Affective Portrait [at AGENT SWARM] | ~ S c h i z o s o p h y ~

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