In a certain way, generosity comes down to Nagel’s famous question “what is it like to be a bat?” This is my whole problem. I’m a bit promiscuous where theory is concerned. I like it all. I can see plausibility in all of it. I love Plato, Aristotle, Scotus, Ockham, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Whitehead, Heidegger, Russell, Pierce, Luhmann, Bhaskar, Latour, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. I love all of them. And just as I’m fascinated by how bees or snakes or bats or great white sharks or various humans sense the world, I’m fascinated by the truths that various theories are able to encounter in the world through their “transcendental sensibilities”. I like hearing how the world looks when viewed through the lens of Badiou and how the world looks when viewed through the lens of Wittgenstein and how the world looks when viewed through the lens of Deleuze and Guattari. And the great thing about theory is that where I’ll never fully understand what it is like to encounter the world like a bat or great white shark (though Ian Bogost is making great strides here), I can, at least, occupy the worlds of these various theories and comprehend things in these terms. I don’t need to demolish those other lenses. They all certainly have their blind spots (this is the fundamental teaching of Maturana and Varela, Luhmann, and Lacan), but there is no view from nowhere (the fundamental teaching of OOO). And if that’s the case there’s really not a whole lot of a reason to demolish. No, it’s better to occupy these various lenses, to practice the savage and the wilderness, and find what is of value in these various lenses. That, I think, is generosity. There’s just not enough promiscuity in the academy.
Larval Subjects has a lovely long rant on generosity. Excellent!