A Dialogue Concerning [In]coherence.

P: Do you subscribe to the principle of incoherence?

Q: I do.

P: Do you not find something horribly troubling in this doctrine?

Q: Of course.

P: Ah, what do you mean?

Q: Is that not what I should have asked you?

P: Yes, that is of course the lead I sought.

Q: So let us out it: what is troubling is that in order to make a doctrine of incoherence we seem to rely on something coherent i.e. the ability to talk about incoherence, is this not -or something similar to this- not the nub of the issue?

P: You have put your finger upon it.

Q: But is this not ultimately just grist to the mill of the incoherent? That incoherence is incoherent.

P: But that is not the implication. The implication is that incoherence is coherent, it is upon this premise that we can say something about it. And hence the matter dissolves into a gibberish. For in stipulating that the incoherent is coherent as a principle we surely undermine the status of incoherence itself.

Q: You do not understand the doctrine. For the doctrine states that all concepts are incoherent; as such incoherence is but one more concept and as such is equally subject to incoherence.

P: But then the doctrine must fail for its own ground is removed by its own principle; a self defeating paradox!

Q: A self defeating paradox indeed. We must learn to accept incoherence, for it is all we have.

P: But surely this is not true. Many ideas, actions are perfectly coherent. We cannot just rest upon this by stipulative definition of grandiosity, we must test it.

Q: Then test it!

P: If I say something. What is incoherent about this simple fact. I have said something -not the content of it, just that I did. How could we argue about it?

Q: Without the content of it, how do we know you said anything at all? How should we call it ‘said’ if it did not have a sense to someone? You might have just shouted incoherences into the void. You must define ‘said’ first for us to understand whether or not what you have said is incoherent.

P: Then in this vocal instance we shall agree that it is that something of sense was uttered by myself. So then if I was overheard speaking to someone, the sense is presupposed by the inference of mutual intelligibility, yet they need not know what I said.  The report can be made that I said something.

Q: So saying is the saying of something.

P: Unless we remove the requirement of meaning how could it not be?

Q: So we must understand ‘something’ also. What is ‘something’?

P: It is an abstraction, an x that stands in for whatever I might have said.

Q: So you cannot understand saying without its content and its content is undetermined?

P: Yes.

Q: And you call this coherent?

P: It might be in the instance that no one heard the words, only that something was said.

Q: I feel here we must look at the doctrine a little closer, and maybe this will aid us. For in truth it tells us that there are in fact two states: Coherently incoherent and incoherently coherent.

P: And which is this?

Q: In this instance, what you are trying to convey is something which is incoherently coherent, its analysis however renders it as coherently incoherent. This is the rule of all things. Incoherent coherence is the way in which things show themselves, analysis reveals them to be coherently incoherent.

P: I don’t understand.

Q: When you insisted that your having said something was coherent, you were right, but this was only half the picture for it was incoherently coherent. When we say it, its meaning is passed as a whole  that seems to require no further analysis. Yet if we analyse it, its incoherence is exposed in it reliance upon other elements. This reveals that it was incomplete in the first instance and thus only incoherently coherent. When the other elements are exposed we see it is coherently incoherent i.e. we have gained the certainty that without the other elements there was no meaning.

P: I see what you mean, but surely your doctrine has transgressed the usage of the term coherence and incoherence to a nonsense.

Q: I do not believe so; the term nonsense is no more coherent that anything else. Incoherence is not nonsense.

P: You do not understand. If I say ‘what you are saying is incoherent’ I mean it is not properly intelligible. We do not say that about many ordinary things.

Q: Yes, and it is a technicality we must pick people up on, these ordinary things are incoherently coherent, hence we do not pick them up on it. The doctrine tells us something new about how things are. If we must use that language it tells us that a phenomenon as it presents itself is a synthesis the components of which we do not readily comprehend, yet the necessity of the manifestation of components discloses itself when we analyse it. The components are of course syntheses in their own right as a discretion is incoherent.

P: But it presupposes itself in doing so. There can never have been the expression of incoherence without coherence. Does it not strike you as wrong that a tool from within the structure could be used to tell us something about the whole? Are you not trying to employ a reified discretion to warn against reified discretion?

Q: What you say is precisely true. There is no coherence without incoherence and vice versa. Precisely for that reason all concepts are incoherent for they exist by virtue of others, not by their own sustaining power -though some of those dread accretions of which we will not speak here make a good attempt of this. There are of course other ways we could express this matter and it has been expressed before. In saying everything manifests as an incoherent coherence which gives way to a coherent incoherence we do not abuse the homes of these words but we do expand them. Thus though we said we would not mention the matter further it, we must concede there is a degree of accreting  going on here; this though does not diminish its power rather it only adds to it. (Drawing himself up melodramatically) See the god of incoherence in all its accretive glory –you may know him by another name. This is the other side of language which exists in conjunction with its incoherence. The incoherent coherency has a manifestation of such deception. The coherent incoherent breaks them down only to reveal more incoherent coherence!!!

P: Iaaaaa!!


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