• Judaka
    911
    More important than what is true, is the science of interaction between the human perspective and the human reaction. The perspective which can be described as involving some truth, falsehoods, interpretation, feeling, experience and so on. The reaction of having being exposed to one or more of the aforementioned "perspective", usual responses or effects.

    An example:

    An advertisement shows a pretty woman holding using a perfume, she smiles at you while offscreen a man with a deep, masculine voice describes the qualities of the perfume.

    "The Truth" most would advocate should be sought is the actual quality of the perfume but the "truth besides the truth" is that the perfume will be sold by the image of the beautiful, possibly famous woman and the authoritative, dependable voice which explained how good it is.

    The science behind the advertisement which explains the best way for the perfume to be advertised has already addressed what is really important. As far as the advertisement is concerned the actual truth of the quality of the perfume is irrelevant. Even "The Truth" of what the advertisement is trying to do - which is not a secret.

    "The Truth" becomes an ideal, the dream of what should and shouldn't influence people. A dream of a world where people are guided only by logic and reason. An ideal it shall remain, for the truth besides the truth describes the very thing they want to disregard.

    This science of interactions is what we should seek to know, to know ourselves. When we pretend that "the truth" is the light which will burn away the truth of our nature, the reality of our biases, proclivities and motivations, we do a disservice. No matter how intelligent or learned, we can still see in others what makes them human. Motivated by basic emotions they should've been aware of. We should be comfortable with accepting "I am the one who is beguiled, I am the one who is motivated by more than just logic and reason" for that is what it means to be human, and there's no avoiding it. It is just the lie told by arrogance that we could ever have been an exception which makes people believe it so.

    To retirate, the truth besides the truth is how we perceive and react to things. When we dismiss the science behind the patterns as the result of a lack of intelligence or education, we dismiss our own humanity and enter into delusion. If you cannot see how you are part of the pattern, your condemnation just becomes evidence of delusion. You probably think you're smarter than you are, more attractive than you are, less prone to error than you are - because most people are like that. "The Truth" becomes an escape, the motivation you'll never be limited to, that which you believe guides you but doesn't, just a way of feeding the ego.
  • Number2018
    429
    More important than what is true, is the science of interaction between the human perspective and the human reaction. The perspective which can be described as involving some truth, falsehoods, interpretation, feeling, experience and so on. The reaction of having being exposed to one or more of the aforementioned "perspective", usual responses or effects.Judaka
    For Lacan, truth plays a crucial role in each of his four paradigmatic discursive conceptualizations. Any apparent discursive act presupposes differently functioning models of truth.
    lacan-discourses.png?w=368&h=224
    The left-hand positions are occupied by the factors active in the subject speaking or sending a message. The right-hand positions are occupied by the factors that the subject receiving the message is summoned to assume. The top position on each side represents the overt or manifest factor; the bottom positions the covert, latent, implicit, or repressed factor that acts or occurs beneath the surface. More specifically, the top-left position is the place of agency or dominance; the factor occupies it in most active and evident discourse. The bottom left standing is the place of (hidden) truth, the factor that underlies, supports, and gives rise to the dominant factor, or constitutes the condition of its possibility, but is repressed by it. In each of the four diagrams, the position and function of the hidden and repressed truth can be taken by the discursive, subjective, or gratifying determinants.

    An example:

    An advertisement shows a pretty woman holding using a perfume, she smiles at you while offscreen a man with a deep, masculine voice describes the qualities of the perfume.

    "The Truth" most would advocate should be sought is the actual quality of the perfume but the "truth besides the truth" is that the perfume will be sold by the image of the beautiful, possibly famous woman and the authoritative, dependable voice which explained how good it is.

    The science behind the advertisement which explains the best way for the perfume to be advertised has already addressed what is really important. As far as the advertisement is concerned the actual truth of the quality of the perfume is irrelevant. Even "The Truth" of what the advertisement is trying to do - which is not a secret.

    "The Truth" becomes an ideal, the dream of what should and shouldn't influence people. A dream of a world where people are guided only by logic and reason. An ideal it shall remain, for the truth besides the truth describes the very thing they want to disregard.
    Judaka

    Likely, for this example, we could apply Lacan’s capitalistic discourse scheme. The position of truth has lost its privileged status of the indiscernible determinant. The truth can be attributed to any position; it is incorporated into the closed circle of motions and displacements.

    fpsyg-07-01948-g005.jpg
  • Judaka
    911

    Another fascinating post number2018, I've still been thinking your contributions in the thread about arrangements. I think this is very relevant to my OP and I'm very interested, I need some time to do some research and thinking about this before I can respond.
  • Philosophim
    288
    I'm not sure you're using truth in the correct manner. Truth is what "is". It is reality apart from anything we desire or want. Perhaps a better replacement would be "The beliefs beside the truth"? Ideally we would buy perfume because of its quality, not because of other qualities irrelevant to the product. I suppose there could be a case made that a well advertised product is likely to have had money invested in it. As a "first purchase" we are more inclined to favor something with more money or class behind it then something that looks cheaper or classless.

    But I get away from your point. People believe and act on things that are not the most logical or wise thing all the time. Thinking rationally takes effort. In terms of perfume, not thinking rationally will not cause a person to be financially or socially ruined. If people are willing to accept minor inconveniences or wastes in their lives for an easier choice, that is their choice; and it may be the most rational thing for them to do. No person can think at 100% rationality on everything, because the time and effort needed to gain and ascertain the knowledge needed would tax a person to immobility.

    You cannot judge another's choices on how they live their life. We can provide education as opportunity, and help where needed. We should be more critical on ourselves first. For as you said,

    "You probably think you're smarter than you are, more attractive than you are, less prone to error than you are - because most people are like that." Let us first lament ourselves before we lament over others.
  • Judaka
    911

    When I say "the truth" the quotations are there to suggest that this is not actually the truth as it is claimed. I am distinguishing between a kind of ideal, which is actually selective and biased. I don't actually think the problem here is a lack of rational thinking. We must contend with the forces which compel us, as opposed to limiting ourselves to lamenting irrational behaviour. The source of this irrational behaviour is not irrationality but actually the deep and complicated mechanisms of thought which lead us to buy the perfume simply because an attractive woman endorsed it and is associated with it.

    The beautiful woman does in fact give the prestige and image which the individual buys and they may be satisfied with their purchase. "The truth" then becomes an interpretation of what should matter to the consumer, i.e the quality of the product. We should not reduce problems to a "lack" so easily, rather, be honest in explaining why the perfume is bought and explain it in such a way that allows us to involve ourselves as participants in this process. Because I really do not know who among our best and brightest these kinds of justifications do not exist.
  • Philosophim
    288
    When I say "the truth" the quotations are there to suggest that this is not actually the truth as it is claimed.Judaka

    I get that, but there are better words for that. What you are describing is a belief. If you're substituting the word truth for belief, its an improper use of language. It makes your statement confusing, and can lead to inaccurate conclusions.

    The source of this irrational behaviour is not irrationalityJudaka

    Again, this is an improper use of words. If it is an irrational behavior, then its source is irrationality. An irrational behavior cannot be the result of rational thought. And I don't mean to be a nitpicker or imply an air of superiority towards your post. I have been guilty of doing these things myself, and correcting them has helped my own clarity in thought and communication. I say this not as a better, but as an equal.

    With this in mind, is this post trying to state that our beliefs are often irrational, based on emotions and biases, even when we should know better? Or is it that our beliefs are rational based on our limited perspective, but irrational if we are to analyze the entire situation scientifically?
  • Cobra
    33
    Are you saying something like in the quest for ultimate truth, or more so, a strive for truth embedded in reality, the world, living, we can avoid, or neglect the truths in front of us and about ourselves? Which would be interaction, biases, and so forth and these are the most importance things to be attentive to?
  • ssu
    3.2k
    More important than what is true, is the science of interaction between the human perspective and the human reaction.Judaka
    A lot of things are not divided by truth or falsehood.

    What is good and what is bad, what is beautiful and what is ugly, what we find interesting and what we don't are things not quantifiable with true or false, or answerable just by using the scientific method.

    We can study is how people think and react, yet that doesn't at all answer those obviously very subjective questions. Getting a result that "the vast majority of people think this or that way" doesn't still answer the philosophical questions themselves.
  • TheMadFool
    7.3k
    Great post! :up: We've wandered far enough into the forest of our minds, a forest populated by the beautiful, the exhilarating - objects that arouse warm fuzzy feelings - and the grotesque, the oppresive,
    - the stuff that dulls our hearts andmind.s. Now, it's time to return home, to retrace our steps back to our roots, get a hold of a mirror and gaze at our own image and, hopefully, recognize ourselves for who we really are.
  • creativesoul
    8.8k


    I'm having a bit of trouble here understanding what "the truth" and "the truth besides the truth" are doing here. They could be left out completely, or better summarized, and by doing so gain clarity. Particularly with regard to the perfume example.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An advertisement shows a pretty woman holding using a perfume, she smiles at you while offscreen a man with a deep, masculine voice describes the qualities of the perfume.

    "The Truth" most would advocate should be sought is the actual quality of the perfume but the "truth besides the truth" is that the perfume will be sold by the image of the beautiful, possibly famous woman and the authoritative, dependable voice which explained how good it is.




    What's lost aside from unnecessary complication/confusion if we change the above to something like what's below???

    An advertisement shows a pretty woman holding using a perfume, she smiles at you while offscreen a man with a deep, masculine voice describes the qualities of the perfume.

    What matters most is the actual quality of the perfume, but it will be sold by the image of the beautiful, possibly famous woman and the authoritative, dependable voice which explained how good it is.
  • Judaka
    911

    Again, this is an improper use of words. If it is an irrational behavior, then its source is irrationality. An irrational behavior cannot be the result of rational thought.Philosophim

    I was aiming to distinguish between irrational thought (conscious) and motivation for action (subconscious) but I agree this was not the way to do it.

    I have been guilty of doing these things myself, and correcting them has helped my own clarity in thought and communication. I say this not as a better, but as an equal.Philosophim

    No problem, I think you have brought up some valid concerns, learning to articulate myself better is a reason why I'm here.

    With this in mind, is this post trying to state that our beliefs are often irrational, based on emotions and biases, even when we should know betterPhilosophim

    That is part of what I said, which I said at the end of my OP.

    Imagine that said my OP was really badly written, that's the context for what I say next.

    More important than what is true, is the science of interaction between the human perspective and the human reaction. The perspective which can be described as involving some truth, falsehoods, interpretation, feeling, experience and so on. The reaction of having being exposed to one or more of the aforementioned "perspective", usual responses or effects.Judaka

    On the surface, what seems important is whether your claim is true and that the truth is what we should be concerned about. However, you've hurt my feelings and I'm upset with you, not to mention, you're making me look bad in a public setting. I'm not really in a state of mind to be calmly, objectively looking into this with you and if I just admit you're right, it's going to make me look bad. Even if I consider myself to be a rational, logical person, I still have an ego, I still care about such things and I am put into a position with this conscious or unconscious desire to reject what you say. The truth has stopped mattering, the debate now has my honour at stake and so I have to fight to win even if I'm wrong. We might say I'm being epistemologically rational while being instrumentally irrational. I know it's wrong to do this but I do it because I'm a little upset, I want to believe you're wrong and I feel like I can't afford to be proven wrong here or it'll hurt my image.

    If I am conscious of this then I am still being rational, if I am unconscious of it then I am being irrational but either way, the truth of the initial claim doesn't matter here. What matters is how I've reacted, a very human reaction. Firstly, I am criticising those who ignore these important aspects to what you've said and claim that I should only be concerned with "the truth" and secondly I am saying that (in my example) it would be great if I could be conscious of my reaction but I still mightn't do anything differently. We should feel comfortable engaging in these psychological motivations whether rational or irrational and not simply pretending that it's simply a matter of i.e being an expert on perfume.
  • Number2018
    429
    I think that Lacan's conceptualizations represent different arrangements of truth. (Connections to your previous OP are possible and workable). Lacan challenges the conventional apprehensions of truth. The first four schemes are indeed about "the truth besides the truth." Here, the Lacanian truth is the working machine's primordial part, producing a particular effect (what is positioned in the right bottom corner). Yet, the lust, 'capitalistic discourse’ scheme, goes even further. There is no primary referential position, and the effect of the truth has been produced and consumed at any chosen referential point.

    An example:

    An advertisement shows a pretty woman holding using a perfume, she smiles at you while offscreen a man with a deep, masculine voice describes the qualities of the perfume.

    "The Truth" most would advocate should be sought is the actual quality of the perfume but the "truth besides the truth" is that the perfume will be sold by the image of the beautiful, possibly famous woman and the authoritative, dependable voice which explained how good it is.

    The science behind the advertisement which explains the best way for the perfume to be advertised has already addressed what is really important. As far as the advertisement is concerned the actual truth of the quality of the perfume is irrelevant. Even "The Truth" of what the advertisement is trying to do - which is not a secret.
    Judaka
    Your analysis points out to Lacan's discourse of the analyst. (I do not insist that I am right; it is just a preliminary attempt to apprehend this situation). Accordingly, the existing symbolic order (or, more specifically, the theory and marketing)S_2 in-forms the desire to sell. Further, the arrow in the diagram points to the acting agent (subject) of the operation. For your example, the subject is the consumer, whose decision results in the master signifier's production: the successful result of the whole process is the creation of the master-signifier, the sovereign discursive capitalistic Other S_(1.)Then, the desire to sell and buy will be again reinforced (the arrow from〖 S〗_1 to a). Yet, if we take another model, Lacan's capitalistic discourse, we will need to change our perspective.
    Previously, all the stages were pre-given and pre-programmed by S_2. Now, it is not known for sure.
    fpsyg-07-01948-g005.jpg[/img]A pretty woman represents a consumer, expresses an act of consuming. She is in-formed
    by desire to sell, but more than that, she embodies the desire to consume, to-be-enjoying, to actualize the virtual image of jouissance. This subject animates (and is animated by) the master – signifier S_1 (the man's voice in your example). The next arrow points to S_2: the theory of marketing, the culture of consumption, the whole totality of our discourse, elicit, underpin, and maintain the climate of opinion. S_(2 )generates various personal affirmations of type I like, or I dislike, and further produces its effect the desire to-be-the -subject of the sovereign economic will, represented in discourse as S_1.
    This assemblage exists just as the incessantly working machine; each working part enacts others, and at the same time, is enacted by them. A woman synchronically effectuates all the operative elements. Therefore, they cannot exist without and beside this performative act. We cannot assert that she merely represents a written script and realizes the ad's model created beside the ad's scene. In this context, 'the truth besides the truth' is a machinic assemblage, generating various effects, including what we may percept as true or false. Due to the omnipresent operations of capitalistic arrangements, we have probably lost the ability to distinguish between authentic and counterfeit experiences. So, it may confirm this chain in your line of argumentation:
    "As far as the advertisement is concerned, the actual truth of the quality of the perfume is irrelevant." But why? A pretty woman's experience at the moment of the ad's production may be the quite similar to what happens when she tries a perfume in her private life. Most likely, many of her private modes of life have also been pre-formed, in-formed, and in-acted. She does not convince the viewers; she has become one of them.
    It could be argued not just about advertisements, heavily mediated and framed. In the vast majority of the contemporary public discursive performances, it is often impossible to distinguish right from false, honest from dishonest, authentic from counterfeit.
    You are right: “This science of interactions is what we should seek to know, to know ourselves.”
    Yet, I do not understand why you claim: “To reiterate, the truth besides the truth is how we perceive and react to things. When we dismiss the science behind the patterns as the result of a lack of intelligence or education, we dismiss our own humanity and enter into delusion.” Does it mean that ‘the science’ leads towards our humanity? Following Nietzsche, “human, too human” has been justly disqualified by so many thinkers. Likely, it leads us towards the inhuman. The most authentic experience, still resisting the totalities of simulating productivity, is the experience of death.
  • Judaka
    911

    I have been doing some reading on what you have been talking about but I have not yet familiarised myself and thought about these conceptualisations enough to say too much.

    For anyone interested, this has been helpful.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01948/full#h7

    I think that Lacan's conceptualizations represent different arrangements of truth.Number2018

    They are themselves arrangements of truth as well as templates for arranging truth. What I would argue is that both the "besides truths" are included in arrangements and are themselves arrangements. I have come to agree with what you said in the thread about the way truth is arranged, I understood arrangements as consciously understood and purposefully crafted but we do contend with arrangements that we do not fully understand and haven't articulated. Their existence can simply be logically deduced from things of the nature of this very topic, though probably never perfectly articulated. Operating like social facts as you described. I hesitated on the distinction between i.e the institution of money (which we can refer to) and the arrangement of truth which must logically exist but cannot necessarily be referred to or sufficiently described but I think this inconvenience must just be accepted.

    My post here is not much different than my post about arrangements, exploring that which is created from the truth but is separate from the truth and cannot be contested by the truth alone. We ask not what is true but what truths are relevant, how are they being interpreted, emphasised, characterised and what role do they play in the overall narrative. This process creates something which exerts its own force and what I called the "truth besides the truth".

    Yet, I do not understand why you claim: “To reiterate, the truth besides the truth is how we perceive and react to things. When we dismiss the science behind the patterns as the result of a lack of intelligence or education, we dismiss our own humanity and enter into delusion.”Number2018

    If we noticed patterns and commonalities in our narrative structures and created an understanding of how common arrangements of truth produce common responses, this too would become an arrangement. The question shouldn't be to ask "is this arrangement true?" but to ask "is the arrangement useful" or effective? By acknowledging that what causes the pattern to exist likely also exert its influence on us, we can prepare for that and more easily spot it. What we shouldn't do is throw out the pertinence of the pattern on us by shifting blame, it is wishful thinking. We can challenge whether it's illogical or irrational to have these narrative structures to begin with, they may be instrumentally rational in the effects they produce. Alternatively, they may simply be the culmination of other factors which often meet and produce these effects. Either way, it becomes an ego trip to exclude oneself from processes simply because the results they produce are in some way unpalatable.

    I think we should aim to be rational but if we aren't aware of what undermines our attempts to be then we have no chance. If one were resistant to having their rationality undermined by advertisements in the aforementioned way then it would be due to their awareness. The only way we can become aware is to accept some responsibility for their effectiveness, to acknowledge how we diverge from our ideal selves.

    All this assemblage exists just as incessantly working; each working part enacts others, and at the same time, is enacted by themNumber2018

    I am still grappling with Lacan but my preliminary understanding of Lacan's model is that it is very intuitive. He is taking things a step further and exploring how the individual, other, truth and interpretation/product are exporting their influence on each other in discourse. This is a very intuitive next step and Lacan describes these particular differences that he has identified and in psychoanalytical terms and I appreciate the aim here. I don't fully understand what Lacan means by "truth" nor how he characterises the arrow from truth to agent. I believe the agent actively and biasedly arranges truth to understand it. Often purposefully or subconsciously asserting different priorities or characterisations based on changes to the narrative.

    In this context, 'the truth besides the truth' is a machinic assemblage, generating various effects, including what we may percept as true or false. Due to the omnipresent operations of capitalistic arrangements, we have probably lost the ability to distinguish between authentic and counterfeit experiences.Number2018

    This is a very real example of what you asserted in the thread about arrangements about how socio-economic institutions restrict and influence our worldviews by affecting or constituting the arrangements of truth being unconsciously drawn upon.

    The culture of consumption both affects how we see things while also being itself affected, it's social role is deeply interactive. How do I even begin to explain the way in which we extract and assert meaning? The model is actualising our desires, the potency wouldn't be there without that, however, the desires being actualised are not restricted to the product but include her, herself. Advertisements are often about a happy family, a successful marriage, happiness from the act of purchasing, beautiful houses, beautiful people, happy people, what's really being sold here? Consider also the latest trend of "woke" ads, selling the idea of social justice even though it has nothing to do with the product.

    I think that narrativization is inherently paradoxical, meaning, there's always any number of convincing narratives even if they totally contradict each other. Why does the advertisement work, what about it inspires us? Given the information we have, how can we eliminate all the plausible-sounding narratives and reduce it to one? It cannot be, and the narrativisation will always be contentious. Often times it comes down to who has the authority to have the final say? Even to say what you yourself are feeling. There's no burden of proof for characterisation that provides authority, though certain characterisations are certainly empowered by various societal institutions and institutions of thought. Characterisations function perfectly fine without ever being in accordance with reality, they are justified by rulesets which have to be believed in to have validity.

    I find it plausible, she is one of the viewers but I also see her as part of the product, The experience of the ad, with the serene music, the camera flipping from angle to angle, the woman at the end while smiling at you saying "because you're worth it". What is all of this careful construction aimed at maximising and why is it effective? Does anyone ever get to have the final say? I see this as being very problematic for ever coming to a satisfying conclusion.
  • Number2018
    429
    The experience of the ad, with the serene music, the camera flipping from angle to angle, the woman at the end while smiling at you saying "because you're worth it". What is all of this careful construction aimed at maximising and why is it effective? Does anyone ever get to have the final say? I see this as being very problematic for ever coming to a satisfying conclusion.Judaka

    You are right. We still do not fully understand it. I will try to analyze it again.
    I am still grappling with Lacan but my preliminary understanding of Lacan's model is that it is very intuitive. He is taking things a step further and exploring how the individual, other, truth and interpretation/product are exporting their influence on each other in discourse. This is a very intuitive next step and Lacan describes these particular differences that he has identified and in psychoanalytical terms and I appreciate the aim here.Judaka

    Lacan is extraordinarily influential and interesting, but he is not a guru, and we can reject his models if they don't help us. His ambition is to construct a universal theory, explaining
    a child's development, a hysteric person's patterns, and a variety of conventional
    contemporary situations. There is an imaginary other that I imagine while I interact with somebody.
    And, there is the Other of the symbolic order, culture, or religion. Also, there is the Real of my desires. I can realize some of them after reflecting, but most of them are unconscious and even impersonal. Finally, as a subject, I am ultimately split; my imaginary psychological subjectivity
    is separated from the discursive and cultural totality. My strongest and unrealizable desire is to overcome the gap.
    I don't fully understand what Lacan means by "truth" nor how he characterises the arrow from truth to agent. I believe the agent actively and biasedly arranges truth to understand it. Often purposefully or subconsciously asserting different priorities or characterisations based on changes to the narrative.Judaka

    There are four positions in each of the four first diagrams. The bottom left is for truth. The Upper left is for
    the acting agent. The upper right is for the other, the addressee of the interaction. The bottom right is for
    the product. Let’s take the first scheme: the discourse of the Master (or of the Teacher).
    S1 is the Other of discourse. It is a Master-Signifier. ( God is talking to Moses). A teacher
    is talking to a child. It is a discursive phenomenon, but behind it is a non-visible subject, which constitutes the truth of this discursive act. When S1 appears, it addresses and facilitates knowledge (or culture, or symbolic order) S2. Moses gets ten commandments. A pupil gets knowledge. But the final product is the desire: to love and satisfy the master, to be similar to the master, to become the master of oneself, etc. The hidden truth of this scheme is the manifestation of the subject. Generally, the top-left position is the place of agency or dominance; the factor occupies it in most active and evident discourse. The bottom left standing is the place of (hidden) truth, the factor that underlies, supports, and gives rise to the dominant factor, or constitutes the condition of its possibility, but is repressed by it. On the right, the side of the receiver, the top position is designated as that of the other, which is occupied by the factor called into action by the dominant factor in the message. The activation of this factor is a prerequisite for receiving and understanding a given message or discourse. What is produced as a result of their allowing themselves to be thus interpellated by the dominant factor of a discourse is represented by the position of production, the bottom right.
    All in all, Lacanian schemes are compact, intelligible, and contain various psychological, social, and discursive determinants. Yet, they are too universal; they cannot fully encompass and reflect our complicated situations.
    If we noticed patterns and commonalities in our narrative structures and created an understanding of how common arrangements of truth produce common responses, this too would become an arrangement. The question shouldn't be to ask "is this arrangement true?" but to ask "is the arrangement useful" or effective? By acknowledging that what causes the pattern to exist likely also exert its influence on us, we can prepare for that and more easily spot it. What we shouldn't do is throw out the pertinence of the pattern on us by shifting blame, it is wishful thinking. We can challenge whether it's illogical or irrational to have these narrative structures to begin with, they may be instrumentally rational in the effects they produce. Alternatively, they may simply be the culmination of other factors which often meet and produce these effects. Either way, it becomes an ego trip to exclude oneself from processes simply because the results they produce are in some way unpalatable.

    I think we should aim to be rational but if we aren't aware of what undermines our attempts to be then we have no chance. If one were resistant to having their rationality undermined by advertisements in the aforementioned way then it would be due to their awareness. The only way we can become aware is to accept some responsibility for their effectiveness, to acknowledge how we diverge from our ideal selves.
    Judaka

    You are right. This is the real problem. We are trained to be rational, but unfortunately,
    our world is crazy. :smile:
  • Number2018
    429
    The experience of the ad, with the serene music, the camera flipping from angle to angle, the woman at the end while smiling at you saying "because you're worth it". What is all of this careful construction aimed at maximising and why is it effective? Does anyone ever get to have the final say? I see this as being very problematic for ever coming to a satisfying conclusion.Judaka
    Thank you for posing this problem. There is a paradoxical situation: we know that
    all of this is made up, and we approximately understand how it is produced, and anyway, it works perfectly. Further, you are right that "As far as the advertisement is concerned, the actual truth of the quality of the perfume is irrelevant." I think that the final effect of factual perception of the ad is primarily not the outcome of logical operations, but it is a combination of conscious and unconscious determinants. It will likely take me some time to modify and reformulate what I previously offered by applying Lacan's capitalistic discourse model.
  • Number2018
    429
    The experience of the ad, with the serene music, the camera flipping from angle to angle, the woman at the end while smiling at you saying "because you're worth it". What is all of this careful construction aimed at maximising and why is it effective? Does anyone ever get to have the final say? I see this as being very problematic for ever coming to a satisfying conclusion.Judaka
    We could resolve the ad's paradox if we will rigorously apply your suggestion:
    What I would argue is that both the "besides truths" are included in arrangements and are themselves arrangements.Judaka
    We should reject the false opposition between mere facts and social, constructed facts. So, to resolve the paradox of the apparently 'fake' ad's effectiveness, independent of "the actual truth of the quality of the perfume", we should change our criteria for verification. Baudrillard wrote:
    “The problem of the 'veracity' of advertising should be posed as follows: if advertising men really 'lied', they
    would be easy to unmask. But they do not. And if they do not, this is not because they are too intelligent, but because 'the advertiser ' s art . . . consists largely of the art of making persuasive statements which are neither true nor false. For the good reason that there is no longer either any original or any real referential dimension and, like all myths and magic formulas, advertising is based on a different kind of verification, that of the self-fulfilling prophecy. The successful advertiser is the master of a new art: the art of making things true by saying they are so. He is a devotee of the technique of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Advertising is prophetic language, in so far as it promotes not learning or understanding, but hope.” (Jean Baudrillard, 'The consumer society' )
    The arrangement of the ad's truth does not include the external reference to "the actual truth of the quality of the perfume" that may or may not result from the independent consumer's taste and decision. On the contrary, what makes the ad effective is producing the virtual image of jouissance, hope, beauty, success, and possession. A viewer gets automatically involved in the processes of identification and recognition. 'The self-fulfilling prophecy' of the ad is the embodiment of the particular mode of being. Even before the ad is showed, a collective viewer's identity is virtually present and utilized at the ad production's time. The actress lives through the viewer's anticipations and aspirations; she does not represent the enjoyment. Further, when the viewer identifies herself with the actress, it is only the actualization of the virtual image's fundamental doubling. This mirroring creates the effect of the self-affirmation, of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Don't we observe a similar avatar during the Oscars Red Carpet Shows? So, the ad's effect is not the changing one's mind and convincing to buy the perfume regardless of its real qualities. One may not like this particular perfume, but one resonates with the impetus to permanently resume the search for the pleasure of the successful identification's consummation. The ad indicates the subtle organization and modification of collective impersonal investments of desire. On the contrary to Lacan's conception of desire as lacking the fundamental unity with the Other, capitalistic desire constitutes the truth besides the truth of our drives, motivations and aspirations.
    The culture of consumption both affects how we see things while also being itself affected, it's social role is deeply interactive. How do I even begin to explain the way in which we extract and assert meaning? The model is actualising our desires, the potency wouldn't be there without that, however, the desires being actualised are not restricted to the product but include her, herself. Advertisements are often about a happy family, a successful marriage, happiness from the act of purchasing, beautiful houses, beautiful people, happy people, what's really being sold here?Judaka

    What is being sold is the inclusion and participation in the unrecognizable capitalistic desire arrangements and the capitalistic financial axiomatics. The fulfillment of one’s dreams and desires are possible just by making money, the anticipation of money, incurring debts, and becoming a working part of financial apparatuses. In our society, the desire to be is unseparated from the desire to be involved in money flows. The meaning is just one of the effects of the complex interplay of the flows of desire and money, signs and images.
    Consider also the latest trend of "woke" ads, selling the idea of social justice even though it has nothing to do with the product.Judaka

    No idea can exist somewhere outside of the various mainstream media platforms and social media networks. Their narrations support ideas, articulate our existence, and convert fictions
    into the real present.
    The question shouldn't be to ask "is this arrangement true?" but to ask "is the arrangement useful" or effective? By acknowledging that what causes the pattern to exist likely also exert its influence on us, we can prepare for that and more easily spot it. What we shouldn't do is throw out the pertinence of the pattern on us by shifting blame, it is wishful thinking. We can challenge whether it's illogical or irrational to have these narrative structures to begin with, they may be instrumentally rational in the effects they produce. Alternatively, they may simply be the culmination of other factors which often meet and produce these effects. Either way, it becomes an ego trip to exclude oneself from processes simply because the results they produce are in some way unpalatable.

    I think we should aim to be rational but if we aren't aware of what undermines our attempts to be then we have no chance. If one were resistant to having their rationality undermined by advertisements in the aforementioned way then it would be due to their awareness. The only way we can become aware is to accept some responsibility for their effectiveness, to acknowledge how we diverge from our ideal selves.
    Judaka
    You are right, but this task is almost unachievable. Our selves are propped and maintained by our various desires
    that have become working parts of the capitalistic infrastructure. On the level of the infrastructure, one could face the inhumane outside/inside of the machinic processes. Our rationality is not undermined by advertisements and the media operations, we have to deal with the real they produce. How can we accept responsibility for this monster machinery? Hamlet's dilemma : "To be or not to be."
    It is more or less clear what does it mean 'to be' today. But what about 'not to be'?
    .
  • Judaka
    911

    You are right, but this task is almost unachievable.Number2018

    What if it is unachievable but seeing that it is, is the correct answer? What if the ideals of our ideal selves aren't realistic? We aim to be rational but should we ever expect to be entirely rational? The aim here for me is to reimagine the ideal in light of the best possible understanding of what we can and can't be reasonably expected to do. I see myself as the watchdog for my own rationality, ever sceptical and distrustful, expecting but forgiving myself for being realistically irrational.

    The arrangement of the ad's truth does not include the external reference to "the actual truth of the quality of the perfume" that may or may not result from the independent consumer's taste and decision. On the contrary, what makes the ad effective is producing the virtual image of jouissance, hope, beauty, success, and possession.Number2018

    I think we do see advertisements making reference to the quality of their product but firstly we realise that the masculine, confident voice which describes them is importantly masculine and importantly confident. We are tempted to believe the story because he seems trustworthy, he seems to know what he's talking about, though he's an actor reading a script. Secondly, the ad is producing the virtual image as you describe, the ad is giving us both what to believe and why to believe it both explicitly and subliminally. The consumer consciously sees themselves as a rational actor but is unconsciously excited and enticed by the opportunity for self-actualisation and the actualisation of their desires. At the very least, without psychologizing the consumer, we cannot explain the ad's construction without acknowledging the subliminal message and tactics. The explicit and subliminal are interwoven, the explicit acts as a front to give the illusion of rationality and control.

    I think that your analysis overall is much improved and wonderfully written, I don't disagree with anything you said and I am taking notes on how you've said it because it was much better than if it would've been me. I am not going to comment on everything, I am still processing a lot of it and I don't know if I have much to add to your analysis.

    What is being sold is the inclusion and participation in unrecognizable capitalistic desire arrangements and the capitalistic financial axiomatics.Number2018

    I agree though I don't think they are unrecognizable, they're present in the collective consciousness and this is important. The capitalistic arrangements are comprehensive value systems, they constitute standards by which we evaluate ourselves. The American dream is an example of this, it's about how purchasing leads to the perfect domestic and social life, a standard for measuring success.

    It's even less about whether you personally feel this way, but about how you feel you will be judged based on these standards whether you like it or not. Creating not only a social pressure to conform but also forcing a particular kind of reaction if you are concerned about how people see you and it's hard not to be, impractical not to be.

    Asserting your own rules for what constitutes success or beauty, half-difficult and half-impractical, if the perfume presents an image of professionalism and empowerment, whether you see it that way is only half the story, you're hoping others see it that way too. For when you buy the perfume, you're hoping that this is going to positively affect how you'll be seen, which legitimises changes in how you see yourself. We grow up seeing fictional characters or people we know embodying their roles through various markers such as in a high-class lady using a perfume. Can you pay no attention to it? Wear what you want to wear, look how you want to look and assert yourself as that high-class lady even if you don't fit the image and nobody else sees you that way?

    Overall, I am not trying to discredit everything here, one can buy the perfume for reasons besides its quality and be logical, rational and practical in doing so. It might actually be more foolish to have a fixation on the quality of the perfume if it means we're ignoring the secondary function, the truth besides the truth. Of course, I'm not sure there's any benefit in being irrational, it's like throwing darts in the dark.

    LacanNumber2018

    On Lacan, I think that he is talking about something slightly different to us. There is some cross over for sure but we can say he is utilising "the truth besides the truth" concept for the unique discourse schemes he has presented. What he's aiming to do makes sense to me but we're working from very different perspectives, I find it hard to relate to where he's coming from. I do not like to psychologise people I don't know, I prefer to look at the discontinuity between a behaviour and the given reason, therein lies the unconscious. Too much about the advertisement makes no sense without acknowledging the truth besides the truth, we can infer a lot from its construction and its success, which makes what we're doing possible.

    The truth besides the truth exerts its own real force, which should be taken into account, that was my message here. That really just means acknowledging it and allowing it to enter our consciousness, without necessarily talking about all of its implications and how acknowledging it can be useful. Though, as with my last thread, this has just consisted of everyone except you misunderstanding me. You really were the difference between these threads being a waste of time and very engaging and helpful to me, thank you for that.
  • Number2018
    429
    I think we should aim to be rational but if we aren't aware of what undermines our attempts to be then we have no chance. If one were resistant to having their rationality undermined by advertisements in the aforementioned way then it would be due to their awareness. The only way we can become aware is to accept some responsibility for their effectiveness, to acknowledge how we diverge from our ideal selves.Judaka

    We aim to be rational but should we ever expect to be entirely rational? The aim here for me is to reimagine the ideal in light of the best possible understanding of what we can and can't be reasonably expected to do. I see myself as the watchdog for my own rationality, ever sceptical and distrustful, expecting but forgiving myself for being realistically irrational.Judaka

    The problem here can probably not be solved with the help of the distinction between ideal, rational
    selves, and the illogical or irrational motivations. The advertisement for the perfume is perfectly
    rational: there is the rationality of marketing, advertising production, and a customer’s patterns and satisfaction. All involved individuals make rational and weighted choices and pursue their self-interest. Yet, the rationality of self-interest is necessarily and fully converted into immediate satisfaction. Not just the product of this particular ad, but our entire lives should bring us life – satisfaction. Whatever we purchase, do, act, or work – should bring us an increasingly impressive achievement. What is the definition of “success”? Are we able to define it logically or rationally?
    If one buys the perfume, she can enjoy its qualities and the effects of the image it brings just for a short while. There is the imperative to renew the process, to reanimate the equation of self-interest = life-satisfaction. Rationality of any choice swiftly becomes outdated and irrelevant. Further, the perfume advertisement is just a small working part of the neoliberal capitalistic arrangement. It includes individual rational calculus of choice, affective personal and impersonal registers, and the apparatuses of financial and economic determinants. The surplus-value is extracted by the operations of the capture of manifestations and activities of everyday life. How can we differentiate rational from irrational here? And, what can be the outer position, allowing to stand by and to change the perspective?
  • Judaka
    911

    We should want to be rational but I can challenge my rational thought without questioning its rationality and this can be done on several levels. My aim is not to say that if something is rational then it is good but to say it is good if something is rational. We can offer logical definitions for success but just because it's logical, that doesn't make it a good definition. Ultimately, this rabbit hole eventually leads me to nihilism, value does not exist, it is asserted through intellect and their reasons can only be evaluated by an intellect.

    We enter into a cyclical pattern, whereby value is asserted by the intellect, which has value asserted by the intellect, which has value asserted by the intellect and so on.

    Can it be the effectiveness of one’s arrangement? If I understand you correctly, when one expresses her positions, views, or perspectives, the implicit ‘arrangement of truth’ has been inevitably involved. It brings many opportunities to disagree, oppose, contradict, or challenge the conclusion or the final statement. Yet, if the object of consideration is not
    some particular truth, we could find common ground on discussing the rules of the game.
    An effective, interesting game (arrangement) works if it produces specific effects and if it can be reapplied in different situations.
    Number2018

    We can analyse what effects the capitalistic arrangements produce but how can we judge those effects? From the perspective of the capitalistic arrangements, the actor is rational and purchases according to their desires or needs and is satisfied with their purchase until it comes time to make the next one. The advertisement may convince people to want to buy a product for reasons they're not completely aware of but that's fair game. I don't know what a satisfying direction or conclusion for our discussion might be. There is no escape, we have to choose something, some system by which we live, from within the capitalistic arrangement, I am not pointing out any particular problem, only that we should aim to know why we're doing what we're doing and be correct in our reasons for doing what we're doing. Of course, these reasons can just be justified using the capitalistic arrangement and don't necessarily challenge it and that's usually how it is.
  • creativesoul
    8.8k
    ...it is good if something is rational...Judaka

    Being rational requires only consistent meaningful language use and valid inference. Rational arguments can lead to things that are clearly not good.
  • Judaka
    911

    Rational arguments can lead to things that are clearly not good.creativesoul

    I agree but that's that I said.

    My aim is not to say that if something is rational then it is good but to say it is good if something is rational.Judaka

    We can promote rationality without agreeing with all rational arguments or thinking they always lead to good results. I agree.
  • creativesoul
    8.8k
    Rational arguments for treating blacks horribly would be good according to that...

    That argument is rational, and it is good for something to be rational...

    According to what you said...
  • Judaka
    911

    Misunderstanding me once is acceptable but to press on even after I clarified that I agreed with you? Yes, it is good that the argument is rational as opposed to irrational but that doesn't make the argument a good one nor does it mean the logic leads to desirable consequences.

    We should want to be rational but I can challenge my rational thought without questioning its rationality and this can be done on several levels.Judaka

    In your example, you wouldn't say that the argument was irrational but that it was immoral, cruel, unjust and so on. The third agreement is the last one you get, press me on this again and I'm just ignoring you.
  • creativesoul
    8.8k
    Yes, it is good that the argument is rational... ...but that doesn't make the argument a good one...Judaka

    :brow:

    Do you not see the self-contradiction/incoherency?
  • Number2018
    429
    We can analyse what effects the capitalistic arrangements produce but how can we judge those effects? From the perspective of the capitalistic arrangements, the actor is rational and purchases according to their desires or needs and is satisfied with their purchase until it comes time to make the next one.Judaka
    Likely, the capitalistic arrangements primarily produce particular subjectivities. A subjectivity could be defined as a cluster of behavioural patterns, emotions, feelings, cognitive operations, rationalizations, abilities, and utilized discourses. Differently from social or professional roles, they are based
    on primarily unrecognizable modes of production and reproduction. We could say that the consumer of the ad is also a kind of subjectivity. One is acted upon by various factors. I can like or dislike the advertisement for the perfume. But I don't ask your question: "What is being sold here?" I find "The experience of the ad, with the serene music, the camera flipping from angle to angle, the woman at the end while smiling at you saying, "because you're worth it", natural and appropriate. I unmistakably and immediately recognize the produced scene; it has become my way of seeing things. But why? What is the practice of learning? And, as you said: "What is all of this careful construction aimed at maximizing, and why is it effective?" Similarly, I can find that I often behave in a pre-programmed, automatized way in various domains and situations of my life.
    This topic was discussed by @StreetlightX https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/220119
    “'subjectivities' have nothing to do with 'consciousness' and have everything to do with one's range of capacities in a particular situation. A 'subject' here is one that can act or be acted upon in a range of ways, depending on the context at hand; so, for example, one can speak of a subject of street-walking: the subject of street walking is involved in traversing a certain terrain, in making a way to a destination, of admiring sights, of avoiding traffic, of waiting at traffic lights, and so on… the 'subject' doesn't even have to be embodied: one can speak of the subjectivity of the internet browser: this subjectivity is largely disembodied, interacting with his or her computer though a mouse or keyboard, mostly passively absorbing words or pictures on the screen, while only sometimes actively involving themselves in the world they are exploring by, say, posting on an internet forum, or 'liking' a Youtube video. The subject of the internet browser is very different from the subject of the street walker. The subjectivities involved draw on different ranges of capacities, interests, attentions, limits, and approaches to creative action. One important thing that this should make clear is that a subject is not simply a correlate of an 'individual': an individual may traverse different subjectivities, first as a walker on the street, then as a browser of the internet - and so on. of the various reasons why studying different subjectivities is important, chief among them are the political and ethical implications of these differing subjectivities: every kind of subject is bound, in some way or another, by the possibilities afforded by the environment of which that subject is (this is what it means to be a subject: to be subject-to-...): subjectivities, in other words, are contextual, and more than that, are produced by those very contexts in which they inhere”.
    I would disagree with the last statement that subjectivities are primarily contextual. First of all, they are products of a particular social, economic, and political order. Not just crossing the street, browsing the internet, or being the viewer of the perfume, but almost all my life activities are organized and managed by ‘subjectivities’. They make it much easier to adapt, to succeed, and to fit in. Yet, where is the limit of my adaptability? If I do not recognize that almost my entire life, my ego, my rationality, and my irrationality are covered up, absorbed by the patterns, imposed beside my will, I may be entirely happy. But what if I disagree with this imperative programming?
    I don't know what a satisfying direction or conclusion for our discussion might be. There is no escape, we have to choose something, some system by which we live, from within the capitalistic arrangement, I am not pointing out any particular problem, only that we should aim to know why we're doing what we're doing and be correct in our reasons for doing what we're doing.Judaka
    This discussion could help us to better understand who we are and what we can do. Subjectivities,
    produced by capitalistic arrangements, do not compose a compelling totalizing repressive network. They have gaps, overlaps, controversies, disbalances, and instabilities. They can reinforce or weaken each other. Likely, it is possible to explore the existence of not ready-made, pre-given subjectivities.
  • Judaka
    911

    These subjectivities are arrangements and rely on psychologising, characterising, narrativising the role being inhabited or just existing which constitutes the subjectivity. Again, there is no way to bypass the individual's involvement in the creation of an arrangement and its structure is going to always be more or less contentious. There is a difference in what you would include/exclude, describe, emphasise and so on than me and these differences make the resulting description of any "subjectivity" contentious. I don't see a way to resolve this problem. When you refer to the possible subjectivity that is the ad viewer, what is this? An ageless, genderless, experienceless, no nurture, no nature, inhuman abstract thing? Are we to pretend that it makes no difference if the perfume ad is being seen by a man or a woman? If these differences are included then how are they included? And what about how all differences interact with each other?

    If you feel it is helpful to bring up this idea of "subjectivity" then there will need to be a discussion about it. I am happy for you to rewrite what you wanted to say without it but while I am open to having my mind changed, I do not like this term and if I am to use it then many questions and problems need to be addressed. I wanted to respond to your comment without addressing the term but I don't think I can.
  • Number2018
    429
    These subjectivities are arrangements and rely on psychologising, characterising, narrativising the role being inhabited or just existing which constitutes the subjectivity. Again, there is no way to bypass the individual's involvement in the creation of an arrangement and its structure is going to always be more or less contentious. There is a difference in what you would include/exclude, describe, emphasise and so on than me and these differences make the resulting description of any "subjectivity" contentious. I don't see a way to resolve this problem.Judaka

    I understand your point. You mean that my articulation of subjectivities is a subjective construction
    itself without the objective grounding. You are right: dismantling and deconstructing prevailing subjectivities is a subjective act of the creation of a counter-subjectivity. Can it function as a ground for
    a shared understanding?
    When you refer to the possible subjectivity that is the ad viewer, what is this? An ageless, genderless, experienceless, no nurture, no nature, inhuman abstract thing? Are we to pretend that it makes no difference if the perfume ad is being seen by a man or a woman? If these differences are included then how are they included? And what about how all differences interact with each other?Judaka

    I will try to reformulate and modify again my last attempt to articulate my apprehension of the ad of the perfume. It was still missing a few important features. Despite so many nuances and differences, is it possible to extract and to conceptualize the working arrangement (the truth besides the truth) that stands behind the production of the ad of the perfume? Does this assemblage organize and manage not just this ad's perception, but also the production and perception of countless other advertisements, maintain consumerism principles, and even affect the ways we see things and interact with others? If so, it would make it reasonable to conceptualize 'capitalistic subjectivity' as one of our beings' essential modii.
    Both Lacan and Baudrillard, despite their differences, underline a few crucial feathers of the art (science) of advertisement. It constitutes a closed system; it is self-referential. It has its criteria for a successful operation. It is self-sustainable. It includes individual, personal reactions and processes as secondary
    and subordinated working parts. "As far as the advertisement is concerned, the actual truth of the quality of the perfume is irrelevant." But why? At the moment of the ad's production, she embodies a particular mode of desire to be – pretty, successful, romantic, etc. that exists and has to be satisfied regardless of the perfume's real quality. She shares this desire with the potential viewers and embodies it as a consumer in her private life. Further, a consumer and the actress from the advertisement necessarily address an imaginary Other. Any act of consumption presupposes an admiration, a gaze from aside, an exchange with the other. Objective information (price, product specifications, and instruction of the user, etc.) is necessary for any advertisement. Still, it always functions in a particular way, as a raw material for the production's engine. The successful ad makes one recognize that there is indeed a scene of
    self-fulfilling prophesy: for many, there is a high chance of the self-enjoyment and self-affirmation due to the consumption of the image as the primary product. What makes this advertisement universally 'capitalistic' is a set of several presupposed crucial determinants: a particular mode of the relation with the Other, specific investments of the desire, a significant role in the construction and function of social reality, the imposition of money as the universal mean of integration and evaluation of various heterogeneous registers, and the production of different forms of surplus-values,
    driving and animating our society. Factually, the advertisement arrangement is just one of the numerous capitalistic apparatuses of capture, emptying our intimate desires and drives and then converting them into the flows of money and consumptive images.
    ” Only an erotic drive, a desire for the absent other, is capable of putting the
    productive apparatus in motion, but it aims at something that will never be there and that
    makes the voyeur's gaze obsessive when he is gripped by his double reflected on the mirror,
    moving in the middle of the things offered/ refused in the windowpane-mirror. In the reflected
    image, the spectator sees himself dispersed among what cannot be grasped (the painted
    images of things). Among desiring subjects, there re-mains only the possibility of loving the language that substitutes itself for their communication. And that is indeed a model of language furnished by the machine, which is made of differentiated and combined parts (like every enunciation) and develops, through the interplay of its mechanisms, the logic of a celibate narcissism.” (Michel de Certeau, 'The Practice of Everyday Life').
    If you feel it is helpful to bring up this idea of "subjectivity" then there will need to be a discussion about it. I am happy for you to rewrite what you wanted to say without it but while I am open to having my mind changed, I do not like this term and if I am to use it then many questions and problems need to be addressed. I wanted to respond to your comment without addressing the term but I don't think I can.Judaka
    Probably, you feel that I try to impose concepts and themes that are far from what you would like
    to discuss. I would completely understand it if you do not respond or ignore what I write. Anyway,
    I assume that capitalistic subjectivities could be defined as impersonal diagrams and arrangements, unconsciously interiorized and appropriated by concrete individuals. They compose the truth besides the truth of our lives and the social fabric of our society. Likely, the capitalistic apparatuses of capture and extraction of surplus values can successfully function just due to this symbiotic coexistence. Therefore, I do not think that the discussion of subjectivities leads away from the central theme of your OP.
  • Judaka
    911

    I understand your point. You mean that my articulation of subjectivities is a subjective construction
    itself without an objective grounding. You are right: dismantling and deconstructing of prevailing subjectivities is an act of the creation of a counter-subjectivity. Can it function as a ground for
    a shared understanding?
    Number2018

    When we talk about capitalistic arrangements, we would describe things differently if we tried and all the same problems would apply here as they would with subjectivities. I am not saying that just because the subjectivity is an arrangement, that it's useless, however, a role devoid of consciousness and human experience? I can think of some situations where this is acceptable, such as a job, say with a job of a factory worker and what you can and can't do, how you will be interacted with, what you are supposed to do, is all clearly defined. We could talk about this subjectivity without great dispute, especially in a physical sense like workplace safety, maximising efficiency, reducing mistakes and so on. We could find areas of agreement and disagreement, question our accuracy and come to a place of shared understanding. I have read the linked thread but I still have many questions and concerns.

    Despite so many nuances and differences, is it possible to extract and to conceptualize the working arrangement (the truth besides the truth) that stands behind the production of the ad of the perfume?Number2018

    Let us start of by saying that there is a factual perception, there is a real force which exerts its influence and at least part of this force is being consciously activated by the producers of the ad. From the perspective of the producer, there is a strong motivation to find a correlation between the effects of the ad and the success of the ad however this might best be determined. How are the effects of the ad known? I suspect a few methods, firstly by listening to people who have watched the ad describe the effect it had on them, secondly through understanding likely psychological and emotional reactions to possible components of the ad, thirdly through trial and error and the list goes on.

    We can assume that the selection pressure on ads based on performance is very high as it is a very competitive field with huge sums of money behind it. To create a better ad than competitors - both for your job within the company and compared to competitors outside, you can not simply imitate, you need to understand why what works works and enhance it in your own production. Competition means you don't care about what you think about your production, which is just a means to an end, what you care about is having success.

    The production team is targeting a clear demographic, they know who buys the advertised products and they aim to have the best possible understanding of why. In the perfume example, they have little time and a few goals, first to capture our attention, then to communicate the purpose of the product, what makes it unique and the general explanation. This explanation is enhanced however it can be, whatever makes a good impression. Overtly and subliminally, we are enticed to purchase, consciously and unconsciously.

    Each member of the production team of the successful perfume ad may explain their success differently, we could create categories for explanations given by those who wanted to buy the perfume as a result of the ad. A certain percentage said X, a lesser said Z and so on. However, that's only the conscious aspect, only what they're attuned to and perhaps their explanation is incorrect or incomplete. Then we as individual thinkers create an arrangement based on what we know and don't know, what we think is important and isn't important, how else would we do it? How do we know when we've got it right? What are we even trying to do and is it possible to do it?

    Does this assemblage organize and manage not just this ad's perception, but also the production and perception of countless other advertisements, maintain consumerism principles, and even affect the ways we see things and interact with others? If so, it would make it reasonable to conceptualize 'capitalistic subjectivity' as one of our beings' essential modii.Number2018

    To what end?

    One interesting feature of this discussion is that we know almost nothing about each other. I can't consider your age, gender, experience, culture, social life, education, occupation, worldviews, objectives or much of anything really and the same for you with me. To conceptualise this "capitalistic subjectivity" would have ramifications, which we'd care about as thinkers, across a whole range of topics. I would formulate my ideas using my range of nature/nurture/personal factors and you yours. So if I create a "capitalistic subjectivity" which supports or is a natural component of my worldview should we be surprised? If I create a "capitalistic subjectivity" which is impacted by my biases, circumstances, preferences and such, should we be surprised?

    Another thing, is how do we judge that we're correct in our analysis? I think in philosophy, it's hard because how do we know when we've hit the mark? If we were to play, I don't know, a strategy game of some kind such as chess, our first ideas on the best way to play would probably not be good, maybe even very bad. We would continually change our approach until we found success but we can't do that here, how do we resolve this problem? If you agree and I agree on a capitalistic subjectivity, what does that mean for us, our analysis and those who'd disagree with it? In the game, our correct understanding would net us a victory, the results speak to its quality. What's our aim and how do we judge success?

    I think for the capitalistic arrangements, we can discuss this without really going into specifics, the details of our similarities and differences in describing them are unbeknownst to us but it's okay because we are really just discussing how it might or must influence conceptually. By addressing the capitalistic arrangements, we are able to take a different approach and I consider this to be very useful. This utility is not undermined by the lack of specificity. However, for the idea of subjectivities, it seems like specificity is necessary for the concept to be useful. I for one, have no confidence to describe it and I refuse to relinquish control of the narrative to the extent that I might address another's explanation of a subjectivity as fact.

    I am particularly wary because the OP of that linked thread, Streetlightx, is someone who I suspect uses that concept in totally inappropriate ways and does so with complete ignorance of his involvement in the creation of his views. Why can't a race be a subjectivity? Why not a gender? A disability? Isn't this just streetlightx's method of legitimising his bigotry? This concept is at best to only be used in very specific circumstances, it is more of a potentially useful creative endeavour than a fair and practical way to describe the world. What subjectivity could we create which would be anything but a construction which could be disputed on every level?

    I assume that capitalistic subjectivities could be defined as impersonal diagrams and arrangements, unconsciously interiorized and appropriated by concrete individuals. They compose the truth besides the truth of our lives and the social fabric of our society. Likely, the capitalistic apparatuses of capture and extraction of surplus values can successfully function just due to this symbiotic coexistence.Number2018

    Besides this term subjectivities, I think I understand what you are trying to say, which is that capitalistic arrangements inform a way of being in the world which allow us to effortlessly become part of the infrastructure of capitalism. For instance, seeing yourself as a consumer, which you can be because you have money, which allows you to partake in hobbies and self-improvement, which are sold to you by the advertisement. Much of our existence is orientated around the acquiring and spending of money, this process is promoted as the path of the responsible, successful adult. The capitalistic arrangements can be really simply described as various "besides truths" around acquiring and spending money. Our culture embodies these "besides truths" seamlessly and we live resigned to them equally seamlessly and effortlessly. Do you think this is an adequate alternative explanation of what you were saying?
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.4k
    The production team is targeting a clear demographic, they know who buys the advertised products and they aim to have the best possible understanding of why. In the perfume example, they have little time and a few goals, first to capture our attention, then to communicate the purpose of the product, what makes it unique and the general explanation. This explanation is enhanced however it can be, whatever makes a good impression. Overtly and subliminally, we are enticed to purchase, consciously and unconsciously.Judaka

    Some ad-related thoughts: (1) perfume is mostly purchased by men, for women, so the target is definitely men, one reason for the male voice-over; (2) ads do often seem just to present an exemplar, like a bunch of cool, attractive twenty-somethings inner-tubing (or some other healthy outdoor fun) and all of them are smoking the same brand of cigarette or drinking the same energy drink; (3) a chunk of this, as you note somewhere, maybe more than once, is not at all about the product itself but the social context of its use -- or of its being gifted, which is one sort of use for a bottle of perfume -- and that's what the exemplar usually is, not just a description of the thing.

    Broadly, I would think in these terms: (a) there's what you say; (b) there's how you say it; and (c) there's what you mean by what you say. I'm thinking of language use, but it seems obvious this can be extended. The thing about (b) and (c) is that they're really not "just" psychological; the distinctions between (b) and (a) and between (c) and (a) are largely public, built-in, you might even say, to how we use language. You may end up attributing a psychological state to someone based on your understanding of what they say, but that's also pretty much built-in.

    Those terms seem pretty straightforward to me. Do they help make sense of the ad at all?

    (For (c), by the way, I'm mostly thinking of "conversational implicature" but there are both simpler and more complex examples, I'd guess.)
  • Judaka
    911

    Thanks for your response.

    I suppose this discussion has become just as much about "the truth besides the truth" which can be seen in the perfume advertisement as it is about how and why the advertisement works at all.
    (A) What you say
    (B) How you say it
    (C) What you mean by what you say

    It appears to me that what you are talking about might be considered the upfront truth, what actually happened in the ad. The "truth besides the truth" is looking at how these things, alongside the visual aspect, can be interpreted, characterised, emphasised and processed to create oftentimes predictable responses. We can look at how the audience is processing the truth and predict it based on various nature/nurture influences.

    With perfume, many have noted an increase in male consumption in the last few decades, as with many beauty products, the barriers discouraging male consumption are being knocked down. The culture of "masculinity" has changed, thus, how the male audience views perfume has changed and the reverse is true too.

    So for a male buying for himself there are questions like
    - Does using perfume make me appear feminine?
    - Will using perfume as a man provoke positive or negative feelings and remarks?
    - How will using perfume affect how others see me? And how I see myself?
    And so on.

    The ad can specifically target these questions or problems through your suggested facets. The reason for buying the product has a lot to do with how using it makes you feel, how it influences how others perceive you and so on. So the ad can choose a message or simultaneously target both the audience which knows perfume and expects quality and the audience which buys perfume because they're excited about these promised effects.

    A figure that comes to my mind is Cristiano Ronaldo, here are some examples of ads featuring him and his brand.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp5YgNXvqGU&ab
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKrH1e3yLMI&ab

    These ads have close to no commentary at all, the entire message is a game of connecting the use of the perfume with happiness, success, masculinity, attractiveness, coolness, being slick and so on. Using Ronaldo's likeability, attractiveness, star status and popularity to further the effect. You want to go buy the perfume to be like Cristiano Ronaldo, to share in some of this awesomeness. Women are going to want you, men are going to compliment you and you are going to shine and succeed. Logically, we know none of this is given to us just by using the perfume but it doesn't really matter though, the truth has become a side concern. The ads are pretty easy to understand, the desired effect on the viewer is quite obvious, I think the success of these ads has interesting implications for understanding how information is processed, what works to motivate us and shows how "the truth" is an ideal, just a component of what motivates and guides us.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.4k
    Logically, we know none of this is given to us just by using the perfume but it doesn't really matter though, the truth has become a side concern.Judaka

    There might be a different argument in these sorts of advertisements -- still not valid, but different. Something like

      You know what kind of guy wears this perfume? Guys like this. So if you wear this perfume, then you must be one of those guys, you must be a guy like this.

    So it's not a claim that the perfume will make you that guy, but that you buying it and using it will be proof that you are that guy. And this can have weird psychological layers:

    • you can appeal to the target's egoism -- maybe they do secretly or not so secretly believe this;
    • you can appeal to their aspiration -- it's a test, are you worthy yet;
    • you force them to choose -- which are you gonna be, are you gonna stay the way you are or be this;
    • you appeal to their autonomy -- who's to say you can't be this guy, people are always holding you back.

    It just goes on and on.
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