02
Mar
08

Questionnaire ?

Directions: For each pair of sentences, circle the letter, a or b, that best
expresses your viewpoint. Make a selection from each pair. Do not omit
any items.

pencil.jpg

1.a) The body and the material things of the world are the key to any
knowledge we can possess.
b) Knowledge is only possible by means of the mind or psyche.

2.a) My life is largely controlled by luck and chance.
b) I can determine the basic course of my life.

3.a) Nature is indifferent to human needs.
b) Nature has some purpose, even if obscure.

4.a) I can understand the world to a sufficient extent.
b) The world is basically baffling.

5.a) Love is the greatest happiness.
b) Love is illusionary and its pleasures transient.

6.a) Political and social action can improve the state of the world.
b) Political and social action are fundamentally futile.

7.a) I cannot fully express my most private feelings.
b) I have no feelings I cannot fully express.

8.a) Virtue is its own reward.
b) Virtue is not a matter of rewards.

9.a) It is possible to tell if someone is trustworthy.
b) People turn on you in unpredictable ways.

10.a) Ideally, it would be most desirable to live in a rural area.
b) Ideally, it would be most desirable to live in an urban area.

11.a) Economic and social inequality is the greatest social evil.
b) Totalitarianism is the greatest social evil.

12.a) Overall, technology has been beneficial to human beings.
b) Overall, technology has been harmful to human beings.

13.a) Work is the potential source of the greatest human fulfillment.
b) Liberation from work should be the goal of any movement for
social improvement.

14.a) Art is at heart political in that it can change our perception of reality.
b) Art is at heart not political because it can change only
consciousness and not events.

Charles Bernstein, ( 1950– )”Questionnaire” (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007).

“Bernstein is a poetic gadfly, uncompromising in his questioning of what language is, why we use it as we do, and what values are conveyed with our linguistic choice

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1 Response to “Questionnaire ?”


  1. March 3, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    My life is somehow controlled by luck and chance but can determine the basic course of my life.

    Nature is somehow indifferent to human needs.

    I can understand the world to some extent but all and all the world remains basically baffling.

    Love is the greatest happiness but it’s nature is illusionary and its pleasures transient.

    Political and social action can improve the state of the world even though trusting it is fundamentally futile.

    Suffering is not a Virtue.

    Technology has been beneficial to human beings but too much of a good thing can ruin its good reputation.

    Art can be political in that it can change our perception of reality.

    My friend ajay, my guru, isiaih Berlin believes in the plurality/multiplicity of truth/ideals. Change a couple of words in this questionnaire and it ceases to be so deterministic/absolute.

    ‘Life can be seen through
    many windows,
    none of them necessarily
    clear or opaque,
    less or more distorting
    than any of the others.’


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