By Michel de Certeau
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Garfinkel, W. Labov, H. Sachs, E. A. 10 Finally, in addition to the semiotics and philosophies of “convention” (from O. Ducrot to D. Lewis),11 we must look into the ponderous formal logics and their extension, in the field of analytical philosophy, into the domains of action (G. H. von Wright, A. C. Danto, R. J. Bernstein),12 time (A. N. Prior, N. Rescher and J. Urquhart),13 and modalisation (G. E. Hughes and M. J. Cresswell, A. R. ) whose dominants are determined in turn by circumstances and conjunctural demands.
29 Carried to its limit, this order would be the equivalent of the rules of meter and rhyme for poets of earlier times: a body of constraints stimulating new discoveries, a set of rules with which improvisation plays. Reading thus introduces an “art” which is anything but passive. It resembles rather that art whose theory was developed by medieval poets and romancers: an innovation infiltrated into the text and even into the terms of a tradition. Imbricated within the strategies of modernity (which identify creation with the invention of a personal language, whether cultural or scientific), the procedures of contemporary consumption appear to constitute a subtle art of “renters” who know how to insinuate their countless differences into the dominant text.
It is the endpoint of a trajectory. It is not a state, an initial flaw or grace, but something which comes into being, the product of a process of deviation from rule-governed and falsifiable practices, an overflowing (débordement) of the common in a particular position. 11 The important thing here is the fact that the work of overflowing operates by the insinuation of the ordinary into established scientific fields. Far from arbitrarily assuming the privilege of speaking in the name of the ordinary (it cannot be spoken), or claiming to be in that general place (that would be a false “mysticism”), or, worse, offering up a hagiographic everydayness for its edifying value, it is a matter of restoring historicity to the movement which leads analytical procedures back to their frontiers, to the point where they are changed, indeed disturbed, by the ironic and mad banality that speaks in “Everyman” in the sixteenth century and that has returned in the final stages of Freud’s knowledge.