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Embassytown

What is the connection between language and what we are able to think about? Describe how simile works for the Arieke with specific reference to how they create similes with humans, especially Avice. Consider how, like their language, similes point to other real things in the world, things that already exist. Then explain why some of the Arieke want to be able to lie – is it merely to be able to deceive (hint: NO!)? If not, then what is the purpose of lying, and how does it relate to what we are able to think about? And be sure to consider the very end of the novel – what happens to Avice and Spanish Dancer, what are they doing, and how does it relate to “what we are able to think about”? What changes in Part 8 of the novel that changes everything for the Arieke?

Sample Solution

Marx’s final critique of capitalism this essay will examine is historical materialism. Marx’s historical materialism asserts that the material conditions of society’s economic mode of production determine society’s organisation, including political structures and dialectics. Historical materialism represents work of the ‘mature Marx’ in regard to a divergence from philosophical ideals to a form of scientific socialism: consciousness arises from material conditions rather than ideas and thoughts. The ‘forces of production’, such as labour or machinery, determine the ‘relations of production’, the social relations required to carry out production of goods and the exchange of such goods (Marx, 1887 [1867]). In class societies there exists a division of labour whereby the class in ownership of the means of production (the bourgeoisie) controls that society and benefits from the surplus value generated by the proletariat (labouring class). In this way, there can be seen to exist an economic base upon which rests an ideological superstructure, constituting for example the state, political institutions and culture of a society of which is both influenced by, and influences, the economic base, of which takes primacy (Cohen, 1978). Eventually, the capitalist mode of production develops the forces of production in ways that enable and necessitate communism through a ‘revolution’ by which the augmentation of class consciousness through class conflict is realised and an organisation of the proletariat occurs (Marx & Engels, 1932 [1846]). In this way, the economic base changes and a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ exists whereby a revolutionary ruling class become the new superstructure. However, in critically evaluating Marx’s theory of historical materialism, academics such as Karl Popper and Leszek Kołakowski have critiqued the theory on grounds that it is too broad and could account for any event (Popper, 1957). In this way, Popper ascribes historical materialism as unfalsifiable and as such pseudoscientific, a contradiction to Marx’s ‘epistemological break’ (Althusser & Balibar, 1970 [1965]) to scientific socialism. Additionally, Popper heeds against potential negative practical effects of the implementation of such historical materialistic ideas of unintended consequences that may arise due to the complexity of both societal structures and social interaction
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