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Thursday, February 7, 2008

"appropriating one's own"

The academic is one path that the detour of reflection and thinking can opt to travel -- which sometimes takes too long -- to a destination that turns out to be quite proximate, stark, and blinding in its familiarity. What is familiar and near is usually farthest from the mind. But because there is a general need for making our own what is farthest, there is a general problem of distanciation, and therefore of thinking and reflection. It is perhaps part of the human fate too that we have to appropriate what is already ours. "To appropriate is to make 'one's own' what was 'alien' (Ricoeur 1976, 43), but what we already own, and are, may also stand farthest.

- Julius D. Mendoza, "Alterity and Cultural Existence," in B. P. Tapang, ed., Cordillera in June: Essays Celebrating June Prill-Brett, Anthropologist (Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press, 2007), p. 1 .

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