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Posted 1/1/2012 7:59am by Eugene Wyatt.

Everything seems to suggest that his discourse proceeds according to a two-term dialectic: popular opinion and its contrary, Doxa and paradox, the stereotype and the novation, fatigue and freshness, relish and disgust: I like/I don't like.

Roland Barthes, Roland Barthes

"[Barthes] realizes that his greatest achievement is not what he is, nor even what he has done, but rather how he has done it. So his self- portrait is not primarily a recollection of events or earlier works. It is, rightly, a delineation of the method rather than the man. And so persuasive or provocative are its assertions and associations that it is impossible to read this portrait of a style passively."

San Francisco Review of Books, Jacob Stockinger


The word doxa picked up a new meaning between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC when the "Seventy" (evdomikonta) Hebrew scholars in Alexandria translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. In this translation of the Scriptures, called the Septuagint, the scholars rendered the Hebrew word for "glory" (כבוד, kavod) as doxa.


Pierre Bourdieu, in his Outline of a Theory of Practice, used the term doxa to denote what is taken for granted in any particular society. The doxa, in his view, is the experience by which “the natural and social world appears as self-evident”. It encompasses what falls within the limits of the thinkable and the sayable (“the universe of possible discourse”), that which “goes without saying because it comes without saying”.

Doxa, Wikipedia

Tags: Barthes, doxa