In conclusion of this lengthy discussion on truth in

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Unformatted text preview: ks into the “happy no-time” of sleeping and grabs the sleeper “by the heart”; an image much more unsettling than Tamir would have it), it is important to take into consideration Tamir’s claim about the portrayal of death in war in the nationalist discourse. Calling upon the findings of George Mosse79, she claims that the shift from portraying death in war as a grim reaper to portraying it as eternal sleep, took place in the eighteinth century, which would set it exactly in the period in which, according to Macintyre major disruptions of the communal order have been taking place which Burke was trying to hide with the images of continuity80. In other words it is exactly the period in which the state has been transforming itself into a kind of institution not worth dying for, and therefore a kind of institution in need of masks. Image of death as eternal sleep is a necessary part of nationalist imagery because without hiding the very fact of dying as the final end it would hardly be able to persuade anyone of taking that risk. This and similar images, such the image of “sweet and rigthous” dying decribed in Horacio’s verses, are revealed in all their falsity when they are used “with integrity”, which would mean against realistic descriptions of dying in war. And that is what Owen’s poem so vividly ilustrates. In conclusion of this lengthy discussion on truth in poetry, it could be said that CEU eTD Collection nationalist images used to persuade citizens to adopt the nationalist ground project are not of undecided truth value. They purport to reveal something about what they represent, but instead they distort it, so they could be reasonably considered as false and giving raise to false beliefs. This would then mean that the motives based on these beliefs could not provide a person having those motives in her motivational set with valid reasons for action. 79 80 Tamir, “Pro Patria Mori”, 239 Macintyre, “Poetry as Political Philosophy”, 162 46 3.2.2 ON HUMEAN IRRATIONALITY But there is one more alternative which has considered. A person could be influnced by the nationalist imagery to adopt a nationalist ground project and still claim to hold no specific false belief about the state. For instance, the famous British WWI recruitment poster showing a British soldier pointing to an idillic picture of the English countryside and saying to the spectator: “Wouldn’t you fight for this?” could have inspired a person to enlist into the army, without making him hold any rational beliefs that the early XX British state was really made all made up of idyllic country houses, or that the state policy has been in any way friendly to the tradition of English countryside 81. He may even be aware that the modern British state of that time can in way is actually contributing to dissapearance of the very way of life which is praised in the poster image, and still retain the motive influnced by this picture. If asked, he would probably say that he still feels the British state is in some indescribable way still the embodiement of the “green and pleasent land” presented in the picture, or simply that the picture made him see his state...
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2013 for the course ENGLISH LI 21 taught by Professor Han during the Fall '13 term at Tsinghua University.

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