Ulus Baker
What is Opinion?

Produced by Aras Ozgun
55 mins., NTSC, All Regions

"We have lived at least one century within the idea of opinion which determined some of the major themes in social sciences... In short, social sciences were designed in terms of opinion; asking people what they think about themselves, their lives, their stories, their issues, their problems. And I believe that social sciences have been transformed into a kind of doxology, but I'm tending rather to oppose this status of sociological research. My problem here is that; sociology is epistemologically -or logically- tending rather to become a general opinion about opinions; of what people are supposed to think about themselves and others. And this a clear distinction from the early emergence of social sciences and social research in general...And, through this, in social sciences, we have lost the ability to create (what we may call) the "life of affects" -an affective life..."

Ulus Baker was an influential figure in contemporary Turkish political thinking, both as a frequent author in major political and scholarly periodicals and as a professor of sociology, media and film theory. He was also one of the founders of “korotonomedya”, an autonomist political/artistic collective based in Ankara. In this lecture/interview he traces the notion of “opinion” back from its Ancient Greek origins, and he problematicizes todays “sociology of opinions” by by referring to Pascal, Spinoza, and Tarde's philosophies.

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