On the Beauty of the Standard Disclaimer – Cecil Touchon 1994

First Published in the International Post-Dogmatist Quarterly – Volume 1 – Issue 2 1994


“The ideas, views, opinions, attitudes, conceptions or insinuations, bot explicit and implicit, contained herein may or may not be those of the International Post-Dogmatist Group at a whole or any of its constituent members, associates, affiliates, subsidiaries or institutions.” 

Perhaps the reader considers the standard disclaimer as a mere novelty of Post-Dogmatism but as Patrick O’Kelly recently pointed out, it is the essence of what Post-Dogmatism is all about. As a disclaimer it leaves all members of the International Post-Dogmatist Group utterly blameless in relation to what ever any other member of the group may say or do as a post-dogmatist. The standard disclaimer implies that all members are completely independent of each other and may or may not hold the same views on any given subject and therefore should not and can not be grouped as an easily recognizable category and thus, as a group, defies definition. In this regard the standard disclaimer is something of a manifesto in it self. The IPDG was designed for the creative community as a way of creating a group that provides all of us fiercely independent and thus relatively isolated individuals with a vehicle through which we might define ourselves and name ourselves without being labeled into historical groupings which we may or may not identify with. In addition the standard disclaimer covers even the individual who is speaking and who – being a member – may not wish to be forced to stand behind something he said for the reason that creative individuals are quite often merely proposing an idea or conception in a detached manor as a way of grappling with an issue much in the same way as one might make a work of art just to see what will happen rather than as a statement of personal belief. On the other hand, since no Post-Dogmatist is under any obligation to stand behind an other Post- Dogmatist’s ideas or thoughts, this leaves all Post-Dogmatist free to say what ever they deem appropriate without concern what any other Post-Dogmatist might think about it. Thus, there is no need to attempt to please any other Post-Dogmatists or to maintain any ‘party line’ since whatever all Post-Dogmatist together express at any given time is Post-Dogmatism no matter how contrary or paradoxical it may seem. We are not striving for any uniformity of thought or any kind of homogeneous image as a group since it is designed for each member to act independently and according to his own nature and convictions. It is the diversity of the various members of the group that gives it it’s vitality and what makes Post-Dogmatism so distinctive. The more views there are and the more diverse are the group’s perspectives, the stronger and more complete Post-Dogmatism becomes as is in keeping with the mysterious and all inclusive nature of Post-Dogmatism. 

So go ahead, express yourself! 

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