I agree with Malabou’s initial consideration. “Relinquishing transcendentalism”. How tentative. How civilized. But her approach, I must say, just like all subsequent considerations, asks good questions but then never quite gets to any answer what so ever more than a reiteration, a parroting of conventional method. In very short verse: this is correlationalism. The very moment of her critique is correlationalism in situ. The proposal of Miellassoux set as is it in play, as I have said, is prime occasion to speak of the Significant Event; those interested will have to wait for the book, since the development is much larger than the blog format.
Suffice it to get to the issue behind such proposition. We might consider what ‘throwing away the ladder’ means. I am sure there will be the usual preponderance who hang onto the ladder for the use of arguing what one means by throwing away the ladder. And they won’t even see the redundancy and ridiculousness of their position; how indeed they may have thrown away the ladder yet are telling us what Neitzche and so and so mean by this and how they thus might qualify to having already thrown away the ladder, and then give further reason why now having thrown away the ladder, so and so says this and so we argue this and that based upon the meaning of so and so, that we may present the problemitization of throwing away the ladder such that we can the grant our position such that we now are moving beyond the ladder or not.
This little dance reminds me of a jazz artist in the late 1980’s who put out a CD with liner notes that described and made an argument in a quite intellectual fashion, how Jazz is not an intellectual art form or musical expression. I love jazz, but I just had to laugh, and then listen to his non intellectual music that, in my opinion, had with so much obvious talent and expertise so little soul and depth, so much explicit expression and so little inuition and grasp of the reason why, at least I, listen to music.
I draw this analogy to philosophy. The death of philosophy is evidenced exactly in such philosophers talking about the possibility of philosophy relinquishing the transcendent, parting from Kant and such. Obviously the meaning of philosophy has taken a turn, and it hardly hinges upon relinquishing anything, but rather more a hanging on to the well established method working of social lubrication and conceptual capital to make a name and a living. So much for every hobby and career; rarely it seems, if never, do the users of ideas really take to heart what they are talking about or reading about, keeping all meaning at arms length for the sake of quick access and face.
So as I have said of Harman, we have to give these brain users a benefit of doubt, and grant that they do indeed feel and believe with a passion that their involvement and discussion are really involving a type of truth, a type of real working. So it is that we must locate such thinking people in an arena that takes quite seriously their deep ideas, and call it ‘reality’ as a place, space or position, and ‘conventional’ as a method fitting and no larger than the arena, the terms of which holding such a value for investment, the infinity of such an arena, calls to such thinkers to regard it as quite inescapable and indeed thus always accounting for every possibility in its potential; always climbing the ladder, they are, even as they talk about whether it might be thrown away or not.
It is good to be the straw man, because this particular kind of straw man is not allowed in the correlationalist cycle, for it indicts the conventional method, rather, it bases of method. For logic is not a tool; it does not show where truth is located. It is a vehicle, a route by which conclusions may be shown. The idea of a ‘hidden’ truth which by the tool of logic may uncover is a conventional trope, an ideological dogma. Along such conventional lines, such confrontation is rebutted by saying that it defines a nothing, a nihilism, which is why so many authors now are considering and defining what nihilism might ‘really’ mean.
The post just before this one, here in Constructive Undoing, the “reblogg” post, is the example for which we say that we must destroy the transcendent. Miellassoux is being much too kind, much too diplomatic. The reason for this necessity is that the real conventional discourse relies upon the transcendent even as we might want to and in order to posit that we might get rid of it. And if anyone has been reading my blog, it is only in the act of blatant and obstinate denial that an arrangement of terms may effectively do anything, let alone now not have a transcendent involved in what reality may be. In fact, this is also why we must say that reality is the place where discourse determines what is true. We need not reiterate the past year of posts of Constructive Undoing. It is enough to use the “reblogg” to give a concrete and specific example of what it means to destroy the transcendent, what divergence means and why it is necessary. I’m not sure if this post will cover all that right now, but at least it will get to showing what we are up to by distinguishing ‘conventional methodology’.
Thus a throwing away of the ladder really evidences the problem I indicate by referring to the “Reblogg” post. Let’s look there now, the comments and discussion arena after the blog….Heres the link: http://darkecologies.com/2014/12/03/the-battle-in-philosophy-time-substance-and-the-void/
Ok, we’re back. Now keep in mind, I am not rebutting his essay for its content. In fact, D.E. rebukes me for not wanting to discuss within the parameters of what he has presented. Yet, we might say that part of the discussion of the Significant Event concedes the benefit of doubt to the argument in question, that for this case, the author of D.E. (Sorry man, I never got yer name) has indeed read the authors quite thoroughly and is fluent enough in the verses to bring to mind various quotes appropriate to the issue in question, and that such referencings likewise connote a good possible consideration of the matter. We concede that the opinion expressed is a valid opinion, in as much as it most probably sticks to the commonly recognized version of meaning, that this common reading thus laid admits various hazards, that these hazards will surly be rooted out, voiced and problematizing in various ways, etcetera.
My question is always: What does that mean? When I read his essay (as this is the example here), I have a pretty good idea of what he is saying, as well as the problem he suggests or implicates, as well as how an impetus for discussion has been set. Having a pretty good reading of the authors myself, I understand how the stage has been set, why the lights are faced here and there, the actors supposed to enter here, turn there, the music come in here. While I know the play, and the different showings and performances, and casts, that each is slightly different, with different stage sets, different colors, interpretations of phrasings, tempo, mood, timbre, etcetera — the play is the same play. It may be entertaining to see the play every year at different venues, but it always suggests the same meaning even while differing in reference to the moments in which I attend the showing, as my attendance and watching may have different significances to my regular life at the various times.
So it is that when I read philosophy, i am informed to meaning through the question of what does it mean, what is the author saying. Now, the problem I wish to shed light upon. In this effort for meaning, a reader inevitably comes to want to find out what is ‘really’ meant, and so dismisses the meaning that is gained in potential through definitional ‘gaps’ such that now the reader has to look for context that does not seem to appear in the present text, i.e., the reader needs to read other authors and see what they are saying, and so on. What this process amounts to is a storehouse of information that when drawn upon appears to be conveying deep significant meaning, but when stood back from, really just presents a bunch of terms that says nothing in particular; this type of discursive posturing that seems so profound by its educationally privileged layering is what I call metaphysical (in the bad way) because the level that is supposed of its definitional structure is supposed to get at some more real or more true meaning of the issue presented.
It is this kind of philosophical method that is correlational, that which relies upon a transcending aspect of discourse by which to assume or propose an actual truth of the situation. As we might see in D.E.’s talks on Zizek; Zizek himself talks in a way to show this very situation: that there is no subject that has any actual or substantial truth to it, but that we are viewing it in a particular way, in a particular fashion. This is what all the various Zizek talking abouts on this particular issue means: there is nothing there.
Now, philosophers will debate this, but the debate will be based upon the fact that obviously there is something ( but again Zizek accounts for this in various places also, but how he says it is less important that what he means; how he says it is just nice to look at). So the philosophers will bring in their storehouse of authorial knowledge to pose and discuss what Zizek may be saying and what then may be the actual truth of the matter. But never do they stand back and find out what it is such rhetoric actually means. The point which Zizek reiterates all over the place is that such rhetoric is nonsensical, that the discourse itself, a particular discourse that he references capitalistic, sees its elements as substantial capital, actual true real things that are negotiated. But the point I’m making is not to dispute what Zizek is saying; the points of Zizek will be pronounced in the Significant Event. The point I wish to expose is that the various arguments that would rebut or expound upon Zizek often miss what Zizek says over and over.
A most specific and pertinent example of the motion of conventional correlationalist philosophy occurs in relief through the exchange in the comments of D.E. of the link I gave, between him (her? Come to think of it, I don’t really know) and I.
Hopefully my distinction will be made more clear.
I use the term ‘True Object’ in my writings. This usage often gets the best objections in the form of it making no sense. My question is what sense is there not to be made? The philosophers (and I have encountered this over and over in many places) routinely bring argument against ‘truth’ and ‘object’, and are typically repulsed by ‘faith’, at various junctures. My proposal is of a simplicity that is completely missed by the conventionalists that I see is due to their investment in the storehouse of authorial knowledge. I am saying that reality is constituted of True Objects, objects that cannot but be helped to function in reality as true things. Like the car I drive down the road. There is a car. The question of what a car may ‘actually’ be as an object is of no concern; indeed I am, as I drive, driving a car down the road. The ideological or theoretical considerations do not come into play here; much like Harman’s Third Chair, but most like the ‘First’ chair, what ever may be the actual ‘car’ does not come into play in my driving down that road. The car is a True Object. To argue what the car may actually be is entirely a theoretical issue, but more, an issue that is entirely metaphysical, which is also to say, concerning what is more true or more real, which is for all other terms, concerning what is transcendent or for better terms, as a methodological reduction, concerning ‘The’ transcendent.
There is no theory that needs go into this, but the theory is already there in the various authors all over the place. Harman’s difference with Zizek, even as he may say he disagree with Zizek, is in as much as Harman is invested in the truth of the terms he is using, as his terms are stemming from a sort of essential relation of thing to thing (the ‘thing’ that is Harman, and the ‘thing’ that Harman is addressing: object -> object). As I have said, he must argue this because this argument then validates retroactively the position by which he attains his truth of reality. And this next is key to my proposal of the situation of the True Object: his difference with Zizek takes place in reality.
Once this situation is understood, then we can consider the meaning ala Miellassoux, correlationalism and transcendence. Then, once this situation takes hold, the question no longer concerns what the author means, for this routinely beckons conventional method back into its correlation of ideologically ordered (Foucault) and scaffolded (Wittgenstien) terms — and besides, we have already climbed the ladder of this meaning — but rather the question becomes: What does this situation mean? Hence, to question this situation stems from a position that is not real. The real ladder of meaning must be thrown away. The question comes to concern the Significant Event.
We can see this in action in the comments of the linked blog on Dark Ecologies. That the simplicity I propose is countered by recourse to an authorial bank (Freire) of knowledge. The conventional philosopher cannot understand what I am referring to because he is caught in the metaphysical correlational world of ‘real’ discursive method. Hence, divergence.
Again; this is not to say that D.E. essays do not present valid points, but rather that the meaning of the points are routinely missed for the sake of the correlationally (transcendentally) justified arguments that stem from an assertion of identity, from the equivocation of the object and the discourse (terms) about them — but not just any discourse; a particular discourse that can be associated, as Zizek does, with the capitalistic paradigm wherein True things exist because of the metaphysical discourse that supplies the ‘more true’ reason for its objectivity — as if I am not really driving a car down the road. The car is thus a True Object due to the insistence of the metaphysical support.
But to get back to Malabou; the question of ‘why’ should the transcendent be relinquished (I apologize; I have only listened to the first 20 minutes of her talk. My input may change when I hear the rest) is made nearly moot due to the understanding that comes through the simple understanding of what authors such as Badiou, Zizek, and Laruelle, (if not many, more; such as, Kant, Hume, Hegel, Faurbach, Spinoza, Kierkegaard, Nietchze, Wittgenstien, Heidegger, Sartre [my spelling is horrendous] and many, many more, whose names apologetically do not directly come to mind right now — oh, and if not Miellssoux, and Harman) are really saying. The difference between these varied authors concerns the awareness of the following: The transcendent must be destroyed because it is the transcendent that perpetuates the continuance of real confusion. We must not ‘relinquish’ it because, as Malabou also says, to relinquish is more like a kind parting, and such a codependent relationship will never kindly part ways.
“Should humanity be saved?” Laruelle has asked. I say: humanity should not be saved. Because, should humanity be saved it would not even know that it had already been saved, if indeed humanity should have been.