We should be careful about positing a transcendence, of proposing or implicating what content might be of such a situation.
We might remember an earlier post of Constructive Undoing where I put forth a quite post-modern idea that would rightly be seen to contradict the appearance of the situation alluded to in the last post (part 2). This idea is that there is nothing beyond discourse. What exactly am I saying, then, by proposing that the philosophy that identifies the table is not accounting for all that may exist of the table? I seem to remember that I have said that nothing exists beyond discourse.
It would be easy to come to a certain conclusion of an essential transcendental element or aspect concerning what I have called the divergent situation. But this is the problem before us: What is the truth of the matter? How might we accommodate the fact that nothing exists outside of discourse as well as the matter of discourse not accounting for the entirety of the table, the same situation I have called of the object, that by extension I include for what I am calling my self? A confusion might arise when I include these other things in equanimity: The table in itself is never found; the object, all objects, are never found; my self is never found in itself. There appears to be a discontinuity between these items; most people would not find it difficult to follow such reasoning that marks a table as an object, but then not be able to see how my self can be included as an object. After all, is it not the subject, the self, that is considering these things? Is it not a typical framing that sees a sort of thoughtful human subject thinking that is responsible for the object by which we can speak of one’s orientation upon objects? It is this view that sees that there are objects that do not fulfill the subjective mandate and that one need rather look inward, reflect upon oneself, to find the truth.
Unfortunately, we are not speaking of a subjective truth either; rather, subjective truth is still relative truth, still conventional truth, still a truth that is oriented upon, as we say, True Objects.
The problem with an essential self is that then we have exceptionalized one particular term to have a capacity that extends beyond the maxim that there is nothing beyond discourse. Here, essential would have to contain or uphold a meaning that is capable of being attached to something actually transcendent, as if here we have an objective world of objects that are spoken about and looked into, through which we never find the object in itself, that included the subject in-itself, so instead, we have to look to the subject itself to find the truth, and through this looking to the subject aside from objects, we then find something that is transcendent the world of objects, which is what we usually call spiritual and this is to say that what is spiritual actually is or reflects the truth. Yet to more thoroughly reveal the situation; even if we get a little more philosophical and find that there is nothing beyond discourse, still most people cannot bring this to its ends and instead retain the subject as the exception to mean that the subject apprehends the world of objects through discourse, through the naming of things, and this naming arises as an economy of knowable and relatable things, such that the subject, the knower, reserves a right within its unimpeachable position, a right that is exemplified by the term, here, essential, such that in as much as discourse may work to include the subject in a scheme of identification, such as psychology, there is still some part that is not being contained in the working of discourse as an inclusive economy, which is to say, that nothing exists beyond or outside of, that indeed there is something that exists outside of discourse by virtue of the this one term that bestows upon its object that ability or capacity to exist outside of said discourse.
Again, but ironically, this is indeed the case. Yet we must not be hasty in our appropriations. Nothing exists outside of discourse. Again, the problem involved in this statement, the problem that offends most human subjects, is that it is saying that indeed they, the subject(s), do not exist, which is obviously not the case. The corner in which they find themselves brings them at all times to have to find something that defies the very philosophical idea of nothing existing outside of discourse. They thus define an arena that is subjective and of a spirit. But what is occurring is that they are merely situating objects, arranging objects to accommodate their subjecthood, the exeptionality to the philosophical rule.
But what has happened? A moment ago we were talking about the condition of the table, of an object that we can thereby associate with objects in general; now it seems you you are talking not about objects but of terms, names of objects. But, if we can recall, in part 2 I was talking about how there is this thing, the table, that exists as a negotiation of terms, and that by extension I can speak about my pants, my feet, my brain, et cetera, but as well my thoughts, and my self. What can I possibly mean by this?
What are my thoughts? Well, just as the table exists as a fluid configuration of aspects, all of which are negotiated through discourse, thoughts likewise exist in the very same way. We may look for a table, or we may look for a thought. The only way that either one of these things may be distinguished is through a reference of meaning, references that are a part of the economy of negotiated objects. The caveat that pervades every type of description of this sort, and indeed lurks precariously worrying of its dissolution, is that thinking is that by which all this other stuff has an ability to exist. The distinction that reveals this hidden caveat, that holds the potential to show its decoupling, is that this economy grants the possibility of meaning by which thoughts may consider what reality is and how to negotiate it, which is to say then that, on one hand, thought, the term, has an exceptional ability, capacity or presence to identify something essentially not discursive, while on the other, thought is just another term that is informed as to its meaning through the discursive economy. Everywhere we turn, we find the philosophical fault; namely that if we can talk about how reality is reflected by discourse, that reality is discourse, then the only way we can know of this is to have some part of discourse not subject to this philosophical mandate. Which part is it?
Contradiction arises at various philosophical junctures and this is merely one of them. But at each of these junctures, there appears for the considering mind a hesitation, as Bruno Latour might say, a surprise that calls forth what we can call a pass. In our case here, the pass can be said to occur in the terms that are exceptions to the philosophical reduction. These passes occur within certain contexts, at the ends of particular meaningful reductions, such as the one I have put forth here. For example, in one reduction, thought can be said to be a pass; in another, self or subject. Though similar to Latour’s ‘passes’ – he uses the term to indicate where inconsistencies are overlooked or missed, and so where the operator passes by or over them — here we mean to indicate the junctures at which the operator does not pass; which is to say, moments of meaning at which the operator is offended; those moments where the operator falls back and does not pass. Presented in this light, we might begin to see how faith operates, and why we speak of conventional method, conventional reality, and conventional faith.
Never is the meaning of the philosophical mandate taken for what it means in itself. It is as if in the very reasoning by which we come upon an object only reducible to knowledge is the argument already occurring, such that philosophy is incapable of acknowledging what it is really saying. At all times, not only is there an aspect that is withheld from the proposal by which to gain the proposal, but this withholding allows for the meaning of the mandate to fall into certain pathways of meaning that deny there is anything being withheld, again, secretly passing over the problem. Rather, the pass is that there is an aspect of reality that is transcendent to the negotiation of objects, but further that this negotiation is allowed because of an ability for real mediation between the presumed transcendence and the real object in question. The mediation here is thought, but due to agency that appears within this meaningful paradigm, the meaningful paradigm that arises in offense of the contradictory junctures always held off and in suspension, thought itself is seen to be of an independent sort, stemming from an aspect or element that is independent of the object in question. The ‘subject’, the ‘self’, ‘consciousness’; all these terms are supposed to identify essential components of reality that are separated enough from the philosophical world to thereby enact philosophical mandates, even to be able to describe how itself, the subject thinking agent, is incorporated into the real truth of things, the in itself truth of the thing in question.
The point here is that humanity behaves as if there are indeed True Objects, object in-themselves that humanity not only can know but indeed exist independently and beyond human’s ability to know. Here we have the Speculative Realist and Object Oriented Ontology notions. But all that has happened in that a pass has been activated; in this case, regardless of what anyone wants to say about how the object exists only within knowledge, and not in-itself, the object still remains effectively an object in-itself, such that the awareness of how the Kantian idea fails thereby necessitates a certain pondering about a world that might exist beyond knowledge, since now knowledge concordantly is not confined by its own limit of having only known objects. Now one may speculate about what might occur in an essential case of objects not confined to our human knowing them.
Yet, this all is occurring within discourse. The Speculative possibility occurs in the same real paradigm of of applied knowledge; what is meant, or what has been meant, is that terms are conveying a truth of things, namely, that the known object does not exhaust the object. The basic presumption of the Speculative proposals of that there is something ‘more’, something that is able to view things from a distance, something that is withheld from the discourse that is doing the telling. While the meaning of the True Object may shed light along or toward a certain path, it is within the reaction to the offense that brings the Speculative, as if this arena is indeed an essential situation, activated by what we might call the Speculative pass.
We do not make the issue so complicated. These passes indicate one thing: There is an effective real faith that is determining how one is to appropriate reality. But there is not faiths; the idea of more than one faith is really an assertion of belief, but this idea of various beliefs admits its own fault, of how it occurs within the real faith, its basis oriented toward True Objects, or as we say, conventional faith. Hence, we can begin to see how we are indicting philosophy for how proposes to be speaking for all that might be real and true; we are indicting the assumption of the common effort in as much as this effort relies upon a series of passes that remain concealed by the method itself. Thus our issue is that the conclusion of philosophy, as an effort that is proposed upon a common effort, in the manner we describe, a common understanding as well as route or method for that understanding, is incorrect.
Due to this, divergence arises away from such faith, away from such speculative matters. The situation that requires as it indicates the philosophical pass is the rejection of contradiction as a method of coming to the truth. Instead, we merely say that such passes reveal that there is a discourse that is faulty, that there is a manner of appropriating discourse that is promoted as it is asserted as proper, real and true. In this sense, contradiction is that which is offensive, is that which marks where and when one has went astray, that one should fall back into the faith that posits an essential transcendent subjectivity.
Again: We are not advocating some essential transcendence. What we are proposing is that whatever might be transcendent, or nothing beyond discourse, as the case may or not be, is a result of the conventional faith, in so much as such faith is indeed an effective faith. There is nothing beyond discourse because discourse is how we account for everything, including what may be nothing in-itself; whatever may be beyond discourse in as much as discourse identifies objects, is thus a True transcendence. It works; it functions to grant reality, and it is the functioning that we are concerned with. Reality exists against a transcendence that can be noticed in those moments that we have identified as passes, those moments that are passed over because they are invisible to the operator; which is to say, the proposals function to grant real solute objects in-themselves. The first pass can be understood as the contradiction between the metaphysical proposal that reveals that no object is being discovered in-itself, but only through a relation of terms founded in knowledge, and its opposite, the reliance upon the terms to grant True Objects for the purpose of have an ability to make proposals. Thus, as much as such this reduction reveals that discourse reduces reality to this particular truth, of contradiction, shows that at least part of the object that is supposed to be accounted for by this metaphysical conclusion is not being account for, and that thus this particular meaningful vector, this particular methodological route, is faulty, not true.
We have yet to step out from the umbrella of modern thought; post-modern is just another manner of being modern. When we attempt to gain an understanding of what is occurring, we have yet to see that the redundancy is the intrinsic mythology functioning to supply reality. Currently, I tend to concur with Zizek, to say that our current paradigm is capitalism, that the real catholic religion is the working of capitalistic value upon identified commodities, or what we call objects, but what can be more precisely identified as terms. The key is to understand that every mythology proposes itself upon all reality, the whole universe, and the entirety of history.
We are talking about how ‘philosophy’, as a particular identifying name for an effort, similar to say, a manual called ‘car repair’, proposes to be speaking for all that might be real and true, metaphysics. Thus our issue is that the conclusion of philosophy, as an effort that is proposed upon a common effort, a common understanding as well as route or method for that understanding, is incorrect. Hence we propose a divergent philosophical route; for our analogy, the manual called ‘car repair’ didn’t repair the car, in fact it arrived nowhere near a repaired car. The car may move down the road, but it is clogging the air with pollution, oil is leaking all over the road, the engine routinely overheats. It is repainted time to time and looks really great for a bit, the upholstery is repaired and sometimes replaced, and the interior is sprayed with air freshener; the car indeed may indeed function, but who the hell would buy such a piece of crap?
The significant question is how is it possible to step outside of the intrinsic mythology.
The answer comes when we no longer see contradiction as indicating the ends of discourse in an absolute sense, and that we are speaking of an end to a particular discourse.